I haven't blogged in... I dunno- ages, but I was just sitting in my baby girl's room, rocking her to sleep and realized that she is almost 2 weeks old and I don't ever want to forget the beautiful experience of bringing her into this world. So, here I am typing up her birth story for myself and for her. This is a long story, full of details. For me, and for her, like I said. So read or don't read, but here it is.
On Tuesday, September 9th, I was 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant. I seriously questioned whether or not my body would ever allow this baby to come out. I was quite uncomfortable and knew that my baby was going to be a big one. At 8 AM, Michael reached for my hands to help me up off of the couch to give him a hug and kiss goodbye for work. As I tried to stand, I had a sharp pain and sat right back down. We both kind of thought, "ooo... what if?!". But I just knew it was too good to be true. Michael went to work and the pain came every 20 minutes. I was in serious denial. I took a hot shower, and took Harlow out on a walk and these cramps were not going away. I called my mom and told her something may be going on, but I was probably just wishing. I called Anessa and she wasn't working so she came over to keep me company. The pain was getting stronger, but I still thought it would go away. So, we went for another walk. This time, the cramps, which Anessa was slowly convincing me were contractions, sped right up the minute we started walking. They were very consistently 2 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds. I was able to walk through them, but they were stronger than before. I was text Michael updates very frequently all day.
We came home, Anessa had to go, I put Harlow down for a nap and thought I'd try to rest too. But, then I had 2 very painful contractions in a row and I got nervous. I was home alone! Harlow was sleeping! Is this real life?! Am I in labor?! I called my mom and texted Michael. My mom came over and Michael said he was on his way. This was about 2:00 PM. The contractions kept coming, about 8-10 minutes apart. I could talk through them, but they definitely did not feel good. My mom went home around 4 or so and Anessa came over to bring me a smoothie. Harlow woke up and I decided to go on another walk. We all went. These contractions were no joke. 2 minutes apart and 60-90 seconds long. I couldn't walk through these. OUCH! We walked for about 30 minutes. I knew go time was coming. Anessa was an angel and took Harlow to play with her friends at Leia's house. Michael and I came home. We decided to time the contractions for an hour and see where we were at. An hour later they were 5-8 minutes apart, 90 sec long, and OW. I called my mom: "Mom, I don't know when to go to the hospital". She said: "well, based on the sound of your voice, now". So, Michael gave me a blessing, and we left for the hospital. HOLY SMOKES! I was so excited! And so nervous! What if they send me home? I mean, this hurts, this has to be the real thing. We're going to have our baby! FINALLY! Anessa would be staying the night with Harlow at home, and mom would be at the ready to come to the hospital whenever we called her. We felt so very grateful to know that our girl was in good hands and that we had a strong support system with us all the way.
We got to the hospital about 7 PM. They checked me and I was 4 cm dilated. She told me they'd let me walk around for an hour and see if I progressed, if I did, they'd check me in. All I could think about is going home. I knew that if I went home, I'd just be back a few hours later, so I reallllllly wanted to progress. I walked around the hospital room for an hour and the contractions were very painful. The nurse came back at 8 PM, I was at a 5. Yayy! I get to stay! At this point they put the monitors on my belly to track my contractions and keep an eye on baby's heart beat. The monitors are cordless so I was free to move around, so that was awesome. My nurse was Kathleen and she was an angel. She really left us alone for the most part, but whenever she did come in, she was so encouraging. She kept telling me how awesome I was doing and how she could tell I was getting close and I was so strong, etc etc. She was wonderful. I walked around the room, I sat on the ball for a good while, and then I got in the Jacuzzi tub. That was excellent! The contractions are painful no matter where you are, but at least when I was in there, I was able to totally relax between contractions. Around 10:30 PM the contractions started getting VERY painful and close together. I was doing ok, but I knew I didn't want to deal with them once they were one on top of another without a break, so I asked for an epidural. The anesthesiologist came in and he and my nurse were so comforting and supportive. I had my epidural in by 11:30 and by that time I was so glad I got it because it was getting super painful. After my epidural was in, the nurse checked me. I was at 8 cm. Kathleen had to go home at this point, and my new nurse Doreen came. Oh how I loved her too. She couldn't believe it was at an 8 and went to call the Dr and said I should call my mom if I wanted her there for the birth.
My doctor, Dr. Monji, was on call at Riverbend hospital and I was delivering at McKenzie-Willamette. I knew she was leaving for a trip the next day and wanted her to at least know I was having my baby even if she couldn't deliver. I asked that they notify her. They came back and told me she'd be right over and that she wanted to deliver for us. I was so happy about this!
Mom showed up rather quickly, they checked me again around 12:30 and I was complete, 10 cm. I wasn't even panicked. Everyone was so calm. My nurse was so cool about it. Just like, ok, let's get the dr and push. Just so calm and quite and it was so great. Dr Monji came in and just sat right on my bed with me and asked me to push. I did a couple of times and they discovered the baby was facing the wrong way. They just told me to be patient, she would move. I so appreciated this. They didn't press on my belly and try to force her to move, they just rolled me on my side and said we would wait for her to move. Probably a half hour later, they checked again and baby girl was ready to go. I started pushing again at 1:30 AM. Dr Monji is the bomb. Doreen is the bomb. Michael and my mom are the bomb. The whole experience was beautiful. It was very quite. I could feel when to push and Dr. Monji would guide me through it. My nurse and Michael were full of encouragement. I love watching Michael. He was so excited and so proud of me and you could see how amazed he was by the whole thing. Pushing her head out was painful, and I expected that to be the worst part, but DANG- the rest of her body hurt! The Dr said she had really broad shoulders. Just the way the whole thing went down and they way they helped her out was done so well and while I pushed and thought my head was going to explode, I felt so calm.
Mia was born at 1:45 AM on Wednesday, September 10. They gave her right to me and didn't take her away for a long time. That was the best. I kept expecting them to grab her and clean her and weigh her, etc, but they didn't! They just let me have her for as long as I wanted. Eventually, I was ready for her to have a bath and be weighed. 9 lbs 2 oz and 21 1/4 inches long! Whoa baby! I knew she was going to be big! I knew my belly felt so heavy for a reason! My epidural wore off pretty much immediately. Mia was probably only 30 minutes old and I was up and in the shower. My wonderful nurse brought be a sandwich and then I fed my baby for the 1st time. Grandma was on picture duty and did an excellent job. There's just something about having my mom in the room with me when I'm doing the hardest thing I've ever done. It gives me so much comfort and she always knows just what to say.
I loved my experience at McKenzie-Willamette. Every nurse I had was so kind. In the following 2 days, they really left us alone. They came in to check on baby and I every once in a while, but other than that, it was just a nice place for us to be together. I just felt like the whole thing was relaxed and they wanted us to do what was comfortable for us. I couldn't stop being amazed at the fact that these people bring babies into the world on a daily basis. That is what they do. They care for these precious newborns. They make sure that the mom's and babies are safe and healthy. I am so forever grateful to them. I am so thankful that I live in a time where we are blessed with medical advancements that keep our babies safe and keep us mom's comfortable. It's miraculous to me. I mean, really. I have never been more sure of a Heavenly Father than I am after I give birth. The creation of life, my body's ability to make a baby, the technologies that give us peace of mind and help us be healthy, and mostly, the intense love that I feel for this child, all of it is blessings from God. All of it. When I look at Mia and think of the overwhelming love I have for her, I'm reminded of the love that Heavenly Father has for me and it's mind-boggling.
That was probably all kind of scatter-brained and pieced together, but that's the gist of what happened and I will always remember it with happiness. When we pulled away from the hospital, all I could think about is how I can't wait to do it again. Having a baby is the most rewarding, amazing thing and I don't think I'll ever want to be done.