Scroll down to the last 2 posts if you're not caught up to speed!
Where do I even begin?
Laurel's water broke at 4am on Tuesday morning, and I heard her cheery voice on the phone around 9am saying they were headed out to do some walking and pick up some things from the store. Then they would be on their way to the hospital. We hadn't heard much in the line of progression, so around lunchtime, I drove over to my Mom and Dad's to ride with them to the hospital. We got there around 2 and were able to spend quite a bit of time with Pete and Laurel in their room. Mom and Dad left for Bible Study, and I stuck around to play some Uno and Skip Bo. Laurel wanted to do quite a bit of walking to get her contractions moving. We walked the halls...and....we think at least 60 flights of stairs! (Those seemed to help her the most.) Of course, I was wearing flip flops, and my calves are rocks today and sore as all-get-out!
Sometime during the evening, Laurel asked me if I would stay for everything, including the delivery. It was such an honor, and I agreed. Though I wanted her to be sure anytime she wanted me out...to just say the word. Pete hoped I would stay too. I just can't believe they not only didn't mind me being there but wanted me there! I am completely humbled. I can't say that I would be quite that comfortable if it were me, but we'll see.
Of course, we all hoped the baby would be born in the evening, but she seemed to be pretty content in her water bed. The night went on, and we all get as much rest as we could. Laurel was uncomfortable for obvious reasons, Pete was on the pull out chair that sort of collapsed instead of pulled out (...couldn't quite figure it out till very late at night or early morning), and I stretched out on the windowsill/register. I probably still have lines running down my back from the register slats...:) It definitely wasn't the most comfortable thing for me, so I slept there for part of the night, then tried sleeping in a table chair, but headed back to the register. I probably could've asked for something...maybe?, but I didn't want to be in the way or add stress. I did have a pillow and some hospital blankets and my dad's fleece sweatshirt as a cushion. Pete and I checked in on Laurel whenever she was moving around...as if she didn't have enough checks with monitoring every hour for most of the evening. I wouldn't have traded the night for anything though. Tonight, however, I will gladly sleep in my own bed!
Around 6am, the nurse came in and did some checks. She told her to get some breakfast and take a shower if she'd like. Around 7 they wanted to induce her, since it had been over 27 hours since her water broke. Literally, about 10 minutes before 7, Laurel wasn't feeling well and some heavy contractions set in. By 8, they were even stronger. Pete and I just rubbed her back and got the nurse. She came in and said, "oh the doctor will be coming in any minute and then she'll check you." Out she left! I'm thinking, that's it??? I'm no doctor, but I knew she was ready to have this baby right then and there. Thankfully, a few minutes later the doctor came in. She told Laurel, also very laid back, "ohh, we're just going to check how you're doing." Don't you know, little Annabeth had already started on her way out!! She had a full head of black hair and the doctor asked if Laurel had any barretts ready! The next few minutes happened quickly. They were franctically getting things set up telling Laurel to wait till they were ready. Hmm, seems a little backwards don't you think?? Within 20 minutes or so, Annabeth was here!!
Pete was praying over their baby girl and thanking the Lord...and she was just looking right up at him! ...Made me all teary!
Laurel did such an amazing job. She was so focused and so strong, not that there were doubts she wouldn't be :) I can't even put into words the incredibleness of a new life being born. I was shaking as Laurel was closer and closer to finishing her labor and delivering that little one. Of course, I was a little emotional. I tried telling her what an awesome job she was doing and to keep it up, and I don't know if she even heard me, my voice was so shaky, so...completely overjoyed and in awe. I cannot describe it after she was born. She was so beautiful and Laurel just beamed. Pete had an exhausted smile on his face. I became the clumsy photographer trying to take some pictures of that newborn little sweet pea. I took one or two and almost forgot...but then I remembered, so through a few tears I pushed out, "What's her name?" That's when they told me, Annabeth Kara...though later they said it may be Annabeth Helen...they still aren't even sure. Mommy held her for awhile, then it was proud Daddy's turn. Then Pete gave me the privilege of calling Mom and Dad and our siblings. He was getting tired and wanted to give some more attention back to the baby's momma, so I got to hold the precious little girl for a long time and just love her! Her little eyes focused right into faces, and she made some silly faces of her own.
Momma and baby are both doing beautifully! Great job Pete and Laurel! Thank you for that precious experience and memory! I'll cherish the memory and that little girl forever!
To top it off, I was able to finish the day with a nice, cold chocolate milkshake from McDonald's. What a perfect day! :)
*Hey Bubbs! I can't wait for you to meet and hold your new little niece! I love you so much!!