So she finally came to meet us. On Monday evening at 6:42pm Luella Faye Harris was born. She was 12 days overdue, but worth the wait. My goodness is she beautiful and sweet.
The journey was not exactly as we expected. We had planned on using this special birth center room at the hospital where I was going to do the whole water birth thing. But after coming in to be monitored on Monday, they felt like the baby's heart rate was a little low, and thus started the medical interventions.
I had come in to the hospital to have my water broken which would hopefully get a natural labor jump started, but before they could do that I needed a few hours of an antibiotic in my system, so we waited around with little happening until the hospital nurses did a little check on us and found that the heart rate was dipping a bit lower than they were comfortable with. I don't know if it was the stress of worrying about her or if it was from the exam I'd had at my midwife's office that morning, but suddenly I went into labor all by myself...and it was pretty hard labor.
But I also had an oxygen mask,IV fluids, and fetal heart rate monitors on, so I couldn't go into the alternative birth center; I had to stay in the regular part of the hospital hooked up to everything. I also had to stay on my side the whole time in case the baby was laying on her cord. But such is life. You can't plan everything! So there I was, doing it "naturally" but with no hot tub or ability to move around or change positions. Yuck. It was no fun.
I mainly held onto my oxygen mask with one hand and onto the side of the bed with the other hand crying and saying things like "it wasn't supposed to go like this!" and then wincing with the pain of the contractions. It got more and more intense until 6 pm when they decided I'd had enough antibiotics in my system and they could now safely break my water. Then the party really got started.
Can you see the back of Matt's shirt in this picture? Blow it up if you can't see the words. That was not planned. He wears that shirt from his football days all the time, but how funny is that!
I was 8 cm by then so it didn't take long. She was born less than 45 minutes later to, quite possibly, the most relieved woman in the world. I can NOT believe that women do birth naturally and then choose to do it again the same way! I suppose if it could have been in the birth room in a hot tub it would have been a little better, but I'm not sure it would have been THAT different. I mean, pain is pain man. And this was painful.
But I will say it SURE makes you feel the greatest relief and joy IN THE WORLD when that baby finally emerges and you're done. And, without the effects of the epidural, she was definitely an alert baby. We kept her with us for a long time. I fed her. We looked at each other. We discussed how insanely crazy the last few hours were. She agreed. I could tell.
And then we gave our orders to the nurse who wanted to weigh her in the nursery: no hep B shots, no eye drops, no bath with that weird chemically soap that they use at the hospital. And so Matt went with them to the nursery and brought her back to me quickly. She weighed 7lbs, 13 oz, (the exact same as Sammy had weighed). And she's perfect. She looks a LOT like Claire. But she's definitely her own little self. We adore her and we're so happy that she's just finally HERE! Thanks for all your prayers for her arrival. She was worth the wait.
**** These pictures were taken by a dear friend of mine, Jamilla Yipp, who was an INCREDIBLE photographer to have present at our birth. She was discreet and kind and even helped me through a few contractions when my midwife had to step out of the room for a moment! You can see all her great photography on her personal website: http://jyipp.com/ and if you want a birth photographer in the Chicago area, give her a call. She's awesome! *****