I was getting impatient when July 11th aka due date rolled around. I was increasingly uncomfortable, swollen and just plain old impatient. People were starting to call and text and I was hearing a lot of "you didn't have that baby yet?" I tried all the "tricks." Nothing was making this kid want to self evict. By the time my midwife appointment at 41 weeks 5 days rolled around, I was beginning to accept that I was going to have to be induced 2 days later. I wasn't happy about it. I am not a fan of pitocin and I had been preparing myself and hoping for a natural childbirth. Really, it was more the lack of control that was getting to me. I wanted labor and childbirth on my terms and with every day that passed by, I felt like more and more of the control was getting put into the hands of the hospital.
Saturday, July23rd, I woke up, sat on the couch and had a good cry about the induction coming up the next day. Mark and I decided to do a big Costco shopping extravaganza since we figured Ethan would be here by Monday or Tuesday the latest and we had no food in the house. Last thing we wanted to do was come home from the hospital and have to go food shopping. We bought a lot of stuff and we were there walking around for quite some time. I was waddling ridiculously and getting a lot of looks and glances from people who were probably sure that I was going to give birth right then and there just based on the way I was huffing and puffing trying to get around. I took a nice long nap (those were the days!) when we got back and Mark cleaned and made sauce and lasagna. He was so proud of it (he never made homemade sauce or a lasagna before, that is always my job) and when I woke up he wanted me to taste it but I didn't want to because I WOKE UP HAVING CONTRACTIONS! Hallelujah!
I always talk about how much I like to do my research and read everything I can about whatever topics are pertinent to my life at the moment and usually, being a researcher has paid off for me. I find comfort in knowing what is going to happen and being informed. Yea. Reading did not prepare me for contractions 2 minutes apart from the first one and excruciating back labor. I labored at home with the contractions increasing in intensity from 9:30pm-12:30pm. At that point, since they were still 2 minutes apart, we headed to the hospital. Poor Gatsby was very agitated and knew something was up with me. I felt so bad leaving him.
At the hospital, they checked me and I was 4.5cm dilated so I was admitted. I informed them of my intention to labor naturally and that I did not want an epidural. They pretty much left us alone in the delivery room for several hours while I worked through the contractions. The back labor was excruciating...and made it tough for me to labor in any position except standing up and leaning over something (the counter, the bed, Mark...whatever.) My contractions were still 2 minutes apart, which sucked because I never really got any breaks. By the time 7:30am rolled around, I couldn't stand it anymore. My feet were so swollen and throbbing from being on them for 10 hours straight. I told Mark to get the midwife to check me and I told myself that if I was 8cm or more, I would suck it up and stick to my natural birth plan but if I was less than 8cm, I was getting an epidural. Well, I was 6.5cm. I'm pretty sure I screamed at the midwife to get the anesthesiologist.
The first epi was a bust. Bad placement. It didn't work. Now, at this point I'm begging for relief, at least I think I was but it could have just been in my own head. The second placement was right on the money though and wow did it feel good! So from 8am-9:30am, Mark took a nap and I laid in bed listening to my labor playlist, singing along and feeling no pain. I honestly didn't think anything was happening because I felt nothing. I was so shocked when after being checked at 9:30, I was told I was complete!
Since I was feeling nothing, they had me stop pushing my epi happy button so I could feel the pressure from the contractions and know when to push. We did some practice pushing from 10-11:30am and then the real pushing began. This is where it all gets a little fuzzy. I remember feeling pressure/pain and I remember there being several times where I doubted my ability to push him out. Two hours of pushing later though and there he was. I cried...it was such an emotional moment and I said "I did it, I did it!" Ethan was born at 1:22pm on July 24th and weighed in at 9lbs 1oz. The NICU team was there because he was late and there was meconium in the amniotic fluid when my water broke so I didn't get to hold him right away. I had some tearing so I got stitched up, E got checked out and then Mark got to hold him. It was so awesome seeing Mark hold our son for the first time. Words can not even describe what it was like. Once I was all stitched up, I got to hold my baby boy and we got some alone time, just the three of us for about an hour or so. It was so surreal and awesome.
If you got through all that, you deserve a cookie or something! I have lots and lots more to blog about, especially my thoughts on being a new Mom and breast feeding (which is btw, the hardest thing I have ever done and I was NOT prepared for that.) and how my little baby Gatsby is adjusting to the new little guy in the house. I'll save that for another post. I leave you with pics of E. He's pretty cute, if you ask me, but I think I am a little biased.
Just Born :)