Tuesday, September 13, 2016

I'm a Mommy Now!

Fellow readers,

I am now a mommy! I repeat. I am now a mommy.

So if you read my last post, you would know that I was scheduled to be induced on August 28th. Well, Elliott had other plans, and he came the day before.

It was hectic, exhausting, and life changing.

On Friday, I started having some minor contractions around 7pm. I figured they were Braxton Hicks and went off to bed. I woke up around midnight, and the contractions were excruciating! I started to time them, but they were sporadic between 4 minutes apart and 7 minutes apart. I woke my husband up around 1am and told him that I was going to call the midwife. After I called her, she told me soak in a tub to see if that would help ease them up. Well, they didn't so we were off to the hospital.

We got there somewhere around 3am, and by 6am they had sent me home. I was only 1.70cm dilated. And wouldn't you know that on the discharge papers it said, false labor? But how could this be? I was in so much pain. Well, she also gave me some morphine to help with the pain and said it should let me sleep for about 4 hours and when I woke up, the pain would be gone. That's what they told me anyway.

When we got home around 6:30am, I slept for 2 hours before I woke up to more pain. It radiated from my back down to my legs. I kept thinking, isn't the morphine supposed to be working? I was exhausted and hadn't slept since midnight. I decided to turn over in the bed when I heard a POP! I remember thinking, was that my water or a joint popping? Well, I went to the bathroom and after I got done peeing, I stood up and more water continued to leak. At that moment, I was nearly sure it was my water. However, after being in the hospital for 3 hours, just for them to send me home, I was discouraged about going straight to the hospital again. When I got into bed, I told Patrick in these exact words, "I don't want to freak you out, but I think my water just broke." He shot up out of bed. Ladies, if you are pregnant and need your husband to wake up at any cost, these words will work!

He asked if I wanted to go to the hospital yet and I said no. I was still disappointed about being sent home and feared that I might be mistaken and it not be my waters; however minutes later, my contractions hit me so hard it took my breath away. Let me tell you something about back contractions. They hurt. Seriously! I was expecting abdominal pain, but that didn't happen. Everything in my lower back tightened as if I was being beaten with a million bats at one time. If you've ever had kidney stones, the pain is like that, but 100 times worse. Then that pain radiated down into my thighs. I called the on call midwife to at least get an opinion before we left, but the pain was so much that while we were waiting for her to call me back, we just left for the hospital anyway.

On our way there, a midwife called me back. I told her we were on our way back up to the hospital. She started asking a bunch of questions, but I couldn't even talk through my contractions. Patrick ended up having to take the phone. At that point, I remember her asking how far apart they were. I was in so much pain I had forgotten to use my contraction counting app. Patrick was paying attention apparently because he told her 2 minutes apart. At that point I was almost worried I would have the baby on the ride there.

Now here is a part, that to this day, still agitates me. When we got into the emergency section, we waited down in the lobby for about half an hour before they came to retrieve me. Seriously, I was not happy in that moment. I was there moaning loudly while all these other people, patients and family alike, were around. My contractions were getting worse, and I had spectators. I was uncomfortable and Patrick was trying to reason with me. I wasn't really in the mood to be reasoned with. Patrick told me after the fact that he was about to ask the receptionist where he should set up to have the baby, when they finally came to get me.

From here, it goes by pretty quickly...sorta. When we got to triage, I was 5 cm dilated-- to their surprise. I wasn't. I would have been more upset if I was still at 1.70. While we waited for them to get me to Labor and Delivery(L&D) (apparently, there was only 1 room available. Lucky me) the midwife came in and actually suggested I get the epidural. Now, anyone who knew me during my pregnancy knew I wanted to go natural and despite the pain I was hanging in there. However, the midwife noted that I wasn't breathing during the contractions as they literally took my breath away and was concerned that I wasn't getting oxygen to my baby boy. That's all it took and I was onboard. Now, on a side note, I had never snubbed the epidural. In fact, I had told my midwife at an earlier appointment for my birth plan, that if I just couldn't handle it, I wanted to make it to at least 6-7 cm dilated. So since I was at 5cm, I figured by the time they got me to L&D and the anesthesiologist came I would have met my goal. Boy did I.

2 hours later, but it felt like minutes, around 11am, I was finally in L&D and the anesthesiologist had came. At this point, I already felt like I had to push. They hadn't checked my cervix again, but they didn't think I was that far along yet. Once the epidural was in, I was at 8cm. From that point on, I was passed out asleep. Seriously, I had been up all morning hurting so of course I was tired. I slept a little and woke up just in time for my next cervix check around 1:30pm. Now, I was fully dilated! They decided to let me, labor down and get more sleep before pushing. So sleep, I did.

Now, here is the point that I look back at now and regret the epidural, and I only say that because I feel like I could have had him even sooner--and it's not because of the reasons you might think. Around the time they came back to have me push, my epidural had worn off. I was in just as much pain as I was before. That button--the one that is supposed to give me more of the drugs--yeah it wasn't working for me. I have a high metabolism, so medicine doesn't last long. I remember at this point, I threw up while waiting on the anesthesiologist to come back and top me off. I recall the midwife telling me that we took the time to get me the epidural we shouldn't let me go in more pain. She was right of course, but looking back on it, I should have just started pushing then. Why? Because once they got the epidural topped off and I did start pushing, near the end, it wore off again!

So here I was, reaching the end and the epidural had done wore off again. Now, at this point I had been pushing for over 2 hours. It was nearing 8pm. Now, not everything is contributed to that epidural. Another problem we were having is that baby boy was OP, occiput posterior. That meant that his head was facing out rather than towards my back. That explains not only the back pain, but also why I was having such a hard time getting him out. While I was laboring down, they had me laying with a peanut ball in hopes to get him to turn. He did eventually turn. I think. Honestly, I was so out of it I don't remember.

Another problem we encountered was I was having a hard time pushing him past the pelvic bone. For one, my contractions were just as sporadic as when I went in at 3am. They would be back to back 2 minutes apart, and then I would have a short period of contractions being 4 minutes apart. Secondly, and this I do attribute to the epidural, while I could still feel my contractions, slightly, I could hardly feel anything down there. This made it hard to know where to push. They were even worried about needing to bring in a OB to use forceps. The OB came and checked things out, but he believed I was more than capable to get my baby out without intervention. He was right. Not long after he left, I was pushing as hard as I possibly could. Even when the epidural was starting to wane, I just continued to push. Then part of his head was out. I was so ready for him to be here, but then we had another long period of waiting between contractions. Uhg. Baby boy must have been just as eager because he started pushing himself out without the contractions. At this point, I just decided to push too and he was out!

All of that, and I ended up with a second degree tear-- I have no idea how many stitches.

Now, my labor was crazy, in my opinion. But I loved my midwife team. Even though things didn't go as planned, and even though I did end up regretting the epidural later, they did what was right at the time. They couldn't have known that I would end up at 10cm dilated that quickly. Most first time moms have a much longer labor. Also, I was in so much pain, I didn't rationally think through what my initial wants were. I was suffering, the midwife was worried I wasn't getting oxygen to the baby, and I caved like a mine shaft falling in. Everything I had read to help ease the torment without drugs, I threw out the window with a brick tied to it. But you know what, I would do it all over again regrets and all, if it gave me the same outcome of a healthy baby boy.

I still got my golden hour with Elliott. The minute he was in my arms, it was like nothing else was happening. I must have pushed out the placenta, but I don't remember it as I was a mommy now. Elliott was my world. I know I got stitched up, and I didn't feel it thank goodness because of the epidural, but that baby was in my arms so nothing else mattered.

So next time, hopefully, I can prepare better. Especially since I know what I will be in for.

As for the recovery, well, let's just say that, that first week was almost worse than the birth. Try not being able to sit down for a week without it feeling like you got paddled straight on the tail bone. That's especially tough when you have to sit straight down to breastfeed.

Speaking of recovery, it's going on 3 weeks and I am still in the midst of it. This is actually the first week I've been able to sit in the chair at the computer. It' still uncomfortable, but hey, at least I can do it. That means that I will finally be able to get back to writing. It will still be tough as Elliott needs to be fed very often and diapers need to be changed, but yesterday I was very pleased to be able to go over 2 chapters in my newest series, Beautifully Disguised.

I might post some more about how becoming a mom has changed my life. I think other author moms-to-be might like to know how it affects writing life. Also, it's very therapeutic for me. You know, post partum hormones and all.

Until then, I'm going to snuggle with my baby boy.

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