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Monday, June 30, 2014

Alana Kay Murray

The first portion of this birth story is mostly back story leading up to the actual birth...skip the first three paragraphs if you don't care.  And, as always in birth stories, there are a lot of details, and possibly TMI.  

This pregnancy had been rather uneventful.  We had decided to keep the gender a surprise, but other than that, everything had been basically textbook.  We were hopeful that this baby might make their appearance early, like their brother had, but that didn't happen...then we were hopeful that the baby might come on her due date (father's day)...which also didn't happen.  Starting the Saturday before Father's day, I had regular bouts of false labor, which are the worst!  Not because they hurt particularly badly, or anything else, but because Nate and I would get hopeful that we were having a baby...and then everything would stop, and we'd feel disappointed, despite our best efforts not to get excited about it.  Two rounds of false labor had me convinced enough that I even said, "I think this might be it."  Clearly, this cursed us, and the contractions would stop just a little bit later.

So, Thursday, the 19th rolls around, and I had my last prenatal appointment.  I was dilated to 2 cm at this point.  Because I was past my due date, they decided I needed a non-stress test.  I had both Katie and Grayson at the appointment with me, and we'd already had to wait longer than normal, so everyone's patience was running a bit thin.  Throw in about 45 minutes on the monitors (with a couple of people getting concerned because the baby wasn't moving around enough and throwing words like, "send you to the hospital" and "uh oh" around), and the non-stress test was, in fact, anything but.  Eventually, after buzzing my stomach with some kind device, the baby started moving around enough to get a good pattern of heart rate increase and decrease, and we were sent on our way.

That night, I started having some contractions.  I finally packed a hospital bag for me, and timed them for about an hour and a half, and they were coming consistently, This was one of the times I said, "I think this might be it, we should go to sleep just in case."  So we go to bed, and I keep having some contractions, but they're very far apart at this point.  Friday morning, I asked Nate if he'd be ok staying home from work, just in case, and because I was feeling really sick--super nauseous, achy, etc--so he did.  We just mostly sat around on Friday waiting for contractions to get closer together, but, by the afternoon, they weren't even coming in a consistent pattern anymore, and I was starting to be convinced that I would be pregnant forever (clearly, not possible...but that's just what it feels like at the end.).

Saturday morning rolls around, and I'm having contractions that are consistently 10 minutes apart, and actually a bit painful.  Looking back on the rest of the time leading up to that morning, I'm convinced that it's probably not the real thing...again.  We try to go about our Saturday like it's any normal day.  We took the kids to Mariano's for groceries and gelatto, and hit a couple of other stores too, and then head home.  I keep hoping that my contractions will get closer together, but they don't.  They do, however, start getting more painful, and, after breaking down and crying to Nate after the kids were in bed about how sorry I am that we still haven't had the baby, and he's probably going to have to go to work on Monday, I decided to call the doctor, and see if he had any suggestions.  The doctor on call wasn't my doctor, but he looked at my chart and suggested that I come on in and they could see what was going on, and that he was pretty sure that once I hit active labor, I'd be having a baby pretty quickly.  I decided to go in with the expectation that we'd be getting sent home, and called my friend to come and sit in our house so the kids could sleep.  She came over around 9:30 (thank you Dayanara!!) and we headed out to the Hospital.

It's probably not actually the case, but it seemed like as soon as the doctor said that we could come in and see what was happening, my contractions started getting closer together.  I had quite a few on the drive to the hospital, and I had to stop in between contractions every few steps once we got to the hospital.  I even got wheeled up to Labor and Delivery in a wheelchair, and asked Nate if he felt like enough of a stereotype yet.  We were checked in at 9:53, and they started monitoring, checked me (I was at 4cm), and so we got to stay.  

In the bed being monitored...and having contractions.

Are you really taking a picture right now?
I had to stay in the bed for kind of a long time while they established a good trace on the baby's heart rate.  This wasn't my favorite thing, but everyone at the hospital was so nice and helpful, that it didn't really matter.  After we'd been there for about 45 minutes or so, I was able to get up and stand next to the bed.  My contractions were coming really intensely at this point, and I tried sitting on the yoga ball (awful this time!  Great with Grayson, but I really, REALLY hated it this time around), and ended up mostly just leaning over the bed with Nate applying counter-pressure to my hips the whole time.  During one contraction, I totally managed to pee all over the floor.  The nurse who came in thought that my water might have broken...but it hadn't, I had just lost control...which would happen 2 more times, unfortunately.  Bless those labor and delivery nurses who see you at your worst and don't make you feel like a gross freak.

Also, is it over yet?
Quite soon, I felt incredibly nauseous, and asked for something to throw up in.  I threw up, and my water broke, and I instantly felt like I really needed to push.  This time around, the nurses flew into action immediately.  The doctor was called into the room (he had apparently come to the hospital shortly after I had called him, and decided to sleep on the couch.  He was THAT certain that I would be having the baby quickly), and they started a file for the new baby.  This happened around 11:50 or so, I climbed up on the bed, on my hands and knees, pushed a few times, and at 11:57, our baby was born!  I was able to do it without an epidural again, which is nice.  Having the most painful part of the labor go SO fast both times is definitely the factor that allows that to happen.

Nate immediately said, "It's a girl!"  And the delivering doctor said, "It's a boy!"  I don't know if he was kidding, or what, but it was definitely a girl.  Our little Alana Kay.

She was so alert right off the bat, and spent a good portion of the hour or so we had together before they took her to be weighed or anything just looking around.  Nate had made sure to request that I got to hold her right away (they'd taken Grayson away for a bit before they'd let me hold him) and they did. 

While the doctor was helping to deliver the placenta etc.  He looked at me, and at the time on the clock, and he said, "So...did you really NOT think you were in labor?"  From the time I'd checked into the hospital until she'd been born, it had only been 2 hours and 7 minutes.  She squeaked in on the first day of summer by 3 minutes.

She was a big baby too!  9 pounds, 3 oz.  Bigger than Katie (who was also born 6 days late), by almost exactly a pound.  The nurse afterwards told me it was probably a good thing that I had delivered on my hands and knees, because that's one of the best positions for the most open pelvis.  Thankfully, I also had no tearing or anything else, so my recovery has been great.

We didn't tell Katie the baby's gender ahead of time, because I wanted to see her reaction when she found out she was getting a sister.  She'd been telling us for a couple of months that the baby was definitely a girl, and that she was getting a sister, and we'd been trying to prep her for the possibility that it might not actually be a girl.  No need though--she was right.

Grayson was mostly uninterested in Alana, but he did love all the various buttons, and beverages with straws he had access to.  Once again, having a baby suddenly aged the children we had by a factor of 100.  Grayson seems so much bigger now!

They're always so tiny in the car seat!
We got to go home on Monday morning, which was nice.  And, thanks to our friends Dayanara and Tim and Kristen Hughes, Nate and I got to spend a good amount of time together in the hospital, which made it much less lonely than it could have been.  The hospital even did a special celebration dinner for us on Sunday night. Seriously, the hospital was fantastic, the nurses were wonderful, and the whole experience was just really nice.  I felt like they tried really hard to make sure that our wants were completely respected.

On the way home from the hospital, BOTH Alana and Grayson fell asleep in the car.  Here's hoping we can manage to schedule a few more naps this way.


  1. During one of my non stress tests they did the buzz thing. It was so loud, I felt bad for the babies. I hoped they wouldn't have to do it again.

    1. Also, congrats!! I love hearing birth stories.

  2. Dude. You are amazing. The few hours I was epidural free with Jones I thought I was dying (and I only made it to a 3 before the epi). Superwoman Award goes to YOU!

  3. congratulations!! such a beautiful family!

  4. Congrats, Nicole! My name is Heather and I was wondering if you would be willing to answer my question about your blog! My email is Lifesabanquet1 AT gmail DOT com :-) I greatly appreciate it!