She is perfect and we are absolutely smitten.
My water broke at about 2:15am on Sunday (Palm Sunday this year), but the contractions hadn't woken me up, so we spent the next hour timing contractions. They were about a minute long and about 4 minutes apart, so we called the nurse line and were told to come on in to the delivery unit. We arrived at the hospital around 4am.
We checked in and got monitored for a while, then they put us in a delivery room. After going through the contractions for a few hours, we decided to get an epidural around 7am, thinking that I should be saving my energy for pushing, which according to my progression would be coming early/mid afternoon.
Unfortunately, we hung out at 4cm dilated with contractions 4 minutes apart lasting about 1 minute for like 5 hours. Each time I had a contraction the baby's heart rate would drop a little bit, so the doctor was concerned that her umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. At some point (time becomes really hazy for me) the doctor came in and said she wanted us to just start thinking about the possibility of a c-section. All along, Mike and I have said that we would do whatever was best for the baby, so that wasn't really much of a discussion.
Finally, someone decided it was ok for me to get pitosin to get the labor moving. Around 4pm Dad and Jennifer arrived, thinking they would be there in time to hold the baby... Little did they know, we still had a few more hours to go. They came in and chatted with Mike and I which was a great distraction. At this point, I was pretty fatigued and starting to feel the contractions more, and I started to shake uncontrollably. Mike looked up the shaking, and it is apparently normal (?), just a result of crazy hormone surges. Plus none of the doctors seemed worried about it, so we decided not to worry. Around 6pm, I got really uncomfortable and Dad and Jen left the delivery room. Mike was wonderful, helping me get through the contractions. The nurses and doctors came and went, making sure I was ok with my pain management. I wanted to be numb, but I also wanted to be able to push effectively, so needed to feel some of the pain of the contractions. I think around 7 I started feeling really intensely that I needed to push.
The doctors and nurses came in- I have no idea how they knew what was happening, but they did. They were still worried about the cord being around her neck because her heart rate kept dropping. At some point, I decided or someone told me to start pushing. We pushed in earnest for about 45 minutes. The doctor had to do a vacuum extraction and a couple of other measures, but our perfect, incredible little daughter was born. She did have the cord around her neck, but she quickly got oxygenated once they got her out and under the infant warmer thing.
I don't remember much about these moments, but what I remember was hearing her cry and thinking it was the most beautiful noise I have ever heard. Then I remember trying to see her in the warmer, and Mike telling me she was ok. And then someone put her on my chest. Our precious little Layla.