You're reading it right. Constance Elizabeth Miller is here and she is doing well! She is a month old today!!!
She arrived on September 21, 2010 at 6:10pm. She weighed in at 8 pounds and 1 ounce, measuring 20 inches. Giving birth to her was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. I never knew something could be so empowering. God did an amazing thing when He designed the woman, although we do have the curse of labor pains. Oh well! He also gave us the strength to fight through it. I learned this, sadly. My sweet and dear epidural wore off right at 8 centimeters!
My husband was amazing the day she was born. When I began having contractions at 5am, he was at work doing mandatory overtime. Yes, the stupid place makes him go in at 3am sometimes! Ridiculous! I walked back and forth through the house during my contractions, doing my best not to freak out. I decided to wait an entire hour before having him come home, because I didn't want to go to the hospital over a false alarm. By the time he got home, there was no false alarm about it. I was one fuming woman in labor and I was ready to get out of there!
The ride to the hospital was amusing. Josh tried soothing me, but I told him that was just plain annoying. I needed him to talk to me as if it were any other day. He talked about a guy at work he got to talk about God with, among other things I'm sure. He talked through me throwing my legs all over the car and hitting the ceiling with my fists. I really should have taken a childbirth preparation course. Even if you do plan to get an epidural, I reccomend doing one to learn breathing techniques. I was totally unprepared for early labor!
We arrived at the hospital and I was dilated at 4 with a bulging bag of water. My Dad, who worked across the street in another hospital, arrived in minutes of us getting there. While Josh went to do something (can't remember), my Dad stayed with me in triage and did his best to keep me calm. Nothing meant more to me than to have him there holding my hand and breathing through contractions with me. It reminded me of being a little girl again, when I used to get scared about getting shots and he'd be there. I loved having him there. Plus, he taught Josh a thing or two about helping me breathe. Ha!
For the record, an IV doesn't hurt when you're in labor. It helped get my mind off of the pain.
One thing I didn't do while in triage or walking into triage before admitted was screaming. I wanted to scream and moan, but I didn't want to make a fool of myself. I was as polite as could be about it. Plus, none of the other women in labor were screaming. I didn't want to be the one crazy woman out of all them. Oh and I also apologized for not wearing panties. The nurse laughed and said, "You wont need them."
The sweet moment came when they told me my room was ready and that I could get an epidural. Yes! The anesthesiologist was a cute Asian lady. The epidural itself did not hurt at all; honestly, I can't remember getting it. I just know it was a very uncomfortable position to sit in while she was giving it, while having contractions.
After the epidural, the next several hours of labor were cake. I don't really remember them, but I do know I was enjoying myself. I was also very proud that I was progressing so quickly - dilating a centimeter each hour! I just hated laboring on an empty stomach. Popsicles are not good tummy fillers.
Feeling good with that epidural!
At around 8 centimeters, I noticed the pain was coming back. It started out small, so the nurse had someone give me more painkillers. They didn't last long and the pain was back in full force. They tried to tell me it was just pressure, but I was feeling the contractions too. I began to panic as the pain intensified and Josh eventually asked all of our visitors to leave the room. People were stressing me out. Don't be afraid to ask people to leave if you really want them to!
Once it was just me and Josh, things got a lot better. I was still in a lot of pain, but I calmed down. We began breathing through my contractions, which were only about thirty seconds apart at that point. I was also playing a game where I'd think of a word and make new words for each letter of it. Whatever works, right? I don't know how long we did this for, but it was a very special moment. Josh was being so strong for me.
Soon the nurse came in and I began to beg for more painkillers again. She told me it was too late to give me more and told me to try pushing. It certainly wasn't an epidural, but it gave me relief. Just a few seconds later, or so it felt like, my doctor was in the room and we had begun pushing through contractions. I wasn't able to have my own doctor in the delivery room, as he was not on call that day. But this woman was amazing. She was very sweet, but also very tough with me. I liked her a lot!
They tell me I pushed for two hours, but it only felt like 45 minutes or less. I pushed with all of my might through each contraction, as Josh held my leg. He was so encouraging, telling me how tough and strong I was. I loved having him there as my own personal coach. He was absolutely perfect.
My biggest motivation was seeing Constance. They told me that they were able to see her head and asked if I wanted a mirror. I had debated throughout my pregnancy as to whether or not I wanted one, because I was afraid it might gross me out. However, I got news that she had dark hair! I didn't want to miss another second. Seeing her progress gave me such motivation and I pushed even harder. I was one determined woman at that point. I also had full control. As soon as I felt another contraction coming on, I got down to it. Ha, I was still polite even while delivering. I kept saying - "May I please just have one more push?"
Josh says that in between contractions my eyes would roll back into my head and it would seem like I was about to fall asleep. That's not too far from the truth. I was exhausted. The thought of getting my girl into the world gave me such endurance, though. As soon as I knew I had another opportunity to push, I was ready to go.
The first time I saw Constance I was shocked. I had just asked the doctor how long I had and she said 8 minutes. This was probably just a random number to shut me up, considering I had asked the same question about a million times before. When she said that, I pushed hard. I figured I still had a few left to go. However, Constance appeared. It was so quick and not the slightest bit painful, especially considering how big she was. Or maybe it was painful and I was just too focused to care. Either way, she was beautiful.
They took her to be cleaned off while they stitched me up and delivered my placenta. I was so stinkin' out of it! I kept talking to the doctor about my stitches, asked to see my placenta, and whatever else seemed important at that moment.
Her first snapshot!
Once they cleaned her off, they handed her to Josh and he held her a few moments before handing her to me. I had decided he would be the first to hold her; just figured it would be more special that way. He was so sweet with her and a total natural as well.
Josh holding her for the first time! It was so wonderful to watch him become a Daddy.
The moment I first held her was amazing. It seemed like all of the loud craziness of the day quieted down and the world stopped for just a second. It was just us: her Daddy, her sweet face, and I. I was immediately smitten. Neither one of us cried like we had expected because I think we were just too shocked and happy to even think about it. She was absolutely beautiful and all we could do was smile and giggle with each other over it.
Holding my sweet girl for the very first time. :)
Our first family photo! :)
I love giving her kisses! We joke and say she looks Chinese here.
I only got to hold Constance for about five minutes, because they had to take her to the nursery. She swallowed fluid during the delivery and her oxygen levels were low. The poor little thing couldn't really even give us a loud cry, because she there was fluid on her lungs. That's the beginning of a whole new story and journey, something I plan to post about very soon.
I absolutely loved giving birth to Constance and I would do it a million times over. Nothing is more empowering as a woman to bring a child into the world and know you did it entirely by yourself. I will never forget the day I became her Mommy. :)
Constance Elizabeth Miller at almost 3 weeks.