I know, I know, I’m supposed to wait until he’s a year old and sigh over how fast he’s growing up. I don’t want to, I feel nostalgic now, at 2 months 29 days!
I guess first you should know my pregnancy wasn’t easy. I have preexisting conditions that are serious; and constantly making sure any problems I had weren’t from those issues, but from my pregnancy, were hard at times. Mostly it was hard to know because I had never been pregnant before.
I was told when I was 15 I couldn’t have children very easily and I believed those doctors. Never once had a “scare” with my husband in 9 years. So it was a pleasant surprise to know I was carrying. After all the wait, I got my maternity leave set up with the school system, so I was out 3 or 4 days before I was to give birth.
Three or four days before I was feeling very energetic and very “things need to be perfect.” I was just a busy bee. My doctor had said I could “carry forever,” which a 38+4 (38 weeks 4 days) doesn’t want to hear. So I cleaned.
Then a day or two later at 1AM I felt light pains. I said “oh this must be the beginnings of labor, let me get my cute little app out with it’s pink prettiness and time myself.” So I did. My “contractions” were very far apart. Oh foolish self, how I wish I could warn you now! I thought “oh this isn’t bad.”
In fact, I was doing so well, I posted a status:
This got everyone excited but, to no avail. The ER didn’t want me, and told me to wait a bit, go home and we brought home a large exercise ball as per Julie and Janice’s (best friend and her sister) suggestion.
Exercise balls rock.
Which is what I did, and I bounced and my cats were scared of the giant ball. I made phone calls and texted talking about the pain, how it was tolerable. How the ball helped which it did. Oh ho ho, such innocence I had!
The pain was steadily climbing and I got out, once again, my cute little pink app and timed contractions. I was 15 minutes, then 10 minutes, and then 7 minutes. I remember 7 because that’s when it really started to hurt. It was 1:30AM on his due date.
I called the ER and L&D and they said 7 was good but we wanted 5. So I was told to wait a hour. Call back then. So I did. The contractions hurt a bit more now, I was starting to not be able to doze and that little app became my fixation. I clutched that phone tightly, all the while Ryan snored in peace next to me.
I called again, hour was up, my contractions were a little more hectic but between 5 and 7 minutes. They told me to wait another hour, then call again. So I did.
Next hour, my contractions were at 5! Hurray! I called and told them the news. They told me to wait, yet another hour. So I did.
I called again. They listened to what I had to say but, I feel like, I didn’t sound like I was in labor. I wasn’t giving off the right tone of voice or vibe I guess. They told me to wait until my contractions were 3 minutes apart.
Now in every book and online post I read, they all say “go into the hospital when your contractions are 5 minutes apart.” So I was mighty confused as to why I was told to wait.
That hour…. I couldn’t hold it together. Finally, I remember saying “I can’t take it anymore,” and bursting into tears.
That woke up my husband. Finally.
So he got me out of bed and helped me to the…. Bathtub.
He ran me a hot bath and made me sit in it while I moaned in pain every 3 minutes. He called his mother for advice. My husband’s mother is a Physician’s Assistant and has a doctorate so, she’s a pretty smart lady (understatement). She told my husband to get a move on and pack his bag.
So I am in the tub, moaning, feeling waves of pain subsiding, then building up into a painful crescendo and then ebbing away like a decrescendo (seriously, later I described it to the nurse like that, she thought I was nuts). My husband is asking me what I have packed in my hospital bag, which I packed like, 2 weeks prior. I had no freakin’ clue at that point. I didn’t care! Find me some clothes and take me to the flippin’ hospital!!
Off we go, to the hospital, I’m clutching the sides of the car and my husband is driving speedily (but not breaking any laws) to the hospital.
He drives up to the ER and asks if I can walk. At that point, nope, not going to happen. He gets me a wheelchair and off I go. It hurts, I am ready. They better keep me this time!
So I do the general hospital gown, cup, monitor bit, staying 3 min apart for another 3 hours. Finally they tell me I get to stay and I am moved to a birthing suite. I have my contractions until after lunch to which I convince my husband that I was lying.
I was convinced I wanted a natural birth. No drugs, no Pitocin, no nothing. Oh the lies we tell ourselves when we don’t know (natural births are lovely I am all for them, just not all for me having them).
So after I had convinced him I didn’t need an advocate, that I wanted the pain killers, a very nice young man comes up and proceeds, in front of 3 or 4 scared student nurses to try, I mean try, to get my epidural in, 5 times.
5. Freaking. Times.
Finally frustrated, he admits he’s not as experienced as another man and goes and gets that guy.
I was in such pain, I couldn’t speak. They wanted me to hold still and I was just so exhausted and it hurt. There was this lovely nurse named Pat who helped me and held me while I was having issues with my 5. Freaking. Epidurals.
My 6th epidural was magical. It was amazing. I had been up for 30 hours at this point, stabbed 5 times, had scared nurses huddling together in a corner for protection, my husband who hates needles looking at anything but me… I was done. That other guy came in… He said “oh I know the problem.” And bam! My epidural was in and I felt great!
It was fantastic. They even turned up the dose for me because I am tall. Hurray!
So I am feeling so lovely that I start to doze. People come in, my poor nursing students are 100% there for me and are willing to get me Ice, juice, blankets… They just cannot believe the whole mess.
However I was feeling amazing and didn’t care!
Then things got a little dicy and Pat and the other nurses keep coming in because my oxygen is low and so is the baby’s. I’m starting to have trouble breathing and the baby is also having issues.
Pat, oh the amazing Pat tells me I just need to use my little oxygen mask and prop up on pillows (which are put underneath me in various places) and everything would be fine. As she said, it was, and I was breathing easier. Nurses came in, checked on me and one nurse in particular, besides Pat kept visiting me.
A shift change must of happened because I didn’t recognize her but, she just stood at the foot of my bed, and looked at how I was doing.
So did many other nurses, checking my vitals and waking me up.
Around 3PM Pat told me, after I told her I felt like I needed to push, that we could go ahead and give it a go. My doctor had been seeing patients all day at his practice, he called and checked on me a lot throughout. He was going to finish up his last appointment before he came over (I was actually scheduled as his last appointment that day).
Pat and my husband are helping me by holding my legs because, I can’t feel them. At some point my MIL calls and is on speaker phone encouraging me to push and I am pushing as I am told.
I really did not feel the need to scream, thank you epidural.
I’m really close, you can see my baby’s head and his hair and my doctor breezes in.
He’s all, how are we? And starts talking about the vacation he’s taking the next day. I am still pushing when Pat tells me to and he’s talking away about teeshirts and keychains.
He gets into catching position, as it were, and notices I am possibly further along than he thought. The nurses tease that they really don’t need his help, and finally he gets down to business!
My little Connor was born 2 minutes before my scheduled doctor’s appointment that day and he came out squalling! The doctor asked my husband if he wished to cut the cord, which he did. They rushed Connor to an area in the room and cleaned him up. The doctor tells me I did an excellent job and cannot believe how well it went.
While this is happening Pat tells me what a great job I did and goes and checks on the baby. The doctor is showing my husband the particulars of the afterbirth (which I would have totally liked to see but, Ryan saw instead) and stitched me up. Just two stitches!
They bring my lovely boy back and I cannot remember who held him first but here’s Ryan:
I get all cleaned up and I thank Pat. She was truly wonderful and stayed past her shift to be there for me. Just an amazing woman. I asked her about the other nurse, the older lady that kept checking on me while I was on oxygen. I described her to Pat, the best I could, because I couldn’t see her clearly, my glasses weren’t on for the entire time I was in the suite.
Pat looks at me strangely and says “There isn’t a nurse here that looks like that.” I insist though, she checked on me many times!
But there was no nurse that worked in L&D or recovery that matched that description. *cue creeptastic music* *Xfiles theme*
Seriously though, I am still trying to figure out if I hallucinated, or saw a ghost (please noooo), or as I like to think, it was an angel. That idea, of her being an angel makes me happy, so long as I don’t see her again any time soon. Cause it’s still a bit freaky to me still. Too many paranormal shows.
They fed me the most delicious hamburger ever, 35 hours of labor will do that to you (because I hadn’t eaten red meat or beef in at least 3 months because it made me ill. Liking beef again was not something I was expecting so soon.), and we settled down to answer a billion texts from the past hours.
Connor weighed 8.3 lbs, and was 20 1/2 inches long. He was born with a head of brown hair and big gray eyes. He kinda looked like Patrick Stewart.
We moved into our new recovery room and attacked Facebook:
And Facebook attacked back:
(My bestest friend Julie wrote the most lovely thing and so did Connor’s Godfather Matt!)
The next day, we took him home and learned a lot. Like how to introduce a newborn to a cat:
Ah but the things I have learned! We are so very lucky!