Our second little pink bundle arrived on Sunday morning, July 3rd. She was born at the US Naval Hospital in Yokosuka, Japan. Don't worry, she's still an American citizen, though her fuzzy hair is a little darker than you might expect given that Ben and I are both so fair!
She was 9 lbs, 20 inches, and has the sweetest chubby cheeks. She seems to look more like me, and definitely has my hands and feet (which we're excited about, but that's another story!).
Here's a timeline of her exciting entrance into the world, because of course we don't bring babies into our family without a little bit of drama.
9:00 pm: I've been pretty regular contractions-about every 10 minutes- for the past several hours. But Ben and I both agree that we can't go into the hospital until we have watched the results show of So You Think You Can Dance (in which we both agree that it shouldn't have been Miranda that was sent home). By the end of the show, my contractions are 5 minutes apart and their strong, but not super painful. Remember, with Eleanor my water broke and I was put on pitocin before I ever went into labor on my own, so I don't really know what to expect.
10:00 pm: We arrive at the hospital, where I am monitored for 20 minutes and I'm not really in labor even though I'm having regular contractions. We go home and go to bed.
12:00 ish: I'm awake and having much MUCH stronger contractions. Now I know what labor feels like. I wait for about 45 minutes to confirm that this isn't going away, and then I wake Ben up. We tell my mom again that we are taking off and that it is for real this time. I must say that as we drive to base I notice how truly bumpy the roads are. I swear they get bumpier the second we pull onto base. And then the funniest thing happens, but I need to preface it with some exposition. At night on base they frequently set up random sobriety checkpoints. You stop, the security person gives short little spiel, you breath into a cup and off you go-as long as your sober I suppose. So at the exact intersection to turn into the hospital there is a sobriety checkpoint. I say, "Are you kidding me!?" and a contraction starts. Of course Ben has been driving slowly and kind of swervy to avoid dips in the road for my sake. We must look like we need a sobriety check. Ben rolls down the window and the officer takes once glance and pregnant me panting and hanging on to that little handhold in ceiling of the car, and she gives the spiel faster than I've ever heard it before. Ben breathes into the cup (he's sober, of course), and the officer says, "Thanks, have a good night." And we sort of laugh, but not to much cause I'm still having a contraction.
1 am (ish): We slowly make our way to labor and delivery (a pause in the parking lot, a pause to go to the bathroom, a pause in the hallway...) and I am quickly admitted. Dr. Copenhaver-the obgyn I really wanted there!- checks me out and declares me to be at 5 cm and asks if I want an epidural. I say, "Yes, please." I was a little hesitant to get one this time around because I'm not sure if it slowed down my labor with Ellie or not (and I really didn't want another 20 hours of labor). But after talking to friends and doctors I decided that if I want one, I'm waiting until I'm at least a 5 or 6. And now that I'm really experiencing labor, I want it. They tell me it will take about 30 minutes to do the necessary bloodwork first and then I'll get my pain relief. Hurray..and hurry.
Sometime later: Bless the poor corpsman trying to do my blood work, he has to wait for contractions to pass to do each little thing. And they are starting to come closer together and stronger. The nurse comes in frequently to tell me that the anesthesiologist is on his way. By the time he gets there I swear my contractions are one on top of another. And I'm so afraid that I'll be too far along to get any sort of pain relief. In fact, I even start having urges to push. But I get my epidural and then I get some sleep. It is so nice. Funny thing, the anesthesiologist has a daughter that was one of Ben's geometry students.
Around 5 am: The nurse, Carrie, checks me and declares me complete complete. In all honesty, I was probably there several hours ago, but I really needed the rest, and the contractions have helped the baby descend quite a bit. We try a little pushing, but the epidural is up a little to high for me to feel what is going on. So it gets turned down and while we wait I sit like I'm on a throne, letting gravity do a little work.
6:40 am: I start pushing. Ben is an excellent coach. After all he has two degrees in counting, so he's a pro. But after over an hour of pushing the baby doesn't really seem to be progressing.
8:00 am: The doctor shift changes, but before Dr. Copenhaver leaves she checks the baby's head position, and sure enough Clara is trying to come out with her head turned to the side, which is impossible. Dr. Copenhaver tries to turn her head, but when I start pushing again she turns her head back. Silly girl. Dr. Quezada comes in (oddly enough, we bought Ellie's bed from him), and does and ultrasound some more manual moving of the head. Very uncomfortable but it brings us to some conclusions. Her head is not only facing to the side, but it's cocked against her shoulder. She's basically presenting the hugest part of her head first. This baby isn't coming out without help. Are we surprised? Not in the least. So Dr. Quezada lays out our options: 1-keep pushing and hope she moves, 2-do something crazy that involves two kinds of forceps and has a high risk of doing damages to her face since her head is cocked so crazily, 3-use the vacuum to try and turn her head while I push, 4-get a c-section. Without discussion, Ben and I agree that we'll try the vacuum first, knowing full well that if it doesn't work within three tries we're headed to the operating room. After everyone leaves the room to get ready, we say a quick prayer and I inform Ben that I've already decided that we're not having a c-section. So that settles it.
8:30ish Everyone is assembled and prepped. I think everyone on duty this morning is in the room. It helps that I think I'm the only one is labor right now. That's okay, I love an audience. Dr. Quezada gets the vacuum attached and I do some amazing pushes, get a quick episiotomy (of course...), and...
8:58 am...out pops Clara Deon. I must say that the best motivation for pushing the entire time was the look on Ben's face as Clara comes out. He's so full of every wonderful emotion and it's all over his face. He's a great dad. He even clips the umbilical cord. We are now a family of four!