Six days ago, our little boy entered the outside world. He is absolutely perfect. (Yes, I am biased, but I’ve got the right to be.) Things are settling down, slowly but surely. Here is a small report of what happened. There seems to be just so much, but this is what I feel comfortable sharing.
Last week Sunday, around noon, my contractions started. They were irregular and far apart, but by 4 in the afternoon they were between 2-5 minutes apart. By 11 at night we opted to go in, even though the intensity had not changed. When I was checked, the nurse told me that I was most likely in early labor, and I decided to head back home to get some sleep before anything got stronger. Waking up the next morning I felt the same as the day before. The contractions were coming at 2-5 minutes and the intensity had still not changed. Right before I sat down to breakfast, my water broke.
That is probably when my emotions went insane. I seemed calm, on the outside, and I think I was fooling myself that I was calm. But the realization was growing, and my anxiety, though unnoticeable to me, was rising as well. Since my water was discolored we headed in immediately. I got hooked up to the heart monitor for Michael and the contraction monitor, and then was given an IV to start some fluids. For the first few hours my midwife was looking to see if the contractions would even out. Unfortunately, they did not in time. I was given Pitocin to start regulating the contractions and getting them to intensify. Little did I know just how they would intensify!
The contractions immediately grew stronger, but they were still irregular. Eventually, the labor pains moved to my lower back like a sharp, grinding chisel at the peak and decline of each contraction. The actual labor, without the back pain, was still bearable, but I could not stand the back pain. When I finally reached 5-6 centimeters, my midwife told me that now would be the time to decide if I wanted an epidural. As much as I was hoping to go without, the sharp pain was too much. I took the chance that it may not work, that there were some risks involved, but I thank God that it ended up being the best thing. When it kicked in fully, I was back to being coherent and focused, rather than “losing it” as Adam and my mom told me afterwards.
Partway through the nurse detected Michael’s heartbeat dropping after a contraction. I was put on oxygen for a while to make sure his heartbeat went back up.
The next time I was checked, the midwife was surprised to find that I was 10 centimeters and plus two — and Oh my goodness, you need to push now. I was warned that being a first time mom, and having the epidural, the time to push might take hours, and they wouldn’t let me go past four hours. I mentally prepared myself to be laying there for quite some time, but it only took 50 minutes.
The actual pushing was a strange experience. I felt very disconnected from what was going on, focusing on getting the baby out. When Michael was born I could not believe what had just happened. He let out a single cry as his cord was quickly cut, and then he was rushed over to make sure his lungs were clear. Because of the discolored fluid, there had to be a few changes to what I wanted, but for the sake of my baby I had absolutely no complaints.
The entire experience was surreal. It affected Adam and I differently, but we both were not in our element, obviously. In fact, it took me quite a few days to even realize what I had just done, and even after that it is taking me quite some time to get used to everything and not feel so overwhelmed.
So, on December 10, at 8:59pm, Michael James Ross was born. He weighed a good 8 lbs 6 oz and is 21 inches long. He is absolutely adorable.