Sunday, February 15, 2015

Birth Story

 It is so weird to think that this time last week I had just given birth to the baby who had been cooking for about 9 full months. I don't think I've done anything for 9-10 months straight.

My pregnancy was pretty easy going. I didn't have any cravings or mood swings but I did have a lot of heart burn and boy does baby girl have hair! For the first half of the first trimester, I felt great. I thought to myself "why do people complain about being pregnant?" Then the second half of the first trimester I had migraines and laid in bed with a pillow over my head what seemed like all day. Migraines weren't new for me but it was the first time I couldn't take Excedrin for them. The second trimester was great! 'Nuff said.

The third trimester started around the time of the holidays and we had an arctic blast which came and froze the city including thick fog and single digit temperatures. At first the weather kept me inside, and then it was the limited mobility/aching because of a growing belly in addition to the weather which kept me inside. I had Braxton Hicks off and on for the month of January and in the last two weeks of January I started having actual contractions. Usually just over the weekends for an hour at a time. One of those weeks I woke up and felt like I could conquer the world. I had energy! I had a drive to go out and do things! I actually wanted to cook! I spent that week shopping for food and stuffing my freezer so we would have at least two weeks worth of food.

I would normally wake up around 2:00 a.m. to use the bathroom but Tuesday, February 3 I woke up at 2:00 a.m. with contractions. After about the third one I started timing them and they were consistently about 3-5 minutes apart until around lunch time and for some reason they slowed down. They became really irregular, some coming 8 minutes apart and then 30 minutes apart. I was really annoyed because, to be quite honest, I was ready to have this baby weeks ago. PJ and I took a walk around the neighborhood and, while the contractions sped up when we were walking, they slowed down as soon as I sat down. PJ had to go to school around 4 p.m. and, about an hour after he left, the contractions became a lot more regular around 5-7 minutes apart. He got home at 6:30 and by 8 p.m., we were out the door to the hospital. When we got to the hospital, I was dilated to a 6 and about 100% effaced so they admitted me and I finally got my epidural around 10:30 p.m. I finally got to rest!

Around 2 a.m. Wedensday morning the nurse came in to check on me and I could feel Wendy pretty low down in the birth canal but she encouraged me to wait so I wouldn't have to push as long. Around 3:30 a.m. I started pushing and honestly this was the most enjoyable part of labor. I think my epidural was wearing off so I could feel a lot more than I thought I would be able to, but it felt so good to do something to cope with the contractions rather than just lay there and wait for it to pass. At 5 a.m. Wendy joined us and was placed on my chest while the doctor finished up his job. I don't remember a whole lot about the pushing experience but I remember when she finally came out and the nurse gave her to me, Wendy and I just stared at each other like "What just happened". If I had to describe that moment in one word, it would be relief. Relief that labor was over, pregnancy was over, relief that she was OK. The details after that are a little blurry, I know I asked if I tore and they told me I did and hemorrhaged  and they had to give me medicine to stop the bleeding. I remember I asked for a warm blanket, threw up, and then went to sleep. About an hour later, they moved me to my recovery room and three days later I was discharged. Once we got home and I was able to sit down in my own house, I had another overwhelming feeling of relief. As great as the nurses were at the hospital, there truly is no place like home!

Before Delivery
1 Week Later