|Eloise Jane, 1 week old|
This did not go exactly as planned, but in the end I got exactly what I wanted so I can't really complain. My water started leaking Tuesday night, but there was not a contraction in sight. We called the doc and were instructed to go to the hospital because if water breaks and the baby doesn't come within 24 hours, the risk of infection increases. We went to the hospital about 8:30 pm Tuesday night and I was admitted to my room. I had a sleepless, frustrating night of constantly having to pee and unhook myself from the two monitors on my tummy (and they itched horribly). I lay awake longing for a contraction, for anything to get started. I'd occasionally feel a dull ache, but it went away and by morning I was still one tight centimeter dilated and contractions were tiny and rare.
The doctor on call came in and suggested pitocin. We talked about it and I said yes. My drip was started around 6:00 am and within an hour, contractions were starting. I practiced my Bradley Method relaxation for each contraction thinking, "Yeah, I've got this." They were uncomfortable but nothing over the top... until around lunch time. Something changed in an instant and they were hard. They were hard and fast. Relaxing became increasingly harder to do. Jason, my AMAZING husband, sat by my side through the ENTIRE labor. He rubbed my back the entire time and when I say entire, I really mean it. He never left me, he never stopped rubbing my back per my request, and he talked me through every single contraction.
Relaxing through these contractions became a joke. A complete and utter joke. I did try, however, to relax my middle section so that the contraction could do what it was intended to do, and I took Jason's hand in my own and squeezed the life out of it so that the next day, I felt as if I'd done a serious weight workout in my arms and back. Eventually I requested a pain killer to take the edge off. I hadn't wanted this too soon because the nurse said it only worked well the first time. I didn't want there to be a second or third time so I waited until I was sure I was close to the end before requesting it. She brought it immediately (Nubain, is how it is pronounced - I have no idea how to spell it), and put it in my IV. It made me feel sort of loopy, but it allowed me to rest between contractions. I sort of went to a different place and then returned for a contraction and to squeeze Jason's hand while allowing my breathing to get me through each one.
My contractions had moved down until I started feeling them push and when I actually felt myself push with them, I told Jason to get the nurse (or to let Mom because I had his entire arm in the death grip). The nurse came in immediately, checked me, and called for the doctor. I've never seen people move so fast. She told me that I first had to push to get the cervix off the baby (or something like that), and that was the first set of 3 pushes. The second set of 3 pushes got the head out and the third set produced a squalling baby who was placed immediately on my tummy.
Pushing was hard. I was so tired (and hungry! I'd had nothing to eat since 6:00 pm the night before) and I'm not going to sugar coat it - it hurt! Jason echoed the nurses urging and the nurse was amazing in instructing me on exactly how to push. I told myself it was almost over and I was going to have my baby girl, and within 5 minutes of pushing, I had her. I was hoarse by the time it was over. I am apparently a yeller. Not a screamer, but take my normal voice and ramp it up several decibels and that was me during the end of labor. I was surprised by that. I apologized to my crew but the nurse said I'd done great and should not be embarrassed at all, and Jason said the same.
The happiness of that moment, of her arrival into this world, cannot be described. I had done it. I had gotten her here with the help of my amazing husband, a stellar nurse and my amazing Creator who had blessed us with an absolutely perfect little girl. Jason cut her cord and the doctor finished up with me while Eloise was cleaned up, swaddled, and returned to my arms. Oh that moment! She breastfed a little, enough to show me she got the point, and then when we were finished I was taken up to my room. Jason went with Eloise to give her her very first bath.
And that, my friends, is the story of her arrival. It has been exactly a week now (today being her actual due date), and it has been a truly wonderful week. At first I thought Jason and I could do it all, but after 2 nights, I asked Mom to come and help. She has been AMAZING and I have gotten the rest I need at night. Breastfeeding was rough at first, but it is going more smoothly every day, for which I am so very grateful. I am feeling better and better each day, and that is a huge blessing too on top of the countless I have received during this most wonderful, life-changing week.
|A smile after lunch|
|What Eloise is doing right now.|