It started off like any other Monday. The night before we took a long walk and I had made plans to meet up with some Mom's at the park in the morning so the kids could run off some energy. We woke up and started getting ready for the day. The previous week I had been having off and on 'period' like contractions- nothing too serious though. As I had started to get ready for the day, those same contractions started back up again. I made a mental note that they were happening again and went about my day. At 39 weeks I was still feeling really great.

As we got our things ready and got in the car, I noticed that they weren't going away and were staying steady, but nothing painful. They stayed this way through the first part of the play date. I casually mentioned to the Mom's that I was having contractions- still not thinking anything about them. They asked me how close they were coming (me again, not thinking it would happen today) I said, well, "I guess pretty close." L to the O to the L

Casually one of them mentioned to start timing them to see. (duh) Low and behold they were 5-6 minutes apart, but still not painful enough to alarm anyone. It was a hot June day, so I tossed it up to that and not drinking my normal amount of water. I had planned on heading to the grocery store after the park, but was slowly realizing that I may have to head home instead. Still, I was determined as ever and decided to head to Chik-fil-a for water to see if that helped. As I was in the drive-thru the contractions started to get more painful and right at 5 minutes.

When I was at the park, I had verrrry casually mentioned to Will and my Mom that I was having some more contractions just so they were aware. They were both asking me a lot of questions, but I really wanted to be sure this was it before I told them both to head my way. I knew in the chik-fil-a drive-thru that something as up though. As I pulled in our drive-way, I was having trouble breathing through a few. I started to get a little anxious that this was going to go even quicker than we all thought it would.

I came inside and turned a little show on for Grayson, grabbed a water and sat down to relax to see if they stayed consistent. They weren't going away and stayed the same pain level too. Will left when I told him they weren't going anywhere. I called my doctor's office and they agreed it sounded like something was happening today. I brought Grayson up to our room with some books and toys so I could jump in the shower quickly. Will got home as I was getting out and was shocked to find me in the shower and not laying down on the couch. Trust me when I say a shower was important.

As I finished getting ready and gathering all of our stuff, my Mom pulled in. I had told her to start heading our way when I was in Chik-fil-a drive-thru. So timing wise it all worked out really well. We were all pretty anxious and giddy. Will and I said our 'see ya later' to Grayson, and for those curious, yes, I cried like a baby. He had no idea we were going to the hospital, just in case we were sent home.

It was one of those humid June days where you could feel the thickness in the air. We were hoping to get a close parking spot, but that didn't happen. When we were walking into the hospital I had two bad contractions where I had to stop and hold on to Will because they were painful. We buzzed the phone to labor and delivery and Will nervously said over the phone, "I think my wife is in labor." When we got to the desk, they said, you THINK your wife is in labor?? :)

We got checked in to be evaluated and the pain of the contractions was getting worse, but still not unbearable. When they checked me I was 4 cm dilated and the doctor on call agreed to admit and they both kept reiterating to me that I was in 'early labor.' This was at 12 p.m. I reminded them of how quickly I went with Grayson, and went ahead and put an order in for an epidural just to be sure.

At this point we had to switch rooms and the contractions were starting to get pretty uncomfortable. I could tell things were moving along and was praying the epidural would come soon. I got my IV in after the second try (ouch-I really hate IV's.) and got baby and I hooked up to monitors. Will and I were casually talking through some contractions, killing some time.

Time went by rather quickly and my contractions were getting closer and more painful. The nurse said she put an order in for an epidural, but all of the anesthesiologist were in the OR rooms. She said she would keep paging them. Well at this point I was pretty uncomfortable. I couldn't find a position, whether sitting or standing that made me somewhat comfortable. The nurse came back in one more time and basically said the same thing she said earlier. Maybe sensing how uncomfortable I was and how she really had nothing else to say, she stayed out of the room.

Each contraction came so quickly to the next, I didn't have a second to breath. Since I had planned on getting an epidural, I hadn't practiced any 'natural birth' scenarios. So from 12pm- 3pm, I labored naturally, completely unplanned. It was terrifying. Will called our nurse at one point, as I was screaming and asked for an update about the epidural- unfortunately it was the same update. When Will told me what she said, I lost it. Again, having not prepared myself mentally for such a task, it was pretty scary for me. I kept thinking, this morning I was at the park, AT THE PARK.

Finally, an anesthesiologist was available for the epidural. My contractions were so intense, I told Will in between one that I was 9cm dilated. He walked in the door and I was just praying for some relief. He told me to be very still and I wanted to tackle him when he said that. (just being honest) After a successful epidural, I looked up at my nurse in so much pain and asked her how long it'll take to kick in. lol desperate.  I'm pretty sure everyone lied to me and said the lowest time possible. :) Once I started to feel some sweet, sweet relief the doctor came in to check my progress. I was dilated to a 9.5!

I knew I had to be dilated at a high number with the amount of pain I was in. They let my epidural kick in a little bit more and waited for me to be at a 10 before we started pushing. Around 4:25 I started pushing and at 4:34 Clara Kathleen made her entrance into this world. All of our nurses were so excited we didn't know the gender, so once she was out the doctor held her up and we both said, "It's a girl!!!." I wasn't shocked that she was a girl, just shocked that we have a girl, if that makes any sense.

June 12th was just the sweetest day. We had been talking to Grayson about coming to the hospital to meet the baby. But, I had also warned Will to have low expectations for their first meeting. He came in and explored the room a bit. Finally, he made his way over to Will who was holding Clara. He sort of checked her out a bit and walked away. This is a lot for a 2 year old to take in. He eventually made his way over and sat down nervously to 'hold' her. We laid a pillow down and with the help of Daddy, this big brother locked eyes with his little sister and it was pure magic to watch.

A day we will of course never forget. It's crazy to think she's been here for such a short time, but it feels like we've known her forever. I know everyone says that, but it's so true. We love you, Clara Kathleen.


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