Nora's Birth Story: It's a long read but we want it on record for our family!
Nora was due on Friday May 30th and she was measuring right on schedule the entire pregnancy. At my 39.5 week appointment my doctor checked me and I was dilated to 1cm and 70% effaced (compared to 1cm and 50% effaced a full week earlier). She suspected I would go into labor soon but had us schedule an induction for 10 days after in case she hadn't come by then-which of course, I was sure she would!
40 weeks pregnant!
By Friday May 30th, my due date arrived! And not only that, but Jason was feeling sort of sick. Since we were on full alert for this baby I told him to go to the doctor that day and get checked out because I didn't want to catch anything from him if he was truly sick. He went to the doctor during the day and they said there wasn't much they could do for a headache and stomachache. By that night he had gotten much worse with a fever, chills, sweats and he was not doing well.
Saturday morning Jason was even sicker. Our good friend Juan came over and mowed our lawn (since the baby could come anytime and Jason was sick). Jason was feeling so sick too that he asked Juan for a priesthood blessing- we are so grateful for wonderful friends that take such good care of us and serve us so selflessly. After Jason received the blessing, he continued feeling bad but I had discouraged him from going to Urgent Care since he had been to the doctor the day before and we didn’t know if it would be really expensive. Despite my concerns, Jason asked to be taken to the Urgent Care, so I knew he was really not doing well-he would never ask if he didn’t feel absolutely terrible. He later told me that in a prior church lesson, he remembered a quote from Brigham Young where he said that although the Lord will assist us and bless us with health problems, we have to do our part by taking advantage of all medical facilities that are available to us. I’m so glad Jason listened to the Spirit and decided he needed medical care (again!) instead of continuing down an unknown path at such a stressful time. Since Jason was so sick he could barely walk (which was super scary for me since I was already overdue and having to take care of him and worried our daughter could arrive anytime and I couldn’t support him since I had my huge belly!). Once he decided he wanted to go, we rushed to the nearest Urgent Care facility where I naively thought we would be seen immediately! We waited for a while in the waiting room where Jason laid on the floor with his blanket from home (he was a sad sight to behold). They called him back to a room where we waited for another hour before being seen by the doctor. Luckily, after some questions and a brief exam the doctor knew what was wrong. He did an x-ray and confirmed that he believed Jason had diverticulitis. He sent us home with some prescriptions and told us if he got worse in the next 48 hours that he would have to go to the ER and that he had something other than diverticulitis. I was terrified that he wouldn’t get better in that time. I put all my friends on alert to take me to the hospital since Jason wouldn’t have been able to drive me nevertheless help me have a baby! Mercifully, once he was on antibiotics he started improving quickly and we passed the 48 hour mark without him getting worse. Our sweet friends brought us dinners during that time and took such good care of me.
Thankfully, Jason continued getting better but was still weak overall so I was actually glad at this point that baby hadn’t come yet! It would have been heartbreaking if Jason had missed his baby’s birth.
I had my 40.5 week appointment where I had made only slight progress since my prior appointment despite the fact that I lost my mucus plug and I was sure I was going into labor anytime! My doctor said not to worry and the induction date was still set for June 5th. The night before my induction I woke up in the night to some bleeding (which I hadn’t had at all during pregnancy so I was very alarmed). I had read that that can be a sign of labor but still wasn’t sure so I called the on call doctor. He could have cared less about my bleeding (thanks Doc!) but told me I could make an appointment in the morning if I wanted to see someone from the practice. In the morning I called my doctor’s office and they said I should just go directly to the hospital if I felt like I needed to. I figured they would turn me away that morning/day since my induction was scheduled for 6pm that night and I hadn’t felt any contractions yet.
I went about my day as usual-making all the final packing preparations and making sure the house was spotless before leaving. Jason came home from work a little early so we would have time to pack, leave and eat dinner before heading to the hospital. To say I was nervous/terrified was an understatement! We ate dinner at Pita Fusion and the girl who checked us out asked when I was due and I was like “Now- like in a hour. Haha” I thought I was funny!
We checked into the hospital and they had me get into a gown and get all hooked up to the monitors.
At 10pm I asked the nurse to check me and she did so, begrudgingly. She hadn’t expected any progress at all from me. She checked me and I was at a 2! So yes, I had made progress! She still didn’t think that I would have much progress that night so she brought me my Ambien so I could “sleep.” I tried to “sleep” from 10-11 but my contractions were pretty strong and I slept only intermittently.
Once I was awake again I felt like the Cervidil had fallen out. She checked me and it had indeed, fallen out. She couldn’t get the medicine back in and we thought my water had broken naturally. She sent a sample to the lab to confirm. She called my doctor in the meantime to find out if I needed to put more of the drug in again or if I was alright. Since I had already been making progress, the Dr. said I didn’t need any more of that drug (which we appreciated since the nurse told us it cost $800 each time!).
My contractions continued getting stronger and more painful but since I still thought I would be laboring a long time I accepted a dose of narcotics when the nurse offered them. I thought it was a good way to deal with the pain until I was ready for the epidural.
The narcotics combined with the sleeping pill were probably not the best idea but at the time I didn’t understand exactly what they would do! Not to mention, my nurse had me constantly believing that I would be laboring either for a very long time or not at all until given Pitocin which they wouldn’t start until the morning (which seemed a long time away since it was only 11pm ish).
After the narcotics I was able to sleep for about an hour. Truthfully, I remember the sleep, and in drug induced sleep I was peaceful for 30 seconds or so and then in my dream a conveyor belt would bring me pain-literally I could feel physically and apparently mentally in my sleep as the next contractions hit. As I described this to Jason after I woke up he said I was pretty hilarious. I even remember there being giraffes on this “conveyor belt of pain” as I lovingly call it now. It makes for a good story but I think I would have been better off without being on those-live and learn for the next time.
Good news was that when I woke up the nurse checked me again and I was at a 4. Hurrah! The nurse had planned to give me Pitocin but finally agreed that I was actually in active labor and my body seemed to know what it was doing and didn’t need any additional stimulation. The lab results came back eventually that my water did in fact break too so we knew things were moving along!
I labored awhile longer and made it to a 5 at 1:30 am. I decided then that I did want the epidural and the anesthesiologist arrived around 2:30am. After I got the epidural and a catheter I was at a 7! Yay!
I then slept on and off from 2:30-6:30am with the epidural. I have to say that was awesome. I could still feel my legs and I had a very positive experience. I was so glad I got to feel contractions and know that my body was doing what it needed to do (with only a little help from the Cervidil) but that epidural was awesome to take away the pain. I woke up around 6:30 and was feeling pain so they increased my epidural again and then I slept intermittently again.
Around 9am, Dad and Carol showed up again! I think they literally woke us up and we basically had to kick them out because they had just measured me and I was at a 9! My doctor came and got me started pushing but then left and I pushed for about an hour with an awesome nurse. It was a really cool experience and I felt like I could really feel it and Jason was really into and kept seeing her head and was like “it’s so cool-keep pushing!”
At around 10:15 the doctor came back and helped me literally do one final push to get her out! I think it was 3 big pushes and she was born at 10:17am. It was amazing. They handed her straight to me and Jason was able to cut the cord. I got a few minutes with her before they took her to be weighed and cleaned up-she came in at 8 pounds 2 ounces and 20.75 inches. Jason was able to go with her for her bath and her tests which was nice. We were so blessed that Jason was well enough to be there for her birth and experience it together- I couldn't imagine such a special moment without him!
Getting checked out
Still swollen- she didn't look like this for long!
First family photo!
Our Pediatrician- Dr. Spellings
All soaped up getting her first bath!
We love those cheeks!
Resting once she was all clean and warm + little mohawk
Her real face-our little beautiful doll
It wasn’t long before they moved us to a recovery room and we spent the next 2 days in the hospital. I had amazing nurses including my next door neighbor who seriously treated me like a queen. They took care of me so well and offered great advice and took the baby a few times so I could get some rest. They gave lots of help with nursing and boy was I nervous to go home after such good care!
Hanging with Mom
Her hair definitely seemed dark in the hospital
And ready to head home!
Luckily Mom and Don showed up to help us at home that first week and we all survived. Barely :)
Welcome to the world Baby Girl.
Nora Elizabeth Thomas
8 pounds 2 ounces