Friday, March 15, 2013

ellie's birth story: part 1

I thought about calling this post “Labor and Delivery: The Period from H-E-DoubleHockeySticks,” but I thought it didn’t really capture the true essence of the miracle that is birth.  [However accurate that description might be.]  [Though that alternate title might give you some foreshadowing of the amount of detail this post will contain.  Beware to the faint of heart.]

No, the truth of the matter is that the whole experience exceeded my expectations in every way possible.  Not because it was easy – because heaven knows that would be the greatest lie in the history of man.  But because it was the most miraculous thing I’ve ever experienced.

It’s hard to explain, but something about giving birth changed me.  I will never be the same person ever again.  I’m sure you moms and dads out there know exactly what I’m talking about.  Heaven feels as though you could reach out and touch it.  And then you hold your baby for the first time and you know that’s exactly what’s happening.

But I guess I’m getting a little ahead of myself.  Let me back up a little.

Once I’d passed my due date, I began to give up all hope that I’d go into labor naturally.  I’d just resigned myself to the fact that I would be induced on February 28th.  Of course, I let the smallest part of myself hope that my body would just do its thing, but I wasn’t counting on it. 

On Tuesday, February 26th, I woke up to some light bleeding.  My heart started beating a little faster.  This was new and different.  I felt like my body hadn’t been doing anything new and different for weeks now.  I called Tim immediately and excitedly told him the news.  It took him about five seconds to decide to come home – just in case.  But once he got home, we called the hospital and asked for their opinion.  They said that as long as I wasn’t having any contractions, we would just have to wait.

Of course, we thought.  It probably didn’t mean much after all.  Tim drove back to work and I continued to hobble around the house, trying to get some laundry done.  When Tim got home again that night, we decided to go out to eat, since we figured we probably wouldn’t get the chance again soon.   I purposely chose something spicy, choosing to superstitiously invest in the oldest of wives tales.

Since the sidewalks were still covered in ice, we went to the local market to walk around a bit in the hopes that it would somehow bring on contractions.  Still I felt no different.  On the drive home, I felt my stomach tighten and then harden.

Huh, maybe that was a contraction, I thought.

By the time we got home, I was certain I was having sporadic contractions.  But there was only one problem: they didn’t hurt.  And I was certain that was some sort of requirement for this whole labor thing.  We watched an episode of Bones and then got ready for bed.  As we sat on our bed and started our scripture study, I felt the first true labor pain.  It felt like a period cramp on steroids, with a few jagged knives to dice up my insides as a bonus.

By the second painful contraction fifteen minutes later, Tim was already asleep.  Over the next few hours, my contractions became closer together and more painful.  I closed my eyes tightly with each one, trying to block out the pain.  But there was no blocking it out.  No breathing technique or visualization worked for me.  I turned on Psych, which helped to prevent anxiety about future contractions but did nothing during the contractions themselves.  I decided to try walking around, which did nothing but make me want to curl up on the floor in a fetal position.

My movements woke Tim up around 3:30am.  He asked how far apart my contractions were.   I told him they were anywhere between six and eight minutes apart.

“Ok.  I think it’s time to get up and get ready to go.”

The thought both terrified and excited me.  But I knew he was right.

We showered and got ready.  Figuring since I was awake anyway and had some time, I even did my hair and make-up in between contractions.  It proved to be a pretty good distraction.  Meanwhile, Tim packed up some last minute things that we’d need for the hospital.  I’d stopped timing my contractions regularly, and by the time I started again, I was alarmed to realize that they were only three minutes apart most of the time.

“We need to go,” I told Tim urgently.

“Ok.  Do you want a blessing?”

I sat down on the edge of the bed, and Tim placed his hands on my head.  Through the power of the Lord, he promised me that my labor and delivery would go smoothly.  And then he told me that we would feel the power of Heaven in our little hospital room as our precious daughter was born.  That promise echoed throughout my entire being, and I knew without a doubt that it would be true.

When the blessing was finished, we grabbed our bags and headed out to the car.  Another painful contraction hit as we were almost to the car, and I stopped in my tracks for a minute and closed my eyes once again.  The pain subsided somewhat, we got in the car and headed toward the hospital.  A few minutes into the drive, I noticed that I hadn’t had a contraction in awhile.  I mentioned it to Tim.

“Wouldn’t it be funny if your contractions stopped right now?”

I gave him a horrified look.

“I was just kidding, Babe!” he assured me.

But the closer we got to the hospital, the more I worried.  Before I knew it, fifteen minutes had passed and we were pulling up into the hospital parking lot.

And still no more contractions.

Continue on to Part 2.


Karm said...

OMG you had your baby!! Last month! How did I not know this? Or do I? Anyway congratulations!! And I HAVE to know what happens next!!
I think this beginning is similar to Turtle's birth story. haha

Karm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
karajean said...

Ahhh! I love this. And oddly enough, the EXACT same thing happened to me on the drive to the hospital. My contractions were anywhere from 1 to 3 minutes apart and then I had none on the entire drive (which was only about 7 minutes).

Can't wait to read more!

And I love what you wrote about touching heaven. Such a beautiful way to describe the miracle of birth.

Ali Mills said...

Oh that sucks!!! I totaly understand that though, I'd had contractions a couple days before they induced me and they'd get regualr then stop abruptly. So annoying!

mcarrasco said...

oh my goodness I am already crying and she hasnt even been born yet.

Fran said...

(so this has been in my reader for a while but I'm no good having to wait to read what happened next when reading birth stories so I'm reading them all once haha)

that being said...
you're the second or third blogger who's gone into labor after eating spicy food and taking a walk, so I think I know what I'll do if I'm worried about not going into labor naturally haha