I don't think anyone can be 100% prepared for their first birth experience, I won't speak for Nick, but I know I wasn't. I spent so much time researching, planning, setting up, rearranging, shopping, and cleaning that I thought I had it all figured out.. WRONG!! From the minute I thought maybe my water had broke, the birth plan and everything I thought I knew went out the window.
I was cleaning out the pantry/fridge and doing last minute laundry, excitedly waiting to go pick my best friend, Winnie, up from the airport. It was about one in the afternoon when I thought my water broke. I called Nick, he didn't answer but I knew he would be getting off work soon so I went back to cleaning out the pantry. When he called me back about 20 minutes later I said, "Don't panic it's not serious yet, but I think my water broke," and what does he do? Panics, sprints across the parking lot, tells someone to f*** off, and drives home, Nick is truly the best husband in the world! When he got home we talk things over and decided to call the labor and delivery triage to see if I needed to come in, since contractions hadn't started yet.
I was hoping for a no, because I really wanted to labor at home as much as possible, so when they said I should head in within the next couple hours, I was pretty disappointed. We got changed and made arrangements for someone to pick Winnie up, since we would be going to the hospital instead of the airport (thank goodness, I have the most wonderful friends around, love you Em). On our way to the hospital, we grabbed some food in case it would be a while before I got to eat again. Looking back, I wish I would have eaten something a little more hearty than a cobb salad!
After arriving at the hospital and getting checked out by the triage nurses, I was told that I was contracting, but that my water had not broke and they wanted to monitor me for another half hour or so. They asked about the birth plan and I told them I had hoped to do it as naturally as possible, that I wanted to avoid any medication and intervention if possible. I have always been able to sense the energy in a room and could tell that was not going to be the case by the reaction of the staff around us. About 45 min later, they came back in the room, did some more checking, and recommended admitting me, because lil man's heart rate was decelerating after contractions. This was when I got the best advice possible, it doesn't matter what your birth plan is, there is no wrong way to have a baby!
We transferred to Labor and Delivery and started making the necessary steps to move labor along. As they increased the medicine the contractions got stronger and after about 10 hours of laboring, I was only four centimeters dilated. Another hour passed with no progression and no sleep, so I hopped on the birthing ball to help ease the pain. When the nurse came in to adjust the monitor I asked about how long she thought it would be for me to progress another centimeter. When she said it could be another four to five hours until I was only halfway dilated, I decided it was time to get an epidural and get some sleep. Nick later told me that while he sat in front of me for support, my breath was sooo stinky that he almost threw up! I asked why he didn't tell me and he said, "I wasn't going to tell my laboring wife her breath smelled bad, I just tried not to breath through my nose!"
After some much needed rest, many position changes, a game of uno, accidentally disconnecting the epidural tube, lots of Jello cups, purple legs, and 12 more hours it was finally time to push! Although I was ready to meet our sweet baby boy, when they said it was time, the nerves hit hard. I pushed for about a half an hour before James made his entrance into the world. They set him on my stomach and panic set in. There was so much going on and I could barely see him the way he was positioned on my stomach. Once I was finally able to sit up and actually hold him we attempted to breastfeed and snuggled for about two hours before they took him for his bath and I finally got to eat some food! Winnie told me I ate the entire meal without actually looking at the plate, my eyes were locked on baby James and I was shoveling food into my mouth about as fast as I could!
We moved to the postpartum room and finished out our stay with lots of feeding alarms and diaper changes, a crazy long wait at the pharmacy, and some lovely visitors (Nick's parents and Auntie Winnie)! We were lucky to have some help our first week home, bringing home James was probably the scariest thing we've ever done, so having grandparents and a seasoned auntie in the house made for a smooth transition! Once everyone departed for home we spent our first weekend alone and then my mom came to meet baby James and hang out for a couple of days! Below I am sharing some of my favorite pictures from our first couple of weeks as a family of four (yes we include Chewie in that number)!
A special thank you to Winnie for capturing such precious moments for us!
Nick's parents decorated for when we arrived at home from the hospital! How sweet are they?
How Chewie reacts to not getting ALL of our attention!