Seth and Joel are at the library. Rachel is asleep. I have 5 minutes to recount her arrival into our family.
Several months ago, we scrutinized the calendar and when Seth’s mom should arrive and depart, hoping Rachel would come during that window of time.
Grandma arrived on Wednesday, June 4, in the afternoon. We visited, had a nice dinner together, and went to bed. In the early, early morning hours on the 5th, I felt like the Braxton Hicks contractions were taking on a different style. But I was half asleep, so I wasn’t sure. When Seth kissed me goodbye around 6am, I said, “I think I might be having contractions, but I don’t know. Keep your phone nearby.” By 6:30 I started timing them and they were 6-7 minutes apart, but a little irregular. I went to the bathroom and there were some other signs of pending labor, the details of which I will spare you. At 7:30am he said he’d come home.
I emailed my Thursday morning small group from church and said that I would likely not be making it. I spent a lot of time resting, laboring and breathing through contractions. My usually very busy and very loud toddler joined me, but he wanted to just peacefully lay with me and it was the sweetest thing.
Fortunately I had a scheduled doctor’s check up at noon, so we didn’t have to play the “should we go to the hospital? should we not?” game. Right at noon I saw the doctor and she examined me, at which time my water broke e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. Lovely. “You might want to make your way to the hospital soon. Grab some lunch, but be there by this afternoon.” I thought this was very cool, because noon is when the small group ends and they were praying for Rachel’s birth, and this was the exact time my water broke. And the small group was about a half block away from the hospital.
I forgot my license and insurance card, so we had to go home. This was good because we got to say goodbye to Joel and tell him we’d be in the hospital, and that his baby sister was coming!
Then Seth and I went to one of our favorite lunch spots and sat outside. The sunshine felt so good on my shoulders. By the end of lunch, I was pretty uncomfortable and had to stop a few times to breathe with Seth on the short walk to the car. We checked into the hospital a few blocks away.
They checked me into the triage room to monitor the baby and check my status. I was only supposed to be in there a short time, so we didn’t set up any of our labor stuff (music, massage oil, focus pictures, etc). But with hospital miscommunication (what?!!) it ended up being longer. I was on my back the whole time with the monitors and the contractions were so strong. After two hours, I decided I was done with the “natural” portion of my labor. “Would you like your epidural waiting for you in your room when we move you?” was the equivalent to, “Would you like a glass of champagne waiting for you at the spa?” Yes! I moved to a beautiful LDR room and the anesthesiologist was there within 10 minutes. It was a quick, pain-free epidural insertion and I was able to rest and enjoy the next few hours. I was allowed a clear diet (unlike previous hospital) so I alternated juices and various colored jellos for a long while. What a difference it made to have food-based energy when it came time to push. Like with Joel, my body didn’t dilate much on its own with the contractions (even pre-epidural) so they wanted to add some pitocin. Fine. I went from 4cm to 9cm in 3.5 hours. At 8:45pm, my doctor announced I was at 9cm and Seth, the nurse and I all cheered. She said she’d be back soon. At 9:25 I began pushing and little Rachel was born at 9:31. They placed her directly on my chest and I held her while she was examined and cleaned. The cord had been wrapped around her neck and we’re so thankful there were no complications for our little blossom.
She nursed & slept and nursed & slept for the next day. I felt much more rested, more peaceful, and felt less pain than the first time around during recovery. The nurse made a little flower for her hospital hat. The next day, Seth brought Joel and his mom to meet her. Joel patted her, held her, kissed her and made funny faces at her. And this is the story of the FOUR Pruitts. Welcome Rachel, we are so love with you.