SHE’S here!!! After all that waiting and guessing and wondering, baby girl made her arrival on September 5th at 8:51am. We named her Noel Kay Christensen and she weighed 6lbs, 15oz and was 19 3/4 inches long. Here is our sweet bundle!
She arrived after a very long (33 hour!) labor. I got to teach the first day of school on September 4th and then had a Drs. appointment in the afternoon. It was my typical twice a week stress test monitoring appointment and while I was there I had several contractions while on the monitor. They were painless and I didn’t even really realized I was having them until the nurse pointed them out and showed me how my stomach was tightening during the contraction.
I thought, pretty cool but I don’t think the baby will come yet. I heard people can have contractions like that for days. But…on the off chance labor would start soon I told Brian I wanted to go out for dinner. So we headed to one of our favorite places, the Alehouse Pub in Bothell. During dinner I would laugh and say, “oh I’m having a contraction right now!” But as it turns out…I wasn’t laughing for long! 🙂
We went to bed around midnight and at 12am almost on the dot… I woke up with painful contractions. They were fairly far apart and I tried to sleep in between each one. After several hours it was useless and Brian and I were up and he was keeping track on my contractions. After laboring at home at around 10:30am my contractions were 3-5 minutes a part. Brian called my Dr. and we were told to come on down to the hospital. We got there and I was feeling pretty awful and was in a lot of pain. We arrived at the triage center around 11:30 and they took us into the triage center to check how far I was dilated. Unfortunately, I was only at 2cm. So, she said to go walk around for 2 hours and then come back to be checked. I was super disappointed, but I thought, I can do this for two more hours!
Brian suggested we go to the mall to walk around… I said are you kidding me? I can barely function when a contraction comes! So, we went home and I walked around at home. During these two hours the contractions were very strong and at times coming on top of each other so that one contraction was lasting several minutes. I pretty much felt like I was dying.
We finally made it back to the hospital around 2:30 to be checked again. I was still only 2cm! I was very upset, cried and didn’t know how I was going to continue. The nurse suggested I take a medicine that is similar to Benadryl that makes you sleepy and helps to relax you. I guess she could see that I was a bit on edge. 🙂 She gave it to me and told me that go home and relax and come back in about 4 hours because she couldn’t admit me until I was dilated further.
So again, we made the trek home. I tried to rest and the medicine did make me groggy. I drifted in and out of sleep but as each contraction came I would wake. At 6:30 I was in a ton of pain and had been laboring on my own for so long and our 4 hours were up! So we headed back to the hospital. When we go there and Brian helped me change into a gown I told him I better be farther along because I don’t know what I would do if they sent us home again. But, low and behold… I was dilated to 4, almost 5 cm! Hallelujah!
When she told me that, I said thank goodness and can I please have an epidural now?? She said she would get me admitted and take me up to my room and yes… then I could have the epidural!
So we were admitted by 7pm and I slowly made my way to my room. There were many nurses in my room and I made a comment that there were so many people and they said… yeah it’s been a slow day. We are excited to have something to do! They got me settled and then by 8pm the Dr. came in to give me the epidural. I was really nervous because my contractions were really strong and I was afraid I would move…but the nurses held me and it went just fine. In just a few minutes I felt the contractions subside and the numbness overtake my lower half and it was magical!
My family showed up, I was able to sleep and things were good! It had been 16 hours without medication and now that I had it I was feeling great. All night I continued to labor although it was very manageable with the epidural. The nurses continued to check my progress and at about 3:30am I was fully dilated. They called on the on-call Dr. and a bit after 4:00am I started to push. It was so exhausting…I ended up pushing for a very long time. Long enough in fact, that my Dr. came in to relieve the on-call Dr. because it was morning!
I ended up pushing for about 4 1/2 hours and then the nurse called my Dr. to come over to the hospital because there wasn’t much progress and I wasn’t going to be able to continue for much longer. When Dr. Dydell showed up she said the baby was fine, but for some reason wasn’t making progress. So, she suggested we use the vacuum to help baby get around the pelvic bone. I said that was fine with me…but she said if that didn’t work we would have to go to C-section because after that we were out of options. So, they prepped everything for delivering baby.
As they were doing this strange Drs. and nurses walked in…I vaguely remember saying….”Um, Hi?” They said oh hi, we are here to assist and monitor the baby after he/she is born since they are using the vacuum. By then, another contraction had come and I thought to myself, whatever. The more the merrier…right?!
Well, one contraction with the help of the vacuum and she was crowning. Then one last push on my own and Snowball was born! It was a bit hectic at this time and Brian was trying to get a good look to see if Snowball was a boy or a girl. I remember him saying… “It’s a girl! I think…. it’s a girl? Ummm?” Then Dr. Dydell saying yes, it’s girl. She quickly cut the cord and passed Snowball off to the specialist team. I was a bit nervous at first because she didn’t cry right away and didn’t seem to be moving much.
I was crying and crying as I watched my new baby girl being evaluated. Not because I was in pain and then at that point I knew she was okay but they were just monitoring her for a bit. But, I just couldn’t believe she was finally here. Brian and I’s child…our precious baby that we and so many other people had prayed and prayed for. All the hardship and difficulties of the last 30 months just instantly faded away as soon as my eyes locked on my precious babe. What an incredible gift!
After a few minutes they placed my baby girl on my chest and my eyes locked with hers and I knew that I was forever changed–I was now a mom. She was calm and gazed at me and within minutes was ready to eat! (Just like her mom!) She was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen and Brian and I just stared at her and I just marveled at how amazing it is that she went from a tiny cell to this incredible, perfect and absolutely beautiful baby. I was so proud to be her mom and I knew instantly that I would do anything for her. I felt so incredibly blessed that this beautiful baby was mine and she was equally made from Brian and I. It truly was love at first sight. I know that God is the creator and giver of life because what a miracle that a tiny cell turns out to be this perfect human and that my body created, fed and nourished her for 40 weeks. What a miracle!
After she was born, Brian went out to spread the news to my dad and his parents that Snowball was a girl! Everyone joined us (my mom and sister Allyson were already with me when I delivered) and Brian told everyone we had named her Noel Kay. We loved the name Noel–and it is Allyson’s middle name and we found out the day after Christmas that we were finally pregnant! Then we named her Kay after my grandma that passed away in April. It has been a time of pure joy loving on my baby girl…but also there has been a nagging sadness that I just wish my grandma and Pop-pop could be here to celebrate with us and take in the joy of their first great-grandchild.
My grandma would have hugged her close and told me how much she looked like me. My Pop-pop would have immediately been on the phone telling everyone he knows the good news. I know that they are looking down from heaven and have gotten to see Noel and are so happy–but a part of me is so upset that they aren’t here to share in the joy of this new baby. Noel is an answer to prayers and these two were praying for her arrival for a very long time.
But, they are gone and are with Jesus and it does remind me that life is and can be short. I am going to just love on Noel and treasure every moment I get to spend with her and the rest of my family. What a precious gift God has blessed Brian and I with, as well as the rest of the family!
There is nothing more precious than a sleeping babe on your chest! I am pretty much in awe and pure bliss when this photo was taken…can’t believe she’s mine!
Such a proud and in love daddy!! She going to have him wrapped around her finger, I can already tell!
Happy birthday sweet girl! You are 0 days old!
Our first family photos…. love 🙂
Proud and incredibly happy grandparents!
Her first poop! Being weighed for the first time!
Going home! Scary…but exciting too!
These are just a “few” 🙂 pictures from our first two days together… more to come soon of her first couple of weeks! Thank you to everyone for your support and love. Noel has been born into such an incredible family and community of friends. I couldn’t ask for anything more. I am bursting with love and gratitude for all of you and all that we have.