At 2:47 a.m. on March 4, Clara Lynn joined our family. She weighed 6 lbs. 12 oz. and was 20 inches long. She is gorgeous and healthy and we are all thrilled to have her! If you're like me, you're just dying to read the birth story, and if you're not, stop reading and look at the pictures...
On Tuesday, March 1, we had an appointment at our doctor's office. We met with a different doctor than the one who told us we would have to go two weeks past our due date. She talked with us about the pros and cons of induction and let us decide what we wanted to do. We asked her to go ahead and schedule it, which she did for Friday, March 4. My mom, who had been with us all week and was scheduled to leave that Friday, was able to change her flight to Sunday so that she would be able to stay and take care of Abby. Phew!
On Thursday, at about 4 a.m., I started having some uncomfortable contractions. They were 15 to 20 minutes apart and not particularly painful. At around 6:30 a.m., I woke Sam up to tell him that we would probably need to go to the hospital later that day. Sam stayed home from school and we spent the morning cleaning up the house and getting prepared to be gone for a couple of days. By late morning, the contractions were only coming once every hour or so. Throughout the day, they would occasionally come within 20 minutes and were increasingly more uncomfortable. However, when we were heading to bed at around 11 p.m., the contractions had pretty much stopped. We figured that what had been going on all day had helped get things going so that the induction would go more smoothly in the morning. I got in bed hoping for a few hours of sleep (the night before Abby's induction, I didn't sleep a wink.)
As soon as I tried to fall asleep, I started having contractions again. They were coming about 15 minutes apart and were getting to be quite painful. At around 1 a.m., I woke Sam up. The contractions were still 10 minutes apart, but I was really in a lot of pain. Sam jumped in the shower to wake up. By the time he was done, the contractions were coming about 6-7 minutes apart. Despite being told to wait until contractions were 3-4 minutes apart, we decided to get ready to go and called the hospital because I was in so much pain. Sam fibbed a bit and told them my contractions had been coming every 5 minutes for an hour. They said we could probably head in since we live about 25 minutes away.
When we left our house, the contractions were still 6 minutes apart but I was reeling in pain. I was terrified that I was just being wimpy--that we would get there and they'd tell me I was like 3 or 4 cms. As we made the 25 minute drive, the contractions kept getting closer together. By the time we pulled into the parking lot of the hospital, they were pretty much constant and I was feeling the urge to push. I told Sam that she was coming! He went in to get a wheel chair. The pain was so intense that I couldn't get out of the car. You could tell the hospital worker thought I was being over dramatic but I was convinced I was going to deliver my baby in our car. There was a short lull in contractions and I managed to get myself out of the car.
When we got into the labor and delivery room, the nurses calmly asked me to get changed (at which point I started stripping down) in the bathroom (oh). They asked for a urine sample which I promptly dropped in the toilet because I couldn't hold onto the cup. I kept telling them that I needed to push so they finally let me get on the bed to check things out. As soon as the nurse looked she said, "Oh, the head's right there!" and ran to get the doctor. I breathed a small sigh of relief--I wasn't being wimpy, she was coming!
When my doctor came into the room, it was a whirlwind of IVs, shots, and other preparations. There wasn't time for the antibiotics I needed or an epidural. Despite being surrounded by total chaos and without the normal coaching from the nurses, I managed to push her out! The nurses asked us if we had a name, which we didn't. We had planned to talk about it at the hospital while we were waiting. Ha!
I had some hemorrhaging so it took longer to get everything stabilized. They kept us in the labor and delivery room for several hours to make sure my bleeding was under control. They finally decided I was ready to head to the recovery room but left the IV needle in my hand so they could work swiftly if things took a turn.
Once the nurses left us to enjoy our baby, Sam told me he thought her name should be Clara and I agreed. I had been very non-committal about names for some reason so it was nice to have something decided.
The rest of our hospital stay was pretty relaxing and uneventful. Abby was able to come visit us both days and I was so happy to see her. I didn't feel like Clara's arrival was real until I had my whole family together.