Thursday, April 26, 2012

My birth story (with all the gory details)

Having been pregnant for almost 10 months, I found lots of enjoyment in reading about other peoples birth stories. Mainly because well- we have minimal control over what exactly happens in our labor and delivery. So many things are out of our control and its interesting to me to see how everyone responds to the surprises. So I thought I'd share my birth story with all of those who are interested in reading all the gory details of how our gorgeous daughter entered this world!

Saturday, April 21st
Saturday was just an ordinary day for us. We ran errands, did some yard work, and like typical- I complained much about being overdue and pregnant. When I went to bed, I found myself suffering from intense insomnia. Literally it got to the point that I had to climb out of bed because I was lurking around on my phone and waking Luke with my constant tossing and turning. I don't think I got an hour of sleep and I woke up Sunday telling myself, today has to be the day!

Sunday, April 22nd
So  I woke up very positive and ended up not actually thinking that anything was going to happen. I was convinced that I was going to be pregnant forever. I went to bed Sunday night practically expecting to not get any sleep, and was not surprised when I was left tossing and turning. I immediately went out on the couch at midnight and around 2:00 am realized that I was most likely having contractions. I whipped out my contraction counter on my iPhone and discovered that the contractions were pretty consistent and ranged from about 5:30-8 minutes long. At that point it was just straight pain (more annoying than intolerable) and only lasted about 30 seconds long. 

Monday, April 23rd
The contractions remained throughout the day and I did EVERYTHING I could to progress labor along. Luke and I went for a morning walk, my mom and friend came over and we went for another walk! I noticed the contractions getting a little bit stronger. I could still talk through them, but it was uncomfortable to do so. I called the midwife on call around 12 and she told me it was completely up to me. She said they weren't super consistent so I may not be in active labor, so I decided to labor it out until it was the sure thing. I toughed it out until about 3:00pm when Luke suggested I take a bath to try to relax. In my mind I was worried that I was going to relax to the point that I'd stop labor, but the opposite actually happened. I was in the tub about 20 minutes and had 5 contractions that ended up being about 2:30-3:30 minutes apart and over a minute long. That's when my midwife says that my actual labor probably began. I was so concerned that I would be turned away from the hospital- I kept saying it over and over again. I just DONT WANT THEM TO SEND ME HOME! Everyone assured me that at this point, I probably didn't have anything to worry about, but I still thought about it in the back of my mind. I called the midwife for a second time and told her we were coming in and she called ahead and told the staff! We arrived at the hospital, got all checked in, settled in our room, and ready to be looked at around 6:30. The midwife arrived and did a pelvic exam and said that I was dilated to a 6 and 90% effaced. So you won't send me home? was obviously my first question, and she assured me that I wasn't going anywhere and that I was going to have my baby today or the next. She also told me that once you get to 5cm, your labor is 2/3 over, so I only had 1/3 to go. Piece of cake- right!? Sooo wrong. At this point, the contractions grew longer and stronger, and started progressing slowly, the peaks were longer and at times the even overlapped. The pain was inexplainable, but Luke and my mom were the best people to have in the room. They were so helpful and encouraging. At around 8:00-8:30pm the nurse checked me again and found that I was dilated to an 8. My plan was to have a waterbirth, so she started filling the tub for me and I headed over while in transition. When they say transition is the most intense part of labor, they really mean it. Its really the only part that during I told myself I couldn't do it. The pain was constant, but the water was hot, took away some of the pain, and allowed me the ability to move in a lot of different positions. Around 10:00 I told the nurse the pressure was unbelievably intense and that I'd like her to see if it was time to push. I was dilated to 9.5 and there was the tiniest bit of tissue left for me to efface, so she had me push through it and soon enough I was a full 10cm, and bracing down. I started pushing, did a couple different positions, and within 30 minutes, they could see the head. Everyone kept mentioning her full head of black hair and I was dying to meet her. 15 minutes and a few pushes later, she was born in the water at exactly 10:46pm. The midwife swayed her under the water for about 10-20 seconds and at that point I was literally screaming "LOOK AT HOW BEAUTIFUL SHE IS." She was put on my chest and I felt something I've never felt before. Instant love. I got up out of the tub almost immediately and Luke got to hold her while I was getting checked out. The look in his eyes was precious. You could just see the love in his eyes. He sat there holding her and talking to her (I have yet to discover what that conversation consisted of). She immediately recognized his voice and was so calm and so perfect. 

Welcome home!
We decided that 2 nights in the hospital was enough. Tuesday night we got almost NO sleep because there were 3 births over night and it is a little distracting to hear screams and PUSH, PUSH over and over again. We also felt like we were confined to our room. Well- essentially we WERE confined to our room and I was tired of living out of our suitcase and not being able to be up and moving around. We got home about 1:30 yesterday and boy did the hormones and sleep deprivation take their toll on me. Riley cried all the way home from the hospital and when I put her in her swing, and I immediately broke down. The nurse said its normal with all of the hormonal changes in my body, in combination with the obvious huge change in our lives. I am so scared to do the wrong thing, to not know how to sooth her. My parents came over to help us, brought us dinner and offered to watch Riley for a bit as we slept, but the moment I went in the bedroom without her, my heart was beating out of my chest. I heard every fuss, every movement, and hated that I didn't have her right next to me. My mom offerred to spend the night- which we were so grateful of, but we ended up keeping her in our room over night. We brought her out once for my mom (who happily and willingly just held her and soothed her as she and us slept). I got an hour or 2 of sleep after a couple feedings, and got a solid 2 1/2 hours when my mom took her. Luke also took her this morning as I slept for an hour & 1/2. Luke is very helpful when she wakes up in the night and ensures that we are both comfortable and settled in- then he goes to sleep. So he has been getting a pretty good nights sleep, though heavily interrupted. You can tell that he's exhausted and that makes ME feel bad. I am able to function on little sleep (which I learned throughout my pregnancy) and I hate that its hard for him. We survived our first night home, and have now been home a full day! Baby is doing so great- I have no doubt that she's going to grow big and strong pretty quickly because she eats all the time! I'm cherishing these first few weeks, because I know how much she's going to change and grow. 

Special thanks to all of our friends and family for the kind words, visits, thoughts, and wonderful gifts. This baby is so lucky and so are we!

Photo bomb post to follow!

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