Would you like to see her?
I want to share the story of the day she was born. My due date was December 29, which also happens to be my brother's birthday! Well all throughout my pregnancy people made commentary about how I was going to have a big baby, and was I sure I wasn't having twins? (People are rude.) Anyway, I started to get nervous that if she didn't come by her due date she'd be too big and I'd end up having to have a C-section. I really wanted to avoid that if at all possible.
My doctor's appointment was Wednesday, December 27. I went in at 1:30 and was still dilated at a 1, hadn't felt a single contraction, and was barely effaced. My doctor told me she would induce me that week if I wanted to, but she was also fine going another week to allow me to go into labor naturally.
I also REALLY wanted to give birth in 2017 (hello tax break) and I told my doctor I would prefer that, as long as she believed that getting induced that week wouldn't stress her out, or cause any problems for her. My doctor (who is great by the way, I'm so grateful for her) told me that the risk of a C section would probably be greater the longer we waited. She just warned me that if I was induced it could take longer, and I wouldn't be able to be in early labor at home, if that had been my original hope.
So the hospital was called and my induction was scheduled. I was told that I would be called on December 28, as early as 2 AM, once a bed was available. Well, instead, the hospital called me at 10:30 the night of the 27, and told me to be there an hour later. So PH and I loaded up the car with my overnight bag and the cooler that PH had filled with food and snacks for us. My mom and Alicia told me to take a shower before going to the hospital because I'd feel a lot better, so I did. Then we drove to the hospital and checked in at the maternity wing, and they sent me to labor and delivery.
The nurse in labor and delivery hooked me up to the fetal heart monitor, and they had a hard time finding good vein for my IV. So I got a couple bruises, before they found one in my left arm. The baby's heart rate was spiking a little bit, so they had me lay on my left side for awhile before giving me the pill to get my cervix going. Originally I was supposed to take three doses of it, but I ended up only taking one. She gave it to me at about 2 AM.
I started feeling light contractions, like cramps. PH was interested in watching the machine to see when another one was coming. We both tried to get a little sleep in our incredibly uncomfortable beds and my IV didn't like when I lifted my arm up and it would beep.
My doctor came by at 7 AM and then decided to start me on Pitocin. On a side note, I would just like to say that getting your cervix checked is one of the most uncomfortable experiences you will ever have. I started to dread it because it hurt so bad every time!
A few hours after the Pitocin drip started I woke up to my doctor telling me she was going to break my water. I was dilated to a 3 and she thought that breaking my water would help my body get going on it's own. After she broke my water my contractions suddenly came on a lot stronger. Each time I felt water gushing out of me, and I could feel my contractions all the way into my hips and thighs. It was terrible. So PH called for the nurse and I told her I wanted the epidural.
The epidural guy came, and having to get up for the epidural is also pretty awful. You're contracting and water is gushing out of you and they want you to sit up and put your legs over the side of the bed while they inject it into your back. However, after the epidural got going I suddenly couldn't feel a thing except tingling in my legs, feet, and hands. They gave me the epidural at about 2 PM and started having me lay on my side with a peanut (it looks like a yoga ball, but in the shape of a peanut) in between my legs. I slept so well!
Every time the nurse came in however she'd remove the peanut and ask me if I was able to lift myself up a little so they could change my pad. I guess I was able to do it, but I felt like I could hardly move. At one point when my nurse had me move sides she told me to lift my right leg to put the peanut back and I heard her say, "whoa! Can you feel your legs at all?"
"Not really." I responded. "Sorry if I kick you!"
Well my doctor came back in at 8 PM and checked me, and this time with the epidural it didn't hurt! I was fully dilated and effaced and she said they were going to get set up and in about half an hour it would be time to push!
Now here is where I will admit that PH and I never went to a childbirth class. I had watched some videos on childbirth online through baby center, but we had never practiced any breathing or massage techniques, or pushing, or anything. They put the stirrups up and set my legs in them and the nurse told PH he'd need to help. Every time I had to push the nurse would push back on one leg, and PH would push back on the other. At 8:40 it was time. They gave me some oxygen which they said would help the baby, but I had to take the mask off every time I pushed. I started being able to feel the contractions, but they felt more like pressure in my lower abdomen instead of painful like they had been pre-epidural. With each contraction I'd have to push while the nurse counted to ten, three times during each contraction.
I started being able to feel the baby moving, I could feel the pressure in my lower extremities, and I'm not going to lie, it was kind of a weird feeling. At one point I looked at the clock and it was 9:10 PM and I thought, I don't know if I can do this for several hours. I mean, honestly, not to be too graphic or gross, but imagine you're going to the bathroom after eating only Taco Bell for the last two months. Now, magnify that pressure and force that you are using to go to the bathroom by at least 100. That's sort of what active labor feels like.
Well my doctor came back in at about 9:30 PM. The nurse tried to have me push during one more contraction but after the first push I felt so nauseated. The nurse stopped and gave me a little pan which I held on to until feeling passed. Then the doctor said it was time and I gave one last great push and then suddenly there she was, our sweet little baby girl. They put a towel on her and laid her on my chest while PH cut the umbilical cord. She was crying and had this beautiful, distinctive little cry. You know those squeaky toys that you have to squeeze to make squeak? That's what she'd do at the end of every cry. My doctor said that if she was in the nursery she'd be able to pick her out with that cry. It sounded so beautiful to me. PH was proactive about taking pictures, and he remarked that he couldn't believe how grey she looked when she first came out. He stood over by her while she got weighed and measured, cleaned up, and had her little foot pricked while I delivered the placenta and had my doctor stitch me up. He called out to me that she weighed 8 pounds, 1 ounce, and was 20 and 3/4 inches long.
Then they brought her back over to me and placed her on my chest. Out of the corner of my eye I caught PH being a little emotional. We were both so happy. All I could do was stare at her and marvel at how perfect she was and is. She had a head full of hair, and she was so alert and every little thing about her was the most perfect thing I have ever seen. I knew I had been in love with this tiny little person from the beginning, and here I was, finally holding her in my arms.
It's been two weeks now and it's already been quite the journey. She really is such a good and well behaved baby. We've struggled (and are still struggling) with breastfeeding, but honestly, the struggle is all because of me. Everything about her is truly perfect and every day I look at her and marvel all over again. How did God ever decide to trust us with this little spirit? How are we so blessed and lucky? Why do I get to be her mom? It's all already going by too quickly, but I am so thankful to have her for forever.
So, if you're considering trying to have your own baby, I highly recommend it. She is the finest thing I have ever done.