I had a baby.
My very own baby! Not one that I have to give back at the end of the day (or that I WANT to give back! ha!) but my very own that I get to keep and love forever.
Two days before my due date I had a regular doctor's appointment and they checked me and informed me that there was little progress from the week before and set an induction date for the following Thursday. I left the appointment in tears because the pregnancy irrationality had convinced me that I was going to be the only woman in the history of the world to be pregnant FOREVER. We went home and had a normal evening and night. At about 4:30am (Saturday, July 11th) I felt a new kind of pain with a contraction. An holy-gees-what-is-THAT?!?! kind of pain. I just laid there and nodded off again. 20 minutes later there was another one. Another 20 minutes and another pain. Hmmm. Justin was sound asleep beside me this whole time. About 6:30am he woke up to me sitting up in bed, leaning up against the wall, breathing that stupid breathing they teach you in the classes that doesn't do crap. I informed him that I was hurting but ok and he quickly went back to sleep. I got up about 7am (mom and dad were still asleep, as was the rest of the world on a summer Saturday morning) and went for a walk. The whole time I was praying that this was "it." After 30 minutes of walking and stopping to breath and walking again, I took a 45 minute bath and attempted to read. Ha! Try reading a novel when you have to close your eyes and breath every few minutes. I read the same paragraph a ridiculous number of times. Justin got up around 8am and we hopped in the car to grab some Chick-Fil-A. On the way there the contractions stepped it up a BIG notch and Justin's hand got the first of many to-the-breaking-point-squeezes. Those chicken minis were the last thing I would eat for a while.
We get back to the house and I am visibly in pain. Mom and I start timing them and they are 3-4 minutes apart and lasting 45-60 seconds. This goes on for a couple of hours and we decide it's time to go to the hospital. I got in my room about 12:30pm and got the antibiotic started for my Group B Strep and put in the order for the epidural. The anesthesiologist was on his way to my room when there was a problem with another patient and so he had to go do an emergency C-Section. I didn't see him for 3 hours. Those were the longest (and strangely, the shortest too) hours of my life. I discovered that breathing didn't do a dang thing for me, but I had seen on one of the baby shows (Baby Story, Birth Day, etc.) with a woman doing this thing called "toning." I don't even know how I remembered that because when I watched it it didn't make a big impression on me. Anyway - basically toning is when you sing a note and hold it while you exhale. I decided to try it, and that's how I made it though labor before my epidural.
Finally, about 3:30pm the anesthesiologist shows up and I immediately start freaking out. I was terrified of the epidural. Not so much so that I was willing to attempt birth without one, but still very scared. I started crying and my midwife and nurse and Justin all rallied around me. They let Justin be the one to hold me and that helped me a lot. Also, I had the best anesthesiologist in the world. He cracked jokes and made me laugh the whole time. I told him up front that I needed him to tell me EXACTLY what he was doing, in detail, since I couldn't see.
*Sidenote* I'm one of those people that has to watch when I get blood drawn or an IV or a cyst lanced -- if I am going to be hurting I want to see why. Also, I think it's interesting. If you try to make me NOT watch, I will freak out on you (Dr. Manuel).
So, since I couldn't see it, he had to describe it to me and he did a wonderful job. I was scared for nothing. But if you've ever seen an epidural needle then you understand why - it is not a small thing. He numbed me during a contraction and that was the worst part. After that I couldn't feel a thing. They gave me the test dose at 5 til 4pm and I immediately had relief. Shortly after that they checked me and I was at 4cm and fully effaced and happy as a loon. Zach, Sarah, and Leslie came in to keep me company and the time flew by. A little while later I was at 7cm and I couldn't even feel her check me. That was a very strange feeling - to know that someone is touching you but not be able to feel it. They started the pitocen to help things along and less than an hour later I was at 10cm and ready to push. Between 7cm and 10cm I started being able to feel the contractions again - not to the extent that I was before, but enough to make me have to concentrate during one.Pain.
Sarah celebrating when they announced I was at 7cm
Zach and Sarah had been with us for the past hour or so and the plan all along was for Zach to stay and take pictures before, during, and after the birth. When my nurse, Amy, said I was at 10 and ready to go it suddenly became imperative that Sarah stay too. I wanted both of them there for me and to share the experience with us. I gave her the option, but probably would have freaked out if she had said she didn't want to. :)
I started pushing about 6:50 and couldn't feel a thing. It was wonderful! I laughed and smiled the whole time. They had to tell me when to push because I couldn't feel anything. At one point my midwife, Melissa, asked if I wanted to feel the head so I reached and felt this little hairy Pushing and having no idea what I was doing
head. That was weird too. A couple more pushes and they were telling me to stop pushing because the cord was around his neck. He was dark purple. They unwrapped the cord and one more push and he was out! She let Justin tell us what he was and I screamed with joy. I KNEW he was a boy! They immediately put him on my chest and I thought he was the most beautiful stringbean of a little boy I had ever seen. :) Seriously, he had toothpicks for legs. Justin cut the cord.
He was 7lb 10oz and 21 1/2 inches long. He scored an 8/9 on the apgar and he peed as soon as they put him on that cold scale. :)
I could not have dreamed of a better delivery (well, maybe one where stitches weren't involved). I was alert the whole time and completely ENJOYED and RELISHED every moment of bringing him into the world. The team of people with me smiled the whole time and made me feel like that were thrilled to be there sharing the moment.
Justin was amazing - he was exactly who I needed him to be to get me through it all. Thanks babe. You and me (and Silas now).
Thanks also to Zach for thinking it might be a little weird to be in the room but doing it anyway, and to Sarah for staying with me. I wouldn't trade y'all for the world. :)
More pictures to come of Silas now. Can't believe he's 5 weeks old tomorrow.