Eliza Lucille was born April 24 (Easter Sunday) at 9:53 p.m., two days before her due date. 7 lbs 10 oz and 19 and 3/4 inches long. Overall, it was a good experience. Labored at home for several hours with the help of our doula. When we arrived at the hospital, I was at 5 cm, and the hospital was nothing like the controlling medicalized horror show I'd been dreading--it was quiet, peaceful, and the staff was super respectful of my birth plan. That said, it was a long labor and I did end up getting an epidural, which is probably the best thing I could have done in my situation--I was throwing up from pain and had been up since the previous morning (contractions kept me awake all night) and still only at 6 cm. So after 24 hours of labor the epidural let me rest and just feel more relaxed. It didn't numb me completely--took away the contraction pain but I could still feel and move my legs just fine. Five hours later, I was complete and ready to push. We waited until the baby was +2 station so she didn't have far to go. I think I pushed for about an hour, maybe a little more, and then here she was! Three small tears that the doctor stitched up. We managed a little breastfeeding right away--she came out screaming and eager to suck.
Here's a photo! Postpartum adjustment has been rough--we've had some nursing difficulties but things are getting easier as my milk is coming in and we're both getting the hang of things. It is overwhelming but even short naps make me feel like I can do this after all.