May 25th, 9:29am
This picture was taken on May 28th, when she was only 3 days old. Today she is two weeks old! The past two weeks have been a blur of nursing, sleeping, not sleeping, visitors and family. I've loved every minute.
Giving birth and being a mom is already the coolest thing I've ever done. It's so special and such a blessing. Even when I'm awake nursing a baby at 4am, I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Speaking of nursing, it burns around 500 extra calories per day and I've already lost about 24 lbs of baby weight! Granted, about 10 of those was baby, placenta and fluids all lost within the first few hours of her birth. But still.. breastfeeding is like having a high intensity workout everyday, all while sitting on the couch or in a rocking chair.
So, about her birth..
As the title of this post indicates, I didn't get the epidural as I had planned all along.
Me. I know.
I have a very low pain tolerance and never considered myself one of those tough, strong women who could do something like give birth naturally. Even though I think it's amazing for those who plan to do it.
Unfortunately, I didn't have a choice in the matter!
Around 3am on the 25th, my water broke when I got up to go to the bathroom. It wasn't a ton of water and when I called the doctor, she said I could wait a few hours before going in if I wanted to. I really wanted to wait a few hours before waking Reed up, so he wouldn't be as tired on the day our daughter was born. Plus, I figured I'd be one of those first time moms who laid around the hospital all day waiting for labor to progress.
The contractions started coming around 3:45am and at 6am I woke Reed up to start getting ready to go to the hospital. The contractions were getting stronger and stronger and by the time we got to the hospital at 7, it was pretty darn painful. We had to wait for a little while at registration and then again in triage. Everything seemed to be taking forever and I just wanted to get into the delivery room already. While we were waiting around triage for one of the OB residents to come check my progress, the contractions were really getting serious. I was trying not to be a baby and to remain polite, so no one really took me seriously until the OB resident checked me and I was 6cm dilated.
They finally got me to our labor & delivery room. Luckily, the renovated room with the birthing tub we wanted was available. My plan all along was to labor for a few hours in the tub, and then get the epidural and peacefully push her out with Ray Lamontagne playing in the background and a smile on my face.
So we get to the room and the nurse says, you're already progressing pretty quickly and I know you want the epidural, should we just call the anesthesiologist in?
Ten minutes later, another nurse walks in to report that the anesthesiologist was "tied up in another wing of the hospital". They asked if I wanted to go ahead and get in the tub while we waited for him. Again, yes.
The water felt so good, even though the contractions were getting seriously strong. I was only in the water for about five minutes when I felt my body start pushing through a contraction. I was so confused, wasn't I supposed to decide when I was ready to push? My body was basically doing it on its own, which was so intense. When the nurse realized what was going on, she had me get out of the water so she could check my progress. Sure enough, I was fully dilated and ready to push! I was so not ready.. it didn't matter. Eden was ready! Our OB wasn't even there yet, so they called in the OB resident on duty (!).
I started pushing on the delivery table and after a few big pushes, they asked me if I wanted to feel her head. I said no, I just wanted to get her out! About half way through the pushing, the anesthesiologist strolled in and the OB resident told him it was too late, I was just going to have to do this without the epidural. (!)
After only about 25-30 minutes of pushing, out she came, pink and flailing and they put her on my chest. It was totally surreal. We had gotten to the hospital at 7am and was born at 9:29am.. everything just progressed so quickly and intensely! Unfortunately, since it was so fast, my canal didn't have time to properly elasticize and I did have some pretty significant tearing. They gave me about 20 minutes to hold and nurse her before taking me into the OR for surgery. At that point, the OB had arrived (Starbucks latte in hand, I still love her) and she was able to do the surgery, so that was great.
That was when I got my epidural and it was amazing! I could see the team of doctors doing their thing, but I couldn't feel anything. The surgery took about an hour and all I could do was lay back with the biggest smile on my face, thanking God so much for Reed and our new baby bonding down the hall.
We had a baby!
After the surgery they wheeled me into the recovery area where we were reunited as a family of three.
Since it happened so fast, no one even knew we were in the hospital, let alone that she was here! It was actually really nice to have that relaxed time as new parents alone with our baby for a few hours.
We started the texts and phone calls and our family members started coming in to meet her, which was so much fun.
You may have seen on my Instagram Account that I've been taking a silly amount of pictures. I just want to bottle up the newborn stage to revisit whenever I want - she's just so tiny, squishy and cute!
Before we even left the hospital, there was a morning that I was in tears because she will only be a baby for about 5 minutes and then she'll be starting her own family. Postpartum hormones much?
We are settling in to our new normal and finding a (sort of) routine. It has already been the most amazing two weeks.. I can't even imagine what the future holds.