And so it began…
My mom and sister flew out the moment I started having consistent cramping. They arrived Tuesday afternoon. I didn’t go into active labor until Thursday, so we had a few days to putz around. We went on walks, got coffee, and did impromptu maternity photos since we didn’t have any taken–thank you iPhone.
Thursday morning I had a doctors appointment. I was dilated to 3 cm. The doc could feel the amniotic sac, and she swept my membranes [encouraging the progression of labor]. By 4pm The contractions were much stronger and closer together. We waited out the evening, laboring and watching Date Night for a distraction.
By the end of the movie we decided to go in to the hospital. I was admitted at 10pm, dilated to 4cm. We had the most fabulous nurse, making the whole labor and delivery experience a joyful and peaceful event.
At midnight [5cm dilated] they broke my water and things really started to pick up. By 2am [6/7 cm] I had decided an epidural was a good idea. Man am I glad. It was a game changer. After a long day and evening, everyone settled in to get some rest.
Throughout the next few hours we experienced the wonders of the peanut ball (a peanut shaped exercise ball that helps the progression of labor), and kept a close eye on baby boy as his heart rate had some notable drops.
By 5am, I was 10cm and his head was in position. We did a couple pushes to get ready for the doctor. Once she arrived, I pushed through three contractions and baby boy Van Essen came bursting into the world at 6:46am– with the cord wrapped around his neck twice. He went straight to my chest for the next two hours as we snuggled, gave lots of kisses, and looked into each other’s eyes for the first time.