We had been told for months and months that Avery was measuring "ahead of schedule". At my 36 week growth scan, her head alone was measuring at 39 weeks! Because of this, my doctor felt comfortable inducing labor when my due date came and went. I felt unsure about whether or not I really wanted to induce. I knew I didn't want pitocin (the drug that starts labor) because it comes on unnaturally strong. But I also knew that if she was as large as they were estimating (between 9 and 10 pounds) she was only going to get bigger the longer she cooked. I was 9 pounds 6 oz myself, so it didn't surprise me that my own daughter might be around the same size. Four days past my due date, Brandon and I woke up at 4:00 am and made our way to the hospital. It was hard to sleep that night. We kept saying "the next time we're in this bedroom we'll have a little munchkin with us." I have never been more excited to meet anyone in my whole life.
At 5:00 am we arrived and got checked in. We were in our room by 5:30, and pitocin was started at 6:00. I was still dilated to 4. By 7:00 am contractions were a consistent 4 minutes apart. This continued for about three hours, they continued to get closer together and more painful. By 10:15 am I was dilated to 7. They decided to break my water which was going to make labor come on a lot stronger. Within ten minutes, they were so much more intense. Brandon and my mom were by my side the whole time. Brandon continued to remind me to breathe through them. It was so easy to forget and get overwhelmed by the pain. Within an hour or so, I was crying through the contractions. The nurses came in every 15 minutes to turn up the pitocin and I hated them for it, haha. A couple of hours later, I asked for the epidural. At 1:30 pm my wish was granted. I told them I still wanted to feel my legs as I didn't want to have any trouble pushing when the time came. It was perfect, it was just enough to take the edge off. For about an hour I was a happy camper. It started to wear off, and the pain became more and more intense. Brandon and my mom helped me breathe through them again. At this time, my best friend Kandi had come into the labor room. I felt so comforted being surrounded by the people I am closest with. The anesthesiologist came back and upped the epidural. There was more relief, but one of my legs went limp and I didn't like that feeling. By 5:45 pm I was dilated to 10 and they told me I would start pushing in about 15 minutes.
I already felt so exhausted at this point, and began to get so nervous about pushing. Again, my mom, sweet husband and best friend coached me through the next three hours. They were all counting and reminding me to breathe. At this point, I am convinced my epidural was gone. I could feel everything. The pain was so intense it took my breath away, but while I was pushing there was temporary relief. At the two hour mark, I could tell on the nurses face that she didn't think it was going to happen. She told me that baby's head was not tucked with the crown of her head facing down. Instead her head was lifted and it was her forehead that kept pushing down on my pelvic bone. This was making it extremely difficult to get her underneath my pelvic bone. My doctor came in and told me that I could push for another hour, but then we might need to talk about a c-section. I began to cry and feel panicky. I didn't want a c-section, but I didn't know how much longer I could keep going. Between contractions I felt like I was blacking out, I would fall into a deep sleep and the pain of the next contraction would wake me from it and I would push. I did this for another hour.
At 9:00 pm the nurse left to go get the doctor and I knew I was going to need a c-section. I just kept crying. I was crushed and felt like I had failed. At this point, I was demanding an epidural and the strongest one they had. I had let the epidural run out because I wanted to push effectively. Probably 20 minutes later, the anesthesiologist came back and gave me a spinal which made me completely numb from about the ribs down. Brandon started putting his scrubs on, and they made my parents and Kandi leave the room. They wheeled me down the hall and began to set up in the Operating Room. Brandon had to stand outside while they set up, and I was alone in the room, scared, nervous but so ready to meet our little girl. The spinal made me shake uncontrollably, which I felt was taking up the little energy I had left. Finally Brandon was able to come in, and just sat by my side holding my hand.
I wasn't really present. I felt like I was going in and out, the exhaustion taking over.
Over the next half an hour I could feel pressure and tugging and couldn't believe how rough it seemed to be to get her out. We heard all four doctors gasp at the same time, and one said "Look at the size of that head!" I smiled up at Brandon because I knew that meant she was almost here. Brandon said it felt like an eternity before we heard her cry. Her cry was so loud and filled the whole room. I began to cry again. Brandon got to cut the cord (although it had already been cut - he just got to make it shorter :-)) and he got to see them weigh her and clean her off. He told me later that he had never seen a cone head like hers. Poor thing was being pushed and wedged against my pelvic bone for three hours. Her head looked normal a couple of hours later when I was awake enough to really see her. I remember laying there shaking, and feeling delirious while all of the doctors talked about her size. She was 9 pounds 13 ounces. A few minutes later Brandon brought her over to me and just laid her by my face. The feeling of her warm cheek against mine is one I will never forget. Brandon kept telling me how beautiful she was. In the recovery room about an hour later I got to really hold her and look at her, and feed her for the first time. She was truly everything I could have ever hoped for.
People will tell you that you will experience a love like you never have before, and I thought I understood what that would feel like, but I had no idea. I also wasn't prepared for the overwhelming emotions I would feel towards Brandon. Watching him with his little girl makes my heart swell until I feel it could burst. He was the one who changed her, swaddled her, rocked her and held her for the first couple of days while I was healing. It was so hard for me to have this brand new baby and not really be able to take care of her the way I wanted to.
Brandon introducing me to our daughter for the first time.
I can't believe it's already been two weeks!
Little bow headband by CaliKatrina
The first few weeks have flown by. They have been the hardest and most rewarding days of my life.
We're a little sleep deprived, and a lot in love.
We're a little sleep deprived, and a lot in love.
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