I'm so excited to introduce you to the newest member of our family, Gwyneth Noel Snow! She's perfect; I keep calling her my angel baby (and really hope I don't jinx myself every time I say it...) We're all pretty obsessed with her around these parts. She's very popular with her sisters.
Gwen was due on December 16, 2015 (her aunt Melanie's birthday). I had convinced myself that she would come on December 19, because that is our wedding anniversary, our alma mater was playing against their biggest rivals in a bowl game that afternoon, and that evening was our church Christmas party. I figured she wanted to make an entrance. I wasn't too far off, I started having contractions at the party. ;)
Nothing really got cooking until the wee hours of the morning. I woke up around midnight (?) from some big girl contractions, and started timing them. About two, I woke Dan up and said, "It's go time!!" We started gathering our things and getting the girls ready to go stay with our friends. I called the hospital to let them know we were on our way...and they told me, "We're all full, you need to go to this other civilian hospital."
I'd been warned at my hospital tour that this was a possibility, so I put my brave face on, and called the other hospital to tell them I was coming...and they told me, "We're all full, you'll have to find somewhere else." At this point I was FREAKING OUT!! My contractions were coming hard and fast, this was my third child and they tend to come a little quicker. It was going to be at least a thirty minute drive to any hospital, and for a moment I was feeling what Mary must have felt as she was told time and again that there was "no room at the inn." Help a mother out here people!!'
Fortunately, Dan walked in at this point to see me sobbing in frustration, grabbed the phone, called Tripler (our military hospital), and said, "This is Captain Dan Snow..." Suddenly, a room was available!! (I don't know if it really was because Dan threw his rank in there, it could have totally been because a room did open up. ;))
We dropped our kids off at a friends and began our drive through the rain to the hospital. We started joking that when we told Gwen about the day she came into the world we could start the story with, "It was a dark and stormy night..." Ha! We're funny, you don't have to tell us...
Once we arrived at the hospital, we checked in and got sent to triage to check if I was REALLY in labor. I was kind of like, this is my body's third time doing this, I think I recognize the signs by now, but I was an impatient pregnant lady who was ready to not be pregnant. And...turns out I was dilated enough and had strong enough contractions to be admitted. Then it was off to my labor and delivery room, where they hooked me up to more machines and then I got to wait patiently for my epidural. Is it just me, or does time seem to slow down when you are in labor? I felt like everyone was moving in slow motion and I just wanted to scream, "Can I have this baby already??" The contractions kept getting stronger and then I got "the shakes," which I always get when I am having a baby. Just what I want when someone is about to stick a giant needle in my spine... Oh, but that sweet epidural! I know there are lots of moms out there (many of my friends) who are all about having a natural birth, and they are awesome people who I have some serious respect for, but I don't think I will ever be one of them. That sweet relief as the epidural starts to take the edge off gives me warm fuzzies and makes me a much more pleasant person to be around.
Except this time, I think the epidural was wee bit too strong. I finally started getting the urge to push, and so I told my nurse, she checked me and said yup, we were getting close. Then it was time for the shift change (naturally...), so she introduced me to the new nurse and reviewed everything with her. She decided to close with, "Lauren has been really in tune with her body and contractions." About when she said that was about when I stopped feeling my contractions. Like, at all. They would show up on the monitor, the nurse could feel them on my belly, but I felt nothing from the waist down. I seriously could have taken a nap, I was so comfortable! It is crazy to me because this has never happened to me with an epidural. Normally they start to wear off, and I have to have boosters, so to be so completely numbed that I can't even help push the baby out was really frustrating.
Tripler is a learning hospital, so there were two resident OB's delivering my baby. Plus like three nurses, a pediatrician, and possibly someone else??? All I know is there were a whole lotta people that came in, introduced themselves and then situated themselves in front of my hoo haa. Fortunately after going through labor, I kind of lose all sense of modesty and just go with it. And we probably needed everyone in there to help me through the pushes, because I couldn't feel when to push, I couldn't feel where I was pushing when I did, and heck, I couldn't even feel IF I was pushing. Both the residents were very patient coaching me through the pushes, and eventually, they started to see her head. She was sunny-side up (like London!), which makes pushing her out a little harder. Fortunately, she did not take as long as London, nor was a vacuum required for her exit from my uterus. She did get stuck for a bit though. Everyone enjoyed describing to me how they could see the top of her head turning back and forth, like she was saying, "No thanks, I think I'll just stay in here." Lucky for me, my body was not so cool with that idea, and eventually little Gwen made her debut.
Gwyneth (Gwen) Noel Snow
7 lbs 11 oz, 20 inches
December 20, 2016 in Honolulu, Hawaii
And Hawaii welcomed her into the world with her own personal rainbow. We're so happy you're part of our family, Gwinnie the Pooh. We love ya big time.