Archive for September, 2015

September 28, 2015

AJ’s Birth Story (6 months late!)

I have not blogged here in a long, long time.  To say that life has changed since I last posted would be a vast understatement, but those are posts for another time.

Today marks six months since our little boy was born.  How half a year has passed so quickly is beyond my comprehension, but the dates don’t lie.  I’ve been meaning to write down AJ’s birth story so that I don’t forget (although I’m not sure how I possibly could), and recently read another friend’s birth story on her blog and thought it might be fun to do the same.  I promise I’ve left out most of the nitty gritty details. ;)

Our little guy was due on April 6, 2015, but I always felt he would make his arrival a little bit early.  Of course, I think at some point or another all pregnant ladies at least wish that their littles would arrive on time (or maybe a little bit early), and then we soon find out that they just come when they’re ready.  AJ, apparently, was ready 9 days early.

I woke up in the middle of the night between Friday, March 27th and Saturday, the 28th thinking something I ate didn’t sit well, or that I was being hit again with a stomach bug (Adam and I were both hit hard with the bug the weekend prior).  It wasn’t until about 8am Saturday morning, when I realized that the upset stomach was coming in waves that I thought to myself, Hm, maybe I’m in labor.  At that point I opened up the handy app I’d downloaded and started tracking my “contractions” (still unsure that’s what they were.)

Now I’m kind of embarrassed to share this with you, but in my mind, when they say that contractions will come in steady intervals, I thought this would be exact.  So when it was 10 minutes, then 9, then 10:30, then 8:45, that wasn’t regular enough to be in labor.  Boy, was I wrong.

Slowly but surely they were getting closer together, and yet I remained unconvinced that I was in labor.  At about 1pm Adam and I decided to make a trip to Panera for a light lunch.  Mind you, this entire time Adam was 100% sure I was in labor and was pretty amused with my denial.  We had lunch together, then made our way home to wait things out.

I’m thinking it was about 3:30 or so when I first called the nurse at Labor & Delivery.  I must have been pretty low key about my contractions because, while she assured me that I was probably in labor, she assumed it was very early yet and that they would probably see me late, late that night, or early on Sunday morning.  She was the expert, so I figured that would be the case, too.  I can’t remember how many times I called her again after that, maybe once or twice, but at 5pm we decided that if my contractions continued to stay steady or get worse, I would check into L&D at 6pm.

At 5:30pm, in the middle of a particularly bad contraction, I yelled to Adam to call Katie (the nurse at L&D) and tell her we were leaving IMMEDIATELY.  I remember that car ride pretty well and the feeling that we couldn’t get to the hospital fast enough (and we only lived 5 minutes away).  I was certain I would vomit (I didn’t).  When we arrived at the hospital, I was so determined to get checked in that I told Adam we didn’t need our bags and he could come back out to grab them once we checked in (wrong answer).

From there, most of it is a blur.  I wouldn’t let Adam leave to go get our bags (which meant no headband to keep hair out of my face, probably my only regret about not having it) because the contractions were getting worse and closer together.  I remember a lot but honestly couldn’t piece it together in order very well, it’s like small snapshots over the course of the next few hours.

I had gone into the whole experience hoping that I could avoid any pain medications, but certainly open to the possibility of changing my mind.  I honestly had no idea what my pain tolerance would be because I’d never broken a bone or had stitches, or really even had hospital visits (aside from my two prior miscarriages).  So for all I knew, one taste of a contraction and all of my best laid plans would be thrown out the window.  My goal was to have a healthy baby, which sounds cliche, but is the honest truth.  I remember the nurses putting that on the white board in my room: “Goal: Have a baby! :)”

Throughout labor, I periodically thought to myself that maybe I should ask about an epidural, but each time I had the thought it was followed by this: It’s probably too late for an epidural now!  And besides, even if it’s not, you’re going to have to SIT STILL so the anesthesiologist can stick a giant needle in your spine.  NOPE.  I swear, having to sit still sounded worse than any of the contractions.  And so I powered through (thanks to some incredible support from my husband and an excellent team of nurses cheering me on).

It felt like it would NEVER be time to push.  If you’ve never labored before, it’s hard to explain this, but if you have you’ll understand:  being told not to push when you have an incredible urge to push is one of the most frustrating and difficult things I have ever dealt with.  But alas, that did not go on forever and eventually it was time to bring this baby into the world.

Adam tells me the pushing lasted maybe 15 minutes, which sounds about right given what I remember.  I wasn’t very good at following directions.  I was breathing when I should’ve been holding my breath, leaning my head back instead of forward.  I needed lots of reminding, and thankfully I had some patient people around me.  Finally, the doctor told me that she was going to have me push one more time, but then was going to tell me to stop abruptly, so I had to pay attention.  At this point I was learning to listen to what they were telling me to do, so although I couldn’t imagine why I would have to stop, I listened.  As soon as she told me to stop, I was instructed to reach both hands down (I had no idea what was happening, and at first only put one arm down, and they had to remind me she said both).  Before I knew it, my hands were under teeny tiny little armpits, and I was delivering our boy and pulling him onto my chest.  I had no idea ahead of time that I would be doing that, but it is, hands down, one of the coolest moments of my entire life. I thought I would be a blubbering mess when he was finally born, but it was more a laugh-cry of joy and relief.  I think there was a part of me that, after our two previous miscarriages, still couldn’t believe our son was real.  Well, things got really real when AJ decided that the best time to poop would be while laying on mom.  It’s amazing what doesn’t faze you in those first moments after delivery.

I could’ve assumed that this all went on for hours.  I was still kind of dazed when the doctor announced the time of birth, until Adam told me, “It’s not even 9 o’clock.”  We had checked into the hospital at 5:45pm, and our boy made his grand entrance at 8:23pm.  I still can’t believe how fast it all went.

The next 48 or so hours in the hospital are some of my favorite and most treasured.  Seeing Adam with his son, staying up all hours of the night to just stare at AJ, watching my parents meet their grandson for the first time, receiving such incredible love and care from the nurses and doctors.  All of it was and is such an answer to years of praying and pleading with God for a child.  Every time I pass the hospital (which is frequently because we’ve since moved just down the road from it), I’m flooded with such sweet memories that I hope will stay with me forever.  Labor was painful and overwhelming and scary, but its reward has been so very, very great.

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AJ, born March 28, 2015 at 8:23pm. 7lb, 19in.

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