Rachel Noelle’s Arrival and Birth Story

“But He Gives More Grace.” ~James 4:6

Rachel Noelle has arrived!

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After 31 hours of labor, Rachel came on Monday, September 14th, in the mid afternoon. She was 36 weeks and 3 days. I was diagnosed with intrahepatic cholestasis at 31 weeks, and therefore had to have her early in order to prevent the increased risk of stillbirth.

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We were so grateful that she weighed 6 pounds 9 ounces, and was 19 inches long! She did phenomenally well, and except for lower blood sugars in the very beginning, she transitioned into the outside world like a champ.

My induction went a thousand times better than last time, too! (Even if it was longer than I had been hoping — it was only 4 hours shorter than Josh’s induction.) After a long labor, the icing on the cake was that I only had to push for less than 5 minutes and had zero complications!

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Here we are after arriving to the L&D unit at 6 am. At this point I think we’re ready to get the ball rolling but the nurses were waiting on doctor’s orders. Hubby is already bored and checking out the various types of medical equipment in the room…
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And here’s my mom reminding me of Josh’s induction by knitting a baby sweater for Rachel right off the bat! (She sat in the same chair and knitted various baby items last time also.)

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This was the finished product of my mom's knitting endeavors during my labor. I think it's adorable!

This was the finished product of my mom’s knitting endeavors during my labor. I think it’s adorable!

The progression we chose for the induction started with Cytotec, foley bulb, pitocin and then an epidural, which was placed sometime in the middle of the night (maybe 3 am?). I was very afraid when it came time to place the epidural because I was so very scared that I’d have a repeat of my last epidural’s horror show. But praise God that it went in just fine with minimal pain this time!

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Cytotec on board here. Regular but mild contractions. It wasn’t long after this that I got out of bed and walked-walked-walked and then spent most of the rest of the day and night sitting on the birthing ball or on the rocking chair.

Feeling nauseous here. Sometimes you just have to find the humor in a hard situation.

Feeling nauseous here. Sometimes you just have to find the humor in less than ideal situations.

My birthing coaches: Hubby, my older sister and my mom (my younger sister was also there for most of the day). It was wonderful to have all the support and encouragement. I will always look back on this time with fond memories. Everyone is pretty tired here as I’ve already been in labor for 24 hours and no one has really gotten much sleep.

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And a huge thanks to my mother in law for watching Josh the first day and night that we were gone! She brought him to visit after Rachel was born but he burst into tears as soon as he heard her cry, and hubby had to take him out of the room. They explored the hospital patio for a while.

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My younger sister holding Rachel for the first time.

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After we got moved to the Postpartum floor. As you can see with the bottle in the background, I had to supplement Rachel with tiny amounts (1/2 oz) of formula after each nursing session to help keep her blood sugar up. I was able to stop giving her formula after my milk came in a few days later.

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My mom and Rachel.

My mom and Rachel.

Keeping it real with this photo. I was so tired here that I seriously look like a drug addict. This was taken the evening of the day Rachel was born, and I had slept a total of 3 hours in the past 72 hours! (Thanks to my Dad for bringing me See’s Candy, though!) I was falling asleep mid-sentence by this point.

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My Dad and Rachel.

My Dad and Rachel.

40 hours after Rachel was born, they let us go home! My fears about her needing phototherapy (for jaundice) or her not nursing well never came to pass. Thank you Lord!

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And lastly, some photos of Rachel taken from home:

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Auntie and Rachel.

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My little snug-a-bug. She is so cuddly!

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Our sun bathing beauty. Even though her bilirubin levels were stable, I opted to put her in the sun for 15 mins a day to help with her jaundice.

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Great Grandpa holding Rachel. She’s his third great grandchild!

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Mimi and Rachel. (Unfortunately I didn’t get a better pic.)

Auntie and Rachel.

Auntie and Rachel.

In the meantime, hubby is off work for a few more weeks and we are adjusting to being a family of four. Josh has had a bit of a rough transition so far and has been throwing many tantrums, especially when I’m nursing Rachel. We have good and bad days with him, and never know which it’ll be! I’ve been dealing with postpartum blues which has been a drag and I’m praying that I’ll be back to my normal self again soon. Until then, the tears seem to flow quite easily, even though I’m so delighted to have a new precious daughter. So, despite various difficulties, we are enjoying Rachel; we are in awe of her tiny stature and are loving getting to know her sweet personality!

Thanks to all who prayed over her safe delivery! 

 

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4 Comments

Filed under Baby, Birth

4 responses to “Rachel Noelle’s Arrival and Birth Story

  1. Oh I’ve been checking regularly to read an update from you and so glad to read good news! She is a beauty 🙂 and you are amazing! I’m afraid Abby may have similar struggles when another baby comes, but we do what we can. I don’t know if you have ever read the book “Found” by Micha Boyett but it was a life saver for me during those sad days. Many hugs! And congratulations 🙂

  2. Awwww, congrats! She is precious. So happy for you all.

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