Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Time has Come; JJ’s Birth Story

Since I found out I was due on December 7, I’ve always said my goal was to have a December baby.  I figured I’d be far enough along and December reminds me of snow and Christmas and all things pretty.  If he came in November, I wouldn’t complain, but November in my mind is brown and orange represented by leaves.  Having said that, after my doctor’s appointment on December on November 23, I was 3 cm dilated and 90 percent effaced and feeling all of 38 weeks pregnant.  My doctor said she wouldn’t be surprised if we had a Thanksgiving baby.  I didn’t really want my baby to have to share a birthday with a holiday (even thought that wouldn’t happen every year), but my birthday is October 24 and Jeff’s is December 24, so we decided if we were going to have a November baby, the 24th would be the day.  So we woke up Thanksgiving morning with our hopes up.  I’d even eaten eggplant the night before hoping this old wives tale would help us out.   We figured we had four days off work, so this would be awful convenient for our schedules, as well.  Thanksgiving came and went and JJ was still apparently quite content remaining in my belly.  I kept begging him to come the next few days, but then I got hit by a cold and kept begging him not to come as I was way too beat down by this cold to try to give birth.  Fortunately, he held off.
Fast forward to the day of November 30.  It’s a Wednesday and I’m at work.  Typical day, spending the morning in my office and the afternoon in court.  All day, I felt like it was the day, but no water breaking or contractions, so I just keep on working.  At about 4:30, I drop some final information off with a coworker as I just don’t think I’ll be back tomorrow and call it a day and head home. 
When I get home, I feel funny.  I don’t really know how to describe it, but it just was a gut feeling (literally!).   All I know is about every 10 minutes or so I feel like I need to poop (sorry, but you know I say it like it is).  After a while, I call the big sis and explain the feeling I’m having in my lower stomach and she convinces me I am having contractions- I swear this is not what I expected them to feel like.  Of course, they were not too bad at this point, so we started getting things together.  I’m packing the bag and Jeff is roaming around the house putting batteries in the smoke alarm and anything else he can do to keep busy (men’s nesting at its finest!). 
The contractions get stronger and I start timing them on my handy dandy iPhone app.  Of course, we have to watch Survivor before we leave, so I did my best to breathe through the show, but I’m really not sure what happened or even who got kicked off. 
At about 9:00, I think my contractions are about five to six minutes about, but I’m so miserable in between, it is hard for me to tell when they even start and stop.  I can take it no more.  I know it might be too early, but I can’t stay at home anymore, so we head to the hospital.  Of course, when we get there, it is also the time for those who are inducing to arrive.  Thanks to the couple ahead of us in line for taking their sweet time checking in while I stand there obviously in great pain! 
We get to our room and the nurse checks me.  I’m 3 cm.  No progress since my doctor’s appointment a week ago.  Crap.  The nurse says she’ll check me in an hour and if I don’t make any progress they have to send me home.  I don’t care what she says; I’m not leaving that bed.  At this point, I’m gripping the side bars on the bed for dear life every time I get a contraction and all I want is my epidural!  She waits an hour and a half, just to give me a little more chance of progressing and when she checks me, I’m 4 to 5 cm.  Amen!  Let’s get this show on the road. 
Of course, my first question is “How soon can we get the epidural in?”  She tells me 15 minutes, but in hospital time, this turns out to be an hour.  A very painful hour.  I finally get it in and wait for the pain to go away.  And wait.  And wait.  The 15 minutes it is supposed to take has passed and I am still in great pain.  Really?  My only birth plan was an epidural!  I didn’t feel like I was asking for that much.  (See previous blog, One Word).  At this point I am 7 cm (and told this is the most painful point) and my water breaks as the nurse is checking me.  It seriously gushes out like Niagara Falls (and I have to say, my husband who does not handle anything blood/ medical handled witnessing this like a champ!). 
The anesthesiologist returns to try to adjust my epidural and determines she needs to take it out and put it in again.  Fine, lady, just do it quickly!!  She gets to work and as I’m sitting on the side of my bed, I swear I am sitting on my baby’s head and feel the need to push like no other.  The nurses tell me to hold off pushing and that the doctor is on her way.  Not pushing is a task that sounds a lot easier said than done!  The doctor finally arrives, barely in time, and they keep telling me the epidural will kick in at any time.  At this point, I just need to get this little guy out of me – and quick! 
I keep pushing, with absolutely no relief from the needle in my back.  The only relief I have is the great support from squeezing Jeff’s hand.  At some point, the nurse tells me she can see a ton of hair and even gives my baby a mohawk while he is crowning!  After 27 minutes of pushing (and only about eight hours of total labor) at 2:49 a.m. on December 1 (yep, I got my December baby by less than 3 hours!), the most precious baby ever starts whaling at the top of his lungs!  At 8 pounds, 2 ounces, 19 ½ inches long, he is absolutely perfect.   Daddy and I couldn’t be prouder. 

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