Caroline Emery was born on Friday, July 13th and has been delighting and amazing my husband and I ever since.
Although I didn't document it, I feel very lucky to have had an easy pregnancy. I didn't have any of the morning sickness, heartburn, aches and pains one normally associates with being pregnant (I know, you can send me hate mail if you wish). On the day of her birth I went to the hospital for a routine non-stress test, I had been having them two times a week since 35 weeks and this day felt no different. (I was even working to revamp the ChelseyEmery color palette that morning, right up until I left for the appointment!). I had been having fairly regular braxton hicks contractions for about 2 weeks prior to this, but they were painfree and didn't seem to be progressing anything - they were more annoying than anything else!
If you've never had a non-stress test what happens is this : you sit in a reclining chair for 20 minutes with monitors hooked up to your belly (one monitoring contractions/movement, one monitoring the baby's heartrate). Sometimes they will bring you snacks, my preference was cranberry juice and graham crackers, to help get the baby to move. (I went through LOTS of magazines and books on my Kindle while listing to the beating of my sweet baby's heart during this time.)
At my last appointment, the baby didn't seem to be moving much - she didn't respond to the juice and crackers like they wanted and the nurse told me that I wasn't going home and that they were going to induce me. Cue crying. I know it doesn't sound like a big deal, and you'd think that at that point I'd want that baby out no matter what, but I had my heart set on going into labor naturally. I wanted to be able to tell my husband that 'It was TIME!' and to labor in the comfort of my house for as long as possible instead of a sterile hospital bed. I wanted a med-free birth and neither of those seemed like options anymore. Thankfully, my husband had decided to work from home for the day - so, after one crying phone call, he left for the hospital and while waiting for him they started the admission process.
The doctor waited until my husband arrived to go over our options for induction. Knowing my desire for a med-free birth, our doctor said she could break my water and see what happened or we could get started on pitocin immediately. I elected for her to break my water and hoped that things would progress naturally from there. Thankfully it worked! We walked, we bounced and we breathed through about 5 hours of labor. At this point I was having terrible lower back pain and we decided to try the labor tub to help ease the pains - again, it worked! I 'relaxed' in the tub for about 3 hours while breathing my way through piggy-back contractions. I had been drinking loads of water to stay hydrated since I wanted to avoid getting IV fluids if at all possible, (I'm one of those people that feels like they cannot move their arm *at all* if there is an IV in it) and felt like I needed to use the bathroom. The nurse came in to drain the tub and immediately once I stood up I felt an overwhelming desire to push. The nurse saw the look on my face and said 'You can't push yet!' This was probably the worst part of my labor - I hadn't been checked in a few hours and they had no idea if I was fully dilated, therefore I had to literally cross my legs while they wheeled me back into my own room. The doctor quickly checked me and said I was ready to go! 12 minutes later our precious baby girl was born.
Having a baby has been a game-changer, it has caused me to rethink my decisions and priorities almost everyday.
Not surprisingly, I wouldn't change any of it for the world. Welcome to the team Caroline :)