Hey ladies! I haven't been a frequent poster, but I've been lurking around for a few months and decided to go ahead and post my birth announcement/story. I've been so excited reading all of yours!
Here's the story I originally posted on my blog (edited just a bit):
I’m still in the hospital. It’s 8:22pm and DH left almost an hour ago to be home with DD. Josie’s here in my lap, with a bout of the hiccups, right around the time she often had them in utero each night. It will probably be hours or days from now when I actually finish writing this out. But now seems like a good time and place to begin.
I can’t believe she’s here. If you’d have told me when I got up this morning that I’d have a baby by the end of the day, I probably would have laughed. (And hoped you were right…)
Last night we “fell back” after daylight savings. And so DD was up before 7am, and we stalled in bed for at least thirty minutes before we all got up together. Today is the first day DH has been home from work in weeks. We were excited to spend the day lounging as a threesome doing a bunch of nothing. DH and I both joked that today would be perfect for having a baby. I was eight days past my original due date and two days away from my revised due date. We were beyond ready for baby to come.
My mom called and asked if she could take DD up to her parents’ house for a few hours (about an hour away) so she could pick up their van. I declined because DD was so excited to be home with Daddy, finally. Since she was our on-call person to watch DD, she swore she wouldn’t be gone long and would be reachable by phone if anything were to happen that day. I didn’t think much of it- there was absolutely no indication that I’d go into labor any time soon.
We had breakfast, DD and DH played dolls for quite a while, and then DH put Eloise on Netflix for DD so he and I could have some time alone. I’d been requesting his semen all morning (*snicker*), and he was happy to oblige. We talked and joked and after all was said and done, I told him that I was going to give a bit of nipple stimulation a go and maybe have a nap. I asked him to make me a mug of raspberry leaf tea and to go ahead and throw the remainder of the tea bags in (two plain raspberry leaf and two yogi pregnancy blend).
DH and DD played some more while I had some time alone in the bedroom. Less than an hour later, DD came in asking for help with a necklace she was making and informed me that dad was asleep on the couch. DD and I hung out while I intermittently continued my “stimulation” under the covers and poked around on the web.
At this point it was around 10am and I’d- surprisingly!- begun having some contractions. This was nothing new, as I’d had regular contractions several times over the past few weeks that have amounted to nothing, although usually not in the middle of the day. Some nights, I’d contract regularly for an hour (usually once I sat down at night) only to go to sleep and wake up with nothing. There had even been a few stop-me-in-my-tracks contractions at random times during the day, usually when I was sitting or lying down, but nothing at all regular.
I decided to start timing the contractions (thank you contractionmaster.com) at 10:38. (I was thrilled to see that the site was still up and displaying my results when I pulled the laptop out at the hospital.) For the first 45 minutes, my contractions were coming every three minutes or so and lasted about 30 seconds each. Then, suddenly, they were lasting about a minute and coming every five minutes or so. After timing them for an hour, and realizing they were pretty regular-ish, I decided to get up, move around, and take a shower to see if they would taper off (I was certain they would).
The contractions continued in the shower. I squatted down and attempted to check my cervix. It was definitely more open than it had been in the days previous- maybe 2-3 cm- and much easier to reach. I noticed some mucous-y stuff as well. I began to think that maybe this was the real deal. My contractions picked up in intensity once I was out of the shower, so I went into the living room and woke up DH asking him if he’d like to have a baby today. I’m pretty sure he didn’t take me seriously at all. Five minutes later I started whining about the fact that my husband was sleeping through my labor and he finally got up. He wasn’t really sure what to do and was kind of annoying me because he’d just stare at me and smile a goofy, aggravating smile like I was some kind of freak show. So I repeatedly asked him to leave me alone. And he did. Although I was less than pleased when he decided to go outside and mess around with his truck.
I texted my mom at 12:00 to let her know I was in labor and she should probably be heading back soon. I surprisingly didn’t get a response. Twenty minutes later, my ex-step-dad called, who was following behind her on the way back from her parents', and asked if I was in labor. He told me my mom’s phone had died and she had jumped out of her car at a red light to ask him to call me. Crazy intuition, eh?
At some point over the next hour and a half, I started timing my contractions again (30seconds-1minute every 3-5 minutes), I locked myself in the bathroom and my body emptied itself, I attempted another shower but didn’t have much hot water left, I paid our car insurance, called my midwife, and spent the in-between bouncing on the exercise ball. My mom arrived around that time.
I flipped out on DH because he wasn’t doing anything to help me and then I was trying to find pants and he kept offering these stupid pants I didn’t want to wear and then he said I should wear his jeans and he was taking them off and I kept telling him I didn’t want them and I just started crying and once again asked him to leave me alone, which I really didn’t want but he just wasn’t in my zone at all. And so he finished making DD’s lunch and, fortunately, came back in the bedroom with me and everything was fine again. I’d found some pants.
I was planning to wait a little longer to head to the hospital, but suddenly my contractions- which had gotten pretty painful- were right on top of each other and so we left around 2pm.
(The whole day, I was confused about what time it was thanks to the end of daylight saving and all of our clocks being askew. I thought it was 3pm when we left the house.)
The 15-minute drive was quite uncomfortable, but when I had a break between my contractions, DH and I were able to talk and laugh. I asked that he park in the parking deck and let me walk in with him as opposed to leaving me standing out in front of the hospital waiting alone. We found our way to labor and delivery and were signed in and heading to a triage room by 2:30.
The nurses needed to monitor me and baby for 20 minutes before letting me do my own thing, so I got undressed, into the bed, and hooked up to the monitors. Between contractions, the nurse asked me a bajillion questions and then checked my dilation. I was at 4cm, which was extremely discouraging considering the amount of pain I was in. The contractions were right on top of each other still, and gradually getting more and more painful. Every couple of contractions, I’d have a 1-2 minute break, which was bliss.
After the nurse left, I just had to sit up and the monitor slipped and lost the baby’s heartbeat. I was five minutes shy of the required twenty, and they had to start all over again to get a solid, twenty minute reading. So I soldiered through twenty more minutes- contractions steadily increasing in intensity and offering me very, very few breaks in between. I told DH that I wanted to get into the tub immediately, even though my midwife liked to wait until her patients had reached 6-7 centimeters and I was only at 4. I was so beyond ready at that point, regardless.
DH was great through it all. I didn’t really want anything from him other than to hand me my water and not touch me, but to be there to let me hold onto him. And he was totally in tune with me, finally, which helped tremendously.
I don’t know the time exactly, but I’d guess it was about 3:20, maybe even a tad later, when they finally came to move me to a delivery room. The nurse asked me if I wanted to walk, and I couldn’t have been happier to get up off the damn bed. I have only a vague recollection of walking down the hall, but I remember my hands were numb, I felt sick, I couldn’t stop shaking, and I was miserable- but not at all willing to stop walking through the contractions. As soon as we got to the room, I bent over the bed and swayed and tried to breathe and relax through everything, although it was getting incredibly intense extremely fast. I was so bummed to see that the birth tub had not been set up yet. I was not capable of speaking to anyone, only to ask them to PLEASE stop touching me and telling Jamie to “shhhhhh” when he tried to talk to me. I heard the nurse having trouble getting the tub set up, and she asked if I wanted a labor ball. She raised the bed higher up for me, which helped a lot, and all I could do was to stay bent over the bed and try to hold it together. A lab nurse came in to take my blood (and caught a great glimpse of my big butt swaying in the air) and I threw my arm out to her, which everyone thought was funny. I just couldn’t even begin to make sense of what was going on around me but I was pretty sure there was no way that nurse would be getting my blood. And then, out of nowhere, I started to feel something. And I blurted out what may be the most profound thing I’ve ever said, “Something is happening.” (The lab nurse was obviously freaked out and, thankfully, didn’t try to touch me at all.) I wouldn’t have described the feeling as pressure; I think I was feeling her move down into the birth canal or something. I just kept telling myself that there was no way she was coming out already (I was only 4cm an hour ago!), but at the same time I knew that must be what was happening.. The nurse told me that my water was probably breaking, which I couldn’t imagine would have caused what I was feeling but there was no way to vocalize it.
Before I could make sense of what was happening, I was moaning into the bed and my body was pushing. HARD. I fell down into a squat and could not for the life of me control anything going on with or within my body. Up until that point, I had been very much in control and in the zone- able to relax and stay on top of the contractions- but I was somewhere else completely by the time I was on the floor. I kept reaching down, and didn’t feel anything at first. And then I didn’t know what I was feeling- but it damn sure felt like something coming out- and I asked if baby was coming. Nobody answered me (at least that I could comprehend), and everyone was running around like crazy. I hadn’t looked up at all, but apparently two other nurses- one of whom was, fortunately, a certified midwife- came running in and they were demanding that I breath and stop pushing and get on the bed and I kept telling them (or trying to tell them- I don’t really know) that there was absolutely no way I could do it, but somehow they got me up there on my left side and FINALLY I had a break in contractions and the only pain I felt was her head halfway out and kind of burning. There was no “here’s a contraction, now you push” kind of sensation through it all- it was more like one huge, long contraction and my body involuntarily pushing the baby out with everything in me in random spurts. They had Jamie hold my leg up and everything was kind of a blur (I still don’t think I’d opened my eyes) and the contractions were back and there I was pushing and before I knew it, her head was out. She was born in caul. The sensation of her head coming out and the warmth of the water as it broke all over me felt really nice. Then the rest of her slid right on out and there she was- earthside and pink and beautiful!
I had a small moment of fear, and asked the nurses if she was okay. Everyone assured me that she was perfect, and all of my fears of IUGR and a sick baby were finally relieved. After her cord had stopped pulsing, Jamie cut it. I tried to nurse, but it was difficult while I was still lying back.
My midwife arrived around this time- she had completely missed everything. Really she just came and pissed me off! She was pushing on my uterus (ow!) and then checking to see if the vag was still intact (ow!) and then had to give me a shot of local (ow!) to stitch me up just a bit (owwww!). (Still love her, by the way.) The placenta came out, and we all examined it until Jamie started to get queasy, so I told them they could put it away and stop torturing him.
The little meatball had pooped on me, so I let the nurse weigh and measure her while the others cleaned me up from top to bottom.
She was six pounds fifteen ounces, twenty and a half inches long. (3:36pm on November 7, 2010.)
She latched on with a little urging once I could finally sit up and has nursed well since.
We stayed in the delivery room until after 6:00. DH left at some point to get me dinner and returned just as they were moving me to my recovery room. I was still shaky a few hours after giving birth, and the afterpains and back pain were obnoxious, but I mostly felt great. DH went home to DD after we ate together. I didn’t get much sleep that night between taking care of Josie, staring at Josie in awe, dealing with nurses coming in to check my blood pressure and temperature, and waking up due to the after pains or plain old discomfort.
The staff here has been mostly amazing, especially on the labor and delivery floor. Josie hasn’t left my sight and only leaves my arms after I’ve been asked permission. I’ve received zero grief over refusing the standard post-birth treatments and whatnots that we chose to opt out of. My only complaint is that they had an RSV outbreak in the NICU and have banned kids from visiting. I was so looking forward to my DD coming to see us. I missed her so much and couldn’t wait to be home with both of my girls.
DH came back the next morning and stayed for several hours until his mom had to go to work and he went home to DD. After waiting and waiting and waiting, I was finally discharged around 7pm.
Overall, the day was one heck of a ride ending with everything upside down and absolutely perfectly blissful all at the same time. She’s here. She’s mine. She’s perfect. It’s almost impossible to believe that this amount of blessed magnificence has graced my world, but I’m immeasurably grateful that it has.