Two weeks ago my life changed in a very irreversible way. I became a mom. Wow, still hard to believe. The last two week weeks have been a whirlwind and trust me when I say that my house is proof of that. It looks like a hurricane came through. Since this blog serves as a journal of sorts you get to hear (or read rather) the entire story. Of course no one is making you, so feel free to scroll to the pictures at the end. They are much more exciting. :)
So I went to my doctor for my 40 week appointment and I asked her about inducing. I wasn't real keen on the idea, it seemed like it would be better to let my body decide when the time was right. But my sister was coming into town for Christmas and plus who wants to be in the hospital for Christmas anyway right? My due date was the 15th and I was just hoping to get induced on the 19th or 20th. Just so I would at least have a day or two at home before we would be at my parent's house for all the celebrations. It seems like inductions happen left and right these days, even before someone's due date. I figured it would be no problem. But she said no. She wouldn't induce before 41 weeks which would be the 22nd. And the soonest I would be leaving the hospital would be Christmas Eve. I was not very happy. I was even more unhappy when I went to make my next appointment only to find out that she was going to be out of the office for the whole week. Why wouldn't she tell me?! Weird. So on Monday the 19th I saw a new doctor. We packed our hospital bag with a slight hope that he would just send us right over to the hospital to get induced. We weren't very hopeful though. I was disappointed to find out I hadn't progressed at all in the last week, but without even needing to ask, he suggested we go to the hospital around 6 that evening to get things started. We were both surprised and excited, and I was scared out of my mind. I was pretty much dysfunctional for the rest of the day. We went to my parent's house for dinner so Brennan at least could get a good meal in before the fun began. I was way too nervous to really eat much at all.
So the plan was to get a cervical tape inserted when we got to the hospital. This was supposed to "ripen" my cervix (what a weird word to use) but not really have any other effects. So the hope was that I would get a fairly good night's rest at the hospital and then they would probably start pitocin in the morning. After getting the tape inserted around 7:30 I just felt pretty rotten. I was pretty uncomfortable. I didn't really think of it as contractions because there was no starting or stopping of the pain and discomfort, it was just constant. The nurse would come in and check on me and ask if I was feeling any of the contractions because I was definitely having some. I guess she could tell from the monitors they had me hooked up to (those were annoying). Around 10 they gave me an Ambien so that I could sleep. They seemed pretty convinced that the only reason I hadn't slept much yet was just the nerves and anxiety from being in the hospital, not discomfort. Well when I hadn't fallen asleep an hour or more later the nurse checked me and I was dilated to a 4. Yikes! That stuff works fast I guess. When she told the doctor he said we needed to remove it. The relief was practically immediate. I was still getting contractions but they actually stopped. i got to have a break from the pain! I got in the bath after that and it was almost like I couldn't feel any of them. It was marvelous! I slept fairly well after that. Apparently my memory has already faded, I'll have to ask Brennan to be sure, but I think I got some IV pain meds during the night sometime. Regardless, a new doctor came in around 8:30 in the morning and I was at a 5, so she broke my water. I didn't have to have any pitocin, which was probably a good thing. After she broke my water the contractions definitely kicked up a notch or two. I got another dose of the IV pain meds and that brought relief for maybe 10 or 15 minutes. Then it was like they came back with a vengeance. Not cool. There was so much pain in my lower back. Brennan had been able to relieve that pain earlier on by pushing on my back while I laid on my side. But when I tried to turn onto my side at this point, the pain was too excruciating to stay there for even a second.
This is probably the point in the story where Brennan would say he started to witness his wife lose her mind. At the moment, I couldn't have cared less about what anyone thought, but after the fact it was kind of embarrassing to remember some of the things I said and did. Oh well, I guess. I mean I was giving birth, I suppose that's a good enough excuse to slightly lose your mind. :)
As I went through these very painful contractions, I debated for probably 20 minutes or so about whether or not I should get an epidural. I suppose I kind of had a goal to not get one, or at least to make it as far as I could without one. But no one thought I was having this baby until the afternoon or evening and the nurse was sure I would be pushing for a good 2 or 3 hours at the end. I just couldn't imagine dealing with the pain I was feeling for that long. So I told her I wanted one. She called the anesthesiologist and while we waited for him, she checked my progress. I was at a 9! Excuse me? The nurse proceeded to tell me that by the time the drugs kicked in it would probably be pretty pointless. I panicked. I had finally made up my mind and I was convinced that I would experience sweet relief as soon as those drugs got going and now she was telling me that wasn't going to happen? I had to do this all on my own? To say I was scared would be an understatement. I guess I was grabbing at Brennan a lot and kept saying "I can't do this"...yep my mind was going. :) So the nurse told me I would still get an epidural and hopefully it would at least have time to help a little. But by the time the anesthesiologist walked in the room the pain shot up again and I suddenly realized I really wanted to push. So the nurse checked again, told me I was at a 10, she could see the head and I was free to push. It took a couple of tries to get the hang of pushing but eventually I did. The nurse would count me through my pushes and I guess I was not interested in that changing. She was back by her computer when I told her a contraction was coming and she just told me to go ahead, and I said "no, Kathy, I need you here" in a fairly bossy/firm tone. It wasn't until later that I found out from Brennan that she was on the phone trying to send for the doctor. And that she totally had to just blurt out the essential information and then cut off the conversation because of me demanding that she be there to count me through my push. Oops. :)
After about probably 20 minutes of pushing we got to meet our sweet little girl. At 10:37 am on December 20th, Tatum Harding entered this world, weighing in at 8 lbs 1 oz and measuring 22 inches long. She said hello to her mom by pooping all over her, but I didn't mind at all. I was just so relieved to be done and holding my baby. She was just "baby" for about 36 hours. We had a hard time settling on a name, well mostly I did. As Mara says, I am the "most indecisive person in the world". It's true, I'll admit it. After she was out the fun really began. My arm with the IV, which was currently holding onto the baby started to hurt. I tried to tell the nurse but she pretty much ignored me. But when Brennan looked at it he wasn't going to be ignored. The IV had blown and my arm was swollen, no wonder it hurt! The doctor was trying to stitch me up but was having difficulty because I was hemorrhaging. Because of the hemorrhaging they really didn't want me to not have an IV, so more nurses came in. One took care of the IV that had blown while another one stuck me on the other arm. Another nurse pushed entirely too hard on my uterus and yet another took the baby to give her to Brennan only to discover that I was covered in poop. Yeah, it was pretty eventful, but it all worked out and we got a beautiful, healthy baby.
We headed home from the hospital on Thursday afternoon. Gretchen, my good friend from high school, brought us a meal that night and got to meet little Tatum. My dad was nice enough to come and stay with us that night since my mom had to work the next day. So we were lucky enough to have his help for our first 24 hours at home. Then on Saturday (Christmas Eve) we packed up what felt like our entire house and headed to my parent's for a week to enjoy time with family. We just got back home last night and are trying to move back into our own house and adjust to doing this alone. We are tired, but happy.