I feel so much better.
Ha! I really do! I am sitting in my room while Jeff, Anne and Bryan are all down at the nursery watching Grace have her "head to toe" check, which should have happened hours ago, but didn't because of the tornado warning that we had. We were forced out into the hallway for almost an hour until the all-clear was given. During that time Grace slept peacefully in my arms.
She is really beautiful. I have so many reasons to be thankful to God for how this birth went. It was definitely more painful than Jack's, but it went so quickly that I didn't really have time to think about it. By the time I got completely checked in to my room, started the IV, started the pitocin, and had my water broken, it was after 12:00 p.m. I labored very lightly for about an hour, then the contractions started to pick up pretty good, so I asked for my epidural. I think I must have gotten that around 2:30 p.m. or so. I felt wonderful after that--and got settled in for a wait. We got the laptop all loaded up with catch-up episodes of LOST and was getting ready to watch, when I noticed that my contractions were starting to hurt again. So I turned over on my other side to see if that helped. It didn't. They continued to get worse, and then I noticed that they seemed to not stop. Due to where they were hurting, my nurse got suspicious and checked me....I was at an 8. This was around 3:30 p.m., I think. They called Dr. W and started getting the room ready. About ten minutes later they checked again, and I was complete at 10. By this time I felt like I was in agony. It hurt horribly bad, but I knew that I was close because I had the desire to grind my teeth. I had to wait a few minutes for Dr. W to get all suited up, but then I started pushing. I was really encouraged because everyone was "ooooohing and ahhhhing" and telling me that I was just doing great. I think I only pushed for about 15 minutes, and then she was out! Immediate relief! It was a very emotional time for both of us. I couldn't help but think of little baby Blessing, and how much I had missed that baby, and yet at the same time, I was so overwhelmed with love and gratitude for this new little life that the Lord saw fit to give us.
From there on it's been wonderful and I'm feeling really great. Grace ate her first meal of formula, and gobbled up a whole ounce and a half! Then she slept for almost 4 hours! I imagine that when they bring her back to me from the nursery, she'll be ready for her second feeding.
Thank you all for your prayers and wonderful comments. Thank you, Danna for the incredibly sweet email earlier today. We love you all and are so grateful to be bringing our baby girl into a world where there are godly people already waiting to love her.
Here are some of my favorite pictures from the afternoon: