Meet our newest family member, Emma Caroline Campbell! She was born at 8:29pm on Thursday, March 13th. She weighed in at 7lbs 14 oz, and is an uncertain length. (We still don’t know! The little card on her baby cart has a field for the length… but it’s BLANK!)
Mom and baby are doing great! Jen seems the healthiest, the strongest she’s ever been right after delivering a baby! Everything went perfectly!
It was definitely a very different experience this time. It all began when Jen started feeling pretty normal beginning stage contractions around 5am on Thursday morning. She let me know that there were some regular contractions – about 15 minutes apart, so not that close – around 7 or 8 in the morning. Because of the regularity, and because Jen has never had “false labor”, I got up around 8 and started getting ready to head to the hospital!
But not only were they far apart, they were not very intense. Jen was perplexed, but for some reason, I had a hunch we needed to get to the hospital anyway.
I started calling around to the various folks who had offered to help with our four kids already on the outside once the birthing process began. The funny thing about when these contractions started was that two out of our top three options could not do Thursday morning. 🙂 But thankfully the third was available.
Meanwhile, Jen’s contractions had really slowed in frequency and intensity. So she was starting to doubt if this was really going to happen, and didn’t want to inconvenience our friends if this was just a fire drill instead of the real thing. I was convinced it was time, though, so I was still preparing to head to the hospital.
We went for a walk to see if we could get things moving along a little faster. It did help a bit, but still, Jen’s contractions were lessening, so she still had big reservations about heading to the hospital. (It didn’t help that I had spoken with a friend earlier today who reminded me the story of their third baby that started out just about as this labor day was for us. Far apart, low intensity contractions, and then BLAMMO! They barely got her into the hospital room to deliver the baby!!)
I thought it would be good to get the doctor in on the conversation – and Jen agreed – so I called up our doctor and she agreed that it would be good to come in and check her out. That was a good in between option for Jen, so I called up our neighbor and she came to watch the kids for either a quick trip to the doctors and back home… OR… on to the hospital!! (I made sure we packed for a hospital stay!) 🙂
The doctor confirmed what I was thinking, with the 5th baby, and with some definite movement since the day before, she advised us to get to the hospital within the hour. So we made the appropriate calls and set the final stage of the plan in motion. Grandma & Grandpa were on their way from Buffalo, the second shift of kid watching was in place, and we were going to get some lunch before getting to the hospital!
I was still thinking that we would have a very fast overall process as we were on our fifth baby, and the rumor is the more babies you have had, the faster the delivery goes… BUT… not so!
Jen was still having very slight contractions. In fact, after they hooked her up to the monitor that showed contractions, the machine showed that she had had two contractions, but she didn’t feel any! Pretty funny. The odd part was that Jen had been reading some books about how God designed labor to work and to even be potentially pain free. Lots of testimonies from ladies who had experienced it, and Jen knew anything is possible with God… but… well, it still seemed too good to be true!
And, indeed it probably was. There was not much progress with these “phantom” contractions. But, still, there was. Jen was moving along, and baby was definitely coming. So the doctor helped it along by breaking the water and things progressed from there. Contractions definitely got more intense after that and Jen definitely got more tired! Very long day!
There are many more stories, but suffice it to say, Emma Caroline is here, and she was a surprise! It was the first time Jen guessed wrong on the gender of our babies 🙂 Our nurse friend Sarah was working that night and so she was in the room helping and she correctly predicted a girl, as did the doctor and her assistant. Surprising!
We’re so glad she’s here!!!
A little about the name. The first name is just a nice name. We just liked the sound of it. Emma. Nice. 🙂 The middle name is Jen’s Dad’s nickname for her Mom. Her given name is Carolyn, but he often calls her Caroline. We toyed with the idea of working in Mom & Grandma’s spelling in there (Carolyn and Lyn) to be “Carolyne”, but decided on the more common spelling. (Which is what Jen’s Dad uses if he is writing out the nickname.)
Interestingly, we found out later that the name “Emma” means “Complete.” Hmmm… is God telling us something about our family? 🙂
Ya never know! Only He does. 🙂
So we are all happy, healthy, and doing quite well! We’ll be home tomorrow and look forward to introducing more friends and family to our newest family member, Emma Caroline Campbell!