Wednesday, January 15, 2014


I tried to think of a different title, but honestly I couldn't think of anything more ominous sounding than "THE BIRTH."  Not that an ominous title is really needed.  Actually, apologies (and MAD props!) in advance to any of you who were in labor for like 48 hours and pushing for half of it.  You know that awful girl in What To Expect When You're Expecting who sneezes and the baby comes out?  Yeah, that was kind of me.   To be fair, the drugs REALLY helped.  Anyway, "THE BIRTH" just seemed like the most succinct and apt way to name the experience so there you have it.  Plus, it's kind of a long post so...I guess that in and of itself deserves a bit of a daunting title.

Real quick before I dive in, this is the last time I'll be posting my blog on Facebook.  If you want to keep up with my blog posts, you can follow me with Bloglovin...just use that little widget button to the right.  I can't see any of your information (or I can't figure out how to anyway) so if you're worried about privacy issues, don't want to look like a stalker, or feel pressured to subscribe because you're my friend...don't worry about it.  I will have no idea if you are following me or not.  If you subscribe, then you'll get an e-mail notification whenever I post.  No other newsletters or spam will be sent to you and I'm certainly not planning on posting daily (or even weekly) so don't worry about me blowing up your inbox.  

Anyway, whether or not you continue to follow us, I would just like to say thank you for being alongside me throughout the pregnancy.  Since I started the blog, I've been blown away by the positive response I've gotten and even though half of the hits are probably from my mom, I really appreciate all of the messages, comments, and love from you guys!  Thanks for making Jenna's entrance into the world filled with so much excitement and support!

Alright, MOVING ON...

Oh also, disclaimer...some of this stuff is gross.  No one ever said having a baby was neat or tidy and I'm just keepin' it real.

Let me begin by stating what I THOUGHT I knew for sure about labor:
1.  Real labor contractions start like 20 minutes apart and get closer together.  You should go to the hospital if your contractions are consistently 5 minutes apart, lasting for a minute.
2.  Before you go into labor you will at some point lose your mucus plug (I'm still not totally sure what that is, by the way) and have explosive diarrhea, although these things usually happen a few days before, especially with the first pregnancy.
3.  False labor contractions can be stopped by walking around, taking a hot bath/shower, eating or drinking, etc. 

It's important that I tell you these things because it will explain why I had no idea that I was in labor until I was basically ready to pop out my baby.

I started having contractions while I was sleeping.  They just felt like period cramps and I vaguely remember being aware of them and thinking "this is uncomfortable" and then going back to sleep.  When I woke up, they were still going on about every 3-5 minutes, but as I hadn't lost my mucus plug (whatever that means) or had diarrhea, I "knew" I wasn't in labor.  So, Jacob and I went for a walk to try and stop my "false" labor pains.  We chatted about how pretty the red and orange leaves were (December = Texas fall) and how we hoped Jenna would be born before Christmas.  My contractions didn't stop (HELLO!) but I sent Jacob to work anyway because, you know...I wasn't in labor.

I spent the rest of the day beep-bopping around the house, trying to ignore the fact that I was having contractions every 1-3 minutes.  I started having "bloody show" which is maybe different than the mucus plug, but I'm not sure?  Anyway, I thought it meant I would be going to go into labor in a few days, so I was encouraged.  I took a shower to try and stop the "false" contractions, but again...that doesn't work.  You'd think I'd get the hint at some point here...

The contractions were uncomfortable, but not unbearable.  Having them every other minute was getting unpleasant.  My puppy held my hand through some of it, which was nice of her, but I was really starting to want my husband.
Best dog ever.
Around 2:30 I had a particularly painful contraction that radiated throughout my back and legs.  Ouch.  I text Jacob some wishy washy text message like, "I don't know, I might want you to come home but no worries if you can't but it would be nice if you did..."  He called me to try and figure out what the heck I actually wanted him to do and right when I started talking, I had another huge contraction and ended up wailing, "I DON'T WANT TO DO THIS BY MYSELF ANYMORE" and then I sat there and cried for 5 minutes.  Pretty sure this is when active labor officially started and when I realized...yep, baby is coming.

From there it moved super fast.  Jacob came home and completed my to-do list for the day in like 5 minutes flat.  It's really amazing what you can accomplish when you're not having contractions.  I was getting really nauseous and was putting all my energy into remembering to breathe and not throwing up.  Jacob kept asking if I wanted to call the doctor to check if I should come in and all I could do was eek out the word "No." and then clamp my teeth back together.

We drove to the hospital and hit MAJOR traffic (3:00 on the Friday before winter break...should've seen that coming).  I think Jacob started to panic a little but he handled it like a pro.  And I handled not throwing up like a pro.

Checking in/Triage took FOREVER!!!!  I was 5 cm dilated when I arrived and having contractions every minute so I thought I would get in pretty quickly, but this was not the case. First of all, the lady said I needed to give a urine sample but it was like the most complex urine sample ever.  I had to have her explain the instructions to me three times.  She handed me two little packs of wipes and a cup and said she needed me to wipe, pee a little, stop mid-stream, wipe again, and THEN pee into the cup.  Excuse me?  This three-ring circus would be difficult to execute on a regular day, much less when I'm in labor!  They should've told me I had to do this at the beginning of my pregnancy so I could use those 9 months to practice!  Anyway, it was a non-issue because I hadn't had anything to eat or drink anything all day so I couldn't have peed if I wanted to.  (Later in the night, she just came in and took a urine sample out of my catheter.  Really?? That option is so much easier.  Stick with that.)

It was 7:00 when I FINALLY got into the labor & delivery room.  I promptly vomited, and then the anesthesiologist a.k.a. angel from heaven came in to give me the epidural.  Bliss.  Total bliss.  My water broke around 7:45 and they thought there might have been some meconium in there so they told us a team from the NICU would be there to check her right after she was born.  The catheter was put in, my epidural was adjusted because I could still feel a little bit, and then I settled in for what I thought would be the long haul.  Jacob finally got to update the fam via text and I caught up on some Words With Friends.

Around 9:30, they had me do a practice push.  I guess there was progress because they said, "Yep! Let's call the doctor!"  At my next contraction, I definitely knew I was ready to push.  Side note:  I'm actually really surprised at how much I could feel with the epidural.  I knew when it was time to push, I could move my legs quite a bit, I had full control over my pushing muscles, and could feel exactly where the baby was.  No pain, but I could still feel everything.  Very weird.

Anyway, I pushed twice and then they had me stop because the baby was crowning but the doctor wasn't there yet.  I had to kind of chill out and keep from pushing during my next contraction, and then the doctor came in.  I guess Jenna was ready to wrap things up because when I pushed the next time, she slid right quote my new favorite show, Call The a lubricated penguin.  Boom.  Born.  9:56 p.m.

The NICU people had her for about 15 minutes making sure she was ok, which she was.  APGAR scores of 8 and 9 and no signs of meconium, so they were probably just being overly cautious.  Then they handed her over to Jacob who handed her over to me and that was all she wrote!  
2 days, [at least] 3 turkey sandwiches, & 1,000 photos later and we were packing her up in the car to bring home!
Love.  This.  Baby.

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