Just the Facts:
Sidekick was born on the 6th of November, at 7:26 AM,
weighing 7lbs 14oz., and was 21 inches long, scoring a 9 on his Apgar test.
Pictures: (Top Left; last photo of me, before getting to be a Mama, taken a few hours before labor started. Top Right; first photo of me as Mama, holding Lex for the first time, after he was cleaned and checked up. Bottom Left; our baby asleep at two days old. Bottom Right; taken tonight! At four days old :D) *Sidebar: in true newborn/new parent fashion, I started this entry on Saturday evening, and have been working on it in chunks throughout the night, between feedings. Total length of time to write this entry? About 14 hours, lol! But I love it - I love being busy taken care of my son. I thank God for him as often as I can!
Lengthy Birth Story (you were warned, haha ~ )
I was nearing 41 weeks, and an induction was scheduled because he was just being too stubborn to come out on his own (or so we thought). Knowing that he'd be born on the 6th of November, really allowed us to countdown the days (and hours!), and we went to city hall on my birthday (November 5th), to do absentee voting. When they asked why we wouldn't be ale to do vote on Election Day, I proudly beamed, "Because I'm being induced!".
That night, I took a picture of me, proudly showing off my "I Voted" sticker, having every intention to make a quick last blog post about the importance of voting, even if you are about to go into labor ;P But nope, right around 11PM, my labor started - at three minutes apart exactly . . . yes, started at three minutes. I couldn't believe it! I kept thinking, "What happened to ten? What happened to five?!". But it was definitely labor, and they two contractions later, they were already at ninety seconds long. That, and the pain felt mostly in my back (infamous back labor!).
I called L&D, even though it had only been thirty minutes (versus waiting for the labor to have lasted at least an hour). They told me to come in, when I couldn't talk through the contraction I was having, while on the phone with them. So I wake up my husband, who had off that night (he works nights from 10PM to 6AM), but was trying to sleep in order to be prepared for the induction tomorrow (which was going to take place, during his usual his sleeping time - 7AM to 3PM). Poor guy . . . he had barely been asleep a few hours, after working so hard, and now he had to take me to the hospital - but he was excited: we were excited!
The hospital is only seven minutes away (yay!), and we got wheeled upstairs and checked into a room near the L&D, and hooked up to monitors, to see if it wasn't false labor - well it wasn't! And I was three and a half centimeters! Because of my back labor, the nurse suggested that my husband press his fist against my tailbone, helping push against the contraction, oh, and to start walking (for at least forty minutes). On the inside I was like, "Are you insane?! I just want to squirm in this bed, until I get some drugs!" But up I got, and tried to walk around. By this point, every time the contraction started, it felt like my spine was going to snap in half, so I would have to lean against the wall, with my arms in front of me, while my husband pressed his fist against my tailbone. I could only do this for about twenty minutes (and constantly visualizing the magic number four to myself in between grunts), before begging them to check me again.
And voila, I was four centimeters (or just about to be, because I think I overheard her telling another nurse that she was just going to tell the doctor that, because I was so close - I think she was trying to do me a favor), because until I reached four centimeters, I couldn't be officially admitted, which meant I couldn't get the epidural. Thank God for nurses! I'm taken to the delivery room, and they let me know, that they have to start an IV first, before they can give me the epidural (blargh). The nurse couldn't get a vein, so they had to call in a special nurse who just does IV's, and they managed to finally get one in after three or four tries. Then finally they called in the anesthesiologist (giving me something else until he got there), and then the glorious epidural was administered *Sidebar, I commend any woman who can go it au natural, because I am not one of them! You are all women warriors, and I am big wuss - I have no problem admitting that, lol*
I could still feel some pressure, but honestly, it was so much better then before, and the nurses suggested I get rest. I had only had four hours of labor by this point, but it had been such intense, active labor from the get go, that things were going to move along quickly, I just knew it. Within three hours, I went from four, to ten centimeters, and it was time to push. I definitely felt a growing pressure, and even a need to push, but the epidural had been giving me false hope that I'd be able to handle it (so long it stayed like this, I thought - which it didn't).
The nurse asked if the epidural was working to well, and if she needed to turn it down, but honestly, I could still tell when each contraction was happening, however much milder they were (not that they themselves were really ever "mild"). Being able to confirm I was having a contraction, as the nurse checked the machine beside me, only proved I wasn't imagining things. So I got to keep myself nice and drugged ;P Anyways, we began pushing, with her asking me to hold up my knees as close to my chest as possible, and I did okay for the first few tries, until I felt a horrible pain in my stomach.
The doctor came in, and I kept pushing, but the pain in my stomach just got worse and worse. It honestly was scaring me to death, and I was trying to explain why the heck I was slowing down, but the pain got to be so bad, that I actually couldn't do anything but scream through the contraction, versus push through it. It honestly felt like somebody was digging into my stomach, through my belly button, and then spreading my abdomen open. I was no way prepared for this - and truly thought that the infamous "ring of fire" would be the worst of it, but I swear.to.God, my stomach actually hurt worse!
I truly believed that something was wrong, either with me, or with my baby, and since the pushing had made it worse, I was deathly afraid to continue. But instead of being able to explain any of this, all I could was scream - out of fear, out of panic, and out of shock. I was just too scared that I was going to loose him, like I had lost my first baby, but they kept assuring me that I was okay. I managed to say something about my stomach, but that was about it. I'm sure I sounded like a crazy, ignorant first time mother, swearing up and down that something was terribly wrong. But who would have thought the stomach pain would be worse than the other pain?
However, I had an amazing team of nurses and doctor, and of course husband. They all kept telling me I could do it, though at one point I said I couldn't! And the doctor told me that if I could put the energy I was using for screaming, into doing just a few more pushes, he'd be here. He'd be here, was all I could think about. If I could just go a little longer, he'd be here. I tried to hold my knees, but by now, I was exhausted - Joel said the nurses held them for me, even though I thought I had at least halfway managed it (I guess I was just too out of it to notice?).
But true to his word, the doctor delivered Sidekick at 7:26 AM - four minutes before my scheduled induction was set to begin. I had pushed for about 35-45 minutes, and we all theorized that had I known what the heck was going on with my stomach and not been so afraid, he probably would have come even sooner! *Sidebar: after talking to my OB at the hospital, she explained that it sounds like what I was feeling, was him going down the birth canal, and stretching my pelvis bone, and the cartilage around it. She also said that every woman reacts differently to an epidural. Some feel nothing, some feel everything, and some feel some things, and not others - I fell into that last category, where I will always remember the stomach pain, more than the actual delivery pain! Because even now, the soreness and tenderness I feel from the stitches, is still nothing to the pain I still have in my stomach, back and pelvis :/ But ibuprofen is my friend :D
They placed him on me right away, but honestly, I couldn't even lift my arms, my head was spinning, and I barely even realized he was there, until a nurse asked if she could clean him up and test him for his Apgar score. I looked up to catch a glimpse of him as he was lifted away. He was beautiful, and I fallowed the nurse's steps, as my son was being taken care of. They told my husband that he could take pictures, and the doctor began stitching me up (second degree tear). Finally, I was able to feel a bit more with it . . . and began apologizing profusely to everyone for not being able to do better. They all assured me that I did great, and even joked about how they've seen worse (one nurse told me about a woman supposedly trying to inch her way back up the bed, away from the doctor, as if it would somehow stop it from happening). Finally I was able to explain why I was so scared, but honestly, by then it didn't matter: my son was handed to me, and my husband snapped the above picture of us together for the (technically second) first time.
All I could say was how grateful I felt to God that he made it. After years, and years of wanting children, after finally starting in May 2011. After loosing our AngelBaby in September 2011, after having such a rough physical pregnancy this time around. After all that - we finally were a family.
My poor husband spent the next sixteen hours, crashing in the cot beside me, while I had all the energy (i.e. adrenaline) in the world. For every bit of drowsiness that he felt, I felt energized. I couldn't believe how amazing I felt, and how blessed I was. I wanted (and still do) appreciate every moment that has been given to me. He is perfect in practically every way (though hey, I can admit: I'm biased). He has my husband's ears, and feet. And my apple cheeks, and mouth. Everything else, we will have to wait to see, as he grows into an amazing little boy.
The only upsetting thing after the birth, was finding out Sidekick had jaundice, and it was bad enough that he had to be put under the lights, for six hours! At one point they thought he might need to stay another night, while I would be discharged (a thought that made me cry, no matter how much I tried to reassure myself). And though they would try to find me an empty room to stay in after discharge, there was no guarantee of me getting to keep it, if an actual patient needed it. But luckily his levels were good enough to come home! So a little late discharge, and an appointment the next day for labs, but otherwise, we were finally able to go home - with a real, live baby in our arms :)
His levels were still high enough the next day to warrant another lab test today (Saturday), but he had gained 2 ounces overnight :D After the second round of tests were done, we were told that though elevated, they had gone down enough to hold off on any more tests or appointments, until his standard two week appointment on the 20th of November. And his pediatrician, is the same doctor who took care of him in the hospital, and did his circumcision, so I already got to familiarize myself with him before we ever showed up to the doctor's office :)
And that's the story of our new family. It took so long, and the road was bumpy, but it's everything I just knew it would be, and I will never not appreciate the gift I have been given. We are so in love with our son!
"Every good and perfect gift is from above." James 1:17 (NIV)