Anyway, the day before Clara arrived was a school day for Madeleine - her Thanksgiving feast, on a Thursday. After I dropped her off, I decided to go climb the stairs. Our church has a small wing that is six stories tall. The stairwell goes to the roof, so it was seven flights, all the way up and all the way down. Come on, baby! I settled down and went and got a pedicure. I chose the color "Clara." I also took that picture in the mirror not knowing it would be my last non-hospital pregnant picture!
Anyway at some point after my pedicure I noticed some fluid that was different, so I called the midwives. I suspected it to be the slow beginnings of amniotic fluid, so they wanted to check things out just to see. I had tested positive for strep B (just happens randomly sometimes, even though I didn't have it with M) so they needed to monitor things a little more closely. I picked up Madeleine early from school (her sweet teachers packed her "Thanksgiving feast" to go!) and we went to the midwives. Titi checked me and said it did look like it was amniotic, but just to monitor and come back in in the morning. (I had already been 2 cm dilated and 70% effaced for a week or so.) Home we went, and on to small group that evening. We had a huge potluck dinner at the Owens' and enjoyed that time with some of our friends. That night I went to bed, thinking we would be going to the hospital the next day, but still unsure. My labors are so non-event. :) I got in touch with my sweet friend Sara Beth who had agreed to be Madeleine's playmate when it was time to go to the hospital. God was in the details - SB is off on Fridays, so it worked out well for her to plan to come play fairly early in the morning. During the night, the fluid increased a little bit, so we got ourselves ready to go Friday morning. I should have had a bigger breakfast, but I think we were still not believing this was happening a little bit.
It was rainy and the forecast was for a cold, stormy morning. We let our families know we were headed to the hospital. We went up to the midwives first (15th floor of the same hospital where I would deliver) and they confirmed it was time to go. They sent me down to labor and delivery to get checked in. We waited in the waiting room on the L&D floor for a bit, and I had a couple of granola bars from the vending machine (I know) while I watched the weather blow in. Cason went down to the car to get more of our stuff, but he came back up after he forgot the car keys. :) Y'all this was my room:
Meanwhile, Madeleine had a super fun day with Sara Beth. She really looks like she's missing us so much in these pictures.
Well, right around 6, Mary broke my water, and with my body all juiced up on the pitocin, it was pedal to the metal. The contractions were SO hard. I had my playlist on from when I gave birth to Madeleine, and that was helpful, but I was just in tremendous pain. Mary stepped out at some point and told my dad it would be 6-7 hours more (thank God no one told me that, and thank God that wasn't the case.) But things kept intensifying like CRAZY. Doesn't this picture look like so much fun?
I was also so hungry. I hadn't really had anything in hours, so thankfully I had some jello and juice in between contractions. Y'all they were so so so intense. I labored on my side, I labored on all fours (the worst because you couldn't let your body go limp in between contractions.) In the thick of everything, Mary mentioned "Hey tell me when you feel rectal pressure." "WHAT?!" "Tell me if it feels like you need to go number 2, it will probably be awhile." "OKAY!!!!" Then a couple more minutes and I was going "I FEEL RECTAL PRESSURE!!! I HAVE TO PUSH!!!" They started to get everything ready for delivery, and I started to push!! Clara came out so fast - after only a few pushes. I went from 3 cm to her born in about an hour! Crazy pitocin. As she came out, the cord was around her neck, and Cason hates watching them pull the baby out because it just looks so limp, they are blue and the midwife seems so rough with it, but it gets the job done! Like Madeleine's delivery, I felt instant relief the second she was out. Thank you, Jesus. Here is Clara's first picture, still a little blue and bloody!
They wiped her off and put her on my chest immediately. Oh I just began to talk to her and love on her and talk to her some more. I was so happy she was here!!
I was a sweaty mess, but I had my baby in my arms, and my husband was feeding me jello so....winning.
They eventually weighed her - 8 lbs. 14 oz! Three ounces smaller than her big sis! 20 1/2 inches. She was getting her color and crying and looking great! She nursed really well too.
Nana and Granna in the room with us and everyone who had been in the waiting room (Dad, Bill, Linnet) were so excited to get their first pictures with Clara Louise!!