Friday, March 9, 2012
Hardest Week of My Life
So the little one decided to share a birthday with Michaelangelo. In not taking after her parents, she arrived early, by one day.
Many have already heard the labor story but if you haven't, here you go-
I went to bed Sunday night with lower back pain, right in the center of my back, different from the pain I'd been having during pregnancy. I woke up about 2:30 with cramping. I laid there, trying to decide if it was coming in a pattern or not. When my husband woke up about an hour later, I told him I thought they were contractions. A little after that we woke up my mom to let her know. We got ready to leave and monitored contractions, turns out there is an app for that. At 6 we called the doctor on call, notified our parents and close friends, and headed to the hospital. After filling out all the paperwork they took me back to a triage room, hooked me up to monitors to watch her heart rate and the contractions. The nurse checked on me a couple times, the doctor came once. About two hours later, the decision was made for me to go home because the contractions slowed down and I didn't dilate any further. At the time I was devastated; I felt like such a failure but ultimately I'm so glad we weren't at the hospital all that time.
So back home we went. And we were there all day. I updated friends and some asked if they could come over. We spent the rest of the day walking up and down the block, had lunch and ice cream, watched a movie, and told stories to keep my mind off of the contractions increasing in frequency and intensity. Check out The Bean's perspective on this day. My husband and I never envisioned going through a labor day this long and with friends and my mom there, but I'm so thankful we weren't alone, let alone stuck at the hospital where I wouldn't be able to eat or drink anything. Finally we made the decision to head back to the hospital at 11 Monday night.
This time around was very different. I had 4 very loud contractions just during the paperwork process and was in triage for maybe 20 minutes before they had us in a labor/delivery room. Originally we had planned on having a natural childbirth; after being in labor for nearly 24 hours I'd changed my mind. The call was made to the anesthesiologist for an epidural. The nurse checked me one final time and it was too late to get one. So I ended up getting what I wanted originally, funny how God does that. During the worst contractions my wonderful husband prayed the rosary for us; he was amazing that entire day, so positive and encouraging. The urge to push came on really quickly but the doctor wasn't there yet and the room wasn't prepared. He made it just in time, as she was crowning. Our little girl was out within a few minutes, born at 1:47 Tuesday morning. After we were both cleaned up, the grandparents came in to meet her for a few minutes. Awhile later little L went to the nursery, I got settled in the hospital room and by about 4am, it was the three of us starting this whole family thing together.
We were in the hospital until mid afternoon Thursday and received excellent care from the staff. I wish I had taken more advantage of sleep there, like I was told to, but the emotions from the delivery day and anxiety about the baby kept me from resting as much as I could. My husband took advantage of the time there to finally shave off his beard. He typically grows one in the winter time and decided around Christmas that he was going to grow it out until she was born. I'm much happier with the goatee.
So, since we've been home every day has gotten easier. I'm sleeping more, partially out of exhaustion but also I know that I need to let go and let God take care of this little baby just as He did before she was born. We originally planned to have her in a pack n'play at night but she doesn't like it, too much space and she fusses as soon as she's in there. She sleeps soundly when you hold her but then we don't sleep well because we're worried about her rolling off or getting smothered by covers. We tried the co-sleeper but in a queen size bed, there's just not enough space for the three of us. Last night my mom suggested trying the swing. She liked it while we ate supper and it worked well overnight. She woke up to eat, about the time I'd expected, and that was it. We'll see if we get the same results tonight.
Feeding is also getting easier. I'd been praying about breastfeeding these last few months, not taking for granted that it would just come automatically. The nurses at the hospital were very helpful and I discovered apps to help me keep track of feeding and diaper changes. Little L and I are starting to figure out each other's cues and what works best for us. She likes to put her hands in the way, thinking that it's helping when it just causes her and me frustration. Reminds me of myself and my tendencies to control when God wants to take of me in His way. I'm trying not to stress about her weight; I know it's typical for her to lose a little within the first couple days of birth and by next weekend she should be back to her birth weight. That was another surprise, everyone thought she'd be bigger than 7.5 pounds. I'm excited she gets to wear all the newborn clothes and diapers people bought her. The feeding time has been great for me to pray and read (downloaded books on my phone) and just be with her.
I have so much to be grateful for. My husband has been incredible. He keeps me hydrated and taking my pills, runs errands. He loves changing her diaper so they have their time to bond and is constantly taking pictures. My mom has been cooking, cleaning, taking care of the laundry and keeping me calm when I get anxious. My inlaws and our friends have been great about visiting and bringing meals or whatever else we need. And this little life we have now is just amazing. She is so beautiful, makes the funniest faces and noises; we are totally in love.
So while this week has been physically and emotionally exhausting, it's all been worth it.