Born May 4, 2014 at 5:34 am
8 pounds 11 ounces and 20.5 inches
At my 38 week appointment I was 3cm and soft.
For the next couple days I started having contractions off and on.
They seemed more intense than just Braxton hicks, some times they would be 2-3 minutes apart lasting for a minute or more for a couple of hours.
There were two nights that we were so close to going in.
Since I planned to have another natural birth, I wanted to stay home as long as possible, so on those nights I tried to rest.
Both times I fell asleep, woke up the next day and they had completely stopped.
It was emotionally and physically draining.
We had babysitters and our birth photographer on call the entire time.
At my 39 week appointment on Thursday, April 31st, I was still 3cm and soft be he added that the baby was still pretty high up.
I walked and walked and bounced and started to get a tiny bit discouraged that nothing was changing.
I either wanted the contractions to continue and have a baby or I wanted them to stop completely.
The next day, we picked up my momma from the airport.
Since the other babies were born at 39 weeks to the day, she thought that would be the best weekend to come up just in case baby girl was to follow suit.
Saturday we spent the entire day together.
We got pedicures, shopped, ate and shopped some more.
I remember having a few contractions here and there but nothing significant.
^^last photo of the bump!
Sunday came and I was getting a more upset that we would be having this baby after my momma left (she was scheduled to fly out the next day.)
I was so determined to let Frances come on her own time, so I tried to stay positive.
I remember feeling super uncomfortable at church and thinking that I was SO ready to be done.
That night we stayed up until after midnight visiting, laughing and hanging out with the family.
We headed to bed, convinced that I was going to be pregnant forever.
At 2:30am I woke up to sharp cramp.
I shrugged it off and try to fall back to sleep.
Then I felt it again.
I went to the bathroom to see if that would help.
Then there was another one.
This time it made me double over and I knew that this was the real deal.
I started to cry immediately because I was excited/anxious/nervous and I couldn't believe that this was really it!
I woke up David and he started getting our bags together and packing the car.
I woke up my mom and she gave me a hug, told me that I could do it, and then headed off to our bed.
The contractions were continuous as we headed off to the hospital.
I couldn't talk through them.
These were definitely more intense than the ones i'd felt for the last two weeks prior.
We texted our Dr. to let him know we were on our way up.
I remember yelling at David to hurry!
Sitting down in the car was terribly uncomfortable.
I had two contractions between the parking lot and the elevator, one on the elevator and one just as we walked into labor and delivery.
I was doubled over, breathing through each one.
They were lasting about 1.5 minutes and came every 2-3 minutes.
"Pretty sure my wife is in labor" David told the nurse at the desk.
I started to feel super nauseous.
Esther, our nurse, took us into a room and asked me the routine questions in between contractions.
She asked me how I wanted to manage my pain.
I told her I was having a natural delivery and to not to even bring up the epidural because they didn't work the last two times.
The nausea came on again.
I asked for a puke bag and tossed all my cookies.
She laid out a gown for me to change into, and told me they needed to check to see how far progressed I was.
I opted to stay in my own clothing (which was significantly more comfortable)
I paced the room and braced myself against the bed during contractions.
She came back in to check me and I was at a 4, 100% effaced and baby was at -2 station.
I was officially admitted, and I still couldn't believe that this was the real deal.
We were going to meet our precious Frances!!!
They wanted me to lay down and monitor the baby for twenty minutes to get a baseline.
I told her that was no way I could stay in bed so I asked to use the wireless monitor.
Twenty minutes turned into thirty because Frances's heart rate was de-celling significantly during contractions.
Found out that the monitor was coming off my belly when I bent over during contractions.
I kept having the urge to pee so I walked back and forth to the bathroom while I was being monitored.
They wanted to start and IV, but I opted for a hep loc instead.
They blew the vein in my hand because I pulled away during a contraction so I told them to put it in my arm.
I couldn't handle them poking around trying to look for another vein in my hand.
Contractions continued to intensify so I requested to labor in the jacuzzi tub and they started to fill it up.
The adrenaline started flowing and I started to get super emotional.
I STILL couldn't believe that we were going to meet our sweet rainbow baby.
A few minutes later I got into the tub.
OH MY HEAVENS it was AMAZING!!!!
The water was super hot, and even though I was hot and sweaty already, it felt so nice.
I positioned myself so that the jets were against my tummy and my back.
Contractions continued but they felt much more manageable in the water.
I wasn't sure how long I stayed in the tub, but it was a majority of the labor.
David dimmed the lights and I hummed and oohed through each contraction.
Contractions started to pick up even more and I could no longer get in a comfortable position.
I began to feel a bit of pressure and noticed the noises I was making were changing (ie getting out of control) and I knew I was in transition.
I got out of the tub, headed back to our room and got checked again around 4:50am.
I was at an 8!
I remember thinking, holy cow i'm almost done, I totally got this.
David called the photographer.
I still couldn't lay or sit, so leaning over the bed, bending at the waist was the only thing that felt comfortable. I had David wrap his big strong arms around my hips and squeeze during each contraction. The counter pressure seemed to help.
I started to get super emotional again.
Everything was really starting to hurt!
I started to doubt for like 2.5 seconds that I couldn't do it.
I remember asking Esther what time the shift changed.
She said 6am.
I thought I better have this girl before then, I can't last much longer.
Then the yelling started.
I felt SO MUCH PRESSURE.
I could feel her moving down.
I told the nurse that I started to feel pushy.
She ran out to get the Dr.
Dr. Jones walked in, "lets have this baby!!"
He asked me how I wanted to push.
I told him there was no way in hell that I could get on the bed.
I had a contraction.
Asked about a birth stool.
They didn't have one.
Seriously begged if I just keep standing there and he could lay down and catch her.
He chuckled and said no.
I got up on the bed reluctantly and tried the squat bar.
I swore she was in the birth canal at that point.
They convinced me to lean over the back of the bed.
I turned around, got in low squat and hung on the back of the bed for support.
The pressure was getting more intense.
Lots of yelling, grunting, moaning.
David said I was throwing the f-bomb around A LOT.
and he and Esther couldn't stop cracking up.
....I don't remember that part haha.
At some point I noticed our photographer came in.
Just in time for the action!
I felt the need to push, so I did.
Pushing felt productive, just like I remembered with the previous two babies.
I couldn't believe I was almost done.
I started to feel nauseous again.
Contractions and barfing simultaneously...
It was just as horrible as you can imagine.
Sooo violent, haha.
In between contractions i'd drop to my knees and rest.
I remember feeling that I got what seemed to be an ample amount of rest time between each one.
I was able to breath, semi relax and could actually talk to David, my Dr. and the nurses.
I asked for water and asked over and over if they could see a head yet.
Dr. Jones told me I was almost complete but my water still hadn't broken, so he broke it.
I remember him saying that with that cushion of the water gone, i'd feel even more pressure and to make these next pushes count.
Still in the squatting position, I geared up for next contraction and I pushed as hard as I could.
I was still yelling but mostly grunting and bearing down.
It felt very natural and primal.
I could feel her head right there but then the contraction stopped.
I felt her head move back up slightly.
I remember thinking, hells no, this has got to end now.
The next contraction I pushed harder.
RING OF FIRE!
all out in one push.
It was instantaneous relief.
I took the biggest breath, the pain was totally gone.
I DID IT!
I DID IT!
I heard her cry right away,
Time of birth was 5:34 am.
Just 2.5 hours after we had checked in.
The cord was wrapped around her neck so they had to untangle her before I could turn around and and see her.
I took her straight to my chest.
My beautiful Frances, safe in my arms at last.
I kept looking at David and asking did that just happen!?
She's here, this is real.
Holy crap how fast was that!?
I couldn't stop smiling.
I handed her over to Esther while I stripped down for skin to skin.
Once the cord stopped pulsating, David cut it.
I was still in disbelief that it was already over.
She took to the breast immediately.
I delivered the placenta and continued to nurse while I got stitched up.
I got a 2nd degree tear this time around.
After an hour or so, they weighed and measured her.
I got up to take a quick shower then we were wheeled over to the mother and baby unit with little Frances in my arms.
We stayed in the same room that we did with Olive almost 2 years prior.
That in itself brought on a fresh wave of emotions.
After making sure I was comfortable and settled, David headed back home.
He arrived before the kids even woke up.
I spent the rest of the morning staring at my perfect baby girl.
I couldn't believe how much energy I had after all that.
I felt like I was on a post-delivery/newborn baby high!
My Momma came up shortly after.
We spent the rest of the morning together before she had to fly home.
It was so hard to send her off!
David brought the babies up that afternoon and it was such a special experience watching them meet their baby sister for the first time.
I am so happy to finally have her here.
After writing everything out, I still am in shock how FAST she came.
David told me after, that Dr. Jones almost didn't catch her. (we got an awesome photo of that but for everyone else sake decided not to include it :)
This birth experience was everything I wanted and hoped for.
Dave and I were joking that we will need to have a home birth kit ready for the next baby, HA!
Now that we've been home for just over a week, I can seriously say that i've never been happier.
Frances has been an absolute dream!
The transition from two to three has been pretty easy (so far, haha!)
For now, we are just taking it one day and a time and trying to soak up everything we can.
I don't want to forget a single thing.