welcoming cora into the world

i am one of those people that never really believes i am actually in labor.  so when i woke up around 3am on the morning of march 6th with painful contractions, i brushed it off as the false labor i had experienced multiple nights since i was about 37 weeks pregnant.  but, when i showered, did my hair, ate, and walked around and my contractions didn't stop for the better part of two hours, i woke up john and told him to shower, because i might be in labor.  i called the on-call physician to ask him to tell me if i was in labor.  he said, "if you are talking to me and laughing through a contraction, then i doubt you are in labor..."

well, that was all i needed to convince myself that this wasn't real.  even though my contractions were fairly regular and about 5-10 minutes apart, i apologized to a now showered john and told him to go back to sleep.  i then laid down and drifted in and out of sleep in between contractions until the morning.  my doctor called and said he had heard i had talked to the on-call doc.  he advised me to come in, because he knows i have a high pain tolerance.  it's a good thing he told me to go into the hospital to be evaluated, because if not, i might not have given myself enough time to get i.v. antibiotics (group b strep is the worst, isn't it?)

the entire way to the hospital, i kept telling john how embarrassed i was going to be when they sent me home... and how i still didn't think i was in labor.  

this is me in triage, still not believing i'm in labor, and still feeling slightly embarrassed for coming in.  

it wasn't until john started watching the contraction monitor, and telling me they were consistently 4-5 minutes apart, that i started to believe this was the real thing.  our excitement grew, and when the nurse checked me and announced i was dilated to a 6 or 7.... we were blown away.  it was baby time!

they admitted me, gave me antibiotics, and i could tell things were progressing fairly quickly.  i walked the halls and john was supportive, helped me through contractions by pushing on my hips, etc.  i wanted them to just break my water so i could have things go quickly, but because the antibiotics need to be in your system for 4 hours before they break your water, they were going to let things run their course.  i had talked to my mom on the phone an hour or so earlier and she said, "the second you decide you can't do it anymore, you literally have like 12 contractions to get through and then the baby will be here."  well, she was right, because i got an epidural and i was complete and my water broke right after that.  i just said to john, "what's the point of this?" and called in the anesthesiologist.  {i think maybe i just wanted to go natural to prove to myself that i could do it.  i wanted to be tough enough.  i had no regrets though, and still don't.}  

after my water broke, the nurse came back in and started setting up for delivery.  the doctor had just walked away from the building after seeing me, and literally turned right back around to come do the delivery.

pushing this time was much easier.  i probably pushed through 4 or 5 contractions but i really can't remember.  it's such a strange feeling having a baby.  at one point the doctor asked me if i wanted to feel her head and i'm like, "really?! her head is literally right there?" it's so amazing and unbelievable at the same time. 
and then she was here.

screaming mad and covered in so much vernix.

they put her on my chest first thing, and the floodgates opened of course.  i'm not much of a crier, but i make an exception at the birth of my babies.  such an emotional, beautiful thing.
john got to cut the cord...

and after a few minutes of cora smearing vernix all over my face, they took her away to weigh her.  i was surprised to hear she was nearly an entire pound smaller than hazel was at 7lbs 4oz!

i love how infants get cuter and cuter the longer they are out.  because she looks cute in these photos, but in my opinion, has only gotten and cuter and cuter each day since.

daddy holding cora for the first time.  {this pic is blurry because i had the labor shakes when i took it...}

those first few hours are so wonderful and precious.  i will treasure them forever.  happy birthday cora mae!


Henrie said...

Loved getting to read all the sweet details!! She is so beautiful and I'm so happy for you guys!!

Teri Kennedy said...

Beautiful account of your miracle of giving birth! Thank you for sharing !!! Xo