**If birth stories aren’t your thing, feel free to skip over this blog post – no hard feelings, promise. We have been cooking a little so I’ll share a recipe very soon.**
Happy Due Date, Blakely Gray! She surprised a lot of people and arrived a week early after a very fast labor and delivery. But let’s back up…
Last Saturday, January 27th, Big Guy and I had a date night at home involving homemade pasta and the most delicious brownies ever. The only reason I joked she would come the next day was because we had absolutely nothing planned and all Big Guy wanted to do was smoke a cigar on the back porch. Needless to say, that hasn’t happened yet.
I woke up around 2:30am on Sunday was an achey lower back. I tossed and turned and just couldn’t get comfortable. Finally around 6:30am, I gave up and decided to get out of bed. As soon as I got out of bed, I started to have pain in lower stomach. Having heard that “true labor” contractions typically happen in the upper abdomen, I didn’t think too much of it. I decided to make some breakfast. I couldn’t even drink my coffee and I honestly wanted nothing to do with my yogurt bowl. I think deep down I knew it was the real think because I forced myself to eat knowing I wouldn’t have anything else if was true labor. The pain was doubling me over, so I decided to call the doctor on call. I had not been timing what I thought were contractions so he told me to take a shower, perhaps put a heating bad on my lower belly and take some tylenol. I did take a shower and Big Guy asked if I wanted him to go get a heating bad. I had starting timing the contractions as soon as I got out of the shower, and I knew that this was real. They were lasting 40 seconds every 2 minutes. I dried my hair – taking lots of breaks because I couldn’t do anything during the contractions. Big Guy quickly packed the remaining items that were on our list and packed a bag for himself.
We arrived at the hospital at around 9:30am where we checked in and they took me back to be examined to see if I would be staying or not. Big Guy thought for sure that we were going to be sent home. I was 3 centimeters and since I wasn’t yet 40 weeks there was nothing else they could do for me. So they told me to walk the halls – I had 2 hours to show progress or I was going home. I made it around the loop twice and my water break. I was told that was my ticket to stay. I was having a baby.
At this point, the anesthesiologist came in so I could sign all the paperwork for an epidural. They epidural was terrifying because I was so afraid that I was going to move and something was going to go wrong. After they inserted the epidural, they checked to see how I had progressed. In less than an hour, I had gone from 3 centimeters to 10. Not only was I having a baby, but I was having a baby FAST.
The next hour and half is a blurry memory of pain, pushing and pressure. Unfortunately the epidural only worked on half of my body but at 1:26pm, Miss Blakely Gray entered the world. She immediately began crying and unbeknownst to me, the cord was wrapped around here which is why they had made me wear an oxygen mask and change positions multiple times, pushing on my side for several contractions
They let the cord pulse for one minute (delayed cord cutting), and then Big Guy cut the cord and Blakely Gray was finally in my arms. The fun didn’t stop there – I had to deliver the placenta (something I was prepared for) but the cord came unattached from the placenta and well, let’s just say “delivering” the placenta wasn’t very comfortable. As I held my baby girl, the doctor prepared me for recovery, including a few stitches. The one downside to a fast delivery is tearing.
Once I was moved to the mother-baby floor, I couldn’t stop staring at the beautiful, perfect baby that Big Guy and I made. It was surreal. The worst part of recovery for me was that my left leg stayed numb until midnight due to that being the only side the medicine affected. This led to a catheter. Sunday night I was pretty helpless and the nurses truly did everything for me that evening. By Monday, I was up and moving and felt so much better. And on Tuesday afternoon, we were discharged from the hospital and started our life together as a family of three.
The past week has been the hardest yet most magical week of my life. I am in awe as to how Big Guy has transitioned into fatherhood. Some days I feel like I’m living life in three hour cycles but I honestly feel much more like myself than I imagined. We’ve had some outings (three days of doctor’s appointments due to jaundice) as well as a glass or two of wine and I’ve managed to shower every.single.day. (That is a goal for the month of February.)
Our life will never be the same and I never knew I could love something so much. Sometimes the love that I feel for our little girl brings tears to my eyes. And I can’t believe how much she’s changed in a week. I promise this isn’t going to be “a baby blog” but I will be sharing some posts on life at home with baby. We haven’t gotten very much sleep but I’ve started using the Baby Wise method and slowly but surely we’re increasing the amount of shut-eye we get each night. But looking at her sweet little face makes all the lost sleep totally worth it.
Blakely Gray, you are my little love.