So on the morning of April 24th, 2014 I woke up feeling a little different than usual. Not that I knew I was in labor. I didn’t want to get my hopes up! I had myself convinced that I was gonna go a week late and have to be induced like all the other first-time moms I knew of lately. Also I really didn’t want to ever think I was in labor and go to the hospital, only to have them send me home because it was "false labor". Plus I still didn’t officially know what a contraction felt like anyway (boy, do I now!)
Anyway that night I had been waking up feeling kind of not good but Dr. hush told me if they were real contractions, I wouldn’t be sleeping through them so I’d try to go to sleep to see if they were real and then I could. In the morning they seemed a little stronger. Jacob didn’t want to go to work, but I didn’t want him to stay home and us get our hopes up if it wasn’t real. So I sent him to work. What reassured both of us was the fact that I had a regular appointment set up with Dr. Huish for that morning so I told Jacob I’d go to it and see what he said.
I spent the morning switching off between kneeling down and doing a few other positions off this paper we had for labor positions. But then a contraction stopped and I’d feel fine and convince myself it wasn’t real. Then they'd come again and I timed them the best I could. They seemed pretty regular but I still didn’t want to get my hopes up! I took a bath and called my mom to take me to the appointment just in case I was in labor. She was watching my nephew Oliver so he came with us and he was so good at the appointment. All the way there and in the waiting room, I was still timing my contractions and they were pretty regular.
By the time I got in to Doctor Huish, he just checked me right away and told me I was dilated to a 6 and 90% effaced! (the appointments weeks before I had been successfully dilating to about a 3.5 I think) I knew that was good but I didn’t know it meant this was for real happening. He told me I was IN LABOR and to head to the hospital! What?! I’m seriously in labor?! I cried so much, I couldn’t even believe it was true. I was so proud of my body and my Penny for coming on her own, a day early!!
I called Jacob bawling, and made sure to tell him right away that they were happy tears, and that he needed to get his bootie down there. Then I called my cousin Leah and left her a message (I had already invited her) and my sister Karen, while Jacob called his mom and sped there. At the hospital, they didn’t let Oliver back so my mom had to stay out in the waiting room while I went in alone. I was fine then but it really was kind of sad, not quite how I imagined. But whose labor story is anyway?! I went and did some paperwork stuff while having contractions and not being able to walk. The front desk lady informed me that “I could do this on my own!” That was awful, I did not want her telling me that, my husband was on his way! I was NOT going to do this on my own!
So they took me back and I’m not sure they believed me that I WAS in labor, just sent here by Dr. Huish. They were kind of confused, and asked me if I was on the induction list. Anyway, they did let me in and I had to change into the gown thing on my own which was confusing, especially while I was having contractions. Then they checked me, and I was a 7 by then! They asked me questions I don’t remember, and I felt soooo lightheaded and my ears felt distant from everyone in the room. I told them and they said I needed to breathe slower. Jacob got there finally (actually he got there a lot faster than I expected :)). And it was amazing. So so wonderful that he was there with me and I was not gonna do it alone. I tried to focus on my breathing while he answered the rest of the questions.
Then they wheeled me into a new room, and gave me my epidural thank GOODNESS!! Those things are amazing. They said I did really good for that part, I was having contractions while she was giving it to me but I held really still for her. Tiffany (my INCREDIBLE nurse) informed me that I was Streb B positive and that they were gonna try to hold me off from delivering for at least 4 hours because they had to pump penicillin through my arm. The doctor’s office did test me for this but apparently never informed me of it so it didn’t work out as ideally as far as that could’ve. She would’ve diluted the penicillin but she didn’t and it burnt/hurt my arm pretty darn bad. But it’s okay, the epidural felt amazing.
We waited around for four hours. Londa (Jacob's mom) got there, then since we were supposed to wait for 4 hours, she went to grab some Subway. She didn’t make it all the way there before my water broke so she came back. But Tiffany closed my legs so it wouldn’t progress. Leah got there, then Karen. Then Elle (Jacob's sister) even showed up! I had invited her but didn’t actually expect her to come so that was exciting. My mom kept talking like Penny wasn’t gonna wait until 4:30 to come so I kinda didn’t think she would either. But she did! The penicillin got all through me like it was supposed to! So then Tiffany checked me and I wasn’t quite dilated to 10 yet.. or maybe I wasn’t effaced all the way. I don’t know. Anyway, she put a big exercise ball peanut thing in between my legs for a little while.
Around 5 she had me start to push for real. My mom was holding my right leg and helping me hunch over while Jacob was holding my left leg, giving me kisses and feeding me glorious ice chips (they wouldn’t let me eat anything else that whole time and I’d already thrown up my half a bowl of oatmeal from that morning). Leah, Londa, and Karen just watched and Elle sat on the couch. I sure don’t blame her for not getting front row seating. I guess I wasn't breathing good enough because they had to give me oxygen almost the whole time I pushed. I pushed a ton, threw up almost as much, and Jacob would tell me that he could see her hair. She has hair, how exciting! Tiffany was INCREDIBLE to motivate me and let me know when my pushes were really good and count to 10 really enthusiastically to keep me going.
Dr. Huish impressed me with how involved he was. Jacob had learned in nursing school that the actual OBGYN basically just goes in to catch the baby and their job is done when the cord is cut. But Dr. Huish was in and out for the whole 2 1/2 hours that I pushed. Motivating me and whatnot. Sadly, Karen had to leave at 7 because her kids didn’t have a babysitter or something. And also SO sadly, Tiffany’s shift ended at 7 so she didn’t even get to meet perfect Penny Blu with all the effort she put into it! They put a mirror there for some of it and it helped but didn’t help. I liked seeing Penny’s head but I didn’t like seeing it go back when I stopped pushing. Kind of felt like one step forward, two steps back. I am SO GRATEFUL for the amazing epidural and that it worked good on me! I know epidurals don’t always work well for people. But it was perfect. I felt the pressure but not the pain, and I could still move my legs a little bit!
Close to 7:30, Dr. Huish informed me that we had 2 options. I could keep pushing and it would work out and Penny would come, but I would definitely tear. Or he could cut a little bit to make room for her and direct where the tear would be and he’d cut it to the side. I honestly wasn’t worried one bit. I chose the episiotomy. So he cut me (I didn’t feel it at all.. didn’t even know he cut me at the time). And the next pushes her head came!!!!!!! Then I had to push just a little bit more for her body. All of a sudden she was laying on my chest, little cone head, covered in her own meconium (poop), those almond eyes I didn't expect at all, and ears crinkled down.. and so incredibly perfect.
I’ll be honest, that moment wasn’t the huge "angel choir glorious" moment for me that some others talk about. Obviously I loved her to death and knew she was perfect. But I was also just super glad I was done pushing. She didn’t quite look like the baby I had subconsciously imagined would come out of me. She had real big cheeks and almond eyes. Sadly, the giant cheeks have gone down a little bit since then. Happily, her giant cone head has gone down since then! And her crinkled down ears have gone up! So I loved her. Jacob loved her. Everyone loved her. Then she had to be taken to the nursery because she wasn’t breathing too well with all that meconium inside her. That was so sad, but I was completely assured knowing that Jacob went with her.
I was a mom finally, and Jacob was a dad. :)
The rest of the hospital stay was full of:
-scrumptious hospital meals of whatever I darn pleased (and I didn't even get acid reflux with anything!.. complete opposite of pregnancy)
-Tons of super thoughtful visitors
-A completely awful first night because I was so tired from, you know, giving BIRTH! Also, we had no idea how to take care of this perfect baby even though we were her parents and our nurse was pretty bad to say the least. Jacob says he remembers pacing the room while holding Penny trying to keep her from crying so I could sleep and just thinking "What did we get ourselves into?! Who allowed us to be parents?!"
-A very difficult time trying to breastfeed. We stayed an extra day at the hospital just for those blessed lactation nurses who gave me hope. (It was hard for a week or so but now is incredible and SO WORTH IT for me!)
-Mesh underwear with literal diapers full of ice on my bum.
-Poor Jacob sleeping on the couch
-Never changing a single diaper (THANK YOU Jacob!)
-So much family cuddle time
-A few happy breakdowns. Just so overwhelmed with how blessed we were, it made me cry a lot.
And now I have a precious 2 month old! Boy time flies! She is jabbering to herself in her deep voice on her playmat with toys right now!
Congratulations for getting through that lengthy and wordy post! I promise more pictures and less words from now on.