Sunday, July 17, 2011

Born this way... (Part 2)

(If you missed Part 1 - and have several hours to kill - go back and read it.)

In loooooooove with my epidural.  Considering naming the child after that anesthesiologist.  Now I can go back to tweeting in peace. :) (8:29 pm)

So there I was.  Well past the 12 hour mark, but not a care. in the. damn. world.  Epidurals are made of magic and rainbows, people.  I received several encouraging tweets from friends.  They had me switching back and forth from side to side to make sure the pain medication was being evenly distributed.  When I was facing away from the door, several of my family members arrived to say hello.  I talked to them with my back to them (that side of the family is really private and just wanted to stay by the door to give me my privacy) and they told me they were perfectly content with waiting the evening out in the waiting room.  I cannot tell you how great that felt.  Talking about it makes me cry (in a good way.)  It's weird.  It's like I could feel all of the positive energy coming from that waiting room.  Just having them there in the building was the best support I could have possibly asked for.  If I know my family at all, they were probably sitting and trading stories, laughing, playing cards, and generally just loving life.  The thought of all of that stayed with me for the rest of the night.  I was so proud to be bringing my son into a family like ours.  Plus.  Have I mentioned?  I felt greeeeeeat.

Now that I was nice and pleasantly numb, things kind of halted again.  My nurse was on her dinner break and her relief showed up.  She asked me if I had to go to the bathroom.  I was so numb I actually couldn't tell.  Plus, I had just recently incapacitated myself, so it wasn't like getting up to go was a choice anyway.  Well, those of you who have had an epidural knows what comes next...

Apparently, I did have to pee.  Like.  A lot.  And that was actually slowing things down for me.  Who would have known that going pee would help birth a baby.  It does apparently. 

Here is my new best friend.  He dispenses more numb - whenever mama wants it.  Love it. (9:17 pm) 

I had noticed when the"helped" me go to the bathroom that I was starting to regain some feeling.  Enter: panic.  I was so happy with my epidural, I didn't want it to go away.  So, I hit that little PCA button and nothing changed.  I told the relief nurse about it and she promised to tell my nurse when she got back from her break.  Right around this time, the woman in the room next to me started screaming. her. damn. head. off.  Panic exit right; enter: Full On Meltdown.

Can hear a woman screaming her head off in the next room.  God bless her...should've gotten the epidural. (10:07 pm)

My husband and I were quiet and listening to the intermittent screams, muffled only slightly by the walls seperating us.  At some point, he looked up and me and smiled and said:

"Hey, can you hear that baby crying?"
"No.  I can only hear screaming."
"Yeah, that's what I mean, it's a baby!"
"Um, no.  That's a lady.  In pain."
(Then complete stunned silence from both of us.)

My nurse, back from her shift entered the room and checked me.  I think I was at 5 cm or something insignificant like that.  She apologized for being out of the room for so long and said, "Things got a bit crazy out there."  My husband asked her timidly, "Did she have an epidural?"  The nurse smiled and said, "No...but she wishes she did."

Again, I totally relaxed - and told the nurse that I was having a bit of feeling.  She told me she'd get anthesisology to give me a boost.  That was no big deal.  Since the epidural was already in place, they just had to shoot a little extra medicine in there and then I was feeling even better.  I had feeling, but not bad feeling.  I could even move my legs...kind of.  They just felt heavy and like they were asleep (but without the pins and needles feeling.)  I was talking to the nurse and without realizing it was scratching the hell out of my arms and chest.  She pointed that out to me and said, "Don't worry...that's a side effect.  It goes away."  It totally did, but the trembling didn't.  Sometimes epidurals make women shiver (yeah, I didn't know either.)  Me?  I tremored like my own personal earthquake.  Looking back now, I notice there is a huge gap between tweets - that's because I literally couldn't keep my hands still enough to type.  My husband was flipping out.  He said I just looked so uncomfortable.  I assured him I felt the best I have ever felt in my entire life.  And that's the truth.  I would take that side effect over pain A MILLION times over.  Plus, it went away eventually.

It was around this point that both of us realized no baby was going to come anytime soon.  We sent everyone home (my grandparents were ready to power through even though it was after midnight) and both attempted to get some sleep.  I know my husband had a really hard time getting to sleep, but I was out and in the deepest most relaxed sleep of my life, lulled by the steady whirr whirr whirr of the heart monitor.

Two hours passed, but it felt like five minutes.  The nurse came in to check on me and asked if I was feeling any pressure.  I said I could tell the baby's head had dropped, but I didn't feel the urge to push.  She checked me and I was a 9.  I remember sitting straight up in my bed and that I didn't even feel scared at all.  Just excited and eager to give a first try at pushing.  The nurse said to call my parents (who had asked me to call them when I was at 8 centimeters so they could make their ways back to the hospital.  I really didn't want them to miss anything.

2:50. 9 cm. Finally.  Got a boost on my epidural.  That was a smart move.

I actually tried to fall back asleep while my parents hurried back to the hospital, but that wasn't going to happen.  My parents came back into the room to see me and gave me their blessings and hugs.  I had my mom put my hair in back to keep it out of my face for delivery.  It's funny, I was about to do one of the most grown up things I've ever done in my life, but I still needed a little help from my mom.  Some things never change.  We sent my parents back out into the hallway so I could be checked again to see if it was time.

3:51 ready to push :)

The nurses called my doctor to have her come to the hospital.  While I "labored down" (which basically means to let your contractions push the baby down more so you don't have to do quite as much work), the nurses let me do some "practice pushes."  Turns out - mama didn't need any practice.  While I was in the middle of my second set of "practice pushes" - my doctor walked in, saw that I was clearly progressing, threw off her jacket and purse, and ran into position.  The nurses helped her get gowned up and the resident walked in to assist.  I did another set of "practice pushes."  Then it was show time.

I remember feeling incredibly strong.
I remember getting a fresh burst of energy in between each set of pushes.
I remember hearing my husband saying "Good job, good job, good job" over and over again.

My husband, oh my husband.  The best birth coach in the world.  It was like he knew exactly what to do and say and when to do and say it.  He remained calm and excited for the both of us.  He helped me keep going.  He fed me ice chips in between pushes.  He held my hand and cheered and cheered for me.  I couldn't have done it without him.  I've never loved him more.

I remember how slow it felt like my doctor would count to ten for every push, but how I would push hard right at the end.
I remember telling them the pizza/cookie story in between pushes and having to cut it off early so I could push again.
I remember telling them about the nursery and imagining it during another set of pushes.
I remember absolutely no pain.
I remember when they told me the head was out, I whispered to the doctor, "That's the hardest part. Right?"
I remember after that, I had him out in one more push.
I remember looking up at my husband as they laid the baby on my stomach and seeing tears fill his eyes as he said, "Look!  Look!"
I remember looking down and seeing the most beautiful baby in the world and being in disbelief he was actually there.
I remember looking down at the baby and thinking he looked so familiar - like I've known him my entire life.
I remember being almost afraid to touch him, as if I would wake up from a dream.
I remember feeling so proud.
I remember feeling so strong.
I remember feeling changed.

4:38 am; 8 pounds 6 ounces

Everything was exactly how I wanted it.  They whisked the baby off to check him out and he started to cry. I said, "Aw, he has a cute cry!"  He peed straight up in the air while they were getting him cleaned up.  That was hilarious.  They cleaned him up very quickly and I just started in wonder at him.  Like I couldn't believe it had happened.  When they weighed him, my OB and I made bets on how big he would be - we both thought 7.5 pounds.  At 8 pounds, 6 ounces, he blew us out of the water - The Incredible Hulk from the day he was born.

Then it was time for me to hold him.  They had him wrapped in a blanket with that precious little hat on his head and he was just so perfect.

My husband held me and I held the baby.  We just stared.  There were no words.  The moment was a blur, but it was so precious.  We took a few pictures, but mostly - we just drank it all in.

They asked me if I wanted to try to breast feed for the first time.  I felt like I had four hands, I was so awkward with it, but as soon as we got it figured out, he latched on like an old pro.  I thank God every day for that moment.  It was so important to me to get a chance to try nursing before anyone else came into the room and I got exactly that.  It was important to me that my husband and I were the only people in the room for the delivery and for the precious moments that followed.  I got exactly that too.

Finally, it was time to invite my parents in.  They both got a chance to hold him and pointed out the features that made him look like me and the ones that made him look like my husband.  He was just so beautiful, I couldn't take my eyes off of him.

Eventually, it was time to make our way to our room.  The baby was taken to the nursery to get cleaned up some more and I was helped into a wheelchair.  They wheeled me through snaking hallways and up in some elevators until we reached the nursery window.  They wheeled me close to the window where there were tons of babies lined up.  For a split second I wondered if I would remember which one was mine...and then I kind of freaked out at that word - mine.  But, it only lasted a second because when they held up my beautiful son, decked out in a clean white onesie, with his hair parted down the side like he had a little baby combover.  It was adorable.

I felt complete.
I felt strong.
I felt like a rockstar.


And the rest is history.
This year has gone by so fast I can't even put it into words.  I look at that his little angelic face and almost can't believe he's the same tiny baby who looked like the car seat was going to swallow him up that day we took him home.

While I can't say I'm ready at all for the next baby (and won't be for quite sometime.)  I do know that there will be absolutely no fear or hesitation when I do choose to head down that path again.  It was simply one of the best moments of my entire life.

For now, I'm just going to enjoy this sweet little boy.
After all, he's the one who made me The New Mom on the Blog.


  1. Seriously, I had an epi too and it made everything amazing. So much so that I can't wait to do it again in December!


  2. You are going to be so greatful you have this written memory. I am welling up with tears remembering my own stories. Thanks for this Amanda! Happy birthday to my little Grand Nephew!!

  3. Amanda, this was just so wonderful. I was crying from the moment you said you were excited to start pushing. Honestly the thought of having a baby has always scared the hell out of me but the story was just so positive and uplifting I almost cant wait to have one of my own. I just loved loved loved this post. Good job Mama!

  4. I had to read the story in two sittings. :) I don't know what it is about the way you write, but its like hearing you tell your story makes me not as scared for the one I'll have someday. Probably because you're so honest about it all; the fears, the anxiety, the joy. It's crazy. This is going to sound so old lady of me, but it's so cool to see how you've (we've) grown up into real, living breathing adults...

    Shannon W.

  5. Awesome conclusion! I kind of wondered why the tweets trailed off there for a while but realized that oh, you were probably pushing a life out of your body. :)

  6. There were moments I was like "Yes! That's exactly how mine was!" and then others that were like "Mine didn't go AT ALL like that" lol It's amazing how each mom has their own birth stories. But of course we get to share a similar part/the best part: the epi... I mean, the ending. ;) Happy Birthday TIH!

  7. @Julie - YAY! More epidurals! I mean, babies! YAY!

    @Lynn - That is EXACTLY why I did this. He may never want to read it (because he's a boy and stuff), but I am going to want to be able to read it long after my memory fails me.

    @AmandaJ - Thank you so much! It's one of those stories that I get a little misty eyed every time I tell it.

    @Shannon - It is soooo weird to think how far we've come. It's even weirder to say how long we've known each other which is going on...wait for it...TWENTY YEARS. WHAT?!

    @Angela - Yeah between the nap, the trembling, the pain, and the pushing, I had to put the phone down. Though, I kind of wish I would have done one tweet in between pushes. To be funny. And HARDCORE.

    @T - HAHA. I'll say the baby was the best part, but the epidural was definitely the second best part. And only by a margin :) The baby wins because he lasts longer. Isn't it so crazy how differently people do things (especially in different parts of the world) and how we all go on to have these amazing little small huamns. I LOVE IT.


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