Welcome Coraline

Coraline Genevieve joined our family on Wednesday 3/13/13 (isn’t that a fun birthday?!) at 11:12 pm (also fun: 11:12 on the 13th).

Monday was my last day working in the office, and I worked from home both Tuesday and Wednesday prior to her arrival. Signs of labor were there, but relatively minimal.

Tuesday, we went to the hospital and were sent home due to “false labor” around 11 pm. Looking back now, it was not false labor, simply early labor! I was having regular contractions that were 5 minutes apart, but they weren’t strong enough. After walking around the hospital for an hour or so, they finally told us to go home and told us to return when my contractions were such that I couldn’t talk through them.

Our instructions from the doctor were simply contractions that were 5 minutes apart, so I was obviously disappointed and upset that there were actually additional requirements to these contractions! I felt ready to have this baby, and anxious for her arrival. Not to mention the mild embarrassment (unwarranted, but there nonetheless) by having to return home and relieve Brian’s parents from watching Jameson.

Overnight, my contractions reduced and were no longer regular. However, another sign of labor occurred on Wednesday that left me feeling that it would be in the next couple days at the latest. So when contractions started up again regular, at 4 minutes apart on Wednesday evening, we still spent quite a bit of time debating about heading back to the hospital.

The contractions were still mild, albeit slightly (just slightly) stronger than they were the day prior. While I was still able to talk and walk through them without any difficulty, we were nervous about making it in time to hospital since it’s 30 minutes away, so we decided it was best to go.

Off we went! We even debated in the car about calling the doctor in advance to let them know we were coming again. However, midway through the ride, with about 15 minutes to go, I felt the strangest sensation that was either the head dropping drastically, or my water breaking.

Immediately after that, my contractions went from mild and barely noticeable to exactly the type the hospital had warned about. They were intense, hard to talk through, and were coming faster and faster very quickly. Brian went ahead and called the doctor’s office and left a message with the answering service.

Within the half hour drive, my contractions went from 4 minutes apart to about 2. Still feeling like there was enough time, though I was in severe pain, Brian parked the car and wheeled me back to labor and delivery himself where we waited precious minutes for the nurse to come out and assess me.

By the time I was wheeled back for assessment prior to even being admitted, I was unable to do much of anything for myself. I barely got into the bed from the wheel chair and couldn’t undress myself. I ended up delivering in the hospital gown, but my shirt lay crunched up behind me.

I have very distinct memories of what I said and did during this time, but it’s funny how quickly the pain memory recedes. I remember asking (nay, pleading) for the epidural several times during assessing, wishing they could give it to me immediately. They told me I was at 5-6 cm dilated, and my thought was that that was impossible because the pain I was feeling should surely put me at a 7 or 8! Little did we know that within 10 minutes, I would be completely dilated.

The pain continued without pause, which must’ve been my transition period. They began wheeling me back to the delivery room, wherein I told them I was hot several times over and over, and then suddenly told them I needed to poop. Yep. I said it a few times, as it seems during delivery your brain goes to its very base instincts. What I meant was: hot = feeling like I might pass out; poop = need to push, right. now.

Another quick assessment had me at complete, and everyone got into position. Brian was very calm (claiming he knew the nurses and attending physician had everything under control). He kept telling me to breathe, and mimicked the nurses requests to me. If I could have, I would’ve rolled my eyes at them all. (No, there was not enough clarity in my mind to even swear). Clearly we were not prepared for natural labor, and I certainly didn’t remember the classes we took from when we had Jameson. Breathing? Whatever. I didn’t pass out. I knew I was about to push this baby out without the epidural and would this pain ever end!?

I never made it into the proper delivery bed with the stirrups. Brian and a nurse held my legs as I pushed through the excruciating pain and it was over in minutes. The 30 hours total labor with Jameson and 3 hours pushing was reduced to a mere hour or two and just minutes of pushing with Coraline.

And there she was! And I felt immediate, blessed relief. And maybe a little bit of shock. I did not hold her right away, though they asked me if I might like to. I needed a moment.

Her apgar scores were 7 and then 9, perfectly made with features that reminded us of Jameson but with darker hair and obviously a little lady. Oh, and she was a little bit bigger and less delicate seeming than he was. And a different, stronger cry.

7 pounds, 1 ounce, 20 and a half inches long.

We have no photos of her in her slimy glory prior to being wiped off. We were just a little less prepared with camera this time, for obvious reasons.

Birth in general can be a little gruesome, but Brian said it was a little odd to see me laying on the bed with the umbilical cord hanging out for a good 15 minutes while they waited for the doctor from my office to arrive before delivering the placenta.

I was going to request a mirror this time, but there was no time for that. I did get a peak at the placenta this time, which was exactly as I might have imagined it. And then, I finally held her, remembering this time to ask for the bed to be raised up slightly so I wasn’t completely flat on my back and straining to see her as I did with Jameson. My mind was again in attendance to the evening.

The recovery this time has been simply amazing, and dare I say it, even easy so far. I was up walking again within an hour or two, prior to being taken to the recovery room. I was not loopy with pain medication or shaking at the end of labor. We were simply in awe of the fact that we had arrived at the hospital just about a half hour before.

As Brian said on the way home when we were released just a day and a half later, we’ve waited for a table at a restaurant for longer than that. Miss Coraline was obviously anxious to meet her family! And we feel so blessed to call her our beautiful baby girl.

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