Nora was born at 39 weeks and 1 day, but the story of her birth begins at 38 weeks when Blake and I began to get impatient. I don’t know why we always find ourselves here, but we lose our patience this far along and start trying all the natural inducers. Many long walks at a rigorous pace, raspberry leaf tea, yoga. Blake found my pressure points and gave me foot massages. Nothing seemed to work.
About a week before Nora was born Blake and I went to see Dunkirk and I had a few contractions, which happened a couple more times in the following week until my appointment on Wednesday, July 26th. I had reached my limit emotionally (as well as physically, of course) for a number of reasons, so I had the doctor strip my membrane. Evelyn and I spent the day getting shaved ice with McKenzie and Mila and that night I had a mutual activity with our young women. On our drive home from the activity, my contractions began. Perfect timing, because for months I had been planning this activity and telling myself I had to be there and then the baby could come anytime after. That night I delivered a few supplies to a leader for girls camp (which would come the following week) and the contractions continued to get stronger.
Throughout the night they were anywhere from 15-20 minutes apart. I think I got a total of three hours of sleep that night, and when I was awake I wrote in my Promptly journals and finished reading the Book of Mormon (a 2017 resolution I had to finish before the baby was born). The minute I knelt down to pray about it, my contractions got stronger and closer together. I’m logging that little tender mercy away in my spiritual experiences tab under “When I do my part, the Lord blesses me.”
By the time Blake woke up my contractions were about 10 minutes apart. Pre-labor was long for me with Evelyn, so I sent Blake to work and told my parents to plan on that afternoon. But before Blake made it to his desk at work, my contractions jumped to four minutes apart and SO painful. My brother showed up to watch Evelyn for us and I frantically tried to finish packing my hospital bag, pausing every few minutes to crouch down and yell because of the pain. Evelyn followed me around in confusion saying, “Mom screaming.”
I have very little hospital experience outside of giving birth, but I’m convinced the best nurses work in Labor and Delivery. I was quickly admitted at 10 am, measuring at a 5, and put at the top of the anesthesiologist’s list. As soon as I got my epidural I was a happy camper, just like with Evelyn. I had a little puking spell and wasn’t able to sleep, but we were in the room with the best view and Blake and I were talking about names, so we killed time. Family came by and we snacked on the hospital options since I hadn’t had time to eat that morning. Around 2:15 the nurse came in to check how far I had progressed because the doctor had a scheduled C-section at 2:30. Turns out I was completely dilated so they decided to deliver immediately so the doctor could make her next appointment. I believe it took six or eight minutes of pushing to bring Nora into the world at 2:38 pm. She wasn’t crying when she came out so the nurses were rubbing and patting her purple, puffy body for a few seconds before she started to cry. The bed felt much shorter this time, I felt so close as it all happened and I was able to watch them handle her so much more than I was able to see with Evelyn. Our first time around we had no idea what to expect and had such an adrenaline rush that when Evelyn came out we were just shocked and giddy. This second time, because it was an experience we had had before (though different, we knew more or less what to expect), we were able to soak up the moments a little more. The second we met Nora, Blake and I were both overcome with emotion. It was so joyful and special. The experience is so spiritual no matter which child you’re delivering, and I’m glad that each experience is different, just like each child.
Nora Jane weighed 7 lbs 11 oz and was 19″ long. She was swollen and chubby and “sturdy” as some explained when they met her in the hospital. Her little mouth was most often turned slightly downward and her D A R K wavy hair shocked us all again. Evelyn’s hair was an auburn color, which caught us off guard, but Nora’s was almost black! Blake has a couple siblings who were born with dark hair and his dad has dark hair, so that must be the best explanation for the dark hair. And if it’s anything like what happened to Evie, it will eventually all fall out and grow back in much lighter. Fingers crossed it stays dark though!
If you read this whole thing, I owe you something. Maybe come enjoy some of the cookie dough I have in my fridge because I can now eat it since I’m not pregnant (YAY). Here are the pictures you actually came to see.