As I anticipate the arrival of our new little love I thought it might be kind of fun to write down Lauren's birth story. I can't help but wonder if Easton will decide to arrive in the same fashion as his older sister or if he will enter this world in a style truly his own? Either way, we are super excited to finally see our little babe.
My due date with Lauren was July 23, 2008. I kept thinking that I would surely go early since my mom had gone early with me. But as the days crept closer to the 23rd I knew that wasn't going to happen. Friday, July 19th I had a doctor's appointment. After being checked I was 1 cm dilated and almost 100% effaced. It was looking good! He said that he couldn't imagine us making it to the due date which only made me more nervous! Saturday passed with no contractions and we went to dinner with my family. I remember feeling so huge and wondering if this would be the last dinner out before our little girl arrived.
Sunday morning I woke up early to contractions. I didn't wake Shawn up because I figured they were just Braxton-Hicks contractions and I didn't want to worry him. We got ready and headed to Sunday school. By that time I knew the contractions were a little more intense than I had ever experienced. Shawn kept track of the time between each contraction as we sat in class. I would squeeze his arm when one happened and he would write it down. We decided to head home after Sunday school so that I could rest and we could keep better count of those contractions. They were really sporadic throughout the early afternoon, ranging anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes apart.
Finally, around 2 pm we decided to head to the hospital. We didn't call anyone because I was so afraid of them sending me home and I didn't want to get anyone's hopes up. I remember looking around our house before we left and wondering if we would walk back into those doors empty handed or if we would have our little girl with us. The ride to the hospital was filled with nervous energy. I can remember listening to the new John Mayer cd and Shawn video recording our conversation. When we got to the hospital they took us right back to a triage room. I got hooked up to all kinds of monitors and Shawn and I were both nervous wrecks.
After monitoring my contractions for about 15 minutes or so, the nurse came in and told us she thought our doctor (who was on call) would want to probably send us home. She said we were in the beginning stages of labor but that it would be more comfortable on us if we were at home. I was so embarrassed that we had gone all the way in only to be sent home, but I also didn't want to be in labor in the hospital for who knows how long, so we waited while she went to call the doctor.
As I was lying there, still hooked up to monitors, I felt a really strong contraction and sense of discomfort. I didn't think anything of it until four nurses rushed into the room and adjusted the monitor that was reading Lauren's heart rate and turned me over on my side. Not a single one of them said a thing, but the feeling in the room was very rushed and anything but pleasant. One nurse checked the charts coming out of the beeping machine by my head and the other nurses kept trying to adjust me and the baby monitor. Finally, one nurse left to call our doctor again and another nurse began to explain that Lauren's heart rate had done something strange and that they didn't like the looks of it. They were concerned that she might be in distress. Shawn and I were so afraid that something terrible was wrong and I can remember the feeling of his hands wrapped so tightly around mine as we waited for what our doctor would say.
Finally, the nurse who left to call our doctor came back in and said that we were going to have our baby soon. She said that our doctor had decided it would be in the best interest of our sweet Lauren to get her out as soon as possible and since our due date was only three days away he wanted to go ahead and induce us.
Everything happened in a blur after that. They wheeled the bed I was in into a delivery room and got my IV and Pitocen started. Shawn and I were in shock. Just moments earlier we had resigned ourselves to being sent home and now we were in a delivery room getting ready for whatever was ahead. We hadn't called our parents yet so once we were settled into the room those were the first phone calls we made. It was around 3 pm at this point and if I remember correctly my parents arrived around 4 (they live an hour away) and Shawn's parents arrived around 5 pm (they live two hours away).
Seeing my mom was one of the best feelings. Somehow it was like if she was there I could do this thing I was about to do. I remember that she fixed my hair and kept me calm (even though she was a nervous wreck). My dad was Mr. Cool Guy and that helped me relax a little. Shawn's parents were wonderful as well and I was so thankful that they were there. Our friends Tanner and Kelly came by with a whole goody bag of snacks and such for Shawn which I thought was super thoughtful. They left for a little while, but Kelly ended up coming back and staying the entire time! My cooperating teacher when I was student teaching and mentor in teaching and life came by and stayed the entire time as well. Poor Shari usually goes to bed early and she was such a trooper to stay until Lauren made her arrival.
Lots of our family came by throughout the evening and took up the hallway outside of our delivery room. I was thankful it was a quiet night and they weren't forced to leave.
Back in the delivery room my pitocin didn't take the first time. It actually broke through the vein and filled my hand with the medicine. It was crazy swollen looking! So, they tried it again and it didn't take long for the contractions to come harder and more quickly and for me to start making progress. I tried to last as long as possible before getting my epidural, but I am a baby so when we finally decided it was time I was ready!
Around 11 pm I was completely ready to start pushing so they set the room up for delivery. They brought out a huge mirror and I told them to take that thing away, absolutely no way did I want to see what was about to happen! They kicked everyone out but Shawn and we prepared for Lauren's arrival. Lauren continued to have irregular heart rates so they would make me push a contraction and then roll me over on my side to wait out the next contraction. That was so hard because my body wanted to push, but I was having to keep myself from doing it. It soon became obvious that Lauren was stuck and that she was in distress again. My doctor wanted to try the vacuum before doing an emergency c-section so we geared up for that and with a couple of pushes she was born at 12:03 am on July 21st. She had a crazy cone head from the vacuum contraption but she was beautiful nonetheless.
Shawn was my hero throughout the whole thing. That man stayed by my side and encouraged me and took such good care of me. I know a lot of women say they were frustrated or angry with their husbands, but for me I was just so overwhelmed with love for him that it was almost unbearable. I needed him more than I had ever needed him before and he was so good to be my support. If anything, going through the birth of our daughter made us closer and more in love than ever. I love these first pictures of Shawn and his little girl. She is so blessed to have him as her daddy.
You can really tell Lauren has a cone head in the picture below.
The next hours were so beautiful and yet so blurry. I was exhausted and drained from the birth and we didn't get to our hospital room until almost 4am. I had such a bond to Lauren as soon as she was born. It was a very physical ache to have her near me. I remember crying when they took her to do her newborn screening tests and feeling like a part of me was missing. Of course, later that night when I was exhausted beyond belief, I didn't cry as much when the sweet nurse offered to take her to the nursery for a while.
It was such a beautiful day and I am so thankful as I look back and remember those moments leading up to her arrival and those first moments with her in my arms. I can't wait to experience that with Easton.