The Life of Liz

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world. ~Anne Frank

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

A Baby Story

Soooooo, I have a baby. A real live tiny human!

*whimper/wheeze/hyperventilate*

Here's how it happened.

July 23rd I went into labor. At exactly what time, I honestly have no idea. The thing about labor is, I had no idea what it would feel like. I expected something more alone the lines of a tight feeling like I had experienced at twenty weeks during my unfortunate bout with stomach flu. These contractions didn't feel anything like that. Mostly, I just felt crampy, which in my mind indicated nothing. All that to say: I worked a full 8 hour day.

Driving home I really felt pretty terrible so I called husband to see if he was on his way home yet. I couldn't reach him so I knew he was still working. I called his boss' cell and calmly requested that Eli be sent home. Meanwhile, I arrived home, bounced around on my labor ball for a bit and worked on the visa applications for Eli's youngest brother and sister. Because I am crazy. I had to keep pausing because of the pain and that's about when it occurred to me that I might be in freaking labor. Sometimes, I am not terribly bright.

In retrospect, I think I had read too many stories about wishful-thinking preggos who showed up at the hospital only to be told they had false labor and be sent home by a sniggering nurse. I was not going to be that idiot! Oh no!

By the time I actually bothered to time my contractions, they were five minutes apart.

Eli had time to take a shower and I ate a yogurt then we piled in the back seat of a Ford Taurus and Mom drove us to the hospital.

Sure enough, I was in active, progressing labor. So there you go, the way to avoid false labor is to ignorantly wait until the last conceivable second.

I impressed our nurse, Kristin, with my mental focus and super flexible adductor muscles. She was amazing. Not only was she skilled at nursing and super supportive but she stayed with us the whole night until her shift ended at 7am. I imagine it's pretty unusual to have such personal attention but I certainly appreciated it. I also appreciated that she just held the heart monitor in place for the intermittent monitoring since I couldn't stand having the bands around me.

Originally, I planned to have a completely natural birth experience. But if there's one thing I've learned in all my years of planning things it is this: don't hold too tight to the plan; things change. I made it to 8 cm and thought, "holy crap, I absolutely can't do this." Kristin checked my dilation again and it was up to 8.5. I whimpered something about drugs and she, Eli and my mom all soothingly assured me that I could do this. Ok fine. Cowboy up there Liz.

9 cm. Sweet holy lord, the contractions were coming seconds apart and my whole body was in spasm trying to push. It took all my concentration to NOT push that I had none left to try to relax. The next dilation check came in - 9 cm. Noooooooooo! I whined a little more about the total impossibility of me having this baby. The nice low moans they taught us to do in birth class were more and more becoming high pitched squeals of distress. One more dilation check: 9 mother fathering centimeters!!!

I abruptly stood up and in a very calm and measured tone stated flatly, "I want an epidural." The nurse offered a few non-drug alternatives but I had made a decision. It was either push and rupture my cervix or get the epidural. Fortunately, there is such a thing as a partial epidural where they only give you a half dose. When it came time to really get serious about pushing, I could tell when I had a contraction and knew when to push, it just didn't hurt.

The other nice thing about the epidural, besides all the pain-ending, was that it gave me a chance to get a little rest. Eli took a nice nap too, which he needed, poor thing, after working an 11 hour day and then staying up all night in an incredibly stressful situation. It was fun to have some time to just hang out with mom and husband, to chat and joke and calm things down.

The other, OTHER nice thing about the epidural delay is that my OB, unavailable on the 23rd, came on call at 4am the 24th. I definitely wanted her to be there for the delivery.

Finally, at 9:46am on July 24, 2013, my little Troy Abraham entered the world, face up, all 8 lbs of him! His poor head was all bruisy from his upside-down exit strategy but even so, he was the most beautiful baby in the history of earth.

At least he was in the eyes of this momma.

  

2 comments:

Kath August 28, 2013 at 6:04:00 PM MDT  

Yup, he is awfully cute alright...perhaps 10th cutest in the whole world?!

Soon-to-be Mrs. Wallace August 30, 2013 at 1:57:00 PM MDT  

He sure is cute...the gals in my Bible study wanted me to make sure I told you that he's one of the best looking new borns they've ever seen (and they have kids of their own!)

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A brand new mom trying to navigate the crazy world of mixed families, babies, and working full time. Phew! Just writing that makes me want to lie down.

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