Saturday, April 2, 2011

azalea's birth story

azalea is one week old today! i wanted to write this out before i forget all the details of her birth day. that said, this is a birth story, so if you don't really want to read know, birth, feel free to skip it. :) i actually had started writing a 39 week post the day before she was born, but didn't finish it or get a picture. here's what i wrote: 

1 week away from my due date (actually only 6 days since i do these posts on saturdays, but i was 39 weeks yesterday).  i'm trying to be patient, because what else can you do at this point? all the baby stuff is ready to go, our hospital bag is packed, we've somewhat mentally prepared ourselves for the fact that we're about to become parents (please tell me we're not the only ones who don't feel like it's real yet). i just can't wait to see her little face! i had my 38 week appt on thursday. it's getting old going there every week, but that's ok. in terms of progress, no changes since last week, so that was a little disappointing. but i'm happy i won't be starting from zero...that's something! i've been having some slightly more uncomfortable contractions, but nothing regular or really painful."

azalea's birth day

azalea was born on saturday, march 26th at 4:22pm, but our day actually started at about 4:30 am that morning. i feel so lucky that i had a 12 hour labor from start to finish, she came 6 days early, and everything went smoothly. she was worth every pain i felt, which actually wasn't much as you will learn.

i woke up around 4:30 am on the 26th with some painful contractions. i tried to fall back asleep because i had experienced this before, but after about a half hour, i couldn't sleep any longer and decided to get up and time them just in case. i still wasn't convinced that it was the real deal. from 5:00-5:30 am, i had a bunch more that were anywhere from 4-7 minutes apart. they were starting to get pretty intense, so i woke up thatcher to come be with me. of course he was in denial and told me i should go back to sleep. ha! sorry hunny but, i think this might be the real thing. we called the hospital and they said while it sounded like we were on the right track, we should wait until they were a little closer together and call them back. so i jumped in the shower, ate some breakfast, and packed some last minute stuff. by this time it was after 6:30 am and we had called my mom to give her a heads up, since she was going to join us at the hospital. this is when my contractions started getting pretty close together and really intense. thatcher helped me breath through each one and massaged my back, which is where i was feeling the pain. i quickly started panicing from the intensity of the pain. i'm pretty sure i uttered a few "i can't do this"s and was scared to death knowing early labor is supposed to be not nearly as painful the later stages.  finally i announced "we're not calling the hospital again, we're just going!" and out the door we went. haha. 

we arrived at the hospital around 7:30 am and they brought me to a triage room. the nurse asked me a million questions and after checking me exclaimed "wow, you're aleady 6 cm dilated! you did so much of then work at home, you're a rockstar!" you have no idea how happy it made me feel to hear that. up until then, i was convinced that i was the biggest baby ever and they were going to say i was hardly dilated and to go home and rest. the fact that i was already that far along made me think it could be a super fast labor! 

they moved us into a labor and delivery room, my mom arrived, and i met my nurse, jessie. she asked me about my preferences for pain medication and at that point i was still undecided about an epidural. part of me felt like, if labor was moving this quickly, maybe i could just skip it and get it all over with. welllll about an hour and many more extremely painful contractions later, i changed my tune. i first had an iv put in with fetinol to take the edge off the pain. my mom and thatcher did a great job helping me through each contraction. i was still feeling them mostly in my back, which told the nurse that azalea was most likely posterior (face up). the fetinol helped a little, but that epidural sounded pretty darn good by this point, so i decided to go for it. the anesthesiologist came after a while and administered the epidural. my mom held my hand through it and thatcher went out in the hall because he is extremely squeamish about needles. after it was in place, i laid back and waited to feel some relief. and waited. and waited. after about a half hour it was clear that the epidural didn't take and he would have to come back and re-do it. obviously i was not a happy camper, but i just tried to be hopeful that the next time would be successful. and it was! shortly after i got it, my legs turned warm and numb and i'm not exaggerating when i say that from this point on, i felt zero pain for the rest of the labor and delivery. it was.....amazing! 

having the epidural was probably the best decision i could have made considering dilating from 6 to 10 cm took a good 7 hours total. i was not expecting that, but again, after the epidural, i couldn't feel a thing, so it was mostly just a lot of laying around and waiting. the doctor came in a couple hours later to break my water because it had not broken on it's own. they learned at that time that azalea had pooped in the womb and there was meconium in the amniotic fluid. (thanks little pooper!) i was sort of worried because that can cause complications with the baby, but they assured me the risk was low and they were going to do everything they could to make sure she didn't ingest it when she came out.  

finally around 3:00 pm the nurse checked me and i was ready to push. the doctor came in (not my doctor unfortunately, but a fabulous one from the same practice) and had me do a couple practice pushes to see how the epidural might affect my ability to push properly. 2 practice pushes later and she was exclaiming, "melissa! you are such an amazing pusher! and i can see she has lots of dark hair! you are going to do great. we can just leave the epidural on." music to my ears :) i felt no pain from those pushes, but i also didn't feel that "urge to push" that people always talk about. they kept asking me if i did, and i kept saying no. but my body was ready, so we went ahead. i surprised myself and said yes to having a mirror propped up so i could see my progress. i always thought it would be weird and gross, but i loved it! it was so encouraging to see the progress i was making. in all it took about an hour and 20 minutes for me to push her out. i cannot emphasize enough the fact that i felt no pain whatsoever. i felt like such a cheater, but it was so amazing. pushing was a lot of work, but i was joking and laughing in between contractions because i felt so good. i think it's funny how getting her head out took 1 hour, 19 mins and 30 secs and the rest of her body just flew out. 

she tested out her lungs right away, which was the best sound in the world. unfortunately because of the meconium, they had to whisk her away at first to make sure she didn't ingest anything. i remember saying "i can't even see her! is she a girl?" haha. they cleaned her up a bit, wrapped her in a blanket and handed her to me. seeing her for the first time was surreal. i couldn't believe she fit inside of me. i was in disbelief. but she was perfect and healthy and despite her little cone head, beautiful! 

i couldn't have asked for a better labor experience. this first week has been one of the hardest of my life both physically and emotionally, but we love her more than anything in the world and i would do it again 1000 times.


Becky said...

You rock, Melissa! What a great story of Azalea's birth. I'm so happy to hear it went smoothly. :-)

The Raymonds said...

Oh, I loved reading Azalea's birth story!! What a beautiful story!! I am so glad that labor and delivery were so wonderful for you and that Mom and baby are both healthy!!

Em said...

I just love birth stories...LOVE them. This one actually helped me a lot because I have a ton of anxiety about the possibility of getting an epidural with my current pregnancy (I didn't have one when my daughter was born). I feel like a lot of people are singing epidurals' praises lately and it's giving me a peace. Thanks for being one of those voices! Here's a link to my daughter's birth story if you're interested (totally no pressure).


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