Getting her first bath-she loved getting her hair washed!
Showing off our matching hospital bracelets
MY BIRTH STORY
I'm including my birth story on this post so that I don't forget the day that our sweet baby girl was brought into this world! It all started on Friday, January 29th at my 38-week ob appointment. I had been 1 cm dilated and 60-70% effaced the week before, so I was eager to see if I had progressed at all. Sure enough, I was 2 cm dilated and slightly more effaced, about 75%, than last week's appointment. Dr. Esses was on-call at the hospital that weekend, so she asked if I would like her to strip my membranes to hopefully jumpstart labor. Of course I agreed, anything to bring on our little girl faster! Boy, was that painful! I thought to myself, if that was so painful, what will the actual birth feel like?!? I didn't feel any contractions Friday, which was a little dissapointing because stripping your membranes should bring on labor within 48 hours, if it was going to work. I told my parents about my doctor's appointment and they decided that it was time for them to go ahead and come down from Atlanta. They were originally going to come on February 5th, as my due date wasn't until the 9th. However, they felt like she would debut early and they didn't want to miss it. Josh's parents decided the same thing and came down on Saturday. I started to have mild contractions on Saturday, but they weren't regular. Again, I became a little disappointed. We spent the day walking, walking, and walking trying to get the baby to hurry up and come out! But, I had been walking so much from day 1 that I don't think it made much of a difference. Finally on Sunday the 31st, my contractions were getting much stronger. Towards the afternoon they started to get regular also, coming every 7-10 minutes apart. I knew I had to wait for them to get even closer, but they were getting more and more intense as the day and night progressed. At around 5pm, my contractions were coming every 7 minutes on the dot and hurting so bad I wanted to cry. My mom had EXTREMELY fast labors, so I decided that it would be better to be safe than sorry, so at around 11pm, Josh and I went to the hospital to get checked out. They checked my cervix when I got there, and I was still 2cm dilated. They hooked me up to the monitors and made me wait it out for an hour before they checked me again to see if I made any progress. After an hour of painful, but irregular again, contractions, I still was 2 cm dilated. Dr. Esses gave me the option to stay the night and be induced in the morning, or to go home and wait until the contractions became closer together and even more intense. Josh and I decided to go home and get some rest, however, we went to my parents condo instead because it was only 10 minutes away from the hospital just in case we needed to come back quickly. I had a restless night with painful contractions coming every 7 minutes, but never any closer! Disappointment again! Monday morning, February 1st, the contractions seemed to stop so I could rest for a couple of hours, but come 11 am, they started back up every 7-10 minutes apart. I couldn't go back to the hospital until they were about 3-5 as told by the nurses. So, we spent the day walking, walking, and walking some more!!! Monday afternoon my contractions were getting worse, but still about 7 minutes apart. All day and through the night the contractions were getting stronger and stronger but never getting any closer together. Needless to say, I had another sleepless night! I was getting nervous because I hadn't slept for two days (except for an hour here or there), and I didn't want to go into labor with no strength or energy! Tuesday, February 2nd, was the same deal: stronger contractions about 7 minutes apart. I was in so much pain by this point that I called Dr. Esses's office to see what I should do. She told me that if I still felt contractions and couldn't sleep Tuesday night, that I should come in Wednesday morning to discuss options and possible induction. That made me feel better at least knowing there was an end in sight! We were all (my family and Josh's family) at my parents condo until about 4pm when I was in so much pain that I had to go back to my own house and be away from people (except my sweet husband, who was absolutely wonderful during all of this!). We had some time to ourselves that evening, and then later on, our families decided to come over for a visit at our house. I tried to be as social as I could, but I really just wanted to go to the hospital and get an epidural to put me out of my 2-day misery! I kept telling myself that it will all be over soon and Lila will be here! Tuesday night I tried to sleep, but of course the contractions were coming on stronger and stronger. I didn't fall asleep once because I was timing every contraction which were now about 5-7 minutes apart, but still not 3-5 like I was supposed to wait on. FINALLY at 4 am my water broke. HALLELUJAH!!! I could finally go to the hospital to have my baby! It broke while I was in bed, and boy did it break. We heard this loud POP, but luckily I was awake and got up really fast so it didn't mess up our sheets! Josh woke up right away and started putting all of our bags in the car while I put my contacts in and got dressed. I wanted to put on some makeup, but he decided that we needed to hurry, and thank goodness we did! Poor thing, Josh was so excited and was trying to talk to me during the ride over, but I couldn't talk through the pain so I would just give him smiles and nods. We got to the hospital at about 4:30 am and the nurses quickly got me hooked up to the monitors and called my doctor (who lives in my neighborhood so it was going to take her about 30-40 minutes to get there as well). The nurse checked my cervix right after I was in the bed and hooked up, and I was already dilated to 8 cm! My first thought was "OH my goodness, can I still get an epidural??? I've been feeling contractions for 3 days now! Even if it's just for 30 minutes...PLEASE!" So, they rushed my bloodwork and I had my epidural just in time for our families to get to the hospital (around 5:30 am). They had to call the on-call doctor, Dr. Graham, because I was so dilated, just in-case Dr. Esses didn't make it on time. The nurses kept telling me not to push or even think about pushing. I wasn't thinking much about anything except how excited I was that I would be holding my little girl soon. The epidural made me feel like a whole new woman!!! Sure enough, Dr. Esses comes in at about 6-6:30 am and checks me, and I was 9.5 cm. She told me that that was good enough for her to let me start to push. The thing was, my contractions NEVER got closer than 5-7 minutes apart, even when I was pushing. To speed things up, they gave me pitocin to make my contractions closer together so that we could push more quickly. Sure enough, I pushed for about 40 minutes (even though much of that was down time waiting on my slow-as-Christmas contractions), and Lila was finally in this world at 7:38 am! I cannot even begin to describe the feeling that came over me once I saw her and got to hold her in my arms. Josh even got a little teary-eyed when she came out! What a perfect miracle that God gave to us!!! She is such a blessing, and I pray that He does great things in her life!