Moments after birth!
This will be brief, and thankfully uneventful, but I wanted to document it here since most of my life story seems to be chronicled on this blog. So much for taking a week off, huh?? I guess I just don’t know how to quit you. Don’t worry, next week I’ll have the beginning of my holiday gift guides and curb the baby stuff a bit. :)
We were due on Sunday November 15th and I was sure I was going to be late. So I went to bed Friday night after seeing the doctor thinking we had one more weekend to get prepped for baby. Well, cut to 12:30 p.m. when my water broke. After feeling the most bizarre sensation, I laid there going “Was that what I think it was? Is this really happening? Oh my God”- I woke Andrew up and told him and he was half-asleep and confused saying “What? Are you sure? Really? NOW?” and then woke up a little and looked at me and goes “It’s Friday the 13th!” Earlier in the week we had come to realization that it was possible that Henry could be born on Friday the 13th AND we live on Crystal Lake (apparently that is where the Friday the 13th movies take place, not that I would know since I am too terrified to see them). So I spent a couple days concerned I was about to birth a serial killer, and here I was heading to the hospital on that very date!
So as I tried to gather my wits (and my bags) I kept saying “I’m not ready! I’m not ready! This is not happening!”, but of course it was, and off to the hospital we went. We gave birth at Newton Wellesley Hospital, which is a mere 5 minutes from our house and the most calm hospital I’ve ever set foot in. They whisked us in and hooked me up to some machines and lo and behold, my contractions (which were just like cramps) were two minutes apart and I was 2 cm dilated. So I thought this baby was coming soon-ish! I told them my birth plan (DRUGS. ALL THE DRUGS) and mentally prepared to be snuggling a baby by noon.
Not so fast. As soon as I got settled into my labor and delivery room things slowed down a lot. Contractions spaced out to 4-6 minutes and I just laid there waiting for mind blowing pain to hit me. Andrew took a nap (the man can fall asleep in a solid 60 seconds anywhere) and I stared at my phone and listened to a woman down the hall clearly giving birth without drugs making the most terrifying, horrid noises I’ve ever heard in my life. Finally she delivered (thank GOD) and by then it was about 3 am and luckily one of my best friends is a morning news anchor and was up and texting with me in between segments. :)
As morning broke I started feeling more pain, but I wanted to wait as long as I could to get the epidural because I was scared of it (totally convinced I was going to get paralyzed, my hypochondria in full effect). So I breathed through lots of contractions and took a jacuzzi (the rooms at NWH are pretty sweet) to try to manage the pain. Andrew and I walked the halls- me sporting my fancy johnny which every nurse stopped me to ask about and one even called out- “Hey, you two, whatta ya doing? Going on a date?”. The staff was so awesome and funny and caring, which helped immensely.
I kept putting off the epidural even though the nurses were telling me to just do it. Once my parents arrived and said hi and watched me wince through some doozies, I tapped out and said it was time. Once I asked for it, they swept in and in 5 minutes I was going numb, a feeling I HATED other than the pain relief. I felt like a floppy rag doll the nurses were tossing around (with kindness, of course). And then MORE slowing down! I was so frustrated that things weren’t progressing but rather regressing! The nurses added some Pitocin to the IV to try to move things along. In the meantime we just watched TV and FREAKED OUT that we were having a baby! I may have also ordered some stuff online. My friend Sarah warned me NOT to buy stuff while epidural-ed up, as she came home from the hospital to find some questionable art she bought while under the influence waiting for her at home. :) I kept things pretty reasonable though- this purchase went through right before I delivered. LOL. Never not in search of leopard- I think I was feeling hopeful and excited about buying non-maternity clothes!
They didn’t want to check my dilation often since my water had broken earlier so we just kinda waited for a sign. Finally as the sun set one of the nurses decided to check me because I was feeling no sensations to push or any discomfort at all. Her eyes opened wide and said “Oh my, you’re 10 cm dilated and a plus 2 (basically, baby getting ready to crown)” and we were off. It was so strange because I felt nothing so I didn’t believe it was time to push! I was like “Okay guys, but nothing is going to happen!” Andrew grabbed a leg as did the nurse and we started pushing. Within a couple pushes Andrew could see his head and I could tell he was AMAZED. He kept saying “I can’t believe you are doing this! You’re so strong!” Once the doctor came in I pushed through three more contractions and all of the sudden out he came! I didn’t feel a thing, which I was SO grateful for since I needed stitches (UGH). The doctor (not mine, the on call doc) looked at me and said “What number baby is this again??” and I said my first and he told me I did amazingly awesome for a first baby. :)
My first glimpse of Henry I was totally scared of him. He looked like a purple, slimy octopus. And I could not believe he had been in my tummy just seconds earlier. But he cried right away, they cleaned him off and put him on my chest and all I could think was ” WHOSE BLONDE BABY IS THIS???” I was born with a full head of dark hair, so I expected the same from my own child. But he got great APGAR scores and immediately latched and we were off on our big adventure as mother and son.
Our stay in the hospital was pretty easy- not nearly as Dexter-ish as I thought it would be. I was so glad to have my own pajamas and toiletries so I could feel a little more like myself. I brought too many things, of course (never wore the sweater or tshirts- but LOVED the soft jammies, nightshirt and sweatshirt cardi and leggings). Henry has been an awesome sleeper and feeder since day one, which has helped so much- the night nurses were impressed with his ability to sleep 3-4 hours right away. So we got some zzz’s and just relaxed with him in complete wonder.
Now we’re home and finding our groove, and it’s been great. He’s such a good baby and it’s been more fun than I expected. And breastfeeding has gone incredibly smoothly and successful (he’s gaining so much weight so fast). But of course I have had a night where I found myself sobbing uncontrollably for hours, fretting this “new normal” and what it will be like. I also have found myself wanting to murder Andrew for the way he chews peanuts or looks at me funny. Hormone crashes are NO JOKE, y’all. Watch out. I also am still pretty uncomfortable in my recovery, but apparently everything is a-okay down there. I think I’m just SO impatient. I want to feel 100% better, but as my doctor told me today “Lady, you just pushed a BABY out, you need to take it easy!”
So here we are, a happy, healthy family of three. And for that I am so, so grateful. Those sweet moments when he’s sleeping on my chest and even those sad cries when we change him. It’s such a bizarre, surreal, awesome experience.
(A week down! Top from H&M– another leopard one I ordered while in the hospital. I have ISSUES.)