Dec 13, 2011

A Birth Story

What better time than the anniversary of the day I went into labor to tell the story of how my beautiful son made his debut to the world..? I can’t believe it’s already been a year but in case you couldn’t tell I am quite excited to be able to celebrate this milestone.

So, today is the one year anniversary of the day I went into labor.  And somehow, as scared as I was for it all to happen, I survived. The days leading up to the joyous occasion, I swear I was freaking some people out at work. I didn’t have enough paid time off to go on maternity leave early and have a week or two off, stress free from the work place, like so many other mommies-to-be get so, I worked right up until my baby was ready to come. I work with lots of guys and they were all more than a little bit nervous for me to go into labor at work. But not nervous enough to send me home early. Even with looking like this one week before! Oh well..

Anyway, that day I went to an office holiday party, I went on a walk around the building a couple of times. I drove home. I put up Christmas lights. I felt great! I had four days before my actual due date. I had been feeling some contractions on and off throughout the weekend before but nothing consistent or painful enough to be concerned. In fact my doctor was pretty much sure I wasn’t going to go into labor on my own so he went ahead and scheduled me to be induced the night of Christmas eve, which, as you can imagine, I was less than thrilled about.  Because of this little known fact, I decided to take it upon myself to do everything I could to try and go into labor naturally.  So, after Jay came home and all the lights were strung in our windows, we decided to walk the mall, do some last minute shopping and maybe get a bite to eat. We walked the entire top half of Cottonwood mall and after walking half way around the bottom we decided to get some dinner at Johnny Rockets. We had never eaten there before so it sounded good enough (and on a side note, we haven't been back either, ha!) We sat down at the bar and ordered our food when all of a sudden I felt a very small gush. Jay took one look at my face and apparently understood everything that was going through my mind because he said “your water just broke didn’t it?!” The only thing I could do was ask where the rest room was. I immediately went straight there and of course, I really couldn’t tell anything once I started investigating. So I came back out. We ate. I forced Jay to get more food and a shake just in case he wouldn’t eat again for awhile and we went home. I called the hospital, they told me it was probably my water and that I should go take a shower, pack everything up and head on over. So I did. I COMPLETELY got re-ready. I took a shower, I put on makeup, and I did my hair. I figured, people take pictures so the least i could do was try to help myself out :0). 

We called our parents on our way to the hospital. Our baby was coming. 

We arrived around 9:30pm and went straight to Triage. They hooked me up to all sorts of different machines to measure the baby’s heart rate, and my heart rate and my contractions. The ones I couldn't feel yet but were clearly there on the monitor. They checked and checked and checked for any trace of amniotic fluid. I was getting worried that maybe what I had felt wasn’t my water breaking at all. When you’re that far along it could have very easily been me not being able to control my bladder but I was almost 100% certain it wasn’t that. The doctor tried one last test. She even had to look under a microscope to FINALLY discover that yes, it was my water that had broke and YES, I would be meeting my baby boy very very very soon. She left the room in order for us to gather our stuff and I will remember this moment for ever. I sat on that hospital bed and without even realizing it, I stared off. Jay asked me if I was okay and I looked at him and said “we won’t be leaving this hospital without our child” I didn’t know how to process that information so I just sat there. My life was changing right at that very moment. It was all becoming very real. Once they moved us into our room though, that worry never crossed my mind again. I was ready.

Jay’s parents and my Mom met us at our hospital room. Michael and Johnese had told us they would come in the morning once things had progressed a little more but just couldn’t help themselves to come and check in on us. It was so comforting to have everyone there. Everyone went home after awhile and Jay and I were able to enjoy the process alone. I think that time was designated for me to try and get some sleep but I was too anxious for everything that sleep never came. At least not to me.

Since my water hadn’t broken all the way, they broke it the rest of the way once I was admitted. That’s when the contractions started. And they were so very painful. Throughout my pregnancy I was very open to the idea of an epidural but told myself that I would at least try to not have one. Ya right. That whole idea lasted only two hours after the consistent wave of contractions came on.  At that point the epidural was the absolute best thing in the whole entire world. I didn’t realize I was cold until the epidural warmed my whole body. My nurse, who was a male by the way, took the time to explain everything to me. And even when they wouldn’t allow Jay in the room to hold my hand while I sat through the contractions and they gave me the medicine, I felt safe. After that, I was relaxed and everything was calm again. 

Luckily for me, labor progressed quickly and relatively easily. There were a few times that baby's heart rate dropped so the solution was to lay me on my side. It was a small price to pay in order to assure that my baby was still okay in there while we both prepared ourselves to meet each other. 

December 14th, 2010
Finally, 16 hours after my water broke at Johnny Rockets, the nurse informed me that it was time to push! I never really had the urge to push like everyone told me I would have but I was fully dilated and it was time to get that baby boy out! 

Then panic set in. Not for me but for the nurse. I saw the look on her eyes when all of a sudden baby's heart rate dropped for over two minutes straight. She told Jay to push the red button next to my bed and then warned me that a bunch of people would be rushing in. Next thing I knew there were five people running in. No one talking directly to me, only to each other. The OBGYN that was on call that day finally looks at me and quickly asks "vacuum or C-Section?" I was so scared at what was going on that I didn't know how to respond. I looked around the room for help on what to decide. No one could answer for me. I asked her for the risks but quickly decided that whichever route was less traumatic for my baby I'd do it. If it meant that i'd have a scar or that I might not ever be able to deliver naturally again, i'd have a C-Section. As long as my baby was ok. But just as quickly as the scariness came on, all of a sudden baby was fine! During the commotion of everyone running in, the nurse had put me back on my side and I that seemed to really help baby out. The OBGYN explained to me that the cord was probably wrapped around his head and by having me on my back, it was basically suffocating him. Needless to say, that's how I remained for the rest of the time. Not the most comfortable but again, I was willing to sacrifice all things for him. 

Once things had settled down again in my room, I resumed to two hours of pushing. It was the most exhausting thing yet. I would close my eyes and fall asleep between pushes. I've never been so tired in my life. Then, at 3:25pm on Tuesday, December 14th, my eyes met those of my new born baby boy. As he came into this world, the OBGYN unwrapped the cord from around his neck TWICE and then suddenly my arms were filled with all 8 pounds 1.4 ounces of him. And all I could do was cry. I was over joyed with this perfect little human being that my body grew for the last 39 1/2 weeks. That I was finally meeting this baby who I had felt squirm and hiccup and kick in side of my belly. Whose heartbeat had become my favorite sound. Whose face I had only dreamed about. He was real now and he was ours. 

We spent only one day at the hospital. The labor and delivery unit was full of new mommies and daddies so the nurses didn't come check on us nearly as often as everyone had warned, which I was thankful for. We had many special visitors come meet our new bundle of joy and I cried as we actually received a poinsettia gift basket from my work. After 24 hours though, I was ready to be in the comfort of our home. Where trying times would come as I tried to embrace breast feeding but realized it was harder than I thought. Where we both bonded with our son and all got to know each other as a new family of three.

My heart grew a thousand times bigger the day I met my son, as it filled with the love that I have for his beautiful little self. People ask us all the time if we plan on having more children and for now I can only imagine loving one as much as I do now.  Reflecting back on my pregnancy I miss it like I never thought I would and would do it all over again if it meant that I would be blessed with my sweet Vincent Valentino.

Thank god for all of the love and support our family is surrounded with. I know that more than just myself and Jay feel blessed to have him as part of our lives. He may only be a year old tomorrow but I know that he is destined to do great things and I couldn't be happier to be his Mommy :0).


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