Sunday the 11th:
I started having contractions around 11pm that were like really bad menstrual cramps. They started in my lower back and wrapped around the front. I still didn?t think that it was actual labor though- I was already a week overdue and was convinced that I was never going to go into labor naturally. They went through the night, ranging from 5-10 minutes apart which didn?t give me a whole lot of time to sleep. I would try to sleep, but then would be jerked back from sleep whenever the next one came on. By around 6am though, they had died away to once every thirty or forty minutes.
Monday the 12th
I had an appointment scheduled at 10:40am, so I told my husband to stay home from work and we both went to the appointment. I was 41 weeks exactly and I was SO ready to have the baby. My husband and I had left the house and put all of our bags in the car since I was going to demand that one way or another they get that baby out that day. I walked in to the Dr?s office with vim and vigor. They were going to induce me darn it or else I was going to take drastic measures! The Dr examined me and told us that I was 2 cm and pretty much fully effaced (for the two weeks prior I had only been 1 cm and 50% effaced). He said thaat due to her size, he would like to induce me that day. I was so thrilled. We drove right over to the hospital and by 11:30am were settling into our room.
For the next couple of hours we just hung out, waiting for the Dr to show up and having a few minor contractions. The Dr came in a little later that afternoon and broke my water. Definitely a very weird sensation. It didn?t hurt at all. Warm gush of fluid.
After a couple more hours of pretty non-productive contractions, I was started on a low dose of pitocin. Once that started, the contractions kicked into high gear. For the next couple of hours I was having contractions that were about every 2-3 minutes, incredibly painful and strong. I was starting to have a hard time breathing through them and could feel myself losing my grip on it all. I had never planned on doing childbirth naturally and got a dose of fentanol a few hours in. The fentonal just made the contractions bearable. I was able to breathe through them, and it just relaxed me inbetween. An hour later though as the first dose was wearing off, the pain was intense and I asked for an epidural at 3-4 cm along. Luckily the anesthesiologist came about 20 minutes later. By that time though the fentonal had worn off and I was losing it again. They gave me another dose of fentonal which allowed me to sit still enough through the epidural. For those ladies who do their childbirth naturally, you have my intense admiration. I couldn?t have done it. The epidural was by far the best thing ever. I felt two little bee stings from the numbing stuff and that was it. It didn?t hurt at ALL and almost immediately I felt better. I was able to sleep and relax. I loved it.
A couple hours later, I was checked again with no progress past 4 cm. The pitocin was turned up.
A couple hours later, the Dr came in and checked again and told me that I was still at 4 cm and that the head was still high in my pelvis. He said that due to her position and my failure to progress, he felt that a c-section would be the best option. I have complete trust and faith in my doctor and agreed.
But let me tell you. I was NOT prepared for a c-section. I was one of those women who whenever A Baby Story was on about a c-section delivery, I wouldn?t really watch it because I figured that I wouldn?t be in that percentage of women who had to have a c/s. I had basically skipped those chapters in my pregnancy books. I just figured I wouldn?t need one. When the Dr told me I needed a c section, I took the news all right, but as soon as he left, I started crying and couldn?t stop. I was scared. I pretty much started to freak out. The baby?s heart rate dropped a little (probably due to me freaking out) and I was put on oxygen and taken to the OR pretty quickly. During the prep time, I was really freaking out. I was shaking like a leaf and hyperventilating and crying. I?m not sure why I reacted the way I did since I?m pretty much a calm sort of person, but I lost it. I remember the anesthesiologist at my head leaning down and saying, ?Look at me. Look at my eyes. You have to calm down. You have to calm down.? Apparently I scared him a little bit since he was giving me drugs like there was no tomorrow in an effort to calm me down. I was pretty much hysterical when they were done prepping and brought my husband in. He sat with me at my head and I just remember staring into his eyes and trying to maintain a normal breathing pattern. I was terrified. I couldn?t feel much until they started to push to try and get her out. It wasn?t painful per se, but there was definitely LOTS of pressure. It was not a pleasant sensation.
At 12:39am on Tuesday, Amelia Marie popped out in to the world. They took her immediately over to a warmer and started checking her out. She scored 8 and 9 on her APGARs and was a hefty 9 lbs 1 oz. Right after she was out, I started vomiting which was not fun at all. My husband brought her over to me and I got to kiss her. She looked so incredibly beautiful. She had the roundest, rosiest cheeks and a full head of black hair.
About half an hour later I was wheeled back to my room and from then on its all hazy. I was exhausted. I remember them helping me try to breastfeed her and giving her a bath, but I was in and out of sleep the entire time. I really don?t remember much at all.
One thing that startled me was how I didn?t really feel bonded with her at birth. When she came out, I saw her and was like, ?Oh, that?s a baby. She?s cute. Thank God she?s out.? But I didn?t have that overwhelming surge of emotion that I had read about. It definitely freaked me out a little and I kind of felt like a bad mom. But the next morning after I woke up and saw her in the bassinet, I really started to love her and bond with her. But just so you ladies know, if you don?t feel an intense bond with your baby right away, just give it some time. J
Breastfeeding is going well now but it was a LOT harder than I expected and really painful. Thank God we had some of the most amazing nurses ever who helped us with everything. Since I had a c-section I was in the hospital until Friday and the nurses were the most amazing people ever.
Post-partum. That was the hardest. There were definite feelings of failure that I had failed somehow in having my baby. I was upset that I hadn?t been able to do it vaginally. That, coupled with the trauma of having a major abdominal surgery and being unable to move pretty much for the day or two after wrecked havoc on my emotions. I wasn?t prepared either for the way I reacted to having family and friends there who were holding her. I was intensely jealous. I felt that the only time I got to hold her was when I was BF and that they were getting to bond with her more than I was. I just felt so frusterated that I wasn?t able to do anything. I couldn?t get up and change her diapers. I couldn?t get up and pick her up when she was crying. The feelings of helplessness were very difficult for me to deal with. To make matters worse, I was told the day before we were scheduled to leave that she had lost 11% of her body weight (which isn?t really that much) which sent my emotions spiralling even more. I felt even worse about myself. I felt like the only thing I *could* do (breastfeed) I was a failure at as well. It was definitely a very hard couple of days. Luckily, my husband has been the most amazing source of support ever. He listened to everything I said and took action. The day we left the hospital we didn?t have any family and friends over and the three of us just bonded. He has been helpful in everything, from being encouraging about breastfeeding to just stopping inbetween diapering and holding the baby to give me a hug and a kiss. He has made the most incredible father ever. He loves her. He sings to her, walks with her and plays with her. In the hospital after the c/s, he did *everything*. He changed every diaper, he walked with her when she was crying. He did everything. I couldn?t ask for a more amazing husband or father for my baby.
Now: My milk came in finally and I think that she?s getting plenty now. She?s such a good good baby and is sleeping a lot. We actually have to wake her up every now and then in order to feed her. She is the most gorgeous little person I have ever met (yes, I am extremely biased) and I am in love with everything about her. Recovery from the c/s has been a little harder than I was anticipating. My abs hurt like mad by the end of the day and I still have to have my husband help me to sit up when I?m lying flat on my back. My boobs are painful due to the BF, but its definitely getting easier, not harder. Overall, its going really well and having my precious baby makes it all worthwhile. She is the best thing that has ever happened to us.