My midwife Lynda called on Saturday morning to check on me and tell me to "sit pretty" since she was at a birth 2 hours away. She just wanted to be sure it wasn't my time, too. I assured her I was fine and went about my day. That night I slept the best I've slept in over a week. It was wonderful and made me think that my body might be resting up for the big day.
Sunday morning hubby asked if I felt like we needed to stay close to home, as we go to church forty minutes away. I was feeling that consistent pressure again and felt like we probably should stick around here. I also wanted to call Lynda to see if she made it home!
I made a grocery list and headed to the store. I heard from Lynda and she was home and had plenty of rest. I then took Noah and Carter to Target. When we got home, I baked a beer bread, made spinach dip, and a cheesecake. I chopped up veggies and washed fruit, stocking the fridge.
I was about to head back out to Target to get a new garbage can but wanted to wait for the bread to finish baking. I sat down to check email and was just about to show Jeff something on the computer when I felt a little "burst" like a tiny water balloon. It was 5:40 pm
I jumped up and said I think something just happened! I ran to the bathroom and sure enough, my water had broke! We were all excited and called Lynda and my Mom right away. Since I wasn't really feeling contractions or anything labor-like, it was hard timing them to give Lynda an idea of where I was at. But, over the next twenty minutes I timed them and they were about 8 minutes apart. But with every twenty minutes, they were closer and closer, although still not uncomfortable. Within an hour after my water broke, I was at about 4 minutes apart and Lynda was on her way.
Jeff and I went upstairs and readied the bed with our sheets and pads. Lynda arrived and we made a delicious snack spread on the counter- thankful for my major nesting in the kitchen earlier that day!
I went about the evening as I would any normal Sunday night and got the boys a bedtime snack, watched Tom & Jerry in our bedroom, and prepared them to look for their baby sister in the morning! After they went to bed, I checked their school's website to see if school was cancelled due to all the flooding we'd had all weekend. No school the next day! I was so excited to see this. I wasn't planning on letting them stay home from school when she was born, but this was working out great! I have to say that I thought about this throughout the whole night and it really made me happy that it was working out this way.
We all hung out for a while just chatting and getting excited for what was to come. After a little while I realized that there probably wasn't going to be anything happening anytime soon, so we decided to watch a movie! My Mom went out and rented Baby Mama and we all retreated to the basement to continue our little party. Throughout the movie I could feel the pressure getting stronger, but I was able to sit and eat and enjoy most of the movie in comfort. Toward the end I decided to move to the floor and would get on all fours every now and then, or walk upstairs and busy myself as the contractions got stronger. When the movie was over, I was ready to go to my bedroom and labor alone. Everyone moved upstairs where they could be closer to me while I went up to our bedroom. They quietly let me do my thing. It was about 11:15 pm.
Gray woke up shortly after I went upstairs and I tried to snuggle with him in my bed for a while. Then he really wanted me to get in his firetruck bed, but at this point, I was getting too uncomfortable to consider that! I didn't have to breathe through anything yet, but moving around and standing at the side of the bed was helping. I did that a bit by his bed, but he really was starting to get upset. So, Daddy came in and took him to be with Mimi (my Mom) downstairs.
Jeff and I went to our bedroom and he rested on the bed while I labored beside it. Soon my controlled breathing was necessary and I continued to stand or squat a bit through each contraction. Within an hour they were coming on very strong. I sent hubby for some celery and crunched it between each contraction. It may sound crazy, but it felt so good! Hubby also was able to get Gray to bed around this time and ended up crawling in the firetruck bed with him.
Lynda and my Mom stayed downstairs but kept their ears to the stairs. Lynda said she could tell how far along I was by my breathing and the sounds I was making. There was never a need to check me to see how dilated I was, just listening to me was giving her the exact information she needed.
At this time things were starting to move along more quickly and quite intense. I felt like I was managing the pain very well by standing and rocking and squatting/bouncing through the rough ones. But they were very short and I knew as soon as one began that it would be over very soon. This kept me going. Around 1:20 am I had one very tough contraction and felt what I thought was the beginning of an urge to push, so I yelled out I think I need to puuuuuuuuush!
So, the troops all came in the room, lights still dark but some candles lit so Lynda could see. I stayed by the side of the bed while they quietly watched me. It seemed like a good ten minutes went by before the next contraction came, and during this was when I had a fleeting moment of wondering if maybe I wasn't ready to push... and what if I was only dilated to 4 cm or something?! But soon the next one came and I immediately went over to the floor and got on all fours. I began to push and Lynda said Oh yeah. It was time!
Jeff stayed by Lynda and my mom was at my front, helping me bear down as I pushed (still on all fours.) I felt like I really had to push hard and wasn't sure anything was happening, but they soon told me her head was out. Lynda had to maneuver her a bit as she was arching her back through the next pushes, but a few minutes later, after 8 minutes of pushing, Ivy LaRue was here! And she cried immediately with the cutest pouty lips ever! It was 1:40 am.
She was behind me still, so Lynda took care of her and I just remember saying well, is it a girl? And Lynda said it's a girl! She passed her through my legs like a football and I held Ivy in my arms for the first time. And yes, after a few moments I did take a peek and saw that indeed... it was a girl.
We waited for the umbilical cord to stop pulsating, about 15 minutes, and then my Mom cut the cord. Soon Lynda had me push out the placenta and it gently came out in two pushes. I got up off the floor and got in bed with my new sweet baby. She latched on quickly and nursed for about an hour and a half! My Mom was wonderful helping with any of the clean up- which there really wasn't much mess at all! Lynda did all the newborn checkup things and measured and weighed her: 8 lbs 12 oz and 22 1/2 inches long.
She then assisted me in the shower so I could clean off and then we went over all the newborn basics and any additional info I needed to know about taking care of myself. It was soon time for her to say her goodbyes and Jeff and I snuggled into bed with our new little girl, in awe of what just took place at the very foot of our bed.
It was very hard trying to fall asleep as all I wanted to do was stare into Ivy's beautiful face. We wondered if it was all a dream. Everything was just perfect.
Carter got up around 4 am to go to the bathroom and Jeff went to ask him if he wanted to meet his new sister. He proceeded to tell Daddy about how he really wanted an Obi Wan costume. Jeff said, ok, but do you want to go meet your new sister?
Carter crawled into the bed with us wide eyed and wide mouthed and oohed and ahhed over her. She's so cuuute! he kept saying. And did she just pop out of your tummy? He hopped down and went back to bed and shortly Noah appeared in our room- ready to meet baby Ivy. He climbed into bed with us and literally didn't leave my side until I had to force him out. He was in awe of her and I think wanted to stay close to me, too.
Gray woke up later in the morning and was all giggles at the little peeps and squeaks coming from this new baby in our bed. We were all there, one big happy family, snuggled together at home with new life and new adventures and it felt so right.
Everything was just perfect.