So my due date for Liv was January 7, 2014 which was still 3 weeks away. I went into the doctors for my 37 week checkup just to see how everything was progressing. I was excited since today they were going to do a sonogram so we would get to see her. Dr. McQuillen came in and checked me out then started the sono. She kept telling me how great liv was looking except that my amniotic fluids were kind of low. After being quiet for a few minutes and taking some measurements of the baby's picture she says my fluid levels are looking too low for comfort. She looks up and smiles and says I think we need to have this baby sooner rather than later. I smile back, nodding in agreement and tell her I would love that. She gets up and says, "Great, I’ll call the hospital and see when they can get you in." I just sat there for a Second in shock, then snap back to it and utter "um...what?" I thought she meant maybe a few days early to be safe but no, she meant right then and there.
She left the room for a minute to go make arrangements with the hospital then came back in asking if I wanted to go straight to the hospital or wait a few hours. I was still in shock at this point and the only thought I could keep thinking about was the fact that we still had no idea what we were going to name her. I couldn't go to the hospital without a name for our baby girl. I was nowhere near ready for this to happen. Doc was giving me no choice since she said from the looks of things, she would feel better about getting the baby out tonight.
I leave the office, still feeling shocked and starting to panic. I call Greg at work and he doesn’t answer. Of course I then really start to panic just because he’s not answering. I then proceed to call him about 10 more times back to back while driving home. Still no answer so I call my mom to tell her the news. Her first reaction was great and helped me calm down. She started laughing and was just thrilled. She was so excited, she was making me more excited than nervous. I hang up with her as she’s now trying to see if she can book a flight ASAP to come out and help since we didn’t have anyone planning on being there for another 3 weeks.
Finally when I’m about home, Greg calls me back. He answers jokingly and says, “Saw tons of your missed calls, are you in labor or what?” I simply say, “Yup.” He laughs a little then asks if I’m serious and I tell him everything the Dr. told me. Of course today was one of his work days where he is about 3 hours away from home on a job so he was going to finish up quick and head home. So Greg finally gets home and we finish a few odds and ends at home and make plans to leave Ever with our friends for the evening. We go out to dinner to celebrate the news that we are now super excited about, drop Ev off at our friends house and head to hospital.
Once there it’s about 9:00 pm, we get all checked in and settled and they hook me up to the IV and tell me to get comfortable for a long night.
They were instructed by the Dr. to induce labor so as to lessen the chances of complications from the low amniotic fluid levels. I was nervous to be induced from all the stories I’d heard about Pitocin. Lucky for me they have come around to a new way of inducing with a tiny little pill they quarter and insert vaginally. It’s supposed to be much easier on the body while still kick starting labor. I got my first dose of this pill around 11 pm and they said to expect another dose every 2-3 hours. By this point, Greg and I are both tired so we decide to try and get some sleep while we can. Around 1:00 pm they come in to check me, I was dilated to a 2 at this point and they give me another dose. About an hour later, I start feeling my first contractions. It’s the middle of the night and they are very mild and only about every 5 or 10 minutes. I’d count them lasting about 30 seconds and would usually fall asleep in between. An hour after that they check me and say I’m about a 3. Contractions are still manageable at this point. Sometime in the early morning is when things start getting a little painful. Around 6 am I’m really feeling some action and they come to check me and I’m about a 5.
My first birth with Ever, I never watched the monitors so I couldn’t see the rate and length of each contraction. This time the monitors were right next to my head and I couldn’t look away from them. I was holding onto the bed rail with one hand and squeezing Greg’s hand with the other while trying to breathe through each contraction. I had come into this birth never fully deciding if I would go natural, with no drugs again or opt for the epidural. About an hour later, the pain made the choice for me. It was about 7 when I told Greg I wanted the epidural but I was really scared to get it. Too many scary stories, but by this point I was exhausted as the contractions had ramped up to be so painful, I just wanted to be able to enjoy this labor a little more than my last. Greg told me everything would be ok so we went ahead and told the nurse. I had to endure a little more pain as the anesthesiologist was just called into and emergency c-section so I had to wait another hour and a half. That was rough. By the time they came in to give it to me I was dilated to a 7. I got into position leaning over the bed read for them to stick the needle in and I remember just holding Greg’s hand and looking into his eyes and asking him to prayer for me because I was so scared. I was shaking so bad they had to keep telling me to try to relax and sit still. Finally everything was done and I just laid back waiting for the drugs to take effect. It didn’t take long and I felt great. I was even able to get in a nap while waiting for things to really ramp up.
After about 2 hours of laboring, Greg and I just watching TV, talking and stressing over the fact we still didn’t have a name for our little girl. Around 10:45 the nurses come in to check me again and tell me I’m at a 9. I’m loving the epidural as the contractions are more bearable but I could tell they were starting to get stronger and faster. About 15 minutes later I’m getting really uncomfortable and the pain is starting to ramp up again. By this point I am having the intense urge to push and I tell Greg to get a nurse because I know she’s coming. It felt like my catheter had come out or something was going on. The nurses came in and said I still had a while but I was convinced she was coming right then. She checked me to be sure and said I was a 9 ½ but she could stretch me to a 10, so she did. All the while, I kept telling them I had to push. I couldn’t not push. The feeling was too intense. The nurse told me she had called the Dr to come deliver the baby but she was at her office and just left. Whether that was true or not, I’m not sure. Because it was literally about 20 more minutes of this feeling of wanting to push I had to wait till she came.
The nurses kept commenting on how polite I was being for wanting to push so long. I do remember that though, but I was also begging for the Dr to get there so badly. I’d look at Greg and just say, “Please, please, where is she? Please let Pam get here soon. Where is she?! I have got to push!” They nurses would just tell me to keep breathing and not to worry, that the baby wasn’t going to come out till they were ready. They had the whole team in there with everything set up and finally, our doctor walks, in and say’s, “let’s have this baby.” Those glorious words of, “Ok you can push” were finally heard. I started pushing and it wasn’t more than 30 seconds before Greg tells me she’s coming!
Then she was here. December 17th, 2013 at 11:52 am, our beautiful baby girl, Livie Anne Lee joined our family.
She weighed 6 lbs 14 oz and was 19 inches of perfection. Greg got to cut her cord and they laid her across my stomach for a few seconds. She didn’t make a sound but looked at me with these big, beautiful eyes. In that moment, I knew this perfect little angel was meant for us.
She was sent straight from Heavenly to be part of our little family. After I got past our first connection, I noticed how incredibly gray she was. She still hadn’t made a sound and had no color at all. They took her away to the little NICU station and started working on her. I saw them stick a tube down her throat and put her on oxygen. I kept asking Greg if she was ok and what was happening. Everyone around me kept reassuring me that she was just fine and just needed a little attention. Turns out she had gotten some of the fluids from the birth canal in her lungs and they needed to get it out right away. After a few minutes I heard her first beautiful whimpers and tears were rolling down my cheeks. I was just happy to finally hear my baby girl cry.
After all the cleanup they took her to the nursery to give her a bath and check all her vitals, I told Greg to go with her to keep an eye out. To Greg’s surprise when he came back in, I was elbows deep in my lunch. It was maybe a half hour after her birth and I was just ravenous. They brought in lunch while Greg was in the nursery and I just dove in. This is one of my favorite moments just because he thought it was so funny. After 12 hours of labor and I’m just over there eating to my heart’s content.
Lucky for us, my mom as able to get a flight out the next day and she came to stay with us for a week. Day 2 in the hospital my mom brought Ever to come see us and meet her little sister. This was one of the best moments of my life. I’m so glad I was able to capture this moment as Ever met Livie for the first time.
My beautiful little family that I couldn't be more grateful to have. The love we all have for each other was so apparent in that little hospital room, it was incredible. The instant connection Ever had with her little sister is something I’ll treasure forever. I’m so excited for these two to grow up together and be part of our family.
Overall, it was a beautiful birth. We had a great dr and wonderful nurses and it seemed 10 times easier than my first labor and delivery. So grateful to have her in our lives and loving every moment of having 2 little beauties in our home!