Our perfect princess 

I woke up early Friday morning on May 19th with what felt like heavy period cramps. I didn’t really think much of them, so I got up like any other morning and got ready for the day. My mom had arrived the day before and we had planned to go get pedicures to see if a foot massage might induce labor! It was three days before my due date still, but I was determined to try and get my baby girl out!

During breakfast I had some pretty intense back pain (which I now know to have been back labor). So I had to go lay on a heating pad for a while to help the pain go away. Those period cramps I was having were still on and off.

We finally got around to getting to the nail salon and I was excited to get my feet pampered because they were so swollen. I couldn’t even recognize my feet anymore! However, the gentleman that gave me my pedicure must have been afraid to hit any of those “labor inducing pressure points” because he was so gentle. I was a little disappointed, but it was still nice to have my feet looking pretty.

We ran some errands after our pedicures because my mom thought walking around would help with my cramps. Either it would make them stop (braxton hicks) or it would make them more consistent (real contractions). They didn’t go away but they still weren’t consistent enough either to time them so we went home to relax.

My dad arrived later that afternoon and we decided to go for a walk to try and walk our baby out! We picked the worst time in Phoenix to go for a walk because it was the hottest time of day. Again, I was determined! Don’t worry we had plenty of water and only walked about a mile! My cramps were still making themselves known but still not very consistent.

We walked up an appetite so Corey suggested we get Mexican food for dinner in hopes spicy food would help induce labor. My cramps did get heavier during dinner and I started to time them but they were still pretty far apart. I couldn’t even finish my dinner because I felt so uncomfortable. I felt more sick than anything, not really in any pain.

I was paranoid all day because I was afraid my water had broken and I wouldn’t know. Even though it’s not very common, I read tons of stories about women’s water breaking only in a trickle instead of a full gush like we see in the movies. I was GBS positive (Group B Strep) so if my water did break, I would need to get antibiotics right away to reduce risk of infection for my baby.

Once we got home from dinner I decided to take a warm shower. We agreed that if my cramps didn’t go away after my shower, we’d go to the hospital to get checked just to ease my paranoia. My cramps didn’t go away, but were finally getting somewhat consistent so we threw our bags in the car.

We headed to the hospital at 9pm. It took us about 25 minutes to get to the hospital and we had preplanned the route we would take to get there. But of course that night they were doing construction down our planned route so we had to find a new way. 10 minutes into our drive I told Corey and mom that we’d probably get sent back home from the hospital but I really just wanted to make sure everything was ok to ease my mind. Suddenly, I felt this “POP” and a BIG gush of water filled my pants. I felt another “pop” and felt more water. It just kept going and going, like WAY more than when you pee your pants haha! So I said, “Just kidding, they are totally not going to send us home because my water just broke!” Both Corey and my mom thought I was kidding.

As soon as my water broke my cramps turned in to FULL blown contractions! I couldn’t even breathe through them. I don’t remember what I said exactly but I know I told Corey he needed to hurry up and get to the hospital NOW. We argued about what would happen if he got pulled over for speeding and I told him he would NOT be stopping and the cops could just follow us to the hospital. He didn’t like my plan though and said he would definitely be stopping for them and then they could escort us to the hospital haha. Thankfully we didn’t get pulled over!

My contractions were so intense that I could barely walk through them. They had to get me a wheelchair in the parking lot because I was in so much pain. Around 9:30pm we finally made it to the labor and delivery floor and the nurses took me into a room right away. We played 20 questions in between my contractions so they could officially get me admitted.

When the nurse checked me I was dilated to 2cm. I was instantly defeated because my birth plan was to have a natural birth. I knew that at 2cm, I could be in labor for quite a while and with the amount of pain I was in there was no way I could calm down enough to focus and get my mindset right to have a natural labor. I opted for an epidural.

I had to wait about an hour for my epidural. That wait was the worst for me. I couldn’t focus and I kept holding my breath and saying that I couldn’t do it. Corey and a nurse helped me through each contraction reassuring me that I could do it, that i was ALREADY doing it. I had to breathe though. Once the anesthesiologist came in, I had to sit up and be completely still for him to administer it. I thought, be completely still through a contraction? YEAH RIGHT! I absolutely hate needles, especially big ones, so I just closed my eyes and wrapped my arms around Corey and squeezed him through my contractions while the doctor gave me the epidural.

Within 15 minutes my lower body was completely numb. I couldn’t feel a thing. I was finally able to relax my body and my mind. The nurse came to check my progress again and I was 7cm dilated and fully effaced. Either my body was doing a lot of work through those contractions or the epidural really let my body relax to be able to do some work.  The nurse brought me a peanut ball to put between my legs so it would bring our baby down into the right position. I decided to try and sleep because I knew I would need all the energy I could get pretty soon!

A little after midnight the nurse came back to check my progress and she said it was go time because she could feel the baby’s head starting to crown! I still couldn’t feel anything in my lower body so pushing was challenging to figure out. I pushed three times and our sweet baby girl made her arrival!

Carissa Grace was born at 12:40am on May 20th. She weighed 7lbs 10oz and was 19.5in long. She was absolutely perfect.

Even though my whole labor didn’t happen anything like I had planned, my experience was perfect. I wouldn’t ask for it any other way. God has his own plans that are usually not anything like what we plan, and it’s for good reason. I am so thankful for the amazing support I had from Corey and my mom. I am especially thankful for the support from the team of nurses and doctors we had through our whole stay at the hospital. They made our whole experience wonderful and stress free.

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