Olivia Joy Joins the Family
We were blessed to welcome our little Olivia Joy Luukkonen on Thursday, May 26th at 10:41pm. She weighed in at 6lbs 9oz and measured 19 1/2 inches long. Here’s how it all came about…
First, I have to give credit where credit is due. Being a labor and delivery nurse, I am well acquainted with the things that can be difficult or “go wrong” during pregnancy and delivery. So, from the beginning of my pregnancy, I prayed daily not only for a safe and healthy delivery, but also for God to give me peace and help me to surrender my desire for control of the whole process. I am SO thankful to be cared for by such a loving Father. I am overwhelmed by God’s grace toward us in every aspect of the delivery: He replaced my anxieties with trust in Him (I can honestly say that I was not nervous about anything), granted me a safe, fast, and comparatively easy delivery, gave us a beautiful and healthy little girl, and so far has made my recovery pretty fast and easy too.
Now onto the story… At my appointment on Thursday morning, my midwife said that I was 4cm, 80% thin, and 0 station (pretty low). I was pleasantly surprised, because I hadn’t been feeling anything more than the painless “Braxton Hicks” contractions every once in a while. I still didn’t expect to go into labor, and I spent the afternoon hanging out with my friend Aimee and getting frozen yogurt to celebrate her birthday. In the afternoon, I started to feel tired and decided I should go home and rest. I started to have some irregular and very mild contractions on my way home, so it’s a good thing I decided to drive the 45 minutes home from her house when I did.
Even though I still didn’t believe I was going into labor, I did shower and quickly finish all the dish-washing and house-cleaning just in case. Around 4:30pm, the contractions were distinct enough for me to start timing them, but they still weren’t painful enough for me to stop what I was doing when they came. Over the course of an hour or so, my contractions went from every 5-7 minutes to every 3-4 minutes, and they were gradually getting stronger. I called Tim to tell him that he should keep his phone nearby and not work late just in case. He had been getting home around 11:30pm all week, and I told him that I might-possibly-maybe be in labor and want him around before then. He asked if he should come home right then, and I said, “Don’t go crazy or anything- I think it has to get a lot stronger than this before it’s really labor. Just don’t work super late tonight, okay?”
Thankfully, Tim knows my tendency to under-react, so he decided to come home anyway, and it’s a good thing he did. His drive home from work can take up to 1 1/2 hrs if there is traffic. By the time Tim got home, I was contracting every 3 minutes and they were strong enough that I had to stop talking and breathe through them. He took a quick shower and got all of our things together and ready to leave. I still felt apprehensive about going in, because first labors are known for taking a long time, and it had only been 2-3 hours since I felt the very first not-so-painful contraction. But, it takes about 40 minutes to get to the hospital and I knew that I was at least 4cm, so we went in. That was definitely one of the least comfortable car rides I’ve taken. 🙂
We got to the hospital around 8pm, and the nurses slowly checked me in, put Olivia on the monitor (her heart rate strip was a perfect category 1 for all my labor friends out there) 🙂 and moseyed around for a while before checking my dilation. Eventually, the midwife came to check me and said that I was 8cm, 100% effaced, and 0 station. The nurses then kicked it into high gear, asked me all the ever-important (or not) history and social questions, and got a real labor room ready for me. My contractions quickly progressed to 1 1/2 minutes from start to start and were very intense. I thought I had bad back pain with my fibromyalgia, but now I know what back pain can really feel like. 😉 They told me there was no need for an IV and I could stand and walk all I wanted, which was very nice.
After getting settled into the labor room (which just meant me leaning on the raised bed while Tim massaged my back), the midwife checked me again and I was more than 9cm but not quite 10cm. She broke my water, and Olivia was born about 10 minutes later. I just remember listening to the midwife’s voice and not noticing anything else happening in the room. At one point, the midwife said, “Okay, reach down and pull out your baby.” I first said, “no,” but then I realized that meant I was done. So, I said, “Oh, well, okay,” and I opened my eyes to see Olivia delivered up to her belly button and facing me. I reached down and pulled my little girl up onto my chest. 🙂
Since then, Tim and I have been falling in love with her more every day. Although still lacking some sleep, we’re already getting more than we did the first couple of days, and Tim has done an amazing job keeping our apartment spic and span and making sure I get enough food, water, an rest. I already feel like I can’t remember what life was like without her here. 🙂
My sister came down to visit with Olivia’s cousin Audrey, who was born March 1st (12 weeks before Olivia), and weighs about twice as much as Olivia. I think they’re already becoming BFF’s. 🙂