After 72 hours of being in labor (latent and active) River finally made her appearance on Thursday March 26, 2015! She weighed 9.1 and was 21 inches long, and is without a doubt the most beautiful person I have ever laid eyes on.
Birthing her was by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but I would go through it again and again just for her, but thank goodness I don't have to. On her original due date, Tuesday March 24th, I started having severe back pain at 3:00 am. I had no idea they were actual contractions, because I assumed I would be feeling something more towards the front of my stomach, so I told Zack to go on to work. By 7:00 am though I couldn't take it anymore and my mother in law ended up taking me to the hospital where we met up with Zack. My contractions were three minutes apart and I was dilated a total of ONE. Still. After being at the hospital for four hours, we were sent home and told to come back if the contractions got more intense (to my dismay). The next morning, Zack and I had an appointment with my doctor who told me I was dilated at two and that I could be put into the hospital. If I wasn't showing any progress by noon then she would induce me. However, when she came in to check that afternoon I was finally showing progress and we decided to hold off on induction until the next morning. Turns out, we didn't have to.
In the hours that passed I had the most severe pain I had ever felt in my life (up until that point). I literally thought I was dying. No pain medication was helping me, and the nurses that were on shift were TERRIBLE. They wouldn't let me leave the bed (even though my doctor had told me I could) simply because they didn't want to take the time to come back into my room and hook me back up to the monitors. They also never came into my room to check on me, unless Zack went and got them. Finally though around 4:00 am (after I told them I could absolutely take no more pain) they came in to check on me and I had dilated to four and was completely effaced. Things moved super quickly from there. They called in the anesthesiologist and gave me my epidural (which by the way is a MIRACLE and no one should ever be afraid to get one because they don't hurt at all). I had relief for about an hour before I felt this crazy intense urge to push. It was the strangest sensation I have ever felt. When I told my nurses this, they blew me off by saying there was no way I had to push, that first time labor took hours and that I was going against 43 years of experience. As you can probably imagine, I blew up on her and told her to check my cervix asap. The next thing I heard was "Oh wow, she's already at 9 centimeters!" Really, I never wanted to punch someone in the face so hard in my life. The next thirty minutes went by and we made them check me again. I was at a 10, but they wouldn't let me push because (get this) they were about to have a shift change in twenty minutes.
In all honesty, my active labor was a horrible experience mainly because of the two nurses on staff. But when they finally did a shift change over I had three amazingly awesome nurses who helped me get through bringing my precious baby into this world. They immediately came in and let me start pushing. Which I did consistently from 7:15 to 8:33 when River came. I have never been more proud of myself in my life, because giving birth was HARD, but so, so rewarding!
As soon as River came out they quickly laid her on my stomach, but then took her so the NICU nurses could check her out. She had the cord wrapped around her neck and had swallowed a small amount of meconium. Thankfully, they didn't actually take her out of the room, but just checked her out beside me. After ten minutes she was finally given back to me and I completely forgot about everything else going on around me (including the fact that I was getting sewed up from a second degree tear).
Everything else after that is a bit of a blur. We had a ton of visitors, but the only thing I really remember was being in complete awe that I had this beautiful little girl.
Throughout everything though, my husband has been my number one support system and I am so blessed to have him. He is an amazing father and he helped me get through my entire labor. I honestly don't know if I could have done it without him and our marriage is so much stronger for it.
And River? Well, she is this amazingly patient (mostly) little baby that loves to be cuddled and kissed on. She sleeps so well, that I actually have to set my alarm clock to wake me up every four hours just so I can feed her (usually by that time she's awake and is just staring up at me sucking on her hand). To say that I am completely in love is an understatement. I am so blessed that God decided to give her to us to take care of.