Labor Day

So I lied a little bit about being "back in action" in my last post.  Just when I thought I had this mommy-hood thing down pat, everything changed.  Not necessarily for the bad, but I haven't had as much time to sit and write as I thought I would.  I have just been trying to nap whenever he is napping or get some laundry/dishes/housework done whenever I have a minute.  And on top of it all, B has been travelling for work on and off for the last two weeks, so I have been manning all of the feeding shifts both day and night.  It's been hectic, but so wonderful at the same time.  It is nice to have him all to myself for days at a time...tiring, but so so nice.  I find myself staring at him for hours at a time.  I am probably enabling bad habits by letting him sleep in my arms, but sometimes I just can't fathom putting him down and being away from him (although I do have to say that B and I have been able to go out to dinner twice in the last month thanks to our awesome parents).   We told ourselves that we would not lose "us" when Pace arrived, and we are trying really hard to keep that promise.  I'll keep you posted on how well we keep it up over the next few months though.....)

I'm not going to lie and say that it has been all sunshine and bunnies around here, but I honestly can't complain too much.  He is a wonderful baby.  He doesn't cry unless he's hungry or needs a diaper change and he has been sleeping between 3-6 hours every time we put him down.  His schedule changes every day (which really means that he has no schedule at all), but I find that he is becoming rather predictable nonetheless.  I can read all of his cues by now and am able to soothe him or find ways to help him soothe himself 90% of the time.  The more comfortable I feel in motherhood, the easier it has gotten.  In the first few weeks, it was nerve-racking when he would cry and I didn't know what he wanted, but now that we've gotten to know each other a little better, I feel like I can handle just about anything.

I struggled a bit the first few weeks with the "baby blues" though.  I was crying every time he cried and feeling sorry for myself because breastfeeding wasn't going as planned (which is another whole post in itself).  After a rocky start, I finally feel like myself again (and more importantly, like a mom) and I'm loving it.  I have heard other women say this before and I didn't believe it, but I honestly don't think I could love anything in the world more than him (well....besides my husband, of course).  I am amazed and mesmerized by everything he does and I honestly wasn't sure I would feel that way.  I wasn't one of those women that always wanted to be a mother.  I knew that I wanted it someday, but I certainly didn't dream about it like some of my childhood friends.  I suppose I just thought it was part of life and I would just experience it someday.  Boy, was I wrong.  I underestimated how rewarding it feels to watch him grow and know that I am responsible for him and his well-being.  It is more responsibility than I have ever had, and I am loving every minute of it.  Who knew?  He had me at hello.....

So now for the story of his birth.  I will spare you the ugly details, but here is the basic timeline.....

Monday, August 8th
8:00 AM - Dr. Appt.....3 cm, 90% effaced, 0 station...still a long way to go.  I was having irregular contractions the whole weekend, but nothing worth talking about.  The Dr. "stirred the pot" to get contractions going and we left the office to head to work.
8:30 AM - Walking out to the parking lot and my water breaks (although I have to admit I wasn't sure if I was just peeing my pants or not).  We walked/waddled back into the office and the doc took us right back in.  She confirmed that my water had broken and that we needed to head to the hospital in the next few hours to avoid infection.  We headed home...
1:00 PM - After hanging out at home and gathering our things, we jumped in the car and drove to the hospital (not without picking up some italian subs at our favorite deli)!!
2:00 PM - Check into the hospital and get settled in our room
3:00 PM - IV goes in and they start me on fluids and a small dose of pitocin (2 ml I believe)......we hang out, walk around, sit on the ball and slowly deal with the contractions (about 5 min apart at this point).
7:00 PM - Doc comes in to check on me (finally) and suggests that I stay on the same drip of pitocin through the night and "see what happens".  He was a very laid back doc and wanted to go the natural way.  I was fine with that....but only because I thought that I would "naturally" progress through the night.......no such luck.  Oh, and I was given permission to eat something light, so I had a greek salad with chicken.....little did I know it would be my last meal for a while.....
10:00 PM - We decide to get some sleep while we still could (although I was having regular contractions through the night)

Tuesday, August 9th
8:00 AM - New doc came in to check on my progress.  No change since yesterday morning (he said I might be 4 cm rather than 3, but I think that is subjective anyway).  He was a little more bold than the previous doc, so he thought that we should ramp things up.  He suggested that we go from 2 ml - 24 ml of pitocin.  The nurse gradually upped the dosage each half hour until he came back to check on me again.  Oh, and they started me on some antibiotics since it had been 24 hours since my water broke....
12:00 PM - No progress, but still upping the dosage on the pitocin, so the doc agreed to give me a little more time.  If things didn't progress by the next check up, then he would move for a c-section (which I was hoping to avoid).  We decided to help the process along and used this bone-like ball to rock me from side to side and help me dilate.   I was feeling a little discouraged at this point (since I really hadn't made any progress at all) but I tried to stay positive and work through it until the next check up
2:30 PM - Since I hadn't really progressed much, and the pitocin was making the contractions come extremely strong and fast, my body wasn't able to produce the hormones that it normally would to tolerate the pain of each contraction.  Long story short, I asked for the epidural.  I went into this whole process hoping to avoid it, but at this point I knew that I would have at least another 12 hours or labor left, so I should get comfortable.  Best decision EVER!!!!
4:00 PM - I had progressed to 6 cm by this time, but still not where the doc wanted me to be.  I begged him to give me more time, so he agreed to give me another few hours.  I continue with the "rocking" thing in hopes of dilating more by the next check up.  (Keep in mind that our parents have been in the waiting room since 7 AM (even though we suggested they wait at our house until things started to REALLY happen))
8:00 PM - I was 7-8 cm at this check up, so the doc agreed to let me labor a little more instead of taking me in for the c-section.  I was happy to oblige (especially since I could barely feel the contractions now that I had the epidural).

Wednesday, August 10th
12:00 AM - I am 10 cm FINALLY and the doc tells me it's time to push.  I start off really strong.  The nurse keeps telling me that she can see the head (sorry for the graphic detail) and that I was so close (which was obviously a lie).  B even looked and said that I just needed to push a little more......so I kept pushing as hard as I could.
2:00 AM - Still pushing, but starting to fade a little (especially since they turned off the epidural so that I could feel the contractions and push through them).  My energy was really low since I hadn't eaten since Monday evening (and at this point, I was totally regretting the healthy choice for dinner....I should have gone with a cheeseburger if I knew it would be that long without food).  I decided to give it another half hour and see if I could make any progress.
2:30 AM - The doc finally came in to check on me and assess the situation.  He thought that I was doing everything I could to push, but that the babies' head just wasn't going to get past my pubic bone.  He gave me the option to keep trying (with the chance that it would not progress at all), have a c-section, or use forceps.  I thought about continuing pushing, but with the chance that it would not do any good, I decided to forego that.  And when given the option of c-section and forceps I was just devastated.  I hadn't heard of anyone using forceps in YEARS (apparently the vacuum wouldn't have been as successful because of the way he was positioned....or something like that), and I wasn't really sure how it would affect the baby (scars or bruises).  A c-section was definitely not off my list of considerations, but it was pretty far down.  After laboring for almost 40 hours, I just felt like it was depressing to have them just cut me open.  I could have done that in the first place and saved us all a whole lot of time (and pain)!
So, ultimately, I decided on the forceps.  I talked to the doc about the risks and he seemed confident that it would be just fine.  As soon as I made the decision, B was in scrubs and we were headed to the OR.  Less than 5 minutes later Pace was out and crying and it was over (except for some last minute care for me...which I couldn't feel anyway).  It was so surreal.  He was here and he was beautiful.  I just looked up at B and cried.  He was amazing through this all and I was just so happy that we finally had our baby.  He took a long time to come out, but he was so worth it!!!  Am I going to get pregnant again tomorrow....probably not, but I wouldn't change my experience for the world.  He was worth every minute of it!