Monday, July 16, 2012

Lucy's Birth Story - Part 1

Lucy is three weeks old today - and it is really the first chance that I have had to sit down and write out her birth story!

Lucy surprised us by coming a week early! Since I was about 39 weeks pregnant, I was beginning to get those questions - "Are you SOOOO ready to have that baby?" - I remember responding that I hadn't gotten to that point that so many women talk about when you are just desperate to have the baby. I figured that that wouldn't happen until I was over 40 weeks pregnant. I figured that I could make it one more week before I started complaining too much. However, even though I wasn't complaining when questioned about it, there was no doubt that I was ready to not be pregnant anymore - it was getting kind of annoying being so big, having such a limited wardrobe, and feeling like I was carrying about a bowling ball in between my legs -haha.

In the time since she was born, I frequently think back to that weekend before she was born - the last week of our "normal" lives. On Friday, I completed a regular work week. That night we met up with friends to go to dinner at Takosushi, however, before we went to dinner, we went on our obligatory walk through the neighborhood. You see, since at my job I sit down all day, at the end of the day I am normally desperate to move around a little. Luckily Jason is normally a willing companion - especially that week since all he had done the whole week was sit down at home studying for the board exam. So after our walk - we went to dinner with James and Mary Beth - spent lots of time talking about babies - since they are having one too! Afterwards, Jason and I went to Brusters for some ice cream and even ran into my coworker Bill from MAU.

On Saturday we just cleaned and organized our house. We cleared out some stuff from the guest bedroom and put it into plastic bins under our bed since I knew my mom and Jason's mom would be staying with us soon. I know that we swiffered too - just can't remember anything else from that day!

On Sunday, we went to church that morning and I decided we needed to go out after church and buy stuff for our hospital bags. That took a few hours. Then we talked with some Mormons who we had a met a few weeks earlier. They were at our house from about 6-8 pm. I also remember talking to my mom and sister on the phone and telling them that if we didn't have the baby by Monday, June 2 - the day of Jason's board exam, I was going to get induced on the 3rd - since I knew that Jason wouldn't have to work that week because he would be waiting on getting his score back. I really didn't want to get induced, so I prayed a lot that by God's grace I could go into labor naturally before my due date. Before the Mormons got there, we had cleaned the outside of our cars. Once they left, I begged Jason to help me vacuum and clean out my highlander because I wanted my car to be spotless for the baby once she arrived! - I guess this was the cleaning frenzy that everyone warned/told me about! That night we weren't very hungry since we had had Papa John's pizza and chocolate cake for lunch! We didn't have much of a dinner - which wouldn't have mattered much - except for the fact that I was about to go into labor!

I had recently signed up for Amazon Prime so that we could get discounted diapers delivered free to our house. With Amazon Prime we got some free online streaming videos. So that night we both sat down to watch an episode of "How its Made". It was while watching this that I had my first contraction. My doctor had recently described contractions to me like strong period cramps or in her words "Period cramps - except 100 times worse" haha. I hadn't experience any labor signs up until that point, but during my doctors appointment that week, she had told me that I was about 1 cm dilated but had increased to 50% effaced from the previous week. I wasn't sure that they first contraction really was a contraction, so I just looked at the clock to see what time it was  - about 11:00pm and forgot about. But when we were getting ready for bed, I felt a similar pain, then again once we were laying in bed. So at this point they were about 10 minutes apart. It was with the third contraction that I decided to tell Jason - "I think I just had a contraction - and this is the third one I've felt." Even though we had spent the day buying things for our hospital bag, I hadn't actually packed my bag yet, so Jason asked - "Well, do you think we should pack our bags?" and I said no since I didn't know if they really were contractions that I was feeling, and that I could pack later during early labor - since that can normally go on for quite some time.

I started to try to go to sleep, and then was surprised by more and more contractions, closer and closer together. I had remembered from our childbirth class that there were some phone apps to help you time contractions, so I downloaded the top rated one that I could find and started tracking my contractions as I tried to fall asleep. Well, needless to say, I couldn't fall asleep with the discomfort (and distraction) of the contractions, so I started reading some blogs on my phone and even read an interview with David Platt's wife discussing her 2nd pregnancy! After probably 5 or so more contractions I told Jason that I was going to pack my bags. We turned all the lights on and packed together. I think it was about 12:30 at this point. I remember having a few contractions even while we were packing. And I even had to pause and stop packing during them. I remember it crossing my mind that I might not be able to work the next morning if the contractions were going to disrupt my sleep this much!

After we were finished packing, I just laid there through probably another hour or so of contractions - just timing them myself. Jason was unable to sleep at this point to - with the excitement/nervousness in the air! Finally I think around 2:00am, I decided it was hurting worse laying down, so I sat up in bed and Jason got up with me. Eventually we go out of labor guides, got dressed and I bounced up and down on the exercise ball. At this point, they were getting more painful and were about 5 minutes apart lasting about 50 seconds each. Jason would hold my hand while I was breathing strongly through each contraction. I kept setting goals in my mind, like "Make it to when your contractions are 4 min. apart before going to the hospital" or "Make it to 5:00am before going to the hospital." I remember that there were a few contractions that were oddly long or short which kind of messed up the averages that my phone app was trying to make. Like just when my contraction were going to average about 4 min apart each, there would be a longer pause than normal between them. At about 4:00am I had a much stronger contraction that scared me into leaving for the hospital. Jason tried to convince me to last a little bit longer, but I said I wanted to go because I didn't want to be trying to check into the hospital having even stronger contractions than the one I had just felt!

To be continued!

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