Figured I'd take this moment of quiet to finally update on here!
I'm very happy to announce that on June 7th at 6:23 pm we welcomed our little boy, Samuel James Maida, into the world. He was 8 lbs 5 oz and 20.5 inches long (although my mom and I think they measured him wrong, he looks much longer!!) I was in labor for 16 hours. It was the most painful, and yet rewarding experience of my life. I wanted to go all natural, and I was able to do so. Although I won't lie, there were definitely a few moments where I was totally ready to give up. I got through it though, and I'm proud of myself for that. I'll post my birth story on here, but don't worry, I won't go into any gory details ;)
Sam's Birth Story 6/7/11
Around 2:30am on Tuesday the 7th I was woken up by a crazy tightening, squeezing feeling in my stomach. I assumed it was a contraction, but having nothing to compare it to, I didn't want to jump to any conclusions. So I pulled up the contraction timer app on my phone and waited to see if these feelings would come and go in any sort of pattern. Sure enough, they were lasting 45 seconds to a minute and coming and going between 5 and 7 minutes apart. I let James sleep for a while (I love him, but he's a grouch if you wake him up) because I was kinda paranoid that the contractions would stop. It was 4 days past my due date, but I was seriously starting to feel like there was no possible way I'd EVER actually go into labor. Around maybe 4 o'clock (ish) I woke James up to tell him that I was definitely having contractions and that I wanted to walk around to make sure they weren't going to stop. He said that was fine, but that he wanted to go back to sleep for a little while because (in his words) he wouldn't be any use to me later in the day without more sleep. So I started to pace our apartment. The contractions were definitely coming stronger, I couldn't walk through them so when they would come I'd lean over a counter or whatever I was near and breathe through them as best I could. Sometime around 5:30ish I couldn't handle it alone anymore so I went in the bedroom and woke James up. He started packing himself a bag (mine was already packed) and called work to let them know it was finally time for the baby to come. He then called the hospital to tell them that my contractions were 4-5 minutes apart, but that I wanted to labor at home as long as possible. They told him since it was my first baby they'd be okay with me staying at home until my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart for 2 hours, and to call when we were on our way. I braided my hair (it took forever because I had to keep stopping to breathe through a contraction) and we turned on "The Office" I sat on my big exercise ball for a while and that helped, but it didn't take too long for my contractions to start coming 2-3 minutes apart. We called the hospital and left the apartment around 8:30. Having contractions in the car was TERRIBLE, I couldn't wait to just get there. Luckily morning rush hour traffic was over so it didn't take too long. When we finally got to the hospital we, thankfully, got a very close parking spot and headed inside. Had to stop twice on the way in for a contraction. Probably scared the crap out of a few Jr. Marines passing by outside the hospital. hahaha
Once in the hospital they put me in a wheelchair and put me in a triage room. They hooked me up to monitors and checked me. I was 8 centimeters already! But my water hadn't broken yet, and the nurse explained that it was possible that when my water did break I could go down to 6 or 7 cm, but I was definitely in (very) active labor. So I was admitted and taken to my room. It was the one room in Labor and Delivery with a tub, but I never did get in it. My contractions were strong enough that I could barely move, and I was already exhausted. When they told me that my Dr. was the one on call up on Labor and Delivery that day I nearly cried I was so happy. I continued to breathe through my contractions, almost breaking all of James' fingers in the process. At some point (I had no sense of time at this point) my Dr. came in to check me. He said I was at 10 cm! So he broke my water and said I could push if I felt the need to. I pushed for a couple hours, but no progress was happening so I was checked again. Sadly I was back at 9 cm so I had to stop pushing. At this point I don't even think it was quite noon yet. I was at 9 cm for a looooooong time. The nurse had to sit by me wherever I was (standing with James, sitting on the ball, on the edge of the bed) and hold the monitor on because since my belly was so round the monitor kept slipping off and we weren't getting good readings of Sam's heartbeat. My Dr. came in after a few hours and said they were going to start me on some Pitocin to hopefully make me progress a little. I was scared because I knew Pitocin would make my contractions stronger and closer, but I was determined to still not have pain meds. They hung some Pitocin for me and sure enough, I felt the contractions even stronger. I was having some trouble staying focused, and in between contractions almost felt like I was passing out a bit. The nurse said it was because I was hyper-ventilating a bit during contractions. I had to have short/fast/puffy-type breaths to keep myself from pushing. Suddenly the nurse was telling me I needed to lie on my left side and a bunch of Drs came into my room really quickly. They explained that the baby's heartbeat was dropping too much during contractions and not coming back up fast enough. So I had to stay in bed lying on my left side with an oxygen mask on. After a while of that Drs came in and started talking c-section. They were not happy with Sam's heartrate at all. They said he was definitely in distress and we needed to get him out as quickly as possible. At that point I just wanted the pain to stop and for Sam to be okay so I wasn't going to try to stop them from giving me the c-section. So in between contractions I was signing consent forms. (At some point in all of this, my mom, dad, and Tommy arrived. Dad and Tommy went to the waiting room and my mom stayed in with me and James) While signing the consent forms and trying really hard to focus on what the Drs were explaining to me about the surgery. But then the urge to push became way too strong to resist and I started telling the Drs and nurses that over and over. Finally they checked me, I was still at 9 cm but the Dr (I was on my 3rd dr. of the day at that point I think...) said she could "help me push past that last bit" I won't go into detail on how that worked... So I started pushing with everything I had. It was pain like I've never felt or could have ever imagined. I pushed for such a long time, and at this point I was beyond exhausted. I wanted to cry like a baby and I just wanted it all to stop, but I just kept trying to breathe and think about my baby. He just wouldn't come out. And so the Dr. said we would try the vacuum. We had 3 tries to get him out with the help of the vacuum and if that didn't work I'd be immediately taken for an emergency c-section. They were still not happy with Sam's heartrate so I was trying to take as many deep, full breaths with the oxygen mask as I could in between pushes. James and my mom say that watching them use the vacuum was the most horrifying thing they've ever seen. I couldn't see it, but I can tell you it felt pretty horrifying as well :/ I pushed with everything I had, and FINALLY he came out. I couldn't hold him right away because they needed to check him. I found out later that he had had shoulder dystocia (his shoulder got stuck in my pelvis) and the cord was around his neck twice. We are VERY lucky that he came out crying and kicking and nice and pink. Shoulder dystocia, especially with the cord around his neck, can be extremely dangerous. James was able to cut his cord and once he got all checked out and cleaned up, I was finally holding my baby boy. It was so amazing to finally have him in my arms, and to know that we created this little person and he had grown inside me all those months, and there he was! Right there in my arms! Truly amazing, and truly a miracle.
So there it is. There's my birth story :) We're home now and Sam is doing great. He eats like a champ, and so far he's been sleeping pretty well at night. We have to wake him for feedings! At his 2 day appointment he had already started to gain back some of the weight he lost after his birth. They told me to keep waking him to eat every 3 hours, but as long as he's gaining weight well at his 2 week checkup, we can start stretching his feedings out at night. I definitely hope we can do that because a little extra sleep will most definitely help. The 2 hours of sleep I get between feedings is definitely good because they add up to a good bit of sleep each night, but I definitely don't feel as rested as I would with a few more hours of straight sleep. All in all we really can't complain though.
I will definitely post some pictures of our incredibly adorable little man next time I post. And I'd like to start using this blog some more now. Sam keeps me pretty busy, but I can already tell that finding little things to do for myself will be helpful. And blogging is something I'd like to get into some more. So hopefully I will!
Next post... pictures :)