Sunday, August 28, 2011

How I Got The Cuteness out of Me

This is Luke. He is pretty much my favorite thing in the entire universe. I'm a little tiny bit obsessed with him. He makes faces. He LOVES nursing. He sleeps a lot. And poops. And cries. And is absolutely lovely. Here's how he came into the world:

Tuesday, the 23rd was a normal day in the life of 10 month pregnant Alicia. I went to bed that night, excited for the next day which was my due date and doctor's appointment. I had high hopes that my 'false labor' from Sunday had moved things along and I'd find out I was really close to meeting my little boy. Little did I know how close I actually was.

2:30AM the morning of the 24th, I woke up with horrific contractions and immediately knew that this was no ordinary contraction. Looking back on it, I'm pretty sure I must have slept through the majority of early labor and was only awakened when I was in the throws of full-blown active labor. Shem, who had stayed up late that night having no idea what that next day would bring, was awakened by me after I'd gone to the bathroom and had some DEFINITE sure signs that I was in labor. (I will spare you the gory details) We talked for a bit and I decided I needed to let him sleep for another little while so that he could have the energy to go through the next however many hours of labor with me. So I labored on my own for an hour or so. It was the worst pain I've ever felt in my entire life, but I was so excited about it that every contraction was easy to think and breathe through. I also took a shower which helped a ton.

Around 3:30, labor had gotten to the point where I really needed my coach, so I got Shem up again and we finished packing up some things for the hospital and called labor and delivery. They told us what we should watch for before coming in, and I knew that I was already to that point. We decided we'd leave for the hospital at 5:30. Got to Memorial around 6:00AM and by this point, I'd thrown up about a million times and was shaking uncontrollably. Labor was really rough on my body. My mind was handling the contractions fairly well still, but my body was going into some form of shock. It took what felt like forever to get checked into triage. In the time it took us to get checked in, my contractions were coming fast and furious and I thought I was about to die. My mind was beginning to react poorly to labor in addition to my body reacting poorly. At this point, Shem became the most excellent resource I had. He was the best coach of all time.

Finally, around 7:30, I was checked for the first time and the nurse gave me a shocked look, "When did you go into labor?"

"2:30 this morning."

"Holy crap, girl, you're at a 7 already." (That was an exact quote. The triage nurse was an exciting character)

So we started calling family. Shem talked to my sister-in-law, Mylinda, who is a labor and delivery nurse in Bountiful. She offered the BIGGEST saving grace of all time which was a technique where Shem would push on me knees during contractions. I have no idea why that was as miraculous as it was, but I'm convinced it's the only thing that got me through the next hour. I was still shaking and vomiting regularly and was fairly miserable.

Upon hearing that I was already a 7, my mom rushed to the hospital. She arrived right as the nurses in labor and delivery were giving me some pain meds through my IV to tide me over before the epidural. That stuff? Amazing. I thought I would hate it, but I absolutely did not hate it in any way. It definitely didn't take the pain away, but it calmed my body and mind and I was able to relax in between contractions. It was also nice to have it while they administered the epidural, because I hardly remember feeling anything during the epidural procedure.

Once the epidural had taken effect, I dozed a ton and was SO relieved and grateful for that medication. However, it did come at a price. My labor, which was ridiculously fast for a first baby, slowed down to almost no progression. I would have been discouraged by that, but I was too busy relishing in the relief that the epidural brought. It was definitely a trade-off, but I didn't mind the price. They, unfortunately, had to administer Pitocen to get my labor moving again and I didn't love that because I really was hoping to do this whole thing without Pitocen, but I knew it was part of the price I'd paid to have the relief from pain.

I did feel bad that my mom had rushed to the hospital early that morning, though, because for the next 5 hours, I stayed stubbornly stuck at a 7. Eventually, it slowly started to move and around 5:30, they finally had the doctor come in and break my water because my bag was too thick to break on its own. After the water broke, it was time to push.

That was 2 hours of the hardest work I've ever done. I had all kinds of unhappy things happen to me due to the size of the baby (which was fairly large) and the size (which is apparently very tiny), but eventually and happily, my son was born at 8:08 without the need of any sort of vacuum or forceps assistance. It was a miracle. My recovery was going to be very not fun, but I was okay with that because he'd been born how I was hoping he would be. The doctor was awesome. He was such a good coach and it wasn't until the baby was out that he told me he had been thinking from the beginning that this baby was going to have to come via C-section because of how tiny I was. But he said I was such a good pusher that he was able to deliver me. It made me feel like I'd done really well and that it was ME that had brought this little one here. Most satisfying experience of my life.

There were things about the experience I loved and things I will definitely try to change for the next birth, but overall, it was an amazing experience and the end result? Well, you saw the picture.

Monday, August 22, 2011

On: Being Perpetually Pregnant

Okay, to be fair, my due date isn't until Wednesday, so I'm not even technically 'late' or anything. In fact, even if (when) I go past my due date I'm not technically 'late' until 42 weeks. (yeaaaah like I'm gonna last for 42 weeks.) That being said, however, I will say this: I've just discovered that the most obnoxious event in a first time mother's journey to delivery is: false labor.

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling strange. Slightly nauseated, a little dizzy, just generally 'off'. I didn't think much of it until we got to church at 9 and the feeling of 'offness' increased greatly. At 9:10, I started having contractions. No biggy. I get them all the time. Sometimes I get them one on top of the other, sometimes they're few and far between, but I get them every single day at least 4 or 5 times; usually more. But there was something different about these contractions. I couldn't quite put my finger on it, but for some reason, they felt like they were somehow accomplishing something significant. So at about 9:25, after I'd had three in what felt like a consistent amount of time, I started timing them. Sure enough, every five minutes like clock-work I was having a contraction that lasted for about a minute.

These contractions weren't super painful. They were just 'uncomfortable'. So, I kept timing them, but tried not to get my hopes up. For the next hour, they stayed steady. Shem and I decided to head home after sacrament meeting because I still wasn't feeling 100% and the contractions were consistent enough that I wanted to be able to go home and start walking to see if I could get them to come stronger.

We came to my parent's house (air conditioning. It's the stuff) and I paced a little. For another 20-30 minutes, they remained consistent and a couple of them were even border-line 'painful'...but I knew they were nothing like what I'd be feeling in active labor.

And then the pattern shifted. The contractions were longer and less frequent until finally...nothin'. 18 minutes of nothin'. I was so depressed. They never completely went away. They stayed all day long...sometimes non-stop...but they were never regular again. I walked and walked and walked and walked and contracted and contracted and contracted, but I knew at that point it wasn't the real deal and that this boy would be staying in me for another little while. Part of me still held hope that I'd go into labor in the middle of the night since I'd literally been having contractions for 11 hours...but no such luck. No contractions even woke me up. (yay for good sleep! boo for no baby) And so far today? My uterus is the epitome of calm.

Daaaaang. Dang.

BUT! I will say this: though they didn't send me into labor and delivery, the contractions seemed to have helped move my little Luke down a considerable amount. There has definitely been progress made. I don't think that means he'll be here today or even tomorrow...he might be stuck in there for another week for all I know...but it does mean that things are moving and progressing and that my body works. Hooray! Here's hoping we get to meet him in the next couple of days!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

I Keep Checking my Blog.

But there have been no updates. It's kind of depressing. I'd really like to know what's going on with my life. I feel like I'm losing touch with myself. *sigh*

On the upside: I'm ridiculously relieved that I'm so busy I don't have time to blog because that also means I'm too busy to wish this baby would COME OUT OF ME ALREADY. Which is nice. Maybe I'll write a REAL entry later this evening while Shem plays StarCraft. Genius.

Stay tuned.