Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Allie's Birth Story - Part 1

As I type this, I'm feeding Allie (thanks to the Boppy). I thought I'd write her birth story on her 2 month birthday before I forget things. I mention gross things. You've been warned.

Obviously the weeks leading up to her birth had been hectic. We had been packing and moving. I spent a solid 3 days cleaning our apartment so we would get our deposit back. I think I was more active in those few weeks than I had been all summer. The unpacking had gone slowly because there were still parts of the house that needed to be done, like getting the pantry and the linen closet installed, so we still had boxes of toiletries and canned foods laying around. Tuesday before she was born, I passed my mucus plug (which I only figured out when I Googled it). I read that it meant you could go into labor within a few hours or a few days.

So I panicked.

Then I told Brian and he panicked.

We still had so much to do and hadn't even bought her crib yet. The house was a mess and we were still eating fast food all the time because we didn't have pantry stuff unpacked. That little heads up was enough to scare me so I got to work. I cleaned everything and unpacked/organized as much as I could. I swept the floors and cleaned the bathroom and vacuumed everything. Brian thought I should be resting but I told him I'd rather be getting stuff done and speed the labor along than sit around resting and waiting for her to come.

This whole time I had been getting the Braxton-Hicks contractions pretty regularly but I ignored them because they didn't seem too terrible. Wednesday came and I still hadn't felt consistent/intensifying contractions or felt my water broke so we decided to get some last minute house things. We went to Ikea and basically walked around for 3 hours. We weren't planning to walk around that much but we were getting a bunch of stuff for the house, including her crib, and you know Ikea. You can't just run in and out. Other than that, Wednesday was uneventful.

Thursday morning at 3 in the morning I started getting contractions but instead of going away when I moved or shifted sides, these ones were sticking around. I felt water leaking but it definitely wasn't a gush or anything, in fact it would continue to leak slowly all the way until she was born. I wasn't 100% sure it was contractions and water leaking so I waited until 4 and then decided to wake Brian up. It was so calm - not at all rushed or panicked or anything. We packed up our stuff, prayed in the car and went to the hospital. We checked in at 5 and they said it was definitely water leaking so they couldn't send me home (otherwise they would've because I wasn't dilated at all). At this point I had decided to go as long as possible without any help or drugs and just see what happened. I wasn't set either way on getting an epidural or not. I just wanted to play it by ear.

From 5 a.m. to about 11 a.m., I labored naturally. I was walking around the hospital halls and the contractions were getting more intense, but it was bearable. As they got stronger, the nurse said I was coupling, meaning I was getting two contractions right on top of each other every few minutes instead of one. I couldn't tell when they were mild but I could definitely tell as they got stronger that there were two every time.

Around 11 a.m. was when I couldn't walk through the pain anymore. It was so intense I was crying until I was just dry sobbing because I had no more tears. The pain was so intense - unlike anything I have ever felt or imagined. I couldn't even describe the pain to Brian and he said later it was really hard for him to watch me suffer. I think I may have hurt his hand a few times squeezing it. He said with one contraction he heard something crack in his hand but he didn't say anything. I might've punched him in the face if he had.

I can't even really describe it now except to say it's exactly what I would imagine it would feel like for my uterus to be expanding or whatever happens. The pain would start in my lower back and just roll through my entire body. I remember thinking that if this was something like falling or getting burned, it would be like a burst of pain and then it would go away but not contractions. Contractions were a constant dull ache that just got stronger and stronger and there was nothing I could do to get away from it. Brian promised me whatever I wanted just to try to get a smile out of me. After he promised Disneyland and sushi, it worked. But the pain was so intense, it whisked any happy thoughts from my mind quickly.

At 3 p.m. the nurse checked me and said I was only dilated 3 cm but that I was progressing. They had mentioned giving me something to move things along, but never did. She also offered IV pain med which was like Pitocin, but not. I don't remember what it was called but it was supposed to take the edge off of things.

After another hour of contractions, I decided to do the IV pain med. It did NOT work. All it did was make me sleepy in between the contractions but the contractions were just as bad, if not worse. At this point, the pain was so intense I threw up which makes like four times total in my life that I've thrown up.