We are parents. We are a family of 3 humans + our very human-like Lily dog. What a ride, guys. What a ride. I feel like my head is in the clouds (in pretty much the best possible, thank-goodness-I-don’t-have-to-work-or-look-presentable kind of way). I absolutely must get my birth story down on “paper” before it’s a distant, blurred memory like so many other things and my poor memory.
Shea Olivia is here, healthy, and perfect. All parents are biased, but coming home from the hospital yesterday, I looked at Mark and just said, “She’s just so beautiful!! Don’t you think she’s just beeeautiful?!” He laughed and said of course.
In my last post, I was hoping to head to labor and delivery Sunday evening for my induction…after it had been postponed from Friday due to overcrowding. I was completely miserable all day Sunday with being very pregnant, emotional, and having this on-edge feeling of “what’s next?”. What I won’t forget is Mark picking a bunch of tomatoes and saying, “We can make homemade tomato soup for dinner.” And by “we” obviously he meant “me”…so we had some very delicious homemade tomato soup before heading to the hospital at 8pm. Nothing like doing a bunch of dishes before going into labor, right? Oh, the perks of being married to a food blogger…
When we arrived, I was the only patient on the labor and delivery floor – a very different story from Friday. So, we settled in and did paperwork, gowned up, drugs were ordered, and all that fun stuff. I was first checked for any cervical change and there was none, so cervidil was ordered to begin the process of induction. The cervidil was expected to stay in and work over the course of 12 hours and repeated as needed, but between 10pm and 2am, major, major progress had been made. I believe most of the forward progress was actual labor from my body (some things are foggy as I was given an Ambien to help me sleep through the induction), not the drug, as my water broke at 2:20am. The cervidil came out around 4am since my contractions had started with a vengeance and were about 1-2 minutes apart. While contractions aren’t fun, the more miserable part was not being able to move around to labor. Due to the monitors for the baby being finicky, I had to labor on my right side in a VERY uncomfortable hospital bed for several hours. Mark rubbed my back and just tried to keep me as comfortable as possible. It was sheer misery, honestly.
At 5:00am I requested an epidural – my contractions were so close together and I was exhausted, begging for a c-section (no lie!). Mark watched the whole epidural process and it was mostly a blur for me. It was uncomfortable, but no big deal at all. Shortly after the procedure, my blood pressure dropped very low and Shea’s heart rate dropped even lower. I wasn’t fully aware of what was going on (Ambien, pain, everything had my cloudy), but I was given epinephrine and oxygen and a bunch of people were called into the room until we both stabilized. Mark didn’t over-react, but he said it was very scary for a bit.
I slept from 5:30-7:30am and by 8:30am I was 8-9 centimeters and fully effaced! I was making major progress which was amazing. My evening nurse said, “You’ll have a baby by noon, I bet!!” I couldn’t be happier and really felt like the epidural was making things totally doable. Around this same time, I also had a second sac of water rupture, which was…weird. But by late morning, I was 10 centimeters dilated and they had turned on the warmer for the baby and the room was being prepped for delivery, despite not seeing a provider yet.
At this point, I waited. And waited. And waited. As time passed, my epidural became less and less effective and I just hung around, thinking, “Isn’t it time to push?!” About SIX HOURS later (after laboring down during this entire time – basically, sitting in a way in the bed that allowed gravity and contractions to help assist in delivery and “shorten the actual push time needed”), the nurse midwife came in (apparently there was a complicated c-section and another labor that preceded me) and asked if I was ready to push. She explained that there’s being “ready” (dilated) and really ready and having the urge to push. Having never done this before, we did a few practice pushes with a lot of guidance from her and at that point, she wanted me to “labor down” for awhile longer. Uggh.
Not long after, I did begin to push with the help of a nurse and the nurse midwife came back in after about an hour and I continued to push an additional 2 hours for a total of 3 very long hours and almost exactly 24 hours of total labor. Unfortunately, due to the epidural and length of time I was contracting for, my body had slowed down the frequency of contractions and so I was being given pitocin at increasing rates throughout the 3 hours. They had respiratory and several other “extras” in the room by the time it came down to the last few pushes…which, wow. Just wow. I’m not a weenie and I thought at several points I was incapable of giving birth.
But, I did.
Shea Olivia was born at 8:30pm on Monday, October 6th weighing in at 8 pounds 10 ounces and 20 ¾ inches in length. Her blood sugar was low and we had to give her donor breast milk of which she sucked down in about 0.2 seconds. Luckily, she has had no blood sugar issues from then on. She is perfectly healthy and an absolute sweetie.
We are working on our latch – she’s a strong sucker, but a lazy latcher! She loves, loves, loves to be held and loves the sunlight. She hates to be cold, loves her hats, and has one dimple that I could kiss all day long. She has a full head of hair that looks to be strawberry blonde. The in-laws all miss her terribly and parenting is proving to be a huge challenge. I’m looking forward to a routine and learning what makes her tick, but for now, it’s a lot of cuddles and not a lot of sleep. I actually thought to myself this morning, “What are some foods that I can easily eat with one hand only? I need to buy lots of those…”
The blog will march on, but bear with me as I find my new normal and cooking routine. Thank you for your outpouring of love and support surrounding our growing family. Please follow along on Instagram and Facebook for updates. I will do my best to not go baby crazy on the blog…but no promises! I am one smitten mama.
You’ll laugh Nicole, but I went to bed Sunday night and checked Facebook to see if you posted anything. Then the next morning I see Mark on the computer and thought, she’ll have it this morning! I kept checking all day long – ha!
So glad that she’s not only here, but healthy. I guess I didn’t know they checked babies blood sugar when then are born now, and I don’t remember you saying you had gestational diabetes, just wondering!
Hugs and congrats on becoming a Momma – it’s the best job you’ll ever have!
Thank you, Biz! You were so cute with your waiting…warms my little heart! I took metformin for PCOS (still am) and to battle the infertility. I actually struggled with some low blood sugars throughout the pregnancy, so I wasn’t shocked with Shea’s low sugar after birth 🙁 Especially with the long labor. She’s doing great now, though 🙂 She’s a keeper, for sure!
Congrats! She is beautiful! Enjoy every moment!
Thank you, Erin!!
You look amazing. Congrats and so glad you got to tell your story before you forgot it.
Thank you, Barb! I am feeling really good. My weight ballooned so quickly with fluid…I’m already down 31 pounds with only 9 to go. And Shea isn’t even 6 days old! Holy FLUID! 😉
What a beauty she is! Congratulations Nicole and to all of the “Prevention” family. Enjoy this most precious time with your little bundle of joy!
Thank you, Debbie! Lots of cuddles going on over here 🙂
Thank you, Katie!
Congratulations! I’m so happy for you (and emotional as I’m due with #2 in a few weeks!).
Don’t worry about the blog too much, just enjoy your baby!! It’s such a special time that goes too quickly!
Jacqueline, congrats to you as well! You know what’s heading your way…and that’s a good thing! I don’t think there’s any preparation for a first time mom. Over-whelming! Amazing, but just a slew of emotions! 🙂 Enjoy your newest addition and wishing you a quick and safe delivery 🙂
I’m so proud of you, friend! Laboring for over 20 hours is NOT easy! But at least you have Shea to show for it. She’s gorgeous, of course. 🙂
Thank you, dear friend!!! 🙂
It wasn’t till becoming a mommy that I loved labor stories and I do love yours. Congratulations!
1. Go with your gut!
2. It gets even better!
3. Don’t blink, you will miss something!
Thank you, Billie! It hasn’t really hit me she’s here yet…but I am just smitten with her!
Congratulations! She is absolutely beautiful! And do not worry about focusing on anything except baby and yourself. The next couple of months are like a roller coaster! It is such an amazing gift. Oh, and I remember thinking the same thing about the one handed food 🙂
Great advice, Emilie. Just me and her these next 11 weeks. I want to soak it all up!
Your fans are smitten as well 🙂 She’s one beautiful little princess!
Thank you tons, Gail! 🙂 xo
Congratulations! What a cutie! Enjoy your time as a new little family! 🙂
Thank you, Melissa!
So excited for you :). She’s beautiful!
Thank you, Lena! Hope you’re having fun!!
Congratulations! She is beautiful and please fill your blog with photos and stories of your beautiful daughter. You now have someone to pass all your cooking knowledge on to.
Thank you, Lucia! I definitely plan to do my best 🙂 Let’s just hope she’s not picky 😉
Congratulations!!!! So happy for you! She is adorable. Glad you are all doing well.
Thank you tons, Rachel!
Congrats to you and Mr. P! Shea is absolutely gorgeous! Enjoy your first few weeks of parenthood!
Thanks, Eva!! 🙂
So happy for you! My first delivery was exactly that long – so I feel for you there! And my oldest is 18 and I still remember it! LOL
She is amazingly beautiful – and I love her name!
She is adorable, congrats! I recommend looking into baby wearing, it saved my life for being able to cook, clean, eat etc. My first delivery was over 24 hours of labour and over 3 hours of pushing, number 2 was a BREEZE!
Alison, thank you! I have a Moby, but I’m finding it hot and cumbersome. I think I need something simpler. I have an Infantino that says for 8+ pounds, but her weight dipped below that, sadly. After our pediatrician appointment tomorrow, I hope she’s back above 8 pounds and hopefully we can give that carrier a try! 🙂 I hope #2 is a breeze…that seems to be how it goes for second time moms who had terrible first labors!
She is so beautiful!
How great that you wrote down her birth story right away. You do forget so much of it so quickly…
Enjoy those first few weeks. They go by so quickly…
Andrea, thank you! They are flying by already…it’s crazy.
Congratulations again to you and Mr. P.
Thank you so much for sharing your birth story with your friends and readers. It is always so interesting to hear what women experience in their labour and delivery.
I hope you are enjoying time with your new true love.
Welcom baby Shea!
Samantha, thank you! I so appreciate your email, by the way! I apologize for not responding yet. My hands-free moments are far and few between 😉
Congratulations! She’s beautiful!
Thank you, Danielle!
She is beautiful! Congratulations Mama!
Congratulations!! I just wanted to tell you that I so enjoy reading your blog. As a fellow RD, I love the RD Q&A and little tibits about your job. Now I will love seeing pictures of your cutie pie too! I hope you are loving being a mommy 🙂
Thank you, Kim! There will be photos of her, no doubt! Being a mommy is great (but no easy task!) 🙂
I just wanted to thank you for sharing your birth story and being so genuine in your blog. I am only discovering your blog today, and feel as if it is perfect timing with the birth of your daughter. My son turned one last month, but the day he was born is still vivid in my memory! I truly turned into the mommy who loves all things about pregnancy, labor/delivery, babies, motherhood, breastfeeding, you name it, which I really did not anticipate. There is a special bond moms share between one another that gives you this sense of belonging that humans crave. I love it!
So anyway, thank you for sharing, and CONGRATULATIONS! She’s beautiful!! Also, your laboring sounded quite tiring, my dear, but happy you and baby are well! I look forward to following your adventure! 🙂
Dani, thank you tons! I am so glad you stumbled upon my blog and I hope to “see you” around more 🙂 I have a feeling I’ll be one of the moms who becomes infatuated with all things baby/breast/etc 🙂
Congrats Nicole! Shea IS absolutely beautiful!
Thank you, Liz!! We are so in love 🙂
Congratulations! She is beautiful!
Thank you, Rebecca!!
Congratulations to you and your husband! Loved reading your birth story and so happy for you both. Some advice from this great grand mother……write down as many details as possible of her milestones. When she has her own child she will ask very detailed questions about her birth and early days. Sorry to say that things we think we will never forget are somehow lost! The blog about Shea’s birth is something she will always treasure. Good luck to the three of you and God Bless!
Nicole!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!! Shea is perfection, and so are you. You already have everything you need to be precisely the mom she needs. Trust your instincts and enjoy every day. <3 Hope to see you and your new love out and about!