We are packed for the hospital. My girls are spending the first couple of days this week going on a train trip with my parents. I'm going to attack the last nesting projects I have burning on my to-do list. Stephen fixed up our pantry nice and organized like. I will post on that this week. Hopefully soon.
I'm feeling well. About once every day I think "Eek! I can't make it until August in these conditions!!!!" And then a few minutes later, I get over it again. The heartburn, sleeping sitting upright, and bigness of it all is getting challenging with 3 kids in tow! Thank God for grandparents- they have been soooo amazingly helpful throughout this entire pregnancy. I can't say it enough.
I've been posting my girls' birth stories. Here's Madeleine's and Frances'. And now for you today.... Molly's birth story!
sweet little molly jane.... she was our 6 pounder.
We have had visitors non-stop since Molly's birth. My Mom came the day after she was born and helped us pack up to leave the hospital for our first night at home. It was really special having "Marmee" or Grandma here. We are thinking she'll be called Marmee but since Molly won't be saying much for a while, it's still up in the air. The past 3 days my Dad and little bro Eric were here. It was really nice to have all the help and Molly enjoyed the attention!
I have been wanting to chronicle a few details of Molly's birth just for memory's sake. Everything in terms of Molly's arrival went much better than I could have hoped. I was in labor for about 14 hours. For a first baby, my progression in labor was actually really fast, and it maybe would have been even faster if I hadn't taken it super-easy. I have to confess I had some specific prayers about my labor and delivery, and God seems to have heard them all. One of those prayers was that Molly would hurry up and come early! Another was that my labor would go quickly, and I'm not sure how quickly it would have gone if I hadn't done certain things to SLOW IT DOWN! Another prayer was that I would have Christian nurses, and I know at least my first nurse in the delivery room was a believer and all the others were very sweet.
I went into labor sometime around 2:30 am on Tuesday January 15. I kept waking up feeling uncomfortable and thought it was indigestion, so I kept going back to sleep. Then I really woke up around 3:30 or 4 and realized I was actually in pain and it was probably contractions. It was exciting and wonderful to think I might actually be in labor, meaning Molly was coming 5 days early... and all the joy made the pain much more bearable. The few days previous, especially on Saturday, I was having pretty random "false labor" pains... really irregular contractions and just generally feeling odd. So when I woke Stephen up really early in the morning on the 15th, he was doubtful that my pains were legitimate labor pains - for good reason - we didn't want to go to the hospital if it wasn't real, and besides, I still had almost a week to my due date. AND I tend to be dramatic (especially while pregnant) so Stephen had to keep me balanced. :) My contractions started coming regularly, but they were still 10 minutes apart at around 8:30 am. But I was feeling anxious and pretty sick because I couldn't keep any food down which was making me feel weak, so I called my friend Susan- who is a doula and in school for midwifery- to ask her some questions. I asked her if it was normal that my contractions seemed to speed up when I moved around. She said absolutely yes because everything gets very sensitive when you go into early labor and walking or activity can move things along quickly. But she suggested taking it easy in order to preserve my energy for active labor. So... I watched a movie... Almost Famous... while lying in bed! This really took my mind off of everything and I really enjoyed the movie, for the hundredth time. :) Well, the minute the movie was over, I got up to get something in the kitchen, which is across the apartment from our bedroom. I forgot my gatorade in the bedroom, so I walked back down the hall to get it, and then I walked back to the kitchen. Well, in the span of those couple of minutes, my contractions sped up from every 10 minutes to every 5 minutes! I only wonder how fast labor would have gone if I hadn't stopped to rest and watch a movie!! As soon as my contractions were 5 minutes apart (about 11am) Stephen started to believe me that this really was it, even though neither of us could really believe it was finally actually happening!!
Conveniently, I had a doctor's appointment with my OB-GYN scheduled that day for 1:30pm. Stephen suggested that we try to wait it out another hour to the appintment, and I told him, "NO! I NEED to go to the hospital NOW!" Good thing, because when we got to my OB's office I was almost 5 cm dilated and he told me I needed to get to labor and delivery cause it was time to have that baby! He said, "This is a great day to have a baby!!" And of course I got very excited when he said that, although by that time I was starting to become mean because the contractions hurt. We tried to walk to Clatanoff Pavilion to Labor and Delivery (across the parking lot from where my doctor's office is in the Wayson Pavilion) but I told Stephen I needed a wheelchair. I was walking like a little old lady, all hunched forward with my bum sticking out. haha! So we got one in the lobby and he wheeled me to the 2nd floor where we needed to go. Good thing we did the hospital tour .... FIVE days earlier... so we knew where to go!!! Stephen called my mom to tell her "Today is the day!" It started to snow furiously outside but nothing was sticking and it stopped pretty soon after that. But it was cool because last February our nephew was born and it was a snow day in Chattanooga - one of the only ones last year. So it brought back memories of Luke's birthday.
We got to the second floor and I have to admit this was when I started to lose confidence and I wanted to be anywhere but there. I guess that's part of labor. My doc broke my water around 1:30pm and Nurse Phyllis started asking me a million questions for her little forms she had to fill out. It was making me really mad because she asked me the exact same litany of questions multiple times. It was almost like she was trying to distract me, but boy it wasn't helping!!! She also recommended the epidural if I wasn't sure. I asked her if it slowed down pushing and she said in all of her experience, it doesn't tend to slow down pushing time much if at all. Dr. Hankinson told me after he breaks the water things really get going and usually that's when people decide to get an epidural. He was right because not long after that, in the peak of active labor- contractions coming really frequently in great intensity, I decided I wanted an epidural. I was about 6 cm. I had to wait a good 30 minutes for the dude to come give it to me and then another 20 minutes or so for it to work. That was awful. Once I got it, I was able to rest while I dilated from 6-9 cm in a matter of about an hour and half! I was in a very happy state of mind during this time and Stephen and I talked to our nurse about books. :) My nurse was pretty surprised when she checked me the first time after getting the epidural and I was a big 9cm and almost ready to push! Dr. Hankinson came and congratulated me on my timing- it was about 4pm- he said I'd get an extra jewel in my crown because he would be able to pick his kids up from swimming before he had to be back to deliver another patient!
I pushed for about 40 minutes, Stephen and Nurse Phyllis helped a lot during this process. Everything went very quickly and really before I knew it Molly was here in the world!! I had gotten the epidural around 2:30pm and she was born at 4:49pm. She was beautiful when she was born, not puffy or ugly at all.... and I just kept saying, "Oh my goodness!" The doc and nurse were both very curious about her name since we kept it a secret, so Stephen let me announce "Molly Jane," and the doctor said, "I thought you said it was a Southern name, that's not very Southern... Molly Jean?" And I said, "NO! Molly JANE." It was kind of funny. Stephen and I were both in a daze. I think a mixture of exhaustion and emotional overload my face started twitching uncontrollably and I kept involuntarily blinking really hard. My nurse was a little worried so she made me rest my eyes for a while. They warmed Molly in the incubator and then I was able to breastfeed for the first time. A bit stressful, but our nurse helped in the best way and Molly was a pro by the second day!!! Everything has been going really well since then. Stephen took a week off from Coptix and we enjoyed sitting around staring at our lovely doll.
Molly Jane in Maryland.
looking so old....
and i just have to say I'm proud that that bathingsuit was a goodwill find! :)