I can’t believe I’m actually ready to sit down and write this out. It’s only been 2 days and some odd hours since I gave birth to her.
Friday, July 25th
Due Date! I had a feeling that she may be early (like I feel with all my pregnancies), but like her brothers, she still wasn’t here. That evening we had a little movie night and ordered some pizza and watched WALL-E all together before bed. Daniel and I watched a couple of episodes of Good Eats (we<3cable) and I headed to bed around 10pm. Daniel asked me if I felt like tonight was the night and I brushed off the question because you know when you get to the end and you just are over thinking whether tonight is the night and just want to sleep… (should have taken that as a sign that maybe it was going to happen tonight).
Saturday, July 26th
I wake up at midnight to Ollie crawling into bed next to me. He almost always makes it all night in his bed and comes in around 6-6:30am so this was very unusual. Daniel was about to climb into bed so we just let Ollie stay with us.
I wake up again at 12:42am to Atlas whining on the baby monitor. I know Daniel had just gone to bed and I felt like I had to pee so I decided to just tuck him back in and let Daniel sleep. I tuck Atlas in, go to the bathroom, and when I crawl back into bed I have a contraction. Not the braxton hicks I’ve been plagued with all night/every night, but the wave like intense one that makes you know that you’re going into labor except I still doubt myself that it’s actually happening. I try to sleep but they are coming every 5 minutes. So I make my plan. If after an hour I’m still having them every 5 minutes, I’ll wake up Daniel and call his mom, Yvonne.
An hour later (2am) I’m still contracting so I get out of bed, braid my hair, turn to go back to the bedroom to wake up Daniel and there’s a huge spider by my feet in the bathroom! I can’t do the squish a spider in toilet paper thing unless it’s tiny so I squish it with the step stool and think how I need to make sure I remember to write that part in the birth story. Pretty uneventful in the scheme of things, but there you go.
I wake up Daniel and he’s so excited. He shoots out of bed, calls his mom, grabs my checklist I made him and starts packing our last minute hospital bag items. He comes back and moves Ollie to his bed. We joke how of course our little sensitive Ollie would know I’m going to go into labor that night and had to squeeze in one last cuddle.
Yvonne arrives a little before 3am and tells us she got pulled over on the way over!!! and the ol’ my daughter-in-law is in labor excuse got her out of it. You’re welcome. ;)
I make Daniel take one last photo of her in my belly and we head to the hospital which is only 3 minutes away and check in.
Once we get up to L&D, I’m telling Daniel that I know I said I want to wait until I’m 6cm to get an epidural, but I want it asap. We wait in the triage room to get checked for quite a while and finally the nurse comes in, hooks me up to track my contractions and monitor the baby. She checks me and says that I’m 3-4cm. Woohoo! The OB comes in (the one I was hoping to not get ¯_(ツ)_/¯) and he says judging by how strong and frequent my contractions are, we’re going to have a baby soon!
I give my nurse my birth plan and say that I’d like to make a change and get the epidural as soon as I can. She agrees that it’s a good idea with how my labor is progressing and that it’ll be a little bit before everything is set up and for me to get a bag of fluid in my IV first. An IV novice nurse came in and messes up my IV (ouchhhhhhhh) and my regular nurse (who was amazing) had to come in and fix it (pain free!).
We get into our room around 4:30am and I’m finishing up my list of other people’s prayer intentions. If you messaged me, I prayed for your intention and I’m so grateful for everyone who said they would also pray for me! Praying for these intentions was such a huge change in the way I managed my contractions. It allowed me to draw away from my own personal pain and focus on others. The nurse even said, “You know, you’re awfully happy for how in labor you are.” and it was partly due to not feeling swallowed up by each contraction (and knowing that I was getting an epidural very soon helped a little little bit, too). I finished the list of intentions and I moved onto saying as many Hail Marys as I could to get through the contraction (about 3/contraction if you wanna know).
Around 5am, I started getting the uncontrollable shakes and bad back labor. Finally the anesthesiologist arrives and got the show on the road. Getting the epidural was such a crazy experience. The shot of lidocaine didn’t really hurt, it was the sensation of the fatty needle they stick in. It felt like a rush of liquid through my spine down to my tailbone with the pressure of someone pressing down on your back as if to crack it, while having a contraction that you can’t move through. They gave me a test dose and I had another contraction, but I told them I could still feel it but it was one of my mild ones and they said that it was the same intensity as the one before. Magic, I tell ya.
She checked me and I was 6cm, hooked up the catheter, and got me all settled in bed. I could still feel all the pressure and my cervix stretching, but no pain. So so so weird.
They tucked me in laying on my right side, Daniel tucked in on the pull out chair, turned off the lights and the nurse said she would be back in an hour to check me and switch me to my left side.
I stared up at this silly forest light above the bed and tried guessing when she’d be here.
The nurse came back at 6:15am and I figured I was maybe a 7/8cm, but nope.
4 cm in an hour. Unreal.
I ask if I have an anterior lip and she says a tiny bit, but nothing significant. Just a bulging bag of water. She says she would call the OB to come break the water and to deliver the baby! I wasn’t ready! I was expecting a few more hours. I started to get really nervous. My body still had to push her out. I could feel an immense amount of pressure and the sensation to push, but held off and just let my body do its thing until the OB came.
He took his sweet time and came in around 6:45/7ish. When he broke the water, it was pretty comical the way he was sprayed. Garden hose style. But what wasn’t comical was that there was meconium in the water.
Before he left to go change, they said that because there was meconium in the water, they wouldn’t be able to delay clamping the cord because she would have to be suctioned immediately by the now present NICU team.
So the OB is back and the nurses put my legs up on the stirrups and they comment on how they love my nail polish color, and the OB just casually walks in and says, “Okay, with the next contraction push.”
I grab Daniel’s hand and I push and whoaaaaa. Why can I still feel this and why am I screaming!? It’s not necessarily painful, but I can feel her move into the birth canal and crown. Next contraction I crazy warrior scream her head out and the OB suctions her and I push again and she’s out and I lose it. I’m sobbing. I look at her and she’s so beautiful and I try to look at them suction her through the tears and my hands covering my face and she starts crying and I’m wailing now. Daniel is hugging me saying “Sweetie, she’s okay! She’s fine! She’s fine!” and I sob, “I know, these are happy tears!”. One of the NICU people say, “Oh does she want to do skin to skin!?” and I yell, “YES!!!!!!” and they put her on me and it’s the perfect moment. She immediately stops crying and opens her sweet little eyes and looks at me. Nothing can come close to that moment with a mama and her baby. Nothing.
Everyone just kinda leaves. They say congrats and walk out of the room! It was amazing.
One of my biggest fears with getting an epidural was not having that light switch moment. Going from that deep, dark place to the most magnificent, indescribable happiness, but I did. I never sobbed like that after having Ollie or Atlas. Not saying it was because of how any of them were born, just that I don’t think it really matters.
We aren’t going to love our babies any less.
Primrose Lucia Wilber was born at 7:32am. She weighed 7 pounds, 14 ounces and was 20 inches long. Primrose, “first rose” aka “first girl” is after Saint Rose Venerini and Lucia, “light”, is after my grandma and many other Lucias on that side of the family and after Saint Lucia.
More on her name here.
The boys come visit a few hours later. Ollie immediately climbs into the bed and starts cuddling her and checking out her tiny eyelashes he was most excited for. He said, “She have the tiniest feet I ever seen!”
Atlas gave her a nice pat on her head and said, “Bah-bee!”
and all three of my goofs cuddled on me.
God is so, so good.