Well, it's been just over a week and I'm finally taking a moment to update the blog that our littlest girl arrived into the world last Wednesday, August 6. I'll apologize up front for the length of this post but I haven't had a chance to tell our story for posterity so this will be my record of it.
My water broke around 7:30 on Tuesday evening. Although I only had the tiniest of thoughts that it might be my water bag as it wasn't like you see in the movies, a big gush of water. It was entirely subtle so I thought only a little of it at that moment. You see, with Mila, I had to be induced. I didn't get to feel what it felt like for my water bag to break by itself and my contractions were chemically induced through pitocin. This time I was hoping and praying I'd get to experience what it was like to actually go into labor. As my due date was approaching I was beginning to think that maybe my body didn't really know what to do when it came to that point. Happily, I was wrong about that. As I put the big girl down for bed I snuggled her and I asked her "are you ready for Luna to come out of mama's tummy so you can meet her" and she just had the biggest smile on her face when she said "yes" that it gave me goosebumps. I think I was just savoring what were to be my last moments with my big girl as an only child. With a big kiss and a hug she laid down and went to sleep.
As I joined Marc downstairs we each had a popsicle and watched our recorded show "Face/Off" on ScyFy. During the show I kept thinking to myself if it had been my water breaking it would have been more noticeable. After our show was done we kind of watched a little more TV and chatted about the usual stuff. We were in a chatty mood that night. Maybe we knew we wouldn't have time to catch up on the little stuff for a while after that night due to exhaustion, or maybe not.
As we prepared for bed I was beginning to have a cramps feeling on my right side. Around 10 p.m. as we were getting ready to lie down for the evening I felt it again. I thought it might be prudent to mention it to Marc, just in case. I told him about the possibility of my water breaking even though it didn't feel like much water and that I just noticed a couple of crampy feelings about 25 minutes apart. I told him "we might have a baby soon". He was lying in bed and he fluffed his pillow and said with a smile, "Guess we'll see! Better try to get some rest then". So I tried to fall asleep but at the same time I was googling on my phone "water break and not know it" and other similar phrases. Turns out, it doesn't always come in a rush and sometimes isn't noticeable. Marc kept telling me to go to sleep because I'd need my rest.
At around 11:30 I decided to call the midwife to see if my water broke what she suggested. She said it could have been my water and to come into the office at 8 if nothing progressed and they would check to see if it was my water.
I laid down again but decided to try to sleep upstairs as I kept waking Marc up. By this point, I was beginning to be more sure that the cramps feelings were contractions as they started to become more uniform and were now approximately 20 minutes apart. As I lay in bed trying to rest, my mind rushed with the idea that our little girl might be here soon. It was around 2 a.m. when my contractions started to become 10 minutes apart. At that point I texted my mom to make her aware that she may have to come over to watch the big girl if we needed to get to the hospital. Sure enough, my contractions continued at 10 minutes apart. Mom made it to our house by 3:20 and we were out the door by 3:30. I so wanted to wake Mila and give her a big hug to let her know but of course I didn't. Mom gave me a big hug and we both knew that the baby was going to come pretty soon and it was going to be just Marc and me at the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital just before 4 a.m. and from their my contractions just got stronger. With both Mila and Luna I wanted to experience natural birth. I got a lot of flack from coworkers and other people saying things like "you don't get a medal for it". I wasn't trying to earn a medal, I just wanted to be as strong as the women who've come before me, including my mom. I received nothing but support from Marc and the rest of my family on it both times. Unfortunately, I didn't get to experience that with Mila due to the pitocin but I honestly wanted to experience it with this little one. But as I sat there and the nurse was asking me questions to get me checked in and my contractions got stronger I felt like giving in and asking for the epidural. I felt like I was letting myself and my daughter down. I can't say enough about my husband. He was there for me whatever decision I made and he made me feel strong no matter what. But, by the time I decided to get the epidural, it was too late. I guess fate works in our best interests sometimes whether we decide one way or another.
It was time to push. The contractions felt like they were trying to squeeze my little one out so I knew it was time to try helping. The midwife was there with the one nurse and Marc. Marc was ready, he'd been holding my hand and holding my body up throughout the contractions. I could tell he was nervous but also excited. As Marc and the Jennifer (our nurse) each held one of my legs back I started to push. I must admit, I wasn't the most efficient pusher at the beginning and I could tell I was pushing incorrectly but those contractions were SO powerful. But throughout I remember Marc kept saying "you got this" and "you're doing great". My midwife, calm as can be was just watching for our little one's head, it hadn't made an appearance yet.
Suddenly my contractions were so strong I remember saying "it hurts! it hurts!" and my midwife Jane said "that's when you push" so I pushed long and hard I would take a breath and push again and again. I remember Marc saying "I see her, Luna's almost here" and that's when I really gave it all I had left. I remember the pain but just seeing in my minds eye what little Luna's view was, coming through as I pushed and I felt her head, then her shoulders and then she was out! I heard her cry and saw Marc smiling and he looked at her and looked at me and then Luna was on my chest, skin to skin crying with her beautiful little eyes open and facing her daddy. She had a mass of dark hair. I was out of breath but I cried and kissed her beautiful head. And I thought of our little Mila with her beautiful blonde hair, at home asleep and that she was now a big sister.
Luna Diana was born at 5:47 a.m. weighing 6 lbs 9.7oz, 18.5 inches long. She's my wee one.
It was both extremely difficult and indescribably beautiful to be able to bring Luna into this world without the pain medication. I know that I am capable of such things, I had doubted myself when I originally asked for it but I was able to do it. But I also realize that it is not weakness to have to get it either. I'm happy that I've been able to experience both with my girls.
My girls... I'm still getting used to saying that, but I smile every time I do.