I am so thankful to be sitting here and getting to write this post! Although, I'm sorry it has taken me longer than I had hoped. Just didn't realize how you get sucked into this crazy, wonderful, sweet newborn-world. Every 2 hours comes around wayyy faster than you think and things just take a back burner when your baby wants to be snuggled! I mean, have you seen this sweet little peanut?! How do you resist this?
So, hopefully if you are reading this, you may have gotten the email from Rob telling a little bit of how our weekend went! If not, I will try to hit the high points and try to avoid TMI... (well, it takes me longer than I thought, so skip if you want)
Saturday, April 21st was a quiet day at home. I was busy doing random cleaning and tasks that I wanted to get done before the baby came. I suppose you could call this a "burst of energy"... but really I was just doing more nesting, which I have been doing for the past month! So anyways, then we went over to Rob's parents' house to join his family for a birthday dinner celebrating his mom and brother Dan's birthdays. I started feeling tired and a little crabby on the way over there, but nothing surprising considering how pregnant I was and how I had worked all day around the house. I also started having some regular contractions on the way over. It wasn't anything painful or remarkable, so I just tried to ignore it. We had tuna tacos for dinner... delicious at the time.... and a big regret later that night :). By the time we left, I was pretty uncomfortable, and my contractions were about 10 minutes apart. Nothing really painful like I was watching for, so I wasn't sure what to think. Rob encouraged me to just go to bed and try not to worry about it (read: he didn't think I was really in labor.) I, on the other hand, actually got my stuff together and my bag mostly packed before I got in bed at 11. I woke up an hour later... and this time it did hurt. I labored at home from about 11 to 12:30, and then I woke Rob up to help me time the contractions and figure out exactly what was going on. After about 20 minutes, Rob got out of bed and got his bag together. It was go-time. At about 3 am, I called the Vanderbilt Midwife on call to talk to her and let her know that I was in labor, having contractions about 4 minutes apart. She encouraged me to stay at home and labor for a little bit, so we did. We called my good friend Leigh Ann, who is an L&D nurse, and who we wanted to be there with us during labor. She came over around 3:30, and we headed to the hospital. We walked into the ER, got all checked in, and up to the L&D floor. The nurses started getting me hooked up to the monitor, started an IV, and the midwife came in to check me. The nurses at this point were giving each other looks, like they thought I might not really be in labor, because during contractions, I was feeling fine enough to chat and joke around. At this point, I started to get nervous that maybe I wasn't really in labor and they were going to send me home... Well, great news! 7 cm dilated and 90% effaced. Seriously good news for me. I had really wanted to go naturally, and now that I had gotten this far, I was committed to really doing this!
So, from there on out, things just got a little (or a lot) harder... We got into our room around 6, and my friend Anna got to work around 6:30 to be our nurse. Yay! She was already scheduled to work that day, but it was exactly how I had wanted things to go... Leigh Ann and Anna getting to be there to help me and Rob welcome our baby into the world. Around this time, we met the daytime midwife, Mavis, who would be the one to deliver our sweet girl. Mavis was also wonderful. Very kind and encouraging, as well as honest and firm when she needed to be. We had such a great experience with the Vanderbilt midwives in general, and Mavis was a big part of that. She stayed in the room with us almost the whole time, which was so great. So skipping over contractions and breathing (and more contractions and breathing), at about 9 o'clock, we got the go ahead to start pushing... I feel like I'm skipping over a lot, but I'll just generalize. It was hard, it wasn't comfortable, but it was doable. My sweet husband and friends were super encouraging and supportive, and also helping distract me a little bit when I needed it. I had really prepared myself for the contractions... that they were going to be painful, and what I was going to do to cope with them. What I had NOT prepared myself for was the pushing. I wasn't aware of what hard work it was... I'm not sure why I didn't get it... The very term labor... anyways, you get it. It was hard. I wanted to quit at a lot points. I was so mad at everyone for not telling me how hard this was going to be! Oh, and let me take a second to recognize my hubby. Y'all, Rob was amazing. Honestly, he couldn't have done better. He was so encouraging, saying all the things I needed to hear. And at the same time, was really good at helping me focus and keep it all together when I sorta wanted to fall apart. Leigh Ann and Anna actually said he needs to teach a class for other dads. Okay, I'm done bragging. So pushing. It was tough... But after an hour a half, and A LOT of hard work, on my part, as well as Rob, Leigh Ann, Anna, and Baby Jane...
This girl made her entrance to the world at 10:34 am on April 22nd (right in time for her GrandNan's birthday)! And, let's just go ahead and say, there is a really good reason it was such hard work... Our sweet Baby Jane, born 2 days early, weighed in at 9 lbs and 14 ounces!!! Whoa. Rob and I were so happy and excited to see her, but could not get over how BIG she was! (I was an 8.5 lb baby, and Rob was 9.5 lbs.). At this point, I was SO SO SO relieved. Happy that she was here and I could finally rest. And happy that I had done what I really wanted to do. It honestly was the hardest thing I have done, but also so very worth it. I am not, however, ready to talk about doing it again just yet :).
The rest of that day was a bit of a blur. I was so tired and so happy. A lot of our family came by to meet her. Rob and I were SO exhausted and feeling rather delirious, but you're just so happy and in another zone. We started breastfeeding pretty much right away, and that went just as well as you can hope. That first night, Baby Jane was a superstar, sleeping 4 hours at a time, and letting us get some rest. She did prefer to sleep on either of our chests... and who can blame her?? She was in my belly for 9 whole months! She needed a little adjustment to being out in the big world. It was so nice being in the hospital, having people there to take care of me and take care of Jane. I didn't have to worry about when she ate last, or when it was time for medicine, etc. I was really thankful for all of our nurses and techs, we had such good care at Vanderbilt, and I cannot say enough good things about them.
We stayed in the hospital all day Monday, and got to go home on Tuesday morning. We spent the day Monday with lots of family and friends coming by to say hello and get some Jane-snuggles in. Everyone was so kind, bringing us food and treats, and so happy to finally meet our big-baby-girl.
Here are some pictures taken on my phone while were in the hospital... (for the record, I have a really, really awesome camera that I love. And somehow I have hardly managed to break it out... thank goodness for the iPhone and Instagram)
Look at those cheeks... and lips.
A very proud (and tired) daddy.
Be sure to note those hands and fingers (quite impressive, really).
Looking rough, but the only pic I have with my girl.
Proud Uncle Mitchell. SO many aunts and uncles and friends visited and this is the only picture I snagged of Jane and her many admirers.
Here I am in my pretty gown, ready to go home. I put on my most ladylike pose, if you don't mind. All the while, making sure you can see my big, wrinkly hands :).
We got home on Tuesday around 11:30 and spent the day relaxing. As much as I was thankful for the hospital, I have never been so happy to be back in my own home!
Baby Jane, snuggled up in her basket at home, hanging with mom and dad.
So, that's all I have for now... I know it was long, but I know some folks want the details (like I always do). I need to take more pictures... and am really going to work at that!
Thanks for all the calls and texts and emails. We feel so loved, and are so thrilled with our sweet girl. Rob has been at home with us the past few days and that has been SO amazing to have him here with us. She is still sleeping 4 hours at night, so that is such a gift, and I am thankful for each night that happens! And am trying to prepare myself for when it doesn't... I love feeling rested :).
Lara (Rob and Jane)
PS- I know this took a while to do. But I'm still proud of myself for having accomplished this and she is only 4 days old :)