I realize that it has been months since I was last on here, and after several complaints, I have finally acquiesced to requests for an update! I forget that some of the people who read this blog don't have any personal contact with me. To be honest, I don't really write it with strangers in mind, so I often forget the fact that there are women reading it who value hearing about others' experiences. Ironically, such were my initial reasons for starting this blog back in 2009, so I apologize for the gap!
I left off right before what should have been my Christmas post and my final post before Izaak's due date. However, the holiday season, as I too often let it, took things by storm (figuratively and literally) and the business of it all left me with no time or desire to pursue this hobby. Therefore, I will recall it all to the best of my ability:
Christmas was spent between two houses, ours and my brother and sister-in-law's down in NC, and it was filled with good food, gifties for the kiddos and quality time dwelling on the meaning of the season. It was also filled with the unexpected excitement of a blizzard!
When we left my brother's house to return home, Andy and I were surely being guarded from above, as our nearly bald tires on our truck had us on pins and needles until we could get to a Wal-Mart to get some new ones. More than a few times we almost careened off the road or found ourselves sliding backward down a hill. New tires relieved some of the tension of driving on ice, but the eight hour drive down US-58W that usually only took about 2 and a half hours, is testament enough to the chaos spurned by the winter storm...cars were spun off the road everywhere. My parents (who were driving back to Swannanoa at the same time on I-40) and Andy were praying all the stress didn't send me into an early labor.
Thankfully, it did not. And little did I know that Izaak was, in fact, not even close to making his appearance to the world. Believing what the nurses at Portsmouth had told me--that I was likely going to go into labor at any time based on my dilation and effacement--my mother took time off of work and drove up a week before my due date of Jan. 13th. Two weeks later, she sadly packed her things and drove back to work, without the expected blessing of holding her new grandson. While she was here, she got some quality time in with Sebastian, I taught her some crocheting, and I am pretty sure we walked every mall within a 40 mile radius! (Around Hampton Roads that is A LOT of malls!)
The hospital would have been happy to induce me during her visit; in fact, they pretty much tried to force me into it, with as many fear and manipulation tactics as they could muster up. But I wanted to let Izaak take his time if I could. According to ultrasounds and non-stress tests, he had plenty of fluid and he and I were both doing beautifully. So, needless to say, I was a little peeved when some nurse, who for one, had never had a baby, came in the room telling me that waiting any longer might kill mine. Not nice! Anyways... At 41 weeks and 3 days my husband and I weighed our options and caved to an induction, otherwise my sister would have come and gone as well, and the hospital staff really began to lay on the fear thickly...I could tell it was not only stressing me out, but every one else in the family as well. I will always wish I could have been in an environment that was more friendly to natural methods, but I can not live with regret. Especially when all turned out well enough in the end.
Back to the story: around 4:30 pm we came in to the hospital for our induction as they instructed. Little good that did us, since we sat around for the next four hours waiting for a room, all the while I could have been much more comfortable, and could have eaten. :) No more food once they hook you up to the IV! Finally, after once again being mauled by the nurse trying to get an IV in my arm, I got to a room, and what do you know? Yep, more sitting around. It wasn't until 10:30 pm that they finally started the induction. I remember not being very gracious over those few hours, as time seemed wasted, and they were the ones who had told me only an hour before I came in, that I should get there at 4:30 pm...so forgive me if my recollections of impatience seep through. In hindsight, I know I was blessed to have a happy baby boy no matter what trials were required of me to arrive at that happy conclusion.
Thankfully, the nurse who was inducing me was very respectful of my initial birthplan which was very strictly natural. So she was willing to try and let the Pitocin work similar to natural labor, which meant the lowest dosage for an hour, and then up a number every hour or half hour.
It was a very long night, with my sister, my husband and I all trying to sleep through the induction and intrusion of medical personnel. I braved the smell of pizza, as I didn't want them to starve as well, and they slipped me a few taboo bites! Pitocin wasn't too bad until I reached 12 (not sure what the number means, but I remember it distinctly), because it was the point at which a terrible pain on my left side became unbearable and I finally agreed, through the advice and encouragement of my sister Rachel, to have an epidural. Unfortunately, the epidural only worked on the right side above my pelvis...so the pain stayed...although the rest of me was so numb, I was certain I wouldn't be able to push. Unhappy, I asked them to turn down or off the epidural. I was dilated to 8cm at this point and it was around 7 am. Finally, feeling came back. And although this meant pain...I was in pain anyways. And it wasn't something I hadn't lived through before, my first baby was born naturally after a much longer labor.
During the last few hours of labor I constantly had to be moved around, because Izaak's heart rate kept dropping due to umbilical cord compression depending on my position. And progress seemed incredibly slow. However, with the epidural flushing out labor progressed a might quicker, and by 10:15 I was ready to push. Well, I was actually ready much earlier, but had to wait for the doctor to come back.
Pushing was easier than I remember the first time around...and in a few minutes, at 10:22am, on January 24th, 2011, Izaak was born! All 10 lbs and one ounce of him! Praise God! The same birthday as his Grandpa Harper! (Although this is a matter for debate for him...his mom tells him one thing, his birth certificate says another--either the 23rd or 24th...but it's been the 24th for all my life).
If I were to write another birthplan, this would very likely be my least ideal labor experience, but I am still happy that I didn't require a C-section, and we all know there are worse things that could have happened. It turns out the cord was wrapped around little Izaak's neck, which slowed things down considerably. Also, my ovary was extremely swollen, somehow it got bruised during labor. Thus the pain in my left side throughout labor.
But in the end, we were all happy, and healthy! Andy went home to retrieve Sebastian while Izaak got his bath and was put in the warmer, and I rested. Two days later we were sent home, and although we were instantly put through the unpleasant experience of a stomach flu for those first 24 hours (I kid you not!) we were so happy to have our little family under our own roof.