Monday, January 19, 2015

Welcoming Isaiah

Before we get too far away from when my little man was born, I want to write down a bit of a birth story so I can always remember what that day was like. This is mostly for myself, but I know some people enjoy reading others birthing experiences. So, if you are one of those people, enjoy my novella (but seriously...its a lot of words). If not, you can always just scroll through and look at the adorable pictures of the sweetest boy in all the land (I tell Isaiah that he is the sweetest boy in all the land on a daily basis while I attack his cheeks with kisses).

Anyone who knows me at all knows that my entire pregnancy I was practically begging for my baby to be born on any day except Christmas. My due date was January 7th which was good enough for me to convince myself that he definitely would not be born on Christmas. In my cranky pregnancy state, I would roll my eyes every time someone told me it would be hilarious to have a Christmas birth because Noah works at a church. I would have to stuff down my strong opinions and just smile every time someone would talk about how it would be ‘the best Christmas gift ever’ if he came on Christmas. So...needless to say, I absolutely did not want a Christmas baby. I wanted him to have his own special day and not have to have a birthday filled with joint presents and combined parties for the rest of his life.

Well Christmas eve I had a doctors appointment and I had been in a bit of pain all day but after the appointment I felt really crummy. We had a family get together and I kept just chalking my not feeling well and mild/irregular cramping and contractions up to the doctors appointment. Everyone else that night apparently was pretty sure I was not feeling well because this baby was going to be coming…and soon.

Sure enough, Christmas morning I wake up at 4am to use the restroom and as I am very gracefully getting rolling out of bed I feel like maybe I had wet my pants. And lets just be honest, when you are that pregnant and using your abdominal muscles, wetting your pants a bit is not entirely out of the question (I know, I know, I am making pregnancy sound so glamorous. You're welcome). However, it kept happening and that is when I figured out that I was not repeatedly wetting my pants but that my water had broken. I was in quite a bit of denial because after all, it was Christmas and I refuse to have a Christmas baby! So there was lots of googling and lots of denial. I finally decided (with lots of convincing from Noah) it was at least time to call the doctor, she told me to come to labor and delivery around 11am to get checked out.

So I slowly got ready, packed up my hospital bag, and we headed to the hospital. Once there, they checked me out and confirmed my water had broken and just like that Christmas plans were done and we were in it for the long haul.

We started making the obligatory phone calls to family and friends letting them know that the day had arrived and our little boy would be here soon (but not really). Noah's mom hopped on the first plane she could catch and my parents came to the hospital to keep us company. My dad also brought me a cinnamon roll. I had made a whole delicious pan of home made cinnamon rolls for Christmas and I was not about to let labor stop me from enjoying one (or three...don't judge)!

I was laboring for a while, contracting on my own and they were increasing in intensity but around 5pm I had not progressed at all (and so I cried) and they hooked me up to Pitocin to help move me along. That stuff is no joke. Up until this point I had not used any sort of pain medication at all but after a while on Pitocin decided it was time to try something for the pain. I did not want an epidural, not because I wanted a ‘natural’ birth but because the idea of a needle going into my spine was absolutely terrifying. 
clearly between contractions....

Anyway, they gave me some other pain medication to try and help take the edge off…but maybe 5 minutes after they gave me that, it felt like my water broke again. this time it was not just a little bit, I felt a sort of pop and a huge rush of fluid (this time I did not mistake it for maybe wetting my pants). I thought I was crazy until I came home and did some googling. Sometimes Google makes you feel a little less crazy. What I found was that often when you just have small amounts of your water coming out that the baby’s head is blocking the rest of it (what I found on google was it being called the fore water and the hind water). Let me tell you, the difference in pain once my water broke for what felt like the second time (the hind water) was absolutely a million times worse than what I had been feeling. Where I had previously been able to breathe through the contractions and maintain control, I now could not focus on anything and was having a lot of trouble controlling my breathing. I went through what felt like hours of these contractions (not sure how long it actually was) before deciding on getting an epidural. I needed to get over my fear for the sake of my sanity. 
I think this was pre epidural...trying to decide if I could muster up the courage to get one.
Here is the thing, I absolutely love that anesthesiologist, but when I was writhing in the worst pain I have ever felt and she was telling me I needed to sit perfectly still while she did this, I wanted to punch her. Somehow by the grace of God I was able to sit still, which is no easy task when the contractions are that strong and coming one on top of the other. But I did it. Somehow between the nurse and Noah helping me breathe through it, I sat still. I also did not punch the anesthesiologist...I think it was a win win for everyone.

Everyone was much happier after that epidural. I was able to rest a bit which was absolutely necessary after being awake since 4am and still not even to the hardest part of the whole labor process. 
much needed rest thanks to that epidural!
the cheering squad (Noah's mom and my dad). But should have heard them during my labor.
It all seems like such a blur between getting the epidural and when they checked me and I was at 10 centimeters and ready to push. It was around 11:30pm or so when they had me try to start pushing. We all figured that the 26th of December is as sucky of a birthday as the 25th so why not aim for the 25th. That thought came a went as my pushing was making progress, but very slow progress. During all this pushing my mom and husband were counting with each contraction for my pushing and I oh so kindly accused them of counting too slowly...labor clearly brings out the best in me.
I had absolutely no idea how long I had been pushing but later came to find out that I had done a solid 2 hours of pushing. Somewhere in the midst of pushing there was mention of assisting me with a vacuum because my kid has a huge head…my stubborn self was not going to let that happen so I dug into the energy reserves to push even harder. When the nurse finally said those wonderful words of asking for the doctor to come in to deliver I was over the moon knowing this was almost over. She asked me to stop pushing, and to everyones amusement I very seriously said ‘I can’t stop pushing, he will go back in!’ Looking back this is clearly not logical and a very silly thing to say, but after you've battled that long you want zero movement in the wrong direction. Go figure, the nurse knew what she was talking about and he didn’t go back in and I soon had my perfect baby boy laying on my chest. 

We loved our wonderful nurse! She was amazing.

Dad admiring his perfect boy!
It was and is the most surreal experience I have had thus far. To finally meet this little human that I have been working so hard to keep healthy and safe inside me is now out in the world and the job of keeping him safe and healthy seems even more daunting. I am so completely in love with this little man and cannot get over his cheeks and the funny faces he makes. I love his little toes and his perfect little lips. Everything about him is perfection to me and I am so proud to be his mom.

One last thought about birth in general, a lot of people talk about having a natural birth and feel really disappointed in themselves when things don’t go as they planned. I did not plan on having an epidural. I was not opposed to it and I did not have a ‘birth plan’. I had ideas of what I wanted but ultimately knew that this whole thing is so unpredictable and things change so quickly. I did not want to have this plan set so rigidly that I felt like I had somehow failed in this birthing process. Let me tell you, no matter how you have that baby, you did not fail. You carried and grew that little one for nine long months, so I don’t care how they come out, you are a bit of a superhero in my book. All of that to say, had I not gotten that epidural I think that I would have absolutely worn myself out just trying to get through those contractions and not had the stamina to push once it was time. I am convinced that Isaiah’s birth story would have been a much different one, probably involving a vacuum or maybe even a c-section, had I not chosen the epidural. I will sing the praises of the epidural as long as I live!

Here are some more pictures from our time in the hospital 

After he had his bath, warming back up with me
snuggles with dad

Our little family going home :)

I hope that this finds you well. We are 3 weeks into this whole parenting thing and so far things have been great. A few rough nights but we are hoping those are the exception and not the rule. 

With love,

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