I wanted to write down Andrew's birth story before I started forgetting the details of it. Today is my first day home alone with Andrew. I must say that it is harder than I thought. I expected to have my house spotless by the time Joey got home, all of the laundry done, etc. On the rare moments that I do get a break, all I want to do is relax. Between pumping milk to have enough for when he goes to daycare, sanitizing pump parts, diaper changes and doing a few things around the house, there are not many free moments. I have one now, though so I want to share his story.
Saturday, August 14th:
Joey went to work around 6:00 in the morning. I stayed at home and relaxed. I had taught the previous week and was swollen and tired. I told my principal that I would not be returning to work on Monday regardless if Andrew had arrived or not. I felt great all day Saturday. I even ate Taco Casa for lunch! Joey and I had a Sunday School party Saturday night on the lake. We got there around 6:00, and people started to leave around 9:00. As with most parties, people gathered in the kitchen to clean up as the party was winding down. Joey looked at me and said that we should go and help clean up. I told him that I just didn't feel like it and that I was ready to go home. People now ask me if I was having contractions at the party, and I was not. If so, they were not strong enough to get my attention.
Joey and I got back home around 9:45. We watched some television in bed and turned the lights off around 10:30. I laid in bed but just could not get comfortable. I was not having contractions, but I felt restless. Anyone who knows me well knows that I love baths. I take at least one a day and use them to relax. So, I got out of bed around 11:00 and went quietly into the bathroom to take a bath. I didn't even turn the jets on because I did not want to wake up Joey. I got out of the tub around 11:30 and came into the den. I still was feeling uncomfortable, but was not having contractions-at least to my knowledge, I'm sure that I actually was. I sat and watched television in the den for about 30 minutes and then started thinking that I may be having contractions--wasn't sure, so that tells you that they were not very strong. I decided that I would start timing them just in case they were actual contractions. My friends had told me that real contractions are like being in love--when it happens, you know it without a doubt! This was in my mind and made me think that they must not be real contractions because I was not certain. I timed these "crampy feelings" that I was having anyway. They were 8 minutes apart, 2 minutes apart, 7 minutes apart, etc-very random. In all of my reading, I have read that first time births can take hours upon hours and that the first several hours should be done at home. I have also read that almost all first time mothers experience one false alarm-going to the hospital only to be sent home. So now it is around midnight, and I am thinking that something is starting to happen in my body but I will be at home for hours, the contractions are not regular, they are not 5 minutes apart, and this is not even worth waking Joey up for. At about 12:15, I decided to take another bath. I got out of the bath a little before 1:00, and I was in a little more pain. I decided to wake Joey up. I told him that I thought that I was having Braxton Hicks contractions, but that I was in a fair amount of pain. He said to call the doctor and let her know, but I told him that I am not supposed to call until my contractions are 5 minutes apart. At about 1:05, the pain hit me and I am in basically a crawling position on our bed. Joey insisted that we call, and I did despite my fear of going all the way to the hospital only to be sent home. I told him not to even call my parents because I know this is not it. The doctor returned my call at 1:08 (I have it saved on my phone) and told me to come in.
We got in the car and I was able to talk to Joey on the ride to the hospital. We even joked a little about the quickest route and how I couldn't believe that he didn't have spreadsheets calculating what route to take depending on the time of the day. When the contractions would come, they were painful, but I was able to talk through most of them--again something opposite of what I had read in so many books.
We got to the hospital and Joey dropped me off at the emergency room and went to park the car. They starting wheeling me to labor and delivery, and I told them to wait on my husband. They were shocked and said that they would not wait and that we had to go. Again, I was thinking this must not be real or I would not be feeling well enough to want to wait on Joey. He caught up with us, and I was admitted into triage. I was 5 cm dilated! It was now around 2:00, and Joey called our families.
The times become blurry for me at this point because I was now in a great deal of pain. I could not get an epidural until I received a full bag of fluids, and that seemed to take forever. Finally, the epidural was in--not painful like I expected--and I felt much better. At about 4:45, I asked my nurse when she would check me again. I was curious how dilated I was and it had been at least an hour since being checked. She was shocked to discover that I was 10 cm and ready to push. We began pushing around 5:00 Sunday morning and Andrew was born at 6:03. He came out SCREAMING! I was able to hold him instantly and breastfeed for the first time within 30 minutes-both of these were things that Joey and I had requested. We are very thankful for Andrew and praise God for him. He is a blessing to our family, and we love him very much!
Seconds after birth:
Joey and Andrew meet for the first time.