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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

No more false labor!!! Baby is HERE!!



Saturday, May 8, 2010. I was miserable. I was so thankful to be pregnant with a healthy baby, please don’t get me wrong. However, I was coming off an extremely stressful work week, two rounds of “false labor”, one which sent me to the hospital. I was just a wreck. I had been trying all the old wives tales to start labor, but my efforts were futile. I know that though. I know babies don’t come until they’re ready, yet when I found myself the most pregnant I’d ever been (Kadence was born at 37w1d, and here I sat at 38w5d), I was willing to try almost anything to get this baby out. My good friend, Ashley, was in the same situation, only about a week farther along than I was. I read online about “labor cookies” and learned they were basically gingerbread cookies with cayenne pepper added to them. I knew Ashley liked gingerbread cookies, so I called her to invite her to have labor cookies with me that evening. We cheated though. The actual “labor cookies” required countless ingredients and time and work. Not happening. So, we got premade gingerbread cookie mix and added the cayenne. They were actually pretty good. A little too spicy for cookies, in my opinion, but Ashley loved them and has decided that’s how gingerbread cookies should be made all the time!

About 45 minutes after eating my third….or fourth cookie, I felt a real contraction. We just laughed it off claiming the labor cookies were working. Then, I had a couple more over the next hour. I knew they were different, but they were so far apart. I figured maybe the spicy cookies were upsetting my stomach or something. Around 11:30pm though, I started to wonder…could this be it? Luis’ “nesting” instinct kicked in and he started cleaning the house and getting everything ready to go. I hung out in denial for a little while longer, blogging and watching “Couples Retreat”. The contractions were definitely real, and coming about 20 minutes apart. I just couldn’t believe I was potentially going into labor. I told Luis we should sleep, just in case. Yea, that didn’t work out. Luis was too excited, and my contractions were coming closer to 10 minutes apart. They stayed that way for a while, I think. I was only occasionally timing them. I was starting to believe this could be it, but I was hesitant to call our sitter or doula, since I had already disrupted their lives for nothing earlier that week. At around 3:45am though, I told Luis, “This is real”. I called the doula, Chrys, and he called our babysitter. I told the doula I planned to head to the hospital around 6:00am. I didn’t know if it were too early, but I was already dilated 3cm and had read one too many “we JUST made it in time” stories. I figured I’d rather be at the hospital too soon than have the baby in the car. I asked Luis to start a bath for me so I could see if that would help with the contractions. Oh my goodness, did it ever! I had a couple contractions in the tub, and while I felt them of course, they were so much more bearable than the ones I had been having. It was so nice and relaxing to just sit there, too. After about 30 minutes, I was ready to get out though. From the time it took me to get out of the tub and towel off (less than 10 minutes), I had three contractions. Thankfully, our babysitter had arrived because I told Luis we were leaving now. We get down the street and I had him turn around because I forgot my makeup bag. Yup, I’m vain.

We arrived at the hospital just after 5am; they checked me in, and Chrys and her assistant, Stephanie, met us there. They did a quick exam, and I found out I was 5cm and they were getting me a room!! Even though I knew it was real, I still imagined them saying, “Nope, no change, honey...go home”. The contractions started to intensify, but I was able to walk/breathe through them. I wanted to be in the tub again, but Chrys didn’t have any available, and our hospital doesn’t have birth tubs. They did have a shower, so I figured I’d try that. It was nice, but I wasn’t really comfortable sitting or standing through contractions anymore. Though I’ve heard and read that laboring in the bed is the most difficult, that’s the only place I wanted to be. I was sitting up in bed, and for each contraction, I would breathe loudly and slowly, either looking down or at Luis, and the doulas would rub my back or feet or hands. Everyone was encouraging me saying I can do this. I felt confident that I could. The contractions hurt like hell, but they were so different than the ones I had with Kadence. Normal contractions feel like you’re going up a mountain. There’s a beginning, a peak, and a downward slope. Pitocin contractions are more like slamming into a brick wall. The on call doctor checked me again at 7:30, I was 8cm! I couldn’t believe things were moving so fast. She alerted my doctor, who just got back in town that morning, thank God, and she was on her way. I was having really rough contractions, and Luis would just remind me that I was doing great and could do it, and Chrys was constantly reminding me to relax my shoulders, which helped so much. Your first instinct is to fight the contractions, and that makes them so much worse. It still hurts like crazy, but when you relax and embrace the pain, it’s more manageable.

The next hour or so was the worst. Transition. Yea, I hate that word now. I started being nearly unable to “embrace” the contractions. See that sentence above about relaxing and not fighting them, telling me that during transition would make me punch someone. I was squeezing Stephanie’s hand and pushing against the bed rail or Luis’ chest for each contraction, screaming things like, “This fucking hurts!!!” and “Why did I DO this?” I could not help but tense up, even though I knew it was the worst thing to do. Though, for one of these contractions, I was able to stay totally relaxed. I didn’t even open my eyes. It still hurt like a bitch, but it was more bearable than the ones I kind of fought. I imagined that’s how the hypnobirthing mom’s are throughout labor, and momentarily regretted not paying more attention to that book. At 8:30, my doctor arrives to check me out and I’m still 8cm. She says if she breaks my water, things should get moving pretty quickly. I agreed. Oh my God, it felt soooooooooooooooo good. I don’t know how to explain it, but the release of my water bag was relaxing in some way. Until the next contraction, that is. More screaming and cursing ensue. I’m feeling intense pressure during each contraction, almost like I want to push. I say this, loudly, over and over again…”I feel pressure!!! I want to push! GET MY DOCTOR!!” They have my doctor come back in, and she watches me through a few contractions. She said I was moving the baby down but not quite ready to push. After about 4 or 5 horrific contractions, she checks me again. I’m ready to go! On the next contraction, I push with everything I have. I scream SO loud. Thank God, I was the only one laboring at that time so I didn’t scare other moms. I think with the second push, the head was out…but then I had to wait. They had to remove the cord from around his neck. I cannot describe how weird it feels to have a person’s head sticking out of you. It was only a matter of seconds and I got to push again. I actually felt a shoulder come out, and that hurt so badly. Then, baby was here. On my 30th birthday and Mother’s Day, at 9:03am, just 33 minutes after the doc broke my water, my SON, Gavin Thomas entered the world weighing 7lbs9oz. I want to say “I immediately forgot about all the pain”, but that so wasn’t true. I was distracted looking at the beautiful baby, but I looked up to Luis and said, “Damn, that hurt.” After not being able to go completely med free with Kadence and having regrets, now that I had done it, it truly didn’t matter. I was only concerned with the fact that Gavin was here and healthy. And since I don’t exactly know how to wrap up this story, how about closing with a picture or two:


9 comments:

Jackie said...

Congrats! He's gorgeous!!

Jess said...

Congratulation!! What an adorable little boy!

Jim, Rhi and Ike said...

<3 I'm all teary eyed :o) How precious Gavin is, what an incredible blessing. So happy for you guys!

Katie said...

What a great birth story Momma! Congrats!

One Pork Chop said...

That's so amazing, Myn - I'm so proud of you! What a wonderful birth story, and what a beautiful little BOY! WOW! A BOY! :)

<3 you!

Katie said...

Awesome job! Congrats and enjoy your new son!

Jill @BabyRabies said...

What a GREAT story! I'm so proud of you! It's crazy how similar our stories sound. Transition, ugh... transition. I hated reliving that, not looking forward to it next time. Thank goodness it's the fastest part of labor. He is SO handsome! Congratulations!!

Caroline said...

you are AMAZING!!!! gavin is just gorgeous. i am so happy for you all!

Yuliya A. said...

Congrats on your little boy, he's adorable!