Before I begin I have to explain the way it is written. I confess, I have another blog. I started it when I was pregnant. It is a private blog that only David and I can see and write in that is for our baby girl so it is written to her. I wrote this birth story on her blog a few weeks ago and didn't feel like writing the whole thing all over again so I decided to cut and paste it here. I've taken out a few of the more personal feelings I wrote, but this is pretty much the whole story. So here it is. I'll write a few final thoughts at the end of this post though. Enjoy!
Before I begin the whole story of your birth I wanted to throw in this picture of us at 39 weeks. This was the Sunday, July 14th. You were born a few days later. I knew on this day you would be born this week. I just had a feeling you would. Your dad and I hoped you'd wait until after his birthday on Tuesday to come, and you did. Such an obedient girl you are. Little did your dad know what a crazy day his birthday would turn out to be.
Here we are the morning of the 16th, your dad's birthday. I woke up at 3 in the morning with contractions. I wasn’t sure they were contractions at the time, but when they came and went every 10 minutes and started getting more and more painful, I was pretty sure that they were. By about 8am they were coming every 5 minutes and by 10am, every 2 minutes. Your dad had gotten ready and was going to go into work, but decided against it after seeing the pain I was having. We called my doctor’s office and they told us to come in and get checked out. We took a cab to the doctor and by the time we got there I was in a lot of pain. They hooked me up to a machine to see your heartbeat and my contraction pattern. I was definitely having contractions every 2 minutes and your heartbeat looked good, unfortunately I was not dilated enough to send me to the hospital so there was nothing anyone could do but wait. They told us to return in 2 hours and they would check me again. I didn’t like that answer.
We went to a café by our doctor’s office building and tried to eat something, but it was so noisy I couldn’t stay there. The doctor told me that walking around could help the dilation progress, but I was in so much pain literally every 2 minutes I couldn’t walk or talk hardly. We ended up waiting in the doctor’s waiting area until they could see us again.
The doctor checked me again, and again, I was not dilated enough to be admitted to the hospital. I was in so much pain. The doctor told me to come back in a couple more hours to get checked again. By this time I just wanted to go suffer at home so we took another very painful taxi ride back to our apartment. Taxi drivers are not known for their smooth driving and the ride was extremely painful. I cried in silence in the back seat as I squeezed your dad's hand and arm when the contractions were at their worst. He told me later that he was surprised I didn't break his fingers I was squeezing so hard.
At home I laid in bed and moaned and cried for another 2 hours, but I was happy to be in my own bed for a little while. Around 5pm we took one more painful taxi ride to the doctor's office to get checked out. I was now dilated to a 3, but still not enough to technically be in labor and admitted to the hospital, however I was in so much pain the doctor told us to go there anyway and get checked in so I could get some morphine for the pain until I was dilated enough for the epidural. We gladly went.
We took a short taxi ride over to St. Luke's Roosevelt Hospital on 59th Street and proceeded to wait in the triage waiting room to be admitted. We waited...and waited...and waited while the contractions kept coming...and coming...and coming every 2 minutes.
Finally we were admitted and shown to a private delivery room around 7 or 8pm. I was excited to finally get some relief from the pain, however we were admitted around the same time that the doctors change shifts and I had to wait again for a doctor to okay the morphine before the nurses could give it to me, so we waited...
...until it got dark before I we finally got some morphine. The morphine only just slightly took the edge off the contractions for about an hour and then...
...it was right back to dealing with the worst pain ever. Just for your info, my contractions felt like the worst period cramps I've ever felt in my life multiplied by 100 with pain in my lower abdomen and back...every 2 minutes.
Here you can see the peaks of my contractions very close together.
After a few more hours of waiting I was finally seen by the doctor and okayed for an epidural. Once okayed for that, we had to wait another hour or so for the anesthesiologist to arrive with the drugs. By this time I had literally been having contractions every 2 minutes for about 24 hours and I was so worn out. Every time a contraction came I would shake uncontrollably, yell, cry, pray and squeeze your dad's arm very hard. It was the hardest thing I've ever gone through, physically, emotionally and spiritually in my life.
Finally the anesthesiologist arrived and hooked up the epidural and the feeling of sweet numb relief came over me. It was amazing...for an hour. After about an hour I started feeling contractions again. I was horrified. We called the nurse and they called the anesthesiologist to come back. After another hour of horrible contractions he arrived and re-did the epidural. This time it worked and I was thankfully completely numb from the waist down. I was so relieved and so was your dad.
Your dad had a rough time that day too. Poor guy. His whole birthday consisted of worrying about me and you and feeling completely helpless. Not to mention he lost his keys in a taxi on one of our rides to the doctor's office. He was beside himself with frustration, but really, he did an amazing job being there for us both the whole day. I kept wishing him a happy birthday between contractions too. I couldn't help but think a lot about your grandma McCune that day and that she went through exactly what I was going through that same day 36 years ago with your dad.
Here we are around 3am on the 17th. Tired, worn out, spent, but happy I wasn't in pain anymore. Now all we had to do was wait for you to arrive.
The morning of Wednesday, July 17th was clear and bright. This is the view from our delivery room.
I was feeling good and was able to rest most of the day while your dad spent the night in an uncomfortable chair, so he was a bit more tired, but happy.
Here I am relaxing. I had to wear an oxygen mask most of the day for your benefit. Your vital signs indicated you were more relaxed when I had more oxygen.
Every few hours throughout the day my doctor, would come in and check to see how much I was dilated. Every time I was dilated a little bit more, but not quite enough and she would say, "I'll come check you again in 2 hours". Throughout the morning and afternoon the doctor broke my water and gave me pitocin to hurry the labor along.
Finally around 1:40pm I was dilated to a 10 and ready to push. I could feel how low you were even though I was numb. I could feel the pressure of your little head ready to come out.
This is my doctor right before she delivered you.
Your dad and I took our last family picture with just the 2 of us. In a few minutes we'd forever be a family of 3.
Before the doctor began she explained everything that was going to happen. When a contraction was coming the nurse would hold my left foot and leg while your dad held my right foot and leg then I would hold my breath and push like crazy while the doctor watched and guided you out.
I don't know exactly how to describe your delivery except to say that it was the most amazing, peaceful and calm experience. When you think of a baby delivery you usually think of a lot of yelling, screaming and commotion, but your delivery was just the opposite. I wasn't scared, just excited to get the job done, do it right and finally meet you. It was just me, you, your dad, the doctor and the nurse in the small delivery room. All of us working together to get you here safely. It was such an amazing experience. I could not have asked for a more amazing delivery. It was perfect and so were you.
I pushed for about 20 minutes and then you arrived around 2:39pm. Your father remembers seeing the top of your head, then your sweet face came out looking straight up. He then looked at me, then looked back at you just in time to see the doctor pull the rest of you out. The doctor and nurse immediately wiped you off a little, wrapped you in a blanket and set you on my chest. I was overcome by so many emotions then. Finally seeing you after all the time we spent together with you inside me was more than I can put into words. When they placed you on my chest you grabbed my finger with your little hand and just stared up at me with open eyes. You didn't cry at all, just looked at me and I knew at that moment that you knew who I was and were saying hello to me for the first time.
We laid this way for probably about 10 minutes.
It was the best 10 minutes of my life.
After our 10 minutes your dad cut the umbilical cord connecting you to me. The nurse needed to weigh and measure you so your dad picked you up from my chest. Your little hand grabbed the neck of my hospital gown and you wouldn't let go. He had to pull your hand from it. I think we both never wanted that moment to end.
Your dad placed you on the nurses table and she began all her tests. You never cried the whole time. The nurse said you were a stubborn little thing because you refused to cry and let us hear your voice. I think you were just happy and calm.
You were such an amazingly beautiful newborn with adorable chubby checks and rolls. The nurse inked your feet and got your foot print. She weighed you. We were all excited to see how heavy you were. 8 pounds 6 ounces. Such a cute chubby baby.
She cleared your nose and throat and still you didn't cry.
She checked your lungs and heart.
You were perfect.
After the nurse was done she handed you to your dad and he snapped a few pictures of you. You look a little puffy here because they put some goop on your eyes.
I love this picture I took of you and your dad. He was just as obsessed with you as I was.
He watched over you while the nurse cleaned you up.
And this is our first family picture with the 3 of us. We couldn't have been happier at this moment.
And here I am after it all. Tired, but so happy.
I love this picture of us. This is the picture that we texted and emailed to all our family after you were born. This is the first picture all your grandparents and aunts and uncles saw of you.
After about an hour we were all moved upstairs to the recovery and nursery area of the hospital where we would stay for the next 2 nights. The nurses took you away to give you a proper bath. I had to stay in the room, but your dad stayed with you and watched the whole time. Afterward they brought you back to me.
I will never forget the day you were born. July 17th, 2013. The best day of my life so far. You are such a special baby. You were so good and perfect. Your dad and I were so happy you waited until the 17th to be born so you could have your own special day you wouldn't have to share with anyone else.
So that is the story as I wrote it to her. I want to add here on this blog that having a baby was the craziest, wildest ride I have ever been on. Amiright moms?! I've stated on this blog before how much being pregnant sucks. I still stand by that. The last few months especially. I was so miserable. NYC and the third trimester of pregnancy (not to mention having contractions and being in labor) do not mix. Especially in the summer in the middle of multiple heat waves. We took the baby home on literally the hottest day on the summer (110* heat index). The subway stairs almost killed me. But I did it. And now I have an amazing baby. Of course I wouldn't take it back, but it was so hard.
The first week of her life was crazy too. Such a whirlwind. No one can really explain properly the craziness that ensues after you bring your baby home. You're body is trying to heal as well as regulate more insane hormones all on no sleep whilst trying to keep a baby alive and you have no idea how to really do any of it. Not to mention your boobs are huge and hurt so bad and trying to figure out breast feeding in a foggy haze is no picnic. Do not even get me started on hemorrhoids and anal fissures. TMI? Well it's the hard truth that for some reason no one ever tells you about. So incredibly painful (if you want to know the gory details, call me. I don't mince words or sugar coat the bad stuff). I have no idea how single moms do it. I have a new found respect for anyone who had to go through a pregnancy, childbirth, bringing home a new baby, and raising a baby all on their own. I don't think I could ever do that. It was hard enough for me and I had an amazing husband there the whole time.
What a crazy experience this has all been. Of course IT IS all worth it just like everyone always tells you. It is. To all my first time pregnant friends out there, hang in there. I feel for you. I REALLY do. The whole process, especially the end, sucks so bad, but it is so worth that new baby. It really is the worst, best, most painful, most joyful, most hated, most loved, most horrible, most amazing experience ever.