Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Paul's Birth Story
My very good friend and loyal reader, Cyndi, was giving me ideas for my posts last night and said she had forgotten what Little P looked like when he was a baby (cuz he is all grown up now). She suggested that I post some of the pictures from the good ol' days, and I decided to also post P's birth story. I had to spend all day thinking about it, because if I were to just relate it from memory upon being asked, it would probably come out significantly more sweet and cuddly than it actually was. This is due in part to me starting to want another baby and trying to forget why I said I would never do it again. Now that I have thought long and hard about it...
Paul was due December 29th, 2006, and by the time that date rolled around I was well ready to be rid of him. He and I were both the size of a Blue Whale and all of the super-extra-large maternity clothes no longer fit. I was glad I had taken maternity leave early because by that week I did not want to be seen in public anymore. His due date came and went, and the next day came and went, and a week came and went.
On January 2nd, 2007 I went to my doctor's office at 11am for what I was praying would be my last weekly check up. My doctor did his thing and proclaimed I still had a few days left, at least. Not good news. I went home and plopped myself on my bed and took a nap, as going to the doctor was now a totally exhausting event, and I also hoped I might sleep for about a week and Little P might be out when I woke up.
At 3:30pm I had what felt like a really nasty cramp. Really nasty. All the muscles in my abdomen tightened up, and then loosened up again about 20 seconds later. About a half-hour later it happened again. I was getting excited and scared at the same time; after all this time it was probably happening and I was actually hoping it was not! I walked around the house for a little while, having these contractions about every 15-20 minutes. I knew this could last for a few hours or a few days, so I tried not to get worked up about it, and took another nap.
At about 6pm I called Jim's mom into my room because the contractions were 10 minutes apart and lasting for about 35 seconds. I could not sleep any more from the pain and my back hurt really bad, so I just knelt on the floor by my bed in the fetal position (as best as a giant pregnant woman can get in the fetal position), and stayed there until Jim got home at 7.
When Jim got home I walked around the house a couple times and then lay down on my bed, but nothing was comfortable because of the back pain. Seriously, the contractions were NOTHING compared to the back pain! At 7:30 I was ready to go to the hospital; everyone says to stay at home until the last possible minute, but I did not think I could be any less comfortable than I already was, so why not just go.
We got everything ready and went to the hospital at 8pm. I went right to the labor and delivery center at Auburn Faith Hospital and was attached to all kinds of monitors and and IV. I think I was comforted by this, and I was happy to hear Paul's heartbeat on the monitor. The contractions were still frequent and long, but I was only dilated to 2, so I knew this was going to be a long night. I tried to relax and watch TV, but you try to relax when a kid is trying to bust through your back... it is impossible.
My sister-in-law Becky came at 10pm, and I am so glad to have had her there! She is definitely what kept me from going insane! Jim did a great job, too and I am so glad he was there, but Becky knew what I was going through and never told me it was OK, because she knew it was not OK. This was the least "OK" I had ever been in my life, and it was not about to get better. Between her and Jim I remembered to concentrate and to breathe. Becky and Jim were also good for each other, because they took turns staying up with me all night and napping.
The hours between 11pm and 5am are a pain filled blur, but I remember taking a shower because the nurse said it would help... did not help. What helped the pain a little bit was sitting on the 'birthing ball." This is one of those giant yoga/pilates balls and it was truly a blessing! I bounced on that thing for at least four hours! It did not make the pain go away, but it eased it quite a bit. My labor was all in my back, so whatever I could do to relieve pressure was wonderful. My contractions were only about 30 seconds apart and were lasting a minute or more. I vaguely remember a nurse coming in and telling me I should walk around, and me telling her that I was not moving off that ball until there was a head coming out!
At 5am I was dilated to 5, and the most wonderful person in the universe came into my room: the Anesthetician!!! He told me all the risks of an epidural, and I told him to do it anyway, because lifelong paralysis was not worse than this!
The next five hours were WONDERFUL! I slept the entire time, waking up only momentarily for those icky dilation checks and sometimes when people came and left the room. I did not feel anything, and it was so great! Regardless of the epidural, I was exhausted and still hoped it would be over soon.
My doctor showed up at 9am, checked me and said I was dilated to 10 and we would have a baby before noon! I was so happy I was crying! Jim went to call family to tell them it would be soon, and I went back to sleep.
At 10:10 my doctor came back in and said it was time to push and to wake up and get ready. There was so much activity around me and I was getting really nervous because I did not know what to expect. I did not feel any pain, but they told me not to worry and they would tell me what to do. At 10:15 I was told to push as hard as I could until they told me to stop, so I did. That was the longest 10 seconds of my life, and I was pushing so hard I could feel blood vessels bursting in my head. Not good. Three times I did that, for 10 seconds each. After that contraction the doctor said he could already see the crown and to do the same thing again at the next contraction. I was still gasping for breath from the first set when I had to do it again. I was pretty sure I could not do this for hours and hours like some moms said they did, but I kept on. It seemed like forever, but only 5 minutes after I started my doctor said I would be pushing only one more time! I did it with gusto and I was so excited when I heard him say "you have a boy," that I tried to sit up right then and look at him! Paul came into the world at 10:22am on January 3rd, 2008. He was 7lb, 12 oz and was 19 1/2 inches long. My little Prince Paul.
Following this was a flurry of activity as nurses cleaned Little P and delivered the afterbirth. I did not care anything about any of it except seeing my little man! It brings tears to my eyes even now... let me get a tissue...
Some time later I was in a comfy room holding my son and smiling at my family who had been there to meet us afterward. I stayed in the hospital for 2 days, and they were the most wonderful two days ever! I have not gotten so much rest since Paul has been home as I did when I was there!