December 30, 2011

41 Weeks- At Last!

I'm going to be completely honest, I thought I was going to have to write a "42 Weeks" post and the thought was not exciting to me! I'm still going to let Miles wear his Christmas outfit when we get home because he did make it before New Year's, but I'll admit I wasn't the happiest camper to be waddling around huge and dodging "Mary in Bethlehem" jokes around Christmas. My sister-in-law sent me a box with eight days of Hanukkah presents and that was a welcome and perfect distraction from anxiously awaiting the arrival of our Miles Henry.

So here I am, in the wee hours of December 30th, taking the time (after a five-hour stretch of sleep- heavenly!) to write Milo's birth story because I don't want to forget anything. His birth is still so surreal and every time I hold him I'm in awe!

Labor began the morning of December 28th- twelve days past my due date- and started around two o' clock as I began noticing very real, timeable contractions at five minutes apart (I'd had plenty of false labor and wondered if I would know how to time them. There was definitely no question when the real thing started). I tried to doze through them and was pretty successful until around seven, when I told Parker that maybe he shouldn't go in to work that day. As the contractions would hit, I would completely relax my body and lie still until it passed. Dr. K had wanted me to wait until I'd had two hours of contractions at four minutes apart before coming in to the hospital so as the contractions were approaching that point, we decided on a quick drive around the corner for doughnuts (the only thing I felt like eating). Eventually, I called Dr. K's office and they gave the green light for us to come on in!

When we got to the hospital around 11:30, my contractions were about four minutes apart. As I tiptoed next to Parker as we walked into the lobby, a woman yelled from her car, "Good luck!" I still wasn't convinced that this was really happening. The nurses in Labor and Delivery started monitoring my contractions and also determined that my water had broken. (I was so surprised about this, as I had actually gone into the hospital the day before because I was certain my water was at least leaking but was sent home.) We were staying! They got me into a room and although I was disappointed to not have a labor tub, there was a shower right across the hall which I enjoyed later on.

Dr. K stopped by around three in the afternoon to check in on us, and told us he'd be back in around six that evening to see how things were progressing; at that point, I was about four centimeters dilated with steady contractions about three minutes apart. By the time Dr. K got back in to check on us, I was in a whole new place in regards to discomfort and exhaustion. I told him I was ready for an epidural, which was surprising to me because I had huge anxiety my whole pregnancy about it and the process- but after eighteen hours of unmedicated labor, it was a welcome relief and I was finally able to rest. I could still move my legs, but I couldn't feel any pain, only pressure. A little after midnight, I was ready to push. I could feel a lot at that point but I was glad because I was able to have more control and feel the progress each time. About thirty minutes in, Dr. K arrived and between contractions we were all making jokes, which really helped me relax. After a few more contractions, Dr. K instructed me to start making small, controlled pushes and then said, "Veralynn, reach down and pick up your baby!" I couldn't believe our son was in my arms and I was so happy and in love. I will never forget the look on Parker's face! And so he was born on December 29th at 1:17 a.m. at 8 pounds and 6 ounces and 21 inches long.

I've thought a lot about the moment I first saw him and I have to say I still can't wrap my mind around the fact that this perfect little baby is my son. He has lots of dark hair and ears like mine, but his nose and mouth look just like Parker's. He loves to be swaddled, and when he fusses his little lower lip quivers in a way that just makes me want to make whatever it is all better. I love his little yawns. I could go on and on but I'm just so thankful that he is healthy and here with us.

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