Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Once Upon a Time...


…there was a land where people went to bed at night, slept for a while, and then woke up in the morning. I know this to be true because I spent many happy years calling this land home—now I am beginning to wonder whether I will ever be able to return.

Daniel’s time off has come to an end. He went back to work today and I am embarking on that journey I have so long dreamed about but never quite been able to imagine: stay-at-home-motherhood. My days are now going to be spent feeding, burping, changing, and playing with my son as he grows a little every day. And at this point Charlie eats so often that I feel like my time is almost completely devoted to feeding as I spend very large portions of every day glued to the couch.

These early days have been so special as Daniel and I have attempted to settle in as new parents and get acquainted with the brand new little person God has put into our lives. It has been such a blessing that Daniel has been able to be home with Charlie and me for over two weeks; I really don’t know how I could have gotten through that time without him.

I went into labor on Tuesday June 15, just as Daniel and I were going to bed. At 11:30 I had one contraction that hurt significantly more than any of the Braxton Hicks that I had been having for several weeks. I fell asleep only to be woken up by another contraction at around 1:30 a.m. and another less than ten minutes later.

I stayed in bed and began timing them using my cell phone; they lasted between 30 seconds and a minute and came every five to ten minutes all night long, but I didn’t think I was really in labor since they weren’t consistently getting stronger or closer together. Still, they hurt enough that I wasn’t able to fall back asleep that night. Daniel woke up around 3:30 and he stayed awake with me, but we didn’t get out of bed until around 6:00 when we remembered that if they were real contractions, they would hurt less and be more productive if I wasn’t laying down. So, I ate a breakfast of waffles with strawberries and whipped cream sitting on my exercise ball as the contractions continued to come.

We had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for 11:20 on Wednesday, so we made sure our bags were all packed and brought them with us just in case the doctor wanted us to go into the hospital that day (which we doubted). I had a sonogram when we got there since I was past my due date, which showed that the baby was doing fine but that my amniotic fluid level was very low. For that reason, the doctor said she would like to see me have the baby that day and asked whether we would be able to go to the hospital that afternoon for an emergency induction. I was hungry, so we stopped at Panera for lunch; I got a bowl of chicken noodle soup since I was supposed to avoid eating anything heavy, and I ended up eating only a few bites of it since I was so nervous.

When we got to the hospital, I was hooked up to an IV and monitors for my contractions and the baby’s heart rate. The doctor on call wanted to see how my contractions were doing on their own before inducing me. After about two hours, she said that although I was not even two centimeters dilated, my contractions were pretty consistent and I might be able to go into labor on my own if I walked around the hospital for an hour. I was happy to get out of bed, so Daniel and I walked around for around 45 minutes and my water broke while I was in the bathroom (very convenient).

After that I was really in labor; my contractions started coming every two minutes and within another hour I had gone from two to five centimeters. It somehow wasn’t quite as bad as I had imagined labor to be, but it still hurt—a lot. At five centimeters I got an epidural, and from then on we watched the movie Freaky Friday on TV until it was time to push.

At that point, it was just another couple of hours before our son was born. Daniel was an awesome labor coach. He held one of my legs, and he was the one counting to ten with every push. I thought that June 16th sounded like a nicer birthday than the 17th, so I kept asking Daniel how much time I had left—and I made it! Charles Edward was perfectly healthy and placed on my stomach at 11:24 p.m., with 36 minutes to spare. Daniel cut the umbilical cord. All three of us cried. I’d never been so happy, or so relieved, in my life.

Thus concludes my labor and delivery story, and thus begins my new life.

By the way, it turns out that my fluid levels hadn’t been low after all—they figured that out after my water broke. God is so good! If I had been waiting at home until my water broke, we would have had to drive the half an hour to the hospital with my contractions coming every two minutes apart, and I would have been miserable. Just an interesting side note…

7 comments:

Jackie said...

Congratulations again! He's beautiful. I don't know if you are interested in Ignatian spirituality at all, but a huge part of that is reflection. I think blogging is a great way to reflect on all your experiences, marriage, birth, etc. Gives us a chance to set a side some time to really think about what God has done in our lives.

Jay said...

Congrats again! Even after having 4 babies in 5 years I love hearing birthing stories. Our youngest is 6 months and after the 6 week mark started getting some good through the night sleep. I did have a lot of time in those middle of the night feeding to say the rosary.

Abigail said...

Truly your son is so handsome and I am jealous of your labor story, I hope the children in my future are that nice to me :) I have started reading your blog from the beginning, because I am in the state you were in at the beginning. Soon to be engaged, waiting for the surprise and studying as much as possible for a good Catholic marriage. I just wanted to thank you for writing this amazing blog :) It is such an inspiration. May God bless you and your family especially your new edition.

Abigail said...

Congrats on your new addition to your beautiful family. I must admit you have helped me so much in my own life, just in your blog. I am a young Catholic woman and have started reading your blog from the beginning. I am soon to be engaged, and I am so happy to read your first entries. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life, I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one who desires a good Catholic family. May God bless you and your family :)

hilary said...

Congrats! Much love and blessing to you guys!

My nephew was born on the 17th, but his delivery was a planned C-Section.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your story! God bless! KT

Erin said...

Great story! I think June 17th would be a great birthday.... that's my birthday!! :) God Bless.