Tuesday, February 26, 2013

my birth story

In the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I was obsessed with reading other people's birth stories. I felt like if I read about everything that had happened to other people, I would be more prepared when it happened to me. 

Every time I saw a new friend on Facebook had their baby, I desperately wanted to know exactly how it went. How long were they in labor? What did it feel like? Did they have any tips?

So, I thought that today, I would share my birth story with you. 

About 5 days before I went into labor.

Three weeks before my due date, a Sunday, my husband and I decided to try out a new church. We had been thinking about it for a while, and decided that this was as good a day as any to get started. We had a fabulous experience. The church we went to was positive, full of people our own age, and everyone looked like they were generally thrilled to be there worshiping God.

My husband was supposed to be off work, but when we got home for church an had just laid down for a nice Sunday afternoon nap, his work called asking if he could come in. Even though I really didn't want him to go, he felt like he should be a team player and help out (I think someone was sick or something). So he left, and I decided to proceed with the awesome nap I had planned.

About an hour later, I woke up feeling weird. I had some serious cramping, but not really contractions. I stood up, and whoooaaa.... pretty sure my water broke. I immediately called my mom, who lives out of state, to get her opinion. She told me there was a test they could do at the hospital to make sure it was the water breaking, and to just go and have it done to be sure.

(We needed to be sure I was in labor, because she and my brother would have to fly in, and they didn't want to book a flight if it was a false alarm!)

I called my husband at work, and told him what had happened. I said I wasn't really having contractions, so to just stay put at work until I had the test done and we were sure. Of course he didn't listen to me, and ended up meeting me at the hospital.

Sure enough, the results came in and my water had broke! The nurse told me I wouldn't be leaving without a baby :)

**At this point, a word of warning to all you pregnant mommas... any time you go to the hospital thinking you might be in labor, EAT FIRST! I hadn't eaten breakfast and had rushed to the hospital, so I was starving as soon as they checked me in, and of course couldn't eat. I was so hungry throughout the entire process that they could hear my stomach growling on the baby monitors!**

So they got me all set up in the labor and delivery room, and we waited. 

And waited.

And waited.

I never had a SINGLE contraction!! I walked the halls for hours, and even had a little booty shaking dance party in my room (hubby loved that), but never even a twinge.

Dance party in my stylin' non-slip socks.

About 12 hours after I was admitted to the hospital, the decision was made to start me on Pitocin to get the contractions going. It was about 2 am, and Hubby and I were trying to get some sleep. 

The meds got the contractions started, but they weren't really regular or strong, so we just continued to sleep through them. 

Around 7 am, the shift changed and the new nurse brought in the doctor to check me out. My doctor and nurse were phenomenal. They gave me the most amazing experience, almost exactly the way I wanted it.

To everyone's surprise, when Dr. Brown checked, she said my water had not actually broken! I had just been leaking amniotic fluid the whole time... so she popped the bag to get things going.

Let me tell you, ladies.

I was instantly in EPIC labor. Contractions started coming hard and fast, about 30 seconds apart. I had made the decision to have a natural birth, so an epidural was not an option for me. My amazing husband coached me through the contractions, and I controlled my breathing and felt like I was doing pretty well.
My rock. I would be lost without this man.

After about an hour passed, the nurse checked me and said I had progressed from a 4 to a 5.


All that work for one lousy centimeter? I started crying, completely overwhelmed, and could never relax enough to come back to my happy place, because the contractions were still about 20 seconds apart. At this point, I made the decision to ask for a little pain relief. 

I was given Stadol, and about a minute later, I was floating in happy la-la land. I remember that the contractions hurt, but I could have cared less. I was dreaming about candy land, and the Elf on the Shelf, and chocolate drops with Santa hats (I know... Stadol is serious stuff haha).

Even though I had originally not wanted to take any drugs and was pretty out of it, I think they really helped me relax and I went from a 5 to a 10 in about 45 minutes. 

When it was time to push, it was remarkably calm in the room, just the way I wanted it. I didn't feel the need to scream or yell, just focus intensely on the work at hand. Nobody was yelling at me to push, and it was just a very relaxed environment, which I appreciated so much. I only pushed about 5 times, and out came my baby boy! It was the most remarkable thing, and since I was still feeling the effects of the drugs, I kept asking my husband if this was really happening. I thought I had dreamed the whole thing, and that I was going to wake up and have them tell me I was still only 5 centimeters!

It had only been 3 hours since Dr. Brown came in and labor had truly started. Fast and furious!

As I held my beautiful boy, I couldn't believe he was real. He was so perfect and beautiful, and it was seriously the best moment of my life. 

Little D was jaundice and had to be on a bili-blanket for his first week home. My little glow-worm :)

The only downside to the whole incredible experience was the drugs. I really wish I had been able to refocus and do it without them, because about 2 hours after delivery, when the nurses got me up to walk around, I passed out. I had had a nosebleed during delivery, and lost quite a bit of blood. I was in and out of consciousness for a few hours while I was hooked up to IV fluids, and I feel like I missed out on a lot of baby D's first hours. 

But, once I was given the OK, we were moved into the postpartum room and began our lives as a little family.

Some people say that you forget the pain of childbirth, and that if you remembered it you'd never do it again. Well, I feel like I remember pretty well how much it hurt, but it was all completely worth it. I'd do it again in a split second if it meant that I could spend the rest of my life taking care of this sweet face.

My perfect little family <3

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