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25 April 2009

Yes, It's MY Birthday, But There is Another Birth Day I'd Rather Blog About

As my mom fixed my birthday breakfast for me yesterday morning and I blew out my candles on my birthday biscuit, I realized that it wasn't so much ME who should be doing the celebrating as much as it should be my mom. It was 32 years ago that she was going through the pains of labor with me, and I am more appreciative of her now than ever.

I hope our Olivia remembers me on her birthdays, and for prosperity's sake, I'm going to detail the story of her birth.

*There are not too many gory details included, but it is fairly detailed. I apologize in advance (actually, no I don't!) if you don't want all of that info.

I started experiencing some minor cramping Tuesday night in the middle of the night, and the pain started becoming increasingly worse Wednesday evening. I was unable to sleep through each pain. I call them pains because everyone kept telling me that I would "know" when I was having contractions, and I didn't know if these were contractions or just pre-contraction cramping. They just felt like intense cramps. I kept my eye on the clock and saw that these pains were coming irregularly every five to seven minutes. I finally woke David up around 2 in the morning when the pains were coming every two minutes. We timed them and each pain lasted about 45 seconds and were coming about every five minutes pretty regularly. We called the doctor on call at the hospital and he recommended that we stay at home. By around 4 am, with a second call into the doctor, we headed off to the hospital. Unfortunately, I was only dilated to 1 1/2 cm and was sent home with an Ambien to help me sleep. I was able to sleep for about 3 1/2 hours without feeling any pain.

The rest of Thursday was spent trying to cope with the pain and take my mind off of it. Dave and I watched several shows on the laptop while I sat on the pilates ball. I got in the tub, walked around, got back on the pilates ball, sat in the chair backwards, and then eventually tried to get some rest. Around 10 pm, David and I realized that rest was not in our future without an Ambien. We headed back to the hospital and fortunately were able to stay since I was dilated to 4 cm.

We got moved into our room and I was hooked up to an IV. Olivia wasn't as responsive as the doctor's wanted to see after monitoring her and so they gave her some fluids. It really stunk being hooked up to the IV...and I'm pretty sure I told EVERYONE who came into the room how much it bothered me. When Dr Goodrich came in, I know I didn't say to her, "These contractions are bad." Instead, I complained about the IV. The unfortunate part about the IV wasn't just the fact that it hurt and was awkward in my arm, but that I had to be contained to the bed. Dr. Goodrich also gave me another Ambien thinking that it would help me get some much needed rest. Instead, I was tired and groggy, but still feeling the pain. At 5 cm and after my water had broken (around 3:30), I was able to get up and move around. Unfortunately, by that point, my focus was completely gone. I couldn't execute the relaxation techniques that we had practiced. I broke down and told David that I needed the epidural. He went to get our labor nurse and she checked me at 6 cm and went to get the anesthesiologist. A few minutes after she left, I felt the urge to push. I was so frightened. I was afraid that I was doing something I shouldn't do, and I begged for David to get our labor nurse.

She came back and I had dilated to 10 cm and was ready to push. We tried squatting next to the bed and then I got back into the bed and used the squat bar. I pushed for a little over an hour and at 6:03 am, Friday, April 17, our beautiful daughter, Olivia Cole Michelson, made her way into this world and was placed on my chest. I immediately fell in love.

After about an hour, my parents and Michele were brought into the room and were able to watch her get her first bath and get weighed and measured. What I then found out was that they had been waiting outside the room and were able to hear Olivia's first cry.

The entire labor process was pretty much a blur (minus the details from above). It was really, REALLY hard. I had the best coach possible and probably the most amazing labor nurse ever. David was absolutely amazing. He did everything right...he got ice water for me and chapstick, he got a wet wash cloth and put it on my forehead between contractions, he counted for me and pushed right along with me at the end.

Now, everyone says that you immediately forget about the pain of the childbirth the minute that your baby is placed on your chest. I won't say that. I won't even say that a little over a week later I have forgotten that pain. But, the memory of the pain has definitely lessened. I think because there are so many other pains that occur after labor, that it's not so easy to forget. But, I will say that it was worth it. Every. Single. Bit.

Here are a couple pictures from our short stay in the hospital.


Lauren said...

All I can say is that I'm so proud of you and your gorgeous little family. I can't wait to meet little Olivia and give you both enormous hugs! xoxo

Irma said...

Much to be thankful for. You are blessed. Babies have a timeline of their own and Olivia decided she was coming into the world without and epidural! Can't wait to see you all soon. Love you all.
(P.S...not calling so I don't interupt your's or Olivia's precious sleep.)

Unknown said...

So how fast did you go from 6 to 10? It sounds like fast! So happy you did it like you wanted!

Amanda said...

That whole time was a blur...but probably somewhere between 10 and 20 minutes...maybe??

Marissa said...

Wow, Amanda, you are such a stud! (Wait, does that word work for a girl?) Anyway, I'm so proud of you that you did it naturally! A.M.A.Z.I.N.G! Thanks for posting the birth story. I love reading about other people's experiences with labor and delivery. :)