3 1/2 weeks ago we welcomed this little beauty into the world! Wow its hard to believe its gone by that fast! These pictures from the hospital already look so different from what she looks like now :) its amazing how fast they change and grow. For those of you that are interested I thought I would document her birth story and show a couple pictures. If you have no desire to hear about contractions, dilation and other stuff like that feel free to jump ship now!
My due date was January 3rd. We obviously all know how accurate due dates are, even so my due date came and went I was definitely disappointed she hadn't showed yet! I had tried to prepare myself mentally for her coming late, since they say this tends to be the case with your first, but for some reason that preparation didn't work so well. Not only that but the fun and hustle of the holidays were over, the anticipation leading up to my due date was gone and I was left with my pregnant belly and an impatient streak that lasted for most of the next week.
Fast forward a week and a bunch of testing and an ultra sound later, the doctors wanted to schedule an induction. I really didn't want to be induced... nothing quite like making a incredibly hard process harder by trying to get the baby out before your body was ready. I talked them into waiting till the end of two weeks and started praying hard that she would show up before then.
(Answered prayer #1 she did)
Friday had been a normal day at work, the previous couple days I had been having braxton hicks when I was up and walking around but nothing consistent so I really didn't think anything of it. Matt and I had been talking during the day and we both wanted to see Les Mis and were thinking about going to see it after work. My work day ended with some fun conversation at the Cork and Cap for Beer Thirty as is typical on Fridays at Nxtbook. Goodbyes were said amidst some "have that baby already" comments and I headed home around 5. Matt got home shortly after 6 and we discussed going to see the movie but both weren't really feeling it so we called up some friends to see if they wanted to hang out. Plans were made, but then around 6:30 I started to have what felt like cramps. I'd had them previously so I didn't think anything of it at first but when I started noticing a rhythm to the pain I told Matt maybe we should just hang out here. We texted our friends and let them know we could possible be meeting little Gibbel tonight... :D
At that point I had started timing the contractions however they weren't that painful and we were hungry so we headed out to Chick-fil-A for some dinner! The contractions were coming about 5 to 7 minutes apart lasting anywhere from 20 to 40 seconds.
After devouring our food and watching some episodes of Up All Night contractions were getting a little closer together and longer. We debated calling the hospital but I wasn't convinced this was it so Matt decided he was going to finish up packing and get stuff loaded just in case. Around 9 I decided it was time to call the doctor. She seemed pretty chill about it and said if you feel like you want to come in go ahead or you could wait a little bit and see how it goes and come in later. We decided to wait a little bit and ending up only waiting an hour before heading into the hospital around 10.
I got checked into Triage at Women and Babies and sadly was only 2 centimeters. I thought for sure with the amount of pain I was in it would be more than that... little did I know :D. The nurse was pretty awesome and she thought this was the real thing but wanted to wait and check me again at 12. She nicely showed us where we could walk the hallways until then. That got old fast and the contractions were definitely coming on stronger by then. We really didn't want to be doing this all night so Matt and I prayed we would be at least 5 cm when they checked me at 12. After doing some walking but spending the majority of time in the shower they had offered, 12 o'clock finally rolled around and it was time to see how far we'd come!
(Answered prayer #2 we were 5 cm!!)
The nurse was pleased with the progress and decided it was time to check me into the hospital and get me back to the labor and delivery room. By this time it wasn't funny anymore. We moved over to labor and delivery and met my new nurses who were also amazing! (Answered prayer #3, awesome nurses that were incredibly helpful and just what I needed)
At this point contractions were coming on pretty quick and I wasn't getting much of a break in between which was really hard when you are trying to relax your body. I tried doing the shower again but that just wasn't working, and I was feeling like I needed to push but they hadn't give me the all clear yet. Trying not to push when your body wants to push isn't exactly easy. Matt was awesome, did I mention? I pretty much just grabbed/leaned into him through most of the contractions (I had been standing up for most of them at this point) He was so encouraging and lovingly kept reminding me to relax and think about the fact that I was one contraction closer! So simple but so effective!
Since I was feeling the need to push they decided to check me again to see if I progressed any further. I'm not sure what time that was, by this point things were starting to blur together. I was 8 cm. My water broke shortly after that and kickstarted things if they weren't started already! I had some meconium in the fluid (which basically meant that the baby had made a bowl movement already) so the nurse explained that because of this as a precaution they would have someone from NICU come in and evaluate the baby as soon as it was born since there could be some problems with this. (thankfully all was fine! Baby was born screaming and healthy!)
Contractions were now coming on top of each other and dear Lord I have no idea how I did it. I think it was at this point that I told them I couldn't do it anymore, to which my nurse responded thats great because you are almost there! I tried the birthing ball but that was just awful so she had me sit on the toilet which worked a lot better for me. The nurse was nervous though that I would have the baby in the toilet so she brought out a birthing stool. I was so glad she had that! That is where I spent the remainder of the time before they made me get in the bed.
At 1:50 they checked me again and I was fully dilated wohoo!! The nurse gave me the go ahead to start pushing. I had to admit I started off pretty weak with the pushing. I think it was due to the fact that I had just spent the last 1/2 hour trying not to push, and as weird as it sounds it takes a little bit to figure out how to do it effectively.
I pushed for 1 hour and 13 minutes total. At some point near the end the nurse called for the doctor to let her know it was time and just like that 6 different people came into the room, sections of the ceiling opened up to uncover hidden lights, the doctor whipped our her table of stuff (who knows what all was on it) and it was go time. The pushing was almost like a little bit of a break for me. The contractions slowed down a bit and didn't seem as intense. Maybe this was now because my focus was on pushing and it was something I was able to do to work with my body to move the process along. The contractions were also a lot lower in my abdomen as the baby was moving down the birth canal and I didn't have all the pain in my back and upper torso as well. But I guess you trade one pain for another because it was right about then that she started crowing. If that pain doesn't give you motivation to push and push hard I don't know what does! Forget the early wimpy pushes we were in business now, I just wanted to get this baby out!! (sidenote: Somewhere along the pushing process the nurse and Matt were having a conversation about how they could see the little curls on the top of her head! that was a fun little bright spot during the short respites inbetween pushes!)
The whole pushing process seemed to go by quickly for me. The next thing I remember the doctor was announcing she'll be out with the next push! Hallelujah! Just before she came the doctor told me to look. I was so thankful for that because I was in the zone and had my eyes closed and wouldn't have seen her come out... but because of her I got to see Piper's entrance into this world! Pretty incredible!! Even though I watched her come out I still can't believe she actually came out of me, she was a big baby! At this point I was just ecstatic that the baby was out I almost forgot I didn't know what the sex of the baby was! That was quickly remedied as I got a peak at my beautiful baby girl :D What a cool moment.
From start to finish the labor process was just under 9 hours, I was in the hospital for 5 of them with the intense part only lasting for 3! Another answer to prayer!! Thats a pretty short labor for baby #1!
The next couple hours (and days) were just pretty surreal...
Tired but happy!! (Those little hands :) always by her face!)
She looks so big in this picture! 8lb 10.5 ounces. 21 inches
We had previously arranged for Janae, our photographer, to do a session in the hospital of candid photos. I'm so glad we decided to do that, it is great to look back on those images! Here are a few that she took.