My due date was 12/11/2016. The day passed without any signs of a baby. I was okay with that because my birthday was the next day. I told Andrew if I shared a birthday with my daughter, the two of us would be having a girls trip to Disneyland to celebrate every year. Unfortunately, she didn't come on my birthday either. The next day came and I started to have some real contractions in the morning, but nothing consistent and nothing very strong. That evening the contractions started to pick up again so I decided to go to bed early in case labor really kicked in. I woke up sporadically throughout the night to random contractions, but was always able to go right back to sleep.
At 4 am on 12/14/2016, I woke up to a particularly strong contraction. I decided to stay awake and start timing. They were regular and getting stronger, but I wasn't sure if they were quite close enough or quite strong enough yet. At 6 am, I woke up Andrew so we could start getting everything together. We still had to drop off Taylor with his grandparents and I didn't want to run out of time if things picked up.
We got to the hospital and I was checked in slowly. I mean painfully slow. I don't think the lady at check-in was aware that I was in labor. It was around 7 am when I was finally allowed into triage. I was terrified that I wasn't progressing or far enough along. I did not want to be sent home. A nurse checked me and I was at... 8 centimeters! I couldn't believe it. My contractions were completely different this time around than they were with Taylor. I remember shaking and crying through contractions with Taylor at only 6 cm (that's when I called for the epidural). Here I was at 8 cm, maintaining my composure. Yes, the contractions were painful, but I was able to breathe through them and then immediately snap back into a happy conversation once it was over. I guess that's why I was so unaware of how far into labor I was - I expected it to be the same as it was with Taylor. The nurse was astounded and quickly told me I would be wheeled into my delivery room (they were afraid my water would break and the baby would come sliding out if I walked).
I made sure that it was known that I wanted an epidural before it was too late and I was hooked up with the magical drugs by 8 am. Again, the epidural experience was completely different this time around. I think with Taylor, I was so focused on the contractions that I didn't feel any part of the epidural process. Since I was able to handle contractions a lot better during this labor, I felt every part of the various epidural needles. It was not enjoyable, but worth it once it kicked in.
Once I was nice and comfy, Andrew and I were both able to get a nap in. My nurse checked me again and I hadn't really changed much so it was decided that I would start pitocin. This was about 10:45 and I immediately started feeling the contractions pick up (not the pain, just the feeling of them happening). At this point my water was still intake, so the doctor that was currently in the hospital came in to break it. As soon as that happened I knew it was go time, but my doctor wasn't quite to the hospital yet. The urge to push wasn't too strong so I was able to relax until Dr. T got there around 12:15. Everything was prepped and I got ready to push. This baby was ready to come because it only took a few strong pushes and Olive was out. Just like our last delivery, Dr. T let Andrew pull baby out and set her on my chest.
It was 12:46 when I saw my perfect Olive for the first time. She looks just like her big brother did as a newborn. Unlike her brother though who just cooed when he entered the world, Olive decided to let us know she was here by screaming. I enjoyed skin-to-skin time while getting stitched up. (Following in the footsteps of her older brother, Olive made her own episiotomy on the way out. Thanks kids!) She was weighed (7lbs 7oz) and measured (20 inches) and passed her newborn screening test. In all regards, she's perfect and we're in love.
Taylor has taken quite a liking to her as well which we are so grateful for. He always wants to check on baby sister, points out her nose and toes, and gives her fist bumps. Being a family of four is wonderful.