If you are interested in the birth story, keep reading. If not, just know that we had our baby. :)
Last Sunday Aaron and I walked quite a few miles hoping it would get labor going. Monday morning about 5 am I woke up feeling different and after a few minutes realized I was having contractions. I was thrilled that my body had gone into labor on its own and also anxious knowing that this meant that I had to birth the baby! Around 11 I called the hospital to pre-register and told them that I was in very early labor and wouldn't come in until I couldn't walk or talk through contractions because I had previously decided that I wanted to do everything in my power to have an unmedicated birth. A few minutes later, my doctor called me and asked what was going on. I told her and she told me to go walk for an hour and then come up the hospital to be checked. We had lunch and then took off on the walk. After a few minutes of walking, we decided we should just walk to the hospital since we assumed it would take about that long. So we did! We got there and they said I was at a 3+. They had to monitor me in another hour so Aaron and I walked around the Labor and Delivery floor for an hour. They checked again and I was same. They asked what we wanted to do and I said we wanted to go home and labor there. My doctor didn't agree and came in and told me that I could be in early labor for days and asked suggested she strip my membranes to see if it would speed things up. We agreed and soon I was at a 5+, and then after another two or so hours of walking around the floor, was at the same. We were given a couple of choices and decided breaking my water was the best idea. At this point (5:00) we were admitted so Aaron called a friend from the ward to pick him up and take him home to get our stuff since we had walked there not expecting to stay! Luckily we had everything pretty pre-packed so he was able to get back quickly. My doctor broke my water and the contractions came harder almost immediately. Laying in the bed was the most uncomfortable and made me really nervous so I asked to continue to walk. Soon I couldn't walk during the contractions anymore and had to put my arms around Aaron's neck and sway back and forth breathing as hard as I could. I was getting to the point where I didn't know how much longer I could make it when I noticed that I felt like I had to push to make it through parts of the contractions. I mentioned it to the doctor. She was a bit surprised and checked me and I was at a 9.5! I had never heard better words in my life! I had almost made it! They told me to turn on my side and that they thought one more contraction would complete me. It did. They had me push when I felt like pushing (10:30). It was the hardest physical labor I've ever performed in my life and at times incredibly painful, but I knew there was nothing else I could do. After over an hour her head came out. I had no idea we were that close. It was thrilling and so relieving to feel her come out. She was born at 11:40 pm on her due date July 5, and weighed 7 lbs and 10 ounces and was 20.5 inches long. They put her directly on me and let me hold her for quite a few minutes. She screamed for about the first two hours of her life. When Aaron got to hold her he looked back and forth from her to me and said, “Holy cow, she looks like me.” A couple hours later when we were taken to postpartum, we just kept staring at her and saying over and over that we couldn't believe we had done it. I feel so blessed that Heavenly Father allowed me to have the birth experience I had wanted and prepared for. I am also incredibly grateful for the hospital staff and my doctor who were 100% supportive of me and never tried to talk me out of an unmedicated birth.
We named her Eliza Rachel. Eliza because we think it is beautiful and has ties to pioneers and Nauvoo. And Rachel in memory of my grandpa who passed away two months ago. His grandmother was named Rachel.
This past week has been wonderful. Tiring, of course, but wonderful. Aaron took the week off of work so we have been together 24-7. The baby was not getting enough food from me so we have had to use supplemental nursing. Aaron helped with each feeding and we felt it was a special bonding time for us.
It's been a fabulous week and we've just tried to soak in every minute. We are on Cloud Nine with our little doll who we get to dress up and bathe and show off. She is incredibly beautiful and we can barely take our eyes off of her.
We are so blessed.