I’m thrilled to announce that our daughter was born at 9:12pm on Monday June 20th, weighing in at 7 pounds 11 ounces and 20+ inches long. Welcome to the world, Anna Catherine! She decided to come 6 days before her due date and apparently was in quite a hurry. Here’s the story….
Monday morning I had a prenatal visit and everything looked good. I was dilated to 3cm, up from 1.5 the week before. The midwife said she didn’t think I would be overdue, but there weren’t any signs of imminent labor. I went back to work, and noticed occasionally through the afternoon and early evening what seemed to be some minor Braxton-Hicks contractions. Nothing to interfere with playing with Max and eating dinner as usual. Around 7:00pm, Jeff took Max upstairs for bed. I did some things around the kitchen and then was chatting online with my friend Jenn. I told her I was having Braxton-Hicks, and then a little while later, I noticed that I was having to kind of breathe through them. I told her they were getting a bit more intense and I was going to time them for a bit to see if it might be the beginning of labor.
Jeff came downstairs as I was doing a bit of breathing through one, which of course caught his attention. I told him I was timing them but I was still talking and walking around like normal. He went next door to take care of the neighbors’ cats, and when he got back I said they were close enough together that we should probably start the phone calls: Our doula, my mom, friends who were going to watch Max, Justine who would take pictures of the birth…we called our doula Alyssa first, talked with her and decided we’d call triage and get ourselves ready to go.
We went upstairs to change and pack some last-minute things. My contractions were getting more intense and I needed to stop and lean on Jeff and moan through each one, but in between was able to change my clothes and get ready. Jeff was on the phone with hospital triage and I could hear them tell him to have me get in the shower and see if contractions slowed down. I remember thinking no way was I doing that, we were going in. Shortly after he hung up, my water broke, at about 8:20pm. Then all of a sudden the contractions were REALLY strong and painful. Jeff called our doula back and she could hear me in the background. She told him we needed to get to the hospital now and she would meet us there. I was feeling a ton of pressure and also like I might throw up. After a couple more minutes, I told Jeff to call 911, I was not going to make it to the hospital in the car. I couldn’t quite believe I was saying that, after Max’s 16 hour labor I never thought this time around could be even close to that fast, but thankfully I listened to my body. Jeff called 911 and I lay down on the bathroom floor. They had him look to see if he could see the head (thankfully no). The paramedics came quickly and brought me downstairs on a chair stretcher, then got me in the ambulance.
Everything happened so fast that no one had made it to our house yet to stay with Max, though friends were on the way. As they were loading me in, Jeff said “I’ll be there as soon as I can!” I told him to call some neighbors we know and see if they could stay at the house until Angel and Eric arrived. As soon as I said that, Jeff looked up and there was that very neighbor asking what he could do. Jeff directed him to listen on the monitor to be sure Max was okay until backup arrived, then he hopped in our car and tailed the ambulance to the hospital. Meanwhile I was trying my best to breathe through the contractions and not push. The paramedics were trying to time my contractions and would ask me when they started and stopped, which was kind of pointless as they were basically nonstop.
We arrived at the hospital and they rolled me into triage on the stretcher. Thankfully Jeff was there right away, I was so happy to see him, and he was happy when they opened the ambulance doors and there was no baby yet! The paramedics transferred me onto a bed in triage and Jamie, one of the midwives, was there. Almost immediately I could feel Anna coming out. I looked at Jamie and said, “She’s coming!” Jamie checked and sure enough there was her head. I pushed once and her head was out, pushed again and there she was! Jamie caught Anna and put her right on my chest. She cried out briefly and then looked around and lifted her head up a bit. I snuggled with her while they checked me out and I delivered the placenta. My mom and Alyssa had walked into the hospital at the same time and were waiting to see us. They kept asking to come back, and finally the triage nurse asked me if it was okay, which of course it was.
Once we were all checked out, they moved me upstairs to a room in labor and delivery. Jeff called Justine. He had called her when labor started and said we’d let her know once we were at the hospital. When he called and said, “She’s here!” Justine didn’t believe him (understandably!). Once he convinced her that he was not in fact joking, she jumped in her car and was at the hospital very quickly. She captured some amazing moments and I can’t wait to see all the pictures. You can see some beautiful sneak peeks here.
The excitement wasn’t over quite yet; on Tuesday afternoon the nurse noticed Anna was doing some unusual breathing and they hooked her up to a machine to check her oxygen saturation. It was lower than they like to see, so they sent us down to the NICU for observation. Four hours later they had to admit or discharge her, and since they weren’t sure what was going on, they decided to admit her. We were there until Thursday late afternoon, and they still aren’t sure exactly what the issue was, but the good news is she did improve enough that they felt confident sending her home. She still does the congested/puffing breathing sometimes, but not as often, so they are hopeful it will clear up entirely on its own. We have an appointment with our pediatrician on Monday, so we will discuss any further plans then as needed.
We are so glad to be home! So far Anna mostly sleeps. Max wanted to hold her when we first got home and likes to observe what she’s doing, but is mostly interested in attention from Mom and Dad. He did wake up during the night last night and have a hard time getting back to sleep, which is unusual for him. We’re hoping that won’t be repeated! My mom has been taking excellent care of all of us, which is a huge help. We are so blessed to have her close by!
And now, what I know you’ve all been waiting for….pictures! We of course have a ton already, here’s a sampling for your enjoyment.
The first meeting of brother and sister:
Anna had some presents for Max, including an Elmo book:
All babies who stay in the NICU have to pass a “car seat test” before they can go home…90 minutes in the car seat to be sure they can tolerate the position without any breathing issues. Thankfully she passed!
Unhooked from all the monitors and wearing her going home outfit!
Here we go!
Max wanted to kiss Anna’s foot:
Official “Coming home” picture:
Longtime Just a Minute Moore readers will remember the monthly pictures we took of Max in his first year. We’ll do the same with Anna, here’s a couple of her “zero” shots: