Right now the house is a mess. Laundry is piled up. I have birth announcements and thank you notes that may or may not ever get sent out. I think the biggest testament to how time in many ways has stood still (except for her growing, my goodness) is the fact that my calendar down here still reads "June". Because that's when my life changed for forever, and for the better, no matter how tired, out of sorts, and run down I feel. I guess I'm hesitant to turn the page (literally and figuratively) because it's all gone so fast. I know, it's so cliche. Thats what everyone said would happen but it has indeed gone fast. (And slow, I think the pediatrician was concerned when I said her time with us has seemed like one really long day instead of weeks. But when you no longer have sleep to help delineate the line between day and night it DOES feel like one long day!!!)
I have soo much to say on every single thing and every single thought, but it's hard to capture specific thoughts and expound. My brain is a fog even though our days are getting (sometimes) more patterned and predictable. So for this post, I'm gonna write about her birth. I KNOW, I always rolled my eyes at birth stories before I had one. Now I can't get over what a miracle this whole thing is even though it happens every day. I feel proud of myself and Ted and also a bit traumatized, haha. I guess I better dive in before she wakes up from her catnap!
The last few weeks before our due date I was on bedrest. I was having high blood pressure and swelling. I mean, it was pretty hot and humid too which didn't help! There were 2 a week non stress tests and ultrasounds to make sure everything was ok. It was scary but reassuring. Many times during the non stress tests they would have to prod her awake to make sure she was ok. If only she'd sleep that well now:) But it was a bit nerve wracking! During the pregnancy I was seeing whoever was available at my closest office, I prefer seeing MY doctor but I liked all the other one's too. But once the high blood pressure kicked in I determined only see MY doctor. She had been with us from the start and I know she would take the precautions necessary to see us through! 2.5 weeks before our due date my doctor came to chat with me in the exam room after the ultrasound. She told me that Sawyer was in a transverse position even though she had been head down the week before. She gave me the option of C-Section of trying to "flip" the baby. I know, most people would choose trying to flip the baby but after thinking about it for the night I called to let her know I wanted the C-Section. She had said there was a chance I would need it anyways so I liked the idea of "knowing" what to expect and when to expect her. I was so anxious about labor!!!! I thought maybe this was God's way of giving me some peace about the whole thing. Looking back and rationally thinking it's like the baby is gonna come out one way or another at some point in time---so calm down! But no I was so uncomfortable and in no way calm. She'd warned me that going into labor wouldn't be good for the transverse position because she could NOT come out that way. Then after a painful exam (those freaking cervix checks!!!!!!!) she told me confidently I wouldn't be going into labor anytime soon. That was Tuesday June 28th. (And spoiler alert---this was my last full nights rest maybe EVER!!!)
The next day was Wednesday June 29th. Our C-Section was going to be either Friday or Saturday and Ted had the day off. We had plans to go out and have one last "fun" (as fun as being 9 months pregnant and anxiety ridden can be). When I woke up I knew something was off. I attributed it to the high blood pressure and thought I had an upset stomach. I kept trying to use the bathroom to no avail. I thought "this is what I need right now, stomach issues!!!") I was determined not to be the whiny pregnant person who claimed every ache and pain was the worst ever. I had been resting for weeks why was I feeling so weird?! So I got ready for the day. I should have known what was happening but I didn't. I'm dumb. I've never been in labor before and I wasn't accepting that labor could be a possibility?! SO DUMB. I should have known I was in labor when I couldn't bear the sound of Ted talking until the "feeling" passed. Didn't realize I was having contractions because they didn't feel how I thought they would? Again, dumb!!! I put the brakes on our plans for the day because I was feeling so out of it. We went to lunch though and I just remember feeling like "I'll never feel better again. I'll always feel this way. There's no way out. What is happening to me!" As the afternoon progressed I finally told Ted we should probably go to the hospital just to "rule out" contractions due to the C-Section ect. Cue a very uncomfortable 40 minute car ride. He dropped me off at the door and I hid in the bathroom again. I kept thinking "if only I can go I'll feel so much better!" (DUUUUUUUUMMMMMMMBBBBBBBBBB!) Sitting down and leaning forward was the only thing that even remotely helped.
When Ted got in from parking we took the elevator up to triage. They got my info and took me back to the tiny room and hooked me up to the machine. The nice nurse said yes I was having contractions (argh!!!!) and the ultrasound they did revealed she was HEAD DOWN AGAIN. I started to panic!!! This meant I was really going to have to push this baby OUT OF MY BODY. After another painful cervix check the nurse told me my contractions just weren't strong enough to really start labor so I was to go home. Zero dilation. At this point I thought "if these aren't strong contractions then I don't think I can handle this!!!!" So I waddle out of the hospital defeated and scared and really just wanting to sleep and forget about it all. I kept thinking a lot of women say they have contractions for DAYS and I just thought maybe I can sleep it off? Maybe they'll go away? I'm still days away from my due date after all. If I have to endure this feeling for weeks I'll need all the sleep I can get!
When we got in the car it was rush hour and the freeway was backed up so we took a scenic route home (i.e. long route). I couldn't talk. I couldn't think well formed thoughts or sentences. I just kept thinking "I can't feel this way for days. I just can't. Lord help me!!!" When we finally got home Ted put our hospital bags in the car for "just in case". I came right in and said I need to sit on the couch for a few minutes before going to bed. The "feeling" was coming a lot close together and sooooo much more intense. I felt like a wild animal the pain was so much. At one point I remember crawling on the floor, trying to find some position to MAKE IT STOP!!! I never made it upstairs to "go to bed" lol. Finally I downloaded an app on my phone to time the contractions (aka "feelings" haha). They were coming 4 and 5 minutes a part! I should have crawled back to the car but I was so afraid of riding back to the hospital and not being admitted AGAIN that I was determined to not go back until I was officially in full blown labor. (news flash--you ARE in full blown labor!!!!) We called the on call doctor and I was sobbing. "Please don't make me come unless you will admit me!!!!" The doctor on call said "I can't check you over the phone...so you'll need to come back". So Ted helped me out to the car for THE.WORST. CAR RIDE. OF. MY. LIFE! I couldn't talk. I couldn't think. I was almost in a whole other plane of existence. I can't describe it. I was trying to be brave. I kept reminding myself I wasn't dilated so I'll probably have to live this way for days. I thought I would probably die first. I thought this SERIOUSLY. That I couldn't live like this for any amount of time much less DAYS! (So much drama). We finally get back to the hospital where Ted says "you can walk from he parking lot right?" I glared at him with the power of 1,000 suns until he dropped me off at the door. I hid in the bathroom again. (Sitting and leaning forward was the only position that I felt I could even remotely handle the pain). I yelled at Ted to get me a wheel chair when I came out. (I'm realizing this was all very "sitcom-y"). We land back in triage where I see the desk nurses smirk to each other as in "look who is back already". I could no longer be pleasant. I could no longer keep it together. I hid in the bathroom again when the triage nurse asked me to give a urine sample. I couldn't. There was none. I was kneeling on the floor thinking I'd like to just lay down and black out. The nurse kept trying to make jokes. I wanted to cuss and scream. I kept an intense face and tried to endure the pain through out all the talking and questions and Ted ASKING ME WHAT MY SNAPCHAT USER NAME WAS. (Now is not a good time, TED!)I told the nurse if she didn't admit me I would scream in the lobby until someone knocked me out with drugs. Finally we came to yet another cervix check. It hurt so badly and she kept wanted to keep going. (AM I DILATED OR AM I NOT LADY?)! She said I was dilated to four centimeters from what she could tell but "it maybe wasn't accurate because I couldn't lay still". YOU LAY STILL WITH PERPETUAL ONCOMING CONTRACTIONS WOMAN! But I was getting admitted! The pain was so bad and constant I started begging for an epidural. The nurse said I needed the IV first and then an entire bag of liquid before the epidural. (FUDDDDGGGGGGGEEEEEEEEEE!) They finally get the IV in after MANY tries. The nurse kept trying to make jokes. I love jokes. I'm sure on any other day of my entire life I would have seriously appreciated her jokes. But I've never wanted to kick anyone and run away so much in my life. (Well, waddle away). We get the word we're going up to Labor and Delivery. I'm assuming I'll be there for like a day being in labor. I was in so much pain but so thankful to being just that much closer to an epidural. I know it's weird, but honestly I wasn't even thinking "this much closer to seeing my baby" because I was assuming it would be 24 hours or something. You always hear first time moms are in labor for days while slowwwwwwwwly dilating and then pushing after being in labor for forever.
They drop me in our room with a nice nurse who pursed her lips when I asked to go to the bathroom. I knew I didn't have to go but sitting on that darn toilet and leaning forward was THE ONLY THING that could help. They said it could take an hour for my fluids to transfer. I did NOT want to lay on my back for an hour with the constant pain. I begged for the epidural NOW. Ted was texting (our friends and family to update). I felt wild. Like I wasn't a person anymore. Like I would do or give or say anything to not be in pain anymore. The nurse said "based on how you're acting, I'm gonna call the anesthesiologist now instead of waiting". PRAISE THE LORD. Trying to arch my back and sit still during this was soooooooo hard. I didn't know if I was going to be able to do this. I was so fearful that it wouldn't take and I'd be left in this pain for hours. Thankfully, God helped me. He held my hand in the form of Ted and the nurse and worked a miracle for me to sit still. When they had me lay back I could still feel the contractions which the monitor was showing were constant. No break in between. CONSTANT. The doctor checked me (and no pain! hallelujah!) and everyone started rushing around. I was almost to 9cms! The anesthesiologist actually came BACK when he heard that and gave me another hit of something. This was VERY shortly after I had been admitted. Take THAT nurse who said my "contractions weren't strong enough!" Ugh. Leave it to my body to do that, lol. I was in heaven though. I could still feel and move my legs and feel the contractions but it was no longer pain. Just feeling. Then my heart rate dropped. 15 people rushed into the room. They helped me roll side to side and did a bunch of stuff that I wasn't paying attention to. I didn't care what was happening. I have never been so thankful to not be in pain. Ted was standing off to the side looking panicked. A doctor came over to reassure him everything was going to be ok. Whatever was happening righted itself (side effect from the epidural) and it was time to push. TIME TO PUSH. I was shaking from head to toe. Another side effect from the epidural. Finally I told Ted "I guess she wanted to come in time for Wimbledon". He smiled and knew I was feeling like myself again if I was feeling up to making jokes. The doctor and nurse taught me how to push effectively. Breathe, hold my breath, then push while counting to ten. After a few tries I got it down. They said the baby was stuck under my pelvic bone and I would push for no more than 3 hours before deciding to do something else. Then the doctor left and it was just me, Ted, and our nurse. She was friendly, blond, had hilarious stories, and was encouraging.
I was still stunned that we had went from expecting a c-section in a couple days to already PUSHING OUT THE BABY. But I was relieved the hard parts were over. I wasn't in pain. The baby was ok. I felt enough adrenaline and now I was prepared to push. I would push as long as it took as long as I wasn't in pain, lol. Ted was a really good coach. He and the nurse pushed my knees back and counted for me while I pushed. They kept me entertained. They kept me talking. Ted texted my mom and Andrew and Christen updates. A few times poor Ted looked so woozy the nurses brought him cookies and juice, hah! He doesn't do well with blood so I know he was being brave too. The doctor (who was VERY nice) came in to check on us a lot. They said the labor and delivery floor was full! I think the shift in weather had sent a lot of us into labor. After about 2 hours and 15 minutes of pushing the doctor said it was almost time. They got everything set up to catch her. The doctor spent a good amount of time stretching me out (thank you, thank you, thank you, epidural) and with one final push she all of a sudden came out! After 2.5 hours of pushing she was here and kicking and screaming! I was in shock and shaking uncontrollably from head to toe. They put her on me and she opened one eye to give me a once over. The look said "are you my mom?" and then she settled down. It was so surreal and I couldn't stop shaking. After what was I'm sure only seconds they gave her to Ted. I needed stitched up and they couldn't do it with me shaking so much (mix of hormones and the epidural). Oh the stitches. It took forever. Second and third degree tears and a severely bruised tailbone. At that point I didn't care though. I kept staring at the back of her little head while Ted was holding her, skin to skin. She was OURS. She was HERE. And we were ALL OK! After all the years of waiting she was in our arms. I pushed her out. She had lived inside of me. And now she's sitting next to me in her car seat miraculously sleeping long enough for me to make an attempt to put it all into words. I can't put it into words. But I need to try. Because it's so important. And I don't want to forget any of it, even the hard parts.
In my phone the pictures went from this LAST bump shot to this little squishy squish!
Our funny and awesome L&D nurse:)
Sawyer said "seriously is Wimbledon STILL on?"
7 lbs and 10 oz of squish! I feel like she looks like a totally different baby now!
Couldn't sleep in the hospital. I look so out of it. I was.
Going home from the hospital!
Kindly strangers had to help us with the car seat, haha. These "easy" one click deals are gonna be the death of us.
It's funny when they still have tags on them, like you went to the store and picked one out! We would choose her a million times over if that was the case. Maybe we would have spent extra on a 1 year sleep warrantee LOL
Family of three.
Cuddles are by the far the best thing about this gig!