Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Birth Story

I'm excited to finally find a minute to sit down and write Joseph's birth story. It's definitely one of those memories that start to fade over time, and so the sooner I get it down, the more I'll remember. (Oh, I know i'll always remember the highlights. But the little things are the ones that tend to get forgotten.)

On Wednesday afternoon we dropped Stephanie at her Grandparent's house, and headed to the hospital. I checked into my room, and we met one of the most amazing nurses ever. We'll call her B. B made us feel like we were the only and most important patients that she had. She made Dan's bed for him, always made sure to ask us if we wanted anything to eat or drink, and managed to finagle a hospital meal for Dan to have that night.

I was still only 1cm dilated (Joseph was in no way ready to make his grand entrance) so my Dr arrived to start the dilation procedure. After she left, we ate dinner and watched some TV. B brought me an ambien around 10, and I fell asleep half-way through Revenge. I slept through the night, and woke up when the morning nurse showed up to take my vitals. It turned out that she was a girl I went to high school with, and it was nice to chat with her for a little bit. (This is one of the joys of living in a small town and delivering in a community hospital.) I took a shower and ate some toast while I waited for the Dr. She showed up at 6:45, and when she discovered that I was 2-3 cm dilated she broke my water. My Labor and Delivery nurse, D, showed up at that point. (In this hospital, you get one nurse that is only assigned to you. So she stayed in the room with me almost the whole time.) I started to have some small contractions, but nothing major. She started a pitocin drip at around 9, and then the contractions really started!

By 10, I asked for my epidural, since the contractions were coming every 2 minutes. The anesthesiologist arrived, and we discussed a plan for preventing me from passing out when the epidural went in. (This happened when I had Stephanie.) It went in with no incidence, and I started feeling relief immediately. I even managed to rest/sleep until about 12:30.

The nurse came in to check me, and I was 6 cm. The Dr arrived at 1, and I was 8. At 1:30 I felt immense pressure (my epidural had been turned down because my arm was tingly) so the pressure was really intense. When the nurse checked me, I was fully dilated and the baby was moving down fast. By 2, I was ready to push. He descended so quickly that the Dr was shocked that it was already time for me to push. I pushed for 54 minutes, and let me tell you, I felt a LOT more than I had with Stephanie, since my epidural had been turned down. It was extremely tiring, and I kept feeling like I couldn't do it. But, at 2:54, I pushed out the most beautiful baby boy in the world. They placed him on my tummy immediately and I just couldn't stop staring at him. They took him to the warmer and I heard his little cry. It was the most amazing sound in the world, and the sense of calm and peace that came over me at that moment is difficult to describe. They told me that he was 9lbs 9oz, and all of us in the room were shocked! I couldn't believe he was so big. At that moment I was so grateful for the fact that I was induced. Who knows how big he would have been if I had waited to go into labor naturally.

I had some "fixing up" that needed to be done, but it was nothing compared to the trauma that I went through with my first baby. In fact, I felt great when the Dr finished up. They handed me my little boy, and we had skin-to-skin contact. Staring at him, and cuddling with him created an immediate bond between us. I felt an overwhelming sense of love for this little person, and I couldn't believe that Dan and I had made him, and that I had brought him into the world. Nothing can compare to that moment, and I feel so blessed to have shared it with my wonderful husband who never left my side during my labor.

Over the next few hours I continued to feel great, and was even able to get up and walk to the bathroom. This was a major accomplishment for me, since after having Stephanie and losing so much blood, I had had to spend the night in bed and couldn't get up until the next morning.

Stephanie arrived with my parents at 6:30 that night, and she was very interested in the baby. "Baby crying!" she announced when she first saw him. Then she decided that the baby wasn't all that interesting after all, and  wanted to walk the hallways of the hospital. This gave my parents some snuggle time with Joseph. They left after about 45 minutes, and my sisters showed up. There is nothing quite as special as sharing your new baby with the people you love. Seeing the love and adoration in my family's eyes made me so happy, because my children are surrounded by people who care about them.

After everyone left, the three of us settled in for the night. The nurses took Joseph to the nursery for a little while so I could sleep, and only brought him back to me for feedings. (He had no interest in eating...that's a story for another blog post.) I went to sleep that night so happy and content with my new little family of four. It seemed like the day had flown by, and while I couldn't believe that it was already over, I knew that the real joy had just begun.

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