Our baby has arrived.
Time: 12:04 a.m.
Weight: 7lbs 4.9oz
Length: 19 1/2in
I was in early labor (contractions between 10-30 minutes) for 2 days, beginning late Friday night, then they became more frequent, between 4-10 minutes, the next day. Oh and I lost my nasty mucus plug that 2nd day. When they were about 4-5 minutes for over an hour and a half on Saturday, we went to the hospital. I was only 1.5 cm, so even though they were strong enough to wake me up throughout the night, they didn’t open my cervix at all.
I got a pain talk from the on-call doctor and wanted to punch her in the face. She explained the contractions would knock the wind out of me and I’d have a hard time walking, etc. Well, all of that WAS happening to me. So I freaked out thinking my pain tolerance must be much lower than I thought and immediately regretted my decision to be medication-free during labor and delivery. I mean, she basically said I was having baby contractions and they really hurt! What I didn’t realize was I was having back labor so there was tons of pain in my back, hips, thighs and lots of pressure in my butt. On top of uterine contractions.
When we went home the contractions got closer together, but because I already hadn’t slept in 2 days I took benadryl in hopes of knocking out. Unfortunately, my contractions slowed to about 10 minutes apart and I still woke up for every one.
At 6 a.m. the next morning, I lost my shit and woke up Hubster telling him he needed to call the hospital to see what pain meds they could offer. The nurse said they could only offer norco, which doesn’t even guarantee sleeping through contractions, so I said forget it. I’d just stay home and continue sleeping in 3-10 minute increments. I was a crying mess for about 10 minutes and then he coached me back to breathing through contractions. Then they got closer together later that afternoon and if I was standing/walking a lot they were 3 minutes apart, if I was sitting, they were 6. Since it was all back labor, sitting was difficult so I basically stood all afternoon and evening.
I had dinner and then my fluids started leaking and bam, they were 3 minutes apart and so strong! I got admitted at 4.5 cm shortly before 9 p.m. on Sunday night and contractions were crazy intense because they were so close together. At 11:30 p.m. I had mentioned the urge to push a few times and finally the nurse asked if I wanted to get checked and I said yes.
There was already hair visible so they paged my doctor and I half-pushed and half-tried to keep the baby in for 25 minutes while we waited for my doctor to get there. Another doctor could have delivered, but I only felt comfortable with MINE. I mean, he was the one who trusted me enough to let me drive all of my treatment and calmly explained things to me in a way I could understand without making me feel like an idiot. So if a complication arose during delivery, I only trusted him to give me the facts I would need to make decisions. Anyway, he arrived and I started pushing. 8 minutes later, Carey tore his way into the world. With no meds!
How did I survive a long labor with no meds? A support system!
During contractions, I leaned against a wall or doorframe or swayed holding onto Hubster or my mom while they squeezed my hips or put counter pressure on my back for 3 days at home and while laboring at the hospital. Once admitted, I got one shower in before the baby needed continuous monitoring, which my nurse had to hold onto my belly from her perch on the floor because he was too low to keep the monitor on him!
I could not use my yoga ball, go onto all fours, squat, or sit in any shape or form due to the pressure in my butt. That was really disappointing to me, as they had helped me maintain my comfort during pregnancy and I knew would help me preserve my energy for pushing.
So my support team had their work cut out for them! They reminded me to breathe (short, quick breaths during the peak of my contractions and fog the mirror breathing when I needed to slow myself down) constantly and Hubster miraculously kept me talked out of the epi! He’d remind me of how many women give birth, how they used to squat in the woods lol, and ask if I thought I could actually sit still for one. After that last one I stopped asking because I’m terrified of needles, terrified of them missing the spy spot the epi needed to go, and terrified of sitting through a contraction! I also visualized swimming in La Jolla cove for a few contractions. Hubster talked with me about what we were seeing, which surprisingly helped to distract me!
Once our baby was born, I didn’t cry until after my hour of skin-to-skin while I watched my hubby and baby go off for baby to be checked out. That’s when it stopped being so surreal for me. Well, for a second. It’s still weird to be called “mom”, “mommy”, and “mother”. I remember being just really really happy and felt my world was finally “normal” when I had my baby laying on my chest. Like this is how my life was supposed to be this whole time.
I chit chatted with my doctor and reminisced about asking him for Clomid, discussing home insemination, letting him know we were stopping treatments to pursue adoption, and that my parents had offered to help with IVF so we were heading down south to do that. He helped with my diagnostic testing and early pregnancy monitoring so to have him deliver our miracle baby felt like we came full circle together. We joked about other things and he went and took pictures with our baby while he laid under the warmer. I was seriously in Heaven at that moment.
All is still amazing in our world-even with the sleep deprivation, engorged breasts, and constant worry.