Isabella Ruby Knox
7 pounds 15 ounces
Born March 2 at 7:47 pm
This is the story.....
Actually, let me start with the days leading up to her birth.
I was a week late the Wednesday before she was born (which was the following Monday).
I had been super at relaxed and content with being late, since I kind of expected it anyway.
Mentally, I was in a terrific place. Enjoying my little family of 4 before we added to it.
Then I started getting antsy. I had counted on being a week late, but not more than that!
I started eating painfully spicy food, doing crazy exercises, etc., trying to get a move on things.
Then, my kids started coughing. Like really bad deep coughing. And so I called their pediatrician to see if anything super contagious/dangerous for a newborn was going around. And she said to bring them right in. Friday I was 9 days late, and Lily was diagnosed with pneumonia and Addison with RSV (basically a really, really bad respiratory cold that takes a couple of weeks to resolve, and is extremely dangerous for babies)
Suddenly I went from doing everything I could to get her out, to completely resting and praying for her to hold out as long as possible! The pediatrician said the girls wouldn't be able to visit us at the hospital to see their new sister, and worse, that baby and I would either have to isolate ourselves in one room of the house once we came home, or find another place to go until the girls were better.
I was devastated, although thankful that we found out that they had something highly contagious before rather than after she was born and exposed.
Monday morning came around and I had my doctor's appointment, and was told I would have to be induced the following morning bright and early if she didn't make her grand appearance before then.
I knew I absolutely did not want to be induced...I had been preparing like crazy for a natural birth, and doing it completely drug free was really important to me. I didn't want Pitocin, and knew once that was going through my body making contractions unnaturally intense, I was much more likely to ask for an epidural, which I really didn't want. So, I resorted to the thing I knew would (most likely) work: castor oil. I made a 'cocktail' consisting of castor oil, orange juice, almond butter, and champagne. Then drank it and tried to pretend it was a mimosa.
Then, I sat on the couch and had a total meltdown, crying uncontrollably about having to leave my sick babes to go have this baby. It might sound silly, but honestly, as the picture later will show, my girls were soooo miserable and all they wanted to do was cuddle with their mommy. And I was about to leave for two or more days. They had been waking up crying and coughing at night and Brad would go sleep next to them...and he was about to leave too. My mom was here, but I was still just so tore up about leaving them when they were sicker than I've ever seen them. I mean, look at this pitiful sweet face...
Well, Brad helped me pull it together (as if I had a choice!), and we put on Lady and the Tramp and all snuggled on the couch together. Nothing was happening and I was starting to think the castor oil wasn't going to help.
We had dinner and I had one or two small and hardly painful contractions, but that was it.
After dinner, I ran upstairs to plug my phone in...and had a massive contraction. I started to get excited, knowing maybe things were starting and it was going to happen that night after all. I mentally made a list of things to do and make sure were in my hospital bag, but before I had even stood up from plugging in the phone, another huge one came. Less than two minutes from the first...
Addison came upstairs to find me on the floor on my hands and knees unable to get up. I told her to please go get Daddy, so off she went while I was having another one. Now, I've had a 32 hour labor, and a 17 hour labor. I'm used to things taking awhile to really get going, and then arriving at the hospital with another seven or eight hours to spare. So I was in denial a bit...I started thinking maybe the castor oil was just giving me insanely painful cramps, since it was impossible for me to be having contractions every two minutes from the get go. Meanwhile, Brad was a no show. He was talking to my mom downstairs, and both of them were completely unaware of what was going on. I managed to make it down the stairs to fill them in, and at this point realized they were more like every one or one and a half minutes apart. I was shaking and realized, I'm in freaking transition and about to have a baby! We need to GO! I told Brad time to go, but he didn't really believe me at first, so was taking his time loading the car and puttering around the house doing things. Finally I grabbed the keys and told him I was leaving. He understood then, and helped me to the car. Thankfully we live about four minutes from the hospital and there was no traffic. We officially checked in at 7:17pm, and they insisted on using a wheel chair to take me up to labor and delivery. When we made it, my midwife was standing around chatting with the nurses (we were the only ones for the night, so far), but when she saw my face, she said, "Oh! You're about to have the baby right now!" She told them to take me straight to a delivery room. I barely had time to put on my gown (somehow in the middle of the intense pain, I was able to refuse the hospital gown and rummage in my bag for my own. I felt like I could labor better in my own clothes...which turned out not to matter much, since I had the baby 16 minutes later), get the IV port put in just in case, and make it to the bed. And then I said what everyone says: I can't do it! The three nurses, my midwife, Brad, and my friend who had just got there all cheered me on and were hugely encouraging and kind. And like I said...just a few minutes later, she was born! I was mildly in shock. I had NO IDEA it was even possible for all that to happen so fast! I've heard of people having three hour labors, but an hour and a half start to finish...and for someone who had previously progressed so slowly...I was just blown away. But so happy! Happy mostly because she was here, she was healthy and perfect, and it was a smooth delivery. But also because it was so huge for me to do this all natural. Very few people understood my need/want for this, and I get it, the outcome is the only thing that really matters: healthy baby, healthy mama. But I needed to know that I could do it. I feel like ever since having kids, I've been weak in so many ways. It's not always a bad thing...God uses my kids to humble me and make me more dependent on him all the time. But I know that he made our bodies to do this, and I really wanted to do it drug free. I wanted to feel everything...I wanted to be able to move around freely both during and after, not stuck in the bed paralyzed by an epidural...I wanted a faster recovery...I wanted the baby to come out fully alert and with less risk of complications or emergency cesarean...I wanted to feel strong...and most of all, I needed to prove to myself that I have mental strength. That I can push through and do hard things; painful things.
I don't say all of this to brag about how strong I am or was last Monday night. Quite the opposite...I give all the glory to God. I believe he allowed me a short labor because he knew I wouldn't handle a long one without drugs. It reminded me that he cares about the details, that He is good and loving and kind, and delights in us and cares about our desires. Sometimes he says no, but this time he said yes and gave me the desire of my heart. He gave me the mental strength, as well as a quick labor, great 'cheerleaders' in the room, etc. I am so thankful, and thankful to my very few friends who knew this was important to me and prayed specifically for it.
When I look back at pictures from last Monday, it makes me laugh. These were all taken between two in the afternoon and eight in the evening. Funny ... when I took the earlier pictures, I had no earthly idea that less than five short hours later I would be holding my little baby girl!
I hadn't taken a picture since 39 weeks, and I knew I was only going to be pregnant for another 24 hours at most. So we had fun and took some silly pictures
And then I came inside, put on sweats, and made my nasty drink:)
And then I waited.
The castor oil worked!!!!
Here we are, just a few hours later:)
We could've gone home the next day, as good as Isabella and I were doing, but since the girls were still so sick, we decided to milk our hospital stay. We ordered room service, slept between nurses interruptions, and just relaxed.
When we got home, Izzie and I pretty much hid out in the bedroom with the doors shut, doing our best to keep away from the germs, but first, we made Addison and Lily wash up and gave them little kid masks so that they could meet little sis...
It's been a hard week, hard but so good. As I finish typing, it's Monday morning and she is a week old today. I've been terribly sick this week (still am), but I count it as a blessing because I am giving her extra antibodies to keep her healthy during this cold/flu season.
We are settling into a routine...as much as one can with a newborn. Last night she slept in her cradle for the first time, only waking up at 3am and then at 6:45 this morning...pretty good!!! The girls are officially not wearing masks and we are out of our isolated bedroom, and everyone is happy. I missed my girls last week!!! But we survived...and we are a family of 5!
Soooo sorry to all my family and friends far away that it took me this whole week to get pictures put up, and I'm not on Facebook, so some of you may not have seen her until now. I apologize!
I hope to stay caught up on here, with my new little blogging buddy. She likes to snuggle and slows me down, but I don't mind a bit!
Welcome to the world Isabella Ruby! We are so glad you're finally here!