Sorry I have been absent from this blog for a while, turns out this baby wanted to see the world a little early! Here is my story.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
I had this day off and spent it running around doing errands, paying bills and ended up getting the last few things I needed for my hospital bag. I was ending the night with a board meeting for my roller derby team and it was a long, long meeting. I was pretty tired and uncomfortable during the whole thing and so we all joked that I would probably end up having the baby that night and we all went on our way. I went home and watched some TV with my husband until we went to bed. I had been having some small contractions here and there but they weren't painful or strong or regular so I didn't think anything of it. We decided to head to bed at about 11:00pm or so and as I laid there I was pretty uncomfortable and still having some small contractions. So I rolled over to watch the clock and thought I would start timing them....the last numbers I remembered seeing was 11:30pm before I dosed off. Then all the sudden at midnight my water broke!! I had no idea what to do and I woke my husband up and said "Oh my gosh, I think my water just broke!!" He jumped up in a daze and said "What? Are you serious?" LOL Well I stood up and sure enough a bunch of fluid came out and I looked at him and said "Yeah I'm serious!" So we kind of wandered through the house cleaning up some of it, packing bags, reassuring our dogs everything was fine and I called my doula to let her know. She said it's up to me when I want to go to the hospital and just to let her know. So I calmed down and started trying to time the contractions but they were just so fast and irregular but they were definitely getting stronger! So we headed to the hospital, which thankfully is only about 6 blocks away, and we were admitted by 1:00am.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Friday, July 8, 2011
She checked me and I was already dilated to 4cm and 100% effaced. Wow we were gonna have a baby, and it was going to be soon!!! I think we both were in so much shock, but we didn't really have much time as my contractions were getting stronger and faster! By the time my doula arrived they were pretty strong. I sat on an exercise (stability) ball for most of the labor and it helped so much. It was just myself, my husband Derrick and my doula Jen in the room with me and it was perfect. The lights weren't bright and I was able to just do my own thing. Our attending nurse would stop in occasionally to see how I was doing and then would leave us alone which was really nice. The staff was absolutely amazing!!
By about 4:00am (approximately) she checked me again and I was at 7cm already. Contractions were hard and close together. I had a few moments where I didn't think I could do it but I would just power my way through and mind over matter I got through each and every one. I had studied the Bradley Method of childbirth during my pregnancy and it mostly focuses on slow, deep breathing and envisioning the baby moving down and your cervix opening up. I honestly believe it was these things that got me through (besides my wonderful family and friends) and that progressed me as fast as I did.
At some point I ended up on the bed on my side so she could monitor me and my baby and I was getting so close that I just finished laboring there, which wasn't easy but I think at that point it wouldn't have been easy in any position! We finally called our parents at about 5:00am to let them know and my doctor was called in. Wow, this was really happening. At that point all I could think of was that I wanted this baby out of me!! LOL I was definitely feeling the urge to push so my doctor checked me and I was almost at 10cm, but he wanted me to make it through a couple more contractions first which were seriously the hardest thing to do. When your body feels that urge to push it is so hard to tell it not to!! One of the many joys of doing everything naturally is you are able to listen and respond to your body, you have to just give in and let it do it's thing which is so hard!
The parents arrived and I told the mom's they could come in and watch....there were so many people in the room anyway that I didn't notice anyone!! At about 6:00 or so (I'm actually totally guessing at this number!) I started pushing which was honestly the worst part of the whole labor. It felt like it was taking forever but in all reality some women push for hours....I pushed for probably about a half hour. The turning point was when he was starting to crown and everyone said "Oh my gosh! Look at all that hair!!" Then I knew I was close. I will NEVER forget the feeling of him finally coming out. It honestly is surreal and indescribable. We didn't know the gender of our baby beforehand so I was waiting for someone to say something. Then at 6:30am I gave birth to this wonderful thing that had been growing inside of me! Little did I know he wasn't looking the greatest and everyone was preoccupied with trying to get him to respond. I said "What is it!!?" And almost in stereo I heard "IT'S A BOY!!" They did lay him on my chest but he didn't look very good and they took him right away to get fluid out of his lungs and assess him. It seriously was such an amazing moment, my husband was crying and excited and it was just all so special! They brought him over to me to say hi but then whisked him off to the NICU. He was very pale and I'm not gonna lie he didn't look that great, I was so scared but knew he was in good hands.
I got finished getting cleaned up and everything and I am proud to say I only tore a little bit that I didn't need stitches or an episiotomy. We then waited....and waited....and waited. We found out that the labor and delivery had went so quickly that it just took a toll on him and he was just kind of in shock from it all. He had to receive fluids through an IV, was hooked up to oxygen and had monitors on for his breathing and blood pressure. The first time I got to see him it was so hard. I just cried and cried. Here I was, I did everything naturally as possible and he still ends up hooked up to all these machines and medicines. It really did a number on me mentally and emotionally. I still hadn't held my baby and wasn't able to have him next to me. He had been with me for the last 9 months and now he was just ripped from me and I had to try and deal with that. That whole day was really rough for us. We were running on no sleep along with the emotion of having our baby about 2.5 weeks early and now he's fighting for his life. He thankfully responded to a lot of it very quickly showing he's a tough little man.
Saturday/Sunday, July 9 & 10, 2011
We ended up spending the weekend in the hospital. He was slowly weened off of the oxygen and held his levels on his own very well. Then they wanted to start breast feeding to see how he did with that. Just as any new mom and baby go through we had a tough go at first but quickly found a groove that worked. We did have AMAZING nurses in the NICU, many of whom were certified lactation consultants which was seriously a god send!! The last thing they were waiting on was his blood tests to make sure he came back with no infections, these also came back clean. Our little man was tough and making a comeback!!
Monday July 11th we were given the okay to take him home. It was seriously the best feeling in the entire world. I still have a hard time believing this cute little guy is ours to keep forever!! My husband and I have fallen completely head over heels for this little 6lb 14oz human being. We have been slowly trying to get into a routine with him but it definitely is a learning process and little Gabriel John is the one calling the shots!!
So I know that was super long and if you made it through the whole thing I commend you! In some ways it went exactly how I had hoped/planned and in other ways it didn't. But that's life. We have this healthy, beautiful baby boy out of it and it has changed our lives forever. In a month my husband and I will have been together for 8 years and in about 3 months we'll be married for 3 years...it really is an honor to share this with someone that has been with me through thick and thin, someone I love so much it's hard to say with words how much I love and respect him.
Pregnancy and childbirth is truly something amazing that us as women are allowed to do in life. We need to take those moments and cherish them, I already miss how he felt in my belly even though I have him in person now. I was so eager for him to get here that I sometimes forgot to appreciate what my body was doing. AND it is soooo do-able naturally. Maybe I say that because my labor from start to finish was 6.5 hours long but it was hard and fast and by no means easy. But I did it, we as women are strong individuals and we need to embrace that!!
I leave you with a picture of my bundle: