I love birth stories. Every birth story is different. Some are harder, others may be more intense and exciting, some might even contain a lot of heart ache, but each is fascinating and unique. The miracle of birth still blows my mind and giving birth to Gracie and Lillie are the two favorite (though somewhat painful) days of my life. A year has passed and Lillian is now one! So to remember her birth and revisit that special night, I’d thought I’d share her birth story post with you again. I posted this a little less than a year ago, spread throughout a couple posts. Here it is all in place, cleaned up a little for your reading enjoyment. Now pardon me while I go read through it and reminisce for a bit again.
Baby’s due date was February 1st. Gracie’s 2nd birthday was February 1st. I thought I would play it safe and have Gracie’s birthday the Saturday before she officially turned two. So January 25th it was. I was up in the morning making cupcakes. And not just any old cupcakes mind you, ballerina cupcakes. Because when you asked one certain toddler what she was having for her birthday, the answer would be “rina cake” (translation: ballerina cupcakes). She had also requested tea and pancakes. So this mommy was diligently working away to make something that resembled the torso of 20 little ballerinas out of pink wafers with frosting tutus. In turn, Dustin was diligently working away to rip up the linoleum in the kitchen to add in wood laminate flooring. Needless to say the kitchen was a mess. Picture cupcake supplies spread out across the counter, linoleum half torn up, kitchen table and chairs moved to living room, and one toddler begging for cupcake scraps at your feet.
10:00 am. Cupcakes finished and our friend, Drew, had arrived to help Dustin with the floor. Now my job was to keep Gracie busy. We pulled out Gracie’s tool set and she began to “work” as well. Sometime in the next hour or so I noticed mild contractions. I briefly considered that it could be the start of something, but brushed it off at first. Then I noticed a few more, still irregular though. I then thought that just maybe this was the start of something, but doubted that it would progress very quickly.
Fast forward to around 3:00 in the afternoon. Contractions are now more noticeable and regular, but I still figured it could be awhile as my contractions have not seemed to be by the book type contractions. With Gracie my contractions started out at about every five minutes, but were very mild for awhile and lasted all through the night in a noticeable, but manageable way. I finished getting ready for the party. Dustin and Drew worked to finish the floor.
4:30 PM. I headed over to Mimi and Pap Steiner’s (aka Grandma and Grandpa Steiner, so christened Mimi and Pap by Gracie) for the party. Dustin and Drew stayed behind in hopes of quickly finishing up the floor. Both sides of the family were due to arrive around 5:00. Did I mention contractions to anyone? No. I was focused on getting this party completed and didn’t want a fuss over something that could still be awhile in the making.
5:30 PM. Everyone had arrived. Dustin and Drew were there after just about finishing the floor. They needed a few finishing pieces and then could move everything back into the kitchen. I was manning the pancakes and sausage and Gracie’s 2nd birthday party was well under way. And the tea that she asked for…well she decided she wanted juice instead.
6:30 PM. A ballerina cupcake was finally given to the ballerina birthday girl (she had been asking for one ALL day). Candles were blown out to the tune of Happy Birthday and sugary icing was thoroughly enjoyed. Presents were unwrapped and through it all the contractions continued. A little more noticeable, and a little more regular.
7:30 PM. One tired and starting to get cranky ballerina was taken home. Stories were read, milk was drank, and songs were sang.
8:15 PM. Contractions were getting stronger. We called Dustin’s mom to fill her in and have her on standby to come stay with Gracie if we needed to leave during the night. We told her it was just a precautionary call and it still may be awhile.
9:00PM. That precautionary call turned out to be not so precautionary. Contractions continued to have stronger peaks and were getting closer together, about every two minutes or so. They still felt manageable, but were getting increasingly more painful with stronger peaks. I also started to feel a little shaky and figured it was about time to go the hospital. I did feel a little stressed about the decision to head in. Was it too early? Would we be there awhile? And for some reason I didn’t like the idea of having to head in through the emergency room since it was after hours. But we made the call to Dustin’s mom and she headed over to stay with Gracie.
9:30 PM. We headed into the hospital and I called my parents to let them know we were going in . This started a sequence of calls
and texts from my mom wondering how things were going and when they should come in. We got admitted through the ER and headed up to the maternity wing. They strapped on the fetal monitors and started asking me a whole slew of questions that at times weren’t particularly fun to answer through contractions.
One of the things that Dustin and I had in our birth plan was intermittent fetal monitoring and freedom to move around and try different positioning. With Gracie, whenever they had me lay in bed and strapped on the monitors, I became more uncomfortable. I kept hoping they would soon take off the monitor and Dustin asked for me, but baby was on the move and they were having trouble getting a good reading. They also said that they were seeing some decelerations in baby’s heart rate and needed to get the ok from the doctor to take off. *sigh* But they did finally let me move to an exercise ball by the bed which was a little more comfortable.
10:45 PM This was right before I moved to the exercise ball. They had finally checked me after determining that my water had not broken yet. I was 4 cm and 80% effaced. I was a little disappointed, thinking that I would be farther along as contractions were getting pretty intense. Dustin and I looked at the clock, thinking the chances were slim that baby would arrive before midnight. I made the move to the exercise ball and felt a little better. After about 20 minutes or so (I’m a little hazy on the whole time thing) I felt baby give what felt like a mini karate chop followed by a gush of fluid. Yep. My water broke. That was a new experience since with Gracie my water never broke. The nurse’s rushed to get me back into bed on my back…again…*sigh*
11:15ish Dustin asked them if they could get the tub ready and going for the water birth that we wanted. Those things take awhile to fill up! They started filling the tub and called the doctor. It was literally only a matter of minutes after getting into the bed that I started feeling the urge to push. The nurse checked and I was almost completely dilated. The urge to push was getting pretty intense and I asked if I could push. One nurse answered no immediately (since the doctor wasn’t there yet), while the other told me to try to breath through the contractions and if I still needed to push to let my body do what it needed. Thank goodness for her! I was breathing so hard that I started to feel light headed and overheated. I squeezed Dustin’s hand tightly through each intense contraction and the pressure to push. At this point they had stopped attempting to get the tub filled, because this baby was coming sooner rather than later! Dustin asked if I was ok to push in the position I was in, and at that point I didn’t really feel like moving. I really wasn’t actively trying to push at first, just breath like the nurse had instructed, but I could feel my body getting ready to push out baby and the head was starting to make an appearance. I think I really only went through around five really intense contractions where I felt the jarring pain and pressure of really needing to push. All it took was about one to two big pushes and baby made a grand entrance, delivered by the nurse before the doctor was able to get there!
At 11:34 PM on January 25th, we got to meet our beautiful baby girl, Lillian Mae. We had decided not to find out gender and I was expecting that she would be a boy. I was surprised when Dustin told me we had another girl, and a girl with a full head of dark hair at that! They laid her on my chest and she just stared up at me with these big, beautiful eyes, alert and perfect in every way.
|First picture taken shortly after she was born. Alert and enjoying some time with mommy.|
A few minutes later the doctor arrived. He waited for the cord to stop pulsing and then Dustin was able to cut the cord. A few stitches were needed and through it all baby girl stayed with me on my chest. I was able to nurse her for about an hour and then when my parents got there I let the nurse’s take her to get weighed and measured. Lillian weighed in at 6 lbs 10 oz and 20 inches long.
We actually did not decide for sure on her name until the next morning, as I had last minute thrown another girl name into the mix. By morning I had decided that she was our Lillian. So far our Lillian has proved to be a bit calmer than her older sister (though we wouldn’t have Gracie any other way!) She doesn’t seem to get upset too often and most of the time can be calmed down quickly. She also has already slept longer stretches than Gracie ever did at this point, (thanks for listening to my letter baby girl!) She’s a good snuggler and already showing her strength by lifting her head up high and turning it from side to side. She makes the best faces and is always entertaining us with her little grunts and sighs. She is loved by us all and now makes us a family of four.
Birth: Amazing, right? This tiny little thing is seeming all grown up now. Walking, jabbering, and eating pasta like it’s her job. Though we thought we might have a calmer little sis, she’s proving to have a whole lotta spunk in her and makes herself quite known! Quiet or loud, we love her either way and are so blessed to have our Lillian Mae.