Now that Nora is two weeks old, I figured it was time to get some photos up and tell her story about how she came into this world. Each of my three birthing experiences have been so different- each so wonderful in their own way. This go around, I feel that the Lord has been teaching me one giant lesson in trusting Him- casting my fears and anxieties on Him and trusting that His timing is best.
We all (Andy and I, my family, my midwives...) expected Nora to come early. The others were early, fast labors, and at 37 weeks I was already progressing and baby was LOW and ready to come any moment. Add to that the fact that starting at 37 weeks, at every appointment my midwife told me "oh it will be any day now- I bet 3 days, tops. You DEFINITELY won't go another week..." we were ready and expecting a baby SOON. So the first night I had contractions 10 minutes apart from 11pm to 5am, I was SURE a baby was coming, that night. I fell asleep around 5am to get some rest and awoke two hours later to find that the contractions had stopped and so had "labor"... no baby today. Which was fine- she was healthy, I was still early, and I had a TON of things left to get done, so a few more days wouldn't hurt anything! But then it happened again. And again. For two weeks. And with each bout of "false" labor I became more exhausted and more discouraged. I started to worry that my body just didn't know what to do this time. I worried that something was wrong with the baby- so much so that I went in for a non stress test and ultrasound to be sure everything was ok (and it was, of course). As the window for my mom to stay and help out started closing, I worried that I would be alone after she was born. I worried about my job- the longer it took for her to come, the longer I would be away from students during the most important part of the semester. Isn't it interesting how worry just feeds on itself? How your fears and anxieties just spiral out of control until you're in full-on panic mode? What started out as a minor inconvenience morphed into something else entirely. Instead of trusting and resting in the Lord I let my worries overcome me and I was miserable.
Well, thankfully I had the right mind to call a very wise woman who reminded me of the simple, but true, truth that God held all of Nora's days in his hands and was bringing her into this world in His good timing, and that I could trust that he was preparing my body to do what it needed to do when it needed to do it. And she prayed for me, over the phone, and ordered me a day of rest. And so of course, once I stopped trying to make labor happen on my own and prayed to be able to rest in Him and trust His timing, I finally went into labor FOR REAL that night and Nora was born bright and early the next morning.
And WHEW what a whirlwind it was! My midwives promised I would go fast, and they were right! Contractions started 10 mins apart at around 10pm, my water broke at midnight, we jumped in the car around 12:30am, got set up in our room by 1am, and she was born at 1:34am!
When I look at this picture it all comes flooding back.. the relief, the awe, the bewilderment that God would choose to bless me AGAIN with such an amazing gift- how humbling, when I consider how quick I am to doubt His goodness to me, His desire to give me good things. And when I consider what a fool I am and how undeserving of such grace. And it is all grace, every moment with her.
Visitors didn't start arriving until close to 10am that morning, so Andy and I had a few sweet hours with her all to ourselves.
Eleanor Ann (Nora)
7lb 15 oz, 20 inches
Once we had rested a bit, and Nora had been adequately measured, weighed, poked, snuggled, and nursed, visitors began to arrive.
First to meet her- the big sisters. Let me just tell you- these girls cannot get enough of their baby sister. They LOVE her. They cannot stop touching her, kissing her, hugging her, poking fingers into her eyes (what is it about baby eyes that are so IRRESISTIBLE to toddlers?). She is their new favorite person EVER.
When Charlotte climbed up on the bed next to Nora, all I could think about was how she looked like such a MONSTER. Her hands are huge! Her feet are big and smelly! And don't get me started on her diapers! She is SO BIG! How did this happen? She is definitely not a baby anymore.
The girls were fascinated by Nora's belly button, and her tiny feet and hands.
Meeting Gramma and Papa Bruce- we are so glad they live so close! And Papa Bruce was our hero again this time by bringing Doumars for lunch. Because, what else do you want to eat right after giving birth but an old fashioned diner burger and limeade? I am not joking. It's all I wanted.
I included this one just because it's cute. She is such a mess.
My dad had come into town the night before, for the weekend, regardless of whether or not she decided to come while he was here, just to keep us company. I was so glad he got to meet her!!
My dear friend Chelle- her due date was just 10 days after mine. We were hoping baby William would get the "memo" to get a move on and come meet his buddy!
Aunt Katie and Uncle Dan drove down from Richmond to meet Nora. I love this pic of Dan and Nora. So much love! My girls have the BEST aunts and uncles.
Finally going home!