I know I haven't updated in a while. Quite a while, actually. But I have a good reason for it! Our gorgeous little girl, Ada Violet, was born on November 18th after a fairly short labor.
Now I say it was short, but it wasn't easy. I'll type up a quick birth story under the break.
I actually had a planned induction for the 18th, because my doctor was concerned that I had excess fluid, and also worried that she would be too big if I went up to 40 weeks (because of gestational diabetes). I know it's best to let the baby cook until they're done, but there is something really nice about having a date set for the birth. We didn't have to worry about Thanksgiving or anything like that!
Anyway, the date was set, but I ended up going into labor on the 17th, around 10pm. The contractions were regular, but not close enough together to go in to the hospital. They were uncomfortable, but not painful. At 6am the vomiting started. Everything from the day before came up. Any water I tried to drink came up. Luckily I was scheduled to be at the hospital in an hour.
We got to the hospital at 7am and were shown to our room (they have a lovely birth center) and set up music. I changed into that super sexy outfit you see in the picture... after going through birth, I don't think I'd want to wear anything nice or that covered me more. Even if my butt was hanging out, it was the best kind of outfit (until I tore it off at the end...).
So I was still contracting regularly, but nothing super strong. Around 9am my midwife came in and broke my water. It feels SO weird when that happens. Super warm water. Uhg. And every time I moved or got up or anything after that, more came trickling out. About ten minutes after breaking my water, the real contractions hit. And guess what? IT WAS ALL BACK LABOR!
If you've never had back labor, I really don't have anything to compare it to. I guess... imagine a bowling ball trying to push your spine out of alignment for a few hours, each push getting a little closer, a little stronger, a little faster. It sucks, and I couldn't escape the pain. I moved around. I went for walks. I breathed. I sat on various surfaces. I tried straddling a peanut ball, which made my hips feel like they were coming apart. Finally I asked for some IV pain medication. I had an IV in at this point because I was incredibly dehydrated. Still, any time I tried to drink any liquid, it came back up with about 30 dry heaves. I couldn't even keep ice chips down.
So the IV medication dulled the pain somewhat for about 30 minutes. It wasn't much, but it gave me enough time to rest, and realize that the feeling in my body was changing. I started feeling like I had to push. Naturally, the medication had worn off completely by the time I was pushing...
Ryan hadn't planned on being at the "business end" for the birth. He found it all gross and unpleasant (and probably scary), but the midwife didn't give him the option. When I said I had to push, she grabbed him, put him at one of my legs and shouted at him to hold it up and push back at me. A nurse had the other leg. Pushing was terrifying. The pain of labor was miserable, but pushing felt like I was going to push all my internal organs out. I ripped my clothes off at this point, and my mom (who had been there since 10am, cheering me on, turned her chair around, haha). Basically after pushing for about 10 minutes, I started feeling like I was going to die.
They say when you feel like you're about to die, that means you're about to have the baby. I must have traumatized the poor woman in the room next to mine, since I screamed and growled and grunted, and basically every guttural animal sound you can imagine. Everyone kept egging me on, begging me to push just a little longer - just a little harder. I remember begging the midwife to just pull her out, and saying I couldn't handle it and they'd need to cut her out of me. She just kept telling me I needed to push and the baby was almost there. Then I remember Ryan looking down and saying he could see her head! I took a brief breather and pushed until I was pretty sure all the blood vessels in my face popped, haha. But everyone cheered! Her head was out! Apparently the cord was wrapped around her neck, but they were able to slip it right off, and then told me just one more push. I just needed to do it one more grueling time.
And I did. And Ada was out. And I felt the most incredible and sudden relief of my life. It really is an instantaneous feeling. And then the midwife stuck a needle into all those poor sore parts because I had torn. I sure felt that! Luckily it was just a few stitches and has healed up just fine.
They quickly put Ada on my chest, and I stared deliriously down at this person who I didn't know at all, but knew was absolutely mine. It's a strange feeling. After kissing and cooing at Ada for about five minutes, I looked up to see Ryan still clutching my leg with a look of shock on his face. I had to tell him to let go!
Ada was perfect. She didn't have a cone head, she wasn't bruised at all, she had her eyes open and was looking around... basically she didn't look like a brand new baby! She was 7lb 5oz and 21 and 1/4 inches long.
On Tuesday she'll be a month old. It feels like she was born yesterday, and every day since has been one long, exhausting, adorable day... mostly exhausting. Also poopy. I didn't feel some sort of instant cosmic bond, but I am growing to love this little squeaky creature. She's just started cooing - I can't wait for her to be more of an infant and less of a little baby lump.