It's taken me awhile to get to this, but here goes. Just so no one is caught unawares, this is a detailed version of a real live birth :) Wednesday, May 25, 20054am:
Woke up, had to pee, felt like I had a very crampy belly, went back to sleep9am:
Woke up, had to pee, felt nauseaus and crampy, almost cried, went back to sleep10am - 5pm:
Awake now. My stomach still felt funny. I was expecting contractions to start at the top of my belly (like the Braxton Hicks ones do) and feel very strong. This feeling wasn't anything like that. I called the midwives in the morning to schedule my next appt and when I had her on the phone I told her about my achy belly. She said that it sounds like contractions may be starting. She said that often early contractions feel like bad menstral cramps. Very good comparison!
So, we went about our day. We got some lunch and headed over to Grandpa's house. Him and Grandma were flying out to CA that afternoon so we wanted to say goodbye. They left around 2pm and we came back to our house (my mom came with us). On the way back to the house I told mom that I may be having early contractions. They still weren't slowing me down much, but definitely noticable.
Got back to the house and Alan headed out for a meeting. Mom did her homework and I did some puttering around the house (got the car seat put together, etc.) By this time the contractions were getting worse (I couldn't really talk through them, I kept forgetting what I was doing, etc.) and they were coming more frequently. I never timed them very well, but they seemed to be every few minutes.
We were planning on going out to dinner and to see Star Wars. Mom kept using that as a gauge of my pain. "Do you think you can sit through a movie?" she'd say. "Sure," I'd say. Twenty minutes later she says, "Do you think you can sit through a movie?" I say, "Sure, but I'd like to sit at the end of the aisle so I can move around if I need to." Twenty minutes later, same question. This time I can't even get a response out between belly pain and loss of brain power.
At this point I have to give my mom and Alan a lot of credit for getting me out the door. Alan was back from his meeting and he and mom had decided that we need to go to the hospital to at least get checked out. I called the midwives to let them know we were coming. The midwife on call said to come in at 5:15, but be prepared to head home again since I wasn't dialited at all the day before. She also asked a ton of questions (many of which I think she knew the answers to). This drove me crazy at the time, but looking back I realize she was just trying to keep me talking so she could "hear" the contractions and how well I was handling them. At our childbirth class the instructor said this would happen - although it was the last thing on my mind at the time. Anyway, between my mom and Alan they got our stuff together (mom followed me around as I packed the final items into our bags. I kept forgetting what I was doing and she had to remind me every step of the way). 5pm - :
We arrived at the hospital just after 5:15. I must have obviously been in labor because I got several comments as we made it inside and up the elevators. At the Birthing Pavillion (baby part of the hosptial) we met Ellen, the midwife, and she brought me into a triage room for an initial exam. I made it as far as the bathroom and threw up. (I'll try to keep things not *too* detailed and gory here ;) ) Once that was done Ellen examined me and said "6-7 centimeters. She's a keeper!" I was thrilled. I would have been so upset if they sent me home again. Typically if you're less than 4cm they send you home. I went from 0cm to 7cm in under 24 hours :)
At this point they officially admitted me (gave me a room). I had a great nurse named Sue who worked with Ellen, Alan, and my mom to take care of me. Alan and I learned all sort of techniques for labor at our childbirth class, but I was so brain dead that I wasn't even aware of what was going on. Sue suggested I use the jacuzzi tub for awhile. It wasn't quite what I expected, but it worked well I guess. I stayed there for awhile (no concept of time at this point) until I had to throw up again. This time I got some in a garbage can, but unfortunately some in the tub as well. Yuck! Sue suggested that I get out and go back to the room while she ran a new tub. She said to stand in the shower for 15 minutes and then I could get back in the jacuzzi. On the way back to the room I told Alan that there is no way I can stand for 15 minutes. I didn't make it one step further than the bed.
The midwife came to check me shortly after that (I think she was in and out the whole time, but I don't really know.) I know I wasn't on the bed long before I started pushing (Alan just said I started pushing on the first or second contraction on the bed). Everyone told me ahead of time that the pushing phase just happens and your body tells you when its time. Even though I mentally knew that, it was an odd feeling when I suddenly felt such strong urges to push. I remember my mom was so excited. Once I started pushing I finally broke the water bag and they saw some meconium in it (meconium is just baby poop and non uncommon when the baby is late). Because meconium can be dangerous if the baby ingests it, the midwife brought a team of pediatric people in the room, just in case. She also attached a weird wire thing to the baby's head because they lost his heartbeat (through the whole labor they were having trouble monitoring his heartbeat externally - I'm not sure if he kept moving, or they just couldn't find it, or what, but they spent a lot of time trying to get the belly band monitor thing just right so they could hear his heartbeat). The next day we asked about the wire and a nurse pulled out a new one to show us. It literally had a little wire cork screw thing on it that they attached to his head. Very weird, but I guess it did the job. Anyway, where was I...
Oh yes, lying in the hospital, pushing, with a room full of people waiting on this baby to be born. I wasn't doing a very good job of breathing either, so they gave me an oxygen mask to put on between pushing. Something about both me and the baby needing oxgen to make this whole event a success :) Alan said later that I was *very* white and the oxygen made a big difference.
So after pushing for a bit (Alan says maybe 5 or 6 contractions with 3 or 4 pushes each) baby zig's head popped out. I thought it would never happen! I kept saying "I can't do this...," but no one believed me. I guess they all knew better :) Once his head came out she said to stop pushing, but I couldn't stop and his body popped out on the next contraction. The doctor wisked him over to the table to try to asparate (sp??) his mouth and lungs before he had any deep cries and inhaled much meconium. I'm not sure how well that plan worked though, because he started crying really quickly.
For the first minute or two we still had no idea if zig was a boy or girl. I guess in this day and age everyone knows ahead of time what they are having, so the process of holding it up and saying "We have a boy!" must be outdated. Alan was trying to see as he came out, but couldn't. Then when they brought him over to the table, my mom says, "What it is? Can we get a verdict here??" and one of the pediactric people said, "Oh yeah, it's a boy!". Yay!!!
Once they were happy that he was ok they brought him back and put him on me. He was (and still is!) so tiny and cute. I couldn't believe that I actually did it. I ended up needing a few stiches so we all admired the baby while Ellen took care of that. Oddly enough after all of that I barely noticed someone putting stiches down there. I was just so happy to have a baby. He took right to breastfeeding (he's better at it than I am) and was very content to lay there and be admired :)
Alexander William Johnson was officially born on May 25th, 2005 at 7:41pm. He weighed 7lbs 9oz and was 19" long. He did great on all of his baby tests (apgar, hearing, pku, etc.) and is a very happy, sleepy, content baby. We're having a blast with him.
My family and Alan's came up to see him. Alan's family made it to the hospital the first day and mine the second. My mom spent the first night at the hosptial with us, holding on to Lex while we got some rest. It was great. The whole experience was incredible.
Ok, so this has taken me many days to write (in between sleeping, feeding, changing, etc.) I could probably keep going with updates from the past few days (my boy is working on his 6th day of life now!), but I'm sure most of you are bored already with this extra long story. Also, if I try to keep going this thing may never get posted. So... that's all for now folks!