Apparently some people care about all the details of our hospital stay. By all means, allow me to share. If you don’t care for the details, just look at the pictures.
Enjoy my one hundredth and longest post.
First, let’s admire a picture of my sweet baby.
On Friday (October 8th), I went to see my doctor for my weekly ultrasound. While at the doctor’s office, hooked up to a monitor, I started having contractions. I didn’t think they were anything significant (because, if I had been doing something besides just lying there, I wouldn’t have even noticed). But the contractions got everyone all excited, and the doctor checked to see how dilated I was (that Tuesday I was 1 cm dilated). I was 3 1/2 centimeters dilated, so they told me to go get some lunch and walk around for a couple of hours and come back at 3 that afternoon to see if I was progressing. Matt and I went to Jimmy Johns and got some sandwiches and then walked around Porter Park. The first lap, I was fine but started noticing the contractions more. During the second lap, I had to stop and sit on a bench because it was too hard to walk. We went back to the doctor’s office and I was dilated to a 4 1/2 and they sent me up to the hospital (a block away).
The admitting clerk who admitted me to the hospital tried to get me scheduled for a c-section. Matt and I both quickly corrected him. They sent me to Labor Room 9 and Nurse Jessica got me all set up with a gown and water and all that jazz. Three nurses and SIX IV needles and puncture wounds later, I finally had an IV in my arm. SIX. Apparently I have very small, fragile veins and every time they would stick an IV needle in and get it situated, my vein would collapse and a giant bubble would form under my skin. I tried to be a good sport about it, but after the third or fourth IV needle not working, I had run out of funny things to say about it; IV needles hurt.
After the IV fiasco, Nurse Tiffany (I liked her a lot) came in and got me all settled in and checked me again; 5 centimeters dilated. Doctor Allred came in and talked to me for a bit and then broke my water — that’s a feeling I’ll never forget — and asked if I was ready for an epidural. At that point, I was still just noticing the contractions and they were mildly uncomfortable, but not epidural worthy. Then Matt and I just kind of hung out, waiting with an enormous amount of anxiety. The contractions got a lot stronger and I progressed to 6 centimeters. I stayed at 6 centimeters for a few hours, which was mildly worrisome since they like to see labor progress within a certain amount of time after breaking the water. Sometime in there, they checked the baby’s position, and he was off to one side of my uterus and not coming straight down the birth canal — which was slowing things down. They upped the Pitocin and at about 8 PM, I decided I was ready for an epidural. At 9, Epidural Lane came in. I liked Lane, he was really nice.
I would just like to say: getting an epidural was WAY better than getting poked with SIX stinkin’ IV needles.
We had a few laughs with Lane and the epidural set in. Aside from making me shake uncontrollably for about 45 minutes, and requiring Nurse Tiffany to empty my bladder for me (for someone who would shut the bathroom door even if she was the only person left on the planet, this was really hard and awkward), I really enjoyed the epidural.
The rest of the evening is kind of a blur. I threw up a few times (yay me). I had more contractions (that I couldn’t feel). The contractions got the little guy coming down the birth canal straight. Around this time, I started feeling the contractions on my right side, so I informed Nurse Tiffany. Nurse Tiffany decided to check me one more time before going to get Epidural Lane to fix me. In about an hour and a half, I went from 6 centimeters to 10 centimeters and was ready to start pushing. We decided to forget about Lane, and get the show on the road.
I have to admit: pushing sucked and was by far the hardest part for me. I wasn’t really phased by the hard contractions, the throwing up, the uncontrollable shaking, but the pushing was not pleasant. At first, it wasn’t so bad, but after about an hour and my epidural was wearing off, and I was getting more and more uncomfortable as labor progressed, I lost a little bit of my happy-go-lucky attitude. Up until that point, my inner pep talks had been “This isn’t so bad,” “this isn’t going to last forever,” “you can do this,” etc. After an hour of pushing, my inner “pep talks” became “I want this to be over” and “I really want to quit.” I pushed every time they told me to and I never complained, but it was really hard.
The baby’s head was coming down at an angle and was coming with one of his arms, which made getting him out a little more of a challenge. His heart rate wasn’t so hot after my hour or so of pushing — nothing severe, just not ideal. Nurse Tiffany went and got Doctor Allred, who got his forceps and David was born. He didn’t cry much, he was content with watching the nurses wipe him off and get all his measurements and all that. While he was getting checked out by the nurses, I was getting stitched up.
I make an effort not to complain about things. I’ve made considerable effort not to complain about being pregnant or anything pregnancy related. I complained about the stitches. Stitches in your bottom hurt. A lot. Who knew.
Things are really a blur after that. He was cleaned off, I held him. Stuff that I don’t really remember happened. Eventually Nurse Barbara came and let me take a sore shower and wheeled us over to the “Mother Baby Unit” where the beds are much more comfortable. We met Nurse Penny, who kept asking me if I’d peed (she’d ask just like that too) and then take my vitals.
And that is that. We stayed in the hospital for a little bit and ate terrible food and didn’t get any sleep. My family came to visit, and everyone agreed that he was the cutest baby ever seen. We came home Sunday afternoon and had a family dinner (ham and potatoes — WAY better than hospital food) and still didn’t get any sleep.
My mom stayed with us for a week and it was magical — food (really good food) would appear at the appropriate times, laundry would be washed, folded and put at the end of the bed, David would be rocked for a few hours in the night so we could get some sleep, the apartment would be vacuumed, mopped, wiped down, and dusted, and the trash would get taken out.
We’ve been on our own this week, and I’m proud to say that our apartment is clean and we’re still alive. Mealtimes are still all over the place, but we’re working on it.
I’m also proud to say that by the end of week one, I was back to my pre-pregnancy weight (this is easily managed when you only gained 16 pounds and about half of that was a cute baby). Now, coming to the end of week two, for the most part, I don’t feel like I just had a baby (aside from being really tired all the time). I even made cookies, from scratch, earlier this week.
I think that’s the end for now. We love his snores, toots, faces, and especially his cuddles. He eats like a man (all. the. time.) and sleeps the rest of the time. He’s starting to be awake more often now, so this morning when he was awake and observing the world, I tried to teach him how to blow his nose (to make life a little easier on both of us). He stuck his fist in his mouth instead.
One of my favorite things: he smacks his lips when he finishes eating. Sometimes, he smacks with such gusto that he startles himself. It’s hilarious and cute (okay, we find everything he does cute).