Monday, April 16, 2012

clara's birth story

almost a week later, i am finally getting around to putting up a post and some pics about my baby girl's delivery. and really, i'm only able to do this because both of my kids (weird that i have kids-plural!) are sleeping at the same time and i'm feeling well enough to sit up and do this!

i thought i'd present clara's birth story in a manner like this:

total time being pregnant: 39 weeks and 3 days
total number of vomits: innumerable (including one final one right after the birth!)
total number of doctors prior to birth: 1
total weight gained: i am not telling, so don't ask.
total number of WEEKS of pre labor: 6 and a half. and a full 4 days of contractions at 10 minutes apart!
total number of hours pre-epidural: 4 (but felt much longer . . . )
total hours of active labor prior to water breaking: 4 hours and 45 minutes
total number of pushes/contractions until clara came out: 4
total hours of entire labor: just under 8

as you can see, clara's birth was much different from william's! everything about this labor and delivery threw me for a curve ball! besides not having to push too long. my doctor told me i was a champ when it came to pushing :) and yes, i just bragged about my pushing abilities!

so, now that you've got the details, i'll give you the story.

after weeks of pre-labor and 2 false labors, i finally went in at 8:30am on April 10, 2012 to be induced. who would've thought that after weeks of contractions that i would have to be induced! i got to the hospital and was still only dilated to a 2. so, at 9:00am, the nurses started me on pitocin.

i knew that induced labors tended to take longer than naturally going into labor, so i was hesitant to get an epidural too early. i didn't want to have all of that anesthesia in me for hours and hours. so, despite the fact that my contractions were quite painful, i held off as long as i could. which was until 1:00pm. then my anesthesiologist came in and instead of getting right down to business and giving me my drugs, he gave us all a lesson in epidurals and all kinds of things i didn't really care about at the time! but he was nice, and finally shot me up so that my pain and "pressure" was more bearable.

at 1:45pm, my doctor came in and broke my water. i was still only dilated to 4cm when he did this. then my contractions really started picking up. a little too much, in fact, so that baby clara wasn't happy. her heart rate would drop with each contraction, and so a couple hours later the nurses started pumping her with more fluids and turned off my pitocin per the doctor's orders. after that, clara was much happier.

then, the "pressure", as my anesthesiologist would call it, really amped up. i think i'd call it pain, but hey, he's never had a baby, so let's go with his words! anyway, i was facetiming (the apple version of Skype) with peter during this whole time, and he told me i was ready to have the baby. he remembered that last time with will, all of a sudden i felt the same continuous "pressure" through my epidural and when checked, it was time for me to start pushing. i thought he might be right, so i called the nurse in, and lo and behold, i was dilated to a 9 and just about ready to go.

so, my nurse called my doctor and told him to get his booty to the hospital. it was about 4:15pm, and he was scheduled to be to the hospital around 4:30pm. ten minutes later he rolled in, saw that i was fully dilated and rushed off to change into scrubs. meanwhile the nurse got everything ready to go, the iPad with peter anxiously watching was set up on the table by my feet (yep, he watched the whole thing from that angle), and my team got ready.

my dream team: my mom, sister, elise, and sister-in-law, jill. with my husband being gone, these three were the next best support and they were awesome.

my mom and elise each took one of my legs. btw, elise wasn't entirely prepared for that one. the nurse was needing to do other things, so i assigned elise my right leg and she stepped up like a pro. although i was worried she was internally freaking out. for the first little while she just looked at my face, but then when clara made her grand entrance, elise couldn't help but watch the miracle take place. my mom said that her face showed utter amazement and horror at the same time. pretty awesome. i wish i would have noticed her face, but i was focused on other things at the time.

anyway, i started pushing, and it only took 4 contractions, and at 4:49pm, clara popped on out! elise had the honor of cutting the umbilical cord (yes, elise received an entire education that day!) and then the doctor held baby clara up to the iPad for peter to get a good first look at our baby girl.

i had many mixed emotions when clara was born. i was relieved, soooo happy, and so sad at the same time. sad that my husband was on the other side of the world when one of our babies was born. but, that being said, under the circumstances, i think we were able to make the best of it. the timing worked out perfectly so that peter was present (via FaceTime) the entire labor and delivery. the wifi never went out once, and he was able to witness the birth as much as was possible. still, i got a little teary eyed holding my baby girl and looking at my husband through the iPad.

the next morning my mother-in-law brought william to the hospital to meet his brand new baby sister. it was so sweet to see his excitement. he immediately wanted to hold her and has been nothing but kind and happy to help since she's been around. in fact, he always gets very concerned whenever clara cries, and he comes running to see what's bothering her. the other day when he heard her cry, he ran into my room to see her and said to her, "don't cry, i'll keep you safe." it was the sweetest, most tender thing i've ever heard. i know he's going to be a wonderful big brother to little clara.

so, that's my little clara momoko's birth story. we are thrilled to be a family of 4, and we're anxiously awaiting daddy's arrival so that he can meet her!

UPDATE: for more pictures from my sister's photoblog, click here.  - petey


mom/shauna said...

Emily, you are amazing to have gone through this pregnancy, labor and delivery with Peter half way around the world. I got teary when you wrote about Peter not being there, but as you said, he participated as much as he could considering how far away he is.
Clara Momoko is a beautiful baby and I can hardly wait for Peter to hold her. I'm so thankful everything went well and Clara arrived safely. Will is so cute with Clara.

Jill T said...

This post made me teary too! What a good detailed recap of the events. I can only imagine all of the emotions you were feeling! You were amazing! Mentally and physically! And I love how happy Will looks in all of his pictures with Clara. So cute! I can't wait to see them both together. :) I hope you're recovering well.

Aimee said...

Yes, tears here too. I read this last night and have been thinking about how amazing you guys all are doing this apart. I hope you will never have another baby without each other again.

I love that little Clara has a Japanese look to her. She is so beautiful.

Glad you had your lady tribe around you for the birth and that modern technology was on your side!

Whitney said...

What awesome pictures. Nice job Jill! Having recently had little Kinsey, I thought about if Wade wasn't able to be there...Man, you are a pretty strong little lady! I can't even imagine how hard it's been for Peter to be away from you guys and for you not to have him by your side. You are a great example Em!

Ben, Hannah, & Baby Jane said...

I am still crying while writing this comment!! I love this post. Little Clara is so sweet. I was laughing so hard about Elise. Ali was about the same way. She almost faints at the sight of blood but somehow managed to watch the whole birth from "that view".
You are so strong Em! I love you and can't wait to meet baby Clara

Anne Cook said...

Congrats Emily. Awesome pictures of your beautiful family and new addition. Makes you appreciate the Lord's hand in the miracles of birth and of the capabilities of the internet. You guys are amazing to pull through together yet apart. We send our love for this new precious little Clara.

The Hepworths said...

Congrats Frandsen family! She is beautiful and so perfect. Emily you are a rockstar for having a baby with your husband on the other side of the world! Wow. Good luck with the next couple of months:)

Krista said...

wow emily. she is one of the most beautiful babies i've ever seen. i'm so proud of you being so strong while peter is away. i'm so terribly happy for you!!! call me once things die down and you have a few minutes. i'd love to hear how you're doing. miss you!

Amy F said...

Oh, Emily. Expertly done. I am glad you had such strong women around you... and thank goodness for modern technologies. Steve Jobs would be proud, I'm sure. :)

I LOVE the picture with you, Clara, and Peter on the iPad. She looks like she is looking up and smiling at Peter. I can't wait to meet her. And to see the FOUR of you together!!