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Its a really long story that I wrote to my daughter so that she could read it someday...
I started having some signs that my body was getting ready to have you on January 1st, 2011- the day you became full term. But the Wednesday before you were born I was still on 1-2/50%/-1. I was contracting every 2-3 minutes but they were painless so I was beginning to believe you were going to come later rather than sooner. On January 21st I started having contractions that hurt a little, but they were coming every 10-20 minutes so daddy and I decided to lay low and wait and see what happened. We woke up on your due date and I was worried about you because you were being quiet. You were probably busy getting ready for your birth, saving up all your energy for the big event. We spent the day relaxing. Mommy bounced on the birth ball, daddy made us homemade pizza, and Teddy watched me anxiously. We even took Teddy on a mile long walk at the park. By evening, my contractions were about every 10 minutes. We decided to make your birthday cake hoping that this was the real thing, but still wondering if we were going to have to eat it without you and make another one later on. We baked it and frosted it and wrote Happy Birth Day, January ____ not knowing what day you would arrive. We played a board game and just waited around. I was convinced that this was practice labor, not the real thing so I decided to take a bath to see if the contractions would die down. I got in the bath and they picked up instantly to about one every 1-3 minutes lasting about a minute. They started to really hurt in my thighs. I was still unsure if this was real or not, but hoping it was because they were really starting to hurt.
We called the midwife at about 12:30 am and she told us to come on in. Daddy got busy packing the car. Mommy told him to take his car because her car was out of gas, but he didnít listen so when we got going we had to pull off the highway to fill-up. Mommy was not happy about this or the fact that we spun out leaving the gas station. It was cold outside and snowing so the roads were a little slick, but it felt like the perfect night to have a winter baby.
When we got to the ER for admission they sent me straight upstairs because they knew I was in labor. I wanted to arrive at the hospital in full blown labor and I guess I got my wish Megan (our midwife) arrived around 3:30. She checked me and said I was 4/100/0 and a bulging bag of water, but we needed to wait four hours for the antibiotic to set in before she ruptured by bag. I got on the birth ball, it was too small. I got in the tub for an hour and it helped a little, but I really needed to move. I got out and walked around a lot, swaying, and moving to help with the pain. With each contraction I only felt pain in my legs, pain worse than I ever imagined. After an hour or two I was feeling very upset and asked Megan to check me again. She said I was 6 cm and my cervix was so soft. I started to cry because I never knew contractions could hurt so badly and I did not know what to do to make them better. I asked daddy to call your family so they would be there for the birth. I just didnít know what to do, I wanted to go home and be in bed, but I had to keep moving or the pain would overtake me. Somehow I got in the rocking chair with a heating pad and zone out. I had my eyes closed and every time I had a contraction I thought about all the billions of women who have given birth and all the women who will give birth and all the women who were giving birth at the moment. I found strength in the natural process that has existed for all of humanity. I also found strength in knowing that it would all be over soon. I visualized you in my arms and all the things we have planned for you. I thought about us at the beach and zoo and taking walks and knew that the pain would all be a memory soon.
Daddy says it looked like I was sleeping, but I was really just in a deep zone. I opened my eyes once and saw dad had nodded off and boy did he get in trouble for that one
After my IV meds had been in for 4 hrs I decided I wanted to have my water broken to get the show on the road. It was so hard to get into to bed to have Megan break it, but I knew it would hurry things along. I was a little bit scared because I also know that labor usually gets more intense after the waters break and I did not know how much more pain I could take. Megan ruptured the waters and said I was at eight cm already. I quickly got back in the rocking chair and zoned out again. I am not sure how long I was rocking for before I felt like I had to push a little. There was a lot of bloody show and Megan was able to check me while I remained in the rocking chair. She said I had just a little bit of lip left and I asked her to push it back, but I couldnít get back in the bed for her to do it. Instead I kept moving and the urge to push became stronger. Megan did not check me again because we all knew it was time. I started pushing while standing at the side of the bed. I donít want to say it felt good to push, but it certainly was a relief. I tried pushing on all fours too. But I really ended up liking side lying. It was so hard for me to curl around my body and get in the right position because it hurt so badly. Eventually as your head got lower I started pushing like I meant business. I was making lots of noises and pushing as hard as I could. My eyes were closed and I had a cold wash clothe over my face. I was zoned out completely, but I could feel you coming closer and closer so I pushed harder and harder. Before I knew it I could feel your head coming and daddy moved in to help get you out. I remember Megan telling him to go down and up and then he was putting you, my baby girl, on my chest. We were both laughing and crying. You were so alert and beautiful and tiny.
I instantly asked the nurses to go get Yaya so she could come and meet her granddaughter. She was able to see you within the first few minutes of your life which was very special for her. You remained on my chest, nursing and bonding with us. We didnít cut your cord for almost thirty minutes and it was nearly an hour before you went to the warmer for your measurements. I took a shower, the pediatrician looked you over, and we moved to another room where your family came in to see you. We all sang happy birth day and ate your delicious double chocolate birthday cake. Soon your family left and daddy and I gave you your first bath and spent the rest of the day bonding as a family.