I seriously am in shock that over a week ago I was walking into the hospital to have a baby. It's so surreal how slow time passes those last couple weeks of pregnancy, but how fast time passes once they're here. I figured I needed to write down Nova's story so I wouldn't forget how that morning was, and how I felt. Childbirth is truly an amazing thing. You never realize how much strength you actually have until one more push is what stands between you and your baby you've been waiting months to meet. So lets start the day before...

Tuesday the 20th I had to go in for a doctors appointment to check and see how Nova was doing. I was 2 days overdue at this point. When women go overdue the placenta can start to calcify and the baby can not get the nutrients they need. Therefore I went in and had another ultrasound done and what's called a Non-stress test or NST. The ultrasound was kinda cool, but she was so crammed in there that I really couldn't see anything in terms of profile. They were just looking at my fluid levels at this point, so it was pretty short and sweet. All I could think about was that I was going to meet that little face in real life in a matter of days. Everything checked out perfectly, and the sweet ultrasound tech tried to give me some pictures of her face, but they look really creepy and weird and I shoved them in my purse never to be seen again. Next up was the NST, which basically consisted of me sitting in a little room with monitors hooked up to my belly to watch her heart rate, and to see if I had any contractions. I sat in there for close to an hour before the MA popped her head in and handed me some juice. She told me Dr. Langer wanted me to drink the juice to see if we could wake the baby up a bit. I hadn't been paying much attention to the monitor at this point, so when I looked up at the strip I saw my baby wasn't really cooperating very well. They like to see what's called variables in the heart rate. They want to see peaks and valleys basically to show that the heart rate is accelerating and decelerating when the baby moves and rests. My baby was sitting flat. Meaning she wasn't moving around enough so her heart rate was staying in the same place. My hopes kind of shot up at that moment thinking maybe if she continued to not cooperate they would just send me to be induced early! Fat chance of that happening because as soon as that juice hit her system, she was back on track. About 20 minutes later the MA came back and unhooked me and put me in my little room with my little sheet tucked over my naked lower half. The only thing that kept me from not bursting into hysterical tears when Dr. Langer said I was still only a 1+ and 80% effaced (which was what I was last week) was the fact that I knew my baby was coming in the next couple of days. We had already scheduled the induction for the next night, but part of me was so sad that I wouldn't experience "natural labor." I'd never have the wake up in the middle of the night with contractions, or my water just broke feeling. I'd have the calm, collected, walk in and check in, type of child birth experience. I'd later learnt that it actually was a good thing. Dr. Langer made sure I knew everything was on track for my induction the next night, and told me I could expect to come in and have Cytotek (a medication to ripen the cervix) placed first, and then she would be in in the morning to break my water and start the Pitocin (a medication to start labor) and let the real fun begin. She told me to expect around a 12-24 hour labor. Sounded great to me, all I was worried about was keeping myself busy for another day and a half before I could get this show on the road. Going overdue is such a mean mind game. I'm very grateful my Dr. didn't make me go longer than 4 days overdue because we might have had a mad one woman pregnant rampage at that point.

The next day Jordan surprised me and came home from work around lunch time so we could get some last minute errands run together. It was nice having him home, because I was getting a little stir crazy waiting for 8:00pm. Why they scheduled me so late I'll never know. My last meal request was a breakfast burrito from Gualbertos (a shady little mexican restaurant in Draper that is so delicious). After chowing down a burrito probably the size of my baby, we were off to the hospital. It was the craziest thing driving there not in labor, but knowing once we left there our lives would never be the same. As we were walking through the parking lot, I remember we both just looked at each other and smiled nervous smiles to each other. My stomach was in knots because I didn't know what to expect that night. We checked in and my nurse Jody was seriously the sweetest lady you'll ever meet. I got hooked up to the all the monitors, signed a bunch of paperwork, got an IV started, and before I knew it she was starting the Cytotec around 8:45pm. It's a tiny little half pill that goes up near your cervix and sits in there releasing medicine to help soften the cervix and get it ready for laboring. She said she wasn't hopeful that this would put me into real labor, but that it might start getting some contractions going. Well 4 hours later, and after taking some ridiculous pictures involving slushees, I hadn't had even one real contraction. I was seriously getting so sad and scared that this was going to take all night and all day long. The words 24 hour labor were swimming in my head. At 12:45am Jody came in with a second dose of Cytotec. While she was placing it she told me I was still only a 1+, but I had effaced to 100% at that point. At least my body did something with that first dose. She told me the plan was still Pitocin at 5am and to try and get some sleep. Jordan was asleep as soon as his head hit the pillow, and as soon as I started to doze off, WHAM I got hit with a seriously painful contraction only 15 minutes after she placed the second dose. I moaned through a couple more before I called Jody back in and asked for something for the pain. She gave me some IV pain meds to take the edge off, and told me if I needed more in an hour I could have it, or I could just get my epidural. I was too nervous to get an epidural at a 1+ for fear it would slow down my labor anymore, so I dozed off for about 40 more minutes. After the IV meds wore off my contractions were more intense than anything I'd felt before and probably only about 2 minutes apart. My mom being the stubborn woman that she is, decided she was going to come in and be with me. I felt really bad having her come in so early, because I knew it was going to be a long night. If I could spare anyone a little extra sleep I would. She came anyway right as the pain meds wore off. Around 2:30 I called Jody back in and asked if I could have my second dose of pain meds and to maybe call the anesthesiologist in to get my epidural going. I didn't know what was going on, all I knew is that I couldn't handle these contractions for much longer and I needed some sleep in the worst way. I was basically moaning and groaning so loud through the contractions that when Jody came in she said "is that you making all that noise?" Embarrassing. She gave me the second dose of IV pain meds (which didn't end up doing anything but make me really dizzy) and around 3am James the anesthesiologist walked in. THANK YOU JAMES! He started getting everything ready and by 3:30am everything was in and ready to roll. Except, one problem...I could still feel everything on my left side. I started to panic a little bit after my mom told me that hers didn't work on one side with my sister, and that I'd just have to push through it. They turned me from side to side, and shoved pillows under me to see if they could get it to work. Well with one of the turns I felt a gush and a TON of pressure all of a sudden. I turned to my mom and told her that I was feeling so much pressure and that I think my water just broke. She immediately left to go find Jody, and James the anesthesiologist looked at me with kind of a panic in his face which probably mirrored mine. Jody walked in and as sweet as she is, I could tell she didn't believe that I was feeling what I was feeling. She went to check me and all of a sudden exclaimed "Well, you're a 9+!" From that point all I heard was chaos. Jody left and came back with a bunch of people and they all immediately started setting everything up for delivery. Meanwhile, I'm still writing and yelling in pain in the bed because my epidural still wasn't working on that side. My poor husband was doing all that he could to try and ease the pain. He was a champ through the whole thing. I was in panic mode thinking I was going to do half natural childbirth. James, being the angel that he is, decided he was going to up my dose and see if that would help anything. Ahhh sweet relief. Finally after upping my dose did it numb me up good. My epidural was perfect. I could still feel the pressure of the baby descending with each contraction and could somewhat move my legs, but absolutely no pain. The only downside was that because I had transitioned from a 1 to complete in basically 3 hours time, and because of all the fluid they pumped through me for the epidural, I was shaking like a leaf. I couldn't control anything my body was doing. Super annoying. Jody drained my bladder with a catheter and around 4:30am decided we could do some practice pushes while we waited for my doctor. After about 2 practice pushes she exclaimed "No more until Dr. Langer gets here." Seriously? That close? James joked that my next baby would be born on Bangerter highway on the way to the hospital. Not cool James. About 10 minutes later Dr. Langer walked in, and was seriously shocked she was here to deliver my baby and not to break my water. Now that I had a good epidural, and the Dr. was here, I was much more calm and ready to do what I needed to do to get my baby here. We pushed for about an hour on and off and at 5:49am my sweet little Nova was here. Words can't describe the feeling of a fresh baby placed on your chest. Knowing that forever I would be a mom to this sweet little girl. They cleaned her off and we took bets on what she would weigh. I was set on 7lbs 8oz. My belly never got that big, so I didn't think I could have a bigger baby than that. When they called out 7lbs 15oz I was in shock. I had an 8lb baby inside me?? Shocker. It was probably from all the ice cream and cereal I ate those last few weeks. Fatty really packed on the pounds. She started to breath a little fast after delivery, and had a little bit of a temperature, so after I held her for a few minutes they took her to the nursery to check her out while I got stitched up. About a half hour later she wheeled back into my room happy and healthy as can be. From my very first contraction around 1am to delivery at 5am all without Pitocin was shocking and great all at once. I did get to experience natural gut wrenching childbirth after all, but only for a couple of hours. I labored and delivered all on Jody's shift. She said they get maybe one girl a year that delivers purely on cytotec alone, but never all on one nurse's shift. Funny how things work like that? I'll take being 4 days overdue and a labor like that any day. Although now with subsequent babies, I either need to book it to the hospital once I get a contraction, or be induced every time.

We are so in love with this little girl. It's amazing how much love a new baby brings to your home and to your marriage. As I type this I look at her sleeping beside me, and I'm still amazed at how a human life was created and sustained completely inside of me. Sorry for the novel, I just don't want to forget any little details. Thanks to everyone at Jordan Valley Hospital for the great delivery and stay we had. I seriously could have had more days there and been perfectly happy about it. And special shout out to James. That guy is a miracle worker. Nobody wants this girl to have to do any kind of natural childbirth. The End.

^^ Seems like some good goals ^^

^^ My monitors..look at those good contractions happening ^^

^^ Getting ready for baby to get here ^^

^^ Puffy and happy that my epidural finally was working ^^

^^ Baby girl's digs ^^

^^ Mean muggin' ^^

^^ This daddy sure adores his baby girl, and this mom sure adores him ^^

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