One month has passed by since our world was changed with the arrival of our baby girl so I figured it’s about time to reflect and share our birth story! We were so surprised when she decided to come, and the most surprising part was how fast it all happened!

Sunday evening, two days before my due date, we had delicious street tacos that some of our family brought over, and when they left I was suddenly in full on nesting mode. I had SO much energy! I washed all our bed sheets and blankets, cleaned up the kitchen, and tidied up the house a bit. By 8:30 pm we were watching a movie and settling in for the night. Around 9:30 pm I started having some contractions, slightly stronger than braxton hicks, and i wondered if this could be the start of early labor. I had about 8 contractions that got stronger each time, and at 10:25 pm, my water broke suddenly! I was so shocked, I reached over to wake up the hubby, yelling “go get more towels!!” From that point it was a whirlwind getting to the hospital. Neither of us expected I would go into labor that night, so we were a bit frantic, but we made it to the hospital by 11:00 pm.

Arriving at the hospital, they check for dilation and did a test to make sure my water actually broke to see if they would admit me to the hospital. At that point my contractions were getting really strong, and I was NOT going to be happy if they sent us home..Finally around 12:30 am the nurses came in and said they’d admit me. Thank goodness! I was GBS+ so they immediately hooked up an IV and got the antibiotics flowing. They asked if I wanted an epidural, and I (trying to be brave) told them I’d wait. After all, I was only dilated to a 2, and I wanted to try things out on my own…Well about half an hour later, it was a whooooole different story! I was ready for some relief! The wait ended up being about 45 minutes before the anesthesiologist arrived, and let me tell you, those were some of the most overwhelmingly painful 45 minutes I’ve ever endured. I am so so so grateful for modern medicine and epidurals! Side note: I have so much respect for those women who can power through their entire labor. I am just NOT that person.. Through it all, the hubs was SO supportive and helped me through every contraction. He was seriously more amazing than I ever could have imagined, and I love him so much more for it.

Once I had the epidural, we were able to get some sleep. Around 6 am, the nurse came in to do a check again, and I had only progressed to a 3. They upped the pitocin one level and at 8 am checked again. To my surprise the nurse said, “Wow, you’re at a 9!” I couldn’t believe how fast things changed and I was so surprised to hear the good news. I spent another hour dilating to a 10, and then labored down for an hour. (This laboring down term is something I’d never heard until I was in the hospital. Basically it’s letting your body do the work on it’s own, making the pushing time much shorter than trying to force that baby out before she’s ready! Finally around 10:15 am I started to push. My Mom and hubby Seth were both there, helping me through every push. It was such a special experience having both of them by my side. My nurse Kirsten was the best help I could have asked for. She counted during each push and gave encouraging words making me feel like a super hero! With the epidural, all I could really feel were the contractions at the top of my belly, so each time I pushed I had to go off of that feeling. Finally after 45 minutes, sweet little Norah emerged into the world and was immediately placed on my chest. All I could think was how sweet she looked and I just wanted to pull her in close to me. She is the spitting image of her daddy with her cute little button nose. All the emotion surrounding that moment was so overwhelming, it’s hard to describe what it’s really like, and now I TOTALLY get it when people say you don’t know what it’s like until you’re a mom yourself. It’s just so surreal.

Norah was born 6 lbs. 2 oz. and 17.5″ long. So tiny and so perfect:) Life with baby girl is very different, with all new challenges and experiences, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I feel a new sense of purpose to life, richer and more meaningful than ever before and I am so grateful for this little girl who’s made me a mama, and made Seth a daddy. We love her more and more every day:)