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Well, it’s been a crazy 13 days, but Addison Grace arrived on March 1, 2012. 🙂  We could not be happier with the arrival of our beautiful baby girl!

She’s definitely going to have a great sense of humor since all I kept saying on February 29th was, please just make it to March 1st, I don’t want to have a leap year baby…and sure enough that’s exactly what she did!  Little did she know, I didn’t REALLY mean that she should arrive on March 1, I just wanted her to at least wait until then! 😉

It all started at 5:30am the morning of March 1st.  I had just gone to the bathroom at 5am, and was trying to go back to sleep but I noticed a cramp coming and thought maybe I had to go to the bathroom again.  After all, at that point in my pregnancy it wasn’t uncommon to just have to pee and pee and pee…sorry, but it’s true.  So, I went to the bathroom and was horrified to find A LOT of blood.  I immediately screamed for Adam as I honestly thought something was going horribly wrong and I could possibly lose our precious baby girl.  We called the on call doctor immediately and she told us to come in to the hospital.  We only live about 5 minutes from the hospital (especially that early in the morning) and that drive seemed SO long!

When we arrived at the hospital I was put into a triage room and was examined and hooked up to the monitors.  Sure enough, they said I was 90% effaced and 2 cm dilated and I was going to have my baby girl that day.  Adam and I were completely shocked.  We honestly thought we were going to be sent home, and we’re really lucky that we decided to throw the bags we packed the previous weekend into the car!

At first the contractions were pretty easy.  I was able to walk around the labor & delivery and postpartum areas without a problem.  I just had to pause whenever I felt a contraction.  Adam was amazing during the whole process.  He was very encouraging and you could tell he was excited to meet his baby girl.  I would honestly say that the contractions were pretty easy to handle until about 1 or 1:30pm.  I mean, we were even attempting to work on the crossword puzzle until it was just too hard to concentrate.  🙂 Our nurse (who was absolutely amazing!) told Adam that there would be a clear “turning point” when we knew I was progressing through labor, and this time was definitely it!  Since I had decided to not have an epidural, and try to have a completely natural birth this was the time when the contractions got really hard to breathe through, but Adam and Erin (our nurse) really helped me focus on what was coming and to concentrate on my breathing, which really helped to get me through the contractions.

With about 30-45 minutes left to go (I really can’t remember) the doctor said it was time to push.  I was incredibly relieved  because for about the last 5-10 contractions I wanted to push more than anything in my entire life (VERY painful) but I wasn’t fully dilated, so I had to wait to prevent injury to myself or the baby.  Pushing through the contractions (while it hurt like none other, felt SO much better than just breathing through them).  I honestly thought I would NEVER want to have the mirror there to actually see the birth process – it honestly creeped me out at the very thought of seeing it.  However, when the time came it was extremely motivating to see that I was getting close to the end. 🙂  At one point (when her head was out) I seriously didn’t think I could muster any additional strength to finish, but to my extreme relief the doctor said my part was done and with one more push, and her pulling at the other end, beautiful Addison Grace entered this world at 3:29pm on March 1, 2012 to the song “Awake my Soul” by Mumford and Sons.  We could not have planned a better song title for our daughter to enter the world.

She was beautiful – weighing in at 5 pounds 2 ounces and measuring 17 inches long, Adam and I had our prayers answered and were given the most precious gift on earth. 🙂

I’m not going to lie, I am extremely proud of myself for being able to continue with my plan of not receiving any pain medication.  While towards the end I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it, I am so happy that I was able to push through the pain.  I was able to walk around within two hours of giving birth and I didn’t feel drugged at all (like some of the other pain management options can do to you).  I was so grateful to have an amazing husband there supporting me the whole way, even though I know it had to be hard for him to see me in so much pain.

More to come on being a Mommy – but I don’t want to bore you with anymore details.  Just know that Addison Grace is the most loved little girl in this world. 🙂  Here are some pictures of her first days!  I feel like she’s already changed so much!