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 of..well..me (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.