Saturday, January 26, 2013

The One About Birthing. Part I.

I imagined it would be easy to write this post, after-all, how hard is it to describe labor and delivery? Well, apparently harder than I expected. The experience is so completely emotional, physical and spiritual that mere words hardly begin to do it justice. For the sake of getting it out there, I will start out at the beginning. (Note: More than likely I will skip around with past and present tense...sooo get over it. Creative license.)

Picture it... Columbia. 4:00 am on Friday, January 18. Four days shy of my due date. I woke from sleep with a pain that can honestly be described as premenstrual cramps. Except that I was pregnant and by the grace of God hadn't had any of those cramps in 9 months (one of the upsides to pregnancy). I laid there for 30 minutes, timing the contractions, they ranged 5-6 minutes apart  but did not come at regular intervals or last for more than a minute each. I woke Joseph up to let him know that I was contracting and that these were not like the Braxton-Hicks contractions I had been having for weeks prior...these added an additional punch. I told him to sleep and I went to wake my mom (she had come for the weekend to help out since I was still on bed rest). We stayed up, I ate breakfast and took a shower making sure to shave my legs because who wants to push a baby out with prickly legs? Not this girl.

The contractions came in waves and I breathed through them. Closing my eyes and not-so-gently letting Joseph and my mom know to not talk to me during these waves. Around 11:00 the contractions had steadily made it to 4-5 minutes apart and lasted more than a minute so we headed to Lexington Medical Center.

They took me back to a room where they hooked my cute, oh-so glorious tummy to a monitor and watched for the contractions. At this point I had made it to 4 centimeters and was feeling great. After about an hour they decided to admit me to the hospital. I was officially going to pop this baby out.

We moved into a spacious birthing room and this is where the trauma started. An IV. If any of you know me well, you know my fear of needles. Not blood or gore. Needles. In the form of a shot or an IV. Since I was Beta Strep positive I had to be hooked up to antibiotics to ensure that Gwen wouldn't be harmed during delivery. So, Funny Nurse comes to hook me up and I gently tell her that I have belonephobia ( is a legit fear). She laughs and mentions one of the midwives that has it as well. 

I did not laugh.

Funny Nurse starts the IV (after giving me a shot of a numbing medicine? Seriously...what is the point...either way I am getting stuck)...and I begin to have tunnel vision. Joseph and Mom are in the room and people are talking to me. I am super hot and feel like I am out of my body. People are talking to me but I don't understand them and I attempt to let them know that I am not doing well. (My mom later said that it came out in a terrible slur). Funny Nurse was no longer funny, she was rather the bane of my existence. With the IV in, I began to recover.

Honestly, my first thought after surviving the IV was, "Labor is going to be a breeze after this". Little did I know...

Friday, January 11, 2013

38 weeks

First: Go guess Gwen's birthday, weight and length! 
Who ever has the lowest score wins. Wins what you ask? Love and maybe a beer.

Only two weeks remaining (give or take). After my maternity photography session with the wonderful Christy Gantt of Studio 9 Photography, I really haven't taken many photos of myself.
There was the obligatory beach photo session that I had with my mom, but when you are born and raised on the coast, with salt water in your veins it is a must-do.

At my 37 week appointment, my blood pressure was something stupid like 170/101, they had me lay down and it went down to a more appropriate measurement. Over the next few days, with headaches and not being able to regulate my BP on my own, I went to the hospital where they ran blood work and other tests (including hooking me up to a fetal monitor where I got to hear my little girl have the hiccups twice in the two hours I was was quite funny and hard not to laugh at her).

That's when it happened. I was sentenced to full bed rest. Do not pass go. Do not collect $200. Just get on your left side and stay there. At first it was hard, I didn't really understand what bed rest meant. I mean, I might have taken a trip to Lowe's after my appointment to get tile for our backsplash. I continued to dilly dally around the house, loading the dishwasher and what not, always checking my BP and making sure to lie down whenever it got in the scary diastolic 100 range.

But then I was reprimanded by many people including my husband and mother (and later the midwife). So now I spend my days on my side watching documentaries that I would never have watched on Netflix. Catching up on TV shows that have passed me by in the two years since I haven't had cable and I can honestly say that cable TV is overrated. With a million and one things to do, I am lucky to have my husband to cook and take care of my, my mom to drive 2 hours to take my laundry to the laundry-mat because our washing machine is on the fritz and a plethora of other people that have sent food and love my way.

How far along?  38 weeks
Total weight gain/loss? Let's see....I gained 25 pounds but then lost 6 due to being on bed rest so a total of 19 pounds!
Maternity clothes?  Kind of? I am mostly lounging around in sweatpants and Joseph's t-shirts nowadays.
Stretch marks?I am glad to say that I still have yet to get a stretch mark due to the fact that I am so tall and I am not "showing" as much. The ultrasound tech was surprised when she knew how far along I was because my tummy is "small".
Sleep?  It is what it is. I wake up 5-6 times a night to pee. Sometimes I wake up for an hour or so only to go back to bed and sleep until an ungodly hour (11 am anyone?)
Best moment last week? Definitely my mom coming up to help with all of the chores and getting Gwen's room ready. Don't know what I would do without her. Another highlight are Gwen's hiccups. They make me laugh because I can only imagine how frustrated I would be if I had them!
Movement?  She is a mover and a shaker. Joseph has gotten to see her make waves in my tummy and it really is one of the most unworldly things. 
 Food cravings? None. I just want bad food. Cheeseburgers mainly. Mmmm.
Gender? She is still a she and forever a she shall she be.
Labor signs? Zero. Just some Braxton-Hicks. When I went to my OB appointment on Tuesday they checked my cervix to see if there was any dilation or But I will tell you one thing: IT HURTS! I thought it was going to be a breeze but that woman almost killed me.
Belly button in/out? least for now. I think that it wants to stick out....but I am hoping it decides to stay in!
What I miss: Doing laundry....not! I do miss being able to do housework because everything that I usually do is put off on Joseph and he has a million and one things to do.
What I am looking forward to: Gwendolyn's arrival! I am ready to start my life with her in it.
Funny Story: is really an inappropriate story that I will not write here because it involves my cervix check, a comment about short fingers and a member of my husband's anatomy. The nurse got a good kick out of it though. 

Eventually I will get photos of the nursery up. It will probably be after Gwen gets here but I am not one of those go get-em types.