“You are treasured. You are sacred. You are His. You’re beautiful.”
My whole pregnancy, I had assumed/hoped our baby would come a little early like Brock. I mean, my due date was only a day different from his and he came 3 weeks early. I only hoped we’d get through Brock’s birthday and then she could join our family. She apparently has a mind of her own.
On Monday, July 8, I had my 36 week appointment. I’d had a lot of contractions recently and since I dilated early-ish with the boys, I asked my midwife to check me, just for peace of mind. I told her I was prepared for her to say zero progress. That’s when she said, “I wish I could say that. You’re a 5.” I won’t lie, I teared up. I was 36 weeks and one day. Brock’s birthday party was that Saturday. I had plans. I wasn’t ready. I was a little stressed.
My midwife then told me to do nothing the rest of the week. She told me if I had to clean for Brock’s party, I needed to have someone else do it. She told me I needed to make it to 37 weeks, the next Sunday. 6 more days. If Norah were to come before 37 weeks, she would have to spend at least 4 hours in the NICU for observation, since she wouldn’t be full term. Obviously, we wanted to avoid NICU time, so after a quick stop at Target for last minute things, I went home to do nothing.
Tuesday, I did nothing. I didn’t even shower ;) As I was eating dinner, about 6:30 pm, I started not feeling too well. I wasn’t sure if labor was starting or not, I just felt off. I told Jon I was going to take a shower, get ready, and pack my bags just in case. I did all that and then got in bed with a big cup of water and SVU reruns on USA. That’s when I knew I was for sure having contractions. I kept drinking my water and praying they’d stop. When they weren’t stopping, I called my brother to come hang out with the boys who were in bed.
On the way to the hospital, contractions were a little stronger and I knew I was in labor. I cried. I prayed. I was nervous. I wanted her to be healthy. We arrived at the hospital about 10:30. Got all hooked up, contractions 2-3 min apart, but not very strong. I was dilated 6 cm. We were staying. After walking the halls a bit, bouncing around my room, and bouncing on a birthing ball, my contractions picked up. They weren’t very strong, but stronger than they had been. At 3 am, they broke my water to get things moving. I was still having contractions every couple minutes, but not strong. I was dilated 7 cm.
At 4:20 am, I felt my first painful contraction. The first one I had to really breathe through. By 4:30 am (7-8 cm), I was second guessing my choice to try to not get an epidural. I knew she was going to have to spend time in the NICU (hopefully just 4 hours), so I didn’t want to be numb for hours like I was after having Brock. I wanted to be able to go see her. I kept telling Jon I couldn’t do it. The contractions were strong and I was really hurting. At 4:40 am, I told them I had to push. At 4:51 am, after 30 minutes of hard labor, Norah Faith entered the world.
Norah Faith DePratt, 5 lbs. 10.9 oz., 18.25 inches. Our peanut.
I got to hold her a few minutes before she was assessed by the NICU team. After they checked her out, I got to hold her, skin to skin, for a while before she was taken to the NICU. I had to stay in recovery for 2 hours, so I made Jon go with her. He texted me updates. She was grunting a lot due to transition issues. Basically, she wasn’t in the birth canal long enough to get all the junk squeezed out of her and she was also a little premature. Jon told me she was singing (grunting) in the NICU <3
As soon as I was allowed out of recovery, I made the nurse take me to the NICU. I needed to see my baby.
Later, the boys came to meet her. I cannot explain how much my heart melted seeing their love for her. We don’t make our children love each other, they just do. <3
Unfortunately, what was hopefully going to be 4 hours turned into 4 days in the NICU. After 18 hours of grunting, the NICU team decided to help her out. They had sucked all of the fluid out that they could, now her body just needed to absorb it. Her body was working hard, so they put her under an oxygen hood to help her out. She was on room air almost the whole time she was under it. They also started her on IV fluids because they weren’t feeding her yet. Eating would make her work too hard and they didn’t want her to get too tired. After she was done with the oxygen hood, they started her on an ng tube. Again, they didn’t want her to nurse or drink from a bottle yet because her little body was still a bit tired from working hard the day before. So, I pumped and she got a bit of formula. Eventually, she was eating everything by mouth and got the IV and ng tube removed. (I think it was late Friday night/early Saturday morning)
We were finally able to go home on Sunday afternoon. Our complete family under one roof. We are so blessed.