Monday, December 26, 2011

A Baby Story


After months (and years) of anticipation and waiting she finally arrived. To say she is the sweetest thing ever is a vast understatement. Not that we know any different, but Benson and I are both convinced that she is the sweetest and easiest baby ever.

Ever since I found out I would be having a baby, I wondered what labor would be like. I imagined waking up in the middle of the night with sudden hard contractions and rushing to the hospital - or my water breaking at and unexpected and embarrassing time and, again, rushing to the hospital for her arrival followed by hours of labor, lots of hard pushing, sweating, crying, maybe some screaming and eventually, a baby. While I was never really nervous about it, in all of my day dreams about her birthday I had imagined a high energy highly emotional day - which couldn't have been further from reality.

She was due on November 5th, a Saturday. As that week arrived I began anticipating her arrival more and more and each odd feeling I had was attributed to some sort of sign that labor would start soon...but it didn't. As her due date arrived, so did two of my friends babies - both whose due dates were after hers, which only increased my desire for her to finally come. The Thursday before her due date at my appointment, the doctor noted that I had progressed from 1cm the previous week to 2cm and that I was 70% effaced. He said she was head down and seemed to be getting ready. We scheduled an induction for the following Wednesday morning at 3am - just in case she hadn't arrived by then - but we were all sure we wouldn't be needing it. Well the weekend, and her due date, came and went with nothing significant happening as did Monday, and to our dismay, Tuesday as well. It looked like we were going to need that appointment after all.

It was a strange feeling that Tuesday going about my business knowing that without a doubt, I would be holding her in my arms the very next day. Benson and I went out for Pizza and tried to get to bed early so we could get some sleep before we had to be at the hospital bright and early. When we went to bed I fell right asleep and didn't awake until the alarm rang at 2:30am. Benson and I got ourselves ready, finished packing the last few items in our bags, loaded up the car, and headed out.

Daddy to be...

Baby to be.

We arrived and checked into the hospital and within 30 minutes I was lying in the delivery room getting hooked up to an IV and the external monitors. It was a surreal feeling to hear her heartbeat and again know that I would be holding her in my arms soon. When the nurse checked me, we were sad to hear that I was still only at 2cm dilated and hadn't progressed at all since the previous weeks appointment. By 4:30am they had started the pitocin that would get the contractions moving along. Benson and I tried to get some rest that morning while everything was getting started and before visitors started arriving. Throughout the day we had several visitors and everyone had fun playing games, talking and laughing about the party we would have when she finally arrived since I was starving but couldn't eat a thing until she came.





All morning my contractions slowly began to get closer together but I still wasn't really feeling anything. Sometime in the late morning/early afternoon the doctor came and broke my water and after that things seemed to move more quickly. I was dilating very slowly, if I remember correctly I was only at a 3 when Dr. Beck came, but not too long after I started feeling each contraction and I could tell they were getting stronger. When they got to the point that I was having to breathe to get through them I asked for the epidural thinking that it would take some time for the anesthetist to arrive - but I was lucky and within 30 minutes I was no longer feeling the contractions. The epidural didn't hurt a bit and worked amazingly fast. I had to be rotated every so often since I couldn't move my lower body on my own and my wonderful nurse, Tara, and I went into a fit of laughter each time she had to move me since my legs were completely dead. At one point while she was moving me my entire leg flopped off of the bed - I could feel it hanging there but couldn't do a darn thing about it. It was pretty hilarious. As the afternoon went on Tara kept checking on my progress and slowly but surely we were getting there. Finally at about 3:30 pm she checked and I had jumped from a 3 to a 5! That was exciting news as it was the most progress I had made between checks all day. At around 4:30 or 5:00 I was at a 7 and by around 6:30pm I was finally at a 10!! Abby, however, was still not quite ready and was sitting fairly high up. Since it was getting close to shift change, the nurse and Dr. Beck decided to let us wait it out for a little while until after the new nurse arrived and see if she would drop any lower before I started to push. We were all a little bit sad that our nurse we'd had all day wouldn't get to see her arrival but she promised she would find us the best nurse on the next shift to help us and she did. Amber, the new nurse, arrived and after she got settled we were ready to start pushing!



Earlier in the day the nurse had asked me who I wanted in the room during my delivery - I had said that it would probably just be Benson both of our moms. Well, by the time we started pushing it ended up being Benson, my mom, his mom and three of my sisters-in-law which ended up being so awesome. At 8:05pm the pushing began. I was amazed at how perfectly the epidural was working. I felt every contraction, every push, and every move she made, but there was absolutely no pain. I pushed with all my might three times during each contraction and rested as much as I could in between. I loved having everyone in the room with me cheering me on through each push and helping me stay relaxed and focused while I was pushing and for pampering me in between by rubbing my neck, shoulders, arms and head, feeding me ice chips, playing music, and making me laugh. After only a few pushes the nurse, Amber, said "Wow! She has a full head of hair!" I was amazed, not just that you had hair, but that she could actually see your little head! Benson and everyone else in the room got to look and see your curly head of hair.

I kept pushing and pushing and tried as hard as I could to not look at the clock - I didn't want to know how long it had been, I just wanted to focus on her coming out. The nurse had told me the average pushing time for the first baby was between 2 and 4 hours and I didn't want to see the time and get discouraged if not much had passed. So I focused and pushed and pushed. At one point, my mom started getting light headed and realized that she had been pushing with me the entire time and had to sit down and rest so she didn't fall over! That gave us all a good laugh.






After what seemed like no time at all the doctor arrived. He had been monitoring my pushing time and contractions from home and decided she was about ready to come out. I was amazed when he got there that we were already so close. They moved the table of tools into place and he got gowned up. He felt that she had moved and was facing upwards instead of down, but he got her rotated quickly and things were much easier after that. They called in Abby's nurse and let her know she would be needed soon. This was it! With every push I tried harder than I thought I could. It felt like my face was going to explode from all the pressure because I was pushing so hard - I was determined each push would be my last. With every push I got encouraging words from the doctor and everyone else in the room. Then he finally said "This is it - she is coming out on this push" and she did. I saw him pull her little head up quickly followed by her body. She was finally born at 10:04pm.




Benson cut her umbilical cord and the nurse quickly wrapped her in a blanked and placed her, screaming, directly on my chest, just inches away from my face. In that moment, I had expected to be overwhelmed with emotions, but all was calm. I felt a sweet and profound sense of peace and joy knowing she was here and that she was mine. I held her and talked to her and looked at her for a long time. She was absolutely beautiful and I was so incredibly happy.







I finally let the nurse take her a few feet away to weigh and measure her and get her all bundled up. I watched from my bed as she measured and announced that she was 21.1 inches long and weighed 8lbs and 9 ounces! Once she was all bundled up Benson got to hold her for the first time. What a sweet thing that was. I was looking at two of my greatest loves in the world and realizing that we were now this perfect little family. After everyone got to ooh and ahh over how beautiful she was, everyone left the room so I could feed her for the first time. We were all amazed that she latched right on and ate for almost 30 minutes! After that all of the family that had been waiting outside all came back in to see her and hold her (and I finally got to eat :)).









After all of our visitors left, the nurse came back in to give her a bath while I got cleaned up and ready to move to our postpartum room. At about 2:30am we were finally on our way to rest. I couldn't stop staring at her all bundled up with her cute little beanie on her head and it felt so good to get into bed for a rest.



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Ever since we have gotten home she has been amazing. I have hardly slept since I am either feeding and holding her or watching her sleep but I have never been happier or more content with life. Sure, there have been trials getting accquainted with this new role of motherhood but at the end of the day when I look at her face, everything is happy.

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I don't really know how to express my feelings about her birth in a way that fully describes what it was like. It was surreal and amazing and profound and calm. It was better than I could have ever imagined and more perfect than I though was possible. I will forever cherish that day and I hope I never forget the beauty of the moments when she arrived into the world and into our family.

3 witty remarks:

Rani said...

love this! what a perfect momma you are. and that baby is so so darling! how is it possible my sweet little sarah is a momma!! so happy for you and your family!

Bev said...

What a miracle! She's beautiful and you're amazing!! Good job! Thanks for sharing that special event with your peeps in blogger land!!

{alisse t} said...

Oh, Sarah! I totally read the whole thing and was pulled right back to the day my Lucy Jane arrived- so, SO similiar to Abby Jane's story! Really... the past her due date, the hoping she'd arrive on her own, then the 3am induction, the pitocin, the not dilating, the 1,000 pound tree stumps for legs falling off the bed, the laughing through pushing, and of course looking at your family of three and feeling that everything is right in the world. :) You said it all so perfectly- and it really is so hard to sum up into words how deep and cherished your feelings are. So, from someone who feels like they had almost the exact same wonderful birthing experience... I can tell you this: my baby girl is almost a year and a half and every single day gets better and more amazing. I didn't think she could get any cuter and somehow she has, as Abby will. Every stage is so fun and everyday your heart will swell a little bit more knowing that Heavenly Father trusted you with this sweet baby, and the chance to have a perfect little family of three. Just don't blink... she'll be going into nursery and blowing kisses bye-bye while saying "Love you Mama" before you know it. So sweet! Congrats and thanks for sharing your incredible story with us! :)