It has officially been nine years since we welcomed Baby1 into our lives. I’m not going to say it seems like just yesterday, because it doesn’t. We’ve come a long, long way since February 6, 2003. Kiddo1 has grown so much; Mr. Handsome and I are so very proud of how wonderfully he has grown!
In honor of the occasion, I thought I would revisit Baby1’s birth story. I wrote it down a couple days after he was born. Look how cursive-y my handwriting was nine years ago!
Here’s what I wrote, with a little bit better formatting and a few memories added to round things out a bit:
Wednesday, February 5, 2003
After lunch with Mr. Handsome and his parents, we decided to go to the mall to walk. We walked for two hours! That probably got some things going. When I sat down for dinner later on, I noticed that the slight bits of pain that I had been feeling for a day or two had gotten a little bit more… noticeable. I started timing them after dinner.
7:00 PM: Contractions lasted about a minute and were five minutes apart for an hour, so we decided to go to the hospital and get checked out. I didn’t want to be turned away, but at the same time I had been a few centimeters dilated at my last couple weekly check-ups and I didn’t want things to have progressed so far that we wouldn’t make it to the hospital before things started to really happen (every first-timer’s nightmare of birthing in the car kept running through my mind).
8:00 PM: We arrived at the hospital and went to triage for a check. I was admitted at 5cm dilated. Things were happening for sure!
9:00 PM: My contractions weren’t very strong and the attending OB thought that I might either need to go home or have my water broken to get things moving. I opted to have my water broken. Then the contractions got bad. They were one right on top of the other and super painful (I’m pretty sure I was having some back labor too). Our parents came (all four of them) and I had to turn them away because of the pain. Later my mom told me that my dad was so frustrated with the hospital staff because they wouldn’t do anything to help with the pain. My mom had both my brother and me by cesarean so I don’t think he really understood how painful labor can be! There wasn’t much the staff could do at that point!
10:20 PM: The pain was out of control! I was screaming and crying to Mr. Handsome to make it stop. I wanted to be checked again before I asked for the epidural because I thought things had to have been progressing pretty quickly now if I was under that much pain. But Mr. Handsome and I knew that the epidural could slow things down. The room tv was tuned to the Simpsons (one of our favorites) and he asked me if I could make it until the end of the next episode. He was amazing support. He held my hand and talked me through all the pain. I don’t know what I would have done without him!
11:15 PM: Sweet relief! The anesthesiologist arrived and performed his epi magic. Within minutes I was sitting up, smiling, carrying on conversation as though nothing had happened. For days afterward Mr. Handsome kept commenting on how wonderful a drug that epidural was! I think he was just as relieved as I was.
Since this was my first birth, the nurses assumed my progress would be slow, therefore they did not check me before the epidural was given. Oops on them! Because I was checked immediately thereafter and I was at 9cm! At that point I probably could have gone without (and in hindsight, going without would have made for a faster pushing phase).
11:30 PM: Time to push! Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on how you look at it) the epidural was so strong that I could not feel any need to push at all. I had to be told when pushing time was optimal (when the contractions were at their peak). I pushed for 2 hours and 45 minutes. Even though I couldn’t feel anything, it was exhausting nonetheless.
Thursday, February 6, 2003
2:15 AM: The OB was getting concerned that pushing hadn’t yet resulted in birth. I was taking too long (admittedly, I was being lazy. I’d never “pushed” before and I didn’t know how and I couldn’t rely on instincts because I couldn’t feel a damn thing. I did my best but I had constraints, you know?). Out of exhaustion I agreed to some assistance by the vacuum.
2:30 AM: Just six and a half hours after being admitted, two more pushes, one episiotomy and a nasty third-degree tear later, I could see baby’s head! One gentle push and he was out! I remember feeling an incredible emptiness inside all of a sudden, like a huge piece of me had just been removed. But I was relieved to finally feel something since the epidural took so much away. Baby1 was finally here! We held him tight for a few brief moments before the staff took over.
Things get a little fuzzy at this point. I remember the grandparents coming in and we announced Baby1’s name. They were all so excited to meet the new addition.
We finally got transferred to our “home away from home,” the recovery room, at about 6:00 AM. Gradually the feeling returned to my legs and by the time I woke up later that morning I could walk again (that epi really knocked out all my nerves!). We stayed in that tiny little closet of a room for about two days (we could have stayed for one but I was really enjoying the staff doing everything for me and I was so tired and so sore that I wanted to stay another night).
Finally we went home on Saturday and the rest, as they say, is history.