Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Little Brother's Birth Story.

Last week at this time I was just starting to feel the effects of my lovely epidural and was about to give birth. The thought that it was just a week ago fills me with an irrational anxiety and sorrow. How can I feel anxious about something that has already happened?

Friday night October 26th we spent at our church's fall festival as a family of 3. It was Big Brother's birthday and he looked like a sweet baby in his lion costume. On Saturday I had a baby shower in my honor, and someone predicted I would give birth to a baby girl on November 14th. Sweet, I thought, I have some time left (although I didn't feel like I'd go past my due date of 11/9). Sure enough.

Saturday night Randy, Big Brother and I went out to dinner at The Oasis and endured endless comments from a couple at the next table about how cute he was. I was 38 weeks and 1 day pregnant, still enjoying my pregnancy emensely, and loving my pregnant body (besides the foot in the ribs). I loved being pregnant. It was very easy for me. It was something I thought I might never experience and figure I won't experience it again. Now it's over and I'm sad. Beyond sad - hormonal.

Sunday we celebrated BBs birthday with a few friends, as evidenced by the picture a few posts ago. A family of 3 celebraing together. That evening Big Guy's birthmom came to visit for the evening and next day. On Monday we had family pictures taken - a family of 3. (Four, really, as Kelly is family, too, but you know what I mean - she doesn't live here with us!) I drove Kelly to the airport on Monday evening and talked to my friend Mell, an eye, on the telephone.

Monday night I said to Randy, "I suppose we should have some sort of code for when I go into labor." He had a meeting the next day at 4:30. I can't remember what we decided. That afternoon I took BB outside in his Halloween costume to take some pictures. It was very awkward for me to squat down on the ground to take them, but I wanted to make sure we got some pictures. I had no feeling that I was going to be in labor that very same day.

We came in and I put BB for a nap. "Ah," I thought, "Some free time for me." I had a snack - some caramel/chocolate with nuts apple. As I was in the kitchen putting the thing away at 3:51 pm, I had a really strong contraction. I recognized it as a contraction for sure, but certainly didn't think too much of it - just that I needed to lie down. I made a trip to the bathroom first and noticed some (TMI) mucos plug descend from my body. (Ew - gross, I know.) I thought I'd better lie down for sure. I was slightly panicked, although I know you can wander around without a mucos plug for weeks before delivery.

Down I went, into the bed at 4:15, and as soon as I did, I felt a medium gush of fluid. "Oh, God," I thought, "I think that was my water breaking." Four gushes later I was certain. I was not ready! I had a bag packed, but I was not ready! Thank God Big Baby was asleep and I could get my act together (haha).

Since I wasn't certain that was amniotic fluid (who was I kidding?), I called the doctor's office and they said to come in right away, and since it was after hours to go to labor and delivery. I called Randy but couldn't get him, because of said meeting, and then I called Stacey to ask if she could come over for Thing 1. She was over in a half hour. I'd started having contractions around 7 minutes apart by the time she arrived, and Randy hurried home. We thought we might have to meet him at the hospital, but by the time I was ready he was about home.

We drove to the hospital, me contracting all the way, about 5-7 minutes apart like a good girl. We checked in at 6pm. By about 7, after 3 hours of labor and painful contractions (duh), I decided on the epidural. Dr. Littles was my hero.

When the epidural kicked in I knew I should rest, but I made and answered phone calls instead. We took a few pictures. When I checked in I was 3 cm dilated. Then she checked again an hour and a half later and I was a 6 and 100% effaced. When she came back in at 9:45 or so I was dilated to 10 cm and ready to have this baby! What??? It had been about 6 hours since my first contraction in the kitchen.

(Oh my gosh, typing this just brings me back and sets my heart aflame with excitement, nervousness, and panic. This was last week - did this happen to me? I can't stand it.)

I must have started pushing at 10:00. My friend Rachel had given me some tips on how best to do it, and I heeded her advice. 20 minutes later Little Brother was born. I felt a lot of pressure, but no pain since I had the epidural. It was such a relief when his shoulders and body came out - and really weird, too. Right now, strangely enough, I am longing for that moment again. It's over now - the most anticipated event of my life, and I can never go back. It breaks my heart.

LIttle Bro had his cord wrapped twice around his neck, but suffered no trauma. They just unwrapped him and out he came. His first Apgar score was a 9 because his hands were blue. Big Bro's first Apgar was a 4! They put the baby on my chest first as I requested, and I held him for a little while. I loved him for sure, but he did look weird! (Bad mommy.) He had the cutest hairstyle - practically bald on top and long and straight in the back like a monk or BIlly Ray Cyrus back in the day. He has blue eyes, loooong arms, loooong legs, and a skinny body. No butt - just like mommy and the rest of the Thompsons! He also seems to carry the Thompson chin - not a bad feature.

Last week right this minute I was comfy-cozy from the epidural and yakking on the telephone. I think Karen was pretty surprised when I answered her call from my labor and delivery room! She is due the same day I was.

My sweet baby is waking up right now. This is merciful for me. I feel calm when I'm nursing him, for the most part (after the latch), and Big Bro is in bed so I don't feel torn between these precious gifts. I'll save my nursing adventures for another place, but let me just say it's the hardest thing I've had to learn. It's like 8-12 workouts a day that are both physical and cognitive.

Anyway, I'll chronicle more of my hospital experience soon. It feels good to get things in writing. It was an amazing experience. My husband just said, "There's a lot of loss in this experience, too." This sounds weird, huh, but it's so true. I feel the loss of my family of 3, of my time with my firstborn, of my pregnancy, of LIttle Bro inside my body, of the experience of childbirth that is over, the loss of my sanity due to pregnancy hormones, the loss of my abdominal muscles! (ha), of sleep, etc.

I am not complaining. I feel so blessed. I feel so overwhelmed by emotions and postpartum hormones. It's really nuts. I told someone the other day, about how much love I feel for these guys, my sons, that right now it wasn't a happy love but a crazy, obsessive love that makes me feel like I can't handle this experience. I know I can, though, with God's help and my family friends. People do this all the time, right? Right.



katie said...

i remember reading that the first three months after birth, a woman's body goes through more hormonal change then the entire experience of puberty! oh, the rush. . . best wishes for this "babymoon" time -- it's oh-so-tender!

andrea said...

oh amy-- you sweet girl..i was missing you and thought i'd check here to see an update! oh my stars i could've written your latest entry, change a few details about the birth. The day we went in for our c-section, i cried and cried not for me , but for Emma:( oh how her world has changed!
now she of course loves her brother with all her being, but i understand the bitter sweetness of it all!
your boys are adorable!

Christine said...

Oh, yum! Thanks for your story!!

Whitney said...

So so so happy for you. Hang in there -- It's probably going to get harder before it gets easier! You CAN do it.

Allison said...

I'm so excited for you. Sounds like labor and delivery were fairly easy for you! Congrats!