Sunday, May 24, 2015

Landon's Birth Story

Landon's Birth Story
It's been over a month, and I'm finally getting to writing your birth story. You sure have kept Mommy busy with lots of feedings about every 90 minutes- you're a milk monster! And whenever you are sleeping, Mommy never wants to put you down, and neither do you. You're a cuddle bug. However, since Daddy loves snuggle time with you too, Mommy is finally taking a break to blog.

I went into actual labor around 5:30 pm on Sunday, April 19th. Daddy, Auntie Kali, and I all ordered Bob Evans for dinner, and I started having real contractions en route to pick it up. Mommy got the steak and egg platter, so she had a protein-packed last meal before your arrival. I'd been having some Braxton Hicks contractions, but I could instantly tell something about these were different. It was sort of like an ocean wave- it started coming up, hit a high point, and then receded. Mommy turned to Daddy right away and said, "These feel different. I think this might be it."

We came home, and all ate. Auntie Kali and I put on Kardashians to distract me, and I bounced away on the birth ball Daddy got for me. At my last appointment I was already 3 cm dilated, and the doctor told me to call the hospital if my water broke or if I was having contractions 5 minutes apart for a minute in length. Mommy's plan was to have a natural birth, so I was trying to stay at home as long as I could possibly stand it. By 9:30, I was having contractions about every 4 minutes, each lasting around a minute. They were definitely intensifying, and Daddy was a great coach reminding me to breathe and encouraging me. By 10:30, my contractions were 3 minutes apart, each lasting a minute, so I called the hospital, and the nurse on call said to come in.

On the way to the hospital, my contractions intensified even more. I had to have Daddy stop every time I had a contraction because if he hit a bump or pot hole, I was writhing in pain. In the ER parking lot, I had a contraction as we parked, and the car door unlocked automatically and bumped my arm and I shrieked in pain. It was the craziest, out-of-body experience where literally every muscle in my body felt clenched and tightened, so even the littlest thing felt extremely painful.
Birthing socks
When we checked in to the triage unit for the maternity ward, the nurse checked how far dilated I was, and I was still at 3 cm. She had me and Daddy walk the hall for an hour. My contractions got worse and even closer together, coming about every 2 minutes. Daddy was even counting down, they were coming on cue. However, at the end of the hour, I was still only at 3 cm dilated. The nurse called in the doctor, and we were shocked when she told us to go home. "How will I know to come back if my water doesn't break?" I asked, knowing I wouldn't be able to check myself to see how far dilated I could be. She couldn't give me an answer, and just repeated that we should go home.

This threw me for a total loop. So far, I'd mentally prepared myself for a lot of pain, but now I was scared that if I went home and progressed quickly, I wouldn't make it back to the hospital. We didn't really know what else we could do though, so Daddy and I drove home.

On the way home, I was bawling. I was increasingly in so much more pain. Daddy had to keep stopping every contraction. Then at one point a truck was blocking the road, and I lost it. "I don't think I can do this naturally any more," I cried to him. However, Daddy had been totally supportive of however I wanted the birth to be from the beginning. We'd learned all of the options, and he told me that he trusted me to know my body and whatever I needed or could handle.

We got home around 1:00 AM and laid in bed. The contractions were still every 2 minutes apart, and the pain just kept getting worse. Around 2:30, I had such a strong contraction I didn't realize it at the time, but my water broke in bed along with passing an extremely large blood clot (larger than my hand). We had no idea if this was normal or not, as this was not something that was in any of the classes, apps, or baby books we'd read. I was terrified something was wrong. Adam being a great coach reassured me that I would be okay, and drew me a bath. However, on the way to the tub, I started vomiting. The mixture of intense pain and fear of what had just happened made me so sick. I eventually made it to the tub, which offered brief comfort. By 3:00 AM, we decided to go back to the hospital.

At the triage check in, the nurse checked me again. I was almost 7 cm dilated. They admitted us, and I immediately asked for the epidural. At this point, I was so traumatized by being sent home and exhausted from the pain, I could not fathom having to push out the baby without any rest or pain relief. Plus, the OCD in me was so upset that I'd basically ruined the house that I had left immaculate for the baby, knowing that there was blood, vomit, etc. all over our bedroom, hallway, and bathroom. The totally unglamorous reality of child birth. I needed drugs.

They took Daddy and me to a wonderful birthing room. He had to leave the room during my epidural, which lasted about 30 minutes for the total procedure. By 5:00 AM, it was finished, and I morphed into an  entirely different person. The pain was completely gone, I suddenly had my mental sanity back, and I could relax and smile and feel excited about meeting you. I could sense how relieved Daddy was too when he returned, as I'm sure it was scary for him to stay so composed when I was in such incredible pain for those hours.
All smiles after the epidural

My mom, your Gramma LoLo, and sister, your Auntie Kali, arrived to the hospital around 6:00 AM. My mom was shocked to see me smiling and relaxed, as she had delivered both me and my sister naturally and knew my birth plan. "I feel great," I told her. "I just can't wait to meet him!"
Mom and sister cheering us on!
The nurses encouraged both Daddy and I to take a nap and rest up before pushing time. We napped for a few hours, visited with LoLo and Kali, and by 12:00 noon I had dilated to 10 centimeters. We were so close to meeting you, Landon!

It was just the nurse and Daddy in the room when I told her I felt a lot of pressure in my lower back. She told me it takes most first timers one to three hours to push, and gave me a play-by-play on how to properly push. Then she asked Daddy to grab my leg and told me to try what she had just explained to me.This was not our plan, as we decided Daddy would stay up by my shoulders, but I figured this would likely take awhile anyways. Boy, was I wrong. On my second push, Daddy exclaimed, "You can see the head!"  The nurse was astonished, and rushed to go get the doctors and the rest of the delivery nurse team. Four pushes later, you joined our world at 12:30 PM. This was the best moment of my life.
Best moment of my life
You came out with a strong, hearty cry. It was the most beautiful sound I've ever heard. The doctor immediately laid you on my chest, and you immediately stopped crying and curled into me because you just knew who I was. You just knew I was your Mommy. I couldn't help but cry (even writing this part, I'm bawling, haha). I've never been more proud or more in awe in my life. You were perfect and beautiful- 10 fingers and 10 toes, and your complexion was so clear and your skin was so soft. From all the baby books and apps, I was expecting you to look a little messy or cheesy or blotchy, but you were literally like a movie baby. It was so surreal. There is no doubt in my mind God exists after watching your birth. It was such a miracle to see your life begin right there. Happy Birthday, Baby! April 20th will forever be the greatest day of my life.

Daddy cut your umbilical cord (which has turned into the cutest little innie belly button). You were 7 lbs, 5 oz, and 18 3/4 inches long with strawberry blond hair and greenish eyes. You are so handsome. I cannot believe you're ours! Daddy and I said, you are our greatest accomplishment.
Happy Birthday!
While I am a little disappointed I wasn't able to have a completely natural childbirth and have endless respect for those that do, I will say for future births, I will get the epidural again. I tore, and I know how it really hurt for weeks afterwards. I can't imagine how it would feel getting stitched up for a half hour after delivery without the epidural. Plus, Daddy and I got to enjoy the birth together. I will never take back a second of the pain of this experience. We got you, Landon Brian, and I couldn't have asked for a better more beautiful baby boy. I thank God every day since for blessing us with you baby and this healthy birth.
Our Beautiful Baby Boy

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