Today I'm linking up with Mama M and sharing birth stories. Head over to her blog to link up your stories too!
Alexis' story begins in August of 2006.
My sister Jaimee had called me at some point this month to tell me they were pregnant with their second baby (Jackson). I was super excited for her and a little jealous too.
Ross and I had discussed a couple different options for getting pregnant with our first child. Our conditions were, after he got promoted at his job, or after our first anniversary, whichever came first. Well our first anniversary came and went in June of 2006, so after my sisters call, I told Ross I wanted to start trying. He agreed that it was time.
It has become obvious now that we are very blessed to not have to "try" very hard at all. We got pregnant a few weeks later. Because we were trying I was prepared with my pregnancy tests that could be taken 5 days before your missed period and my body is pretty much like clock work when it comes to my monthly cycles. My next period was expected on Saturday, but I just couldn't wait any longer.
After Ross left for work on that Friday morning, I got up to go potty and decided I'd pee on the stick since they say the morning pee is the strongest and has higher levels of the pregnancy hormones in it. Well, I was half asleep and didn't really think I'd get a positive result, so I peed on it, put it on the sink and went back to sleep. 3 hours later I got out of bed for the day and walked into the bathroom and behold.......2 pink lines! I was kind of stunned at first, but my heart jumped into my throat with excitement that I might actually be pregnant.
I wasn't quite sure what to think, so I called on my sister/OB/GYN nurse Jaimee for advice. Is the test still accurate after it's been sitting for 3 hours? She didn't really know for sure, so she suggested I wait until the next morning and take another one. I have little patience, so I went ahead and took another one. I very impatiently waited outside the bathroom watching every second pass for those 3 minutes when I could go check it. (The second pink line had started to show up very faintly the minute the urine got to it, but I wanted to be absolutely sure this time.)
It was without a doubt a positive result...I was pregnant with my first child! Because I was so super excited, I didn't do things the proper way. I called Ross at work and told him the news. I think he was shocked more than anything, so I was a little disappointed at his reaction. We discussed it later and he said that after the initial shock wore off, he was totally stoked, but he was at work and couldn't share that excitement with me. My bad...next time, I'll do it different. Our first baby is due on May 12, 2007.
Fast forward to April 27th, 2007.
On Friday, the 27th, I'm at work and I'm kind of feeling weird. Not dizzy, but I believe I described it as a little loopy. I didn't want to alarm anyone since I was so pregnant and driving around on my fork lift. So, I asked one of the girls who was a SIRT (Serious Incident Response Team) member to meet me up at the First Aid Room and take my blood pressure for me. It was a little higher than normal, so she told me to lay on my left side and she'd come back and check on me in 15 minutes. Well, I ended up feeling better and went back to work for the rest of the night. I got home that night at 1am and went to bed.
Saturday morning came and I slept in like usual. Ross had worked all week and was also working on Saturday, he ended up having to go out with the delivery truck all day which meant he'd have a long day. We were going up to St. Louis that night with Ross' parents. A family in Steelville had a horrible accident with a lawn mower and their son (2 or 3 years old, can't remember now) was in pretty bad shape up at Children's Hospital in St. Louis.
I spent a good part of the morning de-tagging baby clothes and making a massive pile of stuff to get washed up that weekend. Ross was off on Sunday, so we were going to finish up the babies room. We had the crib put together, but nothing else was done yet. We figured it was our first pregnancy so I'd go to my due date or past. My last check up had given no indication that I was close to labor. I had started losing my mucus plug that week, but that's not really an indication of labor either.
Afternoon rolls around and I decide I need to start getting ready to go. Ross wasn't sure what time he was going to get off, but I needed to be ready when he called. After I got showered and dressed I was resting on the couch waiting for Ross' call. I got up to go to the bathroom and I felt like I was leaking some kind of fluid. I went to use the bathroom and I had filled my pantyliner. I thought this was a little strange, but still wasn't considering the possibility of labor. I called my mom, sister and sister-in-law and none of them had their water break, so they could offer no clues as to what it might be. Except for my sister, she thought I might possibly be leaking amniotic fluid. She told me to keep an eye on it and to call the nurses hot line if it continued.
She later informed me that I should have told her I was going to St. Louis. She would have advised me to stay home! So, Ross calls around 5 and Bill & Carol picked me up and we go to meet him in Cuba. Not to long after we got on I-44 headed to St. Louis, I started getting really uncomfortable and having a lot of lower back pain. It was getting kind of bad and I was super fidgety. The only way I could get relief was to turn sideways and have Ross put pressure on my lower back. I remember Carol asking if I thought I could be in labor. I said, "No way, I'm not in labor, I'm still 2 weeks from my due date."
We made a pit stop in Pacific so I could get out and walk around for a bit and go to the bathroom. I had filled another pantyliner and decided to buy some pads. Still not thinking I'm in labor, just very uncomfortable.
We get to Children's Hospital, ride the elevator up and go to a packed waiting room to see the family of the little boy. I last about a minute and a half in that chair and I had to get up. Ross and I went out and I paced the halls in front of the elevators. My back pain was getting worse and I didn't know what to do. I was sitting on the floor with my back pressed up against the wall and my legs out in front of me. Then I tried getting on my hands and knees and that helped relieve the pressure somewhat.
Someone saw me and went into the waiting room and asked if anyone in there was with that pregnant lady out in the hall. My in-laws claimed me and they told them they better check on my because I was on my hands and knee out there. They came to see what was happening and by this point Ross and I had made the decision to call the nurse's hot line. We didn't have good cell signal, so we rode the elevator back down to the vestibule area of the hospital.
I called and talked to a nurse and told her what was happening. At some point during all this Ross starting timing my pains. They were lasting about 45 seconds and were coming every 2-3 minutes. The nurse thought it would be a really good idea for me to get checked out. We were at a hospital, just not the baby delivering kind.
I remember calling my Mom to tell her we were heading over the St. John's Mercy Medical Center and that I thought I might be in labor. I was still in complete denial. We didn't have anything ready yet. I didn't feel like I was mentally prepared at all. I started crying to my Mom saying, "This can't be happening, I'm not ready." She assured me that it would all be okay and they'd meet us at the hospital.
We arrived a little before 8 and it's starting to sink in that I'm in labor and I'm going to be having a baby soon. I finally got checked out around 8:45pm and I was dilated to 4 and 80% effaced. I was planning to go all natural with no pain medication. I was not prepared for the intensity of back labor. Ross and Mom were my coaches and I couldn't have done it without them.
Oh, and I had the nurse from Hades. She was a complete (insert bad word here). She offered me no help or advice whatsoever. It's almost like when she heard I didn't want an epidural, she didn't even know what to do with me. Finally, the nurse who came in to put in my IV, offered me some help. She got me a birthing ball. Raised the bed up, so I could lean over it when I was having a contraction. And she told me I needed to rock my pelvis to get the baby to come off of my spine. That is what was causing all my back pain. The birthing ball was my absolute salvation!
I finally started to feel like I was getting myself under control and I'd be able to do this. I'd like to think that I was a very nice labor patient. At least to Ross and my Mom. I had no love for that stinking nurse. She was constantly griping at me, "Sit still, I can't get a read on you on the monitors." Like I gave a rip what she needed. All I knew was, that birthing ball and swinging my hips through my contractions was finally giving me some relief.
My dad, bless his heart, went and got me some headbands because my hair was hanging in my face and making me crazy. My mom, Miss Modesty herself, was trying to be helpful and kept pulling my gown up and trying to snap it for me in the back. I felt like it was a vice around my neck and I felt like I was choking, so I finally got her to leave it alone. It hung off of me to my elbows every time I leaned over the bed to have a contraction, but I really didn't even care.
I was a little bothered that I hadn't gotten my pedicure yet and my legs hadn't been shaved in probably 3 or 4 days. *Eeeewwww, gross*.
I remember at one point, I was trying to rest between my contractions and Ross and Mom were being super chatty. I finally asked Mom as politely as I could, "Mom, please stop talking." They obliged me and I rested as much as possible between each contraction.
We had established that my water had broken, so my labor start time would have been around 4pm as best as I can figure.
The nurse had been in several times to see how I was doing and to adjust those blasted straps around my humongous torso. She had offered to do a pelvic check and I declined. I was afraid that after all that work, I would have only dilated to 5 or something. I knew that I wanted to go pain med free, but I was afraid I would cave if I wasn't making any progress.
Ross had even suggested I get checked a few times and I said no. A little before 11 I had some super strong, holy cow, the roof is falling contractions. I cried out a little from the pain and as soon as I tried to catch my breathe, another one hit. Mom suggested we let the nurse check me and this time I agreed. Poor Ross, he was chop liver when he suggested I get checked, but I listened to Mom!
I climbed up in the bed and the nurse checked me out and all I remember her saying was, "You're dilated to 10 and ready to go." At that moment I had the overwhelming desire to push. I'd never felt so compelled to do anything in my life. I let them know I wanted to push and she told me, "No, you can't, we aren't ready yet, hold on."
I panted through those next contractions and urges to push. At this point I remember thinking, "What did you get yourself into? Can I really do this?"
Finally I was was given the green light to push. Well, instead of pushing, I just screamed through the next contractions. That's when the *hmm* not nice nurse finally became helpful. She got right in my face and said, "Listen, you have to get yourself under control and do this right. It's going to feel like a flaming bowling ball is coming out of you, but do it right or it will hurt even worse." That helped me to focus and get under control.
On the next contraction I bore down and pushed with all I had. The nurses were holding my legs up for me and reminding me to put my chin on my chest. Ross and Mom were on either side of me holding my hands.
(At some point during all this hoopla when Ross was helping me breathe, I told him, "Can you get a breath mint, you're breathing in my face and your breath stinks.") Well, the baby crowned on that push. They asked me if I wanted to reach down and feel the head. I did and it was a mass of wet hair!
Next contraction came and I pushed and the head came out. Oh wow, she was right, flaming bowling ball coming out of my lady parts. Next contraction and push, out came the shoulders and then our beautiful daughter slipped into the waiting hands of the resident doctor at 11:11pm on April 28th, 2007.
She was wonderful, I was so overcome with so many emotions. I was shaking and crying and laughing all at the same time. My Mom was crying. I had told Ross that he might cry and sure enough, I looked over at him and the tears of joy were streaming down his face.
You never know it until it happens to you. It is amazing how much love you can feel for something so small.
It all the excitement that my delivery was, Ross didn't get a chance to cut the cord.
I forgot to mention that fact that Jaimee was also supposed to be in there coaching me along as well. Minutes after Alexis was born, I was calling her and she was walking down the hall to my room. She missed the big moment, but was one of the first to hold Alexis.
Mom informed me that next day that I kind of hurt her hands when I was squeezing so hard during the pushing. I told her I was sorry, but she said it was worth it.
I must say, as bad at the pain from the contractions and the pushing was, the after part was worse. They numbed me up to start the repairs and the numbness wore off before they were done and they had to numb me again. I kept apologizing in advance to the 2 doctors who were doing the stitching, I was really afraid I was going to come out of those stir-ups and kick one of them in the head.
I was finally reunited with my beautiful baby around 2-3am and didn't sleep a wink until Sunday night came. You've got to love the adrenaline rush.
So there you have it. That's Alexis story.