Mabel joins the family: Part 3 – The birth

As luck would have it, John had recently been hired at a new job. He started his work on Monday and our induction was scheduled for Friday. On Tuesday that week, I had another doctor appointment. They told me I was 3 cm dilated an 70% effaced. Great news! However, the nurse in charge of the study was worried that I wouldn’t make it until my scheduled induction on Friday, so we changed our induction date to Thursday instead. I picked up my mom from the airport Wednesday afternoon. Wednesday night John and I cried together and prayed that everything would go smoothly and that we would adjust to our new life with the baby.

I’m so glad that John recorded a timeline of events because I would not have remembered everything. My mom was here for the whole thing. My mother-in-law stayed until about 10:00 PM before she decided to go home. Everyone was a huge help to me in the delivery room.

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6:30 AM – Arrive at the hospital – We were really nervous but excited. I got dressed in the gown they hooked up my IV and put on all the monitors. Baby seemed to be doing well.

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8:05 AM – Pitocin administired. The monitors started picking up contractions shortly after that: about 4/8 minutes

10:17 AM – I started feeling the contractions but they were extremely weak.

approx 12:00 PM – starting to feel a little uncomfortable. Like having mild period cramps

1:00 PM – still the same. John put on Star Trek Voyager for me

2:00 PM – fell asleep

3:10 PM – Doctor came in to say that they were going to break my water. I didn’t feel any pain when they did this. There was a lot of water and John said my stomach visibly got smaller right away

3:35 PM – I can actually feel the contractions now! But they still don’t hurt much

4:15 PM – Contraction pain has increased but it’s still not too bad

4:45 PM – Contractions hurting more. I don’t ask for pain meds yet. I was just so happy to finally start feeling something after going all day feeling practically nothing.

6:15 PM – The hospital staff changes and I get a new nurse and doctor

7:45 PM – The pain is now unbearable. I finally give in a request an epidural.

8:10 PM – The epidural is administered. I felt better almost immediately. My left leg went completely numb

8:35 PM -slept

9:10 PM – given a catheter. I was dilated to a 5 at this point

10:15 PM – dilated to a 7

1:30 AM – dilated to 10. Finally! The nurse suggest we “rest and descend” before pushing

2:30 AM – Started pushing

4:55 AM – Doctor called to assist

5:10 AM – The doctor told me that I had been pushing for so long that he recommended using forceps or a C- section. I had been pushing for nearly 2.5 hours, but the baby was doing fine so I wasn’t sure why he wanted a C section. I was tired yes, but I was willing to go on. I decided on the forceps. I suppose it was because of the forceps but I was immediately given an episiotomy. There were a couple of contractions that I wasn’t supposed to push on. This was really hard because the pressure was intense. The doctor inserted the forceps and said that they went in easily

5:25 AM – It’s a girl! It was such a surreal experience. She started crying before she was completely out. I was so happy that she was here safe and sound at last. We were in shock that she was a girl! We were expecting a Felix/Arthur and instead ended up with a Mabel/Margaret/Clementine. She was 8 lbs 2 oz and 20.5 inches long.

The doctor was sewing me up while I held her. I don’t even remember delivering the placenta. I had a second degree episiotomy.

After a little while they moved us up to the next floor where we would be staying. I hadn’t had anything to eat or drink the entire labor and I was THIRSTY and HUNGRY. Mom and John brought me drinks and cookies and crackers and I was so happy. I initially went into the nursery with the baby and John to watch her first bath and get her shots, but I started feeling very faint so they took me to our room. I passed some very large blood clots and asked for pain meds. I fell right asleep. It wasn’t until later in the afternoon that we finally decided on her name: Mabel Iris. We spent the night at the hospital that night. The doctor said we would probably stay another night, but I was finally released Saturday evening.

It’s really hard to describe how I felt. I felt a lot like I had no idea what I was doing. I felt exhausted and in pain. I felt like I wanted to hold her forever. I felt like I just wanted to eat and sleep. I couldn’t believe that she was my baby. She was beautiful! The cutest baby I had ever seen.

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I want to do everything right for her.

I sometimes get asked if I like being a mom. Yes, I do, but it’s so normal. Not that I know what I’m doing, but so normal. Like this is just part of life. I feel so fortunate to have her. I love just holding her and looking at her face and admiring ever little detail.

I think I’m finally getting used to having a baby around. I can’t say that everything has been great. About a month after she was born we moved into our new house. I wouldn’t recommend starting a new job, having a baby, and moving all within a month and a half to anyone, but I can’t complain really. We’re so lucky that everything worked out; and, less than 3 months in, I think we’re finally settling into our new life.

Welcome Mabel! I love you so much already and we look forward to getting to know you better and having you with us forever!

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