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You are ONE! I’m not quite sure where this year went, but in the blink of an eye you went from a wrinkly, mushy infant to a laughing, moving, curious, intelligent, fabulous toddler. You won’t remember it, but to celebrate your first year on earth, we had a big party in the backyard with family and friends. It had been raining for days, but on the morning of your party the sun came out and it tuned out to be a beautiful, fun day. You had your first taste of cake, and while you liked it, you didn’t smash it into your face as I expected, rather picked up pieces deliberately and ate them one by one. You’re so funny!
You amaze me every day. Watching you learn new things is such a joy and I am surprised constantly when you show me the things you can do. Everything from cruising around the house (how DID you get over there?) to trying to put socks on your feet. You know that socks go on your feet! Who taught you that? You are such a sponge, absorbing the world around you.
You’re not a walking on your own yet, but I know that’s coming soon. You’re still babbling away a mile a minute (“that! that! that!” to every single thing), and your vocabulary grows by leaps and bounds every day. Of course, I think Dada and I are the only ones who know what most of your words mean, but we understand you for the most part. My favorite is when we ask, “Where’s your bum?” and you smack your bottom while saying “Diaper!” Cracks me up every time.
You are still nursing, but we are slowly working away from it in the daytime. You have started doing what I call drive-by nursing, and I’m not a fan. Basically, you toddle up to me, pull down my shirt and practically dive inside while yelling “Nuh! Nuh! Nuh!” If I’m not wearing a bra, you latch yourself on to me before I even know what’s what. We are introducing you to cow’s milk this week, and I’m hoping you will take to it and be interested in that during the day instead. We will see! I am thrilled we made it one full year of breastfeeding, though. It was a personal goal of mine and I’m glad we reached it together.
You LOVE to eat. Everything I put in front of you is fair game, except for pears and occasionally kiwis if they’re not ripe enough. Other than that, you’ll eat it all! You’ve had a little chicken, but no other meat yet. Your favorite food is bananas and you would eat it all day long if I let you. “Nana!!!” You also love cheese, zucchini and blueberries.
You adore Dada and practically do cartwheels when he comes home from work. You also call your own reflection “Dada”, which amuses me greatly. Other things you enjoy are reading, dancing to all types of music, Elmo, stacking your new wooden blocks, crawling everywhere at top speed, the dog, jumping on your mattress, going for walks in the stroller, taking a bath, brushing your hair, and standing in the window pointing at cars going by while shouting “Doh!” (window).
You have seven teeth making up the most adorable full-face smile and a laugh that is contagious. Your skin is deliciously soft and your hair is still very blond. From my estimates, you weigh about 25 pounds. Your weight has slowed down, but you continue to get longer and longer. I’m pretty sure you are going to end up being a bean stalk just like Dada.
You are such a love. You come up to us going “mmmmm”, then lean in to share big, wet kisses. You snuggle and nuzzle and love to be held.
Now, Owen, you’re not always a peach. You’re in a major whiny stage that I really hope you grow out of soon, and you like to shout “NO!” while chucking whatever is in your hand across the room. Blocks, your cup, a spoon covered in food. You have also started doing what we call the Wet Noodle, going limp and falling backwards when you don’t want to do something. Let’s move on from that, shall we? You also like to come in our bed first thing in the morning and climb all over us like a monkey, while kicking Dada and punching me in the face. You are a wiggle worm!
All in all, it’s been a really fantastic year. You made us parents, kiddo, and for that we are eternally grateful. We love you, through and through, and cannot wait to see what year two brings.
Owen says words all day long (mama, dada, dog (sometimes loud dog), Elmo, toe, window [do], duck, uh oh, door, hi, banana [nana], wha da? and dat one), is constantly pointing and asking what things are, then repeating them after you (yesterday was ‘arm’, although I’ve yet to hear it since, and of course some of these words aren’t completely clear yet unless you’re with him all the time and can understand it), and he’s The Mayor when we go anywhere, waving, pointing and saying hi to every single person we pass. And if they don’t acknowledge him, he’ll just say it louder until they do.
This baby is becoming quite the person. And honestly, it’s no surprise to me he’s a talker. I mean, I am his mother.
I had planned to do some baby sign language with him, but he’s getting so good at communicating that we’ve just been working more and more on words. Sure, 90 percent of the time I have no idea what all the babble means, but being able to understand that ten percent is pretty spectacular.
When he’s not talking, he’s trying to walk. Remember how he didn’t voluntarily roll over until way after he had been sitting unsupported? He’s kind of like that with crawling. He army crawls around the house, but doesn’t really do the hands and knees thing unless he has to. It’s like, why crawl when I can STAND, mama? When I stand, I can cruise from couch to walker to table to chair. That’s like, almost walking. Stop trying to make me crawl around like a primitive monkey, mama.
Ok, baby. Whatever you want.
Also, can we talk about how much I love shorts weather? Shorts weather means the chunky legs get to come out!
Babyhood sure is flying by, guys…
I love the idea of this blog. It’s the sister site to the wedding blog Lovely Little Details, and features adorable photos and inspiration sure to inspire baby fever. Thank you to Jacin for posting these today. It’s fun to look back and remember when Owen was inside, especially so soon after celebrating our first Mother’s Day.
You can see the full post here!
- Owen slept 13 hours last night. THIRTEEN. Anyone who has followed the blog since he was born knows that he and sleep did not get a long for a very long time, so naturally this sleeping through the night thing has thrown me for a loop. I checked on him twice to make sure he was still breathing, and what I found is that he’s finally sleeping on his stomach — something I’ve suspected for a while, just never caught him doing.
But there he was, face down, sleeping on his hands. FACE DOWN. Likes to freak me out, this kid. But hey, I guess he’s comfortable…and well rested!
- I’d also just like to state for the records, since this basically serves has his baby book, that he now says “Mama”, “Dada”, “Dog” (EVERYTHING is dog. Dog, dog, dog. Especially…well, dogs.) and…”Elmo”. Yup, he says Elmo. We do let him watch some Sesame Street so don’t bother sending the Bad Parenting Police our way with their anti-TV torches. I’m ok with 20 minutes of PBS. He turned 10-months this week and I can’t believe we have this real live person who attempts to communicate with us. Nuts!
- I’d like to start working on a photo montage of Owen’s first year before the next two months fly by me. I started looking into songs that might work with it, and most of them are JUST SO CHEESY. I have one in mind that might work, but am looking for some suggestions. What do you think would work for a recap of a little boy’s first year? (And please, no “Beautiful Boy”. I can’t put my finger on it, but that song bugs me.)
- I had a clothing meltdown last weekend. I’m not saying this is a braggy way, but I’ve lost a lot of weight and don’t know what to do with this new body. I’m about 12 pounds less than my pre-pregnancy weight and nothing I own fits. Yeah, yeah, wah, wah. But it’s true. And I know it’s because I’ve been nursing a big baby and he’s just taking away all those extra calories. Most likely when he stops nursing, most if not all of the weight will return and then my clothes will fit.
But right now, they don’t. And I can only wear the same jeggings/tee/cardigan/ballet flats- comb so many times. I need some clothes.
The meltdown happened on Easter when I realized I was dangerously approaching a go-naked-to-the-inlaw’s situation and I really don’t think that would have gone over well. I ended up in an ill-fitting outfit that made me feel sloppy and unattractive and while of course it didn’t matter what I was wearing there, it affected my mood.
Owen’s baptism is this weekend. I have a handful of showers coming up and three weddings to attend. So in addition to every day clothes, I need some fancier options. I’m hesitant, though, because I feel guilty about it. Like buying clothes that I most likely won’t fit in by the end of the year is a waste of money and I should save it or spend it on something more useful, like a new vacuum. (Ours has finally waved its white flag in surrender to the beast that is Kodiak.)
So yeah, I’m just whining. But I’m conflicted about it. And in the meantime, I absolutely must buy something to wear this weekend, because if I thought going naked to my in-law’s would have been a bad idea, I can’t even imagine the repercussions of going nude to church.
- Can we talk about Extreme Couponing on TLC? Have you seen this show? I started watching after I decided to get serious about our food budget, and YOU GUYS. These women. Ok, they do amazing saving money. I mean, they get their grocery bills down from something like $600 to under a buck by using coupons. But…BUT. Do you see what they buy? Most of it is crap.Piles and piles of frozen pizza, 50 bottles of yellow mustard, tons of candy.
I am fascinated by their skills, yet horrified by their Hoarders-esque storage rooms filled to the brim with items they don’t use, yet bought because they could. At least some of them donate items to charities.
I am super impressed by the way some get overages by couponing, which they in turn put towards fresh items at the grocery store. I’m pretty sure my store doesn’t do that, though, and also, I don’t have the desire to buy, nor the space to store 100 boxes of antacid just to earn some free stuff.
It’s riveting, though, and keeps me most entertained on Wednesday night. Thank you, TLC, for such a gem of a show.
You’ve been nine months for a week now, and I’m just sitting down to write this letter to you. Actually, I’ve been terrible about writing you monthly news letters. I was great at it while I was pregnant, but kiddo, you keep me on my toes and we’re a busy pair! Instead, I’ve been writing you quarterly letters, and in the end, I think I actually like it better. It’s amazing to see how much has changed in just three months.
You, little boy, are awesome. You begin every day with the biggest smile I’ve ever seen. Your smile is actually one of my favorite things about you. It’s like you can’t just smile with your mouth — you have to smile with your ENTIRE FACE. Your eyes crinkle up (just like mine!) and you scrunch your nose and throw back your head and oh! It is wonderful. You are sleeping so much better now, usually only waking once to nurse and then staying in your crib till about 7. And when I bring you in bed with us then, you alternate between nursing, and whipping your head around to talk to Daddy. It’s also the place where you play with the only toy you have a real attachment to; a Peter Rabbit that you make hop and give kisses to.
The kisses! Open mouthed, wet slobbery kisses, given any time I ask for one. Omigod, I love it.
One of your favorite pastimes include flying around the house in your walker. You can round corners, back up, and go anywhere you want to in that thing. You can also torture the dog and pull things off shelves and end tables. Nothing is safe anymore. You’re not crawling yet, but you are so very close. Part of me can’t wait to see you take off, but the other part of me wants you to stay in one place because I can’t imagine how much more trouble you’re going to get yourself into! It took you a while to learn to roll over (I think because there’s just so much of you to roll!), but once you did, you only did it for about a week before becoming bored with it. When I would try to encourage you to do it again, you’d look at me like, “Mama, this is silly. What do I need to do this for?” You have always been a back-sleeper, but have started to roll over in your sleep now. Sometimes it wakes you up and you wake up scared. I try not to laugh at you when I roll you back over!
You LOVE to eat! You’ll try anything and will eat most, except for green beans. The face you give me when I put those in your mouth! You can self-feed puffs and small pieces of mushy things, but until your top teeth come in and join the two you already have on the bottom, I’m too nervous to give you things that require more chewing. Maybe you’ll like green beans when they’re not pureed! I can’t say I blame you. You are a champ at using a sippy cup, and even like to drink from our water glasses sometimes. And those top teeth? You’ve been working on them for WEEKS! The bottom ones came in without a fuss, but these have been giving you trouble. I can see them under the skin, though, so I know they’ll be here soon.
It seems like every day you have a new skill. You wave hello and goodbye to everyone, even the dog. You clap, play peek-a-boo and babble all day long. On the day you turned eight months, you said “Dada”, and a few days ago you said your first “Mama”. I was lucky enough to already be filming you at the time, so I have that memory on film! What you can’t see when watching it is how my heart swelled and burst into a thousand pieces when I heard your voice say that word.
You currently still have hazel eyes, although they seem to be turning brown, and your hair is strawberry blond and sticks up like a fuzzy duckling. At your last well visit, you weighed 24 pounds and were 28 inches long. Still a big boy, but slowing down a bit. You still have the chunkiest thighs, hands and feet I’ve ever seen and I have no idea where that came from.
Your personality is really shining through, O. I call you The Mayor when we go shopping, because you do this Miss America wave to everyone we pass as you are pushed through the store. You flirt with all my girl friends (although you are a little shy around men) and when you laugh, there’s no way anyone won’t be laughing along with you. You can be cheeky and devious and adorable all at the same time.
You love your mommy and daddy so much. When daddy comes home from work your entire body gets excited and you start grunting and screeching until he will hold you. And when he leaves, you wave goodbye and although that’s sad, it’s really sweet too. You also are very interested in Kodiak now. When you’re not trying to run over him, you’re trying to pet him and he’s such a good boy with you. He tolerates being mauled and will run to you when you’re crying and lick you until you stop. We are trying to teach him “no face”, but he doesn’t always listen. At least you won’t be scared of big dogs!
You are finally napping in the crib, which has been a big success for me. You don’t always like it, and will sometimes cry for 10-15 minutes before falling asleep, or wake up after about a half hour and cry a bit before going back down, but you’re getting there. You’re much happier when you’ve napped, kid!
You are still nursing a few times a day and I really hope you make it all the way to a year. I think you will, if not more. Most of the time they’re short nursing sessions now, because you get super distracted by anything around you and tend to whip your head off my breast to look around, so I really enjoy the first and last nurse of the day which tend to be much longer.
You are our joy, Owen. I can’t tell you how happy you have made us. This year has been flying by and I cannot believe my next letter to you will be on your first birthday.
I love you, little man.
A tooth and his first cereal? Hey life, slow down a little bit, will ya?
The first Randoms of the new year!
- How was your new years, lovelies? Mine was quiet and just right. I spent it with my little family, a box of cupcakes and a bottle of sparkling wine. And I didn’t even make it to midnight, falling asleep next to Michael on the couch. Ah, how things have changed.
- I was totally spoiled this holiday and among other things I received that fancy dancy phone on my wish list…and a pair of…oh god, I don’t even want to say it.
OK, I’ll say it. But you have to hear me out.
I received a pair of jeggings.
I know. I KNOW. I know exactly how it sounds. JEGGINGS. Ugh. Just the hybrid of the words “jeans” and “leggings” makes me twitch a little. But I had been complaining about how none of my pants fit correctly and the last time I saw my mom she had on these cute pair of skinny jeans. I told her I liked them and I guess Santa was listening.
Except I was shocked to see a big ol’ tag reading “JEGGINGS” attached to them. But guys, they have real pockets. And a zipper fly and a button — both functional. They actually look really cute and fit so well, so I’m going to wear them thinking that they are in fact just really stretchy skinny jeans and not the dreaded J-Word.
Because guys, I don’t care if you put a J in front of it; leggings are not pants.
- On the Owen front, he clocked in at his six-month appointment weighing just under 23 pounds and measuring 28 inches, putting him the 97th percentile for weight and 95th for height. Basically, he is the size of a one-year old. And I love every chunky morsel of him. It surprises me that I produced such a large kid, but since Michael is a lean 6’4″, I bet you Owen is going to lengthen out once he gets mobile and will always be the tall boy in the back of class pictures.
He’s starting food this week. Omigoodness!
Also, after the crankiest of days on Sunday, I discovered yesterday morning the first little ridges of a tooth! A TOOTH! Like a real person! How is this happening so quickly? I don’t know how long it takes from the appearance of the top of the tooth until the whole thing pops out, but it’s pretty exciting.
Last night he slept 6:30 p.m. – 5 a.m., then back in bed with us until 7. Sleeping.Through.The.Night.
Can I get a “hallelujah”?
- For my birthday, Michael got me the perfect mommy necklace commemorating This Little Family. I love it, and it looks like I can add to it in the future!
- How was all your holidays?
Yesterday you turned six months old. It completely blows my mind that you have been in our lives for half a year already. It feels both like you just arrived, and have been here forever.
I have loved you since the moment we learned of your existence, but Owen, I’m really starting to like you now. You’re so much fun! You start every morning with smiles and laughter. Your face lights up when you see me or Daddy and that’s enough to make our hearts runneth over with love.
I love watching you discover new things — toys, the dog, a piece of hair wrapped around your finger. This morning you spent 10 minutes intently inspecting a tag on your play mat like it was the most important thing in the world. Oh, to see just a glimpse inside your brain!
Your favorite toys include your toes, blocks, your walker, a set of plastic keys that used to belong to mommy and an alligator teething toy. You shout and babble and wave them around as if to say, “Mama! Look! TOYS!” You’re always talking up a storm, and some may disagree, but we’re pretty sure you already say “Hiiiiii” and “Ooooh-wa!”, which is basically your name. You little genius, you. You won’t roll over yet, much to my chagrin, but you sit unassisted and will reach and grab for anything around you. Including the turkey leg off our Christmas dinner table. Luckily, Daddy caught you in time.
You sleep a consistent 8-10 hours every night before waking and that has been a huge milestone. You also take two solid naps, but usually hold me hostage in my bed with you in order to do so. Right now, however, you are napping peacefully in your crib. It’s only been 20 minutes and you could very well wake up any moment, but this is a giant step!
We go to the pediatrician for your six-month appointment tomorrow, so I don’t know how much you weigh officially, but my guess is more than 25 pounds. You have the biggest, most delicious thighs I have ever seen! You also have the longest eyelashes imaginable and big full lips. You are going to be real trouble around the ladies, Mr. O. Oh man, I’m not ready to think about that.
This week you will have your first taste of rice cereal. Up until now you have been exclusively breastfed. Starting you on solids will be a very bittersweet moment for me. I am so proud of my big, healthy baby boy who is clearly interested in eating, yet sad that these will be your first steps of independence away from me. I know we have many more months of breastfeeding to go, but it will never be entirely the same. I love those quiet moments we spend together — especially when you stop nursing to look up at me and laugh, pat my neck or shove your chubby fingers in my mouth for a nibble.
Since you were born in June, you’ve experienced many first holidays already. Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas already! Each one was fun and special and one day I’ll show you the pictures of you grabbing Daddy’s beer bottle (stop that!) and shoving wrapping paper in your face.
This morning you woke up to your first blizzard; your backyard blanketed by snow. We stood in the window and watched Daddy shovel and I wondered if you realized things looked different outside. I bet you did.
Ah, you are waking now. A 28-minute nap in your crib. Baby steps, baby steps.
I love you, Owen Michael. From the tips of my toes to the top of my head. You are the best thing to happen to us.
I can’t wait to see what the next six months brings us.
Love you forever,
They told me it was time to push, but I didn’t exactly feel like I had to. The epic battle of Butt vs. Torso continued, but I didn’t yet feel like the solution to stopping the pain was to push. But since they said it was time, I figured I would try.
With Michael on my left holding my leg and my mom and my sister on my right holding the other, I lay back into the semi-reclined position and looked to the nurses for guidance. They told me to bear down as if I was having a bowel movement. So I did. And then, as they instructed, I did again. The more I pushed, the faster the contractions came and the worse the pain in my pelvis became. Let me be clear, the epidural did work in the sense that I felt no pain, only pressure in the vaginal area; but I did feel every. single. contraction.
And all the pain that came with them.
At some point they had me roll onto my side and push in that position, which I prefered to being on my back. However, I suppose the progress wasn’t so great so I rolled back over.
As the contractions went from minutes to seconds apart, I found myself in doing the hardest, most strenuous physical work I had ever experienced. A contraction would start as a wave, gripping my middle and washing over me from head to toe. I followed my body’s lead, curling forward over myself, lifting my knees to my chest, resting my forehead on Michael’s and pushing with all I had.
My main nurse had a nice strong count. “One. Two. Three. Four.” She would count for three counts of 1o, and I would take a deep breath between each set. Eventually, she encouraged my mom to count for me, but she was far to gentle in her counting and I requested that the nurse resume in her firm manner.
In the moments between contractions I would collapse back on my pillow, or chew on ice chips my sister was feeding me from a spoon. Except for the one time she gave me a massive scoop and was met with a “TOO MUCH ICE!” from me, the ice was a welcome relief in the seconds between pain.
All the questions I had regarding labor and how would I know how to push were answered as my body told me repeatedly what to do. Once a contraction started, I couldn’t stop pushing if I wanted to. As we continued, it was the only thing I wanted to do. The nurse would stop counting after the third set of 10 and I would yell out, “ANOTHER!” and push for a fourth set. At one point, she told me I was getting a little hysterical and should really try and rest between my contractions. My brain was screaming at her that my body wanted to push for four sets, that my contractions were lasting for four sets, but my mouth couldn’t form the sentences.
So I ignored her, and did exactly what my body wanted to do.
There was excitement building in the room. I didn’t realize it, but my doctor had been called to the emergency room and was also tending to another woman in labor, and was not back to me yet, despite frantic pages to find her. Eventually I heard a nurse try a page one last time, saying this baby was coming NOW! Luckily, my doctor burst into the room just in time and took her place at the foot of my bed. Turns out that full moon made the hospital a little crazy! My doctor was great, telling me I was an excellent pusher and that my baby would be here in just a few more pushes.
Then, I heard some gasps. The doctor asked me if I wanted to reach down and feel my baby’s head, so I did. It felt…hard. And slimy. I think I wiped my hand on my gown. My sister told me later that for a while, what she saw was just an It, a something. But all of the sudden she saw a little ear and it all became real to her.
With my support team around me and my medical team cheering me on, I put all the strength I could muster into those last few pushes. I made noises I never knew I could make — deep, guttural moans that came from my core.
And then, after pushing for an hour, there was crying. Loud, frantic screams coming from a little person who was being placed on my chest. Our baby, our son.
This picture isn’t pretty, but it’s real.
In that moment, I became a mother, and the emotional heaviness of that hit me like a ton of bricks. I looked at Michael, my husband and now a father; at my mother, now a grandmother; and my sister, now an aunt. We all cried tears of joy together. And my dad, who had arrived just in time to hear Owen being born from outside the doorway, became a grandfather. I am so happy I could share that moment with everyone.
Owen stayed on my chest through all his exams and I was able to try breastfeeding him almost immediately. (Breastfeeding. I think that deserves its own post!) As I bonded, my doctor stitched up the small second-degree tear I sustained pushing out that 8 pound 1 ounce little boy. The stitches stung a little, but I didn’t really notice them. She also showed me the placenta, which was…weird. The body is a strange thing — creating and disposing of an organ just for childbirth. I can’t accurately describe it, except for it was a lot bigger than I thought it would be.
Owen was bundled up in a blanket and hat and we all began the process of getting to know the new edition to our family.
There is more to this story — post partum and all that comes with it, but that’s a story for another day. But I’ll end with this: for me, the cliche was true. I fell instantly in love at 1:05 p.m. on June 26th.
Unconditional, pure love.
After being in the hospital bed hooked up to the monitors for 20 minutes, I was allowed to get out of bed. This was my idea of heaven, as lying on my back during contractions, well, sucked, and I had to wear a tight tube top type girdle thing around my huge belly to hold the fetal heart rate monitor in place. It was snug and hot and uncomfortable, which are three things you don’t want to feel while in labor. Unfortunately, hospital policy dictated that the IV (which was administering fluids to keep me hydrated…I think. To be honest, I didn’t ask and didn’t really care except for the fact that it made my arm uncomfortable) remained attached to me.
When I stood up I started experimenting with positions to labor in. During my pregnancy, I had all these notions of laboring on the birthing ball, walking the hallways and practicing my yoga positions.
Instead, the only thing I wanted to do was lean over a chair and sway. So sway I did. With that lovely hospital gown open in the back, exposing my butt to anyone to cared to look. Labor is sexy, y’all.
By this point, my contractions were less than two minutes apart and I was still only 3-centimeters dilated. Each time one started, I would lean over the chair, grab Michael or my mom’s hand and try to focus on anything but the pain. The best way I can describe what mine felt like is this: it felt like my bottom half wanted to rip itself from my top half right through my pelvis. I also had accompanying nausea and had asked for “something to be sick in…just in case” from the nurse. I’m pretty sure she handed Michael a plastic bed pan. Every time I had a contraction I would yell, “Get the bucket!” and he would hold it below my face.
I never did get sick, but I did burp a lot. It tasted like that English muffin with peanut butter.
As we approached the 8 o’clock hour, two hours into our hospital stay and three hours from my water breaking, the contractions were less than a minute apart and taking my breath away. I asked to be checked.
At this point, realizing that I was only halfway there and finding it hard to manage the non-stop contractions, I let my idea of a drug-free labor go out the window and asked for the epidural.
At first, I was really upset with myself. All through my pregnancy whenever anyone asked if I was going to use drugs, I told them I was going to go natural as long as possible, but not be a hero. If I thought I needed the drugs, I would take them.
Even though this is the story I kept repeating, there was a part of me that always believed I’d be able to have an entirely natural childbirth, no problem. So when I found myself in the position of where I didn’t think I could do it anymore, a little part of me felt like a failure.
And then I had another contraction and knew that for me, for this birth, the epidural was the right choice. I don’t know, maybe if my water hadn’t broken so early the contractions would have been manageable for longer. But in the end, it was the decision I made, and I don’t regret it at all.
So I asked for it. And was told, sure, no problem! We’ll get things set up. But we can’t administer it until the OB is in the building. She should be in at 8 o’clock.
I glanced at the clock and saw I had 20 minutes to go. I could totally do another 20 minutes, I thought.
Omigod, was that a long 20 minutes. During this time I actually had to have a conversation with the anesthesiologist about types of pain relief and I’m pretty sure I signed a form at one point, but for all I know I signed “arrrghhhhhhhhh” on the X instead of my name.
Oh yeah. I also overheard the nurses talking about whether or not my doctor was en route, and I heard one say yes, she had just talked to her, and she was at the local coffee shop and would be in soon.
My brain was screaming something like, “COFFEE????? **&(*^%^^#$)!!!!!!)”, but I think all I managed to say was some type of groan.
Finally, finally, around 8:30 a.m. my doctor came in and I could get some relief. I moved to the bed, leaned over the table as instructed and prepared myself for what I thought would be a very painful needle injection into my spine.
And then I had a contraction. And I announced it to the anesthesiologist as kind of a ”hey, heads up. Hold on a sec,” and she informed me very nicely that, oh well. We’re already in the middle of it and you’ll just have to stay still while your butt rips itself away from your torso and runs away down the hall.
Oh, sure. Stay still. OK.
But I did! And yes, the epidural didn’t feel great, but compared to getting the IV it was cake and you know what happened next? Like, instantly next?
I felt warm in the tips of my toes and it quickly spread up my legs and into my pelvis and my butt no longer tried to rip itself away from my torso.
Relief. Sweet, sweet, relief.
Feeling better, I got into bed and was able to relax for a while. I could still feel the pressure of my contractions, but the pain was gone. I could still move and feel my legs, so I wasn’t freaked out by the sensation as I thought I might be. The only real downside was they have to insert a catheter to remove urine, since I wouldn’t be able to feel the sensation of having to go to the bathroom. The idea grossed me out, but I never felt or saw it, so in the end, no biggie. I sent out a few texts messages, laughed and joked with my mom and sister and ate an orange Popsicle, which being the only thing I had eaten since 4 a.m. tasted AMAZING. Then we all took a nap.
Around 10 a.m., the nurse came in to check on me. In the time since the epidural, I had progressed to 8 centimeters, but was starting to feel the contraction pain again. The anesthesiologist came in to adjust my medicine, saying that some women just need a little more than others to manage the pain.
There’s a button attached to the pain medicine that I could push twice in the span of an hour to get a boost if I felt I needed more pain relief. As we approached noon, I had pushed it more than twice (which is pointless, since it won’t give you any more medicine after you’ve exhausted your two pushes), and called for the nurse.
I still hurt, I told her. I didn’t know what I was supposed to feel with an epidural, but something told me I shouldn’t hurt THAT much. My butt was rebelling against my torso again.
Before taking the route of upping the medicine again, she decided to check my progress.
I hurt so badly because I was 10 centimeters dilated and This Little Baby was in the birth canal and ready to go.
Michael had fallen asleep in a chair watching Dirty Jobs, and my mom and sister had curled up on the Dad Bed (a recliner that folded down into a bed) to nap, and suddenly, everyone was up and moving around.
The anesthesiologist was back, and told me that this was usually the time she turned down the epidural so women could feel the sensation of the urge to push, but hey! Your body is already doing it, lucky you!
I wanted to ask her if that was the case, couldn’t she turn the epidural UP instead?
I think the answer would have been no.
Before I knew it, everyone was gathered around me, and the nurses were at my feet.
It was time to push.