Two weeks ago today, I gave birth to our baby girl. Gosh, I can't believe it's only been two weeks. It seems like she's been here forever. It's a day I will remember for the rest of my life, but I want to document it here before I forget all of the little details.
|The night before I started having contractions-we had no idea this would be our last photo as a family of two|
On January 1st at 5:45am, I woke up to what felt like stomach cramps. I thought to myself, "Am I having contractions??" I was a little skeptical because my due date was still a week away and I hadn't experienced any other "symptoms." (I don't know what I was expecting. I guess I thought I would feel an urge to clean the house like everyone talks about, or at least be dilated a centimeter or two?? haha)
I got back in bed and tried to go back to sleep but I was too excited/nervous. After about 30 minutes I decided I should start timing the contractions. They were ranging anywhere from 12-6 minutes apart.
At 8:00am they became more regular and closer together so I woke Paul up. I got in the shower, put makeup on and finished packing my bag because I thought we would be heading to the hospital soon (in my childbirth class they said to go to the hospital when your contractions were 5 minutes apart). We called our parents to let them know what was going on. And then, wouldn't you know it, the contractions slowed down a bit. Now they were anywhere from 20-8 minutes apart. So Paul and I went for a walk to see if that would speed things up. It didn't.
At 1:00pm we went to a going away party for one of Paul's coworkers. We decided to go to the party since we were just sitting around waiting for my contractions to speed up. I continued to time them and after an hour or so at the party, they got closer together. Now they were consistently 5 minutes apart. I told one of my friends at the party that I was having contractions. She told me to be careful because when she went into labor with her second baby she progressed so quickly that by the time she got to the hospital it was too late for her to get an epidural.
Just to let you all know, THAT IS MY WORST FEAR IN LIFE!
Paul and I promptly left the party, stopped by our house to grab our bags (and take a few last minute pics) and went straight to the hospital.
At 3:00pm we got to the hospital. The nurses hooked me up to the monitor and checked to see if I was dilated. I was 100% effaced, but only dilated 1.5. They called the on-call doctor and she told them to check me again in an hour and send me home if I hadn't progressed. The nurses had me walk up and down the halls of the labor and delivery floor in hopes of getting my water to break. No such luck. An hour later I was still at a 1.5 so they sent me home. I asked them how I would know when to come back. They told me to come back if my water broke or my contractions were so bad I couldn't walk or talk through them.
At 6:00pm we went home. My parents were there waiting for us. At that point I was so discouraged. And my contractions were becoming more and more painful. I started to cry and told Paul I couldn't go through this all night. He looked at me like, "I don't think you have a choice" haha. He suggested I take a hot shower which actually helped a little, but a few hours later I was in complete agony. I told Paul we had to go back to the hospital and this time I was going to MAKE them admit me and give me drugs for the pain :)
At 1:00am we went back to the hospital. I wish I had a picture of us leaving for the hospital for the second time. It would have been a very different picture from the one above. I looked like a hot mess with tears streaming down my face, my makeup smeared, and my hair all tangled and matted. I guess I know for next time: if you're feeling good enough to fix your hair and makeup, it's too early to go to the hospital!
When we got to the hospital they checked me and this time I was dilated to 5 centimeters. I immediately worried that there wouldn't be enough time for me to get an epidural. The nurses said they had to get my lab work back and then they could order the epidural, but it would take at least 30 minutes. I was in so much pain that I started throwing up, so they gave me some pain medication while I waited. And let me tell you, that pain medication messed me up! I felt like I was the most wasted I've ever been in my life. Apparently I told Paul I was so tired that I felt like I was going to stop breathing and I asked him to keep an eye on me!?
I have to say, Paul was so good to me throughout the whole process. He stayed so calm and really encouraged me. I don't think I would have survived without him.
Around 2:00am I was dilated to 6.5. The anesthesiologist came and gave me the epidural which made me get sick again. The nurse gave me some anti-nausea medication and once that kicked in, life was grand! I even dozed off for a little while. I progressed to 8 centimeters pretty quickly, but then I got stuck at 8.
The baby's heart rate kept dropping and they had to give me oxygen.
At 7:00am I was still at 8 centimeters so they gave me Pitocin to help things along. And then the epidural started to wear off. NOOOO! I asked the nurses if they could give me some more juice. They had the anesthesiologist come back and give me another injection which was great because I couldn't feel a thing...but it was also a problem because I really couldn't feel ANYTHING from my waist down.
At 9:30am I was finally dilated to 10 and it was time to push! I was a little worried I wouldn't be able to since I couldn't feel anything. Paul and the nurses had to hold my legs up for me, but after 45 minutes of pushing, out she came and I immediately saw she was a GIRL! Before the doctor could even say anything I shouted, "It's a girl!!!" I was completely shocked. I was so sure I was having a boy. It was the best surprise of my life.
When Paul came into the waiting room to get my parents, my mom said she had never seen such a big smile on his face. Melt my heart!
Giving birth was a truly amazing experience.
I am so thankful for a healthy pregnancy and delivery without complications, and most of all, our healthy baby girl-things I prayed for constantly.
We are very blessed!