Time has flown by so quickly. I don't even feel like my mom stayed with us for 3 weeks. or that it's been almost a month since Ezra was born. or that I'm actually a parent now. The days have been crazy! Recovery was and still is a bit rough, but so much better than the first and second bweek.
I won't go into too much detail, but I will just mention that it took a week to finally stop wearing dresses/night gowns and an extra week after that to stop wearing the stretchiest mesh underwear known to man (stretchy undies were courtesy of the hospital). Of course after getting rid of the stretchy underwear, I came down with mastitis, so my slow upward climb on recovery quickly took a tumble downhill as I battled with fever, chills, sweats, antibiotic side effects, and fatigue. I literally stayed inside for 3 days straight and slept for most of the day. and night.
Fortunately, I have Carl and my mom was with us at the time, so getting over mastitis wasn't as bad as it could have been! The only tough thing now is learning to be a mama and understanding what Ezra wants. I am most definitely not a baby whisperer. A "wah!!!" for food sounds just like a "wah!!!" for a diaper change. I like to stay optimistic though and believe that one day I will be an expert in Ezra's cries :)
So onto more interesting things- the birth story!
I really enjoyed reading other lady's birth stories to get an idea of what to expect. I figured between contractions, late hours, and excitement, I would forget details, so I recruited Carl to be my scribe when I was busy (ya know, having a baby), so I have a nice record to look back on now!
12 pm - went to our apartment complex's pool party to catch some rays, eat free food, and win prizes. I'm happy to say that Carl got a $20 gift card for winning and I got a $25 gift card for losing.
1 pm- I start to have a few small contractions and tell Carl that we should go home.
2 pm - contractions grow stronger and we begin to time them. They're fairly consistent, maybe 5 minutes or less apart. I'm not convinced this is the real thing though, so I take a shower then take a bath because my lower back hurts a LOT with each contraction.
3:30 pm - I begin to time my contractions again because I'm thinking, "maybe this is the real thing" since my contractions were growing closer and more painful. Carl passes out on the bed and I try to take a nap but the contractions hurt too much so I make my way to the couch and time them there.
4:30 pm - Contractions are about every 3 - 4 minutes, so I decide that it's time to call the on-call OB. Dr. Heit calls me back, asks me a few questions, then says I should go to the hospital and get checked out. I wake up Carl and say, "well, looks like I should go to the hospital!"
I was convinced that we'd get to the hospital, they'd check me, tell me I hadn't progressed much, so I should go home and wait a little longer. It seems like everyone I know has that experience of false labor. I tried to tell Carl that was probably going to happen, so we shouldn't pack all of our hospital stuff into the car yet since I would probably be sent home. He disagreed. So, we packed up the car, drove the minute long drive to the hospital, and made our way up to the labor and delivery unit. Bystanders must have thought something was wrong because every 3 minutes or less, I'd stop walking, moan and groan through the contraction, and then say, "ok Carl, that one is over with so let's speed walk over to..."
5 pm - Check in at the Labor/Deliver (L&D) unit and they send me to a triage room to make sure I'm in real labor. I get hooked up to the monitors, checked by a nurse and looks like I'm 3 cm, 80% effaced.
I'm going to interrupt now and say OUCH. Was that clear enough? How about HOLY CRAP THAT'S A MAJOR OUCH. I'm not kidding. I've never been in so much pain I had to be vocal about it. The contractions just kept getting worse. Just when I thought that previous one was the most painful, the next one would top it off. They felt like the most horrible menstrual cramps ever combined with some obese man jumping on my lower back. Anyway, I was in pain and would be in even more in the next two and half hours.
6:30 pm - they say, "well, looks like we'll admit you since you've progressed and you're having fairly strong contractions (hence the screaming, right?)" They ask me if I want an epidural and Carl answers yes. Haha. In between contractions, I decided that I wanted to enjoy my labor and talk between contractions and not have to deal with even more pain since I knew I would probably tear and be in agony during recovery.
Really, we don't get our wisdom teeth pulled out without some kind of pain relief during the procedure to feel more connected with our mouths, do we? Well I didn't. I love modern medicine! I read a lot of birth stories and articles about how epidurals and pain medication made babies more sluggish after the birth, but I don't buy it. However, don't let my opinions change yours. Some people need that painful connection with their baby to form the best bond possible. Or they feel strongly against synthetic drugs. Or they just have incredible pain tolerance. Lot's of reasons.
7 pm - in my room, still in pain, waiting for the anesthesiologist to come save me.
7:15 pm - He's arrived and sets up shop
7:45 pm - YES! Epidural is in! But then it caused my blood pressure to drop to 70/50 and the baby wasn't getting as much O2 anymore, so then they had me lay on my left side with an O2 mask on while the nurse gave me some IV meds to get everything back to normal. That was a bit frightening...
Well, I progressed well on my own without any Pitocin, so about every hour, I'm a centimeter further along.
10:15 pm - the on-call doctor says hello and asks if he can break my water to see if labor will progress even more, so I say okie dokie and much to my horror, the fluids contain meconium. So they flush me out, warn me that there will be a large team of nurses and don't be afraid if he doesn't cry right away. Ok.
12:20 am - I feel more pressure, call the nurse in, get checked, I'm 100% effaced and almost fully dilated!
1:20 am - Lights come out of the ceiling, bed comes apart, and it's time to PUSH! Huzzah!
2:30 am - And I'm still pushing!
3:30 am - And I'm still pushing... the doc comes back in and says baby is stuck so if progress isn't made in the next 20 minutes, I'll need to have a c-section. A little bit of a bummer since I didn't plan on that at all.
3:50 am - I've pushed and I've pushed and he's come down just enough, so the doc says, "let's try forceps then!"
Well, I'll leave out more gory details, but I pushed every single contraction, even fell asleep between a couple, and the forceps were placed, doc did a snippity snip, and...
4:16 am - Ezra is born! Doc lifted him up, said, "say hi to mom!" snipped his cord, and handed him to the NICU nurses so that they could assess him. He then went to work sewing me back together.
I'm pretty sure I would have died if I went through this experience before modern medicince.
The experience was amazing and very different than what I expected. I'm one of those weirdies who wanted a mirror to see the baby crowning and I wanted Carl to cut the cord. I was afraid of a few things: meconium stained fluid, hemorrhaging, clots traveling to my heart, prolapsed umbilical cord, and extreme pain, so when I had the pain, green fluids and large blood loss from the tearing, it was clearly not the most ideal situation. The nursing student in me made me frightened of all those things. In the end though, I'm just happy that Ezra arrived here safely. Apparently he was just so anxious to be born he pooped! Haha, he had great Apgar scores and no complications. By the end of the 3 hours of pushing, I didn't even care that they pushed the mirror out of the way and that the doctor cut the cord. I would have even been ok with a c-section if it meant that Ezra was born safely. I can't even describe the emotion I felt when I saw him the first time. He was so ugly and purple, screaming his little head off, but at the same time, I was so happy to see him and thought he was just the most handsome baby ever to be born. I just knew he was ok instantly and I felt so connected to him- after all, I had been carrying him for the past 39 1/2 weeks, right? After everything settled down a bit, I finally got to hold him- he was so alert, taking in the world. Perfect moment for Carl and I :)
Anyway, I hope you enjoy reading this. If you are expecting or planning to have children someday, don't let me scare you off with my reports of extreme pain- it's different for everyone. I'll post again soon about how we named him!
On a side note, I'm sending out birth announcements this week. If you would like one or you don't think I have your most recent address, just leave a comment with your best mailing address or e-mail me at email@example.com. Love you all!