It all started on Tuesday night.
I had been having on and off, non painful contractions all Tuesday, but by Tuesday night they started to become fairly regular, at least one every 20 minutes or so.
(Bytheway, my mom arrived on Sunday and was staying with us.)
Around 10 pm, I decided to start keeping track of them.
Somewhere around 1 in the morning, they were 3 minutes away and pretty uncomfortable.
I went into the living room and woke up my mom, who told me that I still had a long ways to go, so I decided to try and get some sleep.
Around 4 in the morning I woke up because they had become painful.
Everyone got up and dressed and we stuck around the apartment until 5:30ish when we decided to head to the hospital.
After all, they were every 3 minutes, lasting about a minute each, and strong.
Sounds like we should have been heading to the hospital, right?
Well, we got there and I had one walking up the the front doors, I had one while we were checking in, I had one while I was changing into a robe, and then I got on the exam table and they completely stopped.
They had me walk around for a while to see if my contractions would start up again, but they didn't and finally Dr. Allred came and sent me home, basically saying that it was false labor.
I know this was my first baby, but that labor was not false!
Anyway, the rest of the day, Wednesday, was spent walking as much as possible with my mom to try and start things up again.
Unfortunately, I only had maybe 3 contractions the entire day.
I went to sleep and woke up Thursday morning with wet thighs.
For the next hour or so, I could feel liquid kinda seeping if I moved to much or leaned forward or something, and I grew concerned that I might have been leaking amniotic fluid.
We went into the clinic and Dr. Allred tested me and didn't find any amniotic fluid present, but they did an ultrasound anyway.
What he found was that I was pretty low on fluid and that perhaps there was a tear high on the uterus or that the baby's head was sealing off the hole, so that's why they couldn't detect any of the fluid or whatever.
He told me that because the fluid was low, I could either go to the hospital right then and get things going with Pitocin, or try and walk around for a couple of hours and get labor going.
If the walking didn't work, I needed to go into the hospital anyway so they could give me Pitocin.
He was worried that if my water had indeed broken or I had a tear, that the baby was at risk for infection and since it had already been 6 hours or so since it might have happened, that I needed to have the baby as soon as possible.
We decided to try walking, so my mom, Brad and I walked downtown Rexburg for a few hours, then went home, had dinner, and went to the hospital around 6:30 because I'd had a few contractions, but not regular.
Now, I really wanted natural childbirth, but I had accepted that if something went wrong, or either myself or the baby were at risk, medical intervention would be completely understandable and accepted.
Because the fluid was low and because my labor was being so wacky, I said ok to the Pitocin.
Before the finally gave it to me, my contractions started to be fairly strong and regular, but they gave it to me anyway.
As soon as it kicked in, my contractions didn't hurt at all!
Anyway, the Doc came in a while later and found the membranes to still be intact or whatever, so he broke em and took me off of the Pitocin.
Then things started to REALLY hurt.
The timeline of the next few hours is pretty unclear but at some point, my mom let them give me some IV drugs!
I was a little sad that Brad hadn't stuck up for me and said "she doesn't want any drugs!" because I was a little vulnerable and totally let it happen but oh well.
That's why I will definitely have a midwife next time.
The drugs, Fetanyl or something, didn't really seem to be doing anything and the pain started to become almost unbearable.
I knew it was going to hurt beyond anything I could have imagined, and sure enough it did.
I was clasping onto Brad as if I was about to die, biting his hoody and crying and yelling at my mom and saying crazy things.
I vaguely remember saying things like "I don't believe in natural childbirth!" and "Give me something!"
I told Brad so many times beforehand that he needed to be strong for me because I knew the pain would probably get to my head, but I know it was hard for him to see me in pain, so he signed the paper to let them give me an epidural.
I was 7 or 8 cm dilated and definitely in hard, HARD labor with contractions 1 minute apart, but they were going to give it to me anyway.
20 minutes later, this Nazi like Anesthesiologist came in to drug me up.
After having to hold completely still through 2 extremely painful contractions, he was done.
A while after that, I was able to sleep for the next hour or so, which was the one thing about the epidural that I am really grateful for.
I think I could have handled the rest of the pain and the delivery and everything natural, but being able to rest and sleep for a bit was the most wonderful thing.
I was SO exhausted.
I woke up because I started to be able to feel each contraction a little bit in my pelvis, so I started pushing against them.
Finally I got up all the way and told them I was ready to really push.
And so it began.
I must say, it didn't feel like 3 hours to me.
Maybe only half an hour.
It was really difficult for the first while because I couldn't really feel what I was pushing!
I decided to lay on my side instead because that's how I was when I was sleeping and able to feel the contractions.
Sure enough, laying on my side helped me feel when the contraction was coming on and when I needed to push.
It was when the head was finally visible that I could really push better.
I got back on my back when the doctor came in, and he flipped her head into the right position (she had been facing my hips rather than my back), and helped get her outta there.
I guess her head had been really blue and when I got her head out, the cord was around her neck. :(
After getting the shoulders out (which hurt more than the head and was what actually made me rip a tiny bit) she slid out and they placed her on my stomach.
She was so beautiful.
Brad started crying and almost instantly every pain and discomfort I had been feeling was gone!
The wiped her off while she was on my tummy and the doctor gave me one or two stitches and then... life was wonderful.
After Brad cut the cord and after we enjoyed her for a bit, I let them take her to get her weighed and measured and all that good stuff.
7 lbs, 14 oz.
20 inches long.
The next few hours are also kind of hazy.
Pictures being taken, starting to breastfeed, first bath...
I had to wait two hours in bed until the epidural wore off and then a nurse came in who helped me to the bathroom and take a shower and then they moved us into the Mother and Baby unit.
Once there, we pretty much just chilled for the next 24 hours.
I was so, so, so tired and tried to sleep as much as possible, but the darn hospital isn't very accommodating when it comes to rest.
Someone came into the room at least every 2 hours, checking one thing or another.
It was super annoying and I wish we had just been able to go home right away, but the hospitals want to check every little thing, multiple times for hours and hours (and make more money at the same time) so we had to stay.
At least the steak and shrimp dinner that Brad and I got that night were pretty good.
Isn't that just the best sight ever?
Shortly after the birth, my mom went back to our apartment to get some sleep (she had stayed up all night, unlike me with my epidural), but came back and was with us for most of the day.
Cynthia and Stephanie came and visited around 11 and then my brother came by around 3, followed by Daryn around 3:30.
Thanks for the visits everyone!
After Brad and I had dinner at 5, he headed home to shower and get his laptop and while he was gone, I decided to take a nice long shower at the hospital.
After he got back and I was done with my shower, my mom headed back to our apartment for the night.
We didn't get much sleep that night, especially when a nurse came in to take blood from my arm at 6 a.m!
After telling them at 8:30 that we'd like to leave as soon as possible, we didn't end up being able to leave until after 11.
I guess there was a lot of other babies they were getting checked out in the nursery or something.
Finally, we were able to go home.
My mom left to start heading back to Cali shortly after we got home and settled in.
She was such a great help for the week and i'm so glad she was able to be here.
She would have stayed longer, but she said we really didn't need any more help and that we seemed to have everything under control, unlike other of her children when they became first time moms :) Haha. So she left to make it to her meetings in church tomorrow.
It's been absolutely great since we've been home.
I've taken a few naps and Katie has been sleeping and eating quite a bit.
She is so cute and we love to just look at her.
And she loves to look at us!
She'll stay awake for long periods of time and just look around, it's so adorable.
She pretty much doesn't cry ever and loves to snuggle.
We're still working on the breastfeeding thing, but i'm sure we'll get it down in the next few days.
Brad has been changing most of the diapers, which I think is perfectly fair, since breastfeeding has been very, very painful.
It's supposed to get better in the next couple days, so i've just got to bear through it.
Man, mom's do so much.
Go tell yours that you love her!
We absolutely love our little girl and are so happy to finally have her home with us.
Thank you to everyone for your love and support and y'all are free to hold her anytime! (If we actually know you that is, considering this is out in the blogging world for anyone to read.)