Friday, May 21, 2010

annie's birth

Ok, here we go. The story of Annie Beth's arrival into this world!
I had been having contractions on and off for several days and getting very anxious for this baby girl to hurry and get here. So Jamie decided to make himself my personal "inducing trainer" and about 9pm we set out walking the hills in our neighborhood (we carried the baby monitor with us to check on Audrie). Jamie made me walk so fast and for so long (about 45 minutes of serious sweaty walking) that my huge stomach was hard as a rock when we went to bed.

Later that night I was laying in bed reading (around midnight) and I started feeling a little crampy and uncomfortable so I got up to do some things around the house. About an hour later (1am) I started to have some serious contractions and was pretty sure I was in labor. But knowing how Audrie's birth took about 6 hours- I thought I'd at least let Jamie sleep for a little longer before I woke him up. About another hour (2am) I decided that these contractions were a little more serious and I woke Jamie up. I told him that I was in labor and little scared because my contractions were getting pretty bad. He asked if he had time to take a shower and I said sure. I started gathering stuff up to put into the car and from that point on the contractions started rocking my world. I had to stop everything I was doing each time a contraction hit, brace myself and say every bad word I could think of.

Somehow I managed to call a few people- my mom, our friend Emily (who we had arranged to keep Audrie), Kim (who was taking photos for us) and Jamie's mom. We got Audrie out of bed and into the car. I was determined not to scream in the car because I didn't want to scare Audrie, but it was tough. I was in a lot of pain. We drove the 5 minute drive to Emily's house to drop off Audrie. (Audrie didn't make one peep the entire time- it was like she knew something was going on.) We gave her hugs and headed back on the road to the hospital.

Since Audrie wasn't in the car anymore I let loose with making sure Jamie knew exactly how I was feeling. He claims I was screaming at him about going the wrong way and I was not being very nice- but I can't imagine what he is talking about. I think his main concern was that I not give birth in his lovely car. Jamie was speeding like crazy and running every stoplight. Luckily there was no traffic and it was only about a 10 minute drive. We parked and managed to stumble into the emergency room.

At the front desk the man was being extremely slow asking me a bunch of dumb questions and I was crying and clinging to Jamie. The crazy thing is- I knew I was in an immense amount of pain, the contractions were hitting me one right after an another, but I honestly had no way of knowing exactly how far along I was. (With Audrie I had an epidural and laid in the hospital bed for a few hours feeling no pain before they told me it was time to push.) I was having Jamie rub my back while we stood there (again he says I was yelling at him about not rubbing hard enough and rubbing too hard, etc).

Then my water broke. And almost instantly I felt the need to PUSH! The nurses came and put me into a wheelchair. They started asking me a few questions and I tried to calmly explain that I had a strong desire to rip off all my clothes and push this baby out... they began to run me down the hall. It was like something out of movie scene. I was screaming, they were running and pushing me in the wheelchair and yelling orders at people down the hall. Jamie was running beside us and trying to calm me down. I was very scared.

Somehow they got me into a hospital gown and into a bed. Someone put an iv in my arm. I remember them trying to put a fetal monitor across my belly. And another nurse put a cool cloth on my head. Jamie grabbed my hands. Kim showed up with her cameras. There were nurses scrambling everywhere.
It felt like a million degrees in that room and Jamie was fanning my face and saying some very sweet things that I can't remember. I was trying to breathe between contractions.
I heard them trying to reach my doctor on the phone and her saying that she wanted me to wait until she got there before I started pushing. Um, NO. Thankfully the nurses said I could go ahead and push (but honestly I don't know how they planned to stop me).
I remember telling the nurses that I only wanted to push one time and they needed to get this baby out of me! I think they may have chuckled at me. (Jamie says I was yelling at a lot of nurses, but then apologizing for it!) So when the next contraction hit me I pushed through a level of pain that I really don't think there are adjectives to describe. One push got Annie's head out. A second push and she was HERE (if you look close at this photo you can see Annie's tiny little feet and hands as they hand her to me). We had been at the hospital a total of about twenty minutes!
Annie was perfect. And somehow I forgot all about being scared and the pain. And we just instantly fell in love with our newest baby girl.  
I love this next photo with her hand announcing to the world "I'm here!".
Jamie managed to dig my fingers out of his arms and went to welcome his baby girl.
Tiny little feet!
Weighing in at exactly 7 pounds and 20 inches long.
I was so excited to hold her and tell her how much I loved her.
She calmed down when she heard Jamie's voice, too.
I was so amazed with how GOOD I felt. I had just been crying and yelling through the worst pain of my life but the instant she came out, I felt like a brand new woman.
Jamie definitely earned a few more crowns in heaven for how amazing he was to me the entire time.
Annie was pretty ooey and crusty but we still loved on her and thought she was the most beautiful thing we had ever seen.

It was kind of hilarious how after the delivery one of the nurses asked me "ok, what is your name?!" and we had to fill out all the pre paper work stuff just as a formality. But obviously we didn't have time before!
So then everything was calm and really peaceful. I fed Annie (and she ate like it was the best meal she ever had). Jamie and I looked at each other and said "what just happened??".
Our room had large windows and we saw the sunrise. We started calling friends and family.
My mom arrived first. She held her newest grandbaby (I think number 21 for her?) and told me how proud she was of me.

It was so wonderful because I got to keep Annie with me for several hours after delivery. And even though she was still a little crusty I just had to put a hairbow on her!
We had some good bonding time with her before visitors started arriving.
We were so excited for Audrie to get there to meet her little sister.
And Audrie was SO super sweet about meeting her. All smiles and cooing over her "sissy'.
She wanted to give her kisses and hugs.
I really wasn't sure how Audrie would react but I was so impressed with how she seemed to truly love Annie right from the first moment.
Our family of FOUR!
Jamie's mom got to spend some time holding her second grandbaby, too. (I'm pretty sure she's telling Annie here about all the cookies she's going to feed her soon.)
And Kim. I'm crying here as I type here about how extremely blessed we are to have her in our life and to be there to document with these photos of our precious day. What an amazing gift she has.
We had a photo on our phone of a picture Kim had taken of Audrie when she was born. We think Annie looks completely different from Audrie but it will be fun to see over time how that changes.
We had a steady stream of visitors through the day but it was never overwhelming and we loved showing off our little girl.
The last visitor left about 9pm. Jamie shut off the lights and crawled into the hospital bed with Annie and me. And we actually all slept really well. What a day! I'm sure I've left out tons of details that I will want to add later. But that's the story of how Annie decided to make her entrance into this world!