Sunday, June 10, 2012

Cora's Birth Story

Cora Beth Landry
June 9, 2012 
7 lbs., 11 oz. - 20 in.

Here is Cora's birth story, with all the details.  If you're interested in a quick summary:

- NOT fun and REALLY painful, while at the same time ideally quick
- perfect timing
- beautiful, healthy baby

The Story.

Friday, June 8th was a perfect day.  I was about to be 38 weeks.  I'd worked all week and took Friday to be at home with Jack.  We didn't have any reason to rush, so we went on a walk, to the bakery, and then took our breakfast to "my park" as Jack calls it and took our time playing.  Then we went home, arriving minutes before a major rainstorm.  Later in the morning, we went to the Parenting Center where we happened upon "water day" and Jack got to strip down to his undies and play in the sprinkler/pool they had set up.  It was such a leisurely morning and special quality time.   And then Jack actually napped!  This allowed me to spend several hours wrapping up things for my job and finishing some random to-dos.  To then have Cora born the next morning - how perfect it was to spend such a special last Mommy-Jack day AND feel so on top of preparing for baby AND not have to go all the way to my due date!

In the morning, I'd had my normal contractions, but after lunch I felt like maybe the day's contractions were a little more frequent and slightly more uncomfortable than they had been.  After having literally thousands of contractions in the last several months, I didn't think too much of it, but while Jack was napping I started writing down when I was having them to see if they were regular.  They weren't all that regular (10-20 mins) but they lasted all afternoon no matter if I was up and doing things or sitting, which made me wonder, since my contractions up to that point had always stopped being consistent after a few hours.

We had dinner plans but since I felt fine, I decided we should still go out and just see if the contractions kept up.  We went to Jacob's NORLI graduation dinner and I continued to feel fine but the contractions continued.  They were closer to 10 minutes apart at this point and the few I paid attention to were about 30 seconds.

After we got home, I decided to time them for 30 minutes to see what was up and they were lasting about a minute and were 9-10 minutes apart.  This made me think it could actually be early labor, so I texted my friend Toy to give her a heads up that this could be the night we dropped Jack off at their house!

It took me a while to go to sleep because I was keyed up (and I drank tea for dinner - mistake).  I noticed contractions occasionally but they weren't really painful and didn't seem regular, but I was also dozing, so it's hard to say.  I got up several times to pee and by 2:00 I had probably only slept 2 hrs. and I had heartburn so I just sat up in bed.  This woke Jacob up, and so I said let's time contractions.  It took a while for me to have one, but when I did, it was strong.  I said, I won't be able to sleep through them, so I'm going to get up.  I called my parents to give them a heads up since my mom wasn't planning to come till Tuesday.

I got out of bed around 2:45 to take a shower.  The contractions immediately picked up and within 15 minutes, they had gone from 5 to 3 minutes apart.  At this point, I started needing a coping mechanism, so I would drop to the floor on my hands and knees and started kicking the ground with my feet and counting my breaths to get through the contraction.  (I also managed to put my make-up on during this to Jacob's "Really?")

My hair was wet so I thought I'd blow dry my hair but as I started to do this (on the ground) I started feeling lots of pressure and had a monster contraction, so I put vanity aside and started giving commands to Jacob to hurry us out of the house.  He finished packing, loaded the car, called the midwives and Toy and got Jack up.  We locked the door at 3:49 a.m. after I had one more hands and knees contraction on the ground.

Jack took getting up this early in stride and was excited to go to his friend "other Jack's" house.  He said "can I take a nap there?"  I had two contractions on the short drive to Toy's house, but managed to just breathe through them looking forward so as not to scare Jack.

On the way to the hospital I had strong contractions at both 3:58 and 3:59, so I started to panic slightly about how many steps there still were to getting to the hospital.  We got to the parking garage at about 4:05.  I had one contraction as we parked and it seemed like the next one was just a minute later.  As we got off the elevators, Jacob grabbed a wheelchair which made navigating the under construction hospital at this point in labor much more manageable.  I made him stop when I had a contraction because they were so intense and it hurt more to be moving.

We rolled up to labor and delivery and Jacob did the talking while I huffed and puffed through another contraction.  We wanted to try a water birth, so he asked for their special "tub room".  Our male nurse (just saying this because even in the state I was in, I still had the thought that a MAN was going to see me in these next stages?!) ushered us in the room where I lost all modesty and hit the floor on the next contraction and started hollering.  Clothes got tossed in a pile in exchange for the hospital gown which quickly also got tossed in a pile.  The nurse attempted to check me which broke my water.  My midwife wasn't there yet, so the resident doctor checked me and I was completely dilated.

I felt like I wanted to push, so I got up on the bed, but then started saying "Someone tell me how, I don't remember how to push."  At this point, it is just Jacob, me and the nurse but the 2 deep breaths and then two held breaths/pushes approach came to me, so I started doing that on the next contraction.  My midwife came in right around then (I think this was about 4:25) and I was very happy to see her.

After the first push or so, I remembered "oh yeah, pushing will get this baby out and END this, so I should push hard!!"  So I closed my eyes and just started going for it, hoping it was working.  I got offered a mirror and to feel the baby's head, but I had no interest in this because I didn't want to be disappointed if we weren't making fast progress!  It became quite evident by the pain that the baby was coming and while the pauses between contractions at first were nice, they quickly became very uncomfortable with the head partly out!  My midwife was great about just telling me to go with what I was feeling and it didn't take too long because Cora was born at 4:38 a.m. (7 lbs, 11 oz and 20 in.)  There was such relief when her head came out and I knew to just give one more push because I remembered how quickly the rest of Jack came.

I said several "thank Gods" mainly because I was so glad she was out and not inside anymore and then I got to see her and everything switched from me being wrapped up in the pain to being so excited to meet my daughter!

I'm sure this blog will devote much space to Cora, but let's just say the last 24 hours have been awesome.  She is just a tiny (1 lb less than Jack makes her seem tiny to me) ball of preciousness and I am loving all this time to just hold and look at her.  I couldn't have been happier with how Jack's and Cora's meeting went and he has continued to ask to hold her and been interested in her.

I got my indoctrination to being mother to 2 a few short hours after Cora was born when Jacob brought Jack to the hospital (pre-arrival of grandmothers) and he pooped and peed in his big boy underwear.  Jacob was holding Cora, so I took over clean up duty.  No rest for the weary - I had a feeling!  (I am taking my full 2 night stay in the hospital though - real life will come soon enough and I'm resting up!)

*P.S.  Thank you to my coach, Jacob who calmly led us through a crazy morning and helped me bring our second beautiful baby into this world.

Here is our daughter:

Daddy and Cora

Big brother kisses
Grammy with her 2 grandchildren
First family of four shot


Jessica said...

I loved reading this! I was actually giving a play-by-play of your story to PJ. Obviously, he is most impressed that she was born a mere 30 minutes after you arrived at the hospital. :-)

So glad that everyone is doing well! Cora is beautiful! I can't wait to see more pictures and read more about your new family! Love you!

Chelsea said...

Beautiful story! So happy that you had such an amazing birth! Mine is so fresh in my mind still (obviously, just a few days before yours) that this was so relatable to me and I found myself nodding in agreement with all the ways you were describing the birth. Cora is beautiful! Way to go!

Miss MLV said...

Great job, momma! What a beautiful family you have. Happy birthday, Baby Cora!

Miss MLV said...

Great job, momma! What a beautiful family you have! Happy birthday, baby Cora!

Christina said...

Great Story! So glad everything happened so quickly - you earned that after Jack! You did a good job of describing the craziness of labor, I totally related. Savor these precious days with your new little one! Congrats again!

Myndee said...

What a great story! She's beautiful. I hope everyone is adjusting to your new family. :)

I'm Myndee...found you through New Orleans Moms Blog! :)