**I had typed but not yet edited this before our hospital deal, so I am a little late finally getting it revised and posted. Please bare with me!
I probably have a million other things I SHOULD be doing instead of typing up a blog post, but I don't want any of these memories to escape me before I get it documented, so today is the day I recap the birth of our sweet Cecilia Rose.
At my second to last OB appointment my Dr. uttered those bittersweet words..."you will be induced on June 5th at 6:30am" assuming our little pumpkin didn't come on her own before then. I say bittersweet because of two reasons. 1) out of selfishness: I wanted that "oh no! We gotta go!" moment of surprise. 2) more than anything though, I knew just how hard Milania's induction was on me (and her) and knew I didn't want to force my body through that again. So I left that appointment and prayed. And prayed some more. I prayed and prayed I would go into labor on my own and not have to see that induction date/be induced, but God had other plans for Cici and I. And as each day passed and no signs of baby were showing, I knew June 5th would be our sweet baby's birthday.
'twas the night before induction....
All through the house, Ryan and I got everything ready for the next day/days. We finished packing what we needed to, Ryan cleaned the living room carpets, and we got our bags set by the door, ready for us to leave in the morning. We set our alarms for the crack of 4:30 so we both had time to shower that next morning, then we would be ready to start the next chapter of our lives!
Ryan and I pulled into the vacant hospital parking lot with the sun barely shining over the horizon. It was *hopefully* going to be our baby's birthday! I was so excited, but I was also so scared. I would be lying if I said that I didn't cry and cry the entire way to the hospital. And as we sat there looking at the sun peeking over the clouds, I tried to pull myself together and gather my emotions. Looking back, I think it was hormones and just an overwhelming feeling of what was ahead....I was scared of being induced, scared of having a newborn again, scared of how Milania would react, scared wondering if we could handle it, the list went on and on. Basically, I was overwhelmed with emotion, but that didn't take away from the fact that I was about to meet my baby, and for that part..I was beyond excited.
We walked through the halls of the hospital and headed toward the OB unit, suitcase, Boppy, and pump in hand. We both laughed talking about how it felt like we had JUST been doing this same exact thing like yesterday. Except we didn't know what to expect that time...we were seasoned vets by now!
We got through the OB doors and were led to our room, where I got my gown on and got myself together. I started to focus on the GOOD things ahead (not the labor pains and all that entails) and was reassured when Kari reminded me how I said I would go through labor every day for the rest of my life if it meant one more hour with Milania. It was true. I had said it a million times before and meant it every time, so I knew I would feel the same with Cecilia. I suddenly started to relax and focus....and even get excited for those pains, for THOSE are what give me the prize in the end.
The OB unit was somewhat of a mess that morning and it took them awhile to get everything going. When they finally got my iv port in and took my pulse (that was 120!) and blood pressure, it was nearly 7:30am. My dr. had been in twice by then and was pretty upset that my Pitocin hadn't been started. Finally around 8:00am they got both the Pitocin and the fluids going and I was starting the day at a 2 and about 60% effaced. We were off!
Within the first 30 minutes I started feeling the contractions--isn't it crazy what medicine can do?! They weren't terrible by any means, more just cramping, but they made me focus on myself and Cici and the day ahead; I knew once they started there was no turning back. Around 9:30 they were showing up on the machine very clearly and were starting to get somewhat uncomfortable.
At 10:00 my Dr. came back in to check on me and said I was at a 3 but "stretchy as all get out" and he thought breaking my water would speed things up. So he did just that. I waited around a couple of minutes to make sure I wouldn't flood the hospital room ;) and then decided we should go on a walk; I was all about getting baby in primed position and helping her get where she needed to be, even if that meant walking and contracting throughout the halls of the hospital. My nurse unhooked the monitors, and told us to be back at 11:05. I text my mom at this point and said maybe she should come now, as opposed to the text I had sent her just an hour before saying it might be a long day we were fine without her there for awhile. (Please keep in mind my last labor was 18 hours).
The first stop on my walk was up the hall 2 rooms to see a friend who was getting discharged that day. She had had a sweet little baby boy a few days prior and I knew I wanted to see him and her before they left. As soon as we walked in and I saw the sweetest little boy cuddled on his daddy's chest, I knew the entire day would be worth it; I could not wait to see MY little baby. He was the motivation I needed!
We then headed out to wander the hospital halls together. We held hands, took turns pushing my pump around, and stopped every couple minutes for a contraction. I was just hoping and praying that with each one, she was working her way down to where she needed to be and getting ready for her big debut.
Right around 11 we got back into our room and got hooked back up to the monitors. After I got settled back in I realized my contractions were hurting A LOT worse. I don't know if it was the water breaking, the walk, or just her transitioning but they got painful fast. I really started to consider an epidural at this point but wanted to tough it out a little while longer and wanted to see what I was at before I caved. My Dr. showed back up and checked me and said about a 4. I was hoping I was further than that so I decided to hold off on the epidural awhile longer and give my body time to adjust.
Finally, I was at a 5-6, couldn't speak through the contractions let alone think through them, and decided it was time for the epi (it was 1:00pm). The anesthiologist showed up about a half hour (a very looooong half hour) later and gave me the best medicine in the world as far as I'm concerned! Suddenly my pain was eased and I could relax.
I told my nurse I was feeling a lot of pressure a short time later and she said she would check me. I knew I wasn't ready to push at this point but I also knew I was close...like very close. She said I was at a 7-8 but could be stretched to a 10. She suggested emptying my bladder and seeing if that made any room for baby.
Cici's heart also dipped for a minute during this time. She called it an "early" and said she would call my dr. to let him know but assured me it was only a sign that she was ready, not that she was in distress.
Literally, just 2 minutes after my bladder had been emptied I told Ryan to go get the nurse--and fast! He stood up, in what seemed to be slow motion timing, and kind of drug his feet towards the door (he swears it didn't happen that slowly but I swear it did) I said "Ryan, GO!" "She's coming!" and he seemed to get the urgency.
My nurse came in in a panic and asked if I wanted checked and I assured her I didn't need checked, the baby was coming...fast. She didn't have my bed broken away yet, a delivery cart, or even a warmer in the room for baby yet AND needed to call my dr. Basically, none of us were expecting me to go from a 7-8 to baby in a matter of minutes but it was happening.
She told me to "practice self control" and not allow my body to push until the Dr. got there and things were ready. I'm sure this was just a matter of minutes, but the same as with Ryan, I felt like it took decades! I was "practicing self control" but didn't feel like my mind and body were jiving. My body was ready and my mind was saying "hold on a minute!"
While I attempted the self control, my nurse rushed around and had apparently gotten some help from the hallway because she and a few others began breaking my bed away almost instantly. She then called the baby nurse and they wheeled in the warmer, filled it up with everything our precious baby would/could need, and started plugging things in. You KNOW they were in a rush when they trusted Ryan to plug in all the major equipment! As they were finishing up what they needed to get ready, my Dr. came running in the room.
He said he "sprinted through the hallways to get there as fast as he could" (he was just doing clinics in another wing of the hospital) and asked if he had time to change into scrubs. I told him I thought he did, but that my body was quite literally pushing a child out of it without me doing anything, so he needed to hurry! Before I knew it he was back and everyone was ready for baby.
Thank goodness for Ryan and him remembering the only two things on my "birth plan" because it was all so quick at this point I didn't even think of it! Ryan reminded me to ask my Dr. not to clamp the cord right away, and also that I wanted to do immediate skin-to-skin. I think the nurses had already planned to do skin-to-skin anyway because they were taking my monitors off and unbuttoning my gown for me as soon as my Dr. was ready, but I was still so thankful that he remembered to remind me!
Finally, my Dr. gave me the "go ahead" to push when I was ready. Ryan stood to my right, my nurse on my left, and as they both held a leg, I felt the first contraction and with it, my first official push. I did this three times and then my Dr. asked if next time I wanted to reach down and touch or grab her. I couldn't believe it...I knew she was ready to come out and I knew she was right THERE, but I was also in doubt. I said...you can see her?! He said "Oh yeah! She has long, dark hair." And I instantly began sobbing. I passed on my Kourtney Kardashian moment and gave a final push to get her little head out, and Ryan's face instantly lit up. Then another push to get her little body out and there she was...she was blue, she was slimy, she was screaming...she was beautiful.
She laid on my chest while the Dr. did his thing and the baby nurse got all the vitals she needed. As she laid there, she slowly began to do the "breast crawl" and worked her minutes old self over to begin nursing. She instantly latched on and stayed latched on for an hour and half. All the nurses and dr. were long gone at this point and it was just Ryan, Cici, and myself. We were able to soak it all in and just admire what a perfect little baby we, and God, had created.