Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Baby Story

I know it's pretty pathetic that most of my blog posts start off with how I'm ashamed that it's been so long since I posted anything. You'd think I'd remedy that by posting more often, but the fact is I'm pretty lazy. Well, I was lazy before. Now I'm super busy taking care of my 5 week old baby. The only reason I'm able to sit down and type this up is because my sweet hubby is sitting next to me bouncing our little Peanut in his bouncy chair.

It's truly amazing how such a small thing could require SO much attention. I mean, it's worse than a puppy. And you can put puppies in a crate and go to a movie if you want. You can't do that with a baby. Or at least it's frowned upon in most places.

So anyway, I noticed that a bunch of my pregger pals over on Twitter had given birth a few weeks after me and already posted their birth stories. I am greatly shamed for taking so long to sit down and write this. For those interested... here it is...

The Story of Peanut and How He Came To Be In The World

After about three weeks of Braxton Hicks contractions and false-starts and wondering "Is this it? How about now? These contractions hurt, but do they hurt ENOUGH? How about now?!" I finally got the can't move, can't breathe contractions the doctor had mentioned. It was Sunday, August 19th, 2012 and we took our time about getting to the hospital because the contractions were close together, but not in a set pattern yet. Just as soon as they would get regular, they would start to fade and become irregular again. Having never experienced birth before, I had no clue whether or not anything was happening for real or not. We'd already been in to the hospital once and nothing was going on, but I also didn't want to give birth on the kitchen floor at home either.

Around lunchtime we made our way over toward El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, CA. We ate at Erik's Deli and I had a turkey sandwich with butternut squash soup. It was delicious and I enjoyed it because I didn't know when my next meal would be coming. Instead of fading like they had before, the contractions were still going pretty strong, so I was beginning to think this might finally, FINALLY be the real thing.

Instead of rushing to the hospital in a flurry of activity we went to the grocery store. By this time, the contractions were getting pretty intense, and my hubby was shopping for cheese crackers. And booze. Yes. He bought a bottle of Scotch to take the edge off. Not for me. For him.

So after we perused the aisles for a good half an hour (for you ladies out there who have given birth, you know this sucks because of the whole not being able to stand up or breathe thing whenever a contraction comes). I was especially relieved when we went to check out. But then we had to wait while he went to get some water.

THEN as we were walking out the door he says, "I need a coffee. You want anything?"

I gotta say, we almost ended up having to go to the hospital for his broken nose. However, I have the Self-Control of super hero proportions and refrained from punching him in the face like I really wanted to. It's a good thing I love my hand more than I love his nose. Plus, I was already in pain enough as it was. I didn't need any fractured knuckles to go on top of it.

Finally, after lunch... and a booze run... and a coffee stop, we managed to make our way over to the hospital and get checked in. I was nervous they would send me home again, but after hanging out for about 2 1/2 hours, they decided my blood pressure was on the high side and it was better to keep me there even though I was only at 2 cm dilated. YAY!

Some time around 7pm it was declared that my contractions had evened out and I was officially in full-labor. WOO HOO!

You guys, I was so, so, so, SOOOOO ready to not be pregnant anymore. Even though my pregnancy had pretty much been a breeze compared to a lot of other women, I was pretty miserable. For the life of me, I can't understand those perky girls who are all like "I LOOOOVE being pregnant. Having a human inside of me is the BEST. I would be pregnant ALL THE TIME if I could."

I just want to gag every time I hear that. I'm really glad they had such a great time with it, because I thought it sucked. Let those girls keep up the world's population, because I sure won't be doing it. I had over 25 weeks of morning-sickness (and that was only where I quit keeping count. It was actually longer, but I couldn't bear to keep up with it anymore). Anyone who's had morning-sickness knows that you don't only feel sick in the morning. It's 24/7. That's non-stop puketastic porcelain princess time.  During that time, my husband and I decided to move across the country. I know, right? I made friends with every toilet, trash can, tree, and bush in between Georgia and California. Who's a complete Nutter? I am.

Back to the actual Birth Story...

I was not one of those girls who goes in with a specific birth plan that MUST HAPPEN. I've seen enough episodes of baby birth stories on The Learning Channel to know better. Every birth is different, just like every baby is different. So I had zero expectations, other than to get the baby OUT.

That being said, in our childbirth class it was mentioned that most women only make it to 3cm before asking for an epidural. Me being me, my goal was to make it to at least 4cm. And I did. First, I asked for the drug cocktail that they called the Margarita, because it made you feel like you'd had three Margaritas like, instantly. It was totally awesome for about five minutes, but after about two more contractions I was done. I was all, THANKS I WILL TAKE THE EPIDURAL NOOOOWWW PLEASE!

Au Natural? Ha! No way. Was NOT gonna happen. Even when the nurse said, "You know, after a certain point it doesn't get any worse. If you can tolerate this, you can probably tolerate going all the way."


So the nurse said, "Okay."

And I got the epidural.

And it was AWESOOOOME.

Fast forward from about midnight to somewhere around 6am or so. (At this point it's all super foggy because I was half asleep)

Apparently the little booger was turned face-up instead of face-down and there was much rocking and things happening to try to get him to roll over, but he never did. So it was time to push regardless.

It took me two pushes to get his head down where he was crowning. Which is totally awesome. However, it took THREE AND A HALF HOURS to get the rest of him out. Which was totally NOT awesome.

Luckily, I'm really bad at telling time when I'm well-rested and not drugged and not trying to push a human out of my vadge. So, I didn't know that it took THREE AND A HALF HOURS until after he was already out. I was thinking I'd done it in one hour, maybe about an hour and ten minutes at the MOST.


All I remember about pushing is my sweet, amazing, wonderful (he'd redeemed himself by then) Husband standing next to me, chawing his gum, holding my leg and counting in sets of ten, about 20 gajillion times in a row. At one point the doctor mentioned the baby had hair, and I got REALLY EXCITED. At another point I started falling asleep between contractions. It was probably about the strangest dream I've ever had. Except that it was all real. It still doesn't feel real.

Finally... FINALLY at 7:18am I was able to push him all the way out. It was the best feeling EVAR. Relief, happiness, more relief... it was the best! All I could see when they put him up on my chest was the side of his head and his little arm reaching up in silhouette. He was warm and wet and it was simply amazing.

The doctor was saying things like "full-knot" and "triple-rope" and I had no idea what she was talking about, but I didn't care. I was so glad he was OUT. Later on, I discovered that "full-knot" meant that the umbilical cord was actually tied in a full knot. Not only that, but the cord was then wrapped around my little Peanut's neck THREE times, which is what the "triple-rope" meant. I knew this was a definite possibility because the child was so dang active when he was inside my belly (another reason I couldn't wait to evict him).

After all that, I had a little 7lb 11oz, 20 1/2 inch baby boy with a full head of beautiful dark hair.

The next few weeks were a blur of sleep-deprivation (there's a reason it's outlawed by the Geneva Convention, and if it's not, it SHOULD be) and excitement. Now things are starting to settle down and I'm able to sleep at night without waking up and thinking every cough and whimper that comes from the co-sleeper is the little guy in the throes of death.

He graduated to a bigger diaper earlier this week and I cried. I'm sure it will only be the first of many, many times he will break my heart. At the same time, he makes my heart smile more than it ever has before. All in all, I can say it's been worth it.

Except maybe for the stretch marks...