37 Week photo, right before heading to the hospital
I woke up at 6am to use the bathroom for the millionth time that night and felt a little kick from Sofia and felt sort of a pop. After that I had some extra liquid come out and I thought, surely my water's not leaking. (That's how Judah's birth started, at 3am with my water leaking!) I thought, there's no way both of my births are going to start the same way! So I went back to bed thinking...naaaahhhh! Then I had a little contraction. My heart started racing and I couldn't go back to sleep. Got up to potty again and had more water. I had a few more contractions through the next couple hours but they weren't bad so I just tried to go back to sleep.
Woke up around 8:30 and thought, well if this is it I guess I'll shower and make breakfast so I'm not starving and get our bags packed. I was 37 1/2 weeks so packing a bag was on my list of things to do, but it hadn't gotten done yet! Thomas stayed out late with some local friends the night before so he slept in Judah's room as to not disturb me when he got in. I just let him sleep. Judah and I had breakfast and after packing my bag I heard that Thomas was awake. I stuck my head in to say, "I think I'm in labor, but I'm not sure!" We talked to our friends Sean and Sarah, that we'd arranged to watch Judah so they'd know what was up and called the doctor and made plans to go to the hospital.
By the time we arrived at the hospital it was 3:30pm. We went up to the maternity floor and the nurse checked to confirm that my water was leaking but that I wasn't dilated at all! She called my doctor and put me on the phone with him. He said that I should just go home and we would induce in the morning, or that I could just leave and come back at 10pm to spend the night then I'd already be there for them to induce first thing in the morning. We decided to just do that and planned to leave and come back at 10. Our friends live so close to the hospital that we decided to just walk back to there house in hopes that a little walking might speed things up a little. We got to their house and hung out while Judah played with their kids. Around 5:30 we started talking dinner and were going to go out to eat somewhere nearby.
My doctor had recommended at my last two appointments that I start doing some squats because he's found that it really moves labor along. At the time, with swollen legs and feet and SO tired of walking everywhere, I was like yeah right, I'm going to do squats. But that afternoon I thought, maybe I'll give it a shot. So I stood in my friend's kitchen and did about 20 squats thinking, hey, I'll try anything right now! Amazingly, after not having any contractions since early that morning, I started having regular contractions every 5 minutes.
I told Thomas that I didn't think a trip to a restaurant was a good idea anymore and that maybe he could go pick up the food instead. (I was really craving fried pickles!) Thomas and Sean left to go pick up the food and my contractions continued with intensity and were coming more like 4 minutes apart. Sarah started to get concerned so she called to tell them to hurry back! By this point I wasn't really in the mood to eat anymore but I managed to down a few of those fried pickles! There was no way I was making it to 10 o'clock so we headed back to the hospital, this was it!
Thomas hanging out in the delivery room
We arrived at 7:30pm and when the nurse checked me I was 5cm, wahoo! She called the doctor again and put me on the phone with him again where he proceeds to tell me that he's out of town and can't make it that night. What!? He said he would send another doctor that was very good and that had also graduated from an American university. What I could I say? O-K, thanks. Also, knowing I wanted an epidural, he said he'd send the best anesthesiologist to give it to me. The new doctor came and was very nice, then we met the anesthesiologist who was also great and kept making jokes to lighten the mood. Thomas asked the nurse how long she thought it would be until the baby was born and she guessed 12am but he and Sarah (who came along to be another support) placed bets on 11 and 11:30.
Thomas left the room to do some paperwork and the anesthesiologist was ready to do his thing. I was standing up to keep the contractions going because lying down had made them stop, so he asked me to move around and sit on the edge of the bed. Sarah was a lifesaver and by my side to help me get up on the bed. Right then I had two huge contractions and couldn't talk. I felt so much pressure that I couldn't sit down and was totally reliant on Sarah to help hold me up. The doctor knew I really wanted the epidural so he told me to try and straighten up so he could put it in, but it was nearly impossible. I was still feeling a lot of pressure but was able to be still enough so that he could get it in place and started feeling a lot better after about 10 minutes.
I got settled back on the bed and when the doctor checked me I was 8cm! Sarah and I have concluded that I was transitioning at that point and that if we'd been in the States and known that I never would have gotten the epidural, but praise the Lord I did and it worked wonderfully. A little after 9 o'clock I was 10cm and ready to push. The doctor was very patient because he knew I didn't want to tear. I ended up pushing 3 times with the next contractions and there she was! Little, tiny, baby Sofia weighing a mere 6 lbs. and 19 inches long. I held her immediately as I cried and looked at Thomas in amazement that the birth had gone so quickly. She was finally here!
First view of Sofia
Holding her for the first time
First family pic
The nurse showing Sofia off after her bath
Sean and Sarah brought Judah over the next morning to meet Sofia. He wasn't quite sure what to think at first, but he did want her to have a paci.
Our recovery room was really nice. We enjoyed it while it lasted though because we were out of there the next day at noon! Praise the Lord for a healthy delivery. I can't say enough good things about my overseas birth experience. The hospital, staff and care were excellent. I think I can say it was even better than my birth experience in the States.
View from our room
Getting in some newborn snuggles
Balloons at the hospital are a really big deal here. Here are some from the other rooms on our floor.
Now we're back home and getting used to life as a family of 4. Sofia has been excellent so far and seems just as laid back as Judah was as a baby. She's sleeping and nursing well and Judah is getting used to her as well. We're so blessed and can't thank everyone enough for praying us through this pregnancy and birth. Now, we're just waiting on parents to get here so we can celebrate her birth together and we can't wait!