There had been a lot of anticipation in our house for Lora’s arrival in the weeks leading up to delivery day. Andrew had made it home from deployment with just over a month to spare, which meant lots of time to enjoy my belly while he lovingly pampered me like crazy! We endured a few nights of false labor but I was determined not to jump the gun and rush to the hospital. Instead I was going to relax and enjoy those last weeks and final days of my pregnancy. My mom had been telling me how when she was pregnant with me that she would constantly “scrub everything, even the walls” just to try and kick start labor. Perhaps then, subconsciously, I decided that the 12th was cleaning day. Honestly, I was not trying to intentionally kick start my labor. The house sparkled from floor to ceiling by that evening though!
On July 13th Andrew was scheduled for a 24 hour shift that was to begin at 0600. We joked for days about how that would be the perfect day to go into labor so he could get out of it. Never could I have imagined that his little girl would listen to him from inside my belly. When the alarm went off at 0415 that morning we simply hit the snooze button. As I was lying there and starting to wake up a bit I felt a little wiggle and a pop. I assumed that Lora was doing her usual maneuvers and getting comfortable. At 0423 the alarm went off once more. We said our sleepy good mornings and I jokingly said to him that I thought my water broke. Split seconds later I was making a careful dash for the bathroom because my water HAD actually broke! My OCD side was pretty proud that I had made it and not made a mess on the way there. I had just deep cleaned the house the day before after all. Now that we were both VERY wide awake we couldn’t help but laugh hysterically!
I couldn’t tell if Andrew was more excited to get out of work, or more excited that it was finally our “D-Day.” I did, however, feel pretty bad as he called his buddy that was to replace him on shift. But…. there were no contractions, so I continued to relax. I took a shower and washed my hair, did my nails and makeup, and made sure I had everything in order before eating a big breakfast. Andrew, on the other hand, was not so calm. It was quite entertaining watching him run around in a frantic state as though he was a first time dad who had no clue what he should be doing. In the midst of the mild chaos, we had completely forgotten that the repair guys were to show up at 0800 to fix our AC. The repair guys fed off of Andrews excitement, congratulated us with big smiles, and were in and out in no time.
Soon after they left we decided that we need to go ahead to the hospital since there were still no contractions. We made sure our teenager was settled and aware of his responsibilities for staying back at home, ad we took our youngest to our friend’s house who were wonderful to help us out. We made a quick pit stop for some snacks and arrived at the hospital at 0930.
Once we got into our room and got comfortable we started to discuss our options with my favorite midwife and the nurses. We opted for a foley bulb to see if we could get the elusive contractions to start up before we would have to move to the pitocin. I had never heard of such an instrument and it was nothing that was ever discussed in ANY birthing class. Needless to say it was just another entertaining aspect of our D-Day. I nicknamed it my “dingle dangle” because it was strapped to the inside of my thigh with a surgical glove attached to the end of it, and it simply dangled there. It was the most entertaining thing EVER, but sadly it didn’t help me progress as much as needed and so we began the pitocin.
Finally! The contractions start! They started off pretty easy and were nothing I couldn’t handle. Tammy had arrived just before the pitocin was started and was an awesome conversationalist while Andrew finally relaxed for a bit. I got what I wanted though; I was able to walk around, use the birthing ball, and do anything else I desired to make it through the pain, unlike my other two deliveries. I leaned on Andrew and he was the most incredible supporter I could have asked for!
So then, what’s better than an epidural for pain management? Laughter! My awesome husband had me in tears from laughing so much. He told jokes and we exchanged sarcasm while he fed me ice chips. That, by the way, tasted NOTHING like the ones I wanted from home. The pain of each increasing contraction was masked by Andrew’s hilarious improv! Time flew by so quickly.
By 1840 I was finally dilated to nearly 8 cms and the pain became much more intense. Bouncing and walking no longer appealed to me and lying down was much more desirable. Sadly, I had to tell Andrew to stop making me laugh at all because it was way to painful. I had made it much farther than I had imagined with no pain meds at all. I did jokingly request them at the very end, even though I knew they wouldn’t happen and I didn’t, in all honesty, want them. Now mind you, I felt like I was dying. Actually dying. I swear to you now, however, I cannot remember a single thing of what that pain felt like. I just know that I could feel every little thing.
At the very end I was repeatedly telling everyone in the room that I could feel pressure and I knew it was time to push. I was told that I still had cervix left, but I am positive my body and my baby girl didn’t give a single damn! I don’t believe I ever even “pushed.” Sure there was the pressure and the need to push, but I don’t remember physically pushing. It was just one long stretch of painful pressure. Then all of a sudden our daughter was being held up by the midwife and placed directly on my chest. They actually documented it as a “spontaneous” birth, which cracks me up!
Lora Adalynn Marie was born at 1901 on July 13th. Ten fingers and ten toes and everything perfect! Shortly after, our two older kids were brought up by another of our dear friends to meet their new little sister. They were equally enthused, although slightly grossed out by all the “slimy” vernix still covering her. They both agree that she is much cuter now that she’s all clean and not so squishy as she was in those first few moments. I cannot tell you the amount of happiness that washed over me during that time. Looking at my husband and our now three children, I felt complete. Our little family is complete, and I am in love!