I have finally found the time to sit down and write up this post I have been wanting to write since it all happened! But newborns are known to be needly little beings and they really are. They sleep a lot during the day but I still somehow find that I have no time. I can’t tell you how Laurel somehow knows when I am about to jump in the shower or try to get in a workout. She immediately wakes up and is NOT happy.
They go from blissful sleeping to angry screaming in about 30 seconds! All our animals have been quite curious about what this new, loud, “thing” is. Jimmy especially.
Life has definitely changed and there are moments that are very hard. But we are both still learning how to do this new life. Honestly, newborns sleep so much I feel like life hasn’t changed as much as it will in the future like when she can walk. Yikes.
It all started Thursday, August 24th. I had a very normal day. Well, normal for the weird waiting period I was in. I had gone to the gym that morning and then went over to my friend Jackie’s house to hangout most of the afternoon. That night Josh and I had eggplant parmesan (which some swear make you go in labor..so maybe some truth to it) and then had some Halo Top ice cream for dessert. Mmm Halo Top…I digress. Josh and I had put on face masks (hah) so that I could meet my daughter with minimized pores, obviously.
I went upstairs to get ready for bed and just felt a little off and that I may be having some contractions for the first time. I had no Braxton Hicks contractions my whole pregnancy, so I was unsure if that was what I was feeling. I went to bed and woke up off and on with weird pains that came and went, aka, contractions. Finally at 1am I knew I wasn’t going to get any sleep, so I woke up Josh and told him I felt like we should go to the hospital to at least see if I was more dilated and just get a feel for where I was at. So we got all our stuff together and got to the hospital about 2:15 am. I went to the triage room which is where they assess whether or not you really are going into labor and if it is time to admit you into the hospital or if you need to go back home and come back later.
While in this room my contractions started increasing in intensity big time. My blood pressure had shot up stupid high at this point, so that is the real reason they admitted me. I was only 3cm at the time. Here they also put in my IV which was one of the worst parts of the whole labor thing. The first nurse tried twice unsuccessfully to get it in, so another nurse had to come in. I’m surprised I didn’t pass out. That hurt so bad!
Apparently that week they had a huge influx of women going into labor. They were actually sending people away to other hospitals! They were blaming it on the eclipse. FINALLY a labor and delivery room was available so I could get a lot more comfortable..well as comfortable as you can get when you are in labor. I progressed from 3cm to 5cm in just a couple hours and so did my contractions. At this point I was already gripping the railing on the hospital bed. My blood pressure wasn’t coming down much, and I was nervous they were going to start talking C-section if it didn’t come down. The pain I was experiencing was not helping. I asked the nurse how much worse I could expect the pain to get and she said it would probably get a lot worse. So epidural it was. My anesthesiologist name was, no lie, Dr. Nummy. Hah! He can in and stuck a giant needle in my back and I could have cared less. I felt so good afterwards. Josh and I put on Moana (my pick) and sat back and relaxed. More power to the women who give birth naturally, but having a pain free labor is pretty awesome. You don’t get a badge for not getting pain meds!
I really did feel great all the way up till I was 9cm. Then the pain started back up. The nurse told me the epidural doesn’t wear off, the contractions just get so bad you can feel them through it. Plus, I am pretty sure I was having the dreaded back labor because my lower back was hurting as much as my abdomen. The anesthesiologist came in to give me a “bolster” which is basically another shot of paid meds. Didn’t help. I was pretty miserable.
After a bit, the nurse had me start pushing. I knew as long as she didn’t call the doctors in the room I couldn’t be that close to having her so I got really discouraged as I pushed and pushed for what felt like forever but was probably only 45 minutes or so. Pushing is so freakin hard. I feel like through all of this, this is what I was least prepared for. It was so exhausting and I was literally falling asleep through doing the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It was very strange. I had no food in me since 8:30 the night before and had only slept crappy for about 3 hours. It was now 3pm. The pushing didn’t really hurt “down there”, it hurt in my upper abs. Like doing a crunch for an hour and a half. I started thinking they are just going to have to get this baby out another way because I can’t push anymore.
Finally a team of doctors came in (oh, hi, nice to meet you with my feet in stirrups while crowning..). I felt much better that maybe I was getting somewhere. I didn’t realize that you are suppose to push when you feel a contraction coming on, so I’d push three times for 10 seconds back to back and then break until my next contraction which was like 2 minutes later. I was so ready to get it over with. The two minutes in between were terrible. Plus you have a man down there just sitting in front of your hooha waiting to “catch” (literally) the baby. After about 30 more minutes of pushing I heard a little cry and out came baby Laurel! She made her appearance Friday, August 25th at 3:43pm.
They immediately put her on my chest and started rubbing her down. I could not believe this was her. Josh cut the cord and I did an hour of skin to skin, where you put the baby on your chest to calm them and let them recognize your scent. You also can try and let them breastfeed for the first time.
Then they weighed her and measured her and all that good stuff. They never took her out of the room. She stayed with us the entire hospital stay.
After a while, the nurse helped me to the bathroom and realized she had accidentally left the catheter in my back…no wonder I was so freakin stiff feeling! Josh’s parents came to visit and met Laurel and brought us beautiful flowers. They had also gone to get a newspaper from that day and some magazines so we could have that stuff for her scrapbook. We had to wait several hours to get to a mother/baby room since they were just coming off of the huge influx of patients. I was very tired and ready to get some sleep. Of course I have yet to get fully rested and it is three weeks later! My blood pressure didn’t go down enough, so they had us stay 72 hours in the hospital as opposed to the normal 48. So that stunk, but at least we had nurses waiting on us hand and foot, and I got food delivered to me every meal. We were very ready to leave by the fourth day!
My parents came up the next day and got to meet Laurel too. I am so happy we got a picture with all the grandparents! I am so glad they all traveled to come see us (her!).
My parents stayed with us for the next few nights and were so helpful cooking yummy meals for us. While we were in the hospital, my friends Jackie and Madison came over to our house and decorated it with pink ribbon and It’s a Girl signs. I cried pulling up to the house! It was so sweet!
So here I sit with my little buddy exactly three weeks later (almost the exact time she was born!) while she is sleeping on her boppy. Labor is very hard and in the moment I was wondering how on earth women have more than one child. But I feel like God just erases the worst moments from your brain. It is kind of all a blur now. This is pretty much all I remember. The fact that that’s all it takes to have a baby is actually really amazing. The human body amazes me!!
I still can’t believe she is mine and that this little girl will be a part of the rest of my life. I’m still getting use to this new role in my life. I have some days that are hard and I just want to go the gym and not have my boobs out breastfeeding all the time. I get frustrated when she is crying and I don’t know why. Sleep deprivation is really, really hard. But at the end of the day, being there for my baby and loving her is the most important, special thing I have ever done. I love her more and more everyday. I can’t wait till she recognizes me better and gives us a great big smile.
I already can’t remember what life was like before little miss Laurel Claire..and our journey has just begun!