39 weeks into pregnancy, I was incredibly ready to have a baby. Enormous, uncomfortable, walking like a crazy person, squatting, and bouncing on a ball to see if I could help things along.
On Sunday night after I crawled into bed, I started feeling the tremors of what was to come. Contractions, internally radiating up my abdomen. "These are different than the Braxton Hicks." I thought.
Here we go.
Or so I thought. I bounced on my ball and eventually my hubby and I got ready to leave for the hospital. While the contractions were regular, they were spaced far apart. So we waited. Around 4 am, I tried to sleep, and the contractions slowed to a stop.
Next day, nothing. I walked a few more miles, bounced some more, packed some more, and took a nap.
10 pm that night, they started again. My husband, not convinced after the previous night's false alarm, went back to sleep, while I worked through the relatively mild but I-can't-sleep-through-this contractions. Bounce, bounce, bounce. I leaned over the couches and got on all fours on the floor during the more intense ones.
5 am: "Honey, this is it." Andrew showered and started packing our things into the car.
|Texting loved ones to tell them "This is it!"|
7 am: Checked into the hospital--6 cm dilated! Who-hoo!
8am-2 pm: Walking the halls. After my saline lock was placed and my contractions briefly monitored, I walked, and walked, and walked, pausing to hold onto my dear hubby and breathe through each contraction. My mom came and walked with me. My sister in law brought me a cookies and cream Chic-fil-A milkshake (so divine!). My whole family was there, and they all took turns coming to see me and walking with me. My best friend's mom, a labor and delivery nurse, came in for an extra shift just so she could be my nurse (how incredibly sweet!).
|Chic-fil-A, family, and labor|
2 pm: Feeling tired, and dizzy. My nurse suggested that I try resting awhile, so they helped me into the hospital bed for the first time. The contractions were intense enough to make me teary-eyed. My doctor, a petite Southern lady, came in to check my process. 8 cm. At this point, she broke my water.
HELLO crazy pain. Hello contractions that are right on top of each other.
Prior to and during labor, my hope was to get through without an epidural and with limited medication.
At this point, however, I gladly conceded to receiving some IV pain medication. Having never had a narcotic before, they started me off with half a dose of Nubain.
It was wonderful. I could still feel each contraction strongly, but I was able to rest in-between. I was getting really tired, and every second of rest was heaven.
(excuse me while I interrupt the serious nature of this post to share with you one of the funniest pictures taken while I was in labor:)
The excitement was building, but I was a little past smiling right about here (somewhere between 8-10 cm)
|Breathing through a contraction|
4 pm: Pain and tears. Checked again. 10 centimeters and it's time for action!
Pushing is no joke, ya'll.
Most people had told me that pushing is a relief. For me, not so much. It was the most intense part of my labor. By this time, I was super exhausted, and, of course, still hurting. And pushing takes amazing amounts of energy and strength. I had watched my mom give birth to my little sisters (#5 and #6 for her) and she pushed for around 30 minutes at most. I unrealistically counted on that for me with baby #1.
I pushed for 2 hours.
In the midst of it, I started getting concerned. I felt like I could not keep up the effort. I asked my nurse, "Is he really coming soon?" I was so close to the end of my rope that it seemed doubtful to me that the baby could be ok while I felt like passing out. I kept asking, "Is he ok? Is everything ok?"
My OB and nurses reassured me. My husband, mom, two sisters, and dear friend Christina urged me on.
At the end, I gave up all restraint and started praying out loud for God's help. "Lord, You created this process. Please help me get through it." And I pushed with all I had.
6:19 pm: Our baby boy took his first breath. Oh the joy! Oh the relief.
8 pounds, 9 ounces. And look at how much that sweet head had to compress to fit through!
|Our first meeting|
|Oh hello sweetheart. We love you!|
And of course, I would do it again (and hopefully will). With maybe (pretty please!?) a little less time pushing?
P.S. I know I said I was taking a break from blogging today. But Amy's Labor Day link-up is so much fun that I absolutely could not resist. It was wonderful to write this out and I am really enjoying reading the other labor stories over at Amy's Finer Things.