Okay folks, here is the story of how baby Jacob came into the world! :) If you're not into reading birth stories, feel free to scroll down to the photos below.
On Friday, I decided it was time to have this baby. I've never been so ready to not be pregnant anymore! So we ordered out spicy Indian food for dinner, then I went for a long walk, and finally Rob gave me a great foot rub. (Gotta love those old wives' tales.) Around 11 pm my water broke. I actually wasn't positive that's what had happened (it's never broken with my other babies,) until about 2 am when I started having contractions. They were only coming every 20-30 minutes, so I let everyone sleep until about 5:30, when I got Rob up to get ready. We woke the kids up at 6, and when they heard why they were woken up they were really excited and so cooperative. We all had some toast and juice and took the kiddos to the home of a new friend in our new ward (aka church congregation.)
Let me just digress here to say how incredibly kind and welcoming our new ward has been. I was thrown a baby shower last week, have had multiple offers of babysitters, and we have dinner coming every night this week! People often ask how it is that we can move while pregnant, and I honestly don't think we could do it-- if it weren't for the loving service of near strangers... that then become wonderful friends. We are extremely thankful to all of you! (And that means you too my Germany girls and Westminster friends.)
We arrived at the hospital at 7 am and stayed for monitoring in the OB triage area until about 10:30. My contractions were not very strong and still 10 minutes apart, and I was only dilated to 2 cm. And my doctor was away for the weekend. (Aren't they always?!?) So his brother, the other Dr. McDonough, came to take care of me and was very nice. (Apparently their father was also an OB/gyn... talk about the 'family business.')
You may remember that I had been planning on having a natural (drug-free) childbirth. I had been concerned that the doctors and nurses at the hospital would pressure me to have an epidural and had been preparing myself to be stubborn. However, I also knew that with my water being broken, they would not want me to labor very much longer, due to higher risk of infection. So I wasn't surprised when they said we really needed to start Pitocin to strengthen the contractions.
So at 11 am I was moved to a room and we started the Pitocin. I am going to be completely honest here... this is the only point throughout the day when I was upset. I was on an IV, with a blood pressure cuff on, and not allowed to get out of bed-- exactly what I did not want. And also, with the aid of the Pitocin, I was now having very strong contractions every few minutes. After about an hour of this (by noon,) I was ready to talk to the nurse about pain 'management.' The contractions were so intense I was having a really hard time breathing through them. Although they weren't registering as much of anything on the monitor. (It apparently wasn't working.) To my surprise, the nurse said, "Let's go ahead and check you first and then you'll have a better idea of where you are at and can think about it."
So she checked and I was at 6 cm and moving fast! No wonder I was in so much pain! She immediately called the doctor in and they very quickly prepped for delivery while I did my best not to push. (I'm not a loud sort of person but this was a very loud time for me. Although Rob says not as bad as with Toby, I'm pretty sure I scared any pregnant women within earshot out of having a natural delivery.) Then at 12:29 pm our baby boy was born! He weighed 8 lbs. 8 oz. and was 20 1/2 inches long. He had the cord around his neck and up over his head, but was quickly taken care of. He also had ingested some fluid and his first cries sounded a bit like a broken squeaker toy, but he recovered quickly and was perfectly healthy. :)
Rob had been thinking about names for this little guy and really liked 'Jacob.' For once, I fully agreed. ;) 'Murray' was picked as a middle name after Rob's grandfather, Murray Nichols, who passed away earlier this year.
So far Jacob is a very mellow little dude. The only time he really yells is when having his diaper changed. He loves being held and cuddled, and there are no shortage of arms in our house willing to hold him, so he is already becoming quite spoiled. Here are a few photos from his first hours- I'll post more of him with Charlotte and Toby soon. :)