Hello to all you long lost readers out there! It has been forever since I was able to get to my computer long enough to write a new post, I hope you all figure out that I’m back to writing again and haven’t left me forever. It feels great to be writing again! My life has been quite full lately and it’s all due to this little lady who made her big debut on April 3, 2013.
Rees Elizabeth was born at 10:43am and weighed in at 7lbs 11 oz and 20 inches long. Giving birth is no joke and like all women who have been through it, I now feel a new sense of self and am still a bit stunned that my body not only created this tiny human but that it also birthed her. I also now have my very own story of childbirth to share and I’m going to share it with all of you.
My due date was March 26 and as you can see I did not have a March baby. By the time I was 5 days past my due date (and SO over being pregnant) my doctor suggested scheduling an induction. This was the one thing I had wanted to avoid with birth and asked for a bit more time. My OB agreed and let me wait out the weekend. After 3 more days and another doctor’s appointment to check on the baby, I was informed that the doctor did not want me to go past 41 weeks and they were recommending induction. All the walking, spicy food, squats, pregnancy tea, evening primrose oil and acupuncture to start labor were for nothing. I was devastated but in the effort to have a healthy baby agreed to follow the doctor’s recommendation.
We arrived at 8am the following day and by 10am I was in a gown and had been given some drugs to try and start labor. These drugs I was told, would take 4 hours and then they’d check me to see if I needed a second dose. I remember thinking this was going to be a very long day and it was. Eric and I waited and watched lots of TV. Eric went home several times to feed and walk our dog and I was feeling nothing. A few contractions here and there but by 3pm I had made almost no progress and the midwife decided to switch me to pitocin. They were bringing out the big guns. I got hooked up and thought contractions would start immediately. Nope. We waited some more and although I had a few more contractions, by 10pm I had still made zero progress and my contractions were not consistent. At this point I was thinking that this baby was going to live in me forever. I was exhausted and disappointed.
The midwife came in and told me they were taking me off the pitocin. I would be monitored for an hour and then they were going to try a method of manually dialating my cervix, a method that would take 12 hours, so they’d let me try and sleep until the following day. When she said 12 hours I thought I was going to kill someone. And then the midwife said the one sentence I will never forget, “this is why inductions take anywhere from one to 4 days.” FOUR DAYS! WHAT?! Someone forgot to mention that to me when we discussed induction. I felt doomed to be there in that hard bed for 4 days.
The nurse and midwife left the room, I started to cry and then something amazing happened. God answered my prayers and knew I couldn’t survive in there for four days. Suddenly, I started having contractions, big contractions, contractions lasting a few minutes each and coming one on top of the other and it was happening on its own without drugs! The nurse rushed in, I started screaming and trying to breath through it and the room filled with people. They were prepping the infant bed and getting instruments out. Then I heard the best words of my life, the nurse said, “call the anesthesiologist” without even asking me, she knew I was in some serious pain. The epidural was on the way! Waiting for the anesthesiologist to arrive was the longest 20 minutes of my life.
After getting the epidural in and getting the good stuff started, I felt immediate relief and suddenly the pain was gone. The midwife checked me and in two hours I had dilated 3 centimeters, more than I had dilated all day. The nurses got me comfortable and the contractions slowed down a bit, enough for them to tell me to try and rest and sleep if I could (yeah right). But I did send Eric home for a few hours to sleep, thank goodness we live 5 minutes from the hospital.
At 4am, the midwife checked me again and broke my water but told me to get back to resting. I figured I would be in that bed for the rest of the following day and maybe this baby would be born the following evening. At 7am there is the shift change and my new nurse came into check on me. She took one look at me and said, “oh, you’re a natural red head, you know what they say about red heads, once labor gets started you go fast and furious. I think we’re going to have a baby this morning.” I smiled and thought, “yeah right, you have no clue lady, I’m going slower than anything over here.”
Eric arrived around 7:30am he was planning to check on me and then get some coffee and breakfast. Around 8am the nurse said, I think I’m going to have the midwife check you. I figured it was just because I hadn’t seen the new midwife on duty yet and she’d want to get updated on my progress. She came in checked me and as I expected to have made zero progress she looked at me and said, “You’re fully dilated and at station +2 you can start pushing.”
Wait…WHAT?! I’m having a baby, like right NOW?! Ok, I wasn’t expecting this yet. Suddenly I was a little scared. This was the part, the crazy part where I had to push this baby out and we finally got to meet her. Eric looked at me and I thought, poor guy he hasn’t even had coffee yet.
The next two hours flew by and I pushed for all of them. The nurse and midwife were amazing and Eric was right in there holding my legs, getting me water and encouraging me (while I told him not to look). And then it was here, the moment, then one where they say, her head is out, one more push and suddenly there is a slimy wet noodle on my stomach. Eric cut the cord and I could see her getting cleaning up beside me. At first, she didn’t cry and I was worried something might be wrong but since then we’ve discovered its just how she is, Rees doesn’t cry much, she’s very content and chill (nothing like her mother). As they fixed me up and cleaned up, Eric was the first one to hold her and I could see how in love with her he already was. The nurses talked about how perfect she was and I tried not to fall asleep on the bed. I was the most tired I have ever been in my entire life. When they finally put her on my chest, I could barely hold her because I was so weak. But she was here and she was ours.
It’s now 6 weeks later and we’re finally getting the hang of things around here. I’m getting a little more sleep and so is Rees at night and we’ve gotten to know our daughter and what she needs and when she needs it. Like I said, she’s the best baby, eats well, sleeps well, smiles lots and rarely cries. Seriously, sometimes I just find her awake in her crib hanging out after sleeping. We love watching her grow and snuggling her.
Rees has added so much to our family already and even when I’m exhausted from a long night, all I need to do is look at her sweet face and I don’t care anymore. Being a mom is already the best job I’ve ever had.
Moving forward, I will continue to share my cooking adventures with all of you but I’ll also throw in some posts about my life and my new role as a mom. I hope to get some time to cook in the coming weeks and plan to start cooking dinner again now that I’ve gotten into a better and more predictable routine. What has everyone else been up to? Any other new moms out there? Any moms have suggestions for this newbie??