On Thursday, March 22, our lives were forever changed.
We were blessed with the most darling and perfect baby boy.
Meet our little tiny Henry David.
On that morning, I was 39 weeks to the day when I felt my first unmistakably real contraction. I hadn't anticipated being pregnant past 38 weeks and so with each passing day I was becoming more and more anxious and impatient. Knowing that I had a very large headed baby to rid my body of made me very nervous. I tried ALMOST all of the natural tricks to induce labor and was just hours away from pounding a shot or two of castor oil... SO glad it didn't come to that. Thanks Shaila!
The day prior I had made a joke that this baby, being my son, was waiting for March 22nd to roll around because he was just too dang excited for the City Creek grand opening. Sure enough, that's when he decided it was time. David had just left for work that morning when I got that first contraction and I called him right away in a mad panic telling him that I thought he should come back because I knew it was the real thing. Being a first timer, I was so worried that he wouldn't be back in time and the 15 minutes it takes for him to get home wouldn't be long enough and he would come home to find me laying on the living room floor holding our child. When he did come home, I was perfectly happy, doing some last minute cleaning and had had one, maybe two more contractions. He talked sense into me reminding me that it typically takes several hours and I will of course know when I am close and need to go to the hospital.
We hung out at home for a while and he timed my contractions between 15-25 minutes apart. I knew I wasn't close, so we decided to make the most of the beautiful day that it was and walk to the grand opening of City Creek. We spent a few hours browsing in stores, trying things on, people watching and timing my contractions. At roughly 4pm, I was having them closer to 7 minutes apart and decided I'd had enough shopping and we should head home.
We were home for about an hour and a half and they were coming every four minutes, so we packed up the car and headed to the hospital. We got there and the doctor checked to see how close I was. I was 6 cm dilated which meant they could send me over to labor and delivery. Yahoo! In my birth plan, I was very thorough and had expressed that I didn't want to have any pain management. I have always heard that recovery after childbirth is so much easier when you go about it naturally, so that was my plan. They told me that I could change my mind and get an epidural at any time throughout the process. I was beginning to regret my decision and that I had made such a big stink about wanting to go naturally to everyone because I honestly didn't think I would be able to make it through the whole thing without getting an epidural.
I walked myself over to my room, and the first thing I wanted to do was take a hot bath. I had heard that it is really helpful to be able to soak in the tub while you are in labor so I thought I would give that a try. As nice as the water felt, the contractions were a bit too intense to really enjoy the bath. I have had many moms tell me that when you are in labor, your body knows exactly what to do and it will tell you what you need to do and when. While sitting in the bathtub, I suddenly had a very strong urge to start pushing. I called the nurse in to check and see what was going on and so she did her assessment and music to my ears, told me that I was ready to push the little tiny out! They paged my doctor and I got out of the tub, onto my bed and was just waiting for them to give me that green light.
With every contraction, I was fighting the urge to push which was probably the hardest physical restraint I've ever had to practice. I was so mad at myself because I knew that I didn't have to be in this much pain but I never said anything about getting any meds. I don't know why I didn't, but perhaps it was because I had already made it this far.
My doctor came in about 25 minutes later and decided to check me to make sure it was time. Turns out, I was only at 8 cm...I was so frustrated! I was so ready to get this kid out of me, it was horrible to hear that it wasn't time yet. So all I could do at that point, was try to survive through the "transition" phase of labor which is supposedly the hardest.
Throughout all of this, David was so incredibly wonderful. He was constantly reminding me how strong I was, how close I was to being done and how loved I am. He was so sweet even when I was barking orders and snapping at him and the nurses. It's funny because we had learned and practiced several different massage techniques that have proven to be helpful during labor but at that time, the last thing I wanted was anyone touching me. I told David that childbirth would be the one and only time that I would pass up a massage.
I powered through it for another half hour. My contractions would peak, and then rather than come back down after a minute, they would peak again and then peak yet again. I had about had enough, when I asked my doctor to check me one last time. She did and she said that it would be best for me to wait a few more minutes but I could probably start the pushing process if I wanted. There was no way I was waiting any longer. Everyone got into position and after 11 minutes and a few good pushes, I had my sweet angel baby in my arms. The intense pain and discomfort of labor was immediately gone and I felt awesome.
He weighed in at a perfect 7 lbs and was 20.5 inches long. I am thrilled to add that his head is a perfectly normal size. I can't describe those first few moments when they handed him to me. They were absolutely beautiful. We are so in love with our little Henry and have enjoyed every minute of him so far. We celebrated his arrival with lots of family, friends and chocolate cigars. :)