Tuesday, October 19, 2010

belated birth story

I decided I needed to get this done before I forget any more of the special details...so here it is.

Early Sunday morning on July 11th, which was Rylee's actual predicted due date I woke up around 2:30 for my normal middle of the night trip to the bathroom...but this time immediately after I went pee, I started to get cramps.  I had experienced a few minor cramps here and there so I though nothing of it.  When I went back to bed instead of falling back to sleep I was overcome with a burst of energy and the cramps continued. I stayed in bed and tried to sleep through them, but not being able to sleep I just stayed in bed sitting up - this woke Jeremy up and he was right away concerned with how I was feeling. I kept assuring him that I was fine and not to worry.

Still not being able to sleep I decided to get up and get something to eat. By this time it was around 5:30. I was standing in the kitchen browsing all of our items in the refrigerator when Jeremy came out in the most pleasant mood asking what I was doing and how I was feeling - I explained to him how my cramps were feeling and "that" look came back to his face, before ever saying it with words he asked me "Is this it?" Though in my mind I kept asking myself the exact same question I told him "no, no no..." This couldn't be it. The Dr. had said it would probably not happen until well into the week and we would most likely have to induce anyways...

It was about 6:30.  Jeremy had stayed up with me while I browsed the Internet and ate chips with 7 layer bean dip (YUM!) He continued to ask how I was feeling. By this point there was a definite cramp, then a point of relaxing followed by another cramp (aka contractions). Jeremy had been secretly timing these and they were about 6-7 minutes apart. He went in and woke up his mom.  Jer's mom had come out the week before anticipating this to happen at any moment and not wanting to miss a minute of it.  In the week prior she saved my life, took care of the dogs, took care of the laundry, took care of me, and fed me constantly. I am so glad she was there. Jer went in and informed her that I was having these cramps consistently and they became like a team of watch dogs.  They took turns timing my "Cramps" which we were all starting to admit were actual contractions, as they became closer and closer together.

It was around 7:00 and my contractions were now consistently between 4 and 5 minutes apart.  Jeremy was ready to go. Me not so much. I did not want to jump the gun. I hated the idea of going to the hospital in high anticipation and then being sent home. Jeremy and his mom finally convinced me that at the consistency and rate the contractions were becoming closer together that we should go. So we grabbed our bags, I grabbed banangrams and we were off.

I was still in very high spirits. I felt great aside from what felt like menstrual cramps, but heck I'd had worse than that. We made it to the hospital, and since my water had not yet broke they decided to monitor me for an hour. I was 1 centimeter dilated. I was crushed. The nurse (so sweet) seemed completely convinced that I was just experiencing braxton hicks and that I would most definitley be back on Thursday to be induced. We thought otherwise, I think intuitively you just know, theres no way to explain it or describe how but you just know. So we sat there for an hour and played a very distracted game of bannagrams and then were sent back home, nothing had changed.

The entire day is kind of a blur. My contractions kept coming and kept coming stronger. By noon they were 4 minutes apart, entirely predictable, and become more and more painful.  I did all sorts of different things throughout the day to help alleviate the pain and take my mind off of it. Taking a warm bath and eating ice cream seemed to be the most comforting aside from Jeremy helping me through them.  He was so supportive the entire time, he would help me through each contraction, remind me to breath and keep focused on what I was doing. He kept telling me how strong I was even though he was the one being strong and getting us through them.

By about 4pm I was exhausted, the contractions were getting stronger and longer and Jeremy was itching to get back to the hospital.  Me, again, I was dragging my feet.  I was in a lot of pain but I thought I'd rather be in pain at home than there and there was no way I was making a trip there to get sent back home again. I tried to rest but other than a minute or two in between each contraction it was impossible to sleep through.

It was 6pm and Jeremy had convinced me that we should get back to the hospital.  I gave in. Jeremy and his mom started to rush around and grab the bags and prepare to get out the door.  Just as I was making it through another contraction I stood up to head for the car and I thought I had peed my pants. Completely embarrassed and a little confused I realized that my water had just broke. (HA! Braxton Hicks?!) So this was real and we were on our way!

We made it to the hospital and waddled up to the labor & delivery floor.  That made for an awkward elevator ride with me leaking and in pain alongside the obviously proud new grandparents riding with us. Jeremy intercepted all of the small talk as I clinched my teeth through the pain. Finally we made and it and were admitted around 7pm and informed that I was at 1 centimeter. Crushed again.

I had every arrogant intention of going through this without any sort of drugs. Arrogant is exactly what it was...I'm physically and mentally pretty strong, I have the ability to push through pain and discomfort, and that's what I kept reminding myself. Once we made it to our delivery suite they said that I'd have to get an iv and stay laying in bed because my water had broke...this was my breaking point. I could work through the pain if I was able to stand, and kneel, but laying on my back for any amount of time was impossible. So impossible that a different nurse had to come in to put in my iv because I could not lay in the bed.

Jeremy knew my desire to get through this the natural way, but the minute I confided in him that I was scared and didn't know how I was going to get through this he told me that it was OK, and encouraged me when I decided to get an epidural. I don't regret it one bit. I kind of wish I would have not been so stubborn, and that I would have decided to do it sooner. I was almost immediately relieved and fell asleep almost right away. which by this point at around 9pm I hadn't done for almost 19 hours.

The nurses on staff were the best, so supportive and encouraging. Periodically they would come to check on me and see how we were all doing, which after a little bit of rest and some relief from the pain was a drastic change in the mood of our room. Before I knew it several hours had passed and I was dilated to a 6 or 7. Around 1am I started to feel a strong pressure and told the nurse, she checked and said it was time to go...

The Dr wasn't there but I didn't care I would have been excited to have our nurse do the entire thing. Jeremy and his mom were both very involved with helping me push - which was something I thought I didn't want. Initially I wanted them nowhere but up by my head, but once the time came that all changed.  They were my support and coached me through the whole thing while each holding one of my legs. Pushing really was a breeze, thanks I'm sure to the epidural, but I am glad for it because it allowed me to put all of my focus and energy into pushing. 

After 30 minutes or so, the nurses had me stop pushing and just breathe through each contraction for about 10 minutes. We were waiting on the Doctor. Geesh. Our Doctor finally made it in (Looking and sounding like she had just gotten out of bed) then just 2 pushes later Rylee made it here.  It was 1:28 AM on July 12th. She was huge! Not huge in comparison to all babies, but huge in comparison to my pregnant belly and the predictions of her length and weight: 7lbs 12 oz and 21.5 inches long - she even shocked our Dr. whose first response was, "Whoah how did you fit in there?!"

Jeremy cut the Cord, they wiped her down and handed her straight to me. The feeling is impossible to put into words. You don't understand just how true that is until it actually happens. I was so overwhelmed with joy, and relief, and extcitement all at the same time while staring down at this little human that was so real and so perfect. We made a person and she was here, and she was ours, and she was loved more than any other person had ever been loved in the whole entire world.

We were all taken back to our room where we would be staying and we spent the early hours of the morning staring at our new baby and thanking God for each and every one of her 10 fingers and ten toes...which I miscounted the first time, thinking she had only 9, I worriedly started to tell Jer who said "No, I did the same thing, they're all there" He's a rock...and better at counting than I am.

Nothing could have been more perfect. The three of us, our little family, sharing a bed and all loving each other. Incredible. I had such a strong support system through my entire pregnancy and my entire labor (which seemed as long as the pregnancy, nearly 24 hours.)

I thought at that moment in the hospital that I could never love anything any more, but I was wrong. Everyday through the last 3 months I have fallen more and more deeply in love with our little daughter....I have a daughter! Still unbelievable, and still amazing. I thought I understood love, again I was wrong. I have learned more than ever what it is to love and to be loved. When I think about how deeply in love I am with Rylee I am reminded of how much more I am loved by God. Words are just simply not enough. God is so good.

until next time,
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