Well Hello Friends!!
In case you were wondering where I've been for the past month or so, I thought I should pop in and tell you that I had a baby. And not just had a baby, but a nearly 11lb baby! And also, I tried having him the way nature intended. But, after two hours of pushing, that just did not happen.
At 5:49pm on November 2nd, Bodie Fletcher Pebbles was pulled from my uterus (feet first!) by a team of doctors, nurses and an intern via c-section, weighing in at a whopping 10lbs 15oz and 23" in length!
Do you want to hear all the gory details? Because I'm about to tell you...it was a horrendous mess peeps. I did not handle things gracefully at all.
First: Did you know that I was on bed rest for about the last two weeks before my due date? I had pregnancy induced hypertension. My blood pressure was awesome, as long as I was laying down or seriously reclining...otherwise, it was through the roof. So, even though I had a to-do list to complete, I could only get to a few things. I made a tufted upholstered headboard with my Mom while on the couch (!) and also made our Halloween costumes. We dressed up as a family of dorks, like we do every year. :)
(Little Red Riding Hood, The Woodsman, The Big Bad Wolf and Grandma in her belly.)
I really, really wanted to dress up my belly for Halloween, for some dumb reason. If only I could predict the future, I would have dumped that idea. I was huge. I thought there was a 98% chance I was secretly pregnant with twins.
The day after Halloween, I went to my weekly appointment, now technically a couple days overdue. My doctor "checked me", stripped my membranes (ouch) and was happy to report that I was 3cm and thinning, but the little dude was still waaay high up. She asked if I wanted to induce if I didn't go into labor, and I said yes. I was ready to get him out and get on with it and since Maggie was 9 days late and I didn't have any contractions at all with her, I figured same would happen with him. This was on a Friday, we decided to induce on Sunday, so we could have one last day to do stuff with Maggie, clean house and relax.
Isn't that cute...
I ran some errands, bought some lamps at Target, gave myself a couple hours away from the purgatory of my sofa to try to get some things done. We got home kind of late, I sat down and watched a movie...
I started having contractions at 11pm. They were mild-ish at first, but it didn't take long for me to start to worry that we weren't going to get our "day off"...I know how it is. Life is a sneaky bitch.
Around 11:30pm, I started barking orders at John and speed nesting.
At about 1am, we were in bed trying to get some rest, and I was timing my contractions using my iPhone. I didn't get any sleep, but hey!- new lamps in the bedroom and hospital bags packed!
Contractions are a weird thing. I felt 100% that this was the real deal, but my doctor said 60 seconds, 5 mins apart. It was frustrating me that some of my contractions were following this pattern, but not consistently. I had zero intention of having a "natural" childbirth, so I was ready for that epidural now.
At 3am, I told John, "Fuck it. We're going now!"
We woke up my Mom and had her move into our room so that she'd be right there when Maggie woke up, then we attempted to say goodbye to her, but it was 3am...she was comatose and didn't understand what was going on...but at least I got to kiss her and tell her I loved her in case I died.
Thank god that the hospital was only 10 mins away, because that car ride sucked. I was hurting. It was not fun.
Then we got to our hospital and they set me up in the "we need to make sure you're really in labor" room, and we hunkered down through about 30 more minutes of strong and painful contractions until they got all the proof they needed, and then it was off to the delivery room for my IV and my epidural! YAY!
That didn't go so smoothly.
I went in at 4cms. I was fully in labor, not happy to still be feeling everything, when the first nurse attempted to put in my IV.
You know how they ask, "What's your pain level, on a scale between 1-10?" That first needle jab into my hand was an 11. Holy balls. It's a special kind of torture to be stabbed at the same time your body is trying to expel a baby.
First try? Fail.
Second try? Fail.
Third try? Fail. (But at least this time they started with a numbing shot first.)
Fourth try? Fail. Fifth time? Fail.
At this point, I am bawling from the pain, full blown freaking out that I am about to have an un-medicated birth, we've had three nurses attempt to find a vein in both hands and my arms with zero success (Apparently, high blood pressure makes your veins very uncooperative. Be prepared for this ladies, just in case. Don't try to be a bad ass and say, I don't need the numbing shot first, because hell yes you do.) It was now time to call the anesthesiologist to have her try. Last hope.
6 tries later, and one massive pool of blood everywhere, SUCCESS!! Holy shit people, I've never been happier in my life then when that epidural kicked in. I went until 6cms un-medicated (and tortured!) and that was something I never, ever, intended or planned for. You natural Mamas...I both bow to you and think you're nuts at the same time. :)
I'd like to say that at this point, the drama was over, but no. Only a break. I labored painlessly past 10cms, and we kept letting the contractions come to get him lower and closer to a +1 or 2. Then it was time to push.
I pushed and pushed. I couldn't feel a thing, but god damn, I gave it my all. My nurse cheered me on like a champ, and I pushed until I thought I could finally feel maybe a little bit of pressure...and then pushed some more!
I thought things were going great, because they kept telling me I was doing great! Who knew? 2 hours later, no progress. When my doctor told me that we needed to stop pushing and go have a c-section, I was 100% calm and totally fine. No problem, it happens! Lets do it! And that's when they started prepping me and getting everything ready, including unplugging my epidural.
That was the part that snuck up on me...when 20 mins later, I all of a sudden could feel everything I wasn't feeling before. You know, the BURN. That is exactly when I began panicking. Why was I feeling this? Was I going to feel the incision? What the effing hell was happening? Panic.
By the time they had me strapped down on that table, I was 90% unglued. The other 10% came when I started puking.
I wish I could remember all the chatter during the procedure, especially once they were in and trying to get him out. He had progressed further than my doctor thought, and she couldn't get his head out from where I'd been squeezing it for 2hrs...so they literally had to pull him out of my uterus by his feet, and yank his head out like a cork. AWESOME!
And he was huge! And I lost 2 liters of blood! And the puking and bawling and total loss of composure! And there is nothing like feeling your insides being rearranged, that's some lovely stuff. I will give a big shout out to my anesthesiologist, she was a rock star. She comforted me and held up my puke pan and kept my IV full of all kinds of awesome drugs to get me through it. Love her.
John was totally with Bodie and the nurses while they stitched me up, and I'm so glad he was, because I was such a mess. I was nothing at all like those ladies on TV who smile for a picture with their new baby and scrubs-wearing husband. I remember vividly hoping with all my might that no one would approach me with my baby for fear I would puke on him. And right about that time is when I got the shakes.
I knew absolutely nothing about the shakes. No one had ever told me about this part. Calling it "the shakes" sounds nicer than "going into shock." What kind of special hell did I sign up for? I laid on the gurney shaking so hard I thought my teeth were going to fall out. I could barely speak, and I couldn't hold Bodie at all, so they had to put him on the bed, between my legs, to get us all back to my recovery room. I vibrated my new baby all the way down the hall. I shook uncontrollably for the next hour, possibly longer. My poor in-laws, who'd been sitting in the waiting room all day had to go home without seeing Bodie or me because I could not keep it together. Oh the effing shakes. If you are going to be having a c-section, consider this your public service announcement.
Sometime around 8 or 9pm, I had stopped shaking, I could finally hold my sweet boy, and speak coherently without crying. We were wheeled to our new room (new hospital = nice!) where we spent the next three glorious days eating pudding and jello and then room service, snuggling our mega baby, hanging out with the new big sis and deciding on a name. If I could have stayed all week, I would have.
And now here we are, one month later and we're all doing well and recovering nicely! I'm smitten with my huge baby. He is super mellow, until he's not, then he fires up his sirens and does the full-on red faced, quiet baby scream cry. Fortunately for us, he only does that when we change his diaper or put him in the car seat or drive too slow. He is sleeping pretty well now, so we are a bit more rested than we were.
John is once again killing it in the Dad/Husband department. One night, about a week in, I was so exhausted and worn out, I couldn't wake up to feed the baby, so he did the entire night shift, got Maggie off to school and then went to work. He is "the" swaddler, so he gets up after I feed Bodie to put him back to bed. He is amazing. He's really helped Maggie through the transition, it's been a bit hard for her, but she doesn't let it show very often. She loves Bodie a ton and is always wanting to kiss and love on him, which is wonderful. I miss her like crazy and I don't enjoy being the bad cop/fun police when it comes to boundaries, but I know this too shall pass.
As for me, I have been up and down, but mostly just resigned to minimal activity and trying not to stress too much about the things that are falling through the cracks. This past Thanksgiving weekend ended up being a great trip away where my in-laws took turns snuggling the baby and entertaining Maggie while I got to have a break and form a thought, so that was nice. Now I'm home again trying to figure out my immediate to-do list and get the Christmas decorations up. I have a couple blog posts to share, but it will be kinda quiet again until I get back into the groove.
So now we're a family of four, and it is much harder, but so amazing to have another sweet kiddo to love and I'm so excited to get to know him and watch him grow.