So after a few weeks of settling into my new role as a mother, I finally am writing up my birthing story. I will have a more detailed story in parts coming soon, but here is my short—or I should really say—shorter version.
On Tuesday, April 14, 2009, after finishing up our taxes, my 39 week belly shots, and a few other miscellaneous “to do” items, I go to bed around midnight. Two hours later, I wake up to go to the bathroom, and my water breaks! I am having contractions, but very erratic, so I am not even sure if they are “real” or just Braxton hicks. In any case, Mike and I head to the hospital at 3:30am, and en route, my contractions start getting much more intense, and I know I am in true labor.
We arrive at Stamford Hospital a little before 4am. It is dark, rainy, and still a very surreal experience. From 4am-10am, my contractions grow much more intense and I dilate from 2cm when I arrive to almost 5cm around 10am. A bit before 10am, after staying in the shower for an hour, breathing through each contraction, feeling intense pain and “sick,” I decide I will get an epidural.
Around 10am, the anesthesiologist administers the epidural and I find relief from my contractions for about 10 or 15 minutes. I am surprised because I can feel my uterus hardening, but I feel no pain! Then, after this initial period of relief, I start to feel my feet again. “This is normal,” the nurse tells me. Then I start feeling my legs, my butt, and most of all, feeling my contractions. They are more painful than they were before the epidural. “This is not normal,” the nurse tells me. She calls for the Resident, who checks me and informs me that in less than an hour, I have dilated to 10cm!
My doctor arrives (I have seen him several times this morning), tells me to start pushing, and from 11am to 12:56pm, I push through every single contraction, taking no breaks (I find it is less painful to be pushing than sitting through contractions anyway). The epidural is not working at all at this point. The nurse tells me this is because I have dilated so quickly (perhaps it also has to do with the fact that some liquid was coming down my back and the anesthesiologist has to come back to “fix” it). In any case, after a bit of figuring out what I’m doing, I feel very in control of my pushing and go with the rise and fall of each contraction. Mike, our doula, several nurses, my OB, the resident doctor, and a student nurse all become my cheering squad, giving great support and creating a fun, energetic vibe to the room.
Finally, the doctor tells me, “You’re going to be a mother with this next push!” And soon our little baby boy is born! He is plopped on my belly and he is healthy, very strong, and expressive. I still cannot grasp that this baby is really ours--but Mike and I are instantly in love with our son.
It is an amazing experience—from start to finish, and while not everything turned out as I’d planned (I went into labor a week early when I was still loving being pregnant and looking forward to a weekend of no plans; my water broke first so I had to go to the hospital sooner; I got less than 2 hours of sleep; the epidural didn’t work), in the end, I would not have wanted anything to have gone differently. I am glad I went into labor a week early, as it gave me a chance to recover before my allergies became too serious (sneezing incessantly after giving birth would not be comfortable). It was incredible to feel a non-medicated birth, which was something I was interested in originally anyway. And Mike and I did accomplish all the items we needed to, albeit only hours before going into labor, before the baby was born. Our baby was ready and I thank God that everything went as smoothly as it did.
Stay tuned for more lengthy details (Is that possible? Yes, it is! This is the fast typist writer here, remember!)! Once again, thanks to all for your love and support through this amazing pregnancy, labor and delivery!
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