Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Our Birth Story...

I had wanted to get this posted sooner but as I am learning babies have a whole different agenda.
Amelia was born on February 27, 2011 but her birth story actually starts a week earlier. Curtis and I had spent all day at my in-laws. They are building their own home and Curtis has been helping whenever he could. While driving back home I started to feel odd. Nothing was wrong I just felt a little off. The next morning I was nausea and had very strong braxton hicks contractions. I made it through my first class but gave in and called the doctor at the start of my second class. I put off calling so long because I didn't want to bug the doctor's nurse. I had called the week before because of how suddenly and badly my feet started swelling and I didn't want to seem like an over-worried first time mom (by the way, that was silly because that is exactly what I am and it was perfectly fine, that is what doctors and nurses are there for, duh.) After telling the nurse all my symptoms she instructed me to go home and count the pain. I was a little confused how I was going to count a pain that was constant but I did as I was told.  Heather, a friend from class that lives near me followed me the 45 minutes home.

I laid down, tried to count and discovered that there was not a pattern to the pain but that the nausea, along with some pressure was coming in waves about 20 minutes apart. I called an hour later and updated the nurse and was told to stay home and rest.  These "contractions" lasted about 2 days never getting closer together than 10 minutes. On Wednesday I woke up completely pain free and feeling fine. It was just a false alarm.  I was so disappointed. I hadn't realized how much I wanted her to come until she teased us. The rest of the week Curtis went to bed early just in case we had to wake-up in the middle of the night.

On Thursday I had my 37 week check up. I thought for sure that I was at least a little dilated but after my exam the doctor pronounced me "barely dilated, but thinning nicely." It seemed that the labor process had started but we had a long way to go. Our OB did jokingly gave Mia the go ahead to come during the weekend because it was his weekend to be on call. I left the doctor office feeling discouraged but resigned. I contacted all my professors and made plans for the next week of school.

Apparently Mia had been listening when the OB gave her the "ok" for the weekend though. On Saturday night I went to bed early. I was off work Sunday and had made plans with my mom to drive to Houston for the day. I wasn't sleeping very well at this point in my pregnancy, getting up multiple times at night to go to the bathroom. This is why I thought I woke up at 4:45am, but as I laid there I realized I didn't have to go to the bathroom. As I became more conscious I got a sharp pain in my back and stomach. I didn't think anything of it at first and decided to go to the bathroom anyways. When I got back to bed I felt the pain again. It occurred to me that these pains weren't very far apart and kind of felt like menstrual cramps. That's when I decided to count and sure enough the pain came every 3 minutes. So, I sat up and counted trying to make sure it wasn't a false alarm again. Finally since they were still constant I walked down stairs to see if standing and walking had any effect on them.

As I came down stairs at about 5am Curtis had yet to go to bed. He has an odd sleep schedule because of his job schedule but this was a particularly late night. He asked me if I was alright and I answered truthfully that I didn't know but I thought I was having contractions 3 minutes apart. He asked if he could watch the last 10 minutes of his show and I told him that it would probably be fine and went to call my mom. I don't remember much of our conversation but I think I asked what contractions feel like and what I should do. She asked me something back and I remember snapping back, "how should I know? I've never been pregnant before! That's why I called you," She then told me I should call the doctor.

So, I did and was told to head to the hospital. I was nervous, hoping this wasn't another false alarm. I was admitted and then wheeled up to the third floor of the hospital. I was changed into a gown and hooked up to monitors for Mia and myself. I was laying down and felt the start of another contraction. I remember thinking, "this is a lot more intense than the others have been," right before feeling a release and a gush of water. Curtis had been headed to the in suite bathroom but stopped at the sound of water hitting the floor and my comment that I thought my water had broke. He immediately went to get the nurse. The nurse came back in took one look underneath my blankets before leaving again. After that the room was blur of motion. I was changed, given an IV and then introduced to Jaime my labor and delivery nurse. This is when I realized, this was not a false alarm. I was having a baby, probably that day too. Yikes! The nurses made the comment that there was a lot more blood in my water than they normally like to see.  After our OB arrived he came to examine me and he also felt uncomfortable with the amount of blood but decided to not rush into a c-section. Since Mia was not in distress he gave us time to see if things would progress normally.

A few minutes later my mom arrived and Curtis, she and I just hung out through the contractions that got harder and harder in the next 2 hours. Finally the nurses examined me again and I was already between 4 and 5 cm dilated. At this point it was decided I could have the epidural. Once Dr. Hanna finished it was like magic. I could feel the pressure but no pain. The monitor was behind me next to the bed so I keep having to ask if I was having a contraction. Unfortunately the epidural really slowed everything down, but it gave my sister Heather, who was driving from Arkansas enough time to get to us before Mia arrived. Several other people arrived through out the morning, my sister Vicki, brother in-law Nathan, Gigi and many more friends.

About 4pm I started to have the urge to push and so we called Jaime. She came with our OB and they examined me one more time. I wasn't quite at 10cm but Mia's monitor indicated that she was in some distress so they decided I was ready to push. Once I started to push everything was a blur. I remember not being able to push with the same amount of pressure the whole 10 seconds every time. This is why they decided to use the section. I had a several nurses encouraging me but the only voice I really remember hearing was my moms. I had my eyes closed but when I heard her say, "That's it Nicki! She's here!" I opened them as the OB held her up.  I was so tired, but so relieved. She was beautiful and worth every minute of pain and discomfort.

After they cleaned her up and checked her out they gave her to me to hold. That was the best reward! We also attempted to breastfeed for the first time and she did a great job! Mia was then taken off to the nursery and I didn't see her again until they moved me from labor and delivery around 7pm. We spent 2 nights at the hospital before getting to go home.

It still amazes me that she is ours and we get to keep her. Everyday is a new adventure and I am loving every moment of it!

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