Friday, February 27, 2015

Posted by Joanna Luehmann | File under : , ,
Emi’s birth was so unique. I was exactly 41 weeks and 6 days pregnant, getting ready to go to bed and knowing that was the last night I was going to have my daughter inside of me. She was going to be induced the next morning. It was a special night, we prayed, we talked, we laughed, we cried and we tried to get some rest.

At 8am our friend Erin got to our place to take care of Antonella, we talked to her for a little and then got last minute things ready. As we were driving to the hospital I kept thinking how crazy this all was. I was never going to have just one daughter; this drive was different than any other drive I had ever taken with Caleb. This drive was certainly life changing. 

We arrived to the hospital a little before 9am and realized we had forgotten the bag I packed for us. Caleb made arrangements to have Erin drop it off and we went inside.  
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They were waiting for us at the hospital; they asked if I wanted to be in the birth center or the hospital. The type of induction I was having allowed for me to choose, it was a non-medical induction or something like that they said. We agreed on the hospital because of the experience with Antonella, and they settled us in a big room with an great view of the street and the sky. As I laid in bed for them to take my vitals I could see the palm trees bending at the force of crazy weather. It never rains in San Diego, especially that violently, but on Emi’s birth day it poured, it was raining so incredibly hard and I knew it was a special day.

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After having my vitals taken, and settling in the room my midwife came in. She explained that we were going to start the induction by breaking my water, avoiding drug induction if possible. She explained they were going to have me hooked up to a cordless monitor that would check the baby’s hear rate and contractions. It was great knowing she was being monitored but also having the ability to move.

They broke my water a couple minutes after 10am. I was nervous and didn’t really know what to expect, but in the middle of the anxiety I felt peace, just God peace, I knew it was going to be all right, the anxiety was from the unknown.

The midwife explained she was going to use an amnihook to break my water, and answered my questions regarding pain of the procedure and expectations. Even though she said there wouldn’t be a crazy gushing of water I still expected it, and just like she said, it didn’t come. It felt like I was peeing a little for a long long time. The midwife and nurse left the room and I got up to walk around. My dear husband was following behind with a towel to clean the trail of amniotic fluid and blood I was leaving behind as I walked around. It was gross and he was awesome. 

We started a movie and watched for a bit. 

Michelle our sweet friend, and Michelle our sweet photographer came with sandwiches. I was starving. Right after my first bite the nurse told me it was probably best to not eat. I went to the bathroom to pee and started feeling contractions. They were bearable, but coming quickly.

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And then around noon pain. Slowly it came, and really quickly it escalated. By 1pm I was bending over my stomach and telling Caleb I wanted an epidural. The contractions were coming every 2 minutes. The midwife came into the room and checked me. I was at 7cm and progressing quickly. She asked me to wait another hour for the epidural and not to let the experience with Antonella scare me (she was the exact same midwife that delivered Antonella and she remembered me). I agreed to wait 15-20 minutes.

After 20 minutes the contractions had gotten stronger. I was kneeling on the bed with the headrest raised as high as possible and holding onto it feeling like I was going to break it. Around 130pm I told Caleb I wanted the epidural, I didn't want to have more pain.

The anesthesiologist came, he looked like a version of Caleb's younger brother with red hair. Caleb made fun of his young looks and he commented on how he gets it all the time. He reassured us and then proceeded to poke my back, as he was doing it he said "huh oh." Not something you want your anesthesiologist to utter as he puts a loooooong needle between your vertebrae. Caleb looked at him and he asked the nurse for something. She left the room and he explained pushing the needle usually feels like putting a needle through a piece of thick leader, but with me it was not that hard so he wanted to check.

They did a type of ultrasound on my back and all looked good, apparently whatever it is they put the needle in is thinner in me than most other people.

After the epidural kicked in we talked to Michelle and Michelle, it was 2:15pm when I looked at the clock and I was settling back after the epidural. We laughed for a bit and then around 3pm the midwife came to check me. I was at 10cm and fully effaced. They checked everything, asked me how I was feeling and then she said let me know if you feel like pushing.

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And I did, I had been feeling like pushing for about 10 minutes but was dismissing it. The midwife got ready and within a few contractions she looked again. It was all so peaceful. Worship music was playing in the background, our friend Michelle was praying in the corner and the nurse and midwife checked me and told Caleb "oh wow her head is already there, want to see?"

-Well no, not really, but I'll regret that so I guess I do.

-Oh wow, wow! she really is right there, ready to come

The midwife asked me to get ready to push with the next contraction. Breathe, breathe, breathe, push. After the first push she was almost completely out. The midwife asked me if I wanted to hold her head and then push and I did. I barely started pushing a second time and Emi came out, my hand touching her head (i bite my nails, you can see my hand in the pictures). The midwife was a little taken aback by how fast she came out (we later found out she came so fast she broke her collar bone). But as soon as she was all out she was given to me to hold.

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She was so tiny, so perfect. I held her for a moment and the nurse came to get things out of her mouth, she was making a weird noise, like she was trying to cough but couldn't. She wasn't crying, and the midwife started talking to the nurse and asking for something. Emi was getting really purple. The nurse grabbed her from me and we heard people running down the aisle.

A team of pediatricians and nurses rushed in and they put her on the table. She wasn't breathing, she was so purple. Caleb and I had been praying under our breath, but once we heard the steps we started praying out loud. Michelle was praying too, and Michelle the photographer was backed up against a corner standing on a chair praying and taking pictures (she later told us she wanted to freak out but we seemed so at peace she kept calm herself).

We prayed out loud, in tongues and didn't care. We probably sounded like crazy people, it didn't matter. Caleb was standing over the doctors and I was laying in bed praying and not even watching all the people over my baby's table. It felt like an eternity but after a short time she coughed, and cried. And cried and cried and cried. Never have baby cries sounded so sweet in my ears.

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She was cleaned a little. Caleb cut shorter the umbilical cord and she was given back to me. We kept laughing because she looked like she had very slanted eyes and was very brown. She didn't look like she was our daughter at all. We both said she looked like the baby of an Asian/Black couple, not a White/Hispanic one. I said I thought she looked like a Mongolian baby, and after a few minutes a nurse came in and saw her little back and said "oh look, she has a Mongolian spot." We asked if she had heard us talking and she said no. Apparently that's what her bruised looking back and tush is called.

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We spent the next few hours just taking her all in. I didn't rip, and I felt great so it allowed for me to enjoy her so much. She was so tiny, so very very very tiny. She nursed without issues and rested on me for a while.

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They took her to measure her and weight her right there in the room and then after Caleb spent some time with her. He loved her, so much, so well.

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It continues to be surreal the fact that we have two babies. Two! And they'll be best friends, and always have each other.

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We love you Emi, you belong so beautifully, so perfectly, it's hard to believe we didn't have you before. We are so honored God chose us for you and you for us. We promise to protect you, love you and guide you, and we promise you to let you dream as big as God desires for you. No fear little one. Be free, be courageous and go conquer.

Born at 3:35pm
Weight: 7.12 lb
Height: 20 inches


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