It was 6:14 p.m. on a Thursday night when I felt my very first real contraction. I say "real contraction" because for about two weeks, I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions that I swore were the real thing. Every night before I left work I would tell my friends "okay...I think these contractions are real. I probably won't see you guys tomorrow!" But then every morning at 8:00, there I was...pulling into the parking lot. Everyone would come in and say "you're still here?!!" And trust me...it wasn't by choice. I was doing everything in my power to get this baby out. I was eating spicy food, I was taking long walks (even in 30 degree weather), I was going to acupuncture with my sister-in-law Diana AND I was even having S.E.X. And trust me...that was not pretty. But I had to do it. I was desperate. I was big and swollen and only a few days form my due date. But after a week of trying everything I could, I finally gave in. I told myself I wasn't going to push it anymore and I would just let her come when she was ready. Well, she was ready that very same night.
As I said, it was about a quarter after 6. Eric and I had just sat down with a big plate of lasagna when I felt the first contraction. It was strong...but not strong enough to make me stop eating. Trust me...there wasn't much that could make me stop eating those days. But then about 10 minutes later, another REALLY strong one came. A lot of women told me that when real labor starts...I would know. And damn...were they ever right. These were NOTHING like the contractions I had had the past 2 weeks. I was actually starting to feel a little silly about all the false alarms I put everyone through but there wasn't time to dwell on that because 7 minutes later, another one came. I finally decided to time them. By 7:30, the contractions were a solid 5 minutes apart so I decided to call the doctor. We live about 45 minutes from the hospital that I was going to deliver at so the doc said to head out now just in case.
The whole ride there my contractions kept getting stronger and closer together. Eric was driving like an old lady and I kept yelling "Step on it you *%$#er!!!! I promised Eric at the beginning of my pregnancy that I wouldn't yell obscenities at him while I was in labor. Sorry babe! I couldn't help myself. So after what felt like a 2 hour drive, we were there. They brought me up to labor and delivery and checked to see if I was dilated. After two weeks of contractions and almost 2 hours of REAL contractions, I was still only a 1!!! So they made me walk the halls. At first it wasn't so bad. I just walked and talked to Eric but by the third lap, I was in serious pain. I couldn't walk anymore. Luckily, we had a fabulous nurse that was willing to admit me since it was obvious I was in labor. Within about an hour, we were in our room and comfortable. Well...Eric was comfortable. I was rolling around on the bed crying and saying the f-word. I was feeling so much pressure I was SURE I had progressed to an 8 or something. So the nurse came in and checked me. I was just barely at a 2!!! I said "Oh my God...it gets worse?" The nurse jumped right on the room phone and paged the anesthesiologist. She knew what I needed.
Before I was in labor, the thought of having a needle stuck in my back was about the scariest thing in the world to me. But at that particular moment...I was begging for it. I didn't even flinch when the doctor did it. And about ten minutes later...it was pure bliss. I heart drugs :-) After I stopped crying, Eric snapped this picture of me relaxed and watching some TV.
This was pretty much all we did for the next 5 hours. Our parents arrived and we called some of our friends to let them know we were in labor. I tried my hardest to get some sleep but I was just too anxious. Plus, my epidural started to wear off on my left side and I could feel all of my contractions, which were now consistently 2 minutes apart. The doctor came back two times to try and get my left side to numb back up but it wasn't working. Eric likes to tell the story of when my epidural wore off and I started shouting, "I can feel my left leg!! I CAN FEEL MY LEFT LEG!" Such an ass :-) Anyway, at this point, almost 12 hours had gone by and I was still only at a 4 so the doctors started talking c-section. Addie was still doing great, but they didn't want to put any stress on her or me. We all decided to give it some more time so the doctor upped my Pitocin and gave me another 3 hours to make something happen. Well let me just tell you, those were the longest 3 hours EVER! I was feeling all of my contractions and I just kept saying "women do this without drugs by choice? Seriously? Oh my God!"
Well after those 3 hours were up...they checked me one last time. I was SURE I was at a 10. Sadly...I was only at a 5 so c-section it was. To be honest, I didn't even care! I had just been through almost 16 hours of rough labor with only a partial epidural and so when they said "We would like to take the baby now" I was like "Wheel me down doc!" I remember holding Eric's hand as they pushed me to the O.R. All I could think about was Addie. I couldn't wait to see her little face.
The whole c-section process went better than I imagined. Dr. Badowski was a pro and actually had the record for the fastest c-sections in the hospital so I was lucky to have him. I didn't feel anything except for some tugging and pressure and within minutes of making the incision, Addie was out. It was 9:56 a.m. I can still remember hearing her cry and Eric saying "She has dark hair!" She actually didn't have dark hair once they cleaned her off...but it was still cute how excited he was. They brought her over to me and I couldn't believe how beautiful she was. Her eyes were still sort of shut and she was crying so I didn't get the best look at her. Plus, by that point, I was starting to drift off to la la land. Before the c-section, the doctor said they could give me some Morphine and anti-anxiety meds as soon as the baby comes out. Well, that fabulous cocktail was kicking in quicker than I thought. So while the doctors were finishing up and I was singing "Put the Lime in the Coconut", Eric took Addie out to meet her grandparents.
Here is her very first picture. Isn't she beautiful?!!!
She had the cutest little profile....and still does.
And here is proud papa with his new baby girl. She was looking right at him. I think it was love at first sight for both of them.
And speaking of love at first sight...
By the time I was wheeled down to recovery, I was so tired I could hardly keep my eyes open. I drifted off just long enough for Eric to make it back to the room with Addie before I woke up. When I did open my eyes, I didn't see anyone in my room at first. But then I heard this little noise come from the side of my bed and when I turned my head to look...there she was. My beautiful Addie...looking right at me through her plastic bassinet. I said "There you are sweetie! I have been waiting for you." As soon as she heard my voice she smiled (or maybe she was pooping?) Either way...it was the most precious moment of my life. I yelled for the nurse, who was literally standing on the other side of my bed, and asked if I could hold her. Here is our first mommy/daughter picture.
And here is a picture of her dark, unwashed hair. It got much lighter after her first bath :-)
And here is proud grandma Mueller! Could her smile be any bigger? (Grandpa Mueller was home sick with the flu :-(
And here are Addie's other proud grandparents with Daddy. Could grandma Davis' smile be any bigger either?
Along with Auntie Meagan. Look how teeny Addie is in everyone's arms!! She was 6 pounds, 13 ounces.
This is one of my FAVORITE pictures of her from the hospital. She was asleep on my chest and I remember thinking that I could live in this moment forever.
As you can see, I pretty much held her the entire time we were in the hospital. I couldn't stop looking at her.
The day before we left, Bella Baby Photography came to take some pictures of us. Let me just tell you...if your hospital offers a service like this...take them up on the offer!! Our Bella photographer was AMAZING. She got so many wonderful shots and when they were all done, they uploaded them to their website so that we could send the link to all of our friends and family. It was just wonderful. Anyway, here is one of my favorite shots of Addie wearing the hat that Grandma Mueller knitted her.
So after 3 days in the hospital, it was FINALLY time to go home. Addie was all snug in her new car seat and I couldn't wait to get home to my own bed (even though I wouldn't actually be sleeping in that bed for a long time :-)
Once we were home, I couldn't WAIT to get my announcements out so that everyone could meet our precious girl. Auntie Nina made these announcements for us...of course...and Uncle Ryan took the main picture...of course. Weren't they adorable?
Congratulations! You made it to the end of this very long post! I hope you enjoyed my little trip down memory lane as much as I did. It really was so much fun looking back on all those wonderful memories. Thank you so much for reading. I heart you all :-)