Norah's Birth Story and *some* of our hospital pictures.

Monday, August 19, 2013
Hard to believe we've had a newborn for over two weeks already. I had my last OB appointment on Tuesday, July 30th. Little did I know that after much worry and stress over what day the following week I'd be having Norah via scheduled C-section, that she'd actually want to make her appearance on her own 3 days later.

Thursday night on August 1st, right after dinner, I started getting timeable, but not totally painful contractions. Once I started timing them, they were about 5-8 minutes apart, and within an hour, I had had somewhere around 15 or more. I called the hospital, and they wanted to come in and monitor me. At 38 weeks, 3 days, I was far enough along that if it was labor, they would perform a C-section. We got pretty excited.

Thankfully, we've been lucky enough to make some great friends down here and we had a family who was more than willing to help out and watch the kids. The kids ended up spending the night with our friends--their very first sleepover! And the both did great!

Anyway, they monitored me for a while, as the contractions continued and my doctor made the call that we *could* deliver Norah that night, but since I had last eaten at 5:30/6:00pm, the anesthesiologist wouldn't let it happen until 2am that morning. My doctor advised us to go home, get some rest, and come back right away in the morning if they were still timeable.

They continued throughout the night, and into the morning, only they were now about 10-15 minutes apart. I was disappointed, thinking it was slowing down and was ready to tell Ryan to just go to work and we'd wait and see throughout the day. Ryan decided we'd go get monitored anyway, just to see what they'd say.

By the time we got to the hospital (around 8 or 8:30ish), they were, in fact, coming closer again, at about 8-10 minutes apart. After monitoring me for a little while, they called the doc, and he pretty much said "Let's do this". I had prepared for it by not eating breakfast that morning, lol, just in case.

And just like that, the nurse was putting my IV in (my labor nurse was phenomenal, and originally from Minnesota), they got me all prepped, brought Ryan his scrubs, and the only thing we were waiting on was for my doctor to get there, which was going to be at about 11am.

Knowing there wouldn't be anyone to take pictures for us (which, the most important ones to me were the ones of the kids meeting Norah and the five of us together for the very first time), I had lined up another photographer to come take hospital photos. She was there from right before (was not allowed in the OR), and then stuck around with us for about 5-6 hours that day. I don't have those pictures back yet, but I've seen them, and the ones of the kids make me cry. So glad I made that decision.

Anyway, so they walk us back around 11:20 or so, give me the epi/spinal combination and it was baby time. As exciting as it is, and even though I went through it twice previous to this (with Henry's being a little harder to remember), it's still pretty nerve wracking to be sitting on a table waiting for major surgery to happen. I cried quite a bit, was shaking, and a little nauseous.

Once they gave me some Zofran, I felt a lot better and more relaxed and waited for those first cries. It took them a bit longer than it did with Henry and Claire to get Norah out (which was apparently due to her larger head).

She didn't cry immediately, but once she started, she didn't stop until she was all wrapped up and held. Unlike our other hospital, they did all the assessments and measurements right in the OR room, so the three of us were together the entire time.

Once I was all fixed up, we were wheeled into a temporary recovery room where I got to hold her for the first time. After about an hour or two in there, I was wheeled into our post partum room.

Ryan brought the kids up a few hours after that. The OR pictures were taken by Ryan, of course, and then the rest are a combination of him or I during our 3 day hospital stay (we went home Sunday night).

We are so blessed. More pictures will come later. :)

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Norah Caroline is here!

Monday, August 5, 2013
August 2, 2013 at 11:38am. She weighed in at 7 pounds, 14.5 ounces and 19 inches long.

We had a birth photographer capturing everything before and after the actual c-section procedure. Ryan was able to take photos during. These two are my absolute favorites. The moment I heard Norah cry for the first time and the moment I saw her and touched her for the first time.

More to come later!

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