July 29, 2012

Jacob's birth story

My oldest baby turned 9 years old July 13th.  I don't think I've ever posted his birth story, my only vaginal delivery, so I thought I'd share :)
I was due July 31st.  At the time, I was working ICU stepdown and I really thought I'd go into August before I went into labor.  I was late signing up for childbirth class (because I was certain there was plenty of time) and we attended our 1st class Thursday July 10th.  I had seen my doc and not only had I put on 10lbs in 1 week, she said I was 3cm/80% and baby was at a zero station. Anyway, at the class, I noticed  contractions that felt much different than the braxton-hicks I'd been having.  I started timing and they were every 15 minutes.  This of course got me excited.  We went home that night and I ddin't sleep.  I was in the recliner, miserable with these mild contractions that refused to let me sleep.  I called work at 5am Friday morning and told them I thought I might be in labor so I stayed home.  They got closer together, but not much more uncomfortable, so I called Husband and we went in (I wasn't well researched, I'll admit).  I get there, I'm still 3 so i walk for a bit and the contractions space out and there's no change in my cervix.  I was really embarrassed and worried because the contractions I was having hurt and I just didn't know how I was going to handle real labor.  I felt silly, and kept saying "I'm a nurse, I should KNOW when it's labor".  Silly me.  Again, I barely slept Friday night because the contractions I was having, although still very irregular were uncomfortable enough to keep me awake.  I got a break in the early morning that Saturday before they started in again in the early afternoon.  We took a (very) short walk, I talked to my mom about 4pm and at 5pm, I had myself propped upright with pillows and I slept for about 2 hours.  Around 7pm, I woke up with more contractions but these really were different.  I started timing them, but was so out of my mind and determined not to go in until it was the "real" thing, that I kept telling Husband "they aren't regular...they are every 2-4 minutes!".  I got in and out of the tub, moaned, paced, drank water, puked, and was passing pink mucus.  Every time I'd see that pink tinged mucus, it made me feel better than something might be going on. I remember thinking that the contractions felt like Charlie horses in my uterus, so I ended up rubbing my belly with each contraction, like I could rub out the tightness like I did the whole pregnancy and the leg cramps.  I started getting more restless and at midnight, Husband said to me that we were going to the hospital.  I fought him.  I did NOT want to be in there for a false alarm/too early, but I finally relented and we went in.  I was 6cm on admission.  I remember telling S (who i would come to be good friends with in a few short months) that I was exhausted and that I was so afraid it was false labor.  It felt so good to hear I had made some change and although the contractions hurt, I was handling them.  But I figured I still had a long time to labor, I was tired so i opted for the epidural and it was wonderful.  Husband called family, my sister arrived and I went to sleep. I had hoped for several hours of sleep but Jacob had other plans.  I'm not sure of times, but S came in to check me and informed me it was time to start pushing.  I couldn't believe it!  I wasn't ready, I wanted more sleep and wished I could just roll back over for awhile.  I wanted a mirror to see and once it was brought it, I saw why I had to start pushing...I could see his head when I pushed!  He had SOOOO much hair!  I was just amazed at the fact I could see his head AND that I wasn't in excruciating pain.  I thought it was great.  S called the doc who was on-call.  He was old-school and did episiotomies on just about everyone, so thats what I got and the next contraction, his head was out.  At 4:23 am, July 13, 2003 Jacob was earthside and screamed his hello.  I was was in total shock that I had just given birth to this beautiful creature, that he was mine, and that I was his mother.  They gave him to me and everything else just faded away as I gazed at his face.  I remember kissing his head, not caring that he was covered with mucus, some vernix and blood.  He was just beautiful.  Shortly after, I delivered the placenta and here I was with this wonderful little boy.  Jacob James.  I had said I'd "try" to breastfeed (makes me laugh now, considering the breastfeeding advocate I became) and he latched right on.  I remember before he was born wondering if it would feel weird to breastfeed, but it came very natural for him and I.  Over the next few hours, I remember just looking him over and then curling him up on my belly, like he might have been in the womb, something I would do with all 4 of my children, and I just marveled that a few short hours earlier, that's where he was.  The body is an amazing thing.  I also remember looking at Husband with brand new eyes, and falling in love all over again and even deeper with the man who was the father of my son.  I remember this, and several other small details like it was yesterday.  It's hard to believe that 9 years have passed and I have given birth to 3 more children after him.  Happy Birthday, Big man!