Our precious rainbow is here. And she's amazing. [also, this entry is reeeeally long]

I can't believe I get to write this...but I do. And I couldn't be happier.

Our Baby Sweet Pea, Mia Ka'iulani, was born on Thursday, January 9th, 2014, at 9:09am. 6 lbs., 13.7 oz., 19" long. She made a very, VERY fast appearance into this world, one that saw her mama have an epi-free, almost natural birth. She was determined to get here, lemme tell ya.

Back on December 23, my MFM told me that I should deliver between 38-39 weeks. Cool. No big deal. I told my OB when I saw him on December 30, and we went ahead and scheduled my induction for January 9th; I would go in on the 8th at 7pm to start things. Based on measurements, I would be 38w6d, so it worked out. Even by my original due date, I would still be almost 38 weeks, so she would be just about full term. At that point, I just wanted her out and in my arms, even though things were looking fine on the inside [besides the fact that her NSTs weren't all that great; she just wasn't an active baby at the end]. I will admit that I was a little worried we were taking her too early, but again - I wanted her out instead of in anyway.

I went back to work from Christmas break on January 2nd and started maternity leave prep. I also spent those last days finishing our bags, cleaning house and setting things up for Mia's arrival. There were some nights where contractions started up, but nothing ever came of those, so I knew I would probably make it to my induction date. J flew in the night of January 7th, and that's when things started to feel real. I was so thrilled to have him back with us.

I did work on the 8th - J caught up on sleep while I was at work, and working kept my mind preoccupied - and was just about out the door when I got a call from the hospital. They were completely booked [i had been warned when i scheduled my induction that they were going to be a full unit that week] and had no room for me to come in at 7pm. They put me on standby and hoped I could get in before midnight. I was a little deflated at that point - I had spent ALL DAY excited about getting this show on the road - but it did give me more time with JJ. So I went home, hung out with the mens and J's best friend, who had come in to town, and waited on my mom to get there. I did indulge in a banana split while waiting, too. :) I decided to take a nap at 9:30pm but kept my phone ringer turned up, just in case I got a call. At 10:30pm, the hospital called - they had a bed! Yay! I took a shower, shaved, grabbed my bags, said bye to everyone, and J and I headed to the hospital. I got there around 11:30pm, got admitted and was in a room by 11:45pm. My night RN, Paula, got me all settled and started Cervadil around 12:15am on the 9th.

I was too excited to sleep, but I tried to anyway. I dozed on and off until 2:15am, which is when I started feeling contractions. My sister and I were texting back and forth, which helped me through the contractions - they were coming every 4-5 minutes from the start. I remember texting her and saying that she should probably come up sooner rather than later, since I thought I would have a baby by lunch; she hopped in the car and drove up in the middle of the night. She's so awesome. I paged Paula around 4:30am and asked for some IV meds so I could try and get some rest; they definitely helped me relax. I felt so drunk - it was awesome. :P My sister arrived sometime after 5, and I dozed on and off until my OB arrived at 6:30am. I had gone from a 1 to a 3 on the Cervadil, so he went ahead and broke my water. My day RNs, Jennifer and Stephanie, started me on a round of pitocin at 7:45am. I settled in, mentally started preparing to get an epidural, and started to get excited. Mia was on her way!

I was still feeling the IV meds until after my pitocin was bumped at 8:15am; after that, the contractions started coming on pretty quick. By 8:30am, I was really uncomfortable and wanted an epi. I was at a 5-6, so the pitocin was turned off, but Jennifer wanted me to labor it out until 9am to see if my body was good to go or if I needed to get back on pitocin. I was in pain but thought I could make it to 9am. Mia, however, had other plans. By 8:40, I was shaking uncontrollably and just knew I was in transition; the contractions started coming every 1-2 minutes and were really, really intense. My sister paged the RNs, who rushed back to check me - I was nearly at an 8 and quickly progressing towards a 10. They put in the order for the epi and for my OB to come back [he'd gone to the office, which was right up the street], but things just moved too quickly. By 8:55, I was at a 10 and was told that I wouldn't be getting the epi after all.

Excuse me? No epi? I was about to have a natural birth?!

At that point, I was in so much pain that I could barely think straight, but my sister, J and the RNs helped me concentrate so I didn't lose my mind. Things were moving so quickly that there was barely time to think. I remember watching the RNs scramble around to get things ready and someone paging my OB to get there ASAP. I had to labor down until things got set up and my OB arrived around 9:05am; I still don't really know how I pulled that off. Two contractions and three pushes later, Mia was here. She didn't cry out right away like JJ had done when he was born, which worried me - but I did get to see her right after she was born, and she was OK. The RNs whisked her away to get her checked out, and I just sat there wondering what the hell had happened. Had I really had a baby that fast? With no epi? Really?

Things happened so quickly that my mom almost didn't make it; she got there just as I started to push. Shoot, my OB barely made it in time to deliver her. Mia's quick arrival did cause her some problems; she had very low blood sugar and some breathing issues. She also didn't really cry much as they were cleaning her and checking her out. She was taken to the nursery for testing and observation, and I didn't get to see her for another 2-3 hours. During that time, I got stitched up [had one first degree tear], cleaned up and got to process what had just happened. People kept telling me I was a rock star for pulling through that, but I was in shock that 1.) our rainbow was here, and 2.) she had come so quickly!

Mia was eventually brought back to us once her blood sugar stabilized, but she had to be checked every 4-5 hours. That sucked, because they kept having to stick her tiny little feet with a needle; that was hard for mama to watch. She also had some bruising on her face from how fast she had been born, but that has since gone down considerably. When I really got to hold her for the first time, I was in absolute awe. She had tons of dark hair and was so, so tiny. I couldn't believe how precious and tiny she was! We tried breastfeeding, but that hasn't gone so well, so I'm not quite sure if that's going to stick or not. She was - and still is - a fairly quiet baby who is pretty content as long as she's fed and not changed. She hates when we change her clothes and/or diaper. :) I spent that whole first night snuggling her; she was just amazing.

She was monitored on Friday, we had some visitors at the hospital, then we were discharged around 5:30pm. Going home with a baby in a car seat instead of empty arms almost had me in tears; I was beyond relieved that she was coming home with us. It has been quite the adjustment, but we are all managing after a couple of days at home. My awesome parents spent the weekend with us and were such a huge help. J has also been incredible. I've been pretty sore from the stitches and whole labor/delivery process, but I'm starting to feel better and have more energy. I hope that by the end of the week, I feel just about human again.

Mia is an awesome baby. JJ has been an awesome big brother, too. He has wanted to hold her, carry her, and play trains with her...he is the sweetest. It's been a struggle to make sure he gets lots of attention, but for the most part, he's done well - and I'm figuring it out. It's been important to me that we keep a routine for JJ's sake, and we're doing that, for the most part. I'm a little sleep deprived when I take him to school in the mornings, but that's no big deal. :)

This entry has gotten ridiculously long, so I'll stop rambling. I'm so grateful our rainbow is here; at the same time, I'm also sad that Devon isn't here with us. I keep thinking of all the things I missed out on with Devon, but I also remind myself that Mia is here because our love for Devon kept us going and eventually led us to Mia - so I need to cherish every single moment with our rainbow baby. I do feel overwhelmed at times by everything, but I'm managing. I'm just so, SO glad Mia is here. She's just...perfect.

My very last bump pic at 38w5d - the day we checked in to the hospital.
First time I really got to hold her. Such a sweet girl.
Sweet snuggles.
Going home!