Happy Friday everyone!! And happy almost 1 week to my new baby girl - Rowen Elena! For those who may not follow along on Instagram or Snapchat (you can find me @lauralacquer there on both) - on Saturday we welcomed our third incredible blessing - and baby was A GIRL!! I can't tell you how ecstatic we both were - secretly N and I wanted a girl - the thought of three sisters was just the best to us, I think Liv is the only one who thought she was going to have get a brother this time lol! Obviously a brother would have been loved just as much, but you get the point!
I thought today it would be fun to share Rowen's birth story! It's pretty sweet that this blog has been around since well before the days of me having a family of my own, so both Liv's and Elli's birth stories are documented on the blog too - feel free to give those a read if you haven't already! Liv's was the one that really gave me a run for my money and showed me how hard it could be (especially the recovery process), Elli's was much nicer but I delivered with Liv in the room - so that was fun lol, and sweet Rowen's, well hers was the first I did without an epidural, and what an empowering experience it was. With all that said let's get to it!
My due date for this babe was today actually, but I had been having pretty strong Braxton-Hicks contractions since late January, so every day I went to work I always felt like it could potentially be the day I went into labor! Let's just say my hospital bag permanently stayed in my car so that if I did N could just grab it from the garage (I was delivering at my own hospital). This was my first pregnancy like this - with Liv I barely remember any Braxton-Hicks, and with Elli I had a few pretty intense ones, but all within the week of actually going into labor. With Rowen these lasted for almost a month! For the last two weeks I had seen my OB I was about 2cm dilated as well, which again, didn't mean a ton. Friday I went to work like any other day - I was on inpatient so I rounded with our attending in the morning (we always joked when we met up in the morning that I guess I'd still work today) and took care of orders and discharges. At lunch we had journal club so I waddled up to the podium and gave my talk on this interesting vitiligo trial (and joking with my co-residents that I really hoped my water wouldn't break up there), and then quickly ate lunch while listening to the other residents present their papers. After lunch I was working in our public health clinic (our busiest but my favorite clinic - in this hospital most of our patients have no insurance either because they can't afford it, don't have their papers, etc. so we really get to take care of an underserved population. And I pretty much get to use my Spanish 90% of the time). Anywho, I waddled around clinic (the nurses betting what the gender was and everyone laughing that I was still coming to work) and my sweet patients all sharing their blessings with every goodbye. All day I had plenty of contractions, but everyday was pretty much like that at this point so I really gave up on trying to predict when it would happen.
Nathan and I finished the day around the same time so we drove home together (seriously love working at the same hospital system!) and had a quiet lazy Friday night just relaxing with the girls and looking forward to the weekend off (I was on call the previous weekend so this was my first weekend off in almost 2 weeks)! Of course, Saturday morning I woke up at about 5:30 to contractions - and sure enough - these weren't just the dull pain of the Braxton Hicks, these were a sharper force you on hand and knees contractions and I immediately knew it was going down that morning. I hopped in the shower asap, woke N up as I was getting dressed (when he saw me getting my sneakers on he was like - "oh - NOW now!?!?") - I think he sensed the urgency. And we were at the hospital by 6:30. We parked in my normal parking garage and laughed in between breath-stopping contractions at my choice to park that far and walk to where OB triage was, but I like my parking garage lol! When we got to the building the security guard stopped us to ask for ID - I was very much obviously in super duper labor - I threw my work badge at his desk and kept hobbling over to the elevators because I know how slow they are - as I waited for it to get to our floor I apologized to him for throwing it haha - I think N picked it up for me but by this point I honestly couldn't even see straight or hear everything the contractions were so bad! We got up to OB triage and I walked right in - they were so cute asking "how can we help you mama?" and I was like "oh you know, just about to have this baby!" They were like - "ok sweetie slow down, is this your first baby?" I was like "nope, third!" and they told me to skip registration and go straight to the room and get my clothes off. I hollered I was Doctor X's patient and they knew to call him immediately - he delivers all his ladies as he proudly proclaims and in the last few visits would always remind me to not wait until the last minute to call him! Within minutes an entire team was in the room trying to check my cervix and get my information and draw blood in between contractions - they checked me and I was completely dilated - "only thing keeping this baby in is the bag" - my water hadn't broken yet. I asked for an epidural but I was beyond the point of that - and all at once I felt terrified but sort of empowered at the challenge - a challenge I had yet to take on but now was forced to. And then decided to announce "this is bullshit!" And then apologized. And then felt empowered.
We held off on pushing for as long as possible, N feeding me ice chips and the nurse giving counter-pressure on my back (ugh I always have horrible back labor thanks to everyone of my babies being faced OP) so I labored on my side while we waited for my doctor. Thankfully he got there in incredible time (he's the cutest old guy who later told us "you kids made me run this time!") and checked me and with a whirlwind of blue drapes and sterile gloves I got into position to push and started pushing! The pain was intense, but quite honestly the pain of the contractions was more intense than the pain with pushing and what you can actually feel from below. And I loved (well didn't love at the time but you know what I mean) that I could really feel where all the efforts of my pushing were going, so I really knew what I good push was. Within three pushes the head was out, and in two more we had our baby girl. It was incredible having her on my chest and hearing her powerful cry - having N be there to tell me it was a girl (seriously I said it last time with Elli, but it really is the best surprise) and sitting in awe of what I had just done. We delivered the placenta quickly and then my OB repaired one tiny lac I had (thankfully only first degree). This was one thing I was worried about with such a fast delivery, but thankfully it was super minor and he repaired it after just putting in a few shots of local anesthetic. Other than that all was good! I later noticed all the little petechiae on my lower cheeks and upper neck from pushing so hard! Thankfully those have all mostly faded already!
Within an hour I was up on my own walking and peeing (something I still appreciate so much - if you read Liv's birth story you know why) and hungry - N went and got us food and also came up with the sweetest flowers and card with the sweetest message. It was the best. Then we got taken down to our actual maternity suite and set up camp for the next 2 days! I hated being in the hospital, especially when you feel well, but it was nice to at least have a sweet room and get the chance to rest. N brought the girls to visit that night and they were just so sweet! Well Elli could care less, she was just excited to have a new place to explore and new buttons to push, but Livi immediately walked in and said "is the new baby here, is that my sister, can I see her?" She was so excited and sat up in bed with me touching her head and gazing at her face and as soon as she opened her eyes Liv squealed with excitement - and then burst into singing "Happy Birthday Rowen"! Definitely the cherry on top.
Alright, that's pretty much it! We're all adjusting pretty well to life as 5, I'm really looking forward to this weekend and having N home since he didn't have any time off. Make sure to follow along on snapchat for how we're all doing!
And thank you SO much to all of your sweet wishes and congratulations - I read through all of them and am so thankful that we have this community to share with. Have a beautiful weekend guys!