A Birth Story: Nora Sue

I had a feeling something would happen that day. It was Wednesday, November 26th, just two days before my due date. I was wishing so badly that Nora would make her appearance soon. I had even spent the night before walking laps around my living room and dining room trying to get her out. I told Josh and my mom Wednesday morning, “I think today is the day.” 
We spent the day in North Pole, Alaska (yes, that’s a real place — just outside of Fairbanks) exploring the Santa Claus house and eating cheeseburgers at a teeny tiny diner. After stopping at another little gift shop, we went home. Josh took his dad back to his hotel and went to the grocery store to get a few things so my mom could make her famous chicken enchiladas. Mom sat at the table to get some work done (since they changed their flight plans and flew in early, she didn’t get it all finished in time), and I sat on the couch and watched Dr. Phil. 

It was about 3:30pm. I felt a strange sensation and said, “Aw man! I just peed my pants!” In my head, it seemed logical. I’m almost 40 weeks pregnant…I have a baby sitting on my bladder…things happen. Don’t judge. But my mom quickly asked, “Wait. Are you sure it wasn’t your water breaking? Do you normally pee your pants?”
I guess I was expecting my water breaking to be like the movies — a giant gush out of nowhere. But in my case, I just kept “peeing my pants” a little at a time. Josh walked in from the garage (perfect timing!) with his hands full of groceries, and my mom said, “We may or may not have good news. Lindsay’s water may have broken.” If you know Josh at all, you can guess his response. It was the same response I got when I told him I was pregnant…”Shutup.”
I still wasn’t convinced it was my water, though. I picked up the phone and called my midwife. She told me to head to the hospital so they could check to see if my water had actually broken. We quickly loaded the car and made our way to the hospital around 4:00pm. And good news! My water broke!
Since I wasn’t having any contractions yet, I was sent to walk around the hospital, so my mom and I took off on a power walk. Still nothing. Ha! 
They got me set up on the monitors, and my midwife came in to chat with me about my options. We decided to go ahead and induce with pitocin to get the ball rolling. (It’s funny how things change so quickly. My whole pregnancy I said I wanted to avoid pitocin if I could, and the first time it was offered to me, I went with it! But I trusted my midwife’s opinion. That baby wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon without some help.) They started the pitocin around 8:45pm, and the waiting game began.
I’ve always known I would get an epidural. I have a very low pain tolerance and had no desire to do it naturally. After the pitocin was started, the nurse told me not to wait too long to call for the epidural because it could take a while for the anesthesiologist to show up. After several hours, I still wasn’t feeling any pain with the contractions, so I decided to go to sleep and get some rest before the big event.
Around 3:30am, I woke up from a dead sleep to a horribly painful contraction that practically paralyzed me. Since I had been fast asleep, I was delirious and had no clue what was going on. It took me a few seconds to realize it was a contraction, and boy, was it painful. I didn’t get any small, warning contractions or anything! So I immediately pushed the button and called for the epidural. And God is good, can I get an amen?! The nurse came in and said the anesthesiologist would be in within 3-5 minutes! And thank the Lord! Because those contractions were coming fast and hard! By the time the epidural had kicked in, it was only about a half hour that I had to endure the contractions, and I’m so thankful it wasn’t one minute longer. 
By 4:00am, the epidural was in full swing and I was dilated to 6cm. I rolled over and went back to sleep! By 4:50, I was already 10cm! We were all shocked! We decided to wait to push for a bit to allow the baby to make her way further down the birth canal on her own. I went back to sleep! Around 7:45, my midwife came in, and I started pushing. Well…not before she let made Josh feel Nora’s head! He was a little hesitant, but it was so funny to see his face when she said, “Do you feel that? That’s her head!”
So the pushing began. But the problem was that the anesthesiologist had done his job so well that I couldn’t feel a thing! I just pushed when they told me to push, but it got really frustrating really quickly because I didn’t feel like I was making any progress given all the hard work I was doing. Now, I had no concept of time at this point, but probably about an hour in to pushing, my midwife asked the nurse to turn my epidural off so I could feel the contractions a little better and have more successful pushing. She was thinking I would push that baby out quickly. Well…it wasn’t so quickly. And after that epidural was turned off, I felt every. little. thing. And it was so painful. (Again…low pain tolerance.) 
They gave me Italian ice because I was nauseated, but it also served as a cooling-off tool. 🙂
I ended up pushing for about another hour. I pushed so hard. My midwife kept telling me what a powerful pusher I was, yet I was hardly making any progress! I was losing hope. Finally, my midwife asked if I wanted her to use the vacuum. Again, one of those things I said all along that I wanted to avoid. I was hesitant because I was afraid of hurting the baby, but I literally had nothing left in me to give, and knew I needed the help to get the baby out. So I desperately said yes. She and the nurse started preparing to use the vacuum, and I suddenly felt the urge to push. I was determined, y’all. And my husband was there cheering me on. I gave it everything I had and pushed with all my strength. And guess what! Her head was out! No vacuum needed after all! Josh and my mom said when her head came out, she turned her head and looked around. Crazy! A few more pushes and at 9:45am, my precious baby girl was born and our lives were changed.
I can’t even describe in words what that moment felt like. If you’re a parent, you know. It was a beautiful combination of relief, excitement, so much love, tears of joy (and maybe a few tears of pain), and amazement. I just kept looking her over making sure she was okay and healthy. And I kept telling Josh, “Babe, she looks just like you!”
Despite the midwife’s guess of 8lbs…
She was just 7lbs 2oz. and 20 3/4 in.
She is perfect.
She sucked on Daddy’s pinky for nearly an hour. Just precious.
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are filled with joy. | Psalm 126:3