Grace Eliza Kate came! She really really did!
Tuesday night we took the boys over to my mom's for a sleepover so we could go in to the hospital at 6:30 am for induction. It feels weird to have the hospital on the schedule and not be going because I can't survive a second more if we don't.
Packing their bags to last a few days while they shuffle from Grandma to Kate and Sarah before we are ready to come home is a lot of working around and shuffling. But we got it all worked out.
After dropping off the kids, we came home and packed and tried to sleep the best we could knowing it would be our last chance for a while.
Wednesday morning we got ready and headed to the hospital with all our stuff (SO much stuff!)
We got checked in and met Jen the world's nicest nurse who would be with us during labor and delivery. She was so so nice. We sat around and talked and watched tv. I wasn't dilated very far when we first got there and I told her that the Dr. had rounded up to 3 last week, but he noted that he was being generous. I told her so she wouldn't say I was only 2 or 2.5. She laughed and told me that she was willing to be as generous as the Dr. because we don't go backward in L&D but that it was generous. Then we sat and waited and waited and waited. And took a bunch of drugs.
I was planning for an epidural, so when the anesthesiologist arrived for the morning he came straight for me. I really love having babies in quiet hospitals. Mountain Point is still new enough that there isn't a ton of traffic so we had all the attention we needed. I was more aware during the epidural than I was with either of the boys. I could feel everything he was doing, and he kept asking me which side I could feel it on. I leaned on Josh while Anesthesiologist was doing his thing and started to slump a couple of times, but he was able to get it in and I gladly stopped feeling the contractions that matched what had been happening for me for months.
They checked me regularly, upped my pitocin and did all the normal stuff and I got to know Jen. She and her family moved here from Tennesse (or somewhere like that) for a business opportunity for her husband, and it all fell apart as they were driving here. The landlord of the home they were planning to rent called to tell them he had rented it to someone else, the business deal dissolved and there they were in a moving truck with the life and kids. Remarkably they continued on knowing that they felt it was right and figuring that they'd work it out when they got here. They arranged a place to stay for the first few days while they looked for a place to live. An incredible story. Everybody has one.
I made almost no progress all morning in spite of the drugs and broken water, and when Jen checked me (still stuck at like a 4 or 5) she said "Oh she has a lot of hair!" and Josh and I looked at each other and laughed, because we have bald babies, not hairy ones. We just don't. So we laughed about how we knew better than Jen and surely Grace would be bald like her brothers, but it was cute that Jen thought she felt hair. She set up all the stuff, the sterile table and everything just because she had the time not because it was anywhere near time.
Then when she checked me again, there was another big gush of water, and we realized that the first time they broke my water, it didn't really go all the way and when she checked me she accidentally broke it the rest of the way. So yay for that. Jen guessed that thing would go quickly now that baby wasn't resting on a water pillow. So she left and said to call her if anything changed.
Serious contractions started almost as soon as she left. I couldn't breath and within 15 minutes I felt like I wanted to push. But when Jen left I was only at a 6, and it had only been 15 minutes so it seemed stupid to ask her to come right back. But between contractions I gasped at Josh to 'call the nurse' which he gladly did, though he had no idea what to say. So he just said "she's not doing very well...." and they came in to check everything. Done. It was time, I was ready. They got Dr. Ollerton (who I'd never met before) and by the time he was in the room I was already laid back and ready to go. I couldn't hear very well, my ears were ringing and I thought I was going to pass out, but I could tell Jen and Dr. were talking, I just didn't know it was to me. Josh was standing by my side and when I told him I couldn't hear anything he told me to push. One push and Grace was here! It was all so fast, I could hardly believe it and I was still thinking maybe it wasn't really time and I was just exaggerating the pain and making stuff up. But whattya know! There she was. In all her slimy squirmy glory.
They immediately put her on my check wrapped in a towel and my arms were far too weak to hold her up. I was laying flat on my back and when they laid her on me I knew for sure she was going to fall off me. But I couldn't imagine them taking her away. Josh held up my arms while I held her and shook and cried. When Tom was born he wasn't well and they had to take him away immediately to get him unpurple and full of oxygen. When John was born I wasn't well and had just passed out and they took him to get him cleaned up before I held him.
So that moment was new and especially beautiful for me. I cried and cried as I held her filthy little self for what couldn't have been more than a minute while she cried. They took her off to warm her and clean her and gave her right back to me. (bless them)
She had so much hair! Lots of dark dark hair! I could hardly believe it.
We took turns holding her and marveling at all that hair!
She made the classic Egbert pouty face within that first hour and had all of the Dr.s and Nurses convinced that Dad didn't stand a chance against that lower lip. Which is, of course, absolute truth.