Friday, January 27, 2012

Birth Story

Well it's been a little over 2 weeks now since Baby Ian made his appearance into the real world and solidified the fact that our lives would be forever changed, and we can also have a "native" Colorado bumper sticker. And for the first time in over 2 weeks I'm finally finding a spare minute to write the "birth story." 

Monday, Jan 9th was a busy day in "operation make baby come."  That morning I got up and walked a few miles around the park, drank raspberry leaf tea, had the "scraping of the membranes" procedure at my 10am doc appointment, and then had some spicy Indian food (with curry) for dinner. Oh, and did I mention it was a full moon... yep...I never really thought any of this would get things moving, but shockingly it did! That night at around midnight - shortly after going to bed - I woke up to some contractions. I headed downstairs to lay on the couch as I was tossing and turning. I was monitoring my contractions with an iphone app (welcome to 2012) and they were still like 10 minutes apart but were lasting for like a minute. They went consistently through the night, and when my alarm on my phone went off at 6:45am telling me it was time to get up for work (no, I hadn't actually slept) I wondered what to do... Was this the real thing?  The rule for going to the hospital is for them to be 5 minutes apart for a minute long for one hour.... so should I go to work? (Yes, I really considered this) And with that thought I sat up and felt like I peed my pants and went running off to the bathroom. After further inspection I determined I had not peed myself but was pretty convinced my water had broken. I ran up to tell John who was still sound asleep. After a call to the doctor  it was official I was going to the hospital. I fired off an email to my boss letting her know that I wouldn't be in, called my mom and told her to get on the next flight, and took a quick shower - who wants give birth without a shower, shaved legs, and some make-up? By 9:30 (after a Starbucks stop) we were on our way to the hospital with a car full of things - our bags, a boppy pillow, Ian's diaper bag, etc. Shortly after getting checked in and set up in our room they confirmed that my water had in fact broken which mean I would be having this baby within the next 24 hours max (whew, it wasn't just a false alarm). 

They  hooked me up to an IV of fluids and pitocin to really kick it into high-gear because my contractions had slowed after my water had broken. Once they got my contractions going  again we were just hanging out... John was playing on his iPad... I was still emailing & texting people (I'm a little insane). After laboring for a few hours the nurse came in and asked if I was ready for my epidural. My first response was "No, I'm good still" and she said she'd check back after they administered one to the girl in the room next to me. John pointed out that I would be better to get it sooner than later because by the time I say "give it to me" it's going to be like an hour before the pain subsides by the time the anesthesiologist comes in, administers it, and it starts taking action. I was determined to wait till I was 4-5 cm's. Of course within the next 30 minutes the pain was become really, really, really intense. I tried the whole sitting/rocking on a birth ball with no relief and it got to the point where I had to stand up, hunch over, and heavy breath when a contraction came. It was pretty bad. Once the nurse confirmed I had hit about 5 cm's there was no doubt in my mind... Yep, it's drugs time! 

After I flagged down the nurse to tell her to bring on the drugs it was about another 20 minutes until the very sexy anesthesiologist (who john called "a real looker") popped into my room. Now a lot of people are REALLY worried about the pain of the epidural. My opinion... this is NOT bad. I was in pain, and a prick of a needle and a little "zing" in my back was much better than hunching over heavy breathing feeling like I was dying a slow death. Truthfully it was over in seconds. I was more concerned about the fact that they put you on a catheter - sick - but this was much less eventful than I had imagined as well. As for the epidural, it took about 20 minutes for it to fully kick-in and the only issue I had was that the right side of my body felt much for numb than the left, so they had to keep tinkering with how was laying and adjust me to get things to even out which took awhile but eventually we got things pretty close to even. You know when you have a cavity and they use the Novocaine to numb you and you feel like you had a huge bologna lip? Well after getting the epidural my legs felt like they were the size of Queen Latifia's, but hey I couldn't feel pain so I could handle some Latifia thighs. 

Once the epidural was in place we started watching tv and chatting and around 4pm my sister came to visit and kill sometime. I have to say I was pretty comfortable. The biggest part that sucks is that you're chained to the bed once you get the drugs. So I relied on John and Emily to entertain me while I was hopefully dilating.  At 6pm our friend, Katie Jones (Uncle Bacon's sister), came on board as our nurse! When I went into labor that morning we were able to request her as our nurse when her shift started. I'm sure some people would be on the fence about having a friend as their delivery nurse... sure, she will probably never be able to look at me the same after seeing my kooka and everything else that came with it, but for John and I it was comforting to have Katie on board. She was AWESOME. She walked us through everything happening and we were able to ask her any questions without feeling strange about it. It's funny but when you're about to have a baby you could really care less who is looking at your privates at that moment nothing is private. 

So, with Katie on board I was comfortably hanging out and had dilated to 7cm by 7pm.  being in labor is sort of like being in Las totally lose track of time and have no perception of how much time has passed it could be 2am or 2pm and you just keep on going. Truthfully it felt like time was going pretty quickly. Around 9:30pm my mom made in town! And shortly after Katie came in to check how far dilated I was... she said "hope for a big number!" And a big number it was, I was 10cm and fully effaced... aka ready to go! But before we got to pushing, Katie likes to let "gravity do some work" for first time moms, so she had me sit pretty vertically in the bed to allow the baby to drop further naturally so I wouldn't wear myself out pushing. after sitting for an hour it was time to start pushing...

My mom and Emily left the room and it was just John, Katie, and I for the pushing part. We cranked the Country Mix on my ipod and were ready to go. Now, the biggest challenge was that I had to get my 500 lb Queen Latifia thighs up in the air (with the assitance of Katie and John... they each took a leg) and push. Pushing was going well... every once and awhile we'd hear my mom and Em standing outside the door yelling "Go Sarah, go! You can do it!" Oh lordy. I told them to just come in because I was pretty over caring who was in the room at that point but they refused and just cheered from the doorway for the first hour. 

To explain how the pushing works it wasn't like I was continually pushing, screaming and holding onto the bed rails. Instead you do a series of 3 short pushes in a row when a contraction starts and then hang for a bit until another contraction starts and you push again. In between I would munch on ice chips and we'd chat (I was illegitimately really hungry at this point since I hadn't been able to eat since I got the epidural and it was now after 10). After like an hour of pushing Sugarland's "Stuck Like Glue" song came on the Country Mix while I love this song I told John we had to change the music... there was no time for anything to be stuck like glue right now. So, we stepped it up to my favorite mix on my ipod entitled "Jam Out With Your Clam Out" (many of you have had late night dance parties to this mix and are fond of it as well, don't deny it)... Given the circumstances (ahem, "clam out") this mix had never felt more appropriate or maybe inappropriately perfect. With John on one leg and Katie on the other we were now rocking to my friends Rihanna, J-lo, & Lady Gaga... this is how I always envisioned pushing to be... a dance party. Things were progressing perfectly and as midnight was on the horizon it was looking like baby McG could make his appearance on the 10th or the 11th! At this point Katie could see the little guy's head and of course told me he had a cone-head with red hair. John who swore he was staying from the waist up started peeking! Katie asked if I wanted a mirror to see his head. My first reaction was "Hell no." But then I got curious and decided I would look for just one push... so she rolled the mirror up for me to take a peek and that was all I needed... take it away... and his hair was NOT red. 

Doctor Johnson (the doctor on-call) had arrived and several other nurses had joined the "party" at this point because it was getting close. I had been pushing for close to 2 hours when the doctor got herself "suited up" and got in the position to deliver. Dr. Johnson and Katie coached me through a few more pushes and then Dr. Johnson said, "just 1 or 2 more pushes and this baby is coming out!!" John then decided this was a good time to check things out again - and was able to see the birth of Ian.

It was 12:28am...*push*

I have to admit from this point on was a total blur. The next thing I knew I was holding my baby on my chest as a swarm of people were cleaning him up. I remember looking up at John who was at my side in total disbelief. I was totally stunned. Here was my baby laying on my chest, and he was absolutely perfect. It was an out of body experience to say the least. A miracle. It was everything people describe it as and more. 

Shortly after Ian was born, John cut the cord. Then another 30 minutes or so passed before they had me all cleaned up and Ian's APGAR test, weight, length, etc done. Around 1am my mom and Em came back in to meet the little guy. She said that both John and I looked like we were in a state of shock and I think we were. It was such a surreal  and indescribable moment in my life... I have to say I feel pretty darn lucky and very, very, VERY blessed. I had an uncomplicated pregnancy and birth and a healthy baby boy... I don't think I could ask for anything more. I am so thankful for this! So very thankful! Thank you God for blessing our family.

What a perfect birthday party for Ian - there truly was so much to celebrate that very early morning on Jan 11th!

We love you Ian! Welcome to the world!

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