Wednesday, April 17, 2013

A Baby Story

I've been thinking about writing up a little birth story for oh...about two months now. Every few days I think to myself, "I should probably do that today." Today is that day.

I'll try not to make this TOO long, but I'm not making any promises. And consider this your warning  if pictures with blood or words like cervix and vagina make you squirmish  you might just want to hit the big red X up in the right hand-side of the page. You've been warned.
Shae was due to come on February 6th. By the due date I hadn't felt one contraction and was only dilated to a 2 and 80% effaced. The doctor had already told me that I would most likely be induced a week later and although I wanted to believe with all my heart that that wouldn't be the case, it was. Stubborn body. 

The evening of Monday the 11th of February we went in to the hospital at 6pm. I wasn't screaming and stopping every couple of seconds like I imagined doing the day we went to the hospital. Instead of picking up the phone outside of Labor & Delivery and shouting, "I'M HAVING A BABY! LET ME IN!", I picked up the phone and said, "hello, I am here to be cervically ripened. Can we come in?"

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By 7pm I was in bed, hooked up, and had my first dose of ripening meds shoved up me. It was a long night without much sleep to say the least. Not because I was in pain, it was just hard to sleep with so many monitors on me that kept moving around. The nurse kept coming in to fix the monitors and give me more medicine to help my cervix soften and prepare for labor (and I swear I had to pee every 45 minutes).

6am came and the Pitocin was started. Nothing happened. (I had assumed that the Pitocin would be started and that I would start feeling wicked contractions instantly. I was wrong).

10:30am my water was broken. I was still only dilated to a 3 at this point, but after they broke my water I did start feeling stronger contractions and they continued to get stronger. I knew I was going to get an epidural at some point, so by 1pm the contractions were strong to the point that I didn't care to feel anymore so I asked for the epidural.

This is when my bestie Kaitlyn showed up to start taking pictures (THANK YOU KAITLYN!).

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It was pretty boring at this point. Just waiting. Waiting. Waiting.

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There were a couple moments where the epidural wore off slightly.
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The doctor was SO great. At 4pm I was only dilated to a 5 and started getting scared that they were going to want to do a C-section because of how slow everything was progressing. The doctor was very comforting and told me that things were going slowly, but that I was making progress. Slow progress, but progress none the less and that we would just keep waiting and not to worry.
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Two hours later at 6pm the nurse checked me and told me to get ready to start pushing. I couldn't believe that I had progressed so much in two hours! It was such a relief to hear her say that, and at the same time that meant I had to start pushing. I was a bit scared for this part.

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7:05pm. Push. This was my least favorite part of all. It was miserable. I felt weak, dehydrated and hot during the whole thing. I really hated not being able to eat/drink all day. (Definite perk for people who manage to give birth with no meds).

Feeling so weak really made it hard on me. Thankfully I had my mom there to feed me ice chips in between contractions and my husband there to root me on.

I really wish that I had asked for a mirror. I think it would have help motivate me a lot if I could have seen what was going on, rather than just feeling like nothing was happening (besides my head being on the verge of explosion). The moment that got me through it all was when I heard Darin say something to the effect of "Oh my gosh Brillante! I can see his head!" That's when I decided that I really could do this. Right after that, I remember telling myself that he was coming out on that next push. Sure enough, he did.

7:51pm. Baby Shae entered the world. I didn't realize at the time how much of a cone head he had...haha...

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I'm not gonna lie, holding him for the very first time wasn't exactly what I imagined it to be. Don't get me wrong, I was excited (Especially because I was incredibly ridiculously super happy to be done pushing). But I was just so weak and felt so out of it at this point that it was hard to even think about what was happening. I also didn't really feel an instant connection with my baby like I thought I would. It was like holding a little stranger that all of a sudden fell under my complete responsibility and care.

With that said, it was a miracle. Having a baby really is a miracle. The human body is a miracle. I love looking at these pictures because they remind me of so many of the blessings of our Heavenly Father. Family. Life. The human body and all that it is capable of doing.

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My life changed that day, and although those changes can be hard at times, I am so grateful to have this sweet baby in my life. I might not have felt that electrifying connection that first time I held him, but I sure did love him. It wasn't a love that I'd ever really felt before. Not a love of someone that I've known for a long time. Not a love of someone who treats you well and wishes you happiness. It was more of a love for someone who I knew would teach me more about what true love really is.

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Looking back, it really was the start of a new journey. Each day I feel more connected to my precious baby. Each day I feel like I know him better. Each day I feel my love for him grow. Having a baby is hard, but beautiful.

I might just have to do it again some day.

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