‘Before’ pic taken at 7 weeks.
11 weeks and feeling the little bump!
Week 12, BLOAT
Week 13, still majorly bloaty
Week 15 Bloat has officially gone down. Feeling small
Week 16, real bump?
Week 17, definitely showing now, for sure.
Week 18, it’s growing!
Week 19, feeling fat
Week 20 and pooching like a champ
Week 21, breaking out the comfy clothes
Week 24, just suddenly got huge.
Week 25, headachy but feeling pretty
Week 28, nesting and baking
29 Weeks, he’s flipped downward and I’m much more comfortable.
Week 30, halfway blonde!
Week 31, fully blonde and ready for summer.
Week 37, he’s dropped!
40 weeks. Was hoping to avoid this one for sure….ah well. 4 days past due.
I gave birth yesterday but I’m afraid to let this post wait any longer because my feelings about this labor and delivery are so different than what I expected and I don’t want to let any of the emotions muddle over time while I ponder the event over and over. It will probably take more than a day to write but I won’t put it off.
I had my first strong contractions on Saturday afternoon. They didn’t materialize into anything but I knew that it wouldn’t be too much longer because these particular contractions, though inconsistent, were very surprisingly intense.
Saturday passed and Sunday began without much change. Lots of contractions, occasional strong ones and several lulls. Shane had decided that we weren’t going to do anything we had planned for the day like church or the annual Celebration at the Station we go to each year since I was having enough contractions it made him uncomfortable to be far from either home, our car or our hospital. I agreed and so we spent the day doing leisurely things like eating lunch at a nearby Mediterranean restaurant, watching the Royals game and spending time with Avery.
The contractions picked up a bit by late evening and around 10:30 I started timing them just to see if there was any consistency and found the strong contractions to be about fifteen minutes apart. They were very strong and I found myself breathing and even having to moan through some of them. I started getting nervous that this labor would be scary hard for me if the beginning contractions felt stronger than any I had during Avery’s labor. Around midnight I felt like I was in active labor.
I let Shane go to bed while I walked around the house using the stair railings to hang from during each contraction. All the pain was in my back and it was very overwhelming. At 1:30am I woke Shane to call my mom who was coming up to stay with Avery. She lives an hour away and so it gave me a goal to work through and I tried to let the contractions do their thing while I just coped with my own reaction to them.
My mom got there and we took off for the hospital…..which was a highly unpleasant drive for me. Each contraction was relatively short, around a minute and about five minutes apart, so between contractions I tried to return to a relaxed state and think about normal things so that anticipating the next contraction wouldn’t overwhelm me.
We reached the hospital and had to enter into the ER since it was around 3am and they took us right up to the maternity floor. I was surprised they never took me to the triage room to make sure I was in labor (I guess it was obvious to them!) but instead they just popped me right into a room. They checked me and I was dilated to 6cm! This was a huge answer to prayer for me. At my 40 week appointment I had been dilated to 3cm and while we drove to the hospital I prayed I was a six by now.
I found I couldn’t sit at all with these contractions and instead I hung from Shane or the side of the bed (they raised it high for me) to try and relieve that back pain. I was very loud through each contraction, making sure to keep my voice tone low and deep and kept my body moving while I contracted.
Shane was a huge part of how I got through the pain. When I labored with Avery I internalized, focused on the pain and overcame it by myself. It was nowhere near as intense as this though and I couldn’t have done it without the support of my husband.
My midwife, Kim, arrived shortly after we settled into a rhythm and she watched some of my contractions before asking if I wanted to be checked because it sounded like I was going through some pretty strong ones. I agreed, hoping things were progressing speedily and I was already measuring 7cm dilated.
Here was where some irritation about delivering at the hospital began to work it’s way into our experience. The room nurse was a young gal, very nice I’m sure, but sort of green and kept trying to put the monitors on me, adjust them every couple minutes, even DURING contractions. I tried to be nice and for most of the labor, really, I was. I spent a while in the Jacuzzi but it didn’t seem warm enough for me and after about thirty or forty minutes we headed back to the room. Once there my contractions seemed to get crazy. I felt like my water should be breaking and after a while I wondered if it ever would! Avery’s water was caught above his head, keeping it from descending all the way and I spent nine hours at 7cm with him before my midwife just stuck her hand up there and pushed it out of the way, causing it to finish breaking and sending me directly into transition.
We had discussed at my last appointment what we would do if this happened again and I had agreed that she should just break my water or do whatever she could to keep me from stalling like that again.
In light of this she asked me at this point if I wanted her to try and rupture my water and I said yes. She went ahead and found that my sac was actually very thick and even with her tool she could barely get a hole in it! But once she did, I again went immediately into full transition (she told me later that I was already there but could tell my water was preventing progress). While she was rupturing I was on my back on the bed and found the contraction unbearable. Kim told me to get on my hands and knees on the bed (which they raised to a sitting position so I could grab onto the back of it) to see if that relieved some of the back pressure. The first contraction in the position was horrible but Kim assured me that was normal and so I persevered. Shane stood beside the bed and helped me. I was surprised how much every phrase like ‘you’re doing so good.’ and ‘it’s almost over’ meant to me. Throughout labor, having Shane there for me and interacting with me, made me feel so much love for him. I’m sure seeing me so pathetic was overwhelming for him but he held me, supported me and kept me going the whole time. Sometimes just his expressions were encouraging because I could tell he could see everything was coming to an end. Naturally this scared me to death since I knew the end would be the hardest part.
At this point the monitors our diligent nurse so desperately felt the need to continually meddle with were too much for me and I told Kim they had to come off. When I say ‘told’ I mean I yelled that they were KILLING me. She quickly got them off me and said that if the pain of the contraction was too much to just go ahead and bear down on it. For some reason this really surprised me because I didn’t know it was time to push yet! In fact, I’m not sure anyone was really expecting me to push right then but I started and after a few very large, and very messy (I’m sure) gushes the nurses assisting my midwife started to hustle and get everything in place. I coudn’t see anything though, since I was facing the wall and gripping the back of the bed.
I went from loud yells to get me through each contraction to praying out loud. Yes, I prayed out loud and then alternately cursed. Then the contractions didn’t really require anything. I wasn’t even sure when I was actually having a contraction. I would just start pushing whenever it felt right. Again the poor nurse tried to put the monitors on me (what the HECK LADY!??!) I screamed at her, and shoved her away. I was THAT lady in labor folks. I think I really caught her off guard but she backed off.
I felt the head come down and after a couple pushes of it not coming out and me sort of being afraid to push it out because of how much I could FEEL it I asked Kim if I could get him out the next push and she said yes! This was all the encouragement I needed and I pushed soooooooo hard the next contraction. It hurt so bad! I never felt Avery’s head even come out so this was a huge difference. But I did what Kim said and pushed through the sting and I felt his head come out. I just figured the rest of him followed but I was wrong! She told me to keep pushing to get his body out and I freaked. Everything was so intense and fast and hard for me at this point. I had to push a few times before the body came out and since there was meconium in my water they whisked him bedside to get all checked out real quick while I got turned over to my back. I still hadn’t delivered the placenta (another difference since last time I delivered everything in one contraction, head, body, placenta) and I wasn’t quite sure how to go about it. They adjusted the bed and me and I just kept saying ‘I want my baby! Can I have him now?!’ and they were super patient with me and then gave him over, skin to skin, so we could nurse.
He latched on immediately and began nursing HARD. Everything about this kid was intense!
I went through the hardest experience of my life and came out with a perfect son.
I’m so blessed and in love and excited for everything that comes with having a family of four.
Elisha Timothy Par-Due
Born on May 28th, 2012 at 6:44am