Gingerly Lizzy

The best day of my life.
2003-06-29 - 7:05 p.m.

Finally - a birth story!

Monday June 16th. Dave and I went for a walk the night before around 11pm. I started to feel a little crampy halfway into it so we didn't go too far. The neighbor yelled "you are going to go into labor doing that" and I yelled back "that is the point!"... Little did I know!

Around 4:30 a.m., and I woke up having cramps. At first I thought I was really constipated or something or had eaten something bad. That is what it felt like!!! I kept trying to go to the bathroom with no luck - 5:30 came and went, pains were getting worse, I was wracking my brain to think what I had eaten that was bad, wondering if I had salmonella!

6:30 - pains are getting worse, I am wondering if maybe these are contractions? But still telling myself I just have really bad gas or something and there is no way this could be labor.

7:30 - okay, these have been going on for way too long now, I am in tears it hurts so badly and I ask Dave to start timing the pains just in case (I still think it isn't that, it couldn't be - a week early? ME?)

8:00 - Dave comes in, telling me to look at the paper that he has been recording times on. They are every five minutes - oh my gosh, I think this might be it!

8:10- I am in SO much pain, I decide to take a hot shower and then Dave and I plan to head to my Dr.'s office to get checked to make SURE before we go to the hospital. The hot water really helps, but it hurts so badly! Like the worst menstrual cramps I have ever had x 100!

8:45 - I have been trying to call the Dr.'s office, I don't think they will be open until 9:00. I decide that I am hurting too badly, this HAS to be it, we are going to the hospital, I get my bag ready.

9:00 - We pack up the car, my mother in law has tears in her eyes and is really excited. I just keep trying to breath and not kill anyone.

9:15 - We get to the hospital. We parked in the wrong spot and I have to walk like a mile to the women's center. I refuse a wheelchair from the lady at the info counter who can tell I am in great pain. I kick myself five minutes later while we are still walking and fight the urge to kick Dave as he asks if I can move any faster.

9:30 - The nurse has just left the admitting room after telling me I am 3 cm dialated and about 90% effaced. She says they will monitor me over the next hour and if I have made progress, I get to stay, if not, they will send me home (BETTER NOT!) with drugs for the pain.

10:15 - Nurse is back in to check me. I am 100% effaced and am making progress. They admit me (thank heavens!). I spend the next hour and a half (what seems like forever) gritting my teeth and clutching the bed rails (I know they told us not to do that in my prenatal classes but it is either that, or I strangle Dave for putting me in this position in the first place!). I don't want Dave to touch me or anyone else for that matter. I cry for my mom, I tell Dave I can't do this and want to go home, I take it back... too late!

Shortly after, the nurse comes back in, asking me if I want an epidural. HECK YES! GET HIM IN HERE!!! The saint of an anethstesiologis (boy, I can't spell that!) comes in and gives me the wonder drug. I don't feel another painful contraction and I bless the person that invented that!

I made regular progress, the doctor came in and broke my water when I was around 8cm at about 4:30, 5:00 or so. The nurse informed a shocked Dave and I that I was complete at about 6pm and could start pushing soon!

My sister and Dave and his family were all there. Dave and my sister stayed for the labor, and labor I did! I pushed for two and a half hours, all while looking at the clock, praying that I would have enough strength to keep it up so that I wouldn't have to have a c-section. I couldn't seem to get the baby's head under the pelvic bone and part of the reason was that my contractions never came any more close than five minutes apart. The nurses were amazed I had made such good progress in that state!

The baby's heart rate dipped a few times during labor, so they had put an internal monitor on him earlier. That was a bit scary - they were worried that the cord might be wrapped around his neck.

Katie and Dave sat at the foot of the bed like spectators the whole time! So much for my coach and cool washclothes on my forehead. Can you believe they had SNACKS? YEAH, SNACKS! THE NERVE! I didn't want the mirror, I think it would have freaked me out even more, but Katies face said it all several times, and she even mouthed at one point "I am never having children" - I was thinking, it is THAT bad?

Finally the dr. came in, and after a little while, decided that he would have to use forceps. I didn't even have an ounce of strength left so it was a good thing. The pressure was so intense! It felt like my pelvic bones were being yanked out of my body. My epidural had been turned down, so I could feel a little bit, but it wasn't bad at all.

Everything happened so fast, and then someone said the baby's head is out, give a small push, and I started bawling instantly and gave a small push and there he was - screaming his little head off!

Because of the forcep delivery, they rushed him to the warmer to check and make sure everything was okay. Dave didn't even get to cut the cord, he was disappointed about that.

I was literally sobbing. I was so happy he was finally here! And I was a mom! His cry was the most welcome sound and it seemed to take forever for them to finish with him. I kept commenting on how it was taking so long, teling them to hurry up and give me my baby! (half joking but mostly seriously of course!).

Katie had started bawling as soon as they pulled him out and Dave was teary eyed. I remember seeing Katie's face change and it made me cry even harder. I wish I would have looked at Dave better but so much was happening so fast!

When they put him into my arms, he seemed to quiet down almost immediately. He knew his mommy! I was crying so hard, and just in awe! I felt an instant connection to him, and such a great love right away. It was surreal and overwhelming and seemed to be a dream!

The dr. worked on my episiotomy and I just marvelled at this tiny person in my arms, and bawled - of course! I think I cried more than he did!

The rest of that night is a bit of a blur, Dave's family came in to see him, I didn't sleep a wink because of the excitement and the nursery natzi (another story) - and spent a lot of time just staring at little Blake, listening to him breath, (who at the time didn't have a name) and feeling pride over what I had accomplished, as well as the most amazing love and awe...

I couldn't believe that it was over, and that he was here...

There are days when I still can't believe it. Looking back - the 13 hours went by so fast (at least once I got that epidural), it seemed like a couple hours. I wish I could have taken more of it in, but I guess that is just how it happens, everything overwhelming and fast.

What an amazing miracle life is! I will never get over it or used to it.

What a blessing this little person is, and how much love he brings into our family!

I feel blessed to be a woman, and have such an important role - my greatest ever, that of mother!

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