Wednesday, September 01, 2010

The Labor Story

Wow, I can't believe our little girl is 3 1/2 weeks old! It's amazing how fast time flies...even when I'm spending many more hours awake than I was before.

I started a long post of my whole labor story, but writing it got laborious (wink, wink), so here are some snippets of my 18 hours:
  • I started having contractions at 8:45am on Aug 8th. I figured it was false labor, so we we went to church and made lunch plans afterward. We didn't make it to lunch. My contractions were about 3 minutes apart at home and I felt like I had the flu on top of being in labor.
  • We arrived at the hospital at 2:45pm and spent most of the day being the only people in the entire labor and delivery ward.
  • The doctor was undecided as to whether to admit us since my contractions slowed way down when we got to the hospital. At 6:30, she decided to keep us since I had a 101 fever. They gave me an IV, antibiotics, and did lots of tests (that were all inconclusive) as to why I had a fever.
  • I got an epidural at 7:30. Jonathan tried to watch but the nurse wouldn't let him. The only pain was the shot I got to numb my back before I got the big needle and the shock that went through my right leg when he bumped a nerve (or something like that).
  • The doctor broke my water around 8pm. The contractions got worse and closer together...but I couldn't feel a thing. I dozed on and off for a few hours. Every once in awhile, I would start to feel faint and the nurse would have to roll me over. I also threw up at some point during the late night hours.
  • Around midnight, the doctor told me my contractions were good, but I wasn't dilating past 4cm (which I had been for 3 weeks) and the baby wasn't moving down. She said if things didn't change in an hour, I would have to get a c-section. Yikes! They hooked me up to an oxygen mask (to wake the baby up???) and Jonathan prayed for me. Everything started moving along.
  • Around 1:00am on the 9th, I started to feel terrible lower back/rectal pain (despite the epidural). I melted down and started sobbing hysterically and couldn't compose myself before each contraction. The nurse had to yell at me so I would listen and pull myself together. (Not my best or favorite moment).
  • Around 1:45am, I said I was ready to start pushing. And push I did! A couple of times I told them I felt like I was going to pass out again so they tried to get me to rest, but I had the brilliant realization I was still on oxygen so I probably wasn't going to pass out. The pushing part was more like the movies than I expected. I couldn't help but scream/grunt through the whole thing. I was also super surprised at how many people were in the room. The entire laboring process was really relaxed and quiet, but when I started pushing (my most vulnerable moment), suddenly people were flooding into the room. There were nurses to wash the baby, nurses to weigh and measure, nurses to help the doctor, etc. I think there were around 8-10 people in the room. Some of them were quietly staring off into space. Others were watching and cheering me on. I loved having people coach me and telling me to push harder. Jonathan thinks it's hysterical that I made him tell me if she had hair or not as she was crowning. I had no idea how far along I was coming as far as pushing went, which ended up being good for me because every time I pushed, I pushed as hard as I could thinking that this could be my last push.
  • About 15 minutes after I started pushing, she slid right out. She was born 8-9-10 at 2:01am. They held her up for me to see her and then Jonathan went over and watched her get bathed and weighed while the doctor stitched me up and we had discussions about what people do with their placentas when they take them home. (I didn't keep mine.) Rory was also born with a fever so they had to take her away for tests and blood work for awhile. (Both of our fevers disappeared about an hour after delivery.)
  • Around 3:30am, we went to the recovery room. I still couldn't feel my legs much from the epidural so switching beds and going to the bathroom was interesting. We stayed in the hospital for 48 hours and cashed in on all the free food and nurses waiting on us hand and foot. Neither of us did much sleeping though. I think we were glad to come home on Wednesday afternoon.
All in all, as I look back on it, I have really fond memories of labor. (Strange, I know.) I actually think I enjoyed it more than most of my pregnancy. I really enjoyed the anticipation of the whole process knowing that it was the moment I'd been waiting for for 9 months and anything was possible. Though we knew her gender, everything else was so unknown: what she would look like, what her cry would sound like, how we would settle into parenthood, etc. And honestly, the feeling I had when her head made it through and her entire body slid out was amazing. It was a "this is really it! this is really happening!" moment. Clearly, I'm really glad I got the epidural and don't think my memories would be nearly as sweet had I felt everything those who do it naturally do. I did feel some terrible pain at points, but for the most part, it was just uncomfortable, exciting, and sweet.

She looks very different now than she did when she was born, but here are some of our favorite pictures of her first few hours.

I think the first thing I said when I saw her was, "She looks so Asian!"

I think this one is the cutest one around. She still makes this face when she cries!

1 comment:

Kathryn said...

Great descriptions, and I can definitely identify with the pushing, grunting, screaming part. I did have all of my children naturally, but only by God's grace that my labors were short & so was the pushing.
Rory is adorable. My family thinks she looks like least in the first pics we saw on Facebook.
As always Kate prays for y'all every night, but now includes your transition into parenthood as part of her prayer.
Can't wait to meet your sweet daughter!