Now time for a warning. This is a loooong post, but I wanted to document and remember the whole day! There are tons of pictures and lots of words. I have some pictures from the delivery, but I promise they're all PG-13; no private parts are showing...besides Chloe's cute bootie!
We left off on Tuesday evening when I attempted to get a good night's sleep before the big day. Needless to say, I was uncomfortable and restless due to being super pregnant and pretty nervous! My alarm went off at 5:00am and I couldn't believe the day was here...
First things first (aside from the usual brush teeth, put on clothes, etc routine) was to take our very LAST bump pictures!
Of course my very active and nosy puppies had to get involved. They wanted to know what was going on! We took our last picture as a family of 4 and shockingly the dogs cooperated some what! Not that you can see Moose's face :)
We finished calmly gathering last minute items, double checked the car and then headed up to the Medical Center! We arrived at Methodist at 7:00am and they had me checked in and in a room in just minutes. I got to get all fancy in my sweet hospital gown, have all the monitors hooked up to me then it was time to get my IV and start the Pitocin! I was all set and officially started laboring around 7:30am.
Now let the waiting games begin! The contractions came pretty quickly. I had been having mild contractions already, so the Pitocin just amped them up. At first they really weren't painful at all. JP, Emily and I were the only ones in the room at this time, so we hung out, joked, played on our phones and the watched Divergent since it was on the hospital's movie channel!
My doctor came in to check me out and see how everything was going around 8:30. I was still 3cm dilated and almost completely effaced. She said that she was going to have her colleague come in an hour or so to break my water which would speed up the whole process.
About an hour later, my water was broken and I was about 3 1/2cm dilated already! By the way, having your water broken isn't necessarily painful, but it's one of the weirdest feelings! My doctor was due back to check on me mid afternoon, so the waiting continued!
Around 10:30-11:00 my parents and JP's mom arrived! I was thankful to have them there because I was starting to have more painful contractions at the time. We continued to just chat excitedly until 11:30 when JP, Emily and my dad went down to the cafeteria for lunch. I'm glad they did because my contractions started getting worse. It was nice just to have my mommas in there to support me through the pain. During this time Alison arrived and it was wonderful to have her there as well!
Everyone got back from lunch around 12:30 and I was hurting pretty bad. This is when I asked for the epidural. I probably waited a little longer than I should have, but I really wanted to experience everything! The pain was bad, but I could have endured it for a little longer. Here's why I think I waited too long...the worst part of the entire day was the epidural. Not trying to scare anyone, so let me explain. Remember that I was having very bad back pain leading up to all of this, it continued throughout my labor. This made getting in the proper position for an epidural very hard. Between the back pain and the contractions, I couldn't keep my back rounded properly. I was shaking, breathing poorly and in serious pain at this point. The anesthesiologist had to insert the needle 5 times before getting it in the right position. The first 4 times he hit bone. It wasn't his fault. Honestly, he was absolutely amazing and very comforting; I just couldn't stay in the proper position. However I survived and was lucky to have my amazing husband by my side cheering me on during the process.
Everyone then came back in the room as the epidural kicked in. It was weird though, it was completely numbing my left side but not my right. I had zero control over the left side of my body, but I could still move my right and had some feeling. Not a ton of feeling, but it was there and I could sense all pressure. At 2:00pm, my doctor was back! She checked me and I was 8cm dilated and completely effaced! So, so close. (I had been in labor for 6 1/2 hours at this point, not too bad!) She said she'd be back in about 2 hours and thought I'd be ready to push then.
30 minutes later, I was in so much pain yet again. Despite getting the epidural, I was still feeling a lot. It was a different kind of pain, but just as painful as the contractions I was having before the epidural. Instead of the cramping pain in my abdomen, it was an intense pressure down below. Really, really intense. I felt like I needed to push! I needed the anesthesiologist and my doctor again badly. Apparently, some women still feel all the pressure despite the epidural and need an extra bit to make it through labor and pushing. The anesthesiologist upped my dosage and it felt better, but I still felt every contraction. This ended up being a blessing in disguise. Immediately after, I told my nurse that I was still convinced that I needed to push. I was checked again and crazy, I was fully dilated. It had only been an hour since my doctor checked me out. They told my doctor, had me do a practice push, and then it was time to get this little girl out!
Pushing is hard. Holding your breath is not fun especially when you're already so exhausted. Luckily, I only pushed for 20 minutes. I started at 3:00 and Chloe was born at 3:21pm! Since I was able to feel my contractions, I knew when to push, how to prepare myself and when to breathe. Maybe that's why it didn't take too long!
Funny story (and a reason I love my OBGYN): After my practice push, I said that I hated holding my breath. (#truth) Without skipping a beat, my doctor walked into the room and said, "Too bad! Let's have a baby!" It was perfect timing and very light hearted and funny. I needed a little laugh before all the pushing!
As soon as she came out, she was immediately placed on my chest for skin to skin. It was the most beautiful and breath taking moment of my entire life. I didn't care what she was covered in or what was going on around me. I had my princess. She was mine. JP and I created her!
I couldn't stop staring at her or crying out of shear joy! All of us were mesmerized by this tiny little human that changed our lives in an instant.
After the nurses got Chloe wiped down a bit and me cleaned up (I did tear and needed some stitches!), it was time to breastfeed for the first time. I was terrified that I didn't know what I was doing. Would Chloe latch well? Would I know what to do? Luckily, my mom was there to help guide me and Chloe really knew what to do. As my mom said, "She has a perfect latch!" That helped ease a lot of my fears. We were learning together and it was perfect.
The nurses got her cleaned up a little more and all the girls came in to say hi to our little Chloe!
After a little while, we told all the guys to come on in! (JP's dad and my brothers got there sometime after lunch and were hanging out in the waiting room!)
Aren't the cutest, happiest grandpa's in the entire world? They were so excited to meet their very first grand baby!
Everyone was so in love! I mean, why wouldn't they be? Babies are seriously the best medicine for sadness; they just bring so much joy!
After everyone said hi to baby girl, I FINALLY was able to eat. I hadn't eaten since about 8pm the night before. Y'all that is sheer torture for someone who is very passionate about food, has a fast metabolism and is eternally hungry. Just was showing me the menu and I was just too overwhelmed. I told him that he knows what I like and just to order something! It needed to contain carbs, something healthy and dessert. Let's just say, he did a great job. I got veggie lasagna, mac 'n cheese, broccoli, a roll, diet ginger ale, a brownie and some chocolate ice cream. JP for the win. The only problem was that it was going to take 30-45 minutes for it to arrive. That I could not handle.
Snacks for the win! (Lots of winners here today.) Alison fed me Chex mix while I continued nursing Chloe. That's pretty fitting considering the fact that Alison carries snacks in her purse everywhere we go incase her husband or I get a case of the hangries. That happens more often than I care to admit!
Clearly food was very important to me. In fact (aside from the actual getting the epidural) it was one of the things that bothered me the most. Not the contractions, not the pushing, not all the pain. The things I complained about the most were being hungry, my IV bothering me constantly, the blood pressure cuff restricting my motions and the catheter once they put that in. All the little things made me angry and uncomfortable. My mom and Jody told me that even when I was in pain, I handled everything very well. They thought my complaints about the little things despite what was really happening was kind of funny. I'm proud that I wasn't a terrible pregnant lady in labor!
To further distract me from the fact that I still wasn't eating my dinner, we decided to have a photo shoot!
Eventually my food did arrive and I was the happiest girl in all the land. Food is important y'all! The nurse swept Chloe up to do measurements, bath time and other procedures while I enjoyed my meal.
As you can see, I am no longer aware of any of my surroundings. All focus on food.
Chloe Grace Gougler was officially born on July 29, 2015 weighing 7lb 6oz and was 19 3/4 inches long! She was also born completely obsessed with her momma and didn't like being taken away. At least that's what I think the face below means!
I ended up being in labor for just 8 hours! My biggest fear about being induced is that I would be in labor for hours upon hours because my body wasn't as ready as my mind. I was terrified of the thought of a C-Section and really wanted to experience a vaginal delivery. I couldn't be happier with how the entire labor and delivery went!
The nurse measured and weighed her, took her footprints and did the other tests necessary before asking if Chloe's grandma's wanted to give her her first bath! They immediately said yes! Chloe wasn't very impressed with her bath at first. Can't blame her, it's cold out in the real world! She did love getting her hair washed though.
Eventually, we got to take our first "official" family photo!
After a few hours and more pictures, everyone trickled out, and we were on our own for our first night with our little girl! It was the most overwhelming and exciting day of my entire life. It was far less glamorous then our wedding day, but emotionally it topped it completely! I knew that I loved my husband more and more each year we've been married, but seeing him as a father has expanded that love once more. I never knew my heart was capable of feeling this strong and passionate, but it continues to grow! Chloe Grace has shown me more about myself in the past few weeks than I could imagine. She has made me a better person. More importantly, she made me a mommy!
More to come on the rest of our hospital stay adventures next week!