October 18, 2010
I woke up at 7:30 AM to a contraction, but convinced myself that it was just a dream, and that my body was just waking me up because it felt like it. I laid in bed resting for most of the morning, and noticed before long that my contractions were regular. Exactly 30 minutes apart. I figured it was early labor, but that it would go on all day long.
At 11:30, I decided to take a nap. I woke up to contractions 4 times, and when I finally got up and looked at the clock it was 12:30. My contractions that had been 30 minutes apart were now 15 minutes apart. I didn't have any other sign that things were progressing, except that everything HURT, and BAD.
I called Christopher and told him I needed him to come home around 1:15. He didn't realize how serious I was! Meanwhile, I called the hospital told them I couldn't quite tell how far apart my contractions were. I was having CONSTANT pelvic pain, and was positive something was wrong. I wasn't feeling anything let up between contractions, and eventually couldn't tell I was having contractions at all. It just hurt ALL THE TIME. While I was waiting, I attempted to get myself all ready. I took a shower, and then never even got the chance to brush my hair.
We left for the hospital at 2:20, and when we got there around 2:40, I couldn't walk. They brought me a wheelchair, took me straight to triage, and checked me in while they were doing all my other checks. Usually they check you in before they put you in a room, but the guy at the desk seemed alarmed when we got there. Apparently I was already 5 cm and 90% effaced by the time they checked me the first time, and my contractions (according to the monitor) were 1.5-2 minutes apart. From 12:30 to 2:45, I NEVER had regular contractions, they just kept getting closer and closer and closer together. I think I skipped over the "5 minutes apart for 2 hours before you go to the hospital" phase all together. Thank goodness I trusted my instincts and left for the hospital anyway!
I was basically screaming for an epidural from the second I got in the door, and I think they finally put it in around 3:30 pm. While they were doing the epidural, I my water broke. At that point, I realized we were about to have a baby.
After the epidural, I felt great. I wanted to chat and hang out and have a great time, but in reality, wish I'd taken a nap.
My epidural wore off, and the head anesthesiologist had to come give me some more. I think the guy who gave me the first one was in trouble! (His supervisor came and did the second one, and really really wanted the name of the first doctor.) Anyway, they got that going way before I had to push, so I was okay, but it was definitely not comfortable.
I sent Christopher to get the nurse around 8:00pm and to tell her that I couldn't not push. I think it was against the doctor's wishes, but she said we could go ahead and get started. Apparently I pushed like a champ, and my [big] little guy was out in 45 minutes! It didn't really hurt all that much with the epidural , just a lot of pressure. It was DEFINITELY hard work. Christopher was right there by my side the whole time. He held my hand, coached me through the pushing, and kept reminding me that I was doing a good job.
Right as he was born, they cut the cord REALLY quick, didn't give Christopher a chance to do it. Put him up on my belly, but only for a second. I could tell something was wrong. Apparently he breathed in some fluid as he was coming out, so they had to make sure he was okay. I was really upset because I hadn't seen my little guy's face, but I was glad they were taking such good care of him. It only took a little while, and they brought him to me so I could hold him for the first time, but it definitely was a while before they let anyone else hold him. When the family first came in to see, he had to stay laying on his belly under the heat lamp. Eventually he got all the fluid out on his own. What a great little guy!
Our first few days at the hospital were nice. We had lots of visitors, and got to introduce James to so many of his family members!
We've been home now for almost 6 weeks. It's a much bigger adjustment than we ever imagined! We're all getting used to our roles in our new little family, and sometimes it's very difficult. We've learned a lot about communication and patience, but there will be much more about that later. This is just the birth story that I wrote down the night he was born, and I wanted to post it while I had a chance. (James is sleeping hands-free, and that almost never happens. In fact, now he's waking up.)