Aaaaaaaand here comes, yet another, blogging phase. Don't ask me how long it will last because I don't know. Lately, I have found myself wanting to record this new journey of motherhood that I have begun, so here I am. However, this blog won't just be about motherhood. It's about the stupid good stuff of life, which could include anything from motherhood to card making, married life to baking, and t.v. shows to thoughts on the Gospel. If you've stopped by to read this here stupid blog, thanks. I hope you enjoy what you read and that you will be back.
Eight weeks ago today, I became a mother. I am a mother....wait..what? When did this happen? It was just yesterday that my sister and I would talk about things we would do someday when we were "grown up and married and had kids". Over the years and how much my own life has changed in just the past couple of years. Anyhoo, back to the me becoming a mom thing. Having a baby was the hardest and most rewarding experience ever. There's no way to prepare a first time mom for how painful/hard/wonderful/emotional labor will be. There's also no way to convey how I felt the first time I saw my sweet baby boy. However, let me try to give you an idea.... in honor of Mother's Day coming up, here is my birth story:
On March 8, 2013, I was 40 weeks preggars. I was also pert near tired of being preggars and was ready to get this show on the road and meet my Little Man. So to the internet I went to look for ways to speed things along. Several things I read suggested massaging acupressure points, so my hubby looked went to work massaging specific spots on my ankles, toes, and hands. It felt sooooo good regardless of if it was gonna work or not. At about 11:30 p.m. I felt the first twinges of labor. I wasn't positive that it was labor, but I could tell that it was more than Braxton Hicks. I fell asleep shortly after that, thanks to the massage, and woke up again at 1:30 a.m. At this point I was pretty confident that these were real contractions and some of them even "hurt". I put hurt in quotations because I would later find out that those did not hurt. They were in fact a piece of cake. Anyhoo, I laid there listening to my hubby snoring and using my contraction counter app on my phone. By 3:30 a.m. the contractions hurt more and were consistently 5 minutes apart. I woke Ben up and told him I was about to call Tori, our midwife, and tell her what was up. We had about an hour and a half drive to the birth house and having no idea what to expect with the first baby I wanted to make sure we got there on time. Before I called Tori, I called my mom who was going to be there for labor and delivery and told her that she might want to start waking up and packing. Tori asked me several questions about the contractions and told me to take a bath, eat some food, and try to go back to sleep and get some rest. So I did. But at 5:30 a.m. I was still awake and I was sure the contractions were getting more "painful" (more quotations for the same reasons). I called Tori back and she said that if I felt like we needed to leave, to go ahead and leave. So Ben and I set to work loading the car with the already packed bags, a cooler of snacks, and a very pregnant woman. O and a little bit of a side note: No matter how early on in labor you are, it is not fun to walk down three flights of stairs. Yay, married student housing apartments. Despite what I was expecting, the car ride was not horrible. In fact, it was kinda fun listening to music and talking about the amazing fact that we were about to meet our Little One, FINALLY!
We arrived at the birth house and Tori wanted to check me to see how far along I was. I was not prepared for how painful that would be and I nearly punched the poor woman in the face. :P To my dismay I was only 1 cm dilated. Tori suggested that it might be false labor since I had already been laboring a while with so little progress. I was also a little tensed up from the car ride and having been checked so I got in the birth tub to relax. After I relaxed some the contractions picked up a little. After about an hour of being in the tub, Ben was falling asleep sitting up and my mom had gotten there so Ben went to sleep while mom stayed up with me to help count contractions and fetch snacks and water. I eventually got out of the tub and did some walking around and sitting on the birthing ball. At this point the contractions were starting to get sporadic and kinda dying off a little.
Ben woke up and we went for a walk to try and get them to progress a little. We got back from the walk and it was lunch time by then, so we sat on the front porch and I had my first Coca Cola in 9 months. It was more heavenly than I can describe. Yes I have a problem. Back to the story. I got checked again after lunch (again, NOT FUN) and was only at 3cm. At this point, I was feeling discouraged at the lack of progress, but my awesome midwife politely got in my face and gave me a pep talk, reminding me that pain is good and that I needed to let go. To this day I still am not sure what I was letting go of. I didn't feel afraid or tense and nothing was bothering me, but whatever it was, I was gonna try to let go of it. :P Apparently that pep talk worked, because things started to pick up from there.
Ben and I went on another walk and the contractions were at about a 7-8 on the pain scale. I did not like walking. it hurt worse than any other position at that point. But it helped that my sweet hubby was constantly encouraging me and being super helpful in any way he could. He deserves a medal. After walking for a while, I was hungry again and it was getting cold outside, so we went in and got a snack. Ben did some more acupressure massaging on my ankles while I ate. Then we went on another walk.
By this time it was getting dark and I had thought I would be holding my baby in my arms by now. The contractions were close together and pushing a 9 on the pain scale and I was tired. I had been up since 1:30 that morning and I was running low on adrenaline. My midwife suggested I try to sleep, but stubborn me, was not going to bed. Not only was I afraid it would slow down contractions, but I just wanted to be done. Little did I know, that I was nowhere near done. Ben and I then proceeded to walk around in a circle in the living room for about 4 hours. Stopping every time a contraction came for me to lean on him and make low moaning sounds that sounded like a dying cow. My sweet husband did them with me and my awesome mother kept track of the contractions. I finally broke down and said the words I'd been thinking for the past few hours or so..."I can't do this anymore". So I decided to try to sleep. I had no idea how I was going to sleep but I had to stop standing and walking. I got in bed and was soon dozing in between contractions.
It was almost like my body needed those short little breaks in order to move on to the next stage, because within half an hour, my water broke and the real party started. After my water broke, there was a calm before the storm. I had about 10 minutes of contraction free bliss while I changed into clean clothes. Then the storm broke. That first contraction after my water broke was unlike anything I've ever felt before. Pain like I can't describe. My first thought was, "I really can't do this. It's not possible". Out loud, however, I said something else that I won't repeat on this blog. Ahem. I was gripping Ben's arm like it might fly away and struggling to relax and let the pain do it's work. After about 3 contractions, I was able to get a grip and get in the zone. Within an hour, I felt like I wanted to push and my midwife said to go for it. It wasn't long before I couldn't help but push. Ladies and Gents, I'm here to tell you that I pushed for 4 hours. Oy. Shortly after I told my midwife that I wanted to push, she checked me and said I was only 6 cm and to stop pushing. My thought was "No. No way I'm only 6 cm. Unacceptable. I am more than 6 cm." She then sent me to sit backwards on the toilet to keep things moving along. That was a whole new kind of pain that I wasn't ready for, but I kept telling myself that pain was progress. But I couldn't stop pushing. Tori talked to her helper midwife and they agreed that it was weird that I was only 6 cm and at the point of not being able to keep from pushing. I was acting more like 9 or 10 cm. Tori had her helper check me to get a second opinion. Debbie is her name, and she checked me and said, "9cm". Woohoo! Tori checked again and was like, "Ok that was not like that a second ago when I thought it was 6 cm". Honestly, what I think happened was that I heard her say 6cm, and my body said "no way Jose!" and jumped to 9cm right then and there. In no time at all I was 10 cm and working hard to get my big baby outta there.
After 28 hours of labor, 4 of which were pushing, we finally got to meet our little William. How do I begin to describe how I felt the first time I saw him?...other than exhaustion obviously. All I can tell you is that I believe in love at first sight now. That first look at my son made every uncomfortable, inconvenient, and painful moment in the past 9 months seem like petty problems. Nothing could over shadow the joy and love and relief I felt in that moment.
However, the first time I saw him, I also had a slight tinge of panic, because the umbilical cord was wrapped around his tiny neck 3 times. This explained why it took me so long to push him out because there was no slack in the cord and it was holding him back. We had no idea that the cord was wrapped around him because his heart rate had stayed perfect throughout labor so it wasn't constricting his breathing, thankfully. I had no reason to panic though because this wasn't the first baby wrapped in umbilical cord that my midwife had seen and she soon had him unwrapped.
And then she handed him to me. Seeing my baby for the first time was one thing. Holding him for the first time was a whole new level of joy and happiness and a mother can't help but cry at a moment like that. He was perfect. And it was time to sit back and relax with my husband and our new baby boy. It took William no time at all to figure out where the food was and how to get it. :) Eventually, I realized I was starving and ridiculously sleepy. So after my Little Man had his fill was taking his first nap in the big wide world, I took a nice hot bath, ate a giant bowl of beef stew, drank another coke, and took my own blissful nap. And Ben and I entered a whole new chapter of life. God was so good to us through this whole process and we are so thankful that William is here safe and sound and thriving.
Today he turned 8 weeks old and everyday I look at him and think "O my goodness. I had a baby!"
A very stupid cute baby.
Thank you Lord for the privilege to be a mother.