It's story time!
(Disclaimer: It's a long story but I want to remember and share the details! Feel free to skip the the good stuff, the photos!)
Yesterday morning, after a long night of back pain and cramps, I woke up and got Charlie ready for preschool. On the way I had a couple of contractions that went along with the back pain and felt much lower than the ones I had been having. They weren't terrible, so I decided to go ahead and take him. Once I got home, I started timing them and realized they were about 5 minutes apart...not terribly strong, but I just had this feeling. (Of course I was nervous about crying wolf, though). I woke Adam, even though he had just gotten to sleep a couple of hours before. We called my doctor, and he said if it kept going like that for another hour to come to the hospital. I got a shower, packed up a few last minute things, the whole time thinking, this is silly, they are going to send me home....I just couldn't TELL for sure. My sis came over and we went to get Charlie from school. The 4 of us took our time, stopping for lunch and cell phone chargers. By the time we drove the 40 minutes to the hospital I was really having some major back pain. While we were signing in, though, I felt better, which again made me feel silly. Ha. I don't know why I was so afraid of being wrong about the whole thing.
My mom showed up, and they all waited while we went to triage. There I was hooked up to a fetal monitor and had my vitals taken. The nurse said I was dilated to 3, and that after 20 minutes of monitoring contractions, they would see if I should stay or not. Well...I guess my uterus overheard this and really wanted to show off. In the next 30 minutes or so, my water broke and the contractions were unbelievable. (Or so I thought, until I felt the ones an hour LATER.) Someone up there must have really been looking out for me, because my doctor, whom I just love, was not on call yesterday. I had been trying not to worry about it, but I saw him through my entire pregnancy, and had so badly wanted him to deliver Mal. Suddenly, he pops his head through the curtain with an excited, "Hi!! It's finally time, huh? Let's check that water". I was so happy it almost stopped hurting! He had been there for a surgery and heard I was there, so he decided to stay. This people, is what doctors should really be like. I was so relieved. He confirmed it, this was it, and let's get this girl admitted! Talk about a 'holycrapireallyhavetodothisidontthinkicandothisohmygod' moment. The pain with the contractions was now so bad that I was dreading them, and when they came, I honestly could not mentally get around it. Adam was rubbing my back and I had to grip the bedside table and just, well, wail and moan and beg for it to stop. I now know a new level of pain that I never knew existed. I know it sounds melodramatic, but there's no way to explain how desperately I wanted them to stop (or the pain anyway). And everyone was telling me I was being tough. (I really kinda was! I didn't curse, not one time). :)
Okay, so it was about 3:30 when we got into our room. I was given something for nausea, which was also very strong with the contractions. My sister held my hands through the contractions while I buried my face in the pillow and tried to live through them. My mom and Adam rubbed my back, and finally, the man of my dreams (for that moment) showed up...the anesthesiologist. I think he was wearing a halo, but that could have been a dream.
Ah, the epidural. There's nothing like a warning of "DO NOT move at ALL. Stay VERY still" to scare the crap put of me. Of course, I know the risks. I also know what it feels like to have the guy poking the needle into your spine to have to yell, "Je-SUS! You HAVE GOT to be STILL!" Yep...I jumped. My poor mom almost had a heart attack, and I started wiggling my toes to see if I was now paralyzed. It was like a reflex and I don't think I could have not moved. Anyway, the medicine kicked in right away and I was fine. Phew...
Now things are looking up, and I am getting excited. The epidural made the whole experience into something I could actually kinda enjoy. I have the most respect in the world for women who go au natural, but I never ever would have been able to push through that pain.
Okay, by now it was about 5:30 and I was dilated to 7. My doctor was in and out checking on me, and we had a great nurse. After a while, I started to feel a lot of pressure in the "affected area" and got a little freaked out. It felt like she may just, you know...fall out. I was told the longer we waited for her to come down more, the less pushing there would be. Well, woohoo to that.
Around 7:15, it was showtime. The pushing was hard, 10 seconds (which was more like 16 thanks to the uber slow counting of the nurse) at a time, 3 times in a row. I felt like my ears were going to burst, but I really really really wanted her OUT, so i kept it going. The closer she got to being here, the more intense the pressure was, so at this point I was begging for the contractions to come, so I could get it done. Finally, after about 3 rounds of me asking. "Is this the last one? Am I almost done?" the doc said, "Okay, Heather...one more big one!" Magic words!
The next thing I know I feel a huge release, and my lovely, gooey daughter is on my belly rather than in it. Amazing. Awe-inspiring. I can't describe it. How did this happen? I was so proud that I had made it, and that she was okay...it was just surreal. I hope I never forget that moment as long as I live.
The nurses swept Mallory away. There were several extra people on hand, because Mallory was a meconium delivery. Ew, I know. It means she pooped a little too soon, but that's okay. I'm not mad at her. And she was fine, just needed a little more suctioning right away. And she was not as small as I had thought. Our big girl weighed in at 8 pounds, 10 ounces. She is 20.5 inches tall. It felt like an eternity while the nurses took care of her and I got the rest of the yucky stuff done. My mom was so excited. She kept telling me how good I had done...Jess was taking amazing photos that I cherish, and Adam...all he had to do was smile that big goofy daddy smile. I knew he was happy.
Mallory was born at 7:47 pm, only about 6 hours after we arrived at the hospital. Guess people were right when they said I would somehow just know. Today has been fun, getting used to her schedule (she sleeps a LOT) and seeing friends and family. Charlie adores his baby sis (so far!). I miss him and can't wait to get home to him tomorrow. I showered and got dressed this morning, which was a great feeling. Of course I'm sore, but nothing I can't handle. It's so worth it. Not saying I want to do it again in say, the next 5 years, but it was amazing, and I feel very lucky to have had a good pregnancy and labor. Now let's see what kind of baby we got! So far, I think she is pretty mellow. She has the girliest, sweetest little cry, and is really alert when she is awake. I can't wait to get her home and get settled in, and get going with this 2 kid thing! I literally have about 400 photos, thanks to Jess and Catherine, and I went through them and picked a few, I mean a ton to post here.
My friends who helped me through this, THANK YOU. More later as we settle in for The Beauchamps...Life as a Foursome!!
Alot of these are out of order, but you get the idea. :)