Lillian Paisley Bruce was born March 17th at 1:19 a.m. It's kind of a cool story actually.
We went to the doctor on the 16th--our last appointment before Lillian's due date on the 23rd. We did blood work and a urine test (my blood pressure was high). The doctor called that afternoon, and at that point, we realized I had preeclampsia. I was right over the borderline so it wasn't so bad, but still, the doctor recommended we go ahead and induce. Honestly, I was thrown. We'd talked about inducing that Friday, and that's what I'd expected would happen. I wasn't mentally or emotionally prepared to have the baby right then. So everything felt rushed to me. Jeff finished up his work and came home. I added a few things to my overnight bag, and then we drove to the hospital around 2:00 p.m. More than six days ahead of schedule.
I was feeling anxious, loveys.
We got to the hospital, checked in, and were taken to our room. The whole time I kept thinking, What am I doing here? It's not supposed to happen yet! Ready or not, this was happening. They put me on antibiotics for a couple of hours before we started Pitocin. Once we started the Pitocin, we could see from the monitors that there were some contractions, but honestly, I didn't feel hardly anything. And after a few hours of this, the nurse checked me and I was still only barely 4 centimeters dilated. I'd been at three and half that morning! So basically, we were getting nowhere. That was discouraging. The doctor wanted to break my water, but I wanted to wait until the epidural for that. Still, there didn't seem to be a good reason to get the epidural when I wasn't feeling any pain. We waited a little longer, then went ahead with the epidural, mainly to get things rolling. If you know me, you know that I'm terrified of this process. However, the anesthesiologist was a rock star and did an amazing job. Afterward, the nurse recommended that Jeff and I get some sleep while we could. It was already after eleven and I was exhausted. I had no idea when we'd be in active labor. So we turned out the lights and both went to sleep.
I woke up right around 1 a.m., feeling contractions. Obviously this was uncool since I'd had the epidural to avoid feeling contractions. I woke up Jeff so that he could be sure to share this scariness with me. I paged the nurse and said I needed assistance. (Does this sound like I was being calm? I wasn't. The contraction that woke me up was really intense and I was hurting.) Nurse Ashley came in and I told her I absolutely needed the anesthesiologist to come back to do something about the pain I wasn't supposed to be feeling. Nurse Ashley was really calm despite my anxiety. She paged the anesthesiologist and then asked me if I wanted her to check to see whether I'd dilated any more. I said yes, obviously (why was it even a question??).
Nurse Ashley checks our status and then says to me, "You're 9 centimeters!" Nurse Ashley is now pretending to be calm, but she's calling for the doctor and telling me not to push. I am panicking and asking where the doctor is. Twice, Ashley tells me that the doctor is down the hall. I finally cry out, "The hall is NOT that long!! Where is she?!" Nurse Ashley says that she's on a different hall somewhere. (At these moments, while I'm freaking out and crying and saying these things, Jeff is trying very hard not to laugh.) My doctor comes in and takes control. The anesthesiologist comes in as well and I'm allowed to push the button that ups the meds, thank goodness. This helps but I'm still feeling things I wish I wasn't. (The nurse asks if I'm feeling pressure or pain. I told her THEY ARE THE SAME THING.)
In all this craziness of about five minutes, it's now time to push. Talk about a whirlwind! Seven minutes before, I was sound asleep. Now there are nurses everywhere and my doctor is telling me to PUSH amid the chaos.
Lillian Paisley Bruce was born at 1:19 a.m.
I slept from 4 centimeters to 9. Is that crazy or what? Good grief. I still can't believe it.
I heard Lily's first cries and felt a surge of relief. She's here. I'm here. The scary part is over. They cleaned her up and handed her over. She's a tiny little thing. Six pounds and fifteen ounces. Considering Lincoln was eight pounds and thirteen ounces, Lily seemed itty-bitty. She's gorgeous, with dark eyes and dark hair but a little face that looks a lot like Ashtyn. Jeff and I are just so in love with her.
I think the three days in which my children were born were some of the scariest in my life. Also, hands down, they are the best days of my life. It's hard to describe how incredible it is to wake up with two children, and then go to sleep now having three. I would do everything all over again to have these amazing kids. I'm blessed by the incredible, life-changing experience of giving birth. And I'm grateful beyond words. Fear, excitement, pain, joy--so many emotions that crash together during those birthing hours. And then that intense love and awe that comes over you.
That's how I feel. Lillian is precious and we're enjoying her so much. And it's so fun to watch Ashtyn and Lincoln be so sweet to Lily! They love having a sister already. It melts my heart.
As I'm writing this, it's late in our hospital room. On the sofa bed, Jeff is holding Lillian. He just keeps looking at her and telling me she's awesome. :) I know, my love. She is awesome.
It's been a day of slow, stiff recovery for me. That's okay. The experience is so worth it. The night nurse will be in soon to check vitals. We go home tomorrow.
Oh, Lillian. You are so loved. I already can't imagine home without you. I can't imagine me without you.
Thank you, Lord, for the blessing of babies.
Lily's now whimpering beside me. Hungry again, I think. We're back to bottles and diapers and late-night feedings and baby cries.
I wouldn't trade one minute.