On Friday, July 16th at 6:43pm, Jaelyn finally decided to make her grand entrance! And what an entrance it was!
(Most of these pictures are from our iPhones, so please forgive the quality!)
Justin was home from work that day, so we spent the morning cleaning up the house and making a CostCo run. I was having contractions pretty close together but not very strong still - and I never would have guessed that I'd be holding her later that evening! When we got home I noticed that the contractions were getting stronger, and after timing them and seeing they were less than three minutes apart we decided to head to the hospital.
After getting settled in at triage, my first check said I was only 4cm, and not very "soft". Since my contractions were five minutes apart, they were talking about sending us home. We had an amazing nurse named Robbie who, knowing I wanted a natural birth, suggested we walk the halls for an hour and come back to get checked again. Almost two hours later I had a check and was at five and told I could stay. I was thrilled! The thought of getting sent home brought tears to my eyes - I was so DONE!
After that things moved very quickly. Robbie gave us some coaching on breathing techniques and laboring positions, and we were off walking the halls again. My contractions were much stronger, and I was questioning my own ability to get through labor unmedicated (because I was assuming I still had a long way to go -- my water hadn't even broken). We were given a room, and shortly after I was in the tub - which I wish I had thought to use in my other labors! It was much more comfortable than standing or sitting!
Around 6pm, I told Justin that I was feeling a lot of pressure - and that he should let the nurses know. The ones at the nurses station assured him it was normal and fine. A few minutes later, Robbie was back in asking me about it. She suggested I get out of the tub for a check - after drying off and just making it over to the bed to sit, another contraction began that broke my water. I remember calling out, "Now I want to push!" She and Justin got me on the bed somehow and after a very quick check she was yelling down the hall for help, and call Dr Newman, and get the on-call doctor in here... the baby was ready!
I was shocked and relieved - those WERE intense contractions and I was not going to have to have medication! I never even had an IV put in this time. That, coupled with not having my water artifically broken, made this my first birth without any medication or intervention. Yay!
An army of people came rushing into the room, including Kristen Self, our birth photographer, who made it just in the nick of time! Two contractions later, Jaelyn had arrived! She was 7 pounds, 9.5 ounces and 20.5 inches long. She has a tiny dimple on her chin, and a bump on her ear - both features right from Daddy! Actually, I think she looks just like his baby pictures! I will have to post comparisons on that later!!!
Justin went to call his parents to say she arrived, and they were just pulling into the parking lot! My parents arrived from Vegas just a few hours later - so everything truly lined up just perfectly.
She has some dark hair, about as much as Paige did - but with even more of a widow's peak. She has been a great baby so far, nursing like a champ and looking all around healthy and perfect!
On Saturday the girls were able to come see her, along with Aunt Jen (who bought them their adorable shirts!) and Grandma Nel. They were SO excited, especially Lauren!
All the staff was really great to us, they even arranged everything so were were able to go home at 7pm on Saturday! We were so happy to be able to sleep in our own beds (for the small amount that we have been sleeping!).
Jaelyn wasn't too excited about the carseat. LOL!
She settled down just fine once we were moving. =)
We picked up the girls and made in home just in time to tuck them into bed!
It was an amazing experience, and I am so glad we were patient and waited for when she was ready to arrive! She is a sweet and snuggly addition to our family, and we are busy just loving her to bits right now!
I was trying to save this, my 200th post for announcing the baby's arrival - but she appears to be content to hang out in my belly for the time being! I have been contracting for several days now and keep thinking "today is the day" to no avail. I am starting to wonder how long I might have been laboring with my other pregnancies had I not gone in to have my water broken!
Anyway, an update on the girls: They are both very excited to see the baby and love to point out babies wherever we go! Lauren is looking enormous to me, so tall and pretty. She is not at all excited about starting Kindergarten in five weeks - but we are working on it! When we talk about it, Paige always pipes up that she is going to go to school too -- which could be loads of fun to deal with. ;o) Paige has been doing great with potty training, finally! She has decided she doesn't like to wear pull-ups or diapers, so that has been a HUGE motivation for her! Mommy could not be more happy about that development! Just in the nick of time.
Here are the girls in their 4th of July outfits:
Things around here have been very low-key in anticipation of Jaelyn's arrival. We have been hanging close to home, walking anywhere we can find air-conditioning, and trying to make sure we have the house is as much order as possible. It has been hard, I feel pretty isolated and out of the loop... and I know it will only get worse in the first few weeks after having a newborn! The girls have been really flexible though, and for that I am very grateful. I am so blessed to have these awesome kiddos!!!
On Friday morning we had to say farewell to the beloved furry member of our family, our sweet Daisy. She suddenly became sick early in the week, and it was obvious that she wouldn't be with us much longer. This gave us time to prepare the girls, and they have done very well - death isn't a reality for them still. It is still very hard for Justin and I, as our house just seems empty without her in it. Daisy was a huge part of our family for nearly nine years - and I wanted to take a moment to remember her here, on our family blog.
The above picture was the day we picked her up from the breeder, in a PetSmart parking lot in Mesa. She was so little and very timid -- it took some time for her to adjust to being away from her mom and siblings. She was our first "baby" and went everywhere with us that pets were allowed!
She was truly a sweet dog. She loved to bark, as all Schnauzers do... but aside from that small inconvenience, she was the perfect pet for our family! She loved us, and our girls - tolerating them from day one: climbing all over her, pulling at her, putting dress up stuff on her, and generally torturing her!
A wonderful companion, you would always find her in the same room with you, content just to be near the action. She knew what was comfortable, and preferred to sit in the girls soft chairs, or to lay on as many pillows as she could find! Such a funny girl.
We love you dearly and will miss you, Daisy-dog.
You were a blessing to each of us, and we are thankful we were able to enjoy you as long as we did!
She is your mirror, shining back at you with a world of possibilities. She is your witness, who sees you at your worst and best, and loves you anyway. She is your partner in crime, your midnight companion, someone who knows when you are smiling, even in the dark. She is your teacher, your defense attorney, your personal press agent, even your shrink. Some days, she's the reason you wish you were an only child. ~Barbara Alpert