Tuesday, July 21, 2009

246,240 minutes

I had a baby!! I'm pretty cool, and she is so cute! On Wednesday the 15th JP noticed that my belly was tight and hard. We'd been told to look out for that since at the last doctor's appointment I'd dilated to a 4 and was 75% effaced without having felt much. Well we monitored (or JP monitored since I wasn't feeling hardly anything) my belly for the next hour or so and my belly stayed hard and tight. So we went to the hospital and got there at about midnight. Well sure enough that tight hardness was contractions and I was having them 2-3 minutes apart, or so says the machine, and they looked pretty big too, even though the machine isn't an accurate measure of intensity. I had also dilated to a 6 and was 90% effaced.

Waiting at the hospital

My motivation in the Labor & Delivery room. Little things like epidurals, spaces between contractions. Someday hospital gowns that are decent...

Go contractions! They're the blue lines, the red one is Baby's hearbeat.

So this was the real deal. But they told me that is was my doctor's day off! I was so upset; I absolutely loved my doctor and wanted her to deliver. However she got back on at 7:00 in the morning, so I hoped that I could still get her to deliver. So we waited and we walked around the hospital some, at about 2:00 am I feel asleep, and then I woke up at 5:00 am (It's a little hard to sleep 'cause you're still pregnant, uncomfortable and needing to pee, and they keep coming in to take your vitals). I looked at the machine and noticed that when I'd fallen asleep I'd relaxed enough that the contraction monitors had flat lined. Eek! I'd stopped having contractions; also I hadn't dilated or effaced anymore so what now? Well, at this point I'd gotten excited and I didn't want to go home. I was a little bit nervous too, if I'd dilated so far without feeling anything, what if I went home and accidentally dilated the rest of the way later without feeling anything and didn't make it to the hospital? So we took a few more laps around the Labor & Delivery section and my contractions started back up! But when I rested too long then they would go away. The nurses didn't think I should go home though either since I was already dilated so far, and simply walking started them back up, I'd probably just be back later that day. So it was decided that the doctor would break my water. I'd said before I went to the hospital that I would be okay with that if I was a 6 or more, and I was, since water breaking at a 6 is not unusual or unnatural.

At 7:30-8:00ish Dr. Kirkman came in, not my doctor yet (and so sad he was the only guy that got to do any vaginal stuff throughout the whole pregnancy, I'd been trying so hard to avoid that. Not to mention he was the only doctor I hadn't met yet, go figure). I hadn't dilated or effaced any more, and he broke my water. That was weird, I had no idea he was going to do it right then, and it was warm, which wasn't what I expected, though it makes sense. Well after that I started having contractions again, and I could feel them! It wasn't a lot of feeling, rather mild and not super painful, but I was pretty excited that I could actually feel something. How naive am I!

Sometime later at about 9:30 I started to really feel them. And they hurt. Bad! I had never felt anything remotely close to that, and I was completely blown away by how intense it felt. Well I wanted some pain med pretty soon after that. I couldn't handle it. I'd had no idea what to expect, but it certainly wasn't anything in that spectrum. JP encouraged me to try a little bit, no he's not a complete jerk, he'd been instructed to do so, but at the time I was pretty upset with him. Didn't he have any idea how bad this felt? So we walked a little while, some hugs and massages and trying different positions. But I still wanted that epidural and soon. It hurt and I didn't care about much else, and I was getting really frustrated at JP and his encouragement. So I got my epidural.

Actually the contractions got better in between the time I called for the epidural and when I got it. Partly because of the mental reasons, I could look forward to relief sometime soon, and partly the really did get a little less intense, but the still hurt. My guess it that's when I was about that 8 cm range and going through transition. But it still hurt. And I was so exhausted and nauseous. Ah, wonderful, sweet, blessed epidural! I was so lucky I got such a good epidural. It took away the pain evenly and it didn't completely numb me. I could still feel pressure, just not pain associated with it. And I could move just fine, nobody believed me but I could. It was easy to move my legs, they felt heavy but it was no difficulty to move them at all.

Well it didn't take long from then until I was dilated and effaced all the way. So they declared that I was to rest, try to sleep and get some energy, and let the baby descend for an hour and I would start pushing at 1:00 pm. They said pushing for with an epidural could take anywhere from 1 to 3 hours and I would need my energy. Well at 1:00 I started pushing, with a nurse and JP coaching. JP slipped back into coach mode, which worked really well for me. The nurse was amazed at how well I could push and also how well JP coached. She said I was a champion and they wanted to hire JP. So at 1:30ish the baby was sufficiently crowning and the called my doctor in. Yes I actually got my doctor. I was so ecstatic over that. I watched the baby crown, that was pretty cool, and it was good motivation to keep going. The first thing I saw on her head is that it had dark hair and I was so happy that she had hair. I'd been hoping for that. I would've liked to have gone a little slower since I felt like I was stretching beyond my capacity and ripping. (What do you know, I was, I just wasn't hurting then so I wasn't really concerned.)

Once the delivery process got underway I didn't get to watch anymore, there were too many people in the way for me to see the mirror. Well once they told me to push to delivery it only took like 2 contractions (I think, I don't remember too much, I was too tired) and a few pushes and she was out. They handed her to me, she was so cute. I wish I could've gotten a little more time and a better look, but they whisked her away pretty soon. I think it was because I tore (albeit minorly, a 1st degree, I have no idea what that means other than it's the smallest degree of a tear) and they needed to stitch me up. So I delivered the world's longest umbilical cord, (the doctor and nurse kept being amazed at how long it was) and the placenta and got stitched up they cleaned up baby and did all that stuff. I can't say much about that since I wasn't able to see any of that. So I officially delivered her at 1349 on July 17, 2009, she weighed 5lbs 6oz (truthfully 5.8oz but they called it 6) and was 18in long.

Not happy with the first moments of life. Don't worry Baby it's not fun on either end.

Getting weighed. 5lbs 5.8oz

Look at that sad little face, still not happy with life. Her eyes are all squinty from the antibiotics they put in them.

Cute precious little baby!

Our little family.

Eventually they handed her back to me, I tried to feed her some, and then they took me up to my recovery room. They didn't get to bath her in my room, so I didn't get to watch, because they had too many other babies being born that day. I was going to cry about that one. JP bathed her in the nursery, and then they took her blood and gave her the Hep B vaccination. Well they finally came back and she is the cutest thing ever!

Dad giving her the first bath. Poor baby, just one unhappy thing after another.

All clean, with fuzzy hair.

The little saying in my Recovary room, I though it was funny that they kind of matched.

Daddy's girl, has to sleep with her hands up by her face and her eyes covered. See even the nurses had issues keeping those Houdini arms swaddled up.

Well that was the big day, than we just stayed and tried to recover. She did have some trouble staying warm so they had to take her to the nursery for a while to sit under the heating lamps; it was hard to leave her. I cried. And when she came back they double wrapped her in blankets. She also got a lot of test done, they had to test the car seat to make sure that tiny her could still get enough oxygen sitting in it, and they tested her bilirubin and her hearing. She apparently failed the hearing test, so we have to go back. I'm not too worried though since she does respond to sound, and the nurse said that 3 babies right before her failed too so they think the machine might be broken. We left the next day at like 8:00pm and came home where my mom and little sis helped us out for the next couple of days, especially since JP had to leave on Saturday.

My Mom and little sis came up to help me out.

We went to the doctor for her follow up 5 day appointment on Monday, the 20th. She'd dropped weight and was down to 5lbs 1oz (and I didn't think she could get any tinier) however the doctor said it was okay, and normal, especially for a first time mom, and that she was healthy and fine, but to just follow up in a few days (Thursday) with a weight check to make sure that she didn't lose any more and that by then she should be starting to gain the weight back.

So now we are just home, sleeping, eating, changing diapers, and slowly recovering. I can't get over how absolutely adorable and precious she is, or how tiny. She is so sweet, and I feel so blessed to have her. I am also very grateful for the ease of my pregnancy and delivery. Like the doctor said, I was built to have babies, lucky me. Yeah, I am so amazing. (Note: Both still suck, but I had it way better than most.) Maybe if I don’t get into med school, I’ll just hire myself out as a surrogate mother for a living. Just kidding, I’d like to not be pregnant or so tubby for a little while. It’s actually hard for me to not exercise right now to try and get rid of the leftover weight and tummy. Though when I do try to sit up or anything like that it’s so hard and my abs just give out on me and tell me that they just can’t do that. And I’m still sorer than I thought possible. So that’s the story of how my beautiful baby came to be. She is the sweetest thing ever.