Cora Belle’s Birth Story
I think growing a baby and giving birth is such a mind boggling, miraculous event. I can’t believe my body has done it three times now! Each experience was magical in its own way, and I will always look back with fondness and even reverence on those memories. But this time I decided to get with it and do something I should have done with all of them....write it down! I don’t ever want to forget. So here goes...
My due date (March 28th) came and went just like my previous due dates did. Brandon and I went on our traditional due date hike (this time on a very steep hike up to the Pleasant Grove “G”) to try to get things going, but to no avail. I had been having false labor for days with hours of 3-5 minute apart contractions, but they never stayed long enough to get my baby out...in fact, even after all of what I thought each time was real labor, I remained dilated to only a 1 the entire time! It frustrated the snot out of me! My mom had set up camp at our house a couple days before my due date so she could take care of my boys when the time came. And so we waited. One day passed, then another, then another…
On the 2nd of April, Brandon and I went to my post due date check-up hoping my midwife would tell me that I was dilated to a 6 and I could just walk right over to the hospital. I had been having good contractions all day, so when she told me that I was only a 2 and then had me set up my next appointment with an ultrasound to make sure baby was okay, I was SUPER bummed to say the least. I didn’t want to go to another check-up...I JUST WANTED MY BABY!!!
After my bummer check-up, we stopped at Walmart to get Easter candy for the boys. My contractions were still coming and were strong enough that I had to stop walking to get through them, but I wasn’t excited, or happy, or hopeful... I was ticked off. I had been having these type of contractions for the last 2 weeks and they weren’t doing ANYTHING. They hadn’t dilated me and they hadn’t produced any babies. They came, they got my hopes up, and then they left and made me cry from disappointment. I was mad at my contractions!
When we got home, my hyper little boys jumped all over me while I pretended like I wasn’t hurting...I wasn’t about to get anyone’s hopes up again...especially my own. I made dinner, we did our bedtime routine with the boys, and put them to bed. Brandon and I had rented a movie (Into The Woods) since we obviously weren’t going to be going to the hospital anytime soon, according to my check-up, so we snuggled up and started watching. It was a pretty lame movie, but it distracted me for a little while until I realized my contractions had a new feeling...and they were getting stronger with each one. I finally told Brandon that I didn’t think these contractions were going to go away like the other times, but since I didn’t trust my judgement anymore, I had him check me to know for sure (perks of being married to a nurse). When he told me I was dilated to about a 5, a flood of excitement swept over me...this time it was real...it was finally happening!!!
Brandon called our midwife and told her I was in labor but that we were going to stay home a little longer. Then he gave me a very comforting Priesthood blessing before we got our things together. When everything was ready to go, I got my exercise ball and my ear buds and started listening to the visualization scripts Brandon had recorded for me (because if there’s one thing that calms me...it’s his deep, comforting voice)while I rocked back and forth on my knees hugging my exercise ball. My sweet mom rubbed my back through every contraction, and even though they were strong, I was SO happy and calm. I loved laboring in the peace of my own home and discovered that if I smiled through a contraction that it somehow didn’t hurt as much...not saying it felt good, just better...and happier :).
It wasn’t too long until I felt like we should go to the hospital because I really didn’t want to transition in the car. Brandon had already called the hospital and told them I was definitely in labor and wouldn’t need the triage room, so they had a delivery room all ready for me when we got there just after midnight. The nurses were super efficient and very supportive. They got my dose of antibiotics in me for my Strep B and then took my IV out so that I could walk around as I pleased. Our sweet midwife, Claudia, sat with us and talked about knitting slippers and such things in between contractions, and then gave counter pressure on my knees while Brandon pushed on my back as I sat on an exercise ball through contractions. They were both so great!
After a little while, I decided I may want to try getting in the tub (I have always wanted to try laboring in water). So my midwife suggested we see what I was dilated to to ensure we had enough time. I was at an 8+ so we changed our game plan and got ready to deliver instead...a much better plan.
I had a few more really strong contractions before I felt her move down and started to feel the urge to “push”. This is my favorite part because the pressure of a little head trying to push its way out somehow seems to numb the pain a little to me, AND I know I’m about to see my baby!!! At this point Brandon had moved from the side of me to a little further south where my midwife was. I was totally in my own world with my eyes sealed shut listening to Brandon’s voice recordings and humming like I always do (I know it’s weird, but it’s better than screaming), so I didn’t mind that he left my side. And then it was time...that little girl wanted out! I only “pushed” one time, but it felt like it was minutes long (although it was probably less). My midwife encouraged me to go slow and even pushed baby Cora’s head back in a little to be sure I went slow enough not to tear. She also had Brandon front and center and pretty much let him deliver his little baby girl. Little Cora came out right into her daddy’s arms at 1:51 am and then straight onto my chest. It was magical! I finally got to meet my precious Cora Belle!
After the cord was cut and she was cleaned off (still laying on my chest) the nurses weighed her and put her right back on me. She weighed 7 lbs 8 oz, and measured 19 inches long...a pound heavier than her brothers! And then it was snug time. The best!!! She was so perfect to me and I never wanted to let her go. So we snugged and nursed for the next hour until the nurses came to take us to the Mother/Baby unit. I felt great and was able to walk just fine, although I was still shaking like crazy from all the adrenalin. So they wheeled me into our new room and covered me in the most deliciously warm blankets. Brandon went with Cora to give her her first bath and then brought her back to me. I was warm and cozy and had a precious little girl in my arms, and I was in HEAVEN!
There is nothing to describe the feeling that a newborn brings with them. It’s one of the closest thing to Heaven that I have ever felt. And then seeing her in her daddy’s arms is almost too much! The exhaustion and stress of caring for a newborn shortly follows, but those moments are irreplaceable. I will NEVER regret this! Never!