Our daughter arrived in perfect form on Thursday January 6th at 4:29am.
I always had a feeling my due date was wrong. Though most people say firstborns tend to be fashionably late, I sensed our daughter had other plans. Instead, she thought it’d be fun to surprise me by arriving 10 days early. This is our story..
1/5/11 @ 5:00 pm
Wednesday 1/5/11 was supposed to be our last official “date night” that never happened. We took a quick nap before heading out to dinner, but when I stood up to use the bathroom in the middle of the nap, I felt a small gush of water soak my pantyliner. Despite that, I wasn’t sure my water had really broken because it wasn’t even enough to leak onto my underwear, so I changed my pantyliner and still proceeded to get ready for dinner. Within a few minutes the liner was soaked again. This time, my husband insisted that we call our doula to make sure this wasn’t anything serious. She confirmed his suspicions that my water had indeed broken, and it was best for the two of us to spend the night at home. She predicted labor to start within the next few hours. She was right.
We wanted to labor at home for as long as possible so that we wouldn’t be stuck in the hospital for an endless amount of hours. My husband picked up some Wendy’s for dinner, loaded up the car with our packed bags, and we went about our night as usual. I was still in disbelief that I could soon be in labor because I wasn’t feeling any contractions and our baby wasn’t slated to be due for another week. I was surprisingly calm.
1/5/11 @ 7:00 pm
At 7pm, the contractions started and we started timing them. They were uncomfortable but bearable and not too painful. They felt like dull, cramping sensations that wrapped around my core. We decided to take a night walk around the neighborhood in hopes of keeping my mind off the contractions and speeding up labor. By 10pm, the contractions were lasting 45-60 seconds and about 4-5 minutes apart. We still weren’t sure if it was too soon to go to the hospital, but I trusted my instincts and we decided to drive to the hospital at about 10:30pm.
1/5/11 @ 11:00 pm
We arrive at the hospital about the same time as our doula. She saw me contracting, but suggested that we wait a little longer before heading in. She didn’t want them poking and prodding me too soon. Within 5 minutes, the contractions got so intense that I could hardly talk or breathe. It took us 20 minutes to make the short 5 minute walk from the parking lot to the hospital entrance.
1/5/11 @ 11:30 pm
As soon as I’m admitted, we give our nurse the birth plan. Then she measures my cervix and confirms that I am 5 cm dilated. I get hooked me up to an external monitor for about 30 minutes to monitor the baby and the intensity of my contractions. I have to say, I had the best nurse ever. She was completely willing to work with my birth plan and laid out all my options without pushing anything on me. Even my doula (who experienced plenty of births at Hoag) said that this was by far the best nurse she’s ever come across at Hoag.
I spend the next couple of hours walking the halls and do my best to stay focused and relaxed through the contractions.
1/6/11 @ 2:00 am
By now, I was exhausted and in so much pain. I had walked the halls, sat on a birth ball, taken a shower… all attempts to help relieve the pain. My legs were shaky and I desperately wanted to sit down, but every time I tried to sit the pain would intensify since the baby was sitting so low in my pelvic area. I had no choice but to stand on my wobbly feet holding onto something the entire time.
My husband was with me every step of the way and gave me so much support. I was quiet and trying to go to my quiet place, at times calling out for an epidural. Actually, it sounded more like a whimper: “ep-i-dur-aaaaal…. pleee-aase… I’m. so. tired….” – But he knew that that was not what I wanted and encouraged me to work through the pain. He reminded me of Philippians 4:13 – “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”, so that’s what I meditated on throughout every contraction. The nurse checked my cervix again and confirmed that I was now 7 cm dilated. Progress!! I was definitely in full on active labor.
1/6/11 @ 3:50 am
I hit 10 cm shortly before 4am, then came the strong urge to push and bear down. Not having any pain medication allowed me to push and go with the natural rhythm of my body. I didn’t need anyone telling me when to push – my body just knew. With every push came a scream of agony. But when I heard my husband and the nurses tell me that they could see her head, that they could see her coming… it made me that much more motivated to keep going. I was almost there…
The moment her head popped out, I knew – it was like BURNING FIRE down there!!! Later on, I found out that the medical community call this the “ring of fire”. But with it came incredible relief. I then delivered her shoulders and she came out in one big whoosh – it’s something I can only describe as complete euphoria. They immediately laid her on my chest for skin-to-skin contact… with the slimy blood, mucous, and all! I was in awe and couldn’t believe I was holding my child in my hands. I was finally able to see the daughter I had carried within me for 9 months face-to-face for the very first time. She was so alert and latched on right away. We bonded immediately.
After that, you’d think I’d be exhausted but I must’ve been running on adrenaline cause I was more awake than ever. My birth experience was amazing and better than I could have hoped. After an experience like that, my belief in a God of miracles is even stronger. Within a day or two… He even allows us to forget about the pain. Today, most of the pain is a distant memory. All I feel is love and more love for the daughter who depends on me with her life.
Noelle Olivia | Jan 6th, 2011 @ 4:29 am | 7 lbs 15 oz | 19.75 in. long
“Please don’t go – we’ll eat you up – we love you so”