Happy Birthday!

Here's the story, folks:

On the night of November 6th, Tyler had to work at the bar, so I was home alone enjoying some tv time, per usual. I had planned on waiting up, possibly till he arrive home, but felt a little off and decided to just go to bed. It was almost 11pm and I was having contractions that hurt. This was new. Of course I'd had the ever famous braxton hicks for a while by then, but nothing that was painful. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't doubled over wishing to end my life in pain, but when the contractions came I felt what is often described as "crampy" in my back. Yeah, my back, a peek at what was to come. So, I'm laying in bed with my cell phone in reach checking it every time I have a contraction. They ranged from 4-6 minutes apart, but I wasn't too worried since I wasn't in a significant amount of pain and they always say that first time moms take forever to labor (and my mom wasn't a quick baby popper outer either).

Tyler got home late, around 1am. I was still awake and stayed that way all night. By 5am I had given up on sleep since I was uncomfortable and decided to go downstairs to spend some time on the computer checking up on what labor felt like, just in case I was being over sensitive, ha. By the time Tyler woke up, I had experienced what I believe was the loss of my mucous plug. Of course I had looked it up and results were that most people have babies within a few days. Gah! I didn't want to have contractions for another few days...

I told Tyler that today could be the day and he went in to school to get some lesson plans done, just in case.. nothing like that last minute! Speaking of last minute, only baby's bag was packed at this point. I thought for sure I was going to go well past my due date. I have come to realize that motherly instict of "just knowing" things is a little off. I was sure I was having a girl, nope. I thought I'd have baby late, nope. I should just make predictions and go with the opposite.

Tyler had been at school for about two hours while I was slowly packing my bag, pausing during contractions to sort of bend over and try to relax while they happened. They were definately becoming more painful. I texted Tyler and asked him to please come home. When he got home it took him over an hour to shower and pack his bag (which had of course like 10 outfits in it...) While he was packing, I was still also doing so. Hey, contractions really slow the getting ready process down.

I had called the hospital and let them know I thought I was in labor. In my head I was thinking, "this has to be labor, because if it isn't, I don't want to know how painful it is going to be." We arrived at the hopsital around 3pm. A nurse greeted us and took us back to a room. I was given a gown to change into (which I couldn't figure out for the life of me how to put on and ended up asking for help), got into bed, and hooked up to the monitors. Sure enough, I was having regular contractions, like I didn't already know that. The nurse checked me and said I was only at 2cm. What?! That's basically what I was at my last doctor appointment. How could I have been having contractions for that long and not have changed? We asked if we should call people and tell them we were going to have a baby that day and the nurse said we'd have to wait til Dr. Thone got there. She'd be the one making that decision. So we awaited the arrival of our doctor who was at home catching up on charts. She only lived a block away, so it didn't take long. She checked me and told me I was at 3cm and 100% effaced. I liked her assessment much better. I was instructed to walk around for the next hour or so and that we could inform people of the impending birth.

Before we got up to walk, I had to have a bag of fluids pumped into me since I was a bit dehydrated. While we waited for that, Tyler called our families.

During our walk, Tyler texted our friends and I had contractions. He had the better job, in my opinion. We'd have to stop about every 2 minutes so I could grab on to the railing and dig my head into the wall. Walking HAD to be moving things along. We finally met back at the room with our doc and she checked me again. Up to a 4. That's all. While she was up in there, she went ahead and broke my water. We all agreed to shoot for having the baby by midnight since she had to work at the clinic the next day. Fine by me! It was around 7pm by this point and since Tyler hadn't eaten all day, he ordered some food. By the time his food arrived, I was in enough pain that I needed to squeeze a hand during contractions. Most people have a focal point to help deal during the pain, but I found closing my eyes was good for me. In between my contractions Tyler got to enjoy his hospital chicken patty sandwich and brownie, but when my contractions started, I summoned him to my side so I could grab his hand and he could help me to breathe. I don't know how many times throughout the labor process I heard the phrase "In through your nose, out through your mouth".. but it didn't get old and every time it was said, you'd think it was my first time hearing it since I had obviously forgotten how to breathe in the last minute.

One of the reasons I had chosen to go pain med-free was so that I could walk around during labor, which is exactly what my doctor wanted me to do at this point. Get up and help things along. At this point, didn't want to move. I was fine in my bed. Every time I moved, I have a contraction, why would I want to get up? But finally I decided I wanted to get in the whirlpool. Why not take advantage of the huge tub with massaging jets? However, the nurse said I could only use the shower part because my water was already broken and I could get an infection. I was largely disappointed and settled for the shower. The seat in the tub was on the opposite side as the hand held shower head, and of course it didn't reach.. so we had to get a shower chair and put it as close to the other side as possible and still it didn't reach well. Tyler watered me down for about the next hour. By this point I had gotten used to my back being massaged during every contraction, so he had to do that, too. Oh, did I mention I was having back labor?! I hear it is the more painful type of labor, and although I don't have anything to compare it to, I believe it.

I don't remember my numbers being checked until around 11pm. I do remember how painful it is getting your cervix checked during labor. Am I a complainer or what? Anyways, by 11pm I had reached 8cm. My contractions had been peaking two or three times before going away by this point and were about a minute apart. I was breaking people's hands with my grip and my "breathing" through contractions had turned very vocal. Later my mom said you could hear me outside the door. Luckily we were the only people in the maternity wing (the whole time we were there in fact).

Maybe an hour later my doctor said I should have some pain meds to possibly take the edge off. Fentanyl is what I was given and the only thing it did was make me even more tired than I already was. I would doze off for the 10 seconds I had between contractions by that time. Pain reliever my butt. Added to the contractions now was the pressure! Ah, the pressure. Such a distant memory. It was awful. I thought for sure pushing was right around the corner! I spent some time on the birthing ball bouncing up and down trying to get past those last 2cm. Ouch!!! When I told the nurses and doctor the amount of pressure I was experiencing I was hoping they'd tell me the end was very near. But, they asked if it lasted even when contractions stopped (which wasn't for very long) and of course it didn't, so I was told it wasn't time to push yet. Well, poop.

By 3am-ish (like I was looking at the clock) Dr. Thone checked me again and I was still at 8cm and now my cervix was starting to swell from the baby trying to come out. It was obvious to her (and everyone else in the room.. including my poor sister by the time things got bad) that I was getting super tired and needed some calming down, so she talked me into an epidural. I'll admit that by this point all she had to do is ask and I agreed right away, no hesitation. I just wanted everything to be over with. I was exhausted and tired of hurting.

Not five minutes later, Dr. Thone changed plans and strongly suggested we do a c-section. I did hesitate a little on this one because that was the LAST thing I wanted. But, for baby's sake, we agreed. We were awaiting the anesthesiologist now and he was not coming fast enough! I mean, I knew I was going to get the epidural now and I was not very patient about waiting. When Dave (the epidural guy) got there, he tried to explain things to me, but I'll admit I wasn't listening. Note: don't say important things you want a person to hear to them when they are having a contraction. Silly Dave.

Nurses were bustling around the room and now my mom was in there, too. It was like a beehive. My mom had come in to discuss what had happened last time I have lidicaine (I'm allergic). They tested a speck of zylocaine on my arm before puting it on my back, yay, nothing happened. So, he shot me up, waited for it to numb and then inserted that scary, huge needle (I never saw it, but I've heard stories). I was concentrating hard on NOT MOVING. But, I was still and soon I could feel the cold flow of wonder-drugs drip down my back. Contractions slowly because more and more bearable until I couldn't feel them at all. AMAZING!!!!! Such a relief. It was like I was done.. but there was still no baby. They put my catheder in and I was wheeled to the OR.

I was feeling awesome. Once we got to the operating room, like five people lifted me from my bed to the table. I couldn't feel them touching me, it was weird. The curtain was put up and Dave was giving me the play by play by my head. Eventually Tyler came in (with his scrubs on) to join me. My arms were strapped down and I was shiverring like we were in the Arctic. They covered my upper body with warm blankets, that barely helped. Too much adrenaline. Dave asked me if I was feeling anything. I said I wasn't and he said, "good, they just made the incision", haha. There was tugging and other stuff (remember, I'm drugged now so details are minimal) and soon a baby crying. And crying and crying and crying. Tyler went over to look at him and take pictures and I couldn't see a darn thing. But, even though I heard a baby, and knew they just took a baby out of me, it didn't seem real. I blame Dave and his drugs. But, like 10 minutes later (I don't really know how long) Tyler brough Mason over for me to see. Dave even freed one of my arms so I could touch him.

Then, Tyler got to carry him to the nursery. He said that the whole way there Mason had his eyes wide open and was looking all over the place. I know I've mention his stats before, but he was 7 lbs, 6 oz, 19 inches long. He was pulled out of my belly at 4:12 am. I was now being put back together, which took for forever. Good thing Dave was good company. They eventually finished and lifted me back onto my bed and I was wheeled back to my room. Yay, I survived major surgery.

Finally I was able to hold Mason, unfortunately, I don't really remember doing so as much as I remember it happened. I got to breastfeed him and of course he's a natural (just like at everything else). We were all so tired. My parents, Lindy, and Tyler's mom had been there for quite some time, all having made 3-4 hour trips up for the birthday. Everyone got a turn to hold Mason, Granny Deb (she still hasn't picked out what she wants to be called yet, so granny it is for now) went to get everyone (except me.. yum, liquids) breakfast from McDonalds. We hung out for a while until everyone gave up on staying awake. I hadn't slept in the last 2 1/2 days and was in labor for a good 27 hours (without pain meds, mind you) so I was puh-retty spacey. Not to mention that I was still getting that epidural goodness in my back. Over the next day I only slept a few hours. They'd bring Mason in to nurse during the night and during the day he'd hang out with us and there was always company. I did not do a good job of resting. I should have. I know that now.

We stayed in the hospital until Thursday, when we went home. Lot's of stuff happened and people came to visit, but for the sake of keeping this birth story under novel legnth I believe it should end here.


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