Well, she is finally here. And I mean, she is HERE. This child made her appearance with a bang and I will do my best to mention every dirty detail of her journey to this world! I hope you enjoy! I won't really be sparing any details, so read with caution!
March 15th, 10 AM - 39 weeks
My doctor swept my membranes this day and it wasn't my most favorite feeling. We were hoping this would progress me. I had been about 3 cm dilated and about 75% effaced for a week, so our doc truly thought she could come any day! I went home and later that evening, I lost my mucus plug and had some increased Braxton Hicks contractions. After that, nothing! I really thought I would go into labor this day!
March 18th, 8 PM - 39 weeks and 3 days
Michael and I decided to build a camp fire in our backyard and enjoy some delicious smores. I had been feeling pretty good and we actually took a little walk on our trail that night. I ate about 6 smores in hopes it would force this child out of me, but also because I am obsessed with smores. We were having such a great time and decided to stay up late and watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens. By midnight, we finally made our way to bed. I was SO tired and ready for a great night of sleep.
March 19th, 2:30 AM - 39 weeks and 4 days
I was rudely awakened by this weird sensation in my stomach. It felt like I was about to start my period or something. I got up and went to the bathroom to check for any blood or if my water had broken. No signs of anything. I went back to bed and noticed the feeling was coming and going. This is when my brain went, OHHH. THIS IS LABOR. It was so mild that I was surprised. I actually thought it might be false labor, so I timed the contractions for about 45 minutes before doing anything. They increased and got to about 5-6 minutes apart, so I woke Michael up and we decided to just go to the hospital. We gathered our things and called my parents to come pick up Cheerio from us. My mom ended up staying in the waiting room, just in case we needed anything.
4:00 AM - 6:00 AM
They took me back to a triage room to hook me up to the contraction machine & baby heart rate monitor. My contractions were a little closer together, like 5 minutes or so apart and getting increasingly more painful. They were definitely not as painful as they told us they would be, so i was even more convinced that this was probably false labor. The OBGYN on call came in and checked me and I was about 3 1/2 cm and 80% effaced. Such little progress! I tried not to get frustrated and started singing Fleet Foxes with Michael. Labor makes you do weird crap. They decided to make me wait 2 hours to see if any additional changes happened. Michael and I decided to walk the halls to see if that would help. My contractions definitely got more painful at this point. I had to stop and hold the wall during each one. But in my head, I was like, "This isn't bad. I can do this."
We returned to my room and the OB check me again. I was about 4 cm, 85% effaced. Progress was happening, just fairly slowly. My contractions were showing pretty strong on the monitor, so they decided to officially admit me! I was so happy. I was ready to get this baby out!
6:00 AM - 2:00 PM
The rooms at St. David's are amazing. They are so comfortable and home-like. We got settled in and met our nurse, Sam. She was so cool. She had part of her hair shaved off and seemed like the perfect nurse for me. She was hardcore and really encouraged me. They asked me if I wanted any meds and I told them no. I was going to go natural on this one. Since it was a Sunday, my doctor was actually off. I had a feeling she would come on a day he wouldn't be able to deliver her!! I was slightly sad, but he assured me that his partner, Dr. Shepherd (hello, grey's anatomy!!!) would do a fantastic job. Dr. Shepherd arrived to meet me and was just awesome. She was so kind and helpful. She checked me and I was still the same, no progress. She decided to give me some more time before checking me again. My contractions were getting more and more painful, so Michael and my mom helped me into the shower. This helped so much. The hot water totally aided in my back pain. The doctor showed back up after 2 hours and I had finally progressed to about 4.5 cm. This was awesome news! My water still hadn't broken, so I was feeling a ton of pressure. I asked her to go ahead and break it to see if that would help me progress faster.
As soon as she broke my water, the pain began. My contractions became insane. I had major back labor!!! I was crying and yelling through each contraction, which was not what I expected. After about 2 hours of these contractions, I had only progressed about .5 cm. The doctor was slightly concerned at this point. I was half expecting her to suggest a c-section, but she never did.
2:00 PM - 3:45 PM
After she left, my contractions became completely unbearable. I could barely breath, move, talk, think. I cried out to Michael and squeezed his hand as hard as I could, hoping it would make things easier. I truly thought I would try different positions and move around, but the pain was so bad. Arya's heart rate was dropping too from the stress, which was so scary. I looked at Michael and asked if I should go ahead and get the epidural. I had been laboring for 12 hours already and just needed rest. I figured I'd be there for many more hours since I had hardly progressed! The epidural king arrived in all his glory, bearing the greatest gift I've ever received. You guys, I am SOLD. The epidural is a thing of dreams. As soon as the medicine entered my body, I felt instant relief. I could breath again. They laid me on my side since my legs were numb
and I just chilled for a few hours before my doc came back to check me. I talked to Michael and just went on and on about how amazing the epidural was. Arya's heart rate dropped back to normal and she was just kicking away. My blood pressure was super low, so they did end up giving me some meds to bring it back up, but it wasn't too bad. Arya and I were both sooooo happy. After about 30 minutes, my doc came back and I was at 8 cm!!! My body just needed to relax. She left me for another two hours to see if that would get me fully dilated - and it worked! I was 10 cm and fully effaced, ready to push this baby out. I couldn't believe it! I felt so so amazing with the epidural, everything else was just fantastic.
3:45 PM - 5:32 PM
The doctor and her crew came in and got the room ready for the delivery. The positioned me on my back (if I didn't have meds, this position would have sucked!) Michael held my right leg and Sam the nurse held my left. I couldn't feel anything waist down, so I was curious how pushing would go. The doc seemed to think it would take 2 hours to get her out. That concerned me a little, but I trusted Dr. Shepherd. The had me begin pushing with each contraction, which I could not feel! I pretended like I was pooping and it worked! The baby was moving down the birth canal and eventually, her head was in sight! Michael told me she had dark hair! I couldn't believe it!! No wonder I had such horrid reflux. During each contraction, they had me hold my breath and push as hard as I could. It was so hard to tell what I was doing, so I just did the motions and it seemed to work great. After about an hour and 30 minutes, we were seeing really great progress.
The doc finally got her gown on and we were ready to get this baby out! I did about 10 more pushes and I could start to feel her coming out! The doc got her head and one shoulder out, then realized that the rest of her wasn't coming out. Arya was so chubby that the doctor had to deliver her as if this was a c-section baby. She had to pull each limb out of me due to her chunkiness. I watched her pull the shoulder and belly out and was like, "HOW BIG IS THIS KID?!"
ARYA DON SHEA
All of the sudden, my life was insanely changed. This sweet, giant, chubby, tan, dark-haired beauty was on my chest, crying and cooing. I was balling. This adorable girl was our life now. Also, she was HUGE. Like, mega huge. I was not expecting that. I swore she was going to be tiny. I didn't feel that pregnant. They took Arya to get measured and weighed, while I delivered the placenta and got stitched up. Even with her giantness, I only tore a tiny amount. Many thanks to Sam who used oil on me for a long time before I began pushing. While I was delivering my giant placenta, Michael yelled to me that she was 9 lbs 5 ounces and 21 1/4 tall. Dude. HOW. How did I birth that!?! And yet again, I am so thankful for the epidural.
The doc brought her back to me and I was in seriously earth heaven. I got to stare at her sweet face for hours. They had to monitor me for a while since I had an epidural, so I got to relax and eat. My mom came in and met Arya, which was beyond special. My mom has been such a huge part of my pregnancy and I am so excited that she is Nanny to my sweet girl. My MIL came in soon after and shouted, "She looks just like Michael!" She was so excited and in that moment, I realized how loved my girl would be.
Soon followed the rest of our crew - Dad, Joe (FIL), my sisters, Granny, Granddad, The Neroves, The Warners, and my brother-in-law, Hector. They were all so kind! Scott actually drove to P Terry's to get me a much needed milkshake and fries. Food is bliss, people.
After a few hours, they helped me get up and use the bathroom. Not one of my most favorite moments. I was very swollen. The nurse so kindly told me not to evaluate my situation for a few weeks out. She didn't want me to be scared. It felt pretty bad down there, so I definitely took her advice.
They relocated us to a recovery room where we began our journey as parents. We attempted breastfeeding, which Arya totally hated. She was starved out of her mind and breastfeeding wasn't getting her what she needed fast enough. The nurse brought me the hospital grade pump so that I could get some food for my dear girl. This worked wonderfully! To this day, Arya prefers the bottle to the boob. I pump every few hours and give her what I get. Needless to say, I'm now producing double what I need, so my freezer is stocked for this girl in the future.
My whole experience was amazing really. I wouldn't change a thing about it and I am so thankful to have this healthy baby in my life now.
I want to say that my husband, KILLED it as my partner in labor. He was so kind and helpful. He encouraged me and loved me so greatly. I seriously would not have survived without him. I just love him so much. AND people, the way he looks at our kid and the way he loves her... nothing better or more attractive.
I'd like to say I'm ready for baby number 2, but I think I need a year or two to forget about the back labor I had.
Until next time!