On a sweet November evening of last year, we welcomed our third child, Sophie Grace into our crazy family. Of all the birth stories previously written on this blog (here + here), hers was by far the shortest. We had been praying that labor would short and somewhat sweet. To be honest, I hadn't fully prepared mentally for her birth, like I had for my first child or even second child. Perhaps for that reason, I felt a bit wimpish when labor began to pick up in intensity.
Early labor started on a Friday afternoon, around the same time we were supposed to leave to go on a boat ride (could you imagine if we had gone?) with some of my husband's co-workers. I actually didn't notice when I started getting the contractions, because I was tending to my second one. My in-laws had come over shortly after, as they were going to watch the boys as we were about to leave for the boat ride. Timing-wise, this was perfect, since we had no idea when my labor would start, and the whole thought of having the two kids with me alone while it happened, terrified me a bit. But to have the Hubby home AND my in-laws over to watch the kids was an answered prayer in itself, and looking back, it's funny how much I often worry about things that are totally out of my control, but the Lord knew it would all work out in the end!
After a couple hours of consistent, but painless contractions, we decided to head closer to the hospital to walk around, just in case we encountered another near car-birth experience again. We decided to drive to the mall to walk around, and soon my contractions began to pick up in speed and intensity, spacing at 3-7 minutes apart. I was feeling nervous about the timing of the contractions, so we headed to the hospital.
It was a rather quiet evening at the hospital this time, with one other patient in L+D. We got situated, and the nurse told me I was only 4cm, which was shocking to me, because some of the contractions started to get uncomfortable. They told us we had 2 hours to walk around the halls before they would check me again, and if I didn't progress, they would send me home. I felt disappointed, but the nurse encouraged me with the fact that labor would speed up quickly after 5cm, since this was my third one.
We walked up and down the hospital hallway for a little over an hour, and my contractions started to become more painful, and each step becoming more unbearable. The thought of staring at another set of hospital tiles made me queasy, and I began feeling weak, imagining different scenarios, worrying that I would be going through the same pain for hours (and feeling as though my pain tolerance has decreased). Mike prayed for me, asking the Lord to show me grace with a shorter labor this time around.
I decided to go back to the room to sit down and rest, and that was when my mom called to ask how I was doing. I remember telling her I was about to have a big contraction, and so she hung up the phone (haha). Afterwards, the nurse told us to let her know if I began to feel the urge to push, which happened right after she left the room. The nurse ran back in, and started paging the doctor, who was in the OR with a patient who was having a C-Section. Holding back the urge to push has always been the worst feeling, and I was ready to push the baby out, doctor or no doctor! After what felt like an eternity, the doctor rushed in and told me to push once, pause and push again. And just like that, our
screaming sweet little girl (with a big set of lungs) was born!
Holding our baby girl in my arms was just as sweet as the first time I held my boys. Seriously, the feeling of holding and meeting your child for the first time never gets old. I can see why some are willing to go through it over and over...the addiction is real, folks. Even though babies all look the same, there was something daintier and more fragile with a girl-- from her slender little fingers to her soft, pink cheeks, sweet smell and higher pitched cry (a bit shrill at times), I loved every bit of it.
One of my biggest fears with having a third has been the whole jealously issue that our first child experienced when our second one was born. So, so many folks had been praying hard over us and our boys-- that they would love and protect her. And by God's grace (see the common theme here?), the boys have been nothing but sweet to their baby sister, even smothering her a bit too much at times. She is incredibly blessed, and we are even more blessed and thankful to have her in our family.
|Our first set of family photos taken by my awesome brother, Spencer (he took these all under half an hour)!|
|I cannot tell you how long it took to find a decent Christmas photo with everyone somewhat looking at the camera|