With hospital bag, ready to go!(in between contractions)
My sister-in-law arrived around 5 or 5:30 so we left for the hospital, walked up to the maternity floor (pausing in the hallway during contractions) and I was all checked in by 6:00 A.M. The nurse said I was dialated to an 8 which made me very happy-I knew everything was going to go quickly! I got nauseous a couple of times (no fun) and continued to labor in the room with Jared and a young nurse that kept trying to ask me questions and type stuff into the computer. (I really just wanted it to be quiet and wished the questions could have waited until later!) The doctor took his time arriving and broke my water around 6:45. For 15 or so minutes, I just laid on the bed with my eyes closed in an almost zen-like state. I was very relaxed but ready to be done! The nurse shift changed at 7:00 AM (right after the doctor broke my water) and my new nurse was awesome. She was older and it seemed that she had more experience with natural deliveries. From the time they had broken my water, I had been laboring in a reclined postition on the bed but she encouraged me to stand up, hold on to Jared's shoulders and sway back and forth (like slow dancing.) She was very soothing and just told me to tell her when I felt ready to push. It was during this standing and swaying, that I felt the uncontrollable urge to push and could also feel Caroline moving down. (This last 30 minutes was the most intense part, my contractions were not as painful but it's a little scary to feel something that large moving down the birth canal uncontrollably!) After 15-20 minutes, I told them I was feeling a lot of pressure. The nurse checked me right then and that was followed by a mad rush. The doctor came in out of nowhere, a table suddenly appeared and they hurriedly helped me back onto the bed. Caroline was ready to be born! (At this point, I sort of wish I could have remained standing instead of being put back on the bed, because gravity seemed to be working well in my favor but oh well.) Once I was on the bed, I pushed a couple of times (It was painful and the only time I made any noise during labor- I screamed!) But of course it was all very worth it because at 7:30, Jared delivered Caroline (under the supervision of my doctor) and she was perfect.
A few minutes after she was born.
A couple of hours later, feeling good after her first bath.
I can't believe how quickly this year has passed! Caroline has been such a happy, predictable and delightful baby. She truly lights up the room wherever she goes and lights up our home every day. Happy Birthday Caroline!