Ummm… So, it’s been a hot minute since I posted, right? Apparently, nourishing life from the ground up, birthing said life and trying to raise a new human being is tough work. Who knew? Yeah, sorry not sorry, but let me get you all caught up!
When last I left you, I was fresh into my second trimester and hopeful the morning sickness would end soon. Well, hoping and having aren’t the same thing, lovies! I was sick the WHOLE freaking time. So much so, that from week 24 to week 32 I didn’t gain any weight, not even a single little ounce. But my baby and belly kept growing. I also spent the last trimester on high blood pressure alert.
We did birthing classes, and baby showers and I prepped to leave work for 16 weeks. Sick, like every day. We went to doctor’s appointments, and ultrasounds, and prepped the nursery. Yeah, still sick, plus that high blood pressure business. Packed hospital bags, Braxton Hicks, pre-register at the hospital, full on emotional mess. Sick, Sick Sick!
Finally, the day arrived I had been worrying about and dreading since I first caught my breath after seeing those two pink lines: my last day of work before maternity leave. I planned to take two weeks off before my due date and relax, catch up on my reading, get a haircut and pedicure. You know, pamper myself before I gave up my lifestyle as I knew it. Since my doctor said I was not even kinda dilated, I figured I had at least until my next appointment to see my baby. I handed everything off to my bosses and my substitute, ready to fall head-first into my bed, even if it was a Friday night. Well, I was 38 weeks pregnant, so I could lay there, but I wouldn’t sleep well. You know, it’s tough to get comfortable carrying around 32 extra pounds and as soon as you get comfy, your bladder is full and it’s time to pee for the 18th time that day.
Needless to say, I woke up on my first day of a 16-week leave (a Saturday) in a grouch-tastic mood. I was sore all over and felt like I was getting the flu. I took a bath at 10 am, thinking that would help my body aches- nope! I moped around the house, eating all the things. I drank my once daily coke (that seriously kept me alive y’all). Still sore and cranky, I begged the hubs to lay with me on the bed and rub my back. I had a nice little nap while he watched Top Gun. We got up around 5pm and my Braxton Hicks were kicking in to high gear like they had at the end of the day everyday for the last month. Finally around 8pm, I was thinking we needed to start timing them. We timed them sitting down for an hour, then up walking for an hour and like clockwork, I was having contractions every 2-3 minutes for 60-90 seconds. All the classes say that’s when you go to the hospital.
We called the doctor’s office. Doctor on call asked me to rate my pain, and after I told her it wasn’t so bad, she told me to pee, drink a big glass of water and lay down for another hour while timing them. Well folks, I was still contracting like clock-work, so I showered and we left for the hospital at midnight Sunday morning. If you’re not interested in our birth story, stop here, knowing we have a healthy baby boy who we love very much. If you’re like I was and dying to know about birth, but afraid to ask (because few people tend to memorialize that in print), read on.
Like I said, we had pre-registered at the hospital, so I waddled in to the emergency room and checked in, then was wheeled away to labor and delivery. At my hospital, they check your vitals and for dilation upon arrival then hook you up to machines to be monitored for an hour or so before they formally admit you. Basically, they send you home if you aren’t progressing enough (or not actually in labor). After two hours of monitoring and trying to sleep they told me I hadn’t progressed enough and was “not actually in labor”. But because my blood pressure was so erratic, they wanted to keep me for a 24 hour observation. So about 4 am we were moved to room #2 in the recovery wing, where I could hear other lady’s babies crying around me. And my contractions stopped. SIGH… But they still wanted to keep me the 24 hours for observation until 4 am Monday morning.
Well, by noon on Sunday, my “not real” contractions had started again and my blood pressure was back up. The doctor told me she wants to induce me because of the blood pressure putting me at risk for placenta hemorrhage. They tell me to not expect a baby until end of the day Monday or Tuesday morning. By 1 pm Sunday, they moved us to room #3 back in to labor and delivery to start up my labor. I didn’t know this, but apparently they give you a series of pills every three hours, for four cycles before they even give you pitocin, which is the actual “induction” to labor. Well on the second pill (about 4pm), my contractions turned in to 15 minute-long spikes with no break, lots of screaming and a 60 second rest before going in to another 15 minute long contraction. At some point, I begged for pain meds and passed out, dilated to 2 centimeters.
I woke up again about 2 hours later after the pain meds wore off and begged for more. It was “too soon” for more according to the nurse, but I could get an epidural. YES!!!!!! An hour later, the anesthesiologist was still absent and apparently “on lunch”. I finally got checked and was dilated to 4 centimeters and got an epidural about 7pm. As soon as they set me back in the bed, my water broke. Another hour later, I tell the nurse I think our baby is ready to be here. She brushes me off and reminds me “you were just at 4 an hour ago, you’re fine”. I insist and upon checking, I’m at 8.5 centimeters. The nurses scurry around getting the room ready for delivery and after another hour of telling them I’m ready to push and them telling me not to push, the doctor finally arrives. I give one epic push and our baby is born. I’ve never been so relieved in my life. For those of you keeping track, I had less than 24 hours off from work before I went in to labor. From the time my water broke, our baby was born within 2 hours and 21 minutes.
Our life has been a whirlwind of precious, messy, exhausting and terrifying moments ever since. Parenting is the absolute most amazing and demoralizing experience ever. I have never before been so consumed with self-doubt. But ultimately, it makes every little smile that much sweeter. Twelve weeks later and I can’t even remember my life before being a Mom. The below pictures are not accurate representations of our parenting styles. I am usually the worrier and my husband is the cheery one with all the brilliant solutions. That’s him on the left conducting a work conference call while doing dog and Daddy duty. Such a man! People already asking about Baby #2 can rest assured that there is no planning in the works. We just want to enjoy this one for a while. Baby Casey is crying away and that’s my cue. See you soon!