She's here!!!! As this blog will serve in a lot of ways as my personal record of my life with Isis, I'm going to tell you my story!
First of all, I knew on New Year's Eve that something was going to happen soon. I just had a feeling. After we got home from dinner with some friends for New Year's, I took a bath and shaved my legs, did laundry and cleaned a little. I also slowly & carefully painted my toenails - it was not easy. haha
Good thing, too, because I woke up at 9:00am on January 1 with contractions. They were painful and kept coming the whole hour, so around 9:45 I started timing them. They were about 6 minutes apart at that point. I stayed in bed with Lewis just relaxing and watching TV until about 11:00. By noon, my contractions were about 4 minutes apart and were getting stronger to where I had to focus a little more to breathe through them. They still weren't too bad, though and I just tried to relax for the next few hours. I took a bath and watched Buffy and spent some time just hanging out with Lewis. Finally around 3:00, I told him I needed him to help me a little more through the contractions. He stayed with me from that point on and the contractions were coming about 3 minutes apart. I had been keeping in touch with my nurse-midwife through text message throughout the day. Around 5:30pm, my contractions were about 2 1/2 minutes apart and I started to feel a little more uncomfortable being at home. The nurse-midwife told me to go ahead and go to the hospital. The drive to the hospital was less than fun as I did not enjoy the bumps or just being confined to one position throughout the ride.
We got to the hospital around 6:00pm and my best friend, Diana, met us at the hospital about 5 minutes after we got all settled into our labor & delivery room. I was lucky enough to get the only room that the hospital has with a tub! It was very exciting! I had decided before that I wanted no IV and that I wanted intermittent monitoring throughout my labor as long as that was physically possible and safe for me & baby. After the initial 20 minutes of being monitored and being checked - 4 cm, 90% effaced - I got in the tub. From that point, I was monitored for 20 minutes every hour, so I spent 40 minutes in the tub, then 20 minutes being monitored while I sat on the birthing ball. I labored like that from about 6:00pm to about 4:00am. I also took a walk around the labor/delivery halls to speed things up. I was dilating about 1 cm every hour & a half to two hours.
By 4:00am, I was at 7 1/2 cm and they decided to call the nurse-midwife to come in and break my water to speed things up and hopefully be ready to start pushing soon. I had told the labor nurse that I was doing ok laboring with Lewis and Diana, so I didn't need the nurse-midwife until this point, but after my water was broken, everything changed. Everything went really fast from there. Between 4:00 and 5:00am, I dilated from 7 1/2 cm to 10 cm and it was the point when the pain became really bad. I labored for a little while on the birthing ball and then ended up on my hands and knees on the bed. I also got very vocal at this point in terms of just having to basically groan through the contractions. My nurse-midwife told me to do this because she said it would help me to get through it easier and it did. I never expected to make so much noise while in labor! At 5:00am, I started pushing and that next hour was the absolute hardest thing I've ever done in my life. The pain was excrutiating and by the end of the hour, Diana and Lewis both literally had to basically lift me up to curl my body around the baby to push. I was exhausted.
But finally, after 21 hours of labor, she arrived!! Those first cries were really crazy to hear. It was so fast that one minute she was in me and the next minute, she was laying on my belly just crying and wiggling around. I thought I would cry, but I was just so overwhelmed that I didn't hardly make any noise at all. I was just completely taken with her. After she was cleaned off, weighed and measured, she was given back to me and we got to bond. She was 6 lbs, 12 oz and 18 inches long. Her APGAR scores were 8 and 9, so she was perfect!
I feel very blessed to have had such a wonderful pregnancy and labor and delivery and a healthy baby. I'm very aware that it doesn't happen quite so easily for everyone. The natural labor and delivery was by far the hardest thing I've ever had to do and the pain in those last 2 hours was absolutely the peak of what I can physically handle, but in the end, I have a happy and healthy baby girl who is so much better than I even imagined! She looks a lot like me, but I can see Lewis in her, too. She's just the perfect addition to our family.
I have more stories and experiences from the last few days as labor was just 5 days ago. But as for right now, I need to go feed my baby!!