The topic for Week 2 is to write our birth stories - my pick. I realized I'd never memorialized it and I really want to before I forget anymore of it. So here goes…
The date is October 29th, 2013. A Tuesday. I am 39 weeks and 3 days pregnant.
I have been off work since October 4th and I am having the time of my life! Everything for the baby is ready to go. All furniture is assembled and in place. All clothes are washed and in the nursery. All I do is whatever I want to do - shop, sleep, bake, putter around the house, have coffee with friends, etc. I still attend law classes two nights a week but not going to work feels like a vacation. I am golden.
Back to October 29th. Justin and I have a nice day together - we go have our carseat installed, have breakfast, and kind of take things easy. Later that night, we drive from our home in Elk Grove to Fair Oaks to check on some friends' house that are out of town. We get home kinda late - maybe 9 or 10 pm - and I am exhausted. I lay there for hours, playing on my phone, trying to fall asleep but I am super uncomfortable. I have had a little trouble finding a comfortable sleeping position for the later months of pregnancy but, overall, it hasn't been too bad. Tonight, however, I'm not going to be able to sleep at all. I have a gripping pain in my abdomen. It starts in my back, swirls all around to my front, and makes my whole belly tight. It seems to come and go so I just wait thinking maybe the baby is just active and it'll pass. Baby looooves to jump around when Mama's trying to sleep.
It's now about 1:00 am on October 30th. Justin is asleep next to me but he wakes up on one of my 20 trips to the bathroom. The pain is getting more intense and at more regular intervals. Justin suggests I am having contractions but I'm not convinced. I thought for sure I'd make it at least until my due date which wasn't for a few more days. I take a shower to try and ease the pain. It helps. For a minute. A couple hours later, I take another shower. I go to the bathroom and spot a little blood. Ok, now I have a tangible sign that something's happening.
Justin times my contractions and I use Norma Jean, the world's sweetest kitty, as my focal point to breathe through the pain.
I should have taken lamaze classes. This shit hurts.
I am astounded by the pain. All of my life, I have prided myself on having a high pain tolerance. I can barely stand this.
By 7:00 am, I am no longer in denial that I am in labor. My contractions are about 7 mins apart, last about 70 seconds each, and have been happening like that for a couple hours. I know I am not supposed to go to the hospital until contractions are 5 mins apart but I am in so much pain by this point that when I call Labor & Delivery, I lie so they'll let me come in.
Justin and I drive to Roseville which takes us about 45 mins. We walk in the door just after 9 am. They take me back for an assessment and determine I am 3 cm dilated and at +1 station. The doctor yelled, "We got a keeper!" LOL.
They offer me an epidural and I say YES! I have been sober for 9 months. Someone is offering me (arguably) safe, legal drugs. HELL TO THE YEAH, I want an epidural. It seemed like hours until I finally got it (I SHOULD HAVE TAKEN FUCKING LAMAZE CLASSES) but once those needles were in my back and that sweet numbness flowed through my veins, I could have kissed the anesthesiologist. I seriously can't believe some women do this naturally. Those women are freakin superheroines in my book.
From then on, the day was pretty uneventful. My mom came by and stayed with me. My BFF, Melissa, dropped by for a few before she went to work. The nurses were all sooooo sweet and brought me jello, water, and chicken broth when I asked (which I would promptly puke back up). Justin and I talked and watched TV. I played on my phone and texted a couple of people that I was in labor. My labor continually progressed.
Later that afternoon, my sister, Taryn, and her son, Gabriel came. At some point, Justin and I watched the Red Sox beat the Cardinals and win the World Series!
At about 9 pm, the nursed asked if she could break my water. I'd been stalled at 6 cm dilated since about 3 pm. I said yes because I was eager to get this road on the show.
By about 11:30 pm, I was at 9 cm and the nurse said it was time to start pushing. And push I did. I tried in vain not to pass out right there on the table. I was soooooo tired having been up for…. some ungodly amount of hours. I kept slapping myself in my face to stay awake. Every time I would slack off my deep breathing for a second, the baby's heart rate would start dropping. I couldn't see what was happening "down there" but everyone else in the room could. UGH. LOL.
I watched the clock tick past midnight. It was now October 31st - Halloween! Justin said he could see the head. I couldn't feel a thing. The epidural was amazing. More time passed - still hardcore pushing - and the doctor finally said he was going to use a vacuum to help speed things along. THANK GOODNESS because after 3 hours of pushing, I had nothing left.
Awhile later, the doctor thrust this purple ball of goo up on me. Reese Raymond Carter entered the world at 3:04 am on October 31st, 2013. He weighed 9 lbs, 4 oz, and was just under 22 inches long. Ten fingers, ten toes and one little… you know. He was so PERFECT! I was so out of it by that point but I forced myself to be present. My baby! He looked like a little alien. He had shit all over him. He was so beautiful and so ugly at the same time.
While they were cleaning Reese up, the doctor came over with the placenta and held it out to me. Apparently, he didn't read the form birth plan I'd filled out weeks ago stating I wanted nothing to do with the damn thing. No offense to those who did, just not my thing. Justin was equally as grossed out by the interaction. I told the doctor, "Can you please go put it over there?" and pointed to the trash can. LOL. Seriously, just seeing it made me want to puke.
I don't know if it was the haze I was in or what but the whole thing felt very surreal, very dreamlike. Justin and I look at these pictures now of Reese's distorted little head and laugh because at the time we thought he was the most perfectly molded little human ever. Our little Halloween Pumpkin.