Yes, it's true. As I said last week, I'd be back this week with a report of the birth of our little one and pictures. But first things first...
We are now the proud parents of a beautiful little girl!
Victoria Elizabeth Stockton arrived at 3:29pm on Thursday, April 2nd, weighing 7lbs. 9oz. and measuring 20in. long.
Baby Photo Album
Labor officially began at 12:30pm on Wednesday, April 1st, and I spent most of the day praying she would hold off until at least 12:01am to avoid being an April Fool's arrival. :) I guess I prayed too much, as she lasted another 15 hours after that! So, all told, the labor was 27-1/2 hours long and somewhat grueling in the wee hours of the morning.
Let's see. I'll try to recall as many details as possible without too many specifics. *winks*
I mentioned last week that we had an induction scheduled for April 2nd at 7:30am if we didn't go into labor beforehand. Well, as it often happens, the baby decided to start coming just a little early. After all afternoon of the contractions increasing in intensity and decreasing in the distance between, hubby (Stuart) joined me at home after he came home from work.
We had a simple dinner of fish sticks and fries, all the while looking outside and seeing the heavy snow blowing and falling. Stu and I shared several comical looks regarding the baby's decision to come during a winter storm. Doesn't it always happen that way?
Around 7:30pm, the contractions were 2 minutes apart, so we called Labor & Delivery and they said to come in. So, we grabbed our bags by the door, bundled up and headed to the car. With prayers for safe travels and God's angels protecting us and the car, we were on our way around 8pm. We made it all the way to the last light before the hospital when the airbag light came on and smoke started coming out of the steering column.
Stu rolled down the window and stopped at the red light. Then, the car stalled. I groaned, a sinking feeling in my stomach accompanying the contractions. Stu turned the key...nothing. No sound, no engine turning, nada. Here we are, sitting at a red light, me in labor with contractions very close together, stuck in a snowstorm, only 1/2 mile from the hospital. It was in sight, and we couldn't get there.
Stu turned on the flashers, hopped out and flagged down a minivan. The lady rolled down the window and Stu asked if she could take me to the hospital. She agreed, and Stu came to help me out of the car to the van. He said he'd be there as soon as he could and off I went. In no time at all, we were at the ER entrance. The lady helped me inside and wished me luck. I notified the lady at the desk that I had called ahead, and she had an attendant bring me a wheelchair.
Once upstairs, I was quickly admitted and set up in a temporary room to be monitored. By now, it was 8:45pm. After being hooked up to the monitors and being checked for vitals, the nurse brought me some water and left me to rest. I didn't do much of that with worrying about Stu and the car. Thankfully, he called a few moments later and told me AAA was coming to tow the car and state patrol helped him move it off the road. His sister and brother-in-law were coming to get him. It ended up with B-I-L waiting with the car for AAA and sister bringing him to me.
After being checked again, they had a labor/delivery room set up for me. Helping me down the hall, the double doors opened, and I finally saw Stu again. His sister was with him, and the four of us (with the nurse) made our way slowly down the hall. Once settled into the room, his sister gave me a hug and said she looked forward to hearing the news of the baby's arrival. I thanked her for all they did and said we'd call as soon as we had something to share.
So, there we were. The night nurse was on, had gone over the details with me, and said I was free to move around as much as I liked. At 11pm, I was dilated to 6cm and things had progressed from 3cm just the day before. That was when things stalled, but I didn't find that out until 2am. Checked again, and no progress. So, Stu and I walked, used the birthing ball, sat in the hot tub, etc. From 2am-4am, the contractions were one on top of another, and I had no relief. But by 3:30, there still wasn't any change.
That was when I decided to go with an epidural. I was plumb exhausted and knew if I had to keep this up, I'd be far too tired to do what was necessary in the final moments. The nurse kept reassuring me that I hadn't failed in any way, that I had done admirably well and remained in full control. That made me feel much better about the decision.
After the epidural, I was instructed to get some rest and let it work. I was confined to bed now, though. Couldn't do anything but rest. :) Stu went over to the sofa and slept. By 7am, there was still no change, only I had managed to get a little rest. My doctor arrived and broke my water in an attempt to encourage the baby to drop. There was a smidgeon of progress, but by 9am, not enough. So, they gave me a very small dose (level 2) of oxytocin/pitocin to jumpstart things. That worked, but slowly.
By 1pm on Thursday, I was at 9cm finally. By 2, I was at 10 and fully effaced. The day nurse made plans to get me started on the pushing. We began at 2:30 and things went fast. I saw the nurse call my doctor to say we had begun. Then, she was on the phone again saying, "I know I just spoke with the doctor, but all of a sudden, the baby is here, and I need him now for delivery!" LOL!
Doc arrived, prepped me and the room, and 10 minutes later, Victoria was here. With just a small tear and no episiotomy, I had my little girl. Because we didn't know the gender, the doctor had Stu call it as soon as she came out. He said they wouldn't do that. The father had to. With shock and awe and even a tear in his eye, Stu said, "It's Victoria."
As soon as they suctioned, she let out a cry and they took her to the warming bed to clean her. Stu crossed the room and took pictures, and he was there when they put her on the scale for the first time to weigh her. Then, they swaddled her, and brought her to me.
So much happened in a blur, but it was all worth it when I was able to hold my little girl in my arms. The nurse took a few pictures of our new family. Too soon, they came and took her to the nursery for her first bath. Stu went with them and took more pictures. Then, the nurse helped me with getting settled again and prepping to be moved to the recovery/post-partum room.
Stu's parents arrived around 5:30 and sat with me while we waited for Stu and Victoria to return from the nursery. Meanwhile, I ordered dinner -- SO glad to finally be able to eat after nearly 24 hours. Once in a wheelchair, we were on our way, and by 6:30, we were in our recovery room.
Family stayed for a little while, then Stu's sister came with her two kids. They wanted to meet their niece and cousin for the first time. She was officially an aunt and they had their first cousin. :)
The rest of the night passed in a blur, but I know everyone left, and we settled into feeding and resting as much as possible. I could cover the rest of our hospital stay, but it was fairly standard, with visits from the pediatrician, my doctor and lactation consultants the next morning, along with nurses on staff every few hours to check vitals.
It's ironic...you're in the hospital to "rest" and you do everything but with all of the interruptions. :)
Finally, after 3 nights and 2 days in the hospital, we were discharged Saturday a little before noon. All packed up, we headed out into super high winds and drove home. Stu's parents were at our house, with casseroles, food and an offer to stay while we slept. Victoria slept as well, but it was nice to get a good nap.
Now, we're here and taking it one day at a time. From here forward, weekly posts will be progress with Victoria. :)
Baby Photo Album
For now, enjoy the pictures and know more will come each week. Thanks for hanging in here with this long story. Hope you made it to the end. *winks*
The Weekend Edition
3 hours ago