Monday, February 14, 2011
when i began this post, bailey was 10 days 23 hours
today, she is 1 year 19 hours
i sit at the computer with a milk-drunk baby resting in the crook of my elbow i can't but recall, as i have every day since, the events leading up to her birth and how she entered the world. i've been meaning to blog this much sooner fearing i'd forget the details but thankfully such an epic event remains clear in my memory.
i decided to take my maternity leave from work beginning january 24th as on of the due dates the doctor gave us was the 27th. joseph just received a seasonal promotion for the valentine season at proflowers that would be taking him to atlanta february 5th through 15th so we're all hoping that the baby arrives before then. my doctor appointment on the 24th informed us that i had gone from being 70 to 80% effaced, so we knew there was progress. i spent that week nesting, the first day of which i woke up at 5:30 am and immediately vacuumed then swept the floors, then swiffered them. after breakfast i mopped then went over them with the wet jet swiffer. considered swiffering the walls... then played the assassin's creed ps3 game that joseph got for christmas.
sharon, feeling anxious about missing the labor process, drove down from LA for the weekend hoping bailey would make her grand entrance. on the 29th we went to the zoo to walk walk walk. my doctor appointment on the 27th informed us that i was now dilated 1 cm and still effaced 80%. the nurse stripped the membranes and said that this can encourage labor. some begin labor 5 hours after this procedure. i was hopeful, but didn't get too excited. grammy had driven me to the appointment since joseph had our car at work; after the appointment she took me out to cabrillo where we walked along to encourage labor. tuesday and wednesday, the 1st and 2nd of february, i spent organizing and reorganizing all of bailey's clothes that we'd received, walking, bouncing on yoga ball and playing assassin's creed on the playstation.
"some women just need to relax to go into labor" melody told me on wednesday evening. i took this seriously as it was not something i tried yet. thursday morning i put on a random british tv show about college students, sat on the couch and concentrated on relaxing every muscle in my body. i did notice some strange braxton-hicks contractions... couldn't quite figure out what was different about them but at 3:30pm i began timing them and by the time joseph got home from work at 4:30 i had experienced three of them exactly 30 minutes apart. i wanted to start walking again but joseph had just had one of the longest most tiring days of work and just wanted to relax and prepare for his trip. hoping my mom would feel up to going for a walk i sent her a text and received response that they were on their way to souplantation and ask if we'd join them. joseph said he wasn't feeling up to it but that if i really wanted to go we could. i was thinking that if these contractions were the real deal that i definitely wanted to go somewhere with an endless buffet of some sort before heading to the hospital where they don't feed you until you give birth... though we decided that the souplantation twenty minutes from home and thirty minutes from the hospital was probably not the best option so we decided on sizzler. mild contractions continued through dinner and when we got home they were about twenty minutes apart at which point i decided on a bath while joseph packed for his trip. after about an hour in the bath contractions were about ten minutes apart and after texting sharon to start making her way back down from LA we decided to try to get some sleep around 10pm. i was asleep for maybe an hour and a half when i awoke to a pretty intense contraction and what felt like the a really strong baby kick. "these contractions are starting to get painful," i said to joseph and began to sit up. immediately fluids started pouring from me and i yelled "my water broke, get me a towel, i need a towel!" joseph popped up and got me a towel then promptly laid back down and tried to go back to sleep (keep in mind, he'd had a long busy day at work and was hoping to get rest in order to be more alert during the labor process.) i ran to the bathroom with the towel between my legs and jumped in the shower only to discover that my underwear and pants had absorbed the whole mess. i was dissapointed becasue those were the pants i was planning on wearing to the hospital and coming home in... so i chose my second favorite pants and, per joseph's coaxing, tried to lay back down and rest but that really wasn't happening. i started timing the contractions again and they were now six minutes apart. i sent a text to my sisters and mom. sharon replied that she was ten minutes away from my house, mom asked what i wanted to do, and melody sent me a link to a website that helps time contractions. i endured two contractions utilizing techniques learned in our childbirth prep class before sharon arrived, super excited and alert. she helped me time the contractions, inconsistantly 4 then 5 then 6 then 3 minutes apart so i woke joseph up and he joined us in the living room. "i can't believe i shaved for this" he joked, quoting cloris leachman from the celebrity roast of bob saget. i decided then that i wanted to watch the celebrity roast of bob saget so joseph brought it up on the netflix instant watch. we endured a few minutes of the bad writing orrated by john stamos and a contraction before i told him to skip forward to either cloris leechman or norm macdonald, whichever is first which ended up being cloris leechman. "i'm not here to roast bpb saget" she began and i paused the program for a contraction. sharon started the timer and it lasted about a minute. we talked for a moment about how it was pretty strong before pressing play. "i'm here to [kiss] john stamos" cloris continued and i paused it again for another contraction. "another one already?!" joseph exclaimed "yeah, i think it's time to go to the hospital" when the contraction was over i went to the bathroom while sharon and joseph shuffled everything into the car. i was feeling very wary about the car ride but joseph assured me he'd take it easy around corners. i beleive i had about three contractions during the 10 minute car ride to the hospital and we arrived there somewhere between 1:30 and 2 am. since only one person was allowed to join me in triage, sharon parked the car and waited in the lobby for us to be assigned to a room. the lady at the triage desk asked a lot of questions about my medical history and was very friendly but moving a lot slower than i would have hoped given the frequency of my contractions. she told me to go into the bathroom alone to collect a urine sample. i turned toward the bathroom and another woman in labor asked to use the bathroom but the nurse made her wait for me to go first and the nurse directed me to fill out a survey while i was in there too. so now i'm in the bathroom alone having contractions trying to pee in a tiny cup around my huge baby belly and i had used the bathroom before leaving the house anyway so nothing was coming out... knowing the whole time that a poor lady in labor is having to hold in her pee waiting for me. the survey that i had to fill out was basically "does your man beat you" which added to my frustration becuase it didn't apply to me. finally i left the bathroom and they took me behind a curtain where i undressed and hooked up the fetal monitoring to my belly. another nurse came in and was asking the same questions that i had just answered at the front desk so i stopped answering her questions and went into my deep breathing mode. during each contraction i focused on relaxing every muscle in my body including my face to allow all of the tension to be where it needed to be in my uterus. this confused the nurse asking the questions because she said "wow, she just slept right through that contraction." joseph scoffed at her and i shook my head no. somewhere around this time someone came in to have me sign some papers... she made me show my id and health care card but i barely remember that part. i do remember the nurse deciding to check to see how far dialated i was and was shocked that i was already at 7 centimeters. i heard her in the hallway say to another nurse "this girl is in the zone, we need to get her upstairs immediately" things began to get hazy to my perception as they put me in the wheelchair and brought me to a delivery room. i had my eyes closed most of the time and i remember both sharon and joseph being there and a very annoying orderly yelling in broken english from my room at someone in the hallway "you told me to bring a table but there's already a table! this room doesn't need a table but i brought in a table!" i think i shushed her but she couldn't hear me. a few minutes later my contractions became so intense that they were pushing the baby down. my eyes snapped open and only sharon and the orderly were in the room "can someone check me?!" i was panicked that joseph and the nurses were all gone "i need to be checked, someone check me!"
sharon asked the orderly who told her to push the button and when sharon looked at the bed there were all kinds of buttons "which button?!" she began to panic too. joseph came back in and the orderly finally came over and pushed the button for her and a nurse came in and then a bunch of nurses and a doctor lady came in and they were rolling me back and forth on the table i heard someone say nine centimeters and things were getting more and more hazy as the time passed. the lady doctor said to me "imagine how have a really big poop, the biggest poop you've ever had and you need to just push really hard to get it all out" so i started pushing and the nurses were all cheering me on and saying "good job!" for a few minutes but my perception was really hazy by then and i just remember a shift in everyone's demenor and it became very serious and grim. i asked "what's wrong?" but they didn't answer or didn't hear me. joseph and sharon told me later that no one told them what was going on either, but they started talking in code and more nurses began to shuffle in and out of the room, next thing i know i'm in the operating room and they're injecting the spinal into my back. my legs got warm and tingly thenn began to go numb very quickly and they put an oxygen mask on me. there was a curtain at my waist when they brought joseph in all dressed in white scrubs. i couldn't feel any pain as they worked on the other side of the curtain but i could definately feel movement. i swayed back and forth with each tug saying "wooooaaaah!" "woaaah..." being silly. later on joseph told me that although he was frightfully concerned his thought was 'well if she can be so light hearted in the situation i guess i can too.' but he didn't quite know they had me so drugged up.
i felt major pressure relief as the doctor said "alright there's her head, lets get the rest of her!" and then an ENORMOUS relief of weight as i saw them shuffle off to a window where they handed the baby off. i didn't take my eyes off the window waiting to see her, waiting to hear her cry waiting... a couple of nurses passed by the window and gave a thumbs up, then the room was empty. to my surprise from behind me joseph walked toward me with a little baby burrito wearing that silly newborn baby beanie with her pink pink face.
"she's perfect, she's perfect, she's perfect"
i cried and cried because i couldn't believe she was mine and that she was everything i dreamed.
we stayed in the hospital until the following tuesday.
now as i finish this post it is a saturday. Bailey turned one year old and had a wonderful day.