Emma's Birth Story

If you're into birth stories (especially in that 3rd trimester, I couldn't get enough of them!), I've got a happy one for you that should inspire confidence and a strong conviction that epidurals are the wayyyyy to goooo. If you're looking for something only slightly more dramatic, you can read Aiden's birth story here.

Things I DIDN'T do this time: 
1. Wait too long to get the epidural
2. Throw up on Devin
3. Hyperventilate and give up and start saying "if the baby's not out, then she's not coming out, because I've done my best and clearly it's not good enough"
4. Have to get put on oxygen for aforementioned hyperventilating.

Part 1: The 3-day Lead-up/Fake-out
The 4 nights leading up to when Emma was born, I got contractions for a few hours that eventually went away. The first time it happened, we timed the contractions and called the midwife when they were 3-4 minutes apart, even though they weren't painful. She suggested drinking 32 oz of water, which made them go away completely. Womp womp. The next few nights when the non-painful yet strong contractions would start up, I'd drink a ton of water, go for a walk, etc. hoping that it would turn into real labor.

Part 2: The Start of the Real Thing 
On my due date, Thursday, October 12, around 8pm I started out getting those fake-out contractions again. This time, they got a little more uncomfortable, as Devin and I were laying in bed watching Fresh Off the Boat (current funniest sitcom, along with The Goldbergs). They kept getting more and more crampy/painful, and so finally I called my midwife at 9pm. She said since I could still "talk through the contractions" that it wasn't time to go to the hospital yet, but that this sounded like the real thing. Devin and I tried to go for a walk up and down the block (with the baby monitor! No, we didn't just ditch a sleeping Aiden!), but I kept having to stop because the contractions were coming every 3-4 minutes and were and so painful. Devin and I grabbed our toothbrushes (since my hospital bag had already been packed for like 4 weeks...) and a few last-minute things for Aiden, and I got a shower. Around 10 pm, the contractions starting becoming too painful to talk through, so we called the midwife back and headed to 1) drop Aiden off at Devin's parents' house and 2) head to the hospital!!!! (Woohoo! Finally!)

Part 3: Here's Why Epidurals Are God's Gift to Mothers
We arrived at the hospital around 11pm, and my contractions were already super painful. Here's what I mean when I say "super painful": I HAD to stand up, sway, and groan through each contraction, while clinging to Devin while he rubbed my lower back. In between contractions? Felt like a regular person. Having a contraction? Suddenly I was a groaning, swaying weirdo.

I had to finish a bag of IV fluids before I could get my epidural, so I started that right away. When the bag had 1/3 left to go, the nurse ordered my epidural. Just as I was finishing the first bag of fluids, the anesthesiologist came in and poked me in the back with horrifyingly large needles.

Once the epidural settled in (around 1am), I rested peacefully while chatting with Devin. He had the world's worst sore throat/strep throat and, because I was resting comfortably with the epidural, he actually ran to the store for ibuprofen/tylenol/etc! When he came back, we both napped for a bit. I'm not even kidding. I literally slept for like half an hour DURING labor!

Part 4: Should I Start to Push or...Wait, Wow, She's here?!
At 4 am, I woke up from my nap and felt like I had to poop, which I knew meant it was time to push. However, the feeling wasn't super strong, and Devin probably hadn't gotten to sleep that much, so I wanted to wait to push the "nurse call" button on my hospital bed. By 4:10, I was like, "Ok, I PROBABLY should call her..." and so I woke Devin up and pushed the button...and she came right in with my midwife, who said I was 10 cm dilated (YAY!) but the baby was still "pretty far up there but you can push if you want." So, I decided to give it a try. The midwife and nurse held my legs, and in one push, her head came down and out. I AM NOT KIDDING. 3 more pushes, and baby Emma was totally out! At 4:00am I was debating about calling in the nurse, and by 4:36am, Emma was born. IT WAS CRAZY. There was a cheesy, squirmy little baby laying on my chest and all I could say was, "Wait she's here? I can't believe! I just can't believe it!"

Emma Claire Hood joined us at 4:36 am on October 13, weighing 8 lbs. 4 oz!

I've heard similar stories of second babies being way easier deliveries. So, all you first-time mamas who struggled through pushing (which was me last time!!!), take heart! The second time might be way better! (And just to help you feel even more prepared, here's a list of 5 things about labor that surprised me the first time round!!)

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