Thursday, April 19, 2012

Labor and Delivery

I've been putting off writing about the whole experience of going into labor and giving birth because I know it's going to take a while, and free time is very precious these days! But I know I'm going to want to remember all the details someday so I should write about it before I forget everything.

So Wednesday March 28 was my due date which came and went as I expected it to. We kept telling the baby to wait and come on Thursday or Friday since my mom was flying in on Thursday; we didn't want him to come before then, but we also didn't want her to have to be waiting around for a week. Well, I guess the kid is pretty obedient.

On Thursday morning I had my weekly checkup with the OB. I was about 3 cm dilated, but had been for weeks so nothing too promising.  She said she could strip my membranes (ya, it's about as pleasant as it sounds) which can sometimes get things moving, and I figured it was worth a shot. Right after my appointment Jacob and I went to pick my mom up from the airport. I noticed that my contractions were a little more painful/intense than Braxton Hicks, but I knew that could go on for days or that I might just be "crampy" from the membrane-stripping business.

For the rest of the day I tried to get stuff done, but kept getting distracted by the contractions, timing them, and hoping they would get closer together. No such luck. I was determined to go into for real labor so I made my mom go on a pretty long uphill walk to campus with me. That seemed to make the contractions a little more intense.

That night we went to bed around 10:30. By 11, I was waking up every time I had a contraction but tried to sleep through it. As soon as sleep was impossible, I went into the bathroom to start timing them on the "Contraction Ap" Jacob downloaded onto our tablet. I REALLY didn't want to be one of those people that goes to the hospital and gets sent home, so I waited for an hour until the pain was getting pretty intense about every 3 minutes. I had to take a bath about halfway through to calm myself down (is this really happening?!) and try to ease the pain.

At 12:45 I woke up Jacob and told him I thought maybe we should go to the hospital but I wasn't quite sure.  I called my mom and asked if the pain should be absolutely unbearable if I was actually in labor and she said no, so we decided to just go for it.

1:20 AM we arrived at the hospital where, to my dismay, I was told I would have to be monitored for an hour to see if I was really in labor before I got admitted. The nurse later told me she thought for sure she'd be sending me home because I was so "stoic".Me? Ha. Anyhow, that was the longest hour ever. I tried to stay distracted by playing Draw Something and sucking on ice cubes, but every few minutes I had to just stop and take deep breaths until the contraction passed. Not helpful-- Mom and Jacob watching the monitor and saying "Woah! That's a big one!" every time I had an especially painful one. Uh yes, I can feel it!

not a happy camper
So by 2:30 I had made progress (to 5 cm, I think) and was admitted! She asked if I would want the epidural right away. I absolutely did. That was the part I had been most scared of, but at this point I was so over the labor pains. Jacob had to leave the room for this part since he doesn't do well with needles, but my mom stayed with me and talked to me the whole time to keep me from getting nervous. And what do you know? It was completely painless!  After that, we all tried to get some sleep. I made very little progress in the next hour which was discouraging. But then sometime between 4 and 5 my water broke, and things took off from there. I was too excited to sleep after that.

Around 7 AM I was fully dilated so they called my doctor. She arrived around 7:20 and it was time to start pushing. I was so ready to meet this little guy and so determined to get him out without giving him a cone head! After being up all night, I didn't have much energy left but I used every bit of it to push. I had no idea if I was doing anything at all since I couldn't feel it, but everyone just kept encouraging me, and we got that guy out in 20 minutes. I  was sure seeing a child come out of me would be the most miraculous, tender moment ever, but it was really just so weird.

BUT it was sweet to get to hold him after he was all cleaned off especially since he stopped crying right when they gave him to me. And I felt so grateful for how smoothly everything went and for my healthy, beautiful baby.

"E.T. phone home"

To be continued...


Little Beachs said...

He's adorable!!

tracie said...

Oh my goodness. I never get how people can say they fall in love with their baby immediately after the delivery. I was so tired from pushing and out of it that I just kind of stared down at my baby and thought... um she's kind of a weird little alien, isn't she? And then she started shrieking and I just wanted it to stop. It was really surreal for me too! Congrats, he's adorable!!

tracie said...

PS I'm glad I found your blog and I'm adding it to my blog roll!