She's here! A couple of hours after writing the last blog (you know, the one about thinking that she'd definitely come late...), we went to bed. I started getting what I was pretty positive were mild contractions (up to that point, I hadn't "real" ones that I knew of). I told Jeff, and we started trying to time them, thinking that it was nothing. They were coming about every 5 or 6 minutes or so. About 20 minutes later (at about 10:50p.m.), as Jeff was just rolling over to go to sleep, I felt and heard a pop and a "gush." I turned to Jeff and said I think my water just broke. I wish we had a picture of what I'm sure both of our faces looked like because I'm sure it was pretty funny. We both got up and started aimlessly going around the bedroom trying to figure out what to do. Jeff called the hospital and they told us to come in to see if my water had really broken.
We got to the hospital at about 11:45 or so and checked in. They didn't even end up checking; just asked me some questions, decided that, yes, this was "it," and they checked us in to our room.
Long story longer, we went through about 9 hours of early labor and 7 hours of active labor before I decided I'd had enough and wanted an epidural. I wasn't progressing very quickly, and I came to the realization that I could be going through several more hours of the worst pain I'd ever felt, and it would only get worse. I have to say, though, that Jeff was the most amazing "coach" I could have asked for. He kept me focused, talked me through each contraction, and breathed through them with me when they were the worst. The epidural was the best decision I'd ever made -what a relief. :) I finally got to relax for a couple of hours. The right side started wearing off so I started feeling very strong contractions in my back - about an hour later I got a bit more of the meds and was ready to start pushing. Two hours of pushing later, the doctor informed me that she didn't think that more of my pushing was going to get this baby out. We opted to try the "vaccum" with the understanding that the doctor would not keep going if she thought it wasn't going to work or that it wasn't safe. It took me 45 minutes to get her out after that. I got a fever partway through, so they got concerned about me getting her out quickly. It was a scary half hour or so because I just didn't think I could do it and I was worried that Kaitlyn wasn't going to be okay. When she finally came out, they put her right up on my chest, and it was by far the most amazing, surreal, and relieving moment of my life. All three of us were crying, and the 10 nurses and doctors who had accumulated in our room and out in the hall were cheering. We will never forget that moment.
Kaitlyn had a fever when she was born, so they had to do some additional bloodwork to be sure that she hadn't developed an infection, and I had to be on antibiotics for two days. We are both doing just fine now. :) We got to come home last night, and are so happy to be here.
Whew! That's our very long-winded story. :)
We could not be happier - we have our little baby girl, and she's healthy and the most perfect thing we have ever seen. Good thing, because she's got a good set of lungs that will keep us from many, many nights of good sleep. :)
Here she is: Kaitlyn Donnell Collins - born Wednesday, October 22nd, 8 pounds 3 ounces.
We have a tone more pictures, but our computer is slow and time is limited, so we'll post more later :)