Finally! The stirring conclusion… It’s hard to believe how much she’s grown in the last 10 days…every moment with her is precious…it’s going so fast!
At 1:00, I was fully dilated and started to feel the urge to push. So with my team in place (Nate, midwife, and nurse) plus Layla’s team (her nurse, and two extra nurses, just in case) I began to push. It was such an interesting experience…there is no other way to describe it. It wasn’t particularly painful since I had an epidural, but it was exhausting. They kept encouraging me that I was making good progress and Nate was so excited when we could see her little hair coming through. It was about 1:30 and they kept telling me I was close to getting her head out so I decided I was going to really, really dig deep and push her head out. So I gave it all I had and her head came out and whoosh, the rest of her flew out too!
I think everyone was surprised! Nate said she just kind of popped out and then looked around for a moment, almost like she was confused and then started crying. The crying was a great sign since it indicated that she didn’t have any merconium in her lungs. They cut the cord and placed her on my chest. Our midwife told us then that her cord was tied in a knot and it was truly a miracle that it wasn’t pulled tight. If it had been she could have not made it or suffered severe trauma. (It probably also contributed to her lowered fetal movements and heart rate issues towards the end.)
She was so tiny and darling—completely helpless and sweet. (And covered in poop and other yucky things, but I didn’t care about that.) I held her there for an hour we even did a bit of breastfeeding. Then daddy got to have close to a half hour of skin to skin time with her too. After our skin to skin time, it was time for me and Layla to get cleaned up. Layla weighed 6 pounds 2 ounces at birth and is 19 inches long. They bundled her up and she roomed in with us for the night.
She’s such a beautiful little thing. It’s amazing to me that we all started off so fragile and dependent—I look in her face and feel nothing but gratitude—for her precious life and for God blessing us with the opportunity to be her parents.