We feel so incredibly blessed to have another baby girl join our family. She is a gift from God! We feel so undeserving to have her and humbled to be her parents. It feels surreal that she is here and we are now a family of four.
Here's Sylvie's story...
We went to church Sunday morning. During the sermon, I noticed I was having contractions every 10 minutes or so. They weren't painful and only lasted 30 seconds or so. (I laid my iPhone on my belly while timing them - perfect little shelf!) I figured they were just more braxton hicks contractions; I'd been having them for many weeks. We went to lunch with the Miller family, and I didn't even notice the contractions. We came home after lunch, and I tried to lay down for a nap. I tossed and turned about 2 hours; I just couldn't get settled. Every time I'd about fall asleep, my back or belly would hurt. Looking back, I bet the contractions must have been ramping up, but I just chalked it up to being uncomfortable trying to sleep for the past week. So, I got out of bed about 4:30 PM and went outside to sit on the porch with my mom. I noticed the contractions were coming a bit more regularly, but they still didn't hurt. At this time, I was still thinking they were braxton hicks contractions, but I decided to time them "just for fun". They were about 30 seconds long, and about 3 - 5 minutes apart. They still didn't hurt. Sienna and Scott played with the sidewalk chalk outside, while I kept an eye on the contractions.
Around 5:30, we ordered pizza and went inside to watch Pippi Longstocking with Sienna. During the movie, the contractions started picking up intensity but never really got much longer than 45 seconds. Towards the end of the movie, around 7:00, the contractions started getting painful. I think it was then that I finally realized, "this is it!" The time between 7:00 and 8:45 flew. I called the on-call doctor around 7:00, and our convo goes something like this...
Me: "The contractions are coming about a minute and a half apart, but they're not quite a minute long." (I was told to wait until they were a minute long before going to the hospital.)
Doctor: "Is this your first baby?"
Me: "No, second."
Doctor: "Oh! Well, you need to go straight to labor and delivery. I will meet you there!"
The contractions seemed to ramp up in a matter of 30 minutes... going from tolerable to, "oh my gosh, I have to stop and rest against the door and focus on getting through this one". Scott and I were scrambling to get our hospital bags packed and convey to Sienna what was going on -- without scaring her. :) At 8:45, we hopped in the car, and Scott floored it all the way to the hospital. We got checked in around 9:00, and I was in some serious pain. I felt contractions with Sienna, but they were never this intense. They were coming about every 30 to 45 seconds, and they were monsters. The pain was so high that I was shaking involuntarily. The nurse checked me, and I was dilated to a 7. I started panicking about getting an epidural... I know they don't work once your labor progresses too far. In fact, my direct quote to the nurse was, "I need an epidural - STAT!" (I later apologized for that statement.) They got my IV in quickly, so they could draw the blood needed before I could be cleared for an epidural. The nurses were working quickly, but every contraction kept mounting. I finally got the green light for the epidural, and I was at an 8. The doctor wasn't sure it would take. I said a prayer that it would. Let's just say that sitting still for an epidural while your body is convulsing through contraction after contraction is not a pleasant experience. I was griping Scott's shoulder and hand, while my sweet mother-in-law prayed for me. The anesthesiologist was the same one that gave me my epidural with Sienna, and she did a great job. She kept dosing me up with meds to make the epidural work, and about 20 minutes later the contractions pains started subsiding. Epidurals are AMAZING! Thank you Jesus for modern medicine!
I was a 9 after the epidural was in, and it was about 10:15. My labor started to slow down, and I was actually able to talk with all the parents in our room for about 30 - 45 minutes. Then, Scott and I got about 30 minutes to ourselves while we waited for the nursing staff and doctor. I sang to Sylvia. There's a Steven Curtis Chapman song called "Spring is Coming" that I've really connected with at the end of my pregnancy with Sylv. I felt like God was whispering His promise to me about the blessing he was about to bestow upon our family with little Sylvie. I substituted the word "spring" for "Sylvie". I encourage you to check out the song! I felt so peaceful and ready to meet her. All my anxiety around her birth faded, and I just felt an incredible calm. An out-of-body moment of serenity that carried throughout her entire delivery.
Around midnight, I was fully dilated, so the nurse came in to get me prepped. (Her name was Peggy, and she was a rockstar. She's been a nurse for over 45 years!) We pushed for about 20 minutes, and then the doctor came in. I pushed again for another 15 or 20 minutes, and Sylvia was born! It was just surreal. They suctioned her nose and mouth, and she started crying. She was beautiful. I asked if she looked okay, and the nurses and doctor said she looked perfect. I honestly just couldn't believe she was here. It all happened so fast, and it was just a perfect, beautiful experience.
Scott and I took some time together with her, and then all the parents came in to meet her. They all left around 2:30 AM. The nurses kept coming into check Sylvia and my vitals, and then she got her first 'bath' around 3:30 AM. So at 4 AM, we sent her to the nursery, so we could rest. Neither one of us really slept -- were were just too keyed up and excited that she was here! My adrenaline was pumping, and I just kept replaying all the events in my mind. We went from eating pizza to having a baby, all in about 4 hours! Craziness! And so different than how Sienna arrived. Yet, so perfect.
Welcome to this world, miss Sylvia. We're so excited you are here.