In honor of her actual due date here is the story of how Eleanora entered the world on August 3rd.
On Tuesday I was having contractions all day and they had changed from Braxton Hicks to contractions + back pain. While I experienced them all day they were not timeable. By Tuesday evening I had the growing suspicion that this might be our last night as a family of 3. So, we made sure all the bags were packed and the house picked up.
I feared it was going to be a sleepless night, but suprisingly I slept peacefully from 10 pm - 3:30 am. Praise the Lord I was able to get some rest! I got up to use the restroom at 3:30 am and I felt a contraction....then every 15 minutes after that I felt a strong enough contraction that I had to get up for relief. At 5 am I decided to go downstairs, drink lots of water, and watch tv to see if the contractions continued. They certainly did continue and by 6 am the contractions were 5-7 minutes apart. I woke Kyle up and he thought we better get to the hospital asap. I was a little reluctant and unsure it was active labor. While I knew I was experiencing consistent contractions I wasn't convinced that my body had dilated enough (I was only 1 cm at my last doctor's appointment). I did not want to go the hospital and be sent home.
Kyle convinced me it was time so we dropped Sawyer off at Uncle Troy & Aunt Candace's and headed to the hospital. And for the next 2 hours we waited in the monitoring room. They monitored the contractions and the babies heart rate. I was having contractions every 5 minutes but the intensity varied. Because of all the waiting and the less painful contractions I once again began to doubt if I was truly in labor. I think the nurses felt the same way as we continued to wait. One nurse even told me I was going to have to prove myself (i.e. dilation) if I wanted to get a birthing room. Finally around 8 am a resident came in to check my progress. Much to everyone's disbelief I was 6 cm dilated. At that point everyone began to take me seriously with a flurry of activity. We discussed pain management options and I requested to walk around for a while to let gravity do it's job. However, they discouraged that option and said if I wanted an epidural at all I needed to get one now. They let me walk to the delivery room and began prepping for the epidural.
In the meantime I could feel my contractions getting closer and more intense then another doctor came in to check my progress (i.e. assess the resident's work) and she said that I had progressed even farther and was now 7-8 cm dilated. I was astonished that things were moving so quickly and thankful I had accepted the epidural right away. At this point I realized this labor process was essentially identical to my first labor so I assumed we would be welcoming our baby within the next 1-2 hours.
One should never assume...Once I received the epidural I settled into a state of relaxation. I thought about napping, but I didn't want to be drowsy when it was time to push. So, Kyle and I just talked and watched tv for an hour. Then the resident came back in to check me and I was 9 cm dilated. At this point they decided to break my water. Again from my experience with Sawyer once they broke my water I was pushing within 30 minutes, so I thought now it's really time to get this show going. Wrong again...I waited, this time for nearly 2 hours! I was becoming very frustrated at this point, because I felt like they were taking advantage of my epidural and trying to time manage my delivery. Finally another resident came in and declared I was 10 cm dilated (around 12:30 pm). That's when they called the doctor whom I had never met. She arrived at 12:40 pm and we exchanged pleasantries, the baby was already crowning before I even began to push, and within 3 pushes she was out at 12:45 pm. Eleanora Renee weighed 7 lbs. 1 oz. and was 19.5 inches long.
I hope this doesn't come across as complaining. These were simply the emotions I was feeling during the labor process. I had a baby I desperately wanted to meet and no one else seemed to feel my urgency :) I am so incredibly thankful for a safe and quick delivery and a healthy baby girl!
The nurse later told me it is typical to only check labor progress every 2 hours at this hospital. That's fine I only wish they had told me that during labor so I could have taken a nap. Also, Kyle told me after the delivery that the resident that had been checking on me came in to scrub into the delivery and the doctor told him not too because it would be over by the time he was ready. That's how quick the delivery was! Once again I am so thankful. Maybe next time I will trust the labor signs, but probably not.
And now for a pictorial review of the day:
Mom's 1st glance
Getting cleaned up
Mommy & Nora
Just the 3 of us
Nora weighing in at 7 lbs. 1 oz.
Daddy & Daughter