Alexia was due on Tuesday, 8/4/15. We had several days where we had a small handful of mild but irregular contractions but they would usually clear up after we slept them off overnight or with a nap.
Friday (8/14): Jess was 10 days overdue. She had an appointment that morning with Dr Rice and she would not let Jess go past 42 weeks for health reasons and our past miscarriage history. Because of this, she scheduled Jess to induce Wednesday morning, the day after she hit 42 weeks. Dr Rice checked and saw that Jess was already dilated to 3cm, 80% effaced, and at a -1 or 0 station. She offered Jess the option to strip her membrane to try and encourage the labor process to get started. She let us discuss this option for a few minutes and we decided to go ahead with the procedure since it sounded like a better option to have the labor and birth we wished for than induction. We had some mild contractions all afternoon and into the evening but, like all the other times, they cleared up by the time we woke up the next morning. Saturday (8/15): We decided to sleep in a little and get some rest. After eating some breakfast we decided that getting out of the house and being active will be the best way to encourage starting labor this weekend. We went to a garage sale, ate lunch, went on a walk in the mall and around the grocery store to stock up for when baby gets here. Saturday (8/15) 7pm: In the HEB parking lot coming home, Jess felt something in her stomach that was "very different" from the previous contractions she has had. We went home and ate dinner. The contractions still didn't go away and she started to feel back labor and pain down into her left leg. I had her do a bunch of pelvic rocks then rest with a movie on. Saturday (8/15) 9pm: At this time we noticed the contractions were somewhat regular, about 10-12 minutes apart, she was getting restless, and unable to get comfortable lying down. I had her do a bunch more pelvic rocks before and after the shower to help stop the back labor. She went and took a shower. Not long after the shower, she started to throw up. She had tried to take her round of vitamins but they didn't settle well and on top of labor that contributed to her nausea. Saturday (8/15) 11pm: She took a second shower. I had her do a bunch more pelvic rocks. At this point contractions were about 8 minutes apart. She continued to have a hard time to keep anything in her stomach, but I made sure she was sipping on small amounts of water and Gatorade to keep her hydrated. Sunday (8/16) 12am-3:30am: Nausea calmed down. Contractions are now about 6 1/2 minutes apart. Eventually was able to get Jess to lay down and get some sleep. Woke up around 3:30 with contractions timing nearly 5 minutes apart for the last 1.5 hours. Decided it was time to go to the hospital. Sunday (8/16) 4am: Left for the hospital shortly after 4 and arrived around 4:30. Contractions still rolling on pretty consistently. Sunday (8/16) 5:30am: After getting checked in and settled, Jess was checked and was still at 4cm. They called Dr Rice and she recommended to have Jess walk around and try to see if she progresses. If we do not progress, they will send us home. We started walking and praying, asking God to move on our behalf. We texted close friends and family asking them to pray as well. We had a pretty special time walking around for those couple hours talking about our journey and dreams up to this point. We will always cherish this time we had with one another. Sunday (8/16) 7:30am: After fudging our time a little bit to get in some extra walking, pelvic rocks, squats, birthing ball exercises, and the nurses taking their time (I'm pretty sure it was intentional) during a shift change, we finally got checked and we were at 6cm. They said they were going to admit us!! We started crying pretty immediately after the nurse left. After 6 years of uncertainty, of not knowing when will this journey end, we finally knew when it was finally over. Today is the day! We couldn't wait to praise Him!!!! Sunday (8/16) 9:30am: Measured at 8cm. At this point we learned that the hospital will not allow her to eat anything except for jello, water, or Gatorade because of the possibility of a c-section. Super bummer! Sunday (8/16) 11:30am: Measured at 8cm still and we were well into late first stage labor. We have been taking showers and using various laboring positions using the birthing ball mainly. Jess found her most comfortable position to be on her knees and hands, leaning on the bed, birth ball, or pillows. She enjoyed having her back rubbed with lavender oil and counter pressure. Josh was a fabulous coach knowing exactly the spots to get. We also enjoyed dancing with each other all throughout the room. This is a favorite past time of ours in the house and it was so nice that we could incorporate it into our labor story. Sunday (8/16) 2pm: We have stalled out at 8cm for the past 4 1/2 hours. Dr Rice believes it is because her bag of water has not broken yet. She presented us three options we can wait it out for who knows how long, she can break the bag, or administer Pitocin and let the bag break on it's own. We opted for letting her break the water since it was the least invasive and we had no interest in dragging this on any longer. Sunday (8/16) 2:30pm: Almost as soon as the bag was broken the contractions got MUCH stronger and by this point we were in full on transition. Jess took a shower, got nauseous again and lost everything in her stomach in the shower, and heavily relied on the favorite position (hands and knees) while I was pushing tennis balls into the small of her back. At this point her back had really started hurting again but was manageable with the pressure applied. She was ready to get this baby out and didn't care what she looked like or did doing it. Sunday (8/16) 3:30pm: Measured at a full 10cm except for a small anterior lip of the cervix that was not quite around the babies head yet. Was told to try not to push with the contractions yet but the urge was becoming harder and harder to resist. Dr Rice was called. Sunday (8/16) 4pm: Dr Rice was in and checked her cervix. The anterior lip was gone and was given the green light to start pushing. Jess was comfortable on her side but quickly shifted to a sitting position with the bed back at an angle for her to sit up in enough for her to reach her knees and pull them back. Her contractions were long and, most of the time, she had enough to get 4 pushes in per contraction. She was able to get moving with the delivery pretty quick. Sunday (8/16) 5pm: The pushing was beginning to take it's toll. The doctor pulled out an oxygen mask for her to use in between contractions. It really gave her a second wind to keep going. Sunday (8/16) 5:45pm: After various methods of pushing such as grabbing handles on the bed, her legs, and a "tug of war" rope the nurse pulled on, progress had slowed and she began to lose energy. Nearly the whole time she had been experiencing a lot of back labor. With the difficulty of pushing at this point and the incredible amount of back labor Dr Rice and the nurse both concluded that the baby was sunny side up. She offered help in the form of using vacuum suction to angle the baby's head just a little bit so she can help Jess get the baby out. Jess was VERY exhausted and out of energy. At this point Jess had been laboring almost 23 hours and she had nothing to eat for the past 13. She had no more energy to give. With this in mind, we consented to the vacuum hoping to get Lexi here and avoid a c-section. Sunday (8/16) 5:53pm: After about 4 contractions, Alexia was born. In the process, Jessica was about to tear so they did an episiotomy to help mitigate the tearing. She was handed Alexia immediately and she was crying and very active out of the womb. Jessica couldn't stop saying, "My baby! My baby that I get to hold!" Josh was able to cut the cord as well. Alexia opened her eyes, began looking around, and within 5 minutes started nooking looking for Jessica's nipple to nurse. The whole time she was very fidgety and active trying to look around, crying, and trying to nurse.
In the midst of Jessica being stitched up she was not really able to focus on Alexia and the staff decided that it was best to start getting her measurements and checking her over. She was 7 lbs. 8 oz. 20 inches long. Her APGAR was at an 8-9. The nurse began to look for things that could be markers for having a special needs child, which matters a lot to us because of our elevated risk for one. Josh also knew what to look for based on what his sister has. We were thrilled to find out that Alexia nothing wrong with her. She was perfect in every way. After her examinations we were able to nurse and were eventually moved into a post-pardum room. We stayed Sunday night with the help of Joshua's mother to have baby duty while we slept. We stayed a few more days in the hospital so Jessica could heal more from the birth. Ever since we got home, we cannot be more overjoyed to have our home filled with cries of a hungry baby and smiles of a happy little girl. Overall our labor experience was so positive. Jessica will tell you, for her, anything below 10cm is reasonably manageable, but once you hit 10 and transition than you really better get ready. We have wonderful memories from this beautiful story of bringing Alexia into the world and we are so grateful to share them with you.