...because we all love a good birth story, right? riiiiight...

well, it all started towards the end of august when, true to form, i was showing no signs of anything moving on it's way toward the labor train at 37 weeks. i just kept thinking to myself - wouldn't it be so amazing to feel what it's like to go into natural labor? i mean, seriously, what does that feel like? i'm sure it's different for everyone...but i'm also sure it's substantially different from being slammed with a bag and IV full of pitocin. but...that's my story.

my doctor and i discussed the scheduled induction date and then we both wept because our favorite labor and delivery nurse (one of my best friends who delivered kaye and sawyer) was no longer working in L & D. and by wept we brainstormed on how we could smuggle her in to the room and force her to be a part of it all.

i was also informed at this appointment that if i didn't show some signs of progression on my own we would need to pick a different induction date...and that, my friends, was NOT going to be an option. i was done being pregnant. over and out.

i reached out to the world of instagram on sure-fire tricks to get labor progressing, and wouldn't you know it, sex was the #1 answer. because everyone wants to be having sex at 38+ weeks pregnant. horny horny horny. yeah, no.

by my next appointment i HAD started progressing and i could have cried right there. i was so relieved. september 6th would be the day to meet our sweet, unnamed baby girl #3.

september 5th was the longest day of my life. i worked. i ate. i sat. i sat. i sat. i was so thankful my farmer's parents had the girls...but i also could have used the distraction. so, later in the day i popped over to visit them, and then my farmer showed up and asked me to go for a farm drive with him to check our water on all the fields. he said the bumpy ride would do me well - we just had to grab something from the shop.

so, we stopped at the shop and he opened the giant door. there, parked in the middle was a glorious, new treadmill plus all my favorite things - popcorn, oreos, IPA, and beautiful roses.

it's not often my farmer shocks the hell out of me, but this has to be his biggest win yet. i was floored and on cloud nine...and all of a sudden it was okay to be 40 weeks pregnant.

much later that night / morning...

we woke up at the ungodly hour (actually, i was up most of the night with itchy arms and aching hips and just generally feeling terrible because i was so anxious i couldn't sleep) of 4:30 am. i showered, finished packing my bag, and by 5:30 am we were off the farm to make our 7 am induction appointment.

we arrived at the hospital and immediately got things going. i was hooked up and relaxing by 8:30 am and our nurses (Tara and Sara - yes, they rhymed) were giving me tips on what level of pain i should be at before i ask for the epidural. i'm no hero - i was definitely getting the epidural. in between the pitocin hook-up and the epidural the doctor broke my water and had me move around, sit on the ball, etc. anything to help progress and get her in prime position.

a few hours passed and while the pain wasn't something i couldn't handle, they had turned the pitocin up enough that i knew by the time the epidural kicked in i would want it. order up! one shot to my spine. the nurse anesthetist made his way in and got everything prepped. i crunched over a pillow and breathed through each stronger and stronger contraction. it's amazing how you can control your body when someone is stabbing you in the spine and you're told...DO. NOT. MOVE.

unfortunately, when i was given the initial dose of medication after the epidural was in place my heart rate went crazy and i felt like i had pillows over my ears. not good. he pulled the line and we had to start again.

luckily, round two was great and i was feeling some pretty immediate relief. but, true to form, about an hour later i was no longer feeling super awesome. i'm so so very sensitive to medication, i started feeling incredibly dizzy and sensitive to the light in the room. they called the nurse anesthetist back in and decided we should turn the drugs down. by this time it was around noon and i started feeling substantially better. they also checked me and i was...only a 4+. what?! i was disappointed things weren't moving as quickly as they had with sawyer (she was born at noon), but, there really was nothing that could be done.

shortly after, tara came back in to check on me. i told her something felt suuuuuper funny in my booty area. she asked if i had the urge to push and i told her definitely not. mostly i was worried i had done something (eh-hum #2) in the bed, but after a quick look it was confirmed that i was in the clear and she had a funny feeling that i was ready to have a baby. tara and sara quickly examined me and just like that, in about an hour and a half, i had gone from a 4+ to a 10. it was baby time.

i remember feeling overwhelmed at the idea that i was going to meet our baby girl so so very soon.

our doctor arrived and asked my farmer if he would want to catch the baby. he accepted the challenge and put on the biggest pair of gloves they had available...which hit him around mid-palm. after the first push i had a surge of emotion and couldn't hold the tears back. it was the most intense surge of emotion. all the waiting was over! about ten minutes later, our third very best gal was in my arms.

in all my farmer's generosity he said he would gladly name our gal marin, but knowing it was definitely not his favorite, we went with elliot bell. bell - just like her sister's middle names. bell - just like my maiden name. and we love calling her elli. it's the sweetest little name, just like her.

she arrived with the most swollen lips you've ever seen...and it kind of looked like she'd been stung by a bee in both eyes. again, very swollen. he sweet noggin was so coned, and after careful examination we wondered - where are her eyelashes!? both kaye and sawyer were born with the sweetest lashes. at this point i announced in my drug-induced state, "well, she's not our cutest." because, hey, i'm mom of the year.

in the almost two weeks since she's joined our family it's super easy to say that, she is in fact extremely adorable. her eyelashes have made an appearance. she's ridiculously healthy and has certainly gained back all initial weight loss. let's just say she has her mom's enthusiastic appetite. she's the sleepiest muffin who likes to giggle and coo and whimper in her sleep.

kaye and sawyer have quickly fallen in love and tell me all the time how adorable she is. sawyer tends to be slightly less gentle when taking her turns holding baby elli, but we're working on it. and kaye takes her job as a double big sister (what she calls herself) extremely serious.

we had some excitement on the day we arrived home from the hospital. both kaye and sawyer caught a stomach bug and it was puke city around our house for three days. yay. nothing like a newborn and a house of sickness. makes everything just a little more exciting. luckily, elli and i both avoided any ailments and the household is fully healthy.

now, with a house full of estrogen, i feel like my little farm-army of women is complete. my poor, lucky farmer. elliot has definitely (100% definitely) completed our family of five and i can't believe how lucky we are to have her perfection.