Gone are the days of anything familiar. Having a baby has been the hardest thing I have ever done, and I'm not talking about the labor. It challenges every part of me. Nothing is as it was before, relationships, daily tasks, going out, talking on the phone...it's as if I was reincarnated and came back as a mother. I never really think I could quite grasp this a month ago, before Lola was more than just a dream and an ultrasound.
Now don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, this is most definitely a gift and a blessing but I'm just putting onto a computer screen what is rolling around in my head. This experience thus far has been full of ups as well as change. Lola is what I live for, in so many ways. She is what I am constantly thinking about, planning and dreaming for. Though this comes at a price, of sorts, a disconnect from the world around me. Or maybe it's just a new way of connecting that I haven't quite mastered.
What they say is true, you do appreciate your parents on a whole new level, once you yourself experience parenthood. Oh, how I regret not being more verbally grateful for my mom and all she did for me, although I never could have understood her sacrifice fully until now.
It's a molding and shaping like nothing I've ever been a apart of. God is using this time to truly change me into something deeper and more honest. Someone who is more unselfish and more dependent on God's strength. This is something I did not expect from God at this time...or maybe I knew it on paper, but the reality of making the actual change is more intense than I would care to admit.
These days are full of new emotions and experiences. I pray that I will grab hold of God's faithfulness and not let go until He has made me into the person and mother that He wants me to be.
Sunday, May 8, 2011
So I was wrong, I wasn't pregnant forever! :) It all started on Friday night, April 22nd. I went to bed early after drinking like a gallon of water, at 9:30. Bryan was still up, watching TV. I was half asleep and then all of a sudden, I felt this little gush...maybe more like a trickle. My first thought was the water was catching up with me. I jumped up and ran to the bathroom. Monday, at my appointment with my midwife Kim, she has said if something like this happens to rest and if it starts coming more or I get contractions to call her. I laid back down but about 5 minutes later, another trickle. I got up and told Bryan, I didn't want to get his hopes up but I didn't know what was happening.
I started getting some cramping, first sporadic then about 10 minutes apart. Finally around 11:45 we decided to call Kim. She said she was comfortable with me staying home for 6 hours after the first sign of water, which would be 3:45 am. She said I should set my alarm for 3 am and if I was still having symptoms to come in to the hospital. So that's what we decided to do. I got in the shower, just in case we did end up going, I knew I could be in for a long night. I, of course, didn't sleep a wink. Bryan was out like a light. I tried to wake him up twice during a contraction, but he was really in la-la land. So I held out till 3 and then got up and got ready. I woke B up and started doubting whether I should go in or not. Bryan thought we should just go, the worst they could say was go home, it's not time yet.
So off we went. We got to the hospital and left our bags in the car, just in case we were on our way home soon. We were sent straight up to labor and delivery where they already had my information that Kim had sent over just in case I decided to go in.
They brought me right to a room and had me change. One of the first questions they asked me was if I had a birth plan and if they could have a copy. I was impressed at their sensitivity to this and Bryan made sure everyone who wanted a copy got one. Then the nurse checked me. She immediately said, well, I can say for sure your water broke. She said that Lola's head was so low that it was acting as a cork and not letting much fluid out at once. She said I was 3 centimeters and 95% effaced. Which was up from 1 and 70 at my appointment on Monday. Bryan said, " So does that mean we are staying?" and the nurse said, "Oh yes!"
The next step was to get a hep lock in and draw some blood. My streak continues with terrible sticks. They ended up blowing 4 veins and covering me in bruises before finding one that worked.
The reality hadn't really set in, but the relief that an end was in sight was very nice!
A nurse from the nursery stopped in for our signature on some paperwork. She wasn't a fan of our birth plan and made that very clear, by very maturely throwing things and stomping around...but this was the only real resistance we encountered.
The contractions stayed pretty much around 7-10 minutes apart. Totally manageable, but very sporadic in length. The one nurse said that we would probably have to consider pitocin because of this and that made me very worried. I knew that this was going to be hard without drugs, but add in the increase in intensity with the pitocin and I just wasn't sure I wanted to even try it.
Kim stopped by around 8 am and checked me. I was at 6! Whohoo! I'm not sure if the nurse said something to her about the pitocin, but she said, don't worry about the contractions, you are progressing great and we don't even need to think about trying anything to help you along at this point. I was very relieved by that!
The contractions started getting more intense and Kim suggested that I try some other positions to get the progression moving faster. I wasn't allowed to walk about because my blood pressure shot way up once I was admitted and they didn't want to risk it going up any more, which I was bummed about at first, but looking back, I don't know that I could have tolerated walking much anyways. I asked for the birthing ball and we tried that next to the bed. Bryan would push my hips together really hard every contraction. It helped to lessen the pressure some.
After a little while I felt a little like I needed to push. They had me get back in the bed and checked me. I was only about 7-8 cm at that point. I couldn't get back down onto the ball, so I stayed in the bed and focused on the light. It sounds so silly to have a focal point, but it really worked for a while. I screamed through a few contractions, but Kim got me to calm down and try to relax through them, much less intense when I did this, although you really have to concentrate and it's easy to lose focus.
I tried switching positions to my side, but that wasn't happening. Kim said for me to try it for 10 minutes and then I could go back. I barely made it! I think it was totally mental, but I just couldn't lay that way. Kim had to go do a c-section and stopped in one more time to check on me. She checked me again and I was 8-9. She was so encouraging and kept saying I was doing great, she really helped me stay somewhat level headed.
At some point Bryan kept saying, "It's almost over, It's almost over!" I asked him to stop saying that cause he didn't know that! ha ha. Kim came in right after that and said, "It's almost over!"
Bryan just thought to himself, "oh boy, she shouldn't have said that!" :)
A little while later, Kim was on her way to another birth and stopped in to see how I was. I was honestly starting to lose my focus...and my mind, I think. I was screaming and yelling, and wasting my energy on that. Kim checked me one more time before she left and said those wonderful words, Your at ten! I was excited, but scared that I would be one of those people who pushed for hours on end. They brought in the table and what seemed like a thousand people.
The contractions were intense, but pushing was on a whole new level. Thankfully I only had to push for 14 minutes, about 5 times. After almost 16 hours of unmedicated, no intervention labor, at 1:29 pm, Lola Pearle Baxter was born 7 lbs, 14 oz and 19.25 inches long. My birth plan was followed to a T, and I feel truly blessed to have had the experience that I was hoping for.
The nurses first noticed her feet and how big they were, guess she got Bryan's feet :) They laid her on me and we just looked at her for a while. She is perfect in every way and we are so thankful for her!