In August, 2015 I became pregnant with out first child after about five months of trying. To most, that seems fast, but it seemed like forever. I was so thrilled to finally be pregnant that the first trimester symptoms were welcome.We spent the bulk of my first trimester in Seattle while I was on a temporary job detail. The long commute was particularly draining and I would often fall asleep right after dinner. Cody and I were extremely happy to come home. I had planned to run throughout my pregnancy and had hoped once the first trimester exhaustion had receded a bit, I would be able to run again.
The exhaustion, although not quite as pronounced, continued to persist into my second trimester. I worked out sporadically when I was able to muster the energy - but managing early-morning workouts before 10 hour workdays didn't happen too often. Midway through my second trimester, I started to have quite a bit of lower back and pelvic pain. It seems that since my joints are naturally loose, my pelvis began to loosen earlier than usual and causing a lot of pain, often clicking or thunking when I would walk. Sitting and walking both became extremely painful.
|My sister helped up get everything ready.|
Starting around the seven-month mark, my blood pressure (which is usually in around 90/65) started to climb out of the normal range. At week 34, my doctor put me on bed rest. I figured I would end up going stir crazy, but between the twice weekly hospital visits for non-stress tests and feely crummy, I didn't have the energy to be bored.
Finally, at 38 weeks, I was able to go in for an induction! By that point I was so excited to meet our little man and to not be pregnant anymore that I wasn't even nervous.
We got to the hospital at 7 am and they started things off with some medication to get thing started and then started the Pitocin around 9 am. The nurse would come in and check periodically to see if I was feeling contractions yet, but I couldn't tell. I would have been nervous that it wasn't working, but they could see regular contractions on the monitor. I just wasn't feeling them. With the Pitocin, they had to keep a fetal heart rate monitor on at all times, so I was hooked up to the contraction monitor, the heart rate monitor, and the IV. Going to the bathroom was a real treat.
Since my sister had agreed to stay with me, I sent Cody home after the initial doctor visit so he could rest up through at least some of the waiting and told him I'd give him a call when I started to get uncomfortable or needed moral support. The nurse kept coming in to check on me, but I still wasn't feeling anything. The doctor said I had a lot of amniotic fluid that was cushioning the contractions and that I'd start to feel them after she broke my water.
About a half an hour after she broke my water, I started to feel the contractions, but they were definitely manageable. A couple hours later, I was starting to get pretty uncomfortable and I was debating whether or not I would need an epidural. They told me from the time I asked for the epidural to the time it would take effect would be at least an hour (because they had to call the anesthetist back and get everything prepped), so I kept trying to gauge how much worse they would get. My biggest frustration at this point was the fact that I couldn't get out of bed because every time I did, the little man moved and the monitor wouldn't pick up his heart rate. Being stuck in bed, my back was hurting quite a bit, so I finally opted for the epidural around 8pm. Best. Decision. Ever.
|This is the face of someone trying not to vomit.|
At that point, one of the nurses that had been there a long time looked at me and said she was going to check me again. Okay. She checked me and told the other nurse to call the doctor because I was ready to start pushing. What?! Apparently sometimes that happens and the body gets ready all at once. She said she's seen that happen a lot and the patient usually gets really nauseous and boom - time for baby.
I started pushing at 2:00 am and pushed for a solid two and a half hours! It was really amazing. I focused on relaxing completely in between pushes and Cody would touch my face and give me water every so often. He knows me well enough to know that I'm not a huge fan of "you can do it" pep talks. So he stayed there, supporting me quietly, occasionally asking if I was okay and telling me I'm amazing. They turned down the epidural so I could feel the pressure of the contractions, but I wasn't in any pain. It was really helpful to be able to fully relax between pushes and gather my energy.
At 4:30 am, our little man was born. They set him on my chest, but quickly swept him away because he wasn't breathing. The doctor was calm and told us what she was doing as she went. She said it looked like he aspirated some mucus and was having trouble breathing on his own. Cody noticed that as soon as they started to help him breathe, he pinked up really well - which was a huge relief. The doctor's calm, matter of fact attitude and the fact that she told us every few minute what was happening kept both of us calm.
Finally, at 9:30, he was breathing on his own and we were able to hold him.
|The look on Cody's face is my favorite.|
|Cody's first time holding him.|
Little man continued to improve steadily and they let us go home at 7:00 the next evening. I think we started to get ready to leave at 4:00. Honestly, I think checking out was the most arduous part of the whole thing. After such an uncomfortable pregnancy and a miserable couple of months, labor and delivery (which I was the most nervous about) was the most positive part of the whole process.
We were all pooped.
|You can tell he's a bit yellow here.|
The next day, we went back to the hospital for our appointment with their photographer. They give you one free photo, but you can buy a CD with 20 pictures for $20. The gal ended up giving us like 27 photos and a slideshow, it was awesome. Then, as we were leaving, one of the nurses stopped us to give us a Bili-Bed. What?! No one had told us that little man's bilirubin came back high and he needed to be under UV lights. I was not pleased.
That afternoon, we had him on the Bili-Bed, but when I tried to feed him, he wouldn't wake up. He would stir, but then go right back to sleep. We called the nurse's station to ask if we needed to bring him in and they told us to take him to the Emergency Room. Yikes! Poor little dude was only three days old and he had to go to the emergency room. I stayed with him in the hospital for another two days. Watching them put a tube down his throat every two hours was traumatic. By the second day, we were able to feed him with a bottle. I think this whole situation is one of the reasons S didn't take to nursing.
|Adorable, yellow baby.|
|Baby's first photo shoot.|
Now, we have a healthy, happy little man that is growing like a weed and making his parents ridiculously happy. Cody hasn't agreed to it yet, but we'll be needing at least one more of these little buggers.