--The best day of my life.Easily, the best day of my life was the day I gave birth to my little girl. This is also time for me to make a confession, I have a really terrible memory. How bad is it that I can't remember important events like this in detail?? I feel the same way about the night I met my love, which I only vaguely remember. Therefore, I'm sorry if this seems to be an annotated version. =/
Because I'm so small, one of my doctors in the group practice I was seeing decided that it was best to induce a week early as long as my body had already started the process itself. We scheduled our induction for December 31st and checked into the hospital at 7:30 am. My mom had gotten into town the day before and we enjoyed a nice shower thrown by ladies at church the night before.
I was so scared. Giving birth is something the you can never fully prepare for. I don't think I'll ever feel prepared for it even on future children. The mix of nerves and excitement creates an overall feeling of nauseousness which only gets worse once your contractions start. I'm already on the edge of throwing up at this point and then Dr. Meredith comes in to break my water. That was odd feeling but I have to admit that I was expecting it to be painful and instead it was just ...odd is the best way to put it. Getting past that step helped my confidence for the rest that was to come. Two hours later I faced one of my biggest fears in life.
The nurses came in to start my Pitocin which was to be administered via IV. Up to this moment, I had only ever had my blood drawn maybe 4 times and received vaccines throughout my life. The thought of getting and IV and having a needle pushed into my skin and being attached to a tube was enough to have me seeing stars and reading to vomit. It was a really big deal for me and you can bet I was clamping down pretty hard on J Grizl's hand during that. I was overly cautious and barely moved my right hand the entire time, I was so scared that it would wiggle out and have to be done a second time. Hah, Of all the painful aspects of childbirth, this one one that I feared the most and in most cases is one of the insignificant steps in the process.
Three hours later I faced another huge fear head on: the epidural. One moment my contractions were bearable and then the next one brought me to tears. Twenty minutes and a bag of saline later, the anesthesiologist was called. Now it's time for another confession-- I was not fully educated on the minor details of an epidural. Basically I went into this thinking it was just a large needle that was basically like a shot and went into deep tissue (like a tetanus, but stronger). The guy that did the epidural was very friendly and was older. He saw that my mom was interested in how the epidural was actually done so he told her that she could watch as he did it. Then, in his effort to educate my mother, he narrated every little detail. There were five numbing shots around the main spot. Then the actual insertion of the catheter tube, which was another feeling that I can;t fully describe in words. I could feel this wiggly, tickle feeling as it was inserted. (Just writing about it is making me cringe.) This man must've pitied me after listening to me freaking myself out about my fear of needles because J Grizl says he raised the dosage I received in each interval and lowered the time between intervals.
The following 3 1/2 hours were pure bliss and I was able to get a much needed nap, as was my hubby. My mother was busy keeping the rest of my family back in Missouri updated with how things were progressing. I had a monitor put on me to watch P Grizl's heart rate and that was the only way I could even tell I was having contractions. The nurse came in to check how things were going but saw that baby was already starting to crown. Dr. Meredith came in for the delivery and we began pushing with each contractions. There was a specific nurse just to tell me when each contraction was starting so I could push because I really couldn't feel the pressure at all. Within 4 contractions, our little girl was born into this world.
Okay mothers, don't judge me, but I was a bit grossed out when baby was immediately placed on my stomach after birth. But then, before I could even adjust to it, Daddy had cut the cord and the nurses were taking my little girl to get cleaned up. Meanwhile, I'm getting stitched up and wondering where my little baby has gone. Looking at it now, I'm upset that it took so long to have my baby to me and to feed her for the first time. She was born at 4:33 pm and I wasn't able to feed her until almost 2 hours later. =( I really wanted her to have that immediate introduction to breastfeeding. They instead bathed her and moved us into a different room first.
Here's the part that I know is sure to get some mothers angry. There was no lactation consultant there. I had troubles getting the latch right and there was also a nurse change that wasn't so great. I was told I would have to make an appointment to see the lactation consultant at all and then I didn't even get to see her until a week after the birth. The nurse I had been given came in at 4 something in the morning to draw my blood. She did it in the complete dark and didn't do it properly because my entire arm around my elbow was black, blue, and swollen. When I asked for a shower I had to call the nurses station 3 times before my nurse finally came back in with the chair I had requested. (In case I was feeling dizzy) She then didn't even stick around to help me at all and my dear hubby half crawled in the shower with me to help. My hubby also had to go out to the nurses station himself to ask for items that our nurse said she would get and never came back with.
Needless to say, the hospital had a policy that you had to stay a minimum of 24 hours after birth and we checked out at 26 hours after. I wanted desperately to be in the comfort of my own home, especially if I wasn't much receiving the attention you should at a hospital. I understand why so many women seek to have a home birth. I was happy to have had it in a hospital my first time and with no complications but the care and attention I got at home was unmatched. (Not to mention the quality of food went up tremendously at home since my mother stayed with us for 3 weeks.)
That first week was so extremely confusing, upsetting and downright frustrating by not being able to get a good latch the entire time. When I did finally get in to see her, I was charged for basic items such as a breast shield and hand pump and was not offered other breastfeeding items/support without paying. I was old that I should have requested those items during my hospital stay. (When they 'weren't available').*Just a note: we ended up using a shield for about 2 months then pumped exclusively for another 5 months fore having to switch to a formula. =(
I'm so glad that I've surrounded myself with wonderful communities of women in the blogging world that are great at giving support and advice and I know that I'll be much more prepared for future children. It's one thing to look online and find information about things like breastfeeding but sometimes you just need real moms who have had real issues to tell you like it is.
I don't mean to put a damper on the day because when you look at the short version it looks so happy. =)
-Mostly pain free
-4 contractions of pushing
There you have it. Meet the Grizls. =)
Be sure to check out all my other #BlogChallenge posts HERE.