Tuesday, February 10, 2009

A Baby Story

On the morning of January 20th, I got up and called my father (one of Patrick's namesakes) and wished him a very happy birthday and watched, with hope and optimism, the inauguration of Barack Obama in Washington. I had gone to the doctor the day prior, who had told me that the status of my cervix was the exact same as it was the day before, yet I felt a few changes that indicated that perhaps our little guy would be arriving sooner than later... but then again, what did I know?!

So I figured to myself that I should probably prepare for an early arrival, just in case... I needed to frame the lovely watercolors that Sheridan's mom painted for us, put together my post-partem kit of goodies, pack my hospital bag, and make sure that Baci had everything he needed, etc. etc. etc. I was feeling really exhausted and my back was hurting, and I felt like maybe I had been overdoing it the last few days with unpacking, organizing, and preparing for baby, so I decided that this was going to be my last push of activity, and that as of January 21st, I was grounding myself!So once I got my fill of inauguration media, I got dressed and set out for my day of errands. I started with lunch at Schlotzsky's (YUM), Petco for dog food, the dollar store for cheap baby washcloths, Aaron Brothers for frames, and Target for postpartem toiletries. Right around Aaron Brothers, my back started getting VERY sore and I started feeling really bad, so I decided to pick up the pace of my shopping. The guy that worked at the store brought me a stool because I looked like I was in so much pain; how pathetic is that? I asked myself, "Hmm, could I be in the early stages of labor? Well, the doctor said yesterday that nothing had changed, so I guess I'm just tired, or something...".

By the time I hit Target and got home from my day of errands, I thought I was going to DIE. I had a lot of pressure on my pelvis and was experiencing a couple of other unmentionable changes, but I *still* insisted on denying that... HELLO!! I WAS IN LABOR!

Sheridan got home from work and I shared with him that I was feeling really weird, experiencing weird pains and such, and he asked me "Are you having contractions?", to which I answered "I'm not sure. How would I know?!". We googled "signs of early labor" and we recognized some symptoms, but given that the doctor JUST said that things were status quo less than 24 hours prior... we just had a hard time believing that I was in labor.

Sheridan started timing my "OUCH"es and we realized that I was indeed having contractions about 7 minutes apart, but the internet said not to bother calling the doctor until they were 5 minutes apart, so we decided we'd call the doctor in the morning (it was about 9:00 p.m. at that point) and have them check me out to see what was going on.

I took a long, hot bath in our jetted tub, with lots of vanilla bubble bath, then got in bed with my mind racing. I sat and made lists in my head, reviewing what I still needed to do to be prepared for Patrick's arrival. I had decided I was more ready than I thought I was... So I laid down and tried to relax myself to sleep; this was 9:30 p.m.

However, right after I laid down to rest, I realized that the foot that had been living in my ribs for the prior 8 months wasn't there anymore, and I panicked, realizing that I had "dropped". I rolled over in bed to investigate further... and POP!!! My water broke; this was 10:00 p.m.

And this is where the real excitement began. :)

I SPRANG out of bed and exclaimed "Oh my God, my water broke!" and Sheridan sprang out of bed with a huge smile on his face. He said "OK, what do we do now?!" and I asked him to get on the phone and call the doctor's after hours number and he did; he also called his brother, Brandon, and asked him to alert the family that the baby was coming. At one point, I looked over in between VERY strong contractions and he was chatting with his brother saying things like "Yeah, Austin's great. Yeah, we love the house. Yeah, the job is great - I really like it..." and I yelled "ARE YOU KIDDING ME RIGHT NOW?!" and he wrapped up the conversation and came over to help me get myself together, since I could hardly move. Apparently contractions get *much stronger* after the water breaks...

Now, since I was planning all along to have a C section, these are things that I had absolutely no idea about. How do you breathe through ridiculously strong contractions? What are they supposed to feel like? When do you push/ not push? Uh... no idea. ??? So I went into this having absolutely no idea what to expect or what to do. I WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE A C SECTION!!!!!!!!

Meanwhile, we finally got into the car and headed to the hospital 20 minutes away. We got there and had absolutely no idea where to go, since we had NEVER been to this hospital before. I mean, we just moved to Austin 11 days prior!!! In fact, we were supposed to go to the hospital on Wednesday night for a tour of the maternity ward, to know where we were supposed to check in, where the rooms and nurseries were, etc. It would have been helpful to have done this tour before I went into labor, because when we arrived, we had NO idea where to go! We ended up going to the Emergency Room and they had to wheel me to Labor and Delivery, me in very active labor the whole time...

It was like a cheesy movie... I was huffing and puffing, moaning, practically crying and being wheeled through the hallways of this hospital and when we arrive to the Labor and Delivery ward, they see that I'm clearly in active labor (by this time, it's 10:40 p.m. and my contractions were 3 minutes apart!) and whisk me away to a room. My doctor wasn't available, but one in her practice was, so she came in to check out my progress.

And the result was........ I was already 5 cm dilated!! OMG, had I been in labor ALL DAY, throughout my little shopping marathon? Apparently! DUH. So I reminded the doctor that I WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE A C SECTION and she said "darling, you're already 5 cm dilated and you're in active labor - why would we do that?" and I responded that's what I really wanted! Meanwhile, she said "let's give it an hour or so, after we get your epidural done and you're more comfortable, and we'll talk again". OK, I guess that's fine, I thought...

So meanwhile, the contractions are coming one after the other and I'm getting very frustrated, so I started asking for the anesthesiologist... More like "where the F is that epidural?!?!" - again, like a bad movie, and I was *that girl*. Ooops! Finally the guy got there and although I'm terrified of needles, I sat still and took my medicine. I wanted to be numb, and stat!

And once I was comfortable and the epidural kicked in (thank GOD), the doc came in to check me again and I was at 10 cm!! OMG!! This was about 11:30/11:45 p.m. What the heck just happened? The doctor talked me into giving birth the old fashioned way, and once again, I had no idea what I was doing or what to expect, but let the nurses just walk me through the process.

Because there were EIGHT other babies being born that night (did inauguration fever provoke lots of babies that night, or something?), I had to sit on the table and wait for the doctor a while, because she was busy delivering babies! Finally, about 2:30 a.m. I was able to start pushing.

Fast forward two hours of pushing and a few embarassing and heartwarming moments, and Patrick Sheridan arrived!! It happened so fast that we hardly had time to process all of it... This little guy arrived 4.5 hours after the birthday of his grandfather (Pat) and 3 weeks, 2 days earlier than expecting. Yay!

And so he's arrived... I guess technically, THIS is really where the fun has begun. :D More updates and photos to come.

Welcome, Patrick! Mommy LOVES YOU!!!!



Jenni (a.k.a. Sal, Nytle Girl, Little Girl, Slick, Jenbob, Jenni-poo) said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenni said...

Oh, my gosh! I have SO been waiting for you to blog about it! I'm so happy for you...and glad to know it IS possible to give birth after 30! Ok, so now I am dying to know what "unmentionable changes" and "embarrassing moments" you are talking about. I hope to have a little one in the next few years and those are things that scare me! :) Congrats!

Lindsay said...

Wow...what a story. That really does sounds like how the movies portray the whole thing. I love hearing birth stories.