Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Grace's birth story, Part 2

Continued from Part 1

Craig jumps out of bed and frantically starts asking what I need and what to do. I asked him to give me a minute... and a towel. I waddled into the bathroom and did what anybody would do in this situation- I looked up what to do in my What to Expect book, because really I had no idea. Our birthing class had said most women don't have their water break spontaneously and just focused on timing contractions. The book pretty much said the same thing, but added a line that said your doctor will have provided you a set of instructions on what to do if your water breaks. Apparently my doctor didn't see that line in the book because he had not given me those instructions. I had Craig bring me my phone and my insurance card (I was still in the bathroom) and I called Kaiser. The on call nurse said, "Congratulations, you're having a baby today! We'll see you at the hospital pretty soon! You probably have time to take a shower if you want to."

I had taken a shower the night before so Craig jumped in the shower and he started throwing clothes in a bag. I then remembered the big bowl of fresh berries in the fridge. I knew they would go bad before we got home from the hospital, so I prepared and froze them all. I also packed a lunch bag with snacks in it for Craig. Then I went and requested a substitute for my classes, and sent my principal this email:
"I put in for my sub for today, but I don't think I will be back for the rest of the year. My water broke tonight!"

I grabbed my hospital bag (I had packed it after spending an evening being monitored for contractions a few weeks earlier) and we were off!

After checking in and being triaged in the labor and delivery unit, I was admitted. My contractions were fairly regular, although not really painful yet. My "plan" for labor was to go as long as possible with out an epidural.  During our birthing classes I also had grand ideas about what I would be doing during labor. I wanted to walk, use the ball and go in the tub. We did walk one lap around the floor and grabbed a ball but that was about it. When it came down to it, I had no interest in the tub or using the ball. I was most comfortable laying on my side. We tried to watch some TV. Craig did eat some of the snacks, including the worst smelling Cheeze-Its. Then I just got tired. I tried to nap, but the contractions kept waking me up.

At some point, while "watching" the Today show, I asked the nurse to get my epidural. I just really wanted a nap! The anesthesiologist came in shortly after and after making me get into the most uncomfortable position ever, it was in. All throughout my pregnancy women had told me that once they got the epidural put in, they couldn't feel anything and nurses would tell them when they were having a contraction. Let me tell you what, I didn't need any one telling me when the contractions were happening, I felt every single one. And they hurt. I have no idea what it would feel like without the epidural, but I was in pain for each one.

I labored for a bit longer until the nurses got the doctor and he said it was time to push. I have no idea how long it took. Craig has reminded me that I said "owie, owie, owie" and "I can't do this." But I did, and finally at 1:29 pm we got to meet our baby girl.

It was exhausting and energizing at the same time. Grace was a perfect 7 pounds 3 ounces and 19 inches long. Eventually we settled into our mother baby room and had a relatively uneventful first night, until the next morning.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Grace's Birth Story, Part 1

Before I left for work June 6, 2014. 37 weeks pregnant
Friday June 6. This date had been written on the board for weeks. I told my students that all work was due that day. They had another week of school, but just in case the baby chose an early birthday, all their work needed to be turned in by then in order to be graded. My due date wasn't until June 27, but I wanted to avoid getting a million assignments the day before school was out when I just wanted to be home. At the end of each class on Friday I said "Get your work to me by 3:00! Have a great weekend! See you Monday." I did have a few kids come in after school to finish their final projects and drop stuff off. I stayed until 4:30 grading and entering things.

Saturday morning (June 7) I went and walked through the neighborhood garage sale at the airpark with my friend and her family. I found no treasures but enjoyed a good hour+ long walk. After coming home, Craig and I headed over to his Uncle's strawberry fields to pick. Well, Craig picked berries and I drank some ice water watching the two buckets fill up. When we got home I was pretty worn out so the berries waited a day. Well, we ate a bunch of fresh berries and strawberry shortcake :)

Sunday (June 8) I made a ton of strawberry jam, and prepared and froze over 25 cups of berries for smoothies etc. I kept one big bowl of fresh ones for snacking. And more shortcake. I went to bed pretty early that night. As the activities coordinator, the last week of school is a big one and I needed all the sleep I could get.

However I woke up several times during the night. Each time I woke up I felt something, but I would go to the bathroom and everything was normal so I just went back to sleep. At 4:28 (I looked at the clock!) I was woken up with what felt like Grace giving me a big punch and then a gush. I grabbed Craig's arm. "I think my water just broke."