Better write this down now before I forget all the nitty gritty details!
Once upon a time, in November of 2009, Paige decided she wanted to start a family. It took a couple of months, but after purchasing an ovulation kit and listening to some tips and tricks from friends, we found out on February 7th 2010 that we were expecting.
From early on I always assumed things were going wrong. It's a really bad attitude to have and I'm working on becoming not such a worrywart. I thought I had an ectopic pregnancy from the get-go because I was spotting all the time and there was a constant pain in my side. But after going to the OB when I was only 5 weeks along, the doctor said everything checked out and to keep trudging along. At 8 weeks we got to see the little bean moving around. I can't believe babies can move around when they're only 8 weeks developed!
One month I had my blood drawn to test for rubella and when I got home there was an email from the doctor saying I tested positive and the standard is negative. I called Chris in a panic, sweating from head to toe, believing I had this nasty disease. Luckily, Chris calmed me down and assured me that everything is fine, I tested positive in having the antibodies which is a good thing. Okay. Relax.
Then once it came time for me to start being able to feel Fox move around I worried constantly when I couldn't feel him move constantly. Even now that he's out of me, I feel like I should be counting kicks.
What I've learned from this entire experience is I need to relax, not assume everything will go wrong, but instead assume everything will go right. Because it did. From beginning to end, I've had a dream pregnancy.
Here is the story of how Fox was born:
39 weeks and 4 days into my pregnancy (Tuesday October 12th), I was a distraught, hormonal mess. I thought for sure we'd be able to coax Fox to come on 10.10.10. But he didn't. I couldn't believe I was still pregnant and wondered constantly when this baby would make his debut. On Tuesday I tried eating and drinking lots of things I heard start labor. I ate spicy chicken chunks and a hot bowl of spicy chili from Wendy's for lunch. I had two huge spears of pineapple for dessert. Then I downed it all with a cup of raspberry herbal tea. Several hours later I went to the bathroom and noticed I was dripping brown liquid. Could this be it?!? I figured out I was losing my mucous plug, which ultimately meant I could be starting labor in a day or two - or another week or two. Very helpful. Not!
39 weeks and 5 days into my pregnancy (Wednesday October 13th) I had my last scheduled visit with my OB. I'll be honest, I didn't think I'd be going to this appointment, I thought I would have had Fox by then. And I was hesitant about having an appointment on the 13th to begin with - I'm seriously superstitious of the number 13. When the nurse was checking me in I told her I think I lost my mucous plug and she asked if I'd like to have the doctor check me out. Yes please. So after examining the baby via ultrasound (everything looked good) the doctor put on a glove and reached up inside me. OMG I'm being 100% serious, that was THE most painful part of my whole labor/delivery/aftermath. I screamed so loud for her to stop. The OB said I was 75% effaced and 4 centimeters dilated and why wasn't I at the hospital in excruciating pain from contractions? Um. Because I wasn't having any contractions? At least not painful ones. I've been having Braxton Hicks since around week 20 so I wasn't really paying attention to when and how often I'd been having them. But I guess they'd been doing what they were supposed to be doing regardless of whether I was feeling them or not and I was in the early stages of labor. After standing up from the table and noticing a distressing amount of blood, I asked if we should go to the hospital and the OB said we should.
The next hour (or rather, three days) was sort of a blur. Things were happening so fast but it couldn't have been a better situation. Chris wasn't at school, the place where we board Joey was still open for a few more hours, I had time to pack my hospital bag, feed the animals, and mentally prepare for what was about to happen. Here is my belly and feet for the last time being pregnant!
We dropped Joey off at doggie day care and made our way to the hospital. Of course the traffic was horrendous!
Thank goodness I wasn't in any pain. It took about an hour to get to the hospital. You'd think after taking the tour I would know where to go, but nothing looked familiar and I was in a state of panic so it took us awhile to find where to go. But we found it.
I didn't even get dropped off at the "Stork Parking." I was feeling able enough to walk from the car to the drop off area. One of the workers pushed me in a wheelchair and Chris followed through a labyrinth of corridors and hallways and levels. I'm glad he knew where he was going because I sure would have been lost. He dropped us off at the triage where the receptionist asked, "What can I do for you?" "I think I'm in labor. My doctor says I should be here." She sort of looked at me like I was crazy because I wasn't in any pain or grimacing as I told her this news of news. I got that look a lot over the next several hours. A nurse took me to a room where she had me undress and fit into a robe and then a doctor came in to check me. She confirmed my stats and I was officially admitted into the hospital. I was hooked up to some monitors to check my contractions and baby's heartbeat.
I guess I was having pretty steady contractions evenly spaced apart and everyone was like, what is wrong with you? Why aren't you feeling these and in more pain? Just lucky I guess... About an hour later I was taken to my birthing suite. I ate some dinner and then Chris and I walked around in circles outside. I still wasn't feeling pain. The doctors assured me I would and eventually I would get mighty uncomfortable. At 9pm we watched America's Next Top Model and then I wanted to go walking some more because my contractions were tapering off according to the monitor and I really wanted to get the ball rolling. After only walking for a few minutes, blood started trickling down my legs so we came back in. The doctor said it's probably just my cervix expanding, but she didn't check to see how dilated I was.
The rest of the night was pure torture. My contractions pretty much stopped. I was in no pain. I was not progressing. The bed was the most uncomfortable thing I'd ever laid on. I really just wanted to have a baby. There was nothing good on TV. I was tired, wondering, and mad that nobody was coming to check on me. At 2am the doctor said that if I wasn't contracting soon she'd break my water between 4 and 5 am. Well, 4am rolled by. 5am rolled by. 6am rolled by... Still no doctor. I was po'ed.
Finally at 7am the doctor came in, checked my cervix for the second time since I'd been there over 12 hours earlier, said I was at a 5, and that I had two options: 1) Go home and wait for active labor to start, or, 2) break my water to see if that gets things going then start pitocin. There was no way in h-e-double-hockey-sticks I was going home. My mom was already on the way to the airport. My mind was set on having a baby that day. I was still bleeding and I'm sure by the time I got home I'd just have to turn right back. No, going home was not an option, I wanted my water broken. The doctor seemed almost hesitant to do so. Whatever. My choice lady. She had a hard time breaking my water because Fox was so far down. But, thank goodness, it did the trick and literally 20 minutes after she broke my water, I had a contraction that actually hurt! And then I had another one about 4 minutes later that hurt even worse. Then another, and another. By this point I had requested an epidural and the anesthesiologist couldn't have shown up any sooner.
Let it be known: epidural = heaven.
The doctor was right, the insertion of the IV into my hand was worse pain than getting an epidural. The only part that hurt at all was the needle that went in to numb the area of my back for the insertion of the big needle - which I never saw and didn't want to see. Ripping off the epidural thingy also stung really bad because it tore off all my back hairs like I was getting waxed. Next I was given the smallest dose of pitocin. I could see my contractions coming very strongly every few minutes and while I did still feel them and they didn't feel good, they didn't hurt like a banshee like they did before. I asked the nurse how long it would take for me to fully dilate and start pushing. She says it takes about 1 cm per hour so we're talking 5 hours plus a couple hours of pushing and she thought she was being generous so maybe around 4 or 5pm my baby would be born. Sounds good to me.
We settled down to let the pitocin do its magic and watched The Price is Right. I've been watching that show a lot the last few weeks. One of these days I'ma get on and win the Showcase Showdown :)
At 11am the doctor came in to see how I was doing. I'd had the epidural for about 2 hours and she wanted to check my progress. She was shocked and amazed to see that I was fully effaced, 10cm dilated, Fox was at station plus 2, and the only thing that prevented me from pushing right then and there was an anterior cervical lip - whatever that means. Basically they just wanted to wait another half hour or so for Fox to move down even more.
Here I am, ready to get this show on the road (with my cell phone ready to contact the outside world)!
The last picture of Chris and Paige - party of two.
The nurse prepped the room with everything everyone needed for Fox's arrival. At 11:20am, the nurse had me do a practice push. I started tearing right then and there. Oh boy. She had me push at every other contraction, three strong pushes, 10 seconds each. I tore more and more with each push. When the nurse saw Fox's head coming (and noted, "look at that dark curly hair!" YAY!) she grabbed the doctor and shortly thereafter, Fox was born at 12:01pm on Thursday October 14th 2010.
They immediately cut his cord and put him on my chest all bloody and warm.
I started crying. I couldn't believe I had done it. My baby was here, he was all mine, and he was super cute.
Ya know, I wonder if every nurse and every doctor tells their laboring patients, "Oh you're doing such a great job! You're such a great pusher! Just a couple more like that and you'll be a mom!" Whether they were telling me the truth or not, it was the motivation I needed to keep doing what I was doing because I couldn't feel anything going on down there. I did feel him exit out of my body and talk about an indescribable feeling!
Just want to note that I love the doctor who delivered Fox. I don't remember her name, I just remember she was cracking wise the entire time. She was so funny and kept me laughing and smiling between pushes. When Fox was laying across my chest, I thought the next step would be for me to deliver the placenta, but she just reached right up inside and grabbed it! Ah! She plopped it on the table and I had Chris take pictures. The doctor flipped it over so Chris could get the other side, haha. I was thiiis close to posting pictures of my placenta right here, but I'll spare you.
As Fox was lying on my chest, still covered in goop, he wrapped his little hand around my finger. Talk about a precious moment!
He would cry for a few seconds then stop and his eyes were open and alert the entire first hour. Eventually the nurse pried him from my hands and weighed and measured him. 8 pounds 3 ounces. 19.5 inches. He got a 10 on the Apgar scale which rates a baby's appearance, pulse, responsiveness, muscle activity, and breathing with a number between 0 and 2 - 2 being the strongest rating. The numbers are then totaled and 10 is considered a perfect score. That's my perfect baby for ya! :)
Fox in his very first diaper.
Fox in his very first outfit supplied by the hospital.
One proud daddy!
All swaddled up and ready to take on the world.
Just me and my baby.
I know I'm baised, but seriously, he is just plain ol' CUTE!
Right as we were being transfered from the birthing suite to post pardum, my mom came. Grandma Taylor! (Wish I'd have taken a picture of her reaction to seeing her first grandbaby for the first time. It was priceless).
Where Chris slept:
Adorable pictures of Fox:
Fox in his going-home Blogger onesie made by Jenny.
Wearing his cute crocheted booties made by Katie.
Final moments at the hospital with Grandma Taylor and Daddy.
Here we go!
Is Fox too small or the carseat too big?!
Fox in his swing for the first time:
How are things going, you ask? I'm high on adrenaline. Sure, I'm so tired I don't even know how I'm typing this, but I just look over to my right and see Fox sleeping in his swing and I smile and everything is right with the world. He cries when he's hungry, needs to be changed, and occasionally in between for no reason. But most of the time he's as happy as can be. He's a lot more fussy and awake in the middle of the night, of course, but that's okay. I expected it. I slept 10 hours every night for three months straight to make up for all the loss of sleep I'm sure is coming.
Guess what I can do now? I can bend over! I can wear my wedding ring! I can fit my old clothes and (some) shoes! I can breathe!
I am so happy. I love my baby more than I ever knew was possible. I now understand the meaning and purpose of life.