*this has taken me so long that i refuse to go back and check it for spelling/grammar/typo errors. so just read past them.
*this is my first day back to work. appropriate time to post this, huh?
*happy 12 weeks to henry!
monday (40 weeks, 3 days):
monday we went swimming at rod-e-ney's. i stood next to his super-hot daughter in her bikini, looking giant in my hot-pink maternity tankini. we swam and had fun and that night i started having contractions. dave had downed a dose of nyquil, so i went out to the couch to labor alone. i thought for sure this was it.
i sent texts to my mom, barb and melissa. everyone was on stand-by. my contractions came every 5-6-7 minutes for hours. at 5am i sent a text to my boss that "today might be baby day!" as a warning that i wouldn't be coming in to work. around 6am i decided to take a shower. and around 6:05am my contractions went away.
i was ticked.
tuesday (40 weeks, 4 days):
i had been up all night, but felt pretty good. i had a doctor's appointment at 11am to get checked and possibly schedule an induction for friday. dave went with me and we waited in the waiting room for almost an hour. i finally got a phone call from my midwife asking where i was. i went up to the lady at the front desk and she was rude - said they had called my name and thought i left. lies.
brenda checked me and i was between 2-3 cm. she checked your position and you were head down. things were just fine, thank goodness. you had been transverse a few times before. she gave a talk about what to do if my water breaks and when to make the trip to the hospital. you were still "floating" high, so we weren't thinking things would progress too quickly.
that night we did chores around the house. i drove the tractor while your dad cleaned out the gutters. we stayed active, but no contractions ever started. until that night.
10pm rolled around and the contractions started. i layed in bed while dave did some computer work in the kitchen. around 11pm i sent him a text (from the bedroom - ha!) saying that i had been having contractions. just so he would know. he came in, took a shower and was wide awake. the diet mountain dew he drank was definitely in full force. he was wound up.
wednesday (40 weeks, 5 days):
we stayed in bed that night and tried to relax and watched tv. we tried to sleep. i ever took a shower again to see if the contractions would quit. finally at 1am wednesday morning i decided to call brenda. i had been having contractions for hours at this point, but they never got closer than 4-5 minutes apart. and they weren't overly painful. i could easily talk/breath/walk through them. brenda said that maybe we should come on in. we called barb to come and stay with hallie and got our things together. we went in to check on her and i got teary that this might be her last night as an only child. her world was about to change so much.
i agonized over coming in. i didn't want to drive all the way to springfield to be told i wasn't in labor. that was my worst nightmare. my plan was to labor naturally at home for as long as possible. i wanted to go to the hospital to deliver, not to labor. i worried that the contractions would slow down when we got in the car. instead, they seemed to get more painful. good! that was good!
your dad drank gatorade and i gripped the car handles every time a contraction hit. but i still worried this wasn't the real thing. after all...the contractions had petered out the night before. we got to the hospital around 2:30-3am and i still just worried and worried that this wasn't the real thing. we finally sent texts to my mom and dad to let them know we were going in. they set us up in a room and the nurse came in to check my cervix and see how far i was dialted and to put the fetal monitors on me.
i was a six! i am awesome! a six! only four more to go and you would be here. i felt on top of the world. i was in pain, but not overly so. i felt like i could definitely continue with the natural childbirth (like, no drugs) i really wanted to have.
i refused iv fluids, but had a saline-lock put in my arm "just in case." i was allowed to have clear fluids and was only monitored every hour. things were great. dave and i hung out and walked the halls. we listened to "hello dave," on the ipod - each of us had one ear bud, so we had to walk really close to each other - it was pretty funny. every few minutes i would feel a contraction coming. the only way i could get through them was to find a "tall" counter and lean against it. everything else was too short and uncomfortable.
back in the room, i sat at the end of the bed and sort of bounced my way through contractions. i had tried using the birth ball before, but it seemed awkward and uncomfortable. it was sort of flat. not good. i also enjoyed some lime popsicles.
brenda came in and confirmed that i had progressed to a seven - yay! she thought we would have this baby by 9am. excellent. and sort of scary - i was thinking about the natural delivery and starting to freak out a little. she asked if she could break my water to speed things up. at this point it was 6am and my contractions still weren't very painful. i was nervous. i knew it would hurt more and lead to the delivery and i wasn't sure i was quite ready for that yet. but okay, let's do it.
well, that sure was interesting. instead of a big gush, it was more of a trickle. like i had peed myself. that trickle slowly become a gush every time i laughed or sneezed. and it just kept coming. and coming, and coming and coming.
it was so gross! it is one of the stand-out memories from the whole experience. there was so much fluid! i had to walk around with a towel in between my legs. i would stand up and it would just come flowing out. such a weird feeling.
things started picking up a bit at that point. contractions got more painful, frequent and longer. i decided to try the bathtub. big mistake. the pressure from the hard bathtub floor hit me at the worst spot. i was writhing around trying to get comfortable (ha!) between contractions. dave kept peeking in the door at me and i would scream at him - stop looking at me! i felt like i was in a movie.
sidenote: i didn't want anyone looking at me. not dave, not my mom, nobody! dave was the only person i would allow in the room with me. so different from hallie's birth. with her, i had an epidural and anyone in the world was allowed to come in and hang out. not so much with henry. at all.
i thought maybe this was transition? i was sweaty one second and cold the next. i felt awful. the contractions were brutal. i had been at a seven for hours at this point. so much for the 9am delivery. things just stalled, big time. i had bounced like a wild woman, walked the halls and did everything to get to the point of delivery. and nothing was working.
i called dave into the bathroom between contractions and told him that i wanted to be checked. if i was still at a seven (this was around 11am - i had been a seven for hours and hours) then i wanted an epidural.
they checked me.
i was a seven.
the anesthesiologist came in about a half-hour later and took a million years to put the edpirual in. i had to sit perfectly still through agonizing contractions. it was awful. that was the only point i wanted to cry. i had been so close to the natural delivery i wanted and then opted out. then here was the promise of NO PAIN and it was taking forever!!!!! oh that was awful.
but then he got it in and things were good for a bit. they hauled my numb but from one side to the other so that the medicine would distribute evenly. and then you decided you didn't like being on my right side - only my left. every time they moved me to the right, you would get ticked off.
they checked me and i was an eight. they warned me about feeling pressure and i started to get excited. brenda moved me in all sorts of weird, pretzel-like positions to things moving faster. nothing seemed to be working.
and then they checked me again. still an eight. and oh WHOOPs - now my cervix was swollen. this meant a consult with an ob from st. johns, an ultrasound and then ultimately a c-section. suck-o.
i was a big girl about it. i'm not going to cry about a change like that. i knew it was what needed to be done. i couldn't deliver vaginally with a swollen cervix - that was that.
things moved quickly at that point. they shaved me, medicine-d me and wheeled me to the room with a promise that dave would be joining me soon. the medicine made my heart race and i warned the doctors that too much medicine made me want to puke. and sure enough, i had to barf a few times once we got in there. but then i felt better so who cares?
they had a blue sheet pinned up so i couldn't see my insides being tossed around (or so i imagine). it felt like the sheet was RIGHT in front of my face. did i mention i'm claustrophobic? my hands were on either side of me, like on a cross. they didn't tie them down but said they would if i didn't hold still. nice.
they brought dave in and he stood up and watched while they messed me around. he started making comments like, "gross" and "oh my gosh," and finally i said, "NO COMMENTS, please." so he shut up.
and then i heard you cry. and your daddy said, "it's a boy!!!!" and i said, "of course it is." and they brought your bloody little body around the corner of the sheet and i cried while you peed all over the place. i cried and cried and so did your dad. i was sure i would get in trouble, because my body was just wracked with sobs. i hated that i couldn't hold you and that they took you away from me to get you cleaned up.
and then i started shaking. the medicine was making me have violent tremors. it was awful. my neck hurt for days because of trying to control the shakes. it was so, so, so bad. they handed you to dave and he brought you over for me to kiss you. and i couldn't even press my lips to your face because i was shaking so badly. but dang, you looked adorable.
and we said, "henry paul." although your dad wanted to name you "paul henry." but i was the one shaking so i win.
they hadn't told us to bring in a camera, and with the hubub we didn't think of it. so we don't have any pictures of you when you were first born. it's very disappointing, so i'm making up for it by taking a thousand pictures of you every day.
i was still shaking (and i mean SHAKING) while they sewed me up, so they put lots of warm blankets on me. it didn't help. they wheeled me back to our room and a nurse went out to get hallie. i got to watch hallie meet you, her baby brother. sort of. i got to watch from my bed on one side of the room, while you, your daddy and your sister had quite a lovely moment. i may or may not have sobbed hysterically at that point.
we gave hallie the sucker that said, "boy" on it sent her out to tell the grandparents. all we could hear was screaming from down the hallway. again, why didn't we think to video that moment??!! i would kill to see their reaction when she turned that little sucker around.
i was still shaking -always shaking. so sad. they said it would take a few hours for the medicine to work its way through my body. i couldn't hold you until i stopped for fear i would drop you. GOOD GRIEF THAT IS AWFUL!!!!!!!!!!
and then nurse joanne, aka my angel, appeared and said i should try to nurse you. apparently that can somehow get some hormones moving and help stop the shaking. they hauled me over on my side (i was still numb, you know) and put you on my boob. and you started nursing instantly. and i stopped shaking instantly.
it was a miracle and i cried.
once i stopped shaking, they hauled me back over and i could nurse you normally. you were beautiful and i will never forget that moment for the rest of my life.