This post is shamefully (SHAMEFULLY) overdue!!!!!!!!
So.................a lot happened since my last blog post...
We had some amazing baby showers thrown for us, I experienced my first "almost" Mother's day (it's not official until I have the baby right?) and then there was the early arrival of our baby.
Official due date was May 31st....but this little one decided May 15th worked better.
It's now 3 MONTHS later and I'm just now getting the chance to sit down and document the experience.
DISCLAIMER: I'm not leaving anything out...so if you think a birthing story is going to freak you out...stop reading now. ; )
May 12th: We have an amazing Baby Olympics themed baby shower at our house. It was SO MUCH FUN! Our friends are seriously the best in the world.
May 13th: We go to my sister-in-law's house for a family Mother's day brunch. It was fantastic! As we left...some of the family mentioned that I might have a baby the next time they see me. I laugh, thinking this is not very likely as most "first" pregnancies tend to go past the due date.
May 14th: I go to work and feel some Braxton Hicks contractions. I'm uncomfortable but not overwhelmingly so. I don't think anything of it...finish up my 8 hours and go home. That evening Jody and I talk about what labor might be like and whether or not we're ready. We both mention that we've both been told going into labor is nothing like in the movies. "It's never quick" they all tell us. We start naming off our friends that had to be induced because their water did not break naturally, etc. We watch an episode of Game of Thrones and go to bed at around 10 p.m.
2 a.m.: I wake up feeling a sudden warmth "down there" and immediately jump out of bed thinking I'm actually wetting the bed at the age of 32. I want to run to the bathroom but I don't want to leave a trail of yuck on the carpet so I just stand still, shouting to Jody at the same time "Jody, something is happening!" He jumps out of bed and turns the light on and I tell him I've either peed myself or my water just broke. He rushes to me to examine the liquid and we see that it has a pink tint. Jody quickly brings a towel to me and starts cleaning up the puddle I've left on the carpet while I dash to the bathroom. I start to feel something similar to menstrual cramps and decide to get in the shower to rinse off and alleviate the cramping.
2:10 a.m.: Jody asks how I'm doing and I tell him that the cramping (I realize at that time that I'm having contractions) is getting a little more intense and that we should probably start keeping track of the contractions. He immediately pulls out his contraction chart from his Daddy Boot Camp book and starts recording length and intensity. After a few contractions he shouts to me in the shower that they seem to be 2 minutes apart and he calls the hospital. I don't hear the conversation he has with the on-call nurse because I'm distracted with managing my breathing during the contractions. Jody comes back into the bathroom and says we're going to the hospital. We joke about how we were LITERALLY just talking about labor the night before and how most of our friends had to be induced, etc. We laugh....a lot.
2:20 a.m.: We pack into the car and start heading to the hospital...unsure if we're actually having this baby or if I'm experiencing some kind of crazy false labor. I realize at the moment that I still have morning breath so I pop a piece of gum into my mouth and offer one to Jody. I text my Mom that we're on our way to the E.R. because my water has broken and she texts back "Ok, don't panic" which coming from my Mom was HILARIOUS because she worries so much (LOVE YOU MOM!). ; ) I call her so she can hear my voice and know everything is fine and then I send an email from the iPhone to my supervisor that my water has broken and I probably wouldn't be in to work that day.
2:40 a.m.: We arrive at the E.R. (after some confusion about which building we were supposed to enter) and my contractions are getting a little more uncomfortable. We walk in and the receptionist asks if I need a wheelchair to get to the delivery ward...."no, I'm fine" I say and we continue walking. We get to the elevator and suddenly my contractions are quite intense. As we get to the delivery ward I'm now doubling over in pain when a contraction hits. It would start like a normal menstrual cramp, tight and painful...and then intensify into a wave of jagged hot lava rocks being twisted around in my body. It hurt. It hurt so much that I ask for an epidural on the spot. Jody looks surprised. We'd had the conversation a few times around whether or not I'd like to try a natural birth. "I guess it will just depend on my threshold for pain" is how I would always end the conversation. I look at him as I breathe through another contraction and he understands I really do need it.
2:45 a.m.: The nurses try getting an IV started for me and are unsuccessful 4 times. My contractions are getting even stronger. I have a death-grip on Jody's hand and he continues to tell me I'm doing awesome. I don't feel awesome at this point. A nurse checks my progress and says I'm already 5 centimeters dilated. The group of nurses seem a little concerned at this point because they still haven't gotten an IV started.
3:00 a.m.: Contractions continue. I lose track of time. We can hear another woman in the next room pushing with everything she's got. It sounds like there is a team of nurses with her, encouraging her to keep pushing, shouting at her that she can do it. My whole body aches for her and I will her to be OK. She screams and screams and suddenly I'm frightened. I'm going to reach that point in the near future.....holy crap.
3:30 a.m.: My contractions seem like they're one on top of the other and I'm trying to understand why I haven't gotten an epidural yet. The pain has gotten bad enough that I want to cry. Finally a nurse gives me the bad news....
It's too late for an epidural.
I close my eyes and zone out. If I'm going to do this naturally, I need to be in a good place.
A nurse named Theresa introduces herself to me and says she's been called in to assist with my labor and delivery. My eyes are still shut so I have no idea what Theresa looks like, but she has a kind voice. She tells us it's a very busy night. She asks me a lot of questions that I'd already answered with the previous nurses.
I continue trying to zone out. I think about home. I think about how long and hard we've worked for this baby and how amazing it will be to meet him or her.
I continue concentrating on my breathing with Theresa offering me words of support directly into my ear (she could see my eyes were going to be shut until this baby was born).
I was so, so grateful to know Jody was by my side the entire time, but at this point he couldn't help me and so Theresa was the only voice that existed.
"You are amazing....you've got wonderful control of your breathing, here comes another contraction so lets breathe-breathe-breathe-breathe and relax....."
4:00 a.m.: I'm in so much pain I just want it to be over. I want this baby out. But almost every mother I know had long, hard labors and I feel slightly defeated thinking about how much longer I'd need to endure this pain.
I start to feel faint. I say that aloud.
"I need you to listen to me Amanda, you're doing great, but you're hyperventilating and that's why you feel like you're going to pass out. Breathe with me....."
Thank GOD for this nurse.
I suddenly feel like I have to pass the biggest bowel movement in the history of bowel movements...
"Something is coming out, something is definitely there..." I say.
Theresa checks my progress...
"OK, you're at 9 centimeters, you're going to have to push now. Someone get Dr. Gordon."
It was the most uncomfortable and frightening feeling....knowing you'd have to push a baby out of your vagina.
I mean, obviously I knew that's how this was going to happen....but once I felt the baby at the gate.....ready to push through....I was terrified.
Theresa could see/sense that I was terrified...
"Listen to me. You are doing a phenomenal job, you have no idea. I am so, so impressed. Honestly. Now you're going to have the urge to push soon, but don't push unless we tell you too. I promise you, pushing is going to feel better."
My legs were lifted into the dreaded stirrups....let me tell you....EXTREMELY uncomfortable. My body just didn't feel like it could adapt to that position at that time.
"Ok PUSH-PUSH-PUSH-PUSH and relax..."
Seriously people? Relax?
"PUSH-PUSH-PUSH-PUSH and relax..."
We'd reached a vicious cycle of pain, push, pain, push.
Theresa lied to me.
It did NOT feel better to push.
Birthing a baby was once described to me as like pushing out a ginormous poop.
I don't know if it's taboo to talk about or if perhaps other women did NOT feel this statement accurately described child birth, but yes....that's EXACTLY what the pushing portion of child birth felt like!
I continued to push...
I reached my breaking point when the Doctor and nurses wanted me to continue pushing after I'd already given that particular push everything I had...
I could feel the baby's head pushing through.....but it hurt so much...
I pushed so hard my head felt as if it would explode, I didn't have an ounce of oxygen left in me and my entire body shook uncontrollably....and they shouted to keep going....
I don't know if I started to cry, but I wanted to.
I didn't have anything left.
"ONE MORE PUSH!!!!"
I pushed once more as if my life depended on it.
I felt the baby break through and heard Jody shout, "OH MY GOD" and thought....please let that be a good "oh my god".
A second passed. I didn't hear anything. I still hadn't opened my eyes.
"It's a boy!"
Pain, relief, fear, exhaustion, happiness....every emotion came crashing down on me as I finally opened my eyes and saw our little baby and heard his strong, adorable cry.
He had a full head of black hair.
His eyes were the most amazing shape and depth.
His nose...was my nose.
He looked so....Asian! LOL!
Jody cut the umbilical cord and the nurses gave baby a quick rub down before putting him to my skin.
"Holy crap" was all I could think to say.
I was amazed........absolutely amazed we'd done it.
We made a baby...
he was finally here.
And then he peed on me.