Well, it's been a while, but I have a sweet an adorable reason to have taken a break from blogging. I'd like to introduce to you all my beautiful daughter, Eisley Adeline. She was born on February 16th at 11:02 am. She was 8 lbs 4 oz (a much bigger baby than I thought she'd be!) and 20 inches long. Her birth story didn't quite go the way that we thought it would... it was actually quite the adventure (or ordeal... however you want to phrase it!) I will tell you though, she is completely worth it!
So I was in labor with my little princess for five days... no one ever tells you that labor can last that long! Good Lord! Padromal labor is what they call it, otherwise known as early labor, but I call it four nights of sleeping between contractions and quite a decent amount of pain. I called my mom on sunday morning to drive out here, because we (my husband, my midwife and I) thought that I was probably going to have the baby that night. I had consistent contractions about every 10 minutes apart that evening, and they just got stronger as the night wore on. We went to the birth center around 1 am monday morning because my contractions were 5 minutes apart and about a minute long, but about an hour after we got there my contractions started to slow down. Rachel, my midwife, checked me and I was somehow only dilated to about a one. After a night of little to no sleep, this was discouraging, but we packed up and headed home to get some rest.
My contractions kept up at about 10- 15 minutes apart all day, and once again when the sun went down my contractions got closer together. I thought for sure that it was time. I mean really, how many nights could this keep up? This time my contractions were closer to 4 minutes apart, and almost a minute long. Sooo we headed to the birth center again, this time around 4 am or so. My midwife checked me when I got in, and I was dilated to a 4. It wasn't the 7 or 8 I was looking for, but it was a heck of a lot better than the 1 cm the night before! I labored for a few hours, but again, when the sun came up, my contractions slowed down. I was pretty frustrated at this point. Two nights with no sleep, and what was going on three days of contractions were starting to wear on me, so my midwife sent me to a doctor to get a prescription for some anti-nausea medication that has the side-affect of making you sleep for a good five or six hours. Driving out to a doctor's office in the midst of all my contractions didn't really sound like a good time to me, but neither did continuing on in my labor with no sleep, so away to the doctor we went. He was really nice, gave me a prescription, and we were on our way.
The pills didn't knock me out like we were all hoping, but they did help me to get more rest than I had gotten the last few days/nights, and when I woke up my contractions kicked it up again. I thought for sure that this had to be it. I mean seriously, how long could this go on for? I'd slept a little, and hoped it was enough for my body to keep working on getting this baby out! Good Lord did I just want this little baby out. We headed in to the birth center, this time it was early in the afternoon. My contractions were really close and painful... even more than they had been over the past couple of days. When we got in, I was a little more dilated, but after a few hours I was at a 7, Thank God! I labored for about 8 hours when my contractions started to space out again, so we decided to break my water to get things really moving, and make it into transition.
It didn't work. After we broke my water I closed back down to a 4, and my body was just done. I was so frustrated and discouraged. I knew that this meant Eisley's birth wasn't going to be the peaceful waterbirth I had wanted for her. This meant we were going to have to go to the hospital. My body was just too tired to do the work it had to do to get my little girl out. Rachel, my midwife, agreed and suggested we go. We talked about our options and the different doctors and hospitals that she had relationships with, and we decided to transfer to the doctor we had seen earlier to get my prescription. He was really nice, and knew what I wanted for this birth, so we felt like it presented us with the lowest risk of walking in and being told we had to do a c-section, because that just wasn't something I was willing to do. As tired as my body was, I knew it was capable of delivering this baby the old-fashioned way. Now I was just going to need to suck it up and use some pain meds to get through it.
I never thought in a million years that I would be that woman who was wheeled into the delivery room and immediately demanded an epidural, but by God, into my fifth day of labor, that is EXACTLY what I did. The pain at this point was unbearable, not just because contractions get more intense after your water breaks, but because I was so physically and emotionally exhausted that I simply didn't have the capacity to deal with them any more. Plus, they made me lay on my side in those awful birthing beds that make your back assume these weird, unnatural angles. Not only that, but after moving around freely in the birth center, it was really irritating to be hooked up to those monitors they strap around your midsection to keep track of the baby's heart beat... but I digress.
After they gave me the epidural, which I mercifully really didn't even feel or notice, they just let me sleep to see if my body would just dilate again on it's own. The epidural, sleep, and my muscles relaxing helped me to get back up to a 7, and then they started some pitocin, and let me sleep longer. I think I slept for about 6 hours, then they came in, checked me, and told me I was ready to push! Crazy! After all the work involved in getting up to 7 cm dilated, I was ready to push with no effort whatsoever.
And so I started the process of pushing. It was not as easy as I think it would have been without any drugs because I couldn't feel any of my muscles. Everyone kept telling me to "PUSH!" and "PUSH HARDER!" and all I could think was I AM pushing! Not only that, but everyone tells you not to push with your face and upper body, but when all you can feel is your face and upper body... well you do the math. I pushed for about an hour and a half, still so tired that I almost fell asleep in between pushes a couple of times! Finally she was starting to crown, and they called the doctor in. I pushed a little longer, and he was concerned that her shoulder was stuck, so the moment I'd dreaded had come... an episiotomy. Duhn Duhn Duhn... If there was one thing I didn't want to have happen, it was that, but I suppose even an episiotomy is a heck of a lot better than having the doctor come in and say "ok, I think we're going to have to do a c-section." Nick, my husband, looked horrified! It was actually pretty funny, and made it easier to accept. I'm surprised he didn't faint or something! After that the doctor told us that he was going to use the vacuum because her hand was up by her face. Luckily her shoulder wasn't stuck, but he was still concerned that I wasn't going to be able to get her out on my own. (for the record, I'm sure I could have... doctors can sometimes be alarmists.) Even though I couldn't feel much, I COULD feel her being born, and it was such a crazy feeling!
When they plopped her on my chest, I couldn't believe that this 8 lb baby had somehow fit in my womb! It was the most incredible feeling in the world. Nick and I were so in in love with her, right away. She was beautiful, even with her cone-head and folded over ear... I couldn't believe how much I loved her. When people talk about love at first sight, I think they must usually be talking about the first moment you see your children. Nick and I were smitten. We just stared at her in awe. We couldn't believe we had made this perfect little person.
Everything that I went through, all the pain, all the lack of sleep, everything was worth it. She was worth the wait, and worth the work. We love her so much!