It's hard to find the words to express your emotions about a day where your life is forever changed. A day that your heart swells to an unknown capacity to love. A day when you love your husband more than you ever knew possible. A day where you really get an inkling of the love our Heavenly Father has for us, His children. A day when a miracle occurs.
That day for us was April 5, 2012.
Our baby girl made her way from my belly into my arms, and I don't want to forget anything about it! That day is engrained in my mind (and heart) forever.
So there's your warning, this post is quite wordy ;) Proceed with caution.
Leading up to that day, everyone at work had been joking about how I wouldn't make it through the week. My parents and I had decided that Thursday would be the perfect birth day for Jaqs because of the holiday weekend. Rob had a track meet, but other coaches had already stepped in and offered to run it. I had gone to the doctor Monday, and I was dilated to a 3 and 50% effaced. He told me that first-timers could be that way for awhile, but that he still wouldn't be surprised to see me by the weekend. Throughout my pregnancy I had wanted so badly for Jaqs to be here for Easter, but we weren't going to induce early for that to be possible. We wanted her to have plenty of time to come on her own. At that point, I was feeling like we'd probably make it to our due date of April 10th. I had had some "signs" of impending labor, but they had been occurring for a solid week, so I didn't want to get my hopes up.
I went to work that Wednesday like any other day. I was feeling great and in such a happy mood because I knew the next day was my last day of work before baby. I even got off early, so I decided to wander (read:waddle) around Target with some popcorn and a drink before heading to the grocery store to get supplies for that night's Survivor party with friends. While I was at Target (around 4:00) I started having some tightness in my stomach. It wasn't anything super intense, but it felt different from the Braxton-Hicks I had felt before. The "tightness" continued while I grocery shopped, so I had started to monitor if there was a pattern. The contractions were coming about 20 minutes apart. Rob had a meeting for the track meet the following day that night, but I called him and told him to keep his phone close by because I just had a feeling something was going to happen. I also called my mom and dad to tell them not to be too far from their phones because they might be making a trip to Temple very soon.
I went home, made a salad for the party, and rested for a bit before heading over to a friend's house for our weekly Survivor dinner and watch party. While I was there, the contractions continued, and my girlfriends started timing them for me. They still weren't painful at all, just uncomfortable in a I-can't-sit-normally kinda way. I was also extremely hot. It felt like my body temperature had gone up 10 degrees. The contractions were coming about 15 minutes apart.
After the party, I came home to my hubby, and we decided it'd be best if we tried to get some rest. I still wasn't completely convinced I was actually in labor. We laid down around 10:45, and the contractions were still coming about 15 minutes apart. I could not get comfortable, and it almost hurt to have to get up out of bed, so I decided to get up and walk around. All of the sudden, contractions went from being 15 minutes apart to 3-5 minutes apart. I continued to time them for an hour before waking Rob up at midnight. I updated him on what had happened during his nap, and he said we needed to go to the hospital. I told him I could wait a little longer and that I didn't want to go up there only to be sent home. He wasn't having it, so we packed up our bags in the car and headed out. That drive was really exciting for us. We were so anxious to meet our girl!
We arrived at the hospital just after 12:15 a.m. and began the paperwork to get checked in. Rob had to do it all because sitting was so uncomfortable for me. We waited for what felt like forever, but really it was just about 30 minutes before we were in our triage room. They hooked me up to the toco monitor to watch my contractions, and they were indeed coming quickly. I continued to breath through them, and my pain was definitely manageable. While I was laying there waiting to be checked Rob and I heard a loud POP and I felt a huge gush. Yep, my water broke while laying there! Rob ran out and told the nurse, and when he came back I just remember telling him "YAY! They can't send us home now!" Haha, they had to keep us until Jaqs was born now! :) Rob called my parents, and they hit the road at 2 a.m. to meet their sweet grand-girl. The OB came in and checked me, and I was dilated to a 5.
I was then ushered to our labor and delivery room where they hooked me up to more monitors and got my IV going. While the nurse was setting everything up I got the urge to push. She told me to try not to and that we'd go ahead and get the epidural ordered so I'd have time to enjoy it and maybe even sneak a nap in. I felt like I could wait longer, but went ahead and decided to get it anyway. Might as well get some rest, right? Ha, so I thought. While we were waiting the nurse asked us what time we thought our baby girl would be born. Rob said he thought it'd be about 5:30 a.m. to which the nurse replied, "Well that's optimistic!" The anesthesiologist came in and got me all fixed up. Honestly this was the hardest part of the whole labor and delivery. Leaning over a big, round belly while having intense contractions and feeling like a baby may fall out at any moment is not easy! The actual procedure didn't hurt, but breathing through contractions while being still is kind of a task. At least, it was for me.
After the epi was in place, the OB on duty came by to check me, and we were all shocked to discover I was at a TEN! Holy cow! Thank goodness they gave me the epi first or I wouldn't have gotten it at all. At that point, everyone left our room to call my doctor and get things ready for delivery!
Rob and I took those last few moments of "just the two of us" to pray for God's protection and guidance as we begin this road to parenthood. We prayed for a safe delivery for both Jaqs and myself. That was one of the sweetest moments in our marriage to date. Ah, makes me tear up just to think back to it!
Dr. F arrived around 3:30 a.m., and I began to push at 3:45 a.m. This part was actually kind of funny because in between my contractions, we just chatted away about all kinds of things with my doctor. He's great like that! He made us so comfortable throughout my whole pregnancy and delivery was no different...how awesome that was! He and the nurses encouraged me and coached me through each push, and before we knew it Jaqs was born!!
She arrived at 4:14 a.m.
Hearing that first cry was amazing...a moment I'd waited for for so long! I can't describe how I felt, really. Unfortunately, Jaqs had poo-poo'd in her amniotic fluid, so she had to be checked out by the NICU team before I could have her. Those 15 minutes were like torture!! Thank goodness it was all done right in our room, so Rob was there with her, and I was close by, but all I wanted to do was hold my baby girl!
My heart almost burst out of my chest when I was finally able to get my hands and lips on her...she was (and is) a perfect blessing. I instantly fell in love with this little being! Rob felt the same way, of course. We could not be grateful for this tiny angel!