You’re here! You’re here! You’re here!
As of Sunday, February 22nd, at 6:25pm you are finally here. Here is your story:
The week you were born we had 13+ inches of snow in Lexington, which is A LOT for Kentucky to handle. We worried about the road conditions and about your Grammy and Aunt Katie getting to us. There were two winter storms coming back to back. The first I nicknamed Snowmageddon 2015. Luckily you held off through that one, and your Grammy was able to fly back in from Australia. The second storm came in that weekend (the weekend you were born). I spoke with your Grammy and we decided that after everything, she had made it in from Australia in time to see you born, so we didn’t want her to get stuck only 1 hour away in Louisville when the second storm hit. So on Friday night she drove to us. We spent the weekend getting last minute stuff done, and wondering if you would make your arrival soon. My OB, Dr. Simms, that I love was on call all weekend, and then again on Tuesday, but not on Monday- so we were really wanting you to come while Dr. Simms could be the Dr who delivered you (same Dr. who delivered Lucas!) On Friday I had my last appointment, and I was already 3cm dilated so we knew it could possibly be any time.
Sunday morning I woke up having some contractions, I opened the contraction app on my phone and started to track them. They started to pick up in frequency but they were not painful at all so I wasn’t sure if they were real. Daddy was sleeping next to me, and I woke him up and told him he’d better get up and shower. He was sleeping and told me he’d get up in 10 minutes. To which I replied, “you’d better get up now”, and he still hadn’t his opened his eyes up yet until I said “I’m having a lot of contractions- like every 5 minutes.” With that his eyes popped opened, and he jumped out of bed and we started readying ourselves in case today was the day. We showered, shaved, I even dried my hair. We loaded the dishwasher, took out the trash, cleaned up the living room, loaded the car. The contractions were still coming frequently; 17-20 per hour. I texted Elyse to let her know about the contractions and also called your Aunt Katie to let her know it may (or may not) be go time. After we had the bulk of stuff done, I placed the call to my Dr. to see what she wanted me to do. I had a feeling she would tell me to come in, which is exactly what she did! So this set the ball in motion. We officially told Aunt Katie to come from Louisville, and Elyse to come get Lucas. Then your Grammy, Daddy and me loaded up in our cars and headed to Central Baptist Hospital.
We got there, and I changed into my gown, and we took some last minute belly photos in case today was the day. The nurse came in to check me- I was 4cm and full effaced- GO TIME! We sent out the text messages to family and friends that today was the day our baby girl would be born. It took 3 times to get my IV going (I still have the bruises to prove it!), but I still was not in any pain from the contractions. They asked if I wanted the epidural yet, and I wasn’t really sure. On one hand, I had no pain, but on the other hand, I knew the pain would start and didn’t want to get stuck without one. I told the nurse I would do whatever Dr Simms thought was best. Under the direction of Dr Simms, I went ahead and got the epidural, and after it took effect she went ahead and broke my water, and we discovered that there was a small amount of meconium in my water. This means that you had actually pooped in utero. This can be dangerous if you were to inhale it, so we were told that a NICU nurse and a pulmonary respiration nurse would also be attending to you, along with your normal baby nurse as soon as you were born. Of course, we were upset that you may be in danger, even though the odds were only 1 in 5000 that it would be serious. They then started me on a very low dose of pitocin. I was realllllllly nervous about the epidural not being strong enough. When I had Lucas my legs felt like they weighed 1000 pounds and I couldn’t move them at all. This time I could feel the bottom portion of my legs, and could move my feet, so I thought that it wasn’t working. I mentioned it to the nurse and then to Dr Simms, but they both assured me that was how it was supposed to be. I was still skeptical and fully ready to ask for more meds when the time came. Then everyone left us alone for a bit.
When the nurse popped back in, I mentioned to her that I kept feeling like I had to poop (which I really thought I had to), but then it dawned on me that this urge to poop came with a contraction, so I had better say something about it. When I mentioned it, she said oh! I’d better check on you. We discovered I was at 8cm! Dr Simms was alerted, and we were officially on baby watch. The nurse made me a bet that you would be here within 30 minutes of pushing, me and your Dad were like “Really?!? Yeah right! Lucas took 3 hours of pushing!” Your Uncle Michael and Deanna arrived from Louisville and came in to say hi. Just a couple minutes after they got there a flurry of staff came into the room. 3 nurses for you, and then my nurse and Dr. Simms. Dr. Simms said that your heart rate had started to dip with the contractions which is a normal sign that you were ready to come out! She checked me and said “oh yeah! She’s right there!” With that everything started so fast. Dr. Simms threw on her gown, your Daddy came to my side, and your Grammy and Aunt Katie moved to my head. Before Dr. Simms could even get fully gowned and gloves on they had me push. On each contraction you push 3 times for 10 seconds. After the first contraction of pushing, the nurse said you’re going to have this baby within 3 contractions, but then laughed so I thought she was joking. After the second contraction of pushing, Dr. Simms also said this baby is going to be out within 3 contractions. This time I said “what?!? really?!? I can’t tell if you guys are screwing with me!”, they laughed, and said “yes! seriously! One more push” Oh my god! I looked your Daddy in the eyes, and could see him willing me on. We waited for my 3rd (and final) contraction to start. She had me do a half push, and said “Her head is out! stop pushing!” I couldn’t even believe it. It was all surreal. Then she said “ok, one last push” and delivered the rest of your body. 2.5 contractions worth of pushing, 6.5 hours after we walked in the doors of the hospital, 5 hours after we found out they were keeping me at the hospital and 4 minutes or so of pushing, and you, my precious girl, were born. 6:25pm with a head full of hair. Weighing in at 7 lbs 9.5 oz (they round up to 7lbs, 10 oz), 19 3/4 inches long. And so, so beautiful. Your Dad and I both cried and Dad hugged me. He got to cut your cord, and then you were taken to the other side of the room while the 3 nurses jumped into gear to make sure you were ok.
While my nurse and Dr. Simms were working on me, the other 3 were working on you. A few minutes later after your assessment, it was determined that you were all good! Top scores on everything and no meconium aspiration. You were brought back to me when I got to hold you for the very first time. They laid you on my chest and Daddy and I just stared and stared. I couldn’t believe my DAUGHTER was here. Was this even real? It was so fast!! And no pain! The epidural worked wonderfully! Your eyes were open and you started to root. You latched on to nurse and stayed that way for the next 2 hours! My poor boobies! It was so wonderful to see you healthy and nursing. Your Grammy, Aunt Katie, Uncle Michael, and Deanna all came in to see you (Pop Pop was still in Australia, and Uncle Joey lives in San Francisco so they couldn’t be there.) You stayed cuddle up nursing on my chest the whole time.
Later on that night was your first sponge bath given by the nurse to get you all cleaned up. Daddy got to watch and take lots of pictures (of course!). Then she handed you to Daddy and he held you for the first time. His little girl!
As I look back on your birth, I still can’t believe how fast and easy it was. I can’t believe I have a daughter. I can not wait to share the world with you. We love you so so so much. You’ll always be our baby girl. Welcome to your life Emelyn Catherine Atkinson.