April 2, 2013

Sophie's Birth Story

I started writing this on the 25th, one week after Sophie arrived and the day I was scheduled to be induced. Obviously I didn’t make much progress because it’s not getting posted until now. I've always had an aversion to writing, which is why my journal for the past 10 years only has about 5 entries, but this is something I wanted to record because the details of Sophie’s arrival are already starting to fade. So here I go….

This is rather long, so scroll down if you’d rather just see the pictures :)

On Sunday I was one day past due with no signs that labor would start anytime soon – no cramping, bleeding, contractions, nothing. I was a little discouraged and went to bed ready to face another week. At 4:30am I suddenly woke up with painful cramping. It wasn’t horrible, but bad enough that I couldn’t go back to sleep, so I got up and started debating whether or not I should go into work. I had a doctor appointment that afternoon at 1:00, so in the end I decided that I would rather spend the morning working where my mind would be on other things, than sitting at home doing nothing.

When Dave woke up, I told him how I was feeling. I also told him that he should probably drive to campus instead of taking TRAX, just in case. He left for school, and then my mom dropped me at work before going to see my sister in Provo. I had my hospital bag in the car, and told her to keep her phone close so she could pick me up if something changed.

Well, nothing changed. I worked until it was time for my doctor appointment. For the past three weeks I had been 80-90% effaced, but only dilated to a 1. Each week my doctor would tell me no significant change, I probably wouldn’t deliver that week, and that he would see me next Monday. Today I got slightly better news – I was dilated to a 2.5 – progress, but still a ways to go. He asked if I wanted my membranes stripped, and I gritted my teeth and said yes.

I left my appointment in pain, but with the hope that something had started. When I got home the pain was building instead of fading. I decided to take a bath. While I was in the bath I was watching the clock and realized that the pain was coming in waves every 4-5 minutes. These were contractions! I stayed in the bath for about an hour and then got out and told my mom that I thought labor had started.

This is where I have to make a confession. Mom, you asked me how far apart they were coming, and I lied. I wasn’t ready to go to the hospital yet, but didn’t want you to panic, so I lied and only told you about every other contraction. They were not coming 7 minutes apart – more like 4. I’m sorry I wasn't honest, but if I had told you the truth you would have made me go to the hospital right away instead of making dinner, and the grilled cheese sandwiches you made got me through the night :)

Right after dinner we texted Dave, who was still in class, and told him we were leaving for the hospital. When we got to the hospital around 5:00pm the contractions were coming every 3 minutes. I skipped check in and headed straight up to labor and delivery. A nurse took me to a room for observation and told me I was only at a 3. I was so afraid they would send me back home. I was in a lot of pain and didn’t know how I would survive a night at home if this was not the real thing.

The nurse told me that they would have me stay for now and check me again in an hour to see if anything changed. Unfortunately an hour later was during shift change and no one came back to my room until 6:30. That was a hard 90 minutes to wait and I was not a very happy camper. Luckily Dave arrived during that time, and I was glad to have him there. When I was finally checked again, I had progressed to a 4.5 and they took me to the delivery room – hooray!!

By now the contractions were less than 2 minutes apart and practically coming on top of each other. Dave was being very supportive, but I was not handling the pain very well. When my nurse asked if I wanted an epidural I said YES, but the anesthesiologist was in the OR. She got me some other pain medication that helped take the edge off, but I was starting to get really shaky and was afraid that they wouldn’t be able to do the epidural because I literally could not hold still for more than 2 seconds.

The anesthesiologist arrived around 8:30pm, did the epidural, and by 9:00 I was in heaven. I literally could not feel anything. I was sooo happy. Now that I was comfortable, I realized I was hungry (thank goodness I had at least eaten that grilled cheese), so Dave brought me juice, a popsicle, and jello.

Now things were staring to happen really fast. My nurse checked me again and I was at a 6. When my doctor came in 20 minutes later I was at an 8. By 10:00 I was at a 9, and by 11:00 I was fully dilated and ready to push! My doctor was also helping with another delivery down the hall. He called the other room, and it was decided that I was moving faster so the other mom-to-be should stop pushing because he was going to stay with me until I delivered. I am sorry other mom that I cut in line – I hope you didn’t have to wait too long.

Pushing while numb was an interesting experience. My epidural worked so well, I could not feel anything, not even pressure. The only way I knew I was having contractions was by watching the monitor. I just followed the instructions of my doctor, who said I was doing good, and after less than an hour of pushing Sophie arrived!

She was so beautiful. I thought I would cry, but I didn’t. The first comment from the doctor was that she was big! Throughout my pregnancy I had been told that she was measuring small and the doctor had estimated that she would be around 7 to 7.5 pounds. She surprised us all by weighing in at 8 pounds 2 ounces. What a chunk!

After she had been weighed, measured, and cleaned, I got to hold her. She was so perfect and she was mine! I had been thinking about and waiting for this moment for years. I am a mom! Dave is a dad! We are so excited to be parents and are looking forward to this adventure.


Eli said...

Congratulations! It is such an exciting feeling to hold your little one for the first time. You guys will be great parents!

Heather Curtis said...

Yes I teared up again reading that. It was beautiful. Birth stories are incredible. I am so happy for you. Hooray for little Sophie. I hope all is going well with your mom gone and such. You are amazing!

Brandi Litchfield said...

Oh I just love reading birth stories! I am so incredibly excited for you guys! Congrats! She is beautiful! Hope you guys are doing well! Thank goodness for epidurals, right??? :)