|My ongoing hospital bag list; it's so silly to think that we|
didn't really need any of this stuff! Was I really concerned about aromatherapy?
|August's last sonogram! Cute little foot.|
|I'm in the middle, with tree trunks for ankles! Look how slender Karen's are to my left...|
That night, JP and I got ready for bed and passed out at 11. At about 2:30am Friday morning, on one of my many bathroom breaks, my water broke. Of course, as a first time mom, I just thought it was normal bathroom stuff, although my back started hurting really intensely after that. I figured I would try moving around and sitting on our fitness ball, etc., to help ease the pain. In hindsight, I was obviously in labor, but too clueless to know!
Finally, at 4am, I shook JP awake and told him something was wrong. He automatically thought I was in labor and started timing my contractions (I had tried, but couldn't really get it; now I realize it's because they started out so close together). JP called our doctor's office, and they told us to come in to be looked at. As I wandered around the house, moaning and in total denial about being in labor, JP threw some more stuff in our bags, and convinced me into the car. Everything for this pregnancy was totally textbook, and I was really in denial about going into labor 4.5 weeks early; I just kept telling JP that I wasn't ready for this. Thank goodness the roads were empty that early in the morning, as it allowed JP to speed 100mph down the highway to our hospital. He made record time!
We were the only ones in the waiting room when we got there at 4:40am, and I must have looked a mess because they got us right into a delivery room. JP parked the car while a team of nurses prepped me for delivery. My doctor was already at the hospital, finishing another birth, so she was ready for business the second she came in our room. She informed us that I was already at 8cm when I came in, and would be ready to push soon. I honestly couldn't believe it; despite the increasing pain and pressure, I somehow thought I would have a more 'normal' labor and delivery. This was all happening way too fast! I kept telling JP, 'I'm not ready for this,' both because he would be so early, and because I thought we would have another month to prepare for parenthood. Since that night, though, I know we work on 'baby time,' which has its own schedule.
JP sent a few texts and made a couple of phone calls to let people know that the churro was coming earlier than we'd planned, then got into 'labor coach' mode. The week before, we had completed our birthing classes, and not a moment too soon! JP used all of the breathing techniques we learned, and got me through the entire last part of labor. Then, at about 5:30, my doctor said it was time to start pushing. I had planned on a natural delivery, and that's what I got, but it was not a fun process! Pushing was so hard and intense, but purposeful; JP would remind me when to breathe, count while I pushed, and gave me updates about the progress being made. The nurses put a mirror up so I could watch the process, which was insanely cool. Birth is a messy business, but incredible to watch. We had joked that JP would stay above the shoulders to keep his trauma to a minimum, but my doctor had him holding one of my legs back and he got the entire show! What a brave man.
As the birth got nearer, and he started crowning, several nurses and a doctor from the NICU came into the room. My OB said his heart rate was starting to drop a bit, so she would have to do an incision to quicken his delivery. After that, the mirror had to be moved (started to feel woozy), and about 5 minutes later, our baby's head was out. I couldn't see anything, but JP was amazing and encouraged me to push one more time. I gathered my waning energy, and out came our baby boy. The NICU team jumped into high gear, and JP stayed close to our newborn.
August got a bath, weighed (6 lbs, 4 oz), measured (19 inches), and checked out (all fingers and toes accounted for!) while my OB finished with me. My blood pressure was a little high (I had pretty intense double vision and the shakes), and had to get lots of stitches (when labor is really quick, the body doesn't have time to stretch, so natural and medical tears are normal), which, without pain meds, was almost as painful as contractions! It was about an hour before I could hold our little baby on my chest, which felt like an eternity.
When August was finally put in my arms, I was completely overwhelmed. My heart just opened and gobbled that boy up; he was so beautiful and perfect. I couldn't have imagined him looking any other way, or feeling any different against me. He'd been with me every minute for over 245 days, and it felt like he was coming home.
After about an hour in post-delivery, we were taken to our recovery room. Northside Hospital has all private rooms, so JP and I got to spend some time acclimating to the magnitude of the last 6 hours. I was a hormonal wreck, crying every time JP picked up August and seeing my two men together. We called our families and sent texts and talked about what to name him. By the time JP's family came for a visit at 11am, we had a title for the churro.
We had visitors throughout Friday and Saturday, and August was tested for jaundice (he had a mild case that cleared up within 2.5 weeks and never got too worrisome), went through a car seat exam to make sure he could breathe easily in it with his little lungs, and we tried out breastfeeding. The first day was so hard because I was so sore and recuperating, and JP and I were both so tired; it felt like we were going on pure adrenaline. On the flip side, our baby was here and we couldn't stop staring at him!
When Sunday rolled around, we loaded up our items on a trolley (somehow, we accumulated lots of items during our 50-hour hospital stay!) and headed home one Diego stronger.
On the one hand, I feel as though my birth experience was quick and easy; only 3.5 hours, and 2 hours of that at home. I'd asked for a natural birth, which is exactly what I got, and discovered that it wasn't as bad as I expected it to be. (If I was in labor for 20 hours, though, I'd be singing another tune.) I felt so powerful and connected with my body during the delivery, and would definitely strongly consider going unmedicated next time.
Alternately, I can't believe how mentally exhausting August's first 24 hours were. We had a lot of change to adjust to really quickly, and I felt incredibly unprepared to be a parent. Yes, there are 40 weeks to research parenthood, but I spent so much of that time just making sure my pregnancy was going smoothly and normally; I just assumed I would research infancy during my last month. It's been incredibly reassuring to hear that no amount of research can prepare you for bringing a baby home. Even if August had been late, we would have been overwhelmed!
Now, 35 days later, I feel confident and capable of taking care of our son. His birth might have been a surprise, but I'm so glad we've had this extra time to get to know him. And look how much he's already grown!
|I think he's doing a bodybuilder pose here.|