Ok, so now I'll get into the finer points. Depending on whether you're friend/family/coworker, the below may be WAY too much info, in which case I wouldn't be offended if you stop reading & delete now. Besides- I'll never know :)
1. Water broke at 6am Wednesday. Baby born 10:19 Friday. For the mathematically challenged, Friday minus Wed is a long time. This was NOT what I signed up for. Good thing I wrote the birth plan with flexibility clauses for extenuating circumstances.
2. I started having some contractions Wednesday, but nothing too bad and nothing very consistent. We tried EVERY natural induction technique, inlcuding walking, acupuncture & castor oil. Ok, well Luke didn't try anything, but he grimaced on my behalf when he saw what castor oil looks like. And by the way, did you know castor oil is made from FISH oil? Nasty. Anyhow, nothing seemed to really work. Oh, and we tried the breast pump too. Nothing makes you feel more desperate than sitting like a dairy cow on the couch at 2:30 am. Plus Luke says it gave him some unseemly chaffing. ;)
3. Thursday morning we headed into the hospital since they don't like you to be out & about with broken water for risk of infection. Despite our efforts to have a "natural" labor, I was put on pitocin. Lots of it. I was on increasing amounts of pitocin for about 12 hours before I executed plan b: screw "natural" and give me the drugs. The PROBLEM with this is that I had talked to luke about trying to help me avoid this scenario. So the poor guy tried to talk me out of the epidural for half an hour because I had told him to in advance. I would classify this as a marriage-threatening experience. He was just trying to do what he thought I wanted, but the contractions were a minute apart & I was at 4 cm & knew I couldn't continue like that.
4. The epidural was a blessed event. Did I feel like a failure for giving in? Not for even one second. I do have a increased respect though for women (katie & kate!) who tough it out! I told luke that getting the epidural was the best decision I've made since marrying him. But between you & I, it might have been best decision overall.
5. With the pain gone we slept for hours at a time as I continued to progress.
6. My sis Ash showed up on photographer duty at 1am. We tried to tell her things were going slow, but she was VERY anxious to not miss anything. For her troubles she got a 6 hour nap in an upright rocking chair.
7. FINALLY around 8 it was time to start pushing. With the epidural turned down, I could feel pain but probably just a fraction of what it would have been like otherwise. Not to gloat, but I kicked ass. You should see the cone head my daughter has to prove it! It took a couple of hours but finally she popped out. She was all blue and floppy, and it was luke's job to announce if baby was a boy or a girl. We had to remind him to look, and in shock he announced it was a GIRL! He still cannot figure out how our daughter will be star quarterback in high school...but he's getting used to the idea. Because she looked especially smurf-like they whisked her to the infant resuscitation station (in the birthing room) to do some checks on her. Luke went with while I got finished up. She started crying shortly thereafter (no sweeter sound) & they wrapped her up & gave her to luke. Watching him bounce her around the room was the first of many times I will be so thankful to God for giving me a wonderful husband who is ALSO going to be an amazing daddy. When I met this guy at 15 I was not concerned with "future father potential," so what a lucky break I got! He was also a GREAT "coach"- especially while pushing. Plus he didn't pass out...and that wouldn't have been entirely out of character for him ;)
So here we are, showered & cleaned up & fed (did you know they don't let you eat while you're on pitocin? I went over 24 hrs w/o eating- LAME!!!). Luke is snoring away (we will probably be asked to leave early) and Johonna is bundled up right next to me. I took a little nap & when I woke up I immediately had that Christmas morning feeling- where you forget for a second what's going on and get to enjoy the re-realization of the great things you have to look forward too. She has my brother Jack's nose (thank you for no ellis or middlebrooks nose!), and upon further inspection she has my cheeks, Kimberly's Hamilton chin, and Dan Akroyd's conehead.
Sorry for the ridiculously long email. We are just so knocked off our feet in love. Can't wait for you all to meet her. Unless you have swine flu. In which case we'll let you meet her when your oinking subsides.
Love & Hugs,
Michelle (and luke & johonna)