Monday, August 07, 2006

Mama's Memories

Our little baby girl is 10 days old already. And finally Mommy is writing a blog! Mommy has been a bit busy and sleep deprived the past 12 days! (10 with Cora and 2 with labor) I wanted to write about my experience with labor and delivery. I'll spare you all the yucky details! Haha!

First off, I had such a wonderful and easy pregnancy. There were only a few bumps in the road and really nothing to complain about. I loved being pregnant, knowing this little person was forming inside of me. Near the end of my pregnancy I even was kind of sad, knowing that soon I would no longer feel those kicks nor those pushes inside of me. What a funtime!

Having such an easy pregnancy, I was told time and again that I should have an easy labor. Hearing the word easy, I assumed that meant fast. I had heard several friends share their stories of the fastest labor in recorded history and figured I would be right up there with them. I was a bit mystified when my labor started and just kept on going and going like the Energizer Bunny.

When I got pregnant, I talked to many friends about having epidurals/drugs or having a natural birth. After weighing out everyone's opinions, I decided that I really wanted to try to go natural. I researched it and talked to friends who had gone natural. I tried to prepare myself as best as I could, but there really is no way to prepare for labor and delivery except to go through it. After joining the ranks and going through it myself, I found there is no way to describe it to someone else. It is unlike anything I have ever experienced before.

When my labor started on Wednesday, July 26 around 2pm, I was so happy. It is amazing how the body just knows what to do and does it. Looking back now, I realize how silly I was to think that my labor was intensifying and that we needed to go to the hospital. That was nothing! Even so, I had never been down this road before and had no idea where it would go. So at 7pm we decided to go to the hospital. What a long night! My contractions stayed pretty much the same and I stayed dilated at 3cm all night long! By morning I was so exhausted and sick of being strapped up to the machines.
Eight Hours into Labor
After the nurse checked me and told me I was still only 3cm, I started crying and told Kevin that I couldn't do it. If they had offered me drugs or induction at that point, I would have jumped on it. But the Lord provided!

He provided in the way of a very special nurse. She had experience with midwives and natural birth. She had read over my birth plan and knew where I stood...NATURAL! She came in to talk to me that morning and encouraged me to get some sleeping pills and go home to labor the rest of the way. She rekindled my hope to go natural and that is what we did. My doctor, completely agreed and so we were sent home with sleeping pills. I was able to get 4 hours sleep, which was wonderful considering I was still in labor and having contractions.

That evening Kevin's mom who had been with us the whole night before, came to our house and offered so much support. She had worked in O.B. so she knew what was going on and was such a blessing. I know I could never have done it without her! Kevin, his mom, and I hung out all night while I labored and the contractions did in fact get more intense. By 11pm on Thursday night, things were definetely moving forward!

I went upstairs to take a bath and try to get some more sleep which I did but with difficulty! Around 2am I knew things were very serious. I had kept telling myself, "Just one more. I'll get through one more and then I'll go to the hospital." Finally I couldn't do it anymore and I got up. Getting up intensified things more and I got kind of worried. Kevin's mom kept telling me that at the end, you almost get into this trance. She was right. I had to completely focus on what was going on inside of me, or I think I could have lost it. The power and intensity are incredible that take over the body during a contraction. I just kept breathing quietly and imagining what was happening inside of me. That is how I made it through.

At 3am we were in the car and headed to the hospital. The contractions were so intense, that I had to literally lift myself off of the seat to get through one. Kevin was under strict orders to hit NO bumps! I was admitted by 3:15am with Kevin's dad, who works in the ER and his mom. They wheeled me to my room which was a regular postpartum room. The O.B. was full when we got there! The nurse checked me and I was 8-9cm. Praise the Lord! I would have died if I was only like 5 or something.

My doctor arrived around 3:45am and I heard him say, "It'll probably be 30 more minutes." Remember I was in my trance, so I was not participating in conversation at all! I was so focussed! I remember looking at the clock and it was 3:55am. The next thing I knew, something exploded. I heard a pop and this explosion took place and everything was wet! It was so intense that I got very nervous. I never thought your water breaking would be so powerful. No one else noticed, so I screamed, "My water broke and I have to push NOW!" Kevin ran out and got the doctor.

The desire to push is no desire. There is nothing you can do to stop it. You just have to push! Being in a regular room, I was in a regular bed. So my doctor plopped down on the foot of the bed and we got started. It was like having it at home! It was amazing! The nurse told me how to push and when. I didn't know what I was doing during the first set of 3 pushes, but had it down by the 2nd set.

Moments after Cora's birth
The whole delivery process is so hard for me to remember. It happened so fast that my memory is a blur. I keep asking Kevin for details so I can remember. I do remember looking down and seeing this beautiful liitle head and sobbing! There really was a baby in there! You hear the heartbeat and feel the baby moving around, but nothing can prepare you for when you actually see it. The next thing I knew was my daughter was laying on my belly crying as I was crying looking at her! Amazing!

Moments after Cora's birth

10 days later, I'm at the point where it's all a distant memory and I know I can do it again and go natural. I loved it and felt so good afterwards! I was up taking shower within the hour after Cora was born.

The best part is that it felt like we were with family during her delivery. I always imagined that the only person in the delivery room that I would know would be my husband and NO ONE else! That's not what happened in reality. We chose a doctor who is also a friend of ours from church. I knew that he was the one the Lord had for us. The nurse that we ended up having was a parent of a former preschooler that I had taught. And my mother-in-law was right there with me too! We have all commented on how it really did feel like a family experience. So wonderful for my baby daughter to enter the world like that! And then for her doctor and friend to pray over our new family! It was awesome!!!!

Mommy and Cora

One more thing...along the way during that 38 hours, the Lord provided encouragement to me through so many people. He knew just what I needed and when I would need it. After we got home, I received an email from a good friend in Texas. She told me that she woke up in the wee hours of Friday morning and felt like she needed to pray for me. She laid in bed and prayed for us for 45 minutes. Those were the exact same 45 minutes that we entered the hospital and Cora was delivered! Amazing!!!!! God is so good! He used her in Texas to encourage us and lift us up during Cora's birth. Wow!

Under the warming lamp

That is my story in a big nutshell! It was amazing and wonderful! And now we have baby Cora. And she is healthy and beautiful. Why are we so blessed? I hope to never take it for granted.

Mindy and Cora

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