On November 28, 2010 our little Jillian Mae made her earthly debut. She was born at 3:10 Sunday afternoon, weighed 7 lbs. 6 oz. and was 18 inches long.
I felt my very first contractions, signaling her readiness, on Thanksgiving night but dismissed them as Braxton-Hicks.
So, naturally, I went Black Friday shopping with Lesa and Cristine the next morning and had a blast! It was awesome to see that I saved almost as much as I spent total, but at one store saved more than I spent! I'd never gone Black Friday shopping before so this was a great experience. I think the best part was topping it off with pedicures with my girlfriends. I think that's going to have to become a tradition. Now, I did have some doubts before we went shopping, but Ryan reminded me that if my water broke or anything like that, that we were right next to a military hospital and would be able to get there quickly. He's always helping me relax about things!
Anyways, Ryan and Doug went shopping after us and by the time they got back and set up everything, it would have been 10:30 by the time we got back to Las Cruces so we spent the night again with the Millers. I had some more contractions that night, and this time I could tell they were doing something, so the next morning we went home and I crashed. I slept for about 4 hours, which was a really good thing because by 5pm I was having contractions again and this time they kept going for about 4 hours. I could tell they were the real thing so we scurried around fast and packed my hospital bag and got Jillian's bassinet ready for her and got babysitters lined up for the girls. We owe a huge thank you to Britton and Jenny Lambson and Kaelan and Kaysha Lambson for being so willing to help at such a last minute. We were 2 1/2 weeks before my due date.
About 9pm, I started suspecting that my water had broken. There was no gush, but since I couldn't tell for sure, I called Labor and Delivery at the hospital and they told me to come in right away. So about 10pm we walked in and the contractions stopped. At 11:30 they determined that my membranes had indeed ruptured and told me to walk around for a bit so we did and by midnight I was bushed. We wanted to try using the hot tub to get contractions going, but before we did I knew I'd need some energy, so I opted to take a nap first. I really wanted to try getting the contractions going without pitocin, which I knew they would bring in the morning. But at 1:30 I was feeling contractions again, so I stayed put hoping they would increase on their own. Our nurse, Alva, came in at 6am with the pitocin and to my dismay the contractions had stopped again. And now that I was on pitocin, I'd lost the chance at the hot tub.
The nurses changed at 7 and Joy was our nurse now and she was really sweet, too. The pitocin got the contractions going right away and by 8am they were about 6 minutes apart. By then they were also really strong and I knew I was reaching the end of my threshold, so they ordered the epidural and the doctor was so fast! He was in and out of our room in 7 minutes. Then Lesa and Jeaneice showed up and they were lifesavers! Between them and Ryan, they kept me laughing the entire time. Even when the epidural bag was running out, they kept me distracted and reassured me when they were replacing the bag. I started feeling the urge to push and the midwife came in and said Jillian was upside down so they rolled me on my side to try and get her to turn. By the time they rolled me to the other side, it felt like the epidural had really worn off and the contractions were almost unbearable. So Joy came in and said to do what felt natural so with Ryan's encouragement, I just started pushing. They grabbed the midwife and about 5 minutes later Jillian came out!
It was a sweet relief. She was beautiful and familiar, with a head of black hair and a round chubby face. I'm going to have to put first pictures of all three girls together and see just how much they compare to each other. They were all the spitting image of their daddy in their own special way and Jillian was no different.
Later, they told us we wouldn't be going home in 24 hours because of how long my membranes had been ruptured, they wanted to test Jillian and make sure we avoided infection. So the Lambsons worked out being able to stay with the girls another night. Then because of the amount of weight Jillian lost over the first two days, they wanted to keep her another night and discharged me. So with a happy coincidence, Aunty Theresa and Maggie were coming down this way anyways, so they were able to come and be our visitors in the hospital and Aunty Theresa stayed with the girls Monday night. Then on Tuesday, they still wouldn't release Jillian, but allowed us to "room-in" with her for free. So we stayed in a pirate themed room up in pediatrics and Mary came and stayed with the girls for Tuesday night. I was really frustrated by this point because everyone kept telling me that everything about Jillian's weight loss was normal, her labs were normal, and she was a perfectly healthy baby, but she was still being kept in the special care unit with other tiny babies with serious heart, lung, and brain issues. My gut instinct told me there was nothing wrong. I felt like there wasn't anything they were doing there that we couldn't be doing at home with her.
I guess I just needed a lesson in patience because the next morning I was ready to plead and duke it out if necessary to take her home. But we went in to see the pediatrician on duty and the first thing he said was, "Ok, you're all ready to go." It really took the wind out of my sails. I was determined to have someone tell me what they weren't telling me before, but it turned out to be unnecessary. And I wasn't about to challenge a release!
So, Wednesday morning, we all came home and it has been wonderful to see Monica and Leah's reaction to her. Leah was first and with her chipmunk voice and slight lisp she clapped her hands and said, "Oh, she's so cute!" Monica's reaction was about the same. They have both been asking for turns holding her and voluntarily bring us diapers, wipes, pacifiers, and blankets. And Ryan and I are still wrapping our heads around the concept of being parents of THREE beautiful girls now!