Leo's Birth Story
Baby Leo is finally here!
Like everything else in our lives recently, Leo's birth was not quite what we expected. We always assumed, naively, that he would come early, and that things like walking or pineapple or red raspberry leaf tea would surely get labor going. But 40 weeks came and went and he was still safe and sound!
We scheduled an induction for Monday, and my mom and sister flew in on Sunday night. I got up on Monday, did a final Insanity workout, packed my bags, and waited around, looking forward to a peaceful and controlled birth experience.
When we arrived at the triage to get admitted, we discovered that the beds were all full, and we were told to come back Sunday at 8pm. This was annoying because it seemed like an eternity to wait. But then my doctor came back into the room and said that I was contracting regularly, which was ironic because I had just informed the nurse that I still hadn't felt one and I felt fine. When we discovered that I was also dilated to 3cm, in the balloon catheter thing went!
Garrett and I walked around the floor and I was feeling giddy as the contractions started to pick up. Yay, I can do this. Yay, this is totally doable. When I was admitted to my room, they started the pitocin. Finding a good vein was kind of like my own personal hell on earth. Apparently I have the hands and arms of a twelve year old, and there were three failed attempts before the lab was called to come rescue the veinless individual in Room 200. By the time the pitocin was in the IV, my left hand was completely sore and numb and limp.
Then the intense contractions started. At first, they were not unbearable and I felt in control of my breathing and rhythm. But about an hour later, they began to radiate the most intense pain I have ever felt in my life, from my ribs down to past my knees. I would have been screaming or sobbing but I had absolutely no other choice than to force myself to keep breathing. My teeth were chattering and I was shaking uncontrollably. I thought for sure I was going to throw up or pass out before the epidural happened. When the epidural person rolled into the room, I wanted to jump into his arms, but obviously all I could do was continue my rapid fire breathing and try not shake as it was injected. Twenty minutes later, I was the most magically happy individual in all the land and even got a few minutes of sleep. The worst part was over, they said. HA.
Around 10am, I was dilated to 9cm. This was encouraging, and a little while later, at 10cm, we sat up to push. Garrett and my mom grabbed my legs and I pushed as hard as I could, for as long as I could, every minute or so, for 3 hours. I was told that I was doing fabulous and that "awww yes, this is the push,", but alas, my child's head refused to go underneath my pubic bone. After 3 hours of intense pushing, the epidural had worn off and I was out of energy.
Then we were at an impasse. The doctors said that we would have to use forceps, a vacuum, or a c-section to get this baby out. Whatever is fastest and the least harmful to baby, we said. So, immediately, out came the forceps and stirrups and twenty or so minutes of complete agony. I felt my child's head be "forcepped" out and wriggled out as I was raised up high amidst probably ten people. I heard a baby crying and my mom and Garrett crying and I fell into a total emotional state of relief and adrenaline, sobbing on the bed as they stitched me up. I vaguely remember having my baby on my chest before sending him to Garrett and just laying there, relief washing over me that this was FINALLY over.
Recovery has been...interesting and hard. Baby Leo, and the adorable little person that he is, makes us think that this whole experience was worth every second of pain and awfulness. I feel grateful that I was able to endure this fun, 23 hour labor. I am so thankful that my mom and Garrett were such rockstars, and that my doctor knew what he was doing and delivered Leo safely into the universe.
We love him so much! Welcome to the world, Leo Lincoln Ted!