The Fashionably Late Arrival of Autumn Michaela

After a (thankfully) uneventful pregnancy we were approaching my due date of 9/13/14.  All along I've said that I would probably  go a day late again since these pregnancies were practically identical. This little girl must have felt like she had something to prove though, because she didn't make her arrival until TWO days after her due date.  I had been trying to prepare my body for labor by drinking red raspberry leaf tea for weeks, eating dates and pineapple, bouncing on my birthing ball... and while none of it actually STARTED labor, I do think it helped to tone my uterus and make labor more productive. Wednesday night I was up off and on having contractions and the start of my bloody show.  I told Mike that there was a chance labor was going to really start soon so he took off from work the next day. He took off again Friday and then we had a totally uneventful few days. Of course. Ha. So we embraced the idea of enjoying our last few "baby free" days and Sunday we all walked to the park around the corner from our house.  It was a gorgeous day and I loved watching Abby run around and enjoy the last days of summer.

After the park we were all starving so we decided to make a night of it and go out to dinner to a local Hibachi restaurant... Abby and I got dressed and we were on our way. 

It was Abby's first time at a Hibachi dinner/show and she was getting all kinds of special attention and loving it.  The chef also kept putting extra food on my plate and saying it was for the baby and I needed to eat for two. We had a blast and I'm so glad we went.  All during dinner I started having contractions and they were getting stronger and closer together.  I told Mike that we needed to get our dinner to go and we went home. I jumped in the shower to see if it would stop the contractions but they started coming really quick and strong instead.  We packed up the car, dropped Abby off at her grandparents and headed over to the hospital! 

The drive to the hospital wasn't bad at all... I remember thinking that it was actually really pretty being on the empty highway in the dark of night while speeding towards meeting our baby. Mike was doing a great job of staying calm and encouraging me. 

When we got to the hospital I couldn't even walk inside since the contractions were so close together.  I remember laboring with Abby and having such sweet relief between contractions where the pain left and I was able to relax.  There was none of that this time. Just when I would feel my body start to relax another wave would start. Mike got a wheelchair and we went to triage at L&D.  After checking in, the nurse (who was less than pleasant but the ONLY part of our experience that wasn't ideal) asked if my water broke yet and how I really knew I was in labor.  I told her that I had been dilated to a 4 since the previous week and my contractions were 2/3 minutes apart.  She said "why didn't you tell me?? Let's get you checked." I was dilated to a 5 and admitted to L&D. 

 I still couldn't walk very far so I was wheeled down to the delivery room and got into bed to have my monitors set up.  The contractions and pain were so intense at this point that I kind of withdrew into myself and didn't want to be touched. I squeezed Mike's hand one time but the look of pain on his face pretty much said I was breaking his bones.  I couldn't stand sitting down at the peak of contractions but I couldn't get out of bed yet because we couldn't get the babies heart rate to stay steady on the monitors, so I was pushing myself up off of the bed using my arms with every contraction. My arms were sore for days after delivery. We never were able to keep the baby on the monitor for tracking as she was moving all over the place (the girl hated being touched during ultrasounds and NST's, so I knew she wouldn't be a big fan of the pressures of labor) so we ended up using an internal monitor.  I kept my eyes closed and breathed through the contractions as much as  I could.... but I'll admit there was a lot of yelling going on. Haha. I'm apparently very vocal when I'm laboring. My husband jokes that he's now partially deaf. I really wanted to avoid getting an epidural but with my contractions right on top of each other and still only being dilated to a 6, I needed something to help me last.  We decided to break my water and give me a shot of Stadol (a short term narcotic pain reliever) to hopefully provide some relief.  It was pointless though because as soon as we broke my water things started moving really quickly. I told the nurse "I need to push! I feel like I need to push!" and thinking that I had to stop myself because there was just no way I had finished dilating that quickly.  The doctor checked me and said there was a slight lip left on my cervix but if I was needing to push she would help pull it back on the next contraction. I literally couldn't stop my body from pushing so I said let's do this! Three big pushes and a lot of screaming later... Autumn Michaela was here.  They handed her screaming slimy perfect self to me while Mike cut the cord and it was love at first sight. I remember thinking "whoa... she's big" and I was right. 8lbs 15oz and just over 21 inches long. I got to hold her skin to skin on my chest while I pushed the placenta out and the doctor stitched up the one tear that I had.  She never left my side (and still hasn't... lol).  She passed all of her tests with flying colors. Apgar 9/9 and 100% on everything else as well. I'm so proud of myself for sticking to my plan and not getting the epidural this time.  Recovery was SO MUCH easier and I was walking around right after birth. Autumn was born at 3:17am on 9/15/14.  So now without further ado... 

Big sister is so proud and we are overjoyed to start our life as a family of four!

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