Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hello Mr. Eliot!

On March 15th, our long wait for our son finally came to an end. Our son's birth marked the conclusion of an often-challenging, never boring, pregnancy.

About four weeks before my due date, Justin, Emerson, and I headed to Roseville for the final time for a doctor's appointment. Once there, I found out what I had thought might be happening--I had begun to dilate. The doctor decided it was prudent to begin my leave earlier than expected.

That weekend I was very excited to attend my shower, especially since I did not have a shower before Emerson was born. My mom and sister did a great job with everything. The theme was super cute--monkeys and jungle animals, and the games were actually fun. (Sometimes baby shower games can DRAG, but my sister's games were highly enjoyable.)

My final week at work was fast-paced and exhausting. I didn't get everything done that I wanted to, but I did the best I could. It was especially challenging that week because Emerson got very sick. Luckily, Justin's mom watched her in Redding. While I felt terrible not being able to take care of her, I was able to accomplish more at work, and Justin and I were able to go out for our fifth wedding anniversary. Part of me thought that I would go into labor that evening, but despite hard contractions, I did not go into labor.

The next two weeks I stayed at home, resting and spending time with Emerson. I will admit that I got more than a little restless waiting for my son to be born. During the second week, I pretty much had contractions all day. They were never at regular intervals, but they were annoying as heck. Also, the diabetic diet and insulin had both become seriously tiresome. I just felt ready for it all to be done.

The last weekend before my induction date, March 17th, Justin developed a begin-labor plan. We ran all over town, and even attended a kid's birthday party. One would think that being at a party with 24 kids would send a lady into labor. Nope.

On Monday, Justin begun his spring break. I tried to reason with myself, but I felt really frustrated that I showed no signs of going into labor. I didn't want to give birth when Justin was just about to go to work. However, on Monday, I became suspicious that things had begun to change. I didn't want to get too excited, but I noticed at breakfast that my contractions were more painful than days previous. After we picked up Emerson from preschool, I noticed that they had not gone away. Plus, they were 15 minutes apart.

I spent the remainder of the day tracking my contractions. Slowly, ever so slowing, they began to become closer together. We are talking about a SLOW process here. They started 15 minutes apart, then 12, then was a long day. Around 5 pm, they became 7 minutes apart. I stuck there for awhile. At 7:30, they got even closer together, so we placed a call into Labor and Delivery and they suggested I come in.

However, when we got to Labor and Delivery (with a very unhappy Emerson), the doctor told me that I was still only 2cm dilated and 50% effaced. So we got sent home. I was immensely disappointed and embarrassed, especially since our family started heading our way. Justin called them and everyone except my mother headed back home.

Once home, I tried to relax with Justin and my mother on the couch. I ate my snack, took my insulin, and watched Criminal Minds...a pretty typical evening. Then I got hit with two LARGE contractions. At about 11:30, I felt a distinct "pop" and felt a gush of water (this is a very strange sensation, by the way.) We waited a bit, but my contractions soon became unbearable.

Justin and I drove, once again, to the hospital. This time it was very clear that I was in labor, as talking and walking became nearly impossible. When we got into Labor and Delivery, a nurse checked us in. I just remember being super annoyed with all the stupid questions they have to ask: what's your phone number, medical record number, address...etc. It's highly frustrating to have to remember numbers while your body is threatening to split into two.

The nurse and doctor determined that I was clearly in labor and I was brought into a delivery room. Once in the room, I was examined and the midwife told me that I four cm dilated. My nurse administered some pain medication, which I was hugely grateful for. They asked if I wanted an epidural. It was not necessary for me to respond, and they put the order in.

Within an hour, I was 8 cm dilated. It became very clear that the epidural was not likely. When I was told this, I believe I cried. I'm a little ashamed to admit that, but the idea of giving birth and feeling ALL of it sounded highly unpleasant. However, I ended up having no choice. My transition labor (aka HELL) last less than 30 minutes, and I was pushing.

I would love to say that I was the woman who pushed twice and voila, baby. That unfortunately did not happen. I would like to say that I got quiet and focused and just pushed my kid out. Um, nope. I may have complained and whined a bit. I may have told my medical team that I couldn't do it and I may have cried.

My strongest memory is being told to hold my legs as I pushed. For some reason, that annoyed the CRAP out of me. It really hurt. I fought the urge to yell and scream, and I was helped by my nurses and midwife and Justin, who reminded me to breathe and not yell. After about 10 pushes (I lost count), I finally felt the burning which indicated that he was starting to crown. I experienced a moment of fear at the pain I was about to experience. However, it turned out that the contractions hurt so much worse than pushing the baby out the rest of the way.

During my final push, I actually pushed when I wasn't contracting. I was so ready to be done. I do remember telling him to "get out!" (Hey, at least I didn't swear.) One comical moment was when I said that I just wanted to see him. My nurse misinterpreted this as my wanting a mirror. Um, hell no. I made it clear that I did not want to see my son's entrance. Experiencing the pain was enough, thank you very much.

So I gave one more push, and my widwife instructed me to stop so she could help with the shoulders (ow), and then my son was born. He was placed immediately on my chest (after being wiped down, of course), and he stayed there for an hour. I turned to Justin at one point and told him that I would like him to include Jerome in Eliot's name (we had discussed this earlier and I had not committed to the idea. After giving birth, it seemed appropriate.)

Once he was born, Justin and I both were hit with a wave of exhaustion. I just remember holding him and shaking uncontrollably. Eventually, he was taken, weighed, measured, and given his first bath. Eliot Jakob Jerome Moeckli was born at 3:24 am on Tuesday, March 15th at 6 pounds, 14 ounces and 19 inches.

We spent the next day and a half at the hospital, and then headed home. We've spent the last almost two weeks getting to know our sweet little boy. So far he has been a very nice baby. He likes to snuggle and he sleeps pretty well. He does get a mean case of the hiccups a couple times a day, which is cute but sad for him.

I still marvel at the fact that Eliot is actually here. It is odd to no longer have him kicking inside me. I am super excited to finally have met him, and I feel so blessed that my pregnancy and labor went well. I am a lucky lady. :)