Two weeks and four days later, I am sitting down to type out Cora Jane's birth story. For those that don't care to read the whole story or see any pictures here is your SPOILER ALERT: I got the epidural. I don't regret it. I had ZERO complications. Also, CJ is beautiful.
My labor began very early in the morning on Sunday, May 15th. Did you know that May 15th is also my birthday? (Going to go ahead and declare Cora Jane as the BEST BIRTHDAY PRESENT, EVER.) After timing contractions alone and in the dark until 5:30 am, I got up and took a long, hot bath. I knew that my business (read: my snatch) was going to be on display that day, so I needed to clean up. I also knew that plenty of pictures (read: I am vain) were going to be taken, so I needed to have my hair and make-up done. After I got out of the bath, I called my Mom and told her to head this way. I also woke Matt up and told him that her birth would be happening soon.
We then spent the morning messing around the house, texting friends and family, and timing contractions. Matt made cinnamon rolls for breakfast. I opened my birthday presents and packed my bag for the hospital. The boys watched cartoons. Contractions were 4-6 minutes apart and painful. I managed just fine by walking and swaying through them.
Eventually my BFF Jennifer, Mom, Uncle Eric and Aunt Liza all showed up. At this point, I freaked out because contractions had slowed down to 10 minutes apart. I decided that we needed to get out of the house and demanded that we go to Home Depot. (Logical idea? Of course not but I needed everyone to stop staring at me.) In route, I had three super painful contractions and so we decided to get lunch at Panera instead.
After a great lunch, I knew it was almost time to head to the hospital. We went home, grabbed our bags, said goodbye to Eric and the boys, and made our way to LMH. We arrived around 2:00. (I think. Details are fuzzy.) At this point, I was 4 cm dialated and 80% effaced. I also declined a hospital gown and chose to stay in my black nursing tank. (Remember how I said I was vain? So much better than the ugly gown.)
Then it came time for the million dollar question: epidural or not? Matt and my Mom represented 'Team No.' Jennifer was on 'Team Yes.' Eventually I decided to go for one. Why mess with a good thing? Everyone was having such a good time that there wasn't any need to ruin the party.
By 3:45, I was in heaven. Literally. My water was broken and I was 6 cm dilated. The room was joyful. Cora's heart rate was strong and steady the entire time. In fact, her heart rate never showed any signs of distress. Things were great. Matt's parents showed up to join the celebration. Liza came with the boys and our neighbor Katie came to watch too. Our awesome photographer, Jana, showed up as well.
Very soon after that and it was go time. 10 centimeters and ready to roll:
Earlier in the day, Dr. Durland had asked Matt if he wanted to catch Cora. When she asked, we didn't really realize that she meant HE WOULD ACTUALLY CATCH THE BABY. After getting fully gowned and gloved, he took a front seat and got ready:
It was a little intimidating to push with everyone staring at my taco and so I decided to focus only on Matt's face. Liza who was giving the play by play on the phone to my other sister, Susannah, described it as "Audrey's having an intimate moment with Matt." At that time, it was the least of my worries.
Speaking of worries, I didn't poop. THANK YOU, JESUS.
(It was such a great party.)
At 5:44 pm, after pushing for a whooping 12 minutes and through 4 contractions, Cora Jane was born straight into the hands of her Daddy. She came out pink and screaming:
Like it's her job to do, Dr. Durland respected our wishes and allowed the cord to continue pulsating. A few minutes later she asked if we were ready to cut the cord. She showed us the mostly still cord and then handed the scissors to Matt:
And then, amazingly Cora was placed directly onto my chest. A girl. A beautiful and healthy baby girl for our family. It didn't matter that she was my third baby. It didn't matter that she was even a she. All that mattered was that she was there and that she was healthy. The worry and anxiety were over:
Eventually I gave her up and allowed her footprints to be taken and for her to be weighed. She was 6 lbs, 12 oz and 19.5 inches long. She also got her very first cloth diaper, a pink Goodmama newborn. Her feet were like those of an old lady. Very, very wrinkly:
And then she was straight back into my arms. We declined eye ointment (and Hep B too) and so we got some wonderful pictures of Cora with her eyes open and clear:
Cora is the SPITTING IMAGE of big brother Simon. Her hair color is a bit darker than his but still lighter than Bennett's. Additionally, her bright blue eyes and light skin color are identical to Simon's:
And that's the sweet story of how beautiful Miss Cora Jane came into our lives and changed our House of Boys into Pool, Party of Five: