Well, I have been a mommy for one week, and it has been pure joy and delight… completely overwhelming gratefulness overflows from my heart every second of the day!
I’ve been meaning to come on here and write out my birth story; however, each second that has presented itself for me to sit in front of a computer pales in comparison to holding, singing, and rocking my sweet daughter. My mom is holding and rocking her now, while she sleeps peacefully in her arms. So, I will record Harper’s birth story while I have a free moment…
Last Tuesday night, February 12, I went to Bible study, huge and uncomfortable, came home and just had to get all of Harper’s stuff ready and put away. We went to sleep around 12. I woke up around 2:20 and had to go to the bathroom so bad. I felt so much pressure on my bladder, I felt like it was going to explode! I heaved myself out of the bed, and stood up to feel a gush; however, I could not figure out if I had just had an “accident” or if my water had broken! So I went to the potty, and climbed back
in bed wondering what just happened. However, contractions started about 5 minutes later. I snuck (is that a word??) out of bed and started timing contractions… didn’t want to wake Chris if this wasn’t the REAL thing! I had about 8 in a hour. I decided to wake up Chris at that point. I went and laid in bed and just stared at him. He woke up with a look of sheer confusion on his face asking if I was okay. I told him, I think we are going to have a baby today!!!
Since I was still confused about my water breaking and if I was really having contractions or not, I decided to call my mom to see if that is what happened. It was around 4am at this point. Mom told me to call the Dr. So, I did call the Dr’s office, and woke up the girl who was supposed to be the answering service.. haha – it was pretty funny… aren’t they supposed to stay awake?? Anyway, the Dr. called me back and told me to go to the hospital and get checked out. So we finished packing our bags, loaded up the car, and headed that way (after Chris stopped at McDonalds).
On our way, it started snowing! It was beautiful. (By the time we made it to our room it was pouring snow!)
So, I went and checked in. They put on our hospital bracelets, and walked us back to the triage to see if my water had actually broken – which the test they did came up positive in less than a second! I was then taken to my labor and delivery room, put in a cute hospital gown :-), and hooked up the IV. My contractions weren’t too bad at this point.. it was about 6:15. They gave me pitocin to increase the intensity of my contractions. I was so sleepy at this point, but also so excited that I couldn’t sleep. We started texting and calling all of our friends at this point to let them know of Harper’s impending arrival! Both of our parents and my sister & her fiance started making travel arrangements and were on their way!!
The nurses and doctor wouldn’t let me get out of bed b/c my water had broken, so I just had to sit in the bed as my contractions got worse and worse. We tried to watch Little Women to distract me, but contractions got pretty intense, and I only caught about every 2-3 minutes because that was how fast my contractions were coming.
My mom arrived around 11:30am from Raleigh, NC, and I was in awful pain!!! According to Chris I was a completely different person before and after the epidural! ha ha! I started crying when I saw her. It hit me that I was going to be a mom with in 24 hours, and I was so glad that she was there to go through it with me!
11:45 – Finally! 3 cm and thought I was going to die! I really don’t think it would have been as bad if I could have walked around! I had super awful back labor and just couldn’t relax b/c I couldn’t move or change positions. They didn’t want me out of bed since my water had broken and the umbilical cord could be delivered first (very dangerous!)
At 12, I got my epidural, which surprisingly didn’t hurt as bad as I thought it would! A student resident actually did my epidural (yikes! This wasn’t his first one though)… however, he couldn’t get it in, so the Dr supervising him had to place it. He said I had a touch of scoliosis. The epidural really didn’t hurt bad. The numbing medicine did sting a little, and it was the weirdest feeling have them put that in my back! One part that I remember vividly was Dr. Fred telling me as he put the epidural catheter in my back was that I might feel a little electric “zing” if the catheter hits a nerve, but that it was completely normal. Oh my goodness… what a weird sensation that shot down my entire right side! I love Dr. Fred and considered naming Harper, Harper Fred (just kidding!)
The epidural kicked in about 20 minutes later, and was the best feeling ever! It felt like I had just been outside playing in the snow and had come inside and was defrosting… warm, tingly legs. I was a happy camper at this point, and told my contractions to BRING IT ON!!! At this point I was able to take a little nap since I hadn’t slept since 2:20 that morning!
Around 2pm, Chris’ parents arrived from Lawrenceville, GA – 4 hour drive.
Around 3pm, Nancy and Will arrived from Boone, NC – 5 1/2 hour drive. At this point, the nurse checked me and I was 4 cm dilated. Sloooooowwww progress!
I was able to sleep, rest, and visit with family over the next couple of hours while watching my contractions intensify. We were also able to hear Harper’s heartbeat on the monitor. What a soothing background sound!
5:00 – I made it to 5 cm, and got a top off of my epidural. I could feel pain on one side of my body and wasn’t getting any rest. My hips were hurting, but the epidural top off helped so much! I was going to take a nap since I figured I was in for the long haul.
6:00 – Was feeling lots of pressure as well as pain in my hips, but not the urge to push. So, the nurse checked me and low and behold I was 10 cm!!!!! I thought Chris was going to fall over! We both couldn’t believe it!
6:10 – Started pushing… amazing… could feel what was going on, but no pain. I was amazed at how calm and slow this time went. I would push 3-5 times for every contraction, depending on how long they lasted. Then there would be about 5 minutes of down time in between contractions. It was so quiet in the room as we all waited with anticipation.
6:35 – Harper Grace is born! That’s right only 20 minutes of pushing… I couldn’t believe it! It was so amazing. I couldn’t stop crying! I was able to watch all of it, Chris and my sister watched all of it, too, and it was the most amazing experience I’ve ever seen. Also, what a weird feeling the second she was born… I could breathe again, and there was no more pressure on all my organs! Chris cut the cord!!!, and Harper was laid on my tummy. I got to hold her and kiss her for a little while. Then nurse took her and got her all cleaned up.
She was so healthy from the start – Praise the LORD!!!
Harper Grace Blanton
February 13, 2008
7 pounds 11.5 ounces
19 inches long
(with a head full of dark brown hair!!!)
She was so cute all bundled up when they brought her back to me. We were able to spend the next 2 hours with her. She started feeding from the start – such a sweet experience. She has been great at it ever since – what a blessing.
Harper’s nurse, Robin, who is a mom of a dear friend of mine, kept Harper all 3 nights in the nursery. It was such a blessing knowing I had this sweet lady watching Harper while I was resting and recovering. She was such a God send to us!
Around 10:30, we were taken up to our post-partum room and settled in for the night. Chris’ parents brought us dinner from Logan’s steakhouse around 11pm, and we were able to eat our first dinner as parents (half-awake). Harper was then brought to us around midnight smelling so fresh and clean with a tiny pink bow in her hair. Can I say that we were completely smitten with her and are falling in love more and more every day with our sweet girl!
We were blessed with a wonderful labor and delivery that I will treasure in my heart forever.
~ Mary Lindsey