Wow, two posts in a year, I am really killing it in the blogging department :). You know, I remember at one point finding my dad's old journal and reading through it. I realized that there had only been one entry in my entire life, shortly after I was born. At the time I was deeply offended, but the older I get and the more kids I have the more I am thoroughly impressed that he even had a journal, let alone that he wrote in it after I (the caboose of the family) was born.
With my first three kids I had written their birth story within hours of their arrival. I can't on earth figure out how I had the time and gumption to do that. Tess is now over a month old and if she is asleep then I am trying to sleep and if she is awake it's all I can do to pull my eyes off of her to accomplish anything. Plus, she really likes being held and really doesn't like anything else. And, truthfully, I don't mind. I realize now how quickly she is going to grow and so I indulge myself in holding her almost all of the time. Yeah, the house is a total disaster and we have absolutely made no progress on how we are going to move our household from here to Texas in about six weeks. I bet I will blissfully keep neglecting my other duties as long as possible. Babies were meant to be savored.
So yah, since my last post I managed to get pregnant, endure (not well) a very miserable pregnancy and finally birth a beautiful baby. It's a lot more complicated than I make it sound there, there were complications, sleepless nights of worry and prayer, ultrasounds, NSTs, meetings with perinatologists and calls from genetic counselors. And everything has revolved around the complications, but I kind of just want to post her birth story. You know, one without all of those stresses. So hopefully I will post more about the trials and miracles of her gestation and birth and first month... but not today.
I scheduled my induction about two weeks beforehand. I was feeling all self righteous and didn't want anyone to know I was getting induced. You might wonder why, and the short answer is that I think I am a nut case. We have always kept the name of our babies a secret (even our list of possible names). Somehow though my older kids got wind of the names I was considering and all converged on one name from the list. Tess. And then when said complications arose they prayed mightily for "Tessie" and talked about her and to her and...how could I possibly name her anything else after all of that? The problem was they were open with the name Tess and before long everyone who was anyone knew that her name was going to be Tess. I didn't like that. I like having a surprise name announcement. So much so that I almost named her something else simply because so many people knew about Tess. All this is to say that because many people knew the name I channeled all of my energy in to making her arrival a surprise.
The logical way to do that would probably have been to not schedule an induction at all and let nature take its course, but when push comes to shove if someone hands me a "get out of pregnancy a week or more early" card I take it.
So my induction was to take place on May 21st. I had to tell my parents so that someone could come and watch the kids. We held off telling anyone else though, which I was pretty proud of. My parents came early the night before so Blaine and I could go on our traditional "night before induction" date. We went out to dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, and then grabbed an Italian Ice at Rita's. We were going to go to a movie but I was just. SO. TIRED. And knowing that it would probably be a good four or more years until I would get a decent night of sleep again, we headed home at about 10:30PM. It was kind of a fun surprise to arrive home and find our kids all still awake (this was a school night) watching a movie with Grandma and Grandpa. What can I say? My parents are partiers.
We woke up early and headed to the hospital for our 7AM induction. We had chosen to deliver at Orem Community Hospital on the good recommendation of Laurie, plus the fries at their snack bar are to-die-for good.
I started getting awfully nervous about the whole thing. I did a lot more thinking about this pregnancy than the others, as, barring any heavenly messengers commanding us otherwise, this will be our last. Did I want an epidural? Did I even really want to be induced? Lots of time thinking about this things. They quickly got me hooked up to an IV and got the pitocin going. It was kind of a fun feeling being there and starting labor and no one even knowing. We felt very sneaky. I'm so weird.
Deep down I know I am an epidural type of girl. I have a pain tolerance of about zero. With the other kids I asked for the epidural as soon as they would give it to me (because I knew I would cave eventually, and if you are going to cave eventually there is no sense in trying to be a hero for a while). But this time I thought I would give it a go and see how long I could make it. Try to really experience labor for as long as I could. Who knew, maybe I would surprise myself.
It took a bit for the contractions to get going, and once they did I was just so darn proud of myself for breathing through them. Maybe I really was a hero. The baby's heartbeat was doing weird things. It would speed way up and slow way down. It was all over the map. They had me flip sides and do all sorts of things to try to get it to regulate. I believe they eventually put something in my IV to help. Things were all quiet when I told Blaine it would be okay for him to go and get some food.
Sure enough as soon as he left things kind of went to pot. The heart rate was even more erratic. People came in, they put me on oxygen. And the really ironic thing is that the exact same thing happened with at least Ivy, and Gwen, if not all three other kids. Blaine leaves and chaos sets in. Just a fact of life I guess.
They decided they better put on an internal monitor on the baby (you know, the one they poke into the baby's head. Sad.). And this is where the details are a little fuzzy. It seems like they did this before breaking my water, but wouldn't the act of doing that break my water? No idea. At some point they put on a monitor and things seemed less traumatic after that.
So by 10:30AM I was still busy proving what a capable birther I was by not getting an epidural. Sure the contractions were painful, but nothing I couldn't handle with a little dramatic breathing. Then my OBGYN waltzes in, "hey sorry I am late! You ready to get this party started?!". And there I was, like an idiot, thinking the party had already been going for some three hours.
So he breaks my water.
And oh was there ever water! Water and water, from the expressions of amazement from all in the room you'd think I nearly flooded the hospital. So. Much. Water. Everyone was duly impressed.
I've read a million times how contractions get worse once your water is broken. And let me just tell you, they aren't kidding. The very first contraction after that basically had me in tears and washed away any superhero resolves I had. Epidural, Stat! Seriously. The party had started.
My OB had made it sound like the anesthesiologist was waiting in the hall for me to say the word. Wrong. I begged and pleaded with Blaine to find the guy and drag him in! It took like almost an hour to get the guy in. And I know that isn't a super long time, but I am convinced this was the most painful labor ever experienced so it felt like an eternity. I wanted to go back in time and slap the earlier version of myself who no less than five times told the nurse that "no, no epidural yet, I'm doing jussssst fineeeee". Why self? Why?.
Then once the anesthesiologist and his partner (who was not actually his partner but turned out to be my new nurse...but I didn't know that) arrived it took forever to get the epi in place. They were sitting there talking about the most random lame things, like where to get good mexican food, and where they were going to go on vacation. I was gritting my teeth and just really wishing we could all focus on the task at hand. I could tell they were trying to get my mind off of the pain by asking me questions, which I refused to answer. Poor Blaine, he kept apologizing "I'm sorry, she's normally very friendly... I think she's in a lot of pain". Yeah, I was. They had me sit up, which was a little better. But man, it took them an hour to place the epidural, an hour! In my past experience it seems like it normally took like ten minutes max. The guy was having some trouble placing the catheter? Or something. But that didn't stop him from discussing with my nurse where the best salsa in Utah County could be found. I was thinking all sorts of mean thoughts like, "oh yeah let's talk about salsa while we mess around with the nerves in my back, that's a brilliant idea". Anyway, definitely not my finest hour and I was sure I was going to die from the epidural being placed wrong because no one was focusing on their jobs ;)
So there we were at like noon with an epidural in place and sweet relief flowing through. I apologized to my nurse for being mean. It's amazing how much more I liked her once I had an epidural. She was totally great. Pain can be really blinding.
I think my contraction monitor must have fallen off or slightly off or something because I couldn't feel my contractions and according to the monitor I wasn't really having any. But I must have been because all of the sudden I was a ten! Then there was my OB again. And it was time to push. Would I push for three hours like with Gwen? Ten seconds like Bentley? I always expect it to take a long time. And again the OB and my nurse were discussing good places to go eat. I don't know what it is about me giving birth that inspires these conversations :). Anyway, it was a matter of a few pushes, like say six, and she was here! 2:05PM 5/21/2014.
I am always amazed at the incredible relief I feel immediately after my babies are born. Pregnancy is so cruel to me, and immediately after the baby is born I start feeling better. She cried her little newborn cry and I just couldn't believe that she was finally here! Finally! And she was okay! And she looked beautiful! And it was over, I never have to be pregnant again :). It was amazing to just sit and marvel. A baby girl. My third girl. I have three girls and one boy. I spent so many nights as a kid dreaming about my future family, wondering how many boys and girls I would have. What they would look like. Finally they are all here and I know and love them all.
9lbs 6 oz, 20.5 inches. My biggest baby yet. And later I would be so grateful for every one of those blessed ounces as she still had so much to endure ahead of her. But that's another story for another day.