Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Birth Story - A New Mom

FYI - Kinda Long. Hope You Have Time.

For nearly a month I tried to convince myself that I would go into labor early. My mom knew better. She said I would be pregnant forever. We did tons of walking trying to get baby Hammie out, we even went hiking in the park a few times. Yet every week I would waddle my way into the doctor's office and he would tell me that I'd made "no progress." It took everything in me to play it cool, but I wanted to freak out. (I usually did as soon as I left his office)

Every night I fell asleep whispering sweet words of encouragement to get Hammie moving. Every morning I woke up and had the grand pleasure of going to work instead. I didn't want to rush him, I was just ready to meet him (or her at this point). I was ready to hear those cries, to feel those fingers. I wanted to know who I had been carrying around for almost a year. The suspense was agonizing.

My mother in law flew into Austin a week before my due date just in case Hammie came early...no such luck. My due date came and went and her time here with us was winding down. We had fears that she would have to fly back before I delivered. The week of my due date we went in for our regular weekly appointment with the doctor only to hear that I still hadn't made any progress. My doctor is old school and didn't want to induce labor if it could be avoided, (which I agree with completely) so he was willing to let me go 14 days after my due date before inducing. That would be a full week after my mother in law left.

 It was very important to both of us that she be a part of the birth. So there we were at the doctor's office the week of my due date (I was still working by the way), I asked the Dr. if he would be willing to induce us before Mom left and he said he would be willing to try, but if "conditions" in my body weren't optimal then inducing wouldn't work and we may end up with a cesarean birth. He scheduled my week 41 appointment and said see you next week.  My doctor instructed me not to eat anything on the morning of my next appointment just in case "conditions were right for an induction."

I returned to work. Nobody wanted to ride in the elevator with me. I work with all guys and they all volunteered to drive me to the hospital if my water broke. Some guys even joked that they were worried I would have the baby in the office. uuuuuhhhhh...negative ghost rider. I had a plan. I was going to call B, then drive myself home, theeeeen we would go to the hospital together. I wanted to labor at home as long as possible before going to the hospital. So I figured if I paid attention to my body I could catch the early signs and head home before the "real pain" started. I would under no circumstances allow "the guys" to deliver my baby in an elevator. 

Week 41 -
I didn't eat! I set my appointment for the first the first available time slot at 7:45 am. My mother was on stand-by in Houston. She decided not to go in to work so that she could drive to Austin if "today was the day." We walked in full of nerves, full of excitement, and full of fear that I would be sent home again. The doctor did what the doctor does and announced that my body was just too damn efficient at holding in baby Hammie. We scheduled an ultrasound to double check that Hammie was safe and sound in my belly. So we scheduled an ultrasound for the same afternoon and agreed that we would try to induce in three days. THE SUSPENSE!!!

So on one hand I was definitely NOT going to have a baby that day, buuuuut I was free to finally eat (it was at least 8:30 am by this time). I walked out in a huff, rubbed my belly, leaned on B, and shed a tear or two. I called my mom and let her know that she could go to work after all, that we were going to try in a few days and she could just plan on driving up then. We had an hour before the ultrasound so we went down the street to grab some kolaches. Yes people, is that a surprise? I drowned my sorrows with bacon.

Surprise, Surprise. We went to the ultrasound fat and full. Then I started having contractions. I figured it was false labor because it really just felt like my abdominal muscles were twitching. The doctor conducting the ultrasound took a few peeks at Hammie, smiled at us and said, "Congratulations! You need to go to the hospital right now, you are going to have your baby today." We couldn't believe it. We kinda looked at each other and this sort of calm just hit me, like I was moving in slow motion. "We are going to have our baby today." WOW.

Turns out that Hammie was breeched!! He was running out of room in my belly and he couldn't turn around to follow the exit signs. No wonder my body wasn't getting into position to give birth. The woman's pelvis needs the baby's head to apply pressure to get things moving..and my baby's head was instead snuggled up next to my heart. Like so:

We asked again a couple more times if the doctor was sure we were going to have a baby. She informed us that we needed to go to the hospital immediately and that I would be having a cesarean birth. The moment finally arrived; we were going to have a baby. Then I realized I had just eaten my fill and that it would definitely throw a wrench in the plans. I called my mom, who was now on her way to work, to relay the news. She screamed! haha She told me not to have the baby until she got to Austin. I laughed. She still needed to turn around, drive home to pick up my dad, then drive the 3 hours it takes to get to Austin. I told her I would do what I could. B's mom was at our house waiting on us so we asked if we could stop by to pick her up before going to the hospital. Negative. (it was worth a shot) So B took me to the hospital, got me checked in then drove to pick up his mom.

The nurses at the hospital were amazing. As soon as I got checked in the hooked me up to the monitor and my doctor came in to do another examination. He held my hand and said that we would be doing a c-section birth. I think he thought I was going to freak out. I was not the mom that needed to have a vaginal birth. Most of my life I joked that I would never squeeze a baby out of my hoohah and that they would have to cut it out instead. Touche universe, touche. Since I managed to stuff my face in the short amount of time since I'd left his office he said that we would need to wait eight hours before going into surgery. I called my mom back and let her know that they didn't need to rush to Austin, that we would be delivering later in the evening.

B and his mom made it back to the hospital and I caught them up on all the news, which wasn't much. Around this time my contractions were coming pretty regularly so I called the nurse to let her know that they were getting stronger. She did a check and told me that my cervix was starting to open and that it was FOR REAL BI*CHES!!!! I called mom for the update and they were already about 40 miles outside of Austin (they were speeding the whole way obviously) and would be there as soon as possible. I mean, clearly they were setting a world record. She said that I better not have the baby before she got there (again) and I told her it wasn't up to me. The nurse came back and said that I needed to get prepped for the operating room because they were going to get started immediately. They didn't want to risk me going in to full blown labor.

Grandma Bev and I freaking out with excitement.
This is the point when my nerves kicked in. I was soo excited and sooo unbelievably happy and at the same time I was so overwhelmed that I just stopped talking at this point. I think I probably nodded a few times while nurses swirled around me hooking me up to things and moving my bed around. B threw on his operating room jumpsuit thingy and Grandma Bev (B's mom) beamed with excitement. I was so thankful that she was able to be here for the birth. The nurses looked me in the eye and said, "It's time. We need to go." I was crushed. I didn't want to go in without my mom. She couldn't miss this. Where was my family?? At the exact mom that my bed was being pushed out of the room my mother ran in. relief. She kissed me and made a little face like she was about to break out in sobs. She was rushed to the restroom to put on her jumpsuit thingy too.

The epidural - wasn't bad at all. My nurse held my hands as I bent over to get my epidural and I remember imprinting her face like a baby duck. I thought, I am your responsibility. Don't let me hurt. My eyes must have said everything because she held me and hugged me and told me she would be there through the whole process.  Meanwhile, B was in the hallway mastering the art of the "steady hand."

Steady Hands

In the Operating Room

I tried not to look at all the tools of the trade, but I saw a few. Minor freak out. I plugged them into my memory bank for a later date. Everything from this point happened pretty quickly. B came in and held me and kissed me then the doctor said that he was almost done cutting through all my nether regions. They gave me a heads up that I would feel lots of tugging, which I did, but it wasn't painful, or alarming at all. I practiced the breathing that I use with yoga to slow my heart rate down when I felt anxious and I focused on listening for the baby's cry. I felt this big, long, deep ssssslllllluuuuurrrrrrrrpppppppp (which is exactly what you would imagine it to feel like) and the doctor announced, "We have a gentleman!!" I thought it was soo fitting that he used the word "gentleman."

I cried. B cried. B brought his head down and whispered "it's a boy." It was an amazing moment. Howard was here.

A gentleman.
When I looked back at the video that B recorded in the OR I was able to piece together the whole picture. Howie had such a loud and strong cry. He cried and screeched as they cleaned his little body and the exact moment I spoke to him he stopped. Instantly. I didn't know it then, but when I watched the video I cried. There was proof, he recognized my voice out of the ten other voices in the room. Oh, I cried. Here was our child. When I stopped talking to him he resumed crying. They snuggled him in his little blanket and brought him over for mommy kisses. I told him that I had been waiting on him and that I loved him and he settled down again and listened to my voice. It was perfect.

B and Howie left the OR to get measured and clothed (and introduced to grandparents) and my mom took up her shift by my side in the operating room while I was stapled back together. She rubbed my nose like only a mother can and I took a quick nap.  She has been doing that since I was a baby; rubbing my nose until I fall asleep. It was only fitting that it come full circle.

I met up with Howie and B about 20/30 minutes later fully awake and alert. Here are some pictures from our time in the hospital and our first few days at home.

He still makes this face when he cries.

This was immediately after the surgery before being wheeled into my room.
(check out that hat...not covering ANY of my hair)

Proud Papa

Grandma Bev!



A little nip action - don't freak people.

Our first family photo.

A mom, a grandma, a son, a father.


Mandy said...

I loved reading this. You nearly had me tears towards the end. I was excited and scared and relieved and happy! It really is amazing what we are capable of. You did so well! You too Howie!

Aunt Mandy