I’m up at 4:30am eating berries because I’m way too hungry to sleep and I thought I would start to write some of Henry’s birthday story. This time five days ago we were on our way to the hospital. I had been sleeping on the couch and got up to go to the bathroom shortly before 4:15am. On my way there my water broke. I yelled “Derek” and Derek immediately responded. I’ve never seen him jump into action so quickly or wake that fast so there must have been something in my tone that alerted him to the fact that things were about to happen. I wasn’t exactly sure that my water had broken, but it started to become more clear when liquid wouldn’t stop pouring out. Derek got ready as quickly as possible and we grabbed my hospital bag and were on our way.
After arriving to the hospital (we had to enter through the ER because it was considered after hours) we waited for a bit for them to give us a room. They put us in a temporary room and hooked me up to IVs. I went to the bathroom (#2) twice during this time frame in the room’s bathroom which I think saved me from going during labor. Every time I got contractions, more liquid came out along with what I’m assuming was my mucus plug. Things start to get a little blurry around this point. I was having contractions and they were getting painful. Eventually I was transferred to my actual labor and delivery room.
It was in my L&D room (room 7, which is a significant and meaningful number to Derek and me) that I got my epidural. I’m going to write a more detailed version later and that one I’ll talk about how my first nurse pretty much tried to talk me out of it every time Derek left the room for any reason. Derek was wonderful and asserted my needs and cared for me incredibly throughout this whole process.
(Sidenote: currently I’m on pain medication and very sleep deprived and in a lot of pain. I want to write my experience from my current perspective, however, and will be more detailed, thorough, and clear at a later date. Things or even my writing style may be a little confusing now, but it’s a fair portrayal of my five day postpartum state.)
Time frame wise, my water broke shortly before 4:15am, I got my epidural around 11:15 or 11:30am. Contractions were very very painful to this point, but the epidural took away their pain (but brought on some other problems). After getting my epidural I went through a brief stage of euphoria and loopiness. I was giggling and acting very drugged. Then I started to crash. My blood pressure dropped and they had to put me on oxygen. I stayed fairly sedated for a while, but eventually began recovering.
At this point, my in-laws were in the waiting area and my parents and sister were on their way in town from Colorado. They managed to buy plane tickets, drive two hours to the airport, and fly to us in time for Henry to get here. They landed at 2pm and got to the hospital sometime between then and 3pm if I had to guess. From there, they spent some time with me along with Derek (mostly my mom and sister because we were only allowed two people plus Derek in the L&D room).
Eventually it got closer to go time so my mom and sister left. (Henry just woke up so now I’m trying to one-handed type while breastfeeding.) The nurse had me start pushing until she and Derek could see the top of Henry’s head (Derek says about three inches from the outside). Then she left because her shift ended, a new nurse came in, and we waited about 40 minutes for a doctor to get there. The doctor was making jokes and talking to other people the whole time (I wasn’t even sure she was paying attention to helping me deliver). It took about five sets of pushes (they want you to push at least three times with each contraction, which is hard because you aren’t supposed to exhale except for super quickly between pushes). I started to feel him coming lower and lower with the pushes and focused on using my abs to push him out. That really helped.
The most incredible and amazing part happened next. When they put him on me. I felt his warmth and was overcome with a rush of emotions and so much love. It was an indescribable feeling. I wish there was a way to capture the feeling I felt in that moment and bottle it up to keep. It was beyond amazing. (Sidenote: I’m managing to breastfeed and type...I feel so impressed right now. I love looking at him. It’s hard to watch the screen to type when I have such beauty in my arms).
In a picture I will probably post later in my more detailed birth story, you will see the emotion in my face in the moment I just described and then in the moment when they took him from me. I didn’t want to let him go. Along this time frame they had Derek cut the cord. He was not wanting to do that because in his head it was cutting a piece of both of us, but he did it AND he actually saw the whole birth. He saw Henry come out of me. He said it was crazy how Henry’s head and body transformed shape as he was born.
I kept saying “I love him” to Derek and crying and then I got to hold my son again once he was toweled off. It was all such a whirlwind. We had our first hour together and then let our families come in (two at a time was the rule). We had flipped a coin to see whose side would get to go first and then figured we would do the second family’s side 2nd and 3rd, if that makes sense. So, since my family “won” the toss, my parents came in, then Derek’s brother and his fiance, then Derek’s parents, and then my sister.
Normally we would have been transferred after our “golden hour” or at least after those quick visits, but here’s where I started to have some more complications. My legs wouldn’t work at all and didn’t have feeling in them (the left one gained a little back way faster than the right one). Henry was born at 7:47pm (again, special 7’s. I was hoping for either 3:33 or 7:37, but was very excited by 7:47. I’ll write more later about the numbers I like with his birth...a weird thing I have, I know).
Eventually they got a wheelchair and maneuvered me into it after midnight (way past when I was supposed to have been moved). I got to my room around 12:35am if I recall correctly. The first night my sister stayed with me. She was amazing with Henry and he was really well behaved. I would have gotten sleep that night if not for the fact that my roommates (mom and dad--baby was quiet) were so disrespectful. You have to share a room at the hospital I delivered at and my roommate had the tv on so loud that it was louder than I even listen to tv at home. On top of that, our room was under construction so the light in my area was broken and couldn’t turn off or turn down so I had a horribly bright light on me all night. The second night was better in terms of our roommate (the second the first one left, we disconnected the tv), but Henry was not super calm. Derek stayed with me that night.
I’m going to start to wrap this up because I’m starting to fade fast and my precious boy is asleep in my lap so I’m having to hold my arms up over him to type. I will write more later (I know I’ve said that a lot), but my final words are that motherhood is amazing. I hurt more than ever, I can’t walk, sit, or poop well, I am overwhelmed with emotions, and all sorts of other bad things, but the love I feel for my son and my husband far and away overshadows the negative. Sometimes I just look at my baby and can’t stop crying because I have so much love for him. It feels like a piece of who I am, my heart, my soul now lives outside of me. I would do anything for him. He doesn’t have to do anything to earn my love, nor could he ever lose it. He is beautiful and perfect and more amazing than I could have ever imagined. My world has been completely shaken and rocked and it is beautiful. Lastly, I cried at one point before Henry came and feared how it would change things for my husband and me because I loved what we had. Well, my husband was right. It just brings more joy. I love my husband even more because he was as his absolute best during my labor and because together we made our son. The three of us (four with Max) are a perfect little family and I wouldn’t change it for the world.