05 July 2017

Introducing Felicia - And a Birth Story

She's here! If you follow me on Instagram, you already knew that. And if you don't do Instagram, that's okay. Instead of uploading a million pictures to this post, I've just embedded some of my recent Instagram posts because of all the lazies I'm feeling right now.

My original due date was June 15, which basically meant our baby would be coming in June. But then at my 20-week ultrasound they pushed my due date back to June 26. And because I'm a little crazy, I started hoping for a July baby.

Not only could my baby have a palindrome birthday if born on July 1 (7-1-17), she would not mess up my family's birthday patterns of one birthday per month from August to December. A July baby would fit nicely in the mix; a June birthday would forever bother me as SO CLOSE. And, neither my family nor Eric's family has any July birthdays, whereas we both have multiple June birthdays. I make a calendar most years for Eric's mom with pictures of all the grandkids, and I thought it would be nice to fill in that July hole.

So I'm probably the first pregnant woman ever to hope to go past my due date and then be happy when it happened. I had told my doctor that I was hoping for July 1, and he set an induction for me that day.

The Wednesday before induction day (June 28) I had a checkup, and I was dilated to a five. My doctor said if I felt even a few contractions I really needed to go straight to the hospital. I agreed that was logical and basically put myself on bed rest. (I can do that because it's summer time, and Teacher Husband is home a lot, thank heavens.) Also, I had gone to the hospital on June 21 with frequent and mildly painful contractions. I arrived dilated to a four, but I didn't progress at all. They told me I could stay or go home. I opted to go home so Eric could sleep, and I could try to sleep until the contractions became unbearable. But they never did, and we both slept all night. And then the contractions never really picked up like that again.

So, on Friday night we went and delivered our three kids to their grandparents. As I got ready for bed I had a few uncomfortable contractions, but that was par for the course. I had been having contractions at night, sometimes painful ones, for several weeks. We went to bed. I awoke at 3:45 with a pretty painful contraction. I waited it out and tried to go back to sleep, but then I had another one. And another one.

The night before, Eric had given me a blessing in preparation for my induction. One of the things he prayed for was that I would get to the hospital in time. I thought that was interesting since we were scheduled for an induction. How could I not get there on time?

I remembered that phrase as I was having contractions and thought, "These are the real deal. We need to go." Even though they were painful, they were not at all unbearable. I still could easily talk through them. In fact, I was having one when I woke Eric up and told him we needed to go.

I put on makeup while Eric loaded the car and made me some toast. (And, I'm not even going to lie here, I'm glad I put on makeup. I looked pretty good in my post-baby photos, and it's because I was wearing some long-lasting lipstick, some blush, eyeliner, and mascara. That's all. But it made a huge difference.)

I checked into the hospital and learned I was dilated to a seven. Eric was not surprised given that I was a five two days earlier, but I was surprised that the contractions I was having had made that much progress since they really weren't that bad. I immediately asked for an epidural.

My epidural was placed without any issues, and my doctor arrived. He checked me and said I was dilated to an eight. Then he broke my water and immediately checked again, and by then I was a 9. He and the nurse stepped out for a few minutes, and Eric decided to take a little nap.

Just as I was beginning to feel more pressure and more frequent contractions and was thinking about waking up my husband and paging my doctor and nurse, they came back in. They had been watching the printout of my contractions and said it was time to have a baby.

We were aiming for a 7:17 delivery time to go with the 7-1-17 birthday, but I failed. She was born at 7:20. She was my heaviest baby yet, weighing 7 pounds 13 oz. She measured 19 inches long and has a full head of dark hair.

For the first time, I didn't have my baby whisked away from me immediately. She got to hang around me and do skin to skin contact for a couple of hours. I was so excited about this, but she was not really happy about being born, and she was pretty fussy during that time. I began to be very worried about the demeanor of this baby. Thankfully, as the day progressed she became unbelievably mellow and sweet, and I stopped worrying.

Eric and I knew we were having a girl, but we kept it a secret. I originally wanted the gender to be a surprise, but I could see on the ultrasound pretty clearly what it was. Ike insisted from the get-go that he wanted a sister and that was his guess. Felix went back and forth throughout the pregnancy. For a while he said he wanted a brother so "the girls would be surrounded by boys" (said by a child who can't say his R's well yet). About the last six weeks of the pregnancy his tone changed to match his more generous nature, and he said he wanted a sister so that Trixie could have a sister. Trixie had no guess and was generally clueless.

Everybody is healthy and happy. She was easily my best delivery, and I am constantly grateful that I don't have giant babies.

Her blog name is Felicia (because I wanted that for a real-life name, after an ancestor of mine, but for Eric it was a no-go).

In summary:

  • Dilated to a five a few days before induction day, but no real contractions.
  • Contractions started in earnest about 3:45 the morning of the scheduled induction.
  • Hospital a little before 5.
  • Epidural worked well.
  • Baby girl (blog name Felicia) born at 7:20 on 7-1-17, my little palindrome baby!
  • Best delivery yet. (I should just keep having babies!)