Sunday, September 17, 2017

Mira Belle's Birth Story

Hello from the land of nurse baby...change baby's diaper...30 minute nap...repeat.

I can't believe Mira is almost a week old. Time sure flies when you don't know what time it is. The older girls have been with my aunt, cousin, and grandparents for the week, who graciously took over big kid duty and gave me the precious gift of a few days of newborn bliss. I have invested the time wisely, holding Mira, soaking in her snuggles, breathing in her smell, nuzzling her soft head, and kissing her face, fingers, and toes. There is nothing better in the entire world.

Here is the story of how she got here.

Despite all my efforts to induce labor (spicy foods, foot rubs, even mowing our yard...), Dan and I woke up dark and early on Monday morning to head to the hospital for my induction.

My 41 weeks pregnant self was so, so happy to soon not be pregnant.

We checked in, met our nurses, signed our life away and answered questions. One of our nurses was training, so we were spoiled with two. During the whole process I couldn't help but compare this experience to Ina's (Part 1 and Part 2) and Cora's (Part 1 and Part 2) births. Each one was so different.

After an hour had passed my midwife Jeane arrived, checked me (I had advanced to a 2), broke my water, and gave me instructions to walk the halls for 40 minutes, after which I still felt absolutely nothing in the contraction department. When I was in labor with Cora, I walked the halls looking like a zombie and stopping every few minutes to moan. This time around Dan and I were smiling, chatting, and saying hi to everyone.

We were about to start another 40 minute round of walking and then start Pitocin if nothing happened when Dan interrupted Jeane's instructions to ask, "Why can't we just start Pitocin now?"

Good question - and so we did. Apparently he was the most ready to meet his daughter.

Mild contractions started almost immediately. I politely asked for an epidural, but was told I needed to wait until my pain was more intense to ensure labor was really happening.

My pain from the contractions went from a two out of ten to vomit inducing in about an hour with strong contractions happening every two minutes. Apparently my body just needed a little pitocin jump start. During that time they were having a hard time picking up my contractions on the monitor, but I assured them they were happening.

Soon later the anesthesiologist walked in and had I not been connected to monitors and an IV, I would have jumped up to give her a hug. Thirty minutes later my back was taking in that sweet nectar, my pain was a 0 (thank you Jesus!), I was dilated to a 5, and we were told to relax for a few hours while labor progressed. Unfortunately, I don't have mid-day napping skills and was so excited to meet our daughter that sleep was absolutely impossible, so I scrolled through social media on my phone. Don't worry, Dan napped enough for the both of us.

I was given the same peanut exercise ball I used while laboring with Cora, rotating from side to side with it between my legs because laying flat on my back caused my blood pressure to drop and made me extremely noxious and dizzy. I was told to let the nurses know if I felt the urge/pressure to push, and about an hour after the epidural started I thought I felt it but wasn't sure. I couldn't have progressed that quickly, right?

However, soon later Jeane called and said she had a "feeling" and instructed my nurses to checked me. The training nurse checked and a huge smile crossed her face when she asked the other nurse to confirm that I was dilated to a 10 and ready to push.

Jeane hurried over from clinic (which is conveniently attached to the hospital). Dan put on his gown and gloves, preparing to catch the baby while the nurses helped me get in the "birthing position." Dan has so, so wanted to catch all of our children, but couldn't with Ina because she was an emergency C-section and couldn't with Cora because she had stooled in utero and there are extra precautions involved when this occurs.

However, the third time was the charm, because nothing was stopping him this go-around. After he was completely dressed, I told him to pose for a picture. As I was taking the picture I couldn't help but giggle, and when I did a surprised look crossed his face and he said, "Racheal, stop laughing, the baby is coming out!"

Jeane looked over from where she was preparing the instruments and such and said, "Oh wow, he's right. Seriously, stop laughing."

The next thing I knew they were in position, they told me to push, I did, "Not that hard!....OK, Here comes the head...Dan turn the shoulder...One more push...Racheal, reach down here and grab your baby!"

And there she was, a screaming, purple, black haired, beautiful mess on my chest. I was laughing and crying at the same time. It is crazy how your heart can double in size in an instant.

Dan counted her fingers and toes to confirm that she was perfect...and then looked at her purple coloring and asked if she was a different race than us, which of course had all the nurses giggling and me slapping him.

I held her on my chest while she pooped...and pooped, and pooped some more. They weighed her - 9 pounds 11 ounces on 9/11. We cuddled, she screamed...and screamed...and screamed some more. We waited until she started rooting to nurse, which she immediately picked up and has continued to master with rock star skills.

Dan went to the waiting room to get the girls. Ina came running in with a present and Cora screamed "Baby Mira Belle!" when she saw her. (Cora soon later saw her nursing and said, "My turn!" Sigh.) The rest of the afternoon and evening was a blur of nurses, family, snuggles, and love. So much love. Who knew that one person could give and receive so much?

We spent the next two days at the hospital, not really sleeping, but enjoying the visits from friends and family, the relaxation, and the food delivered after a quick phone call.

We came home on Wednesday afternoon and had a minor scare of Mira not having a wet or dirty diaper for over 12 hours, even though my milk had come in and she was eating like a champ, nursing at least every two hours, if not more.

After a quick call to her pediatrician, we were instructed to come in the next morning and nothing horrible could happen over night. She eventually had a dirty diaper and has since then had no problems with needing a diaper change.

Ina and Cora come back home today and we are ready to start the new-to-us real life. Although I have loved having this concentrated time with Mira, I miss the other two so, so much and can't wait to catch up on hugs from them as well.

I hope to continue to blog at least once a week. Thank you so much for following our little (but growing!) family and for all the support you have provided along the way. <3

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