Sunday, December 19, 2010

Birth on a half birthday

Sunday night was my due date and the thought of having a baby any time soon was fastly fleeing.  With a doctors appointment on Monday I prepared myself for the news that my body wasn't progressing and that an induction might be necessary.  As much as I wanted to hold my daughter, I also wanted to deliver naturally and I'd heard horror stories about the pain that comes from pitocin induced labors.  My best chance to deliver naturally was to labor naturally.  I went to bed feeling sad.

At one o'clock I was awakened by a new sensation I'd not had before.  My abdomen was tightening like it had been for the last few days but this time it was accompanied by sharp cramping pain.  I breathed through it and watched the clock to see if it happened again.  Seven minutes later I experienced what I was guessing another real contraction.  I turned on to my side facing my alarm clock and watched it closely, taking note of the time between.  By two they were six minutes apart and about a minute long.  At three, they were five minutes apart.

At 3:17 I tapped Paul's shoulder and told him that we might have a baby today.  He grunted.  "Paul, I'm having contractions every five minutes and they hurt," I elaborated.  He was instantly awake asking what we should do.  I had a few things left to pack in the overnight bag and I wanted to tidy my kitchen.  Paul showered and between contractions I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher.  At about four I called my mom and we loaded up into the car, me in a bundle of nerves.  This had to be it!  Otherwise, arousing my husband and folks to adrenaline-induced wakefulness at four in the morning for nothing was something I couldn't live down.

We checked in at the front desk and were sent to a holding room to be monitored and analyzed.  I was in real labor.  The endorphin rush of such exciting moment was short lived because contraction pain was beginning to seize my body.  I couldn't speak or move and breathing took all my focus.  I was feeling nauseated from skipping dinner the night before and I was given a tall cup of apple juice which I threw up within minutes of finishing.  My body started to tremor.  No one mentioned these symptoms to me and I was unprepared for their arrival.  I knew things were only going to get worse, so I asked my mom if she'd be disappointed if I got help for the pain.  She laughed at me!  "Do whatever you want!" she said nonchalantly, supporting me no matter what I chose.

A nurse came in to take me to a delivery suit and, feeling defeated, I asked for an epidural.

Which was. . . AMAZING!!  With my pain gone I could relax, joke, nap, and enjoy family around me as I prepared to hear the magic pushing news.

Pushing was an interesting sensation.  Imagine the worse constipation possible.  Multiply that by 12.8 and add an indescribably strong urge to excrete the blockage.  That's pushing in nutshell.  My epidural was beginning to wear off a bit and although I had a button to increase the dosage, I chose not to.  I wanted to be able to feel if I was pushing.  This turned out to be very useful.  As the baby moved down into the birth canal the monitors were having trouble picking up the contractions because (apparently) I have an odd shaped uterus.  The nurses called it my funky fundal.  Thankfully, I could feel the building pressure and could let my midwife know when I wanted to push.  I pushed for an hour or so, and then, just as I thought I had maxed out all of my energy. . .

Andrea Jane arrived
on 12/13/10 (my half-birthday)
at 2:12 P.M.
weighing 7 lbs. 2 oz.
20 inches long!

Babies don't like that eye goop.
Our first moment, skin to skin.
I had some minor tearing, so small they were having trouble finding it.  I kept bleeding while they poked and prodded and sopped and stitched.  Thank heavens I had an epidural during that!  Afterwards, I had lost so much blood that I couldn't sit up without turning green.  They monitored my blood pressure for hours, the cuff going off every five minutes, and they pumped me with bag after bag of saline solution.  The family got to hold my baby while I recovered.

Happy first-time daddy!
Wednesday morning we got to go home.  That made it feel so official.  She was ours!

And we like her A LOT!


  1. Kayla. She is beautiful. Congratulations!

  2. yay for drugs! haha

    Congratulations Kayla, she's so cute!

  3. Pregnancy is so crazy. That was INSIDE of you! Congrats, she is simply, and absolutly gorgous.