This is going to be text-heavy and I know it probably only interests me so feel free to turn away now if you don't want the fairly detailed version of Cadence's birth.

My parents had flown in the night before and taken us to a lovely dinner at Cheesecake Factory (nice and safe for the rents).  As we were saying goodbye for the night, Brody remarked about how we'd been trying all the old wive's tales for inducing pregnancy with no luck, we want her to come "just as long as she doesn't come at four in the morning..."

Famous last words.

Sure enough, at almost exactly 4:00 am, I woke up to some really painful contractions. We had already had a couple nights' worth of false labor where I would have contractions for a while, but they would always trail off. I felt like these were more painful but wasn't totally sure. I took a hot shower to see if it would make them stop. It didn't. These were the real thing. After Brody took a quick shower--my contractions were coming about 4 minutes apart at that point--we headed out the door for the hospital.  We had planned to walk, and after about a half a block, the contractions were so painful I had to stop and sit down. Brody ran and grabbed the car and we were pulling up to the hospital in minutes. He dropped me off at the emergency exit and went to re-park the car in our neighborhood. The second I stepped out of the car, my water broke. I started to freak out, I could feel the contractions coming faster and started worrying I wouldn't have time for an epidural ;)  By then it was 6:00 am, they put me in triage and tested to confirm that my water had broken and check how dilated I was (only a 3). Brody got there just in time for that test, which confirmed everything. Then they officially admitted me and put me in a delivery room (hallelujah! the bed in triage was super hard and uncomfortable).  My nurse, Perina, was wonderful. It didn't take long for me to decide that yes I absolutely wanted an epidural. The hardest part was trying not to flinch when the anesthesiologist stuck the needle in. Within minutes, sweet relief swept through my lower body as it took effect.  From there, my body took over and my labor progressed really smoothly over the next 9 hours or so, and it was all basically painless.  The scariest thing that happened during that time was hearing the horrifying shrieks of a woman down the hall who hadn't had time for an epidural.  It was the most terrifying thing I've ever heard, it sounded like someone being tortured.

Brody's parents' flight was getting in around 3:30. Around the time that they checked how dilated I was again ( 9 and 3/4) and said we could start pushing soon, it was really up to me and when I felt enough pressure down there to start pushing.  I hated having to decide when to start, it's still a scary concept. Finally, around 4:00 I decided to start pushing.  I struggled for a while,  pushing for about two hours with some progress, but not as much as I'd hoped.  Apparently a lot of runners develop a band down there and the baby had to basically go around it. Then I threw up. A lot. It felt so good, and afterwards things really started progressing. I remember the number of people in the room getting bigger and bigger. It was happening. At one point, I could reach down and feel the top of Cadence's head. I didn't want to at first, but Brody made me.  I know, it's kind of disgusting to think about, and it was one of the weirdest moments of my life. But it made everything so real. Brody was incredible throughout everything. Nothing phased him. So steady--my rock. After a few more really intense pushes, it happened. She was out, and they immediately put her on my chest. It was insane. This little wiggly thing that had been in my belly for nine months suddenly had a face. She was there and crying. And I was totally overcome and teared up. I think it was around 7:15 pm.

Then they whisked her away to make sure she didn't have any mechonium in her lungs and clean her up a bit.  A team of people were down there stitching me back up, but I only had eyes for the baby.  They quickly gave her back to me. Her eyes were wide open. She wasn't crying anymore, she was just sitting there, content. And probably having complete sensory overload. I couldn't and still can't believe how freaking cute she is. Parental bias had suddenly and powerfully made it's stay :)

The next few nights were kind of a blur. She was with us the whole time (GW Hospital had decided that day to get rid of their nursery), so we didn't get much sleep at all. Nurses and techs and all kinds flitted in and out of the room to take her and my vitals, check on this, etc. etc. Brody was able to walk in his graduation the next day. I was so happy his parents were there to take him and record when he actually got his diploma. He worked so hard over the last three years, and we got so lucky with the timing of everything. Although I was sad I couldn't be there to support him, I couldn't be more proud. It was easily one of the most momentous weekends of our lives. We were so lucky with the timing of everything and how perfectly everything worked out.

It's been a week and a half and we are both completely smitten with out sweet little Cadie bug :)


39 Weeks

And this pretty much sums it up

Everyone keeps asking "Are you ready?" and I always hesitate before giving the perfunctory, typical response they were really looking for yes, get this baby out of me... because honestly we probably aren't ready. Sure, we have the diapers and the wipes, and the onesies and the car seat, etc.  But I don't think you could ever be mentally, physically, psychologically "ready" for something so life-changing, right?  I mean, are any new parents ever actually ready?  We'd be total morons to say that we fully comprehend how our life is about to change or that we have any clue what we are doing. Excited? Absolutely. Scared? You betcha. But Ready? As much as we can be, yes.


Home Stretch - 38 Weeks

We're in the home stretch now! We installed the car seat over the weekend and worked on our finalists as far as names go. I have a hard enough time deciding what I want to eat for lunch so trying to decide what our child is going to be called for the rest of her life is a lot to handle. I think I had my first experience in false labor last week, so that was fun. I was just feeling off and had some noticeably different back aches happening for most of an afternoon and I made the mistake of reading online what those could mean and surely enough every website was confirming that each of my symptoms was a sign of early labor. But alas, it was a false alarm.

Brody took what I hope are my last baby bump update pictures on Sunday. We are both just ready to meet this little one! I'm really hoping she comes in the next week or so, so that we have some time to recover and such before Brody's graduation on the 18th. I really want him to be able to go, and I really don't want our parents to have to spend any of their time in DC (they are both coming out for the graduation and baby) waiting around at the hospital.  Again, the whole being totally out of my control as far as when she is coming thing is just not working for me :) But, all of my sisters have been early on all of their pregnancies so I'm hoping that's a good indication that she will be here sooner than later. Come on genetics!

I'm also just ready to say goodbye to my lovely cankles which make regular appearances at the end of every workday. And as much as I love having my lungs, stomach, and bladder completely smashed by baby girl, I think my body is just kind of over this whole thing. As miraculous and incredible as it is (and it really is, I'm not being sarcastic there) it's time for the next phase. Plus, our landlords just had their baby (she was about a week over her due date) and the little boy was 10 lbs 8 ounces. Ten pounds!? That is not what I want to be hearing about right now haha. So send your healthy/early delivery vibes our way please :)



It's May.

And we are only a couple weeks away from my due date. Brody finished his last final ever yesterday!!!!! And it feels really weird to be here. Now that he's done with school, baby girl is officially welcome to come whenever she wants :) Every time I catch a reflection of my profile I'm surprised how full-blown pregnant I look. And just this morning it looks like she was riding lower than normal, but I've read that's all part of the process of getting ready. I guess we better install the car seat and double-check the hospital bag, ahhhhh!


Things I Want To Remember

  • My sweet co-workers for throwing me a shower at work, Tiffany-blue themed decor and all :)  Even though it was kind of torturous to have to be the center of attention.
  • The look on Brody's face anytime he gets a really good kick from baby girl, especially when he can tell if it's a little foot or hand.
  • The shockingly nice, complete strangers (both women) who offered to carry a box for me the other day after seeing me struggling to carry it down the sidewalk (it was empty and not heavy at all but with a giant belly, it's just awkward to carry anything because you have to put it to one side of the bump or the other).  People can be really nice to you when you're pregnant.
  • Each time Brody has happily gone to get me a McFlurry when I get a craving.  I'm usually not a sweet tooth but baby girl loves her ice cream. Don't judge.
  • The fact that even our landlord gave us a baby gift.  Has that ever happened in the history of ever??? So unexpected and kind.
  • Watching Brody practice his swaddling skills on a stuffed animal bunny. I dare you to think of anything sweeter.
  • Brody and I swapping Netflix for a bunch of online How-To videos on diaper-changing, different baby holds, swaddling, infant CPR, etc. etc. etc. I don't know how my parents survived without the internets.
  • Those quiet moments alone just me and baby girl, watching and feeling her move.
  • Brody asking me to spoon him so he can feel baby girl's kicks on his back.
  • The looks on my co-worker's faces the other day when they could feel baby girl's hiccups.  It was the first time a lot of them had felt a baby move in the womb.
  • The fact that Brody has given me a back massage/tickle every night for the past couple of months to help me fall asleep. I really won the lottery with that one. 
  • This crazy sensation of being both desperately excited to meet this sweet little boo, and deathly afraid of the fact that we will be in charge of a human life. It's a lot to try and wrap my brain around.


Quintessential DC

Sometimes there are moments when you feel like you are in a living, breathing stereotype.  The other day as I was walking into my work building, I was getting on the elevator with a group of older, rich-looking men. One of them referred to the other as "Senator" so I can only assume he was one since I don't care to know what any of them look like. Once we were all in the elevator they began lamenting about how they've only been able to go golfing a few times so far this spring because it was such a harsh winter and how awful it's been...

A politician and some lobbyists talking shop about golf. I wanted to gag, and it had nothing to do with pregnancy.


Nothing Classier than a Target Dressing Room Selfie

To document my 36-week belly

Well, is there anything classier than selfies in general? *gag/cringe/dry-heave*

But I do need to be better at documenting my progress living so far away from my family and there was a perfectly good full-length mirror...so, here we are.  Plus, I think pregos get more of a pass on the selfie thing since we clearly aren't taking them to be vain.

Also, just a friendly reminder that Target does price-matching. I feel like I'd heard that at some point in my life, but had never actually tried it...until Friday afternoon when we got our Baby Bjorn for $20 cheaper (Amazon's price).  And it took about 2 seconds! I had just printed off the Amazon page showing their price and the checkout girl manually changed it. Voila!  I think this could be the start of something...