Thursday, November 7, 2013

Grayson's Birthday--My Labor Story

I was fully convinced that Grayson would come early. I was expecting him as soon as 36 weeks. But as each week rolled by and still no baby, I began to go to the other extreme and started feeling like he would just never come. I was destined to forever be waddling around with swollen feet and hip pain. I felt so ready to have him! I had done all the research, I had my bags packed and the car seat installed, I had scrubbed the house from top to bottom, and my birth plan was typed up, printed, and even laminated (thanks to my hubby)!

The day before his due date, we met with our doula to do some acupressure in hopes of starting contractions. She and Scott spent about an hour pushing on my feet and ankles and wrists. I was actually sore for almost a week from it! I didn't feel any contractions during the session, but was hopeful they would start soon after. During the night I woke up a few times with menstrual like cramps, but they faded quickly and I went back to sleep. Then, around 4:30 AM I woke up and realized they could be contractions! I stayed awake, timing them, unable to go back to sleep. They were coming about 20-30 minutes apart. When Scott woke up for work at 6:30 AM, I rolled over to his side of the bed and said, "Hey...I think I'm in labor!" We kissed and laughed and rejoiced that we may be meeting our little boy soon. Scott called in to work. Then, I immediately started to doubt myself. What if these weren't real contractions? Or what if they lasted like this for days and he called in for no reason?

Alas, we got up and ate a big breakfast, then I went back to sleep until close to 11. When I woke up, I didn't feel any contractions for a couple hours. I was disappointed to say the least. We ate leftover burritos for lunch (with extra jalapenos!) and then we went for a 2 mile walk at the park. After that, the contractions started back again. I happened to have an OB appointment that afternoon since it was my due date. We went ahead and put the hospital bags in the car, just in case!

At the doctor, they did a non-stress test and hooked me to the fetal monitor. The nurse came in and told me the heart rate was great, but I was not having contractions. I was shocked because I thought I had at least 2-3 during that time. She looked at the chart and said, "Hmm...these are more like speedbumps. Nothing to get excited or pack your bags about!" To which I flatly responded, "Too late."

While waiting to see the doctor I was upset and disappointed that I may not be in labor after all. The doctor came in and determined I was only 2 cm dilated. He asked if I would like him to sweep my membranes to try and start contractions. He assured me there were no risks involved. As he started to procedure I felt a warm water broke! We were all shocked. The doctor told me that had never happened to him in 15 years of practicing. Apparently my water was going to break soon anyway. I was immediately sent to the hospital to have my baby! But this was NOT the plan. The plan was to labor at home as long as possible to avoid any unnecessary interventions and to be comfortable. But I was not allowed to go back home. I went to the hospital in tears. I was informed if I did not go into active labor by morning I would be induced. I had envisioned my labor at home, soaking in my tub, pacing in the living room, listening to worship music and breathing through the pain. Suddenly I was in a hospital room in an unflattering hospital gown with a hep lock in my arm and a huge diaper like pad between my legs. Great.

Our doula arrived soon after and sought permission for me to eat dinner since they weren't expecting me to go into active labor anytime soon. Permission was granted so Scott went and got me a salad and milkshake from Zaxby's. Meanwhile, I walked the hospital halls with our doula, breathing through the contractions as they came. Before Scott returned, the nurse checked me. I had gone from 2 to 4 cm in close to two hours! By the time I was eating, I was unable to finish because they were coming on stronger and I was losing my appetite.

We planned to continue walking the halls after I finished eating, but I found that I didn't want to walk through the contractions anymore. I sat on my ab ball and leaned over the side of the bed, rocking my hips during the contractions. Scott and our doula massaged me with lavender essential oils. The contractions kept coming harder and quicker. A few times I started to feel nauseated and light headed. My doula rubbed peppermint oil on my chest which quelled the feelings of nausea.

When the contractions got so intense that I started moaning in addition to heavy breathing, we decided to move to shower. I put on my swimsuit and sat on the chair in the shower while our doula sprayed me with warm water and Scott stood in front of me, allowing me to lean into him and squeeze his arms during contractions. At this point I was completely in the labor zone. The contractions were consuming and coming quickly. I did not talk anymore, I just focused on the contractions and moaning through them. I had to be reminded to make low sounds, not high pitched ones because they take less energy and keep me calmer.

The nurse came in and told us she needed to hook me back to the monitor (I had to do 20 minutes for every hour). So, we moved back to the bed. I didn't bother taking off my suit. I was shivering from coming out of the warm water and from all the hormones and adrenaline. They just wrapped me in towels and blankets and moved me to the bed. They determined I was now 7 cm dilated. I laid on my side and continued to focus on the contractions. At this point, they became almost unbearable. I was giving a hair comb to squeeze during contractions--the pain in my hand would help shift my focus. It did help a little, but the pain was more intense than I could have imagined. They kept telling me that soon they would ease up and I would get a break. Everything I read said that after transition there would be a few moments where I could rest, maybe even nap, before it was time to push. But there was no sign of that happening! I kept saying, "Why won't they stop? I need a break! I can't do it anymore." And I meant it. I did not think I could do it anymore. I just kept thinking that this could continue for hours before it was time to push. And then I could spend an hour or more pushing. And I didn't think I had any of that left in me.

I got to the point where I was basically growling during contractions. Our doula paged the nurse and asked her to check me again. She checked and said, "You ready to have a baby?" I said, "" Sure enough! I was 10 cm and it was time to push! I got on my knees in the bed, leaning over the ab ball and holding onto the headboard. The doctor arrived shortly after I started pushing. With each push I growled...I never thought I would make noises like that! But at that point, I wasn't thinking about anything but pushing that baby out! I only pushed a couple times before everyone excitedly told me they could see the head crowning!

That was the motivation I needed to push with all my might! That next push, I pushed longer and harder than I thought I could, determined to not stop until there was relief from the growing pressure and burning I felt as his head was emerging. And just like that--his head was out! One more big push and out came his shoulders. The rest of him slithered out like a fish.

The doctor passed Grayson to me between my legs. I looked down and saw this grayish, slimy, cone-headed little angel. I always thought I would cry at that moment, but everything happened so quickly and was so surreal, it was all I could do to turn around, lay on my back, and pull my baby up to my chest. As I delivered the placenta and then the doctor sewed me up (yes, I tore, but not much!), I watched my little one grunt and coo and root around to my breast. It was amazing how alert and active he was. And calm! He wasn't crying, just making sweet little baby sounds. Our doula said she had never seen a more talkative newborn (and he hasn't stopped talking since!).

He was born at 10:32 PM on October 9th (his due date). From the time my water broke until he was born was only 7 hours. It was so intense and completely unlike what I had envisioned. But it was awesome! And I'm so glad I didn't use any pain medication or have any interventions at all. :)

I will write more about the days following his birth soon. The little boy is waking up from his nap and needs to eat! :)

Thanks for reading! It's hard to really capture all the facts, details, and emotions. I can't even begin to explain the feelings and the full experience. If you have any questions, please let me know! :)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Yes, he is here!!

Okay, so this has only taken me a month to post... ha!

Yes, the little boy is here! :) Believe it or not, he came on his actual due date! And I was not induced. Crazy! He is very punctual! ;)

I am hoping to write my labor story and update you on how things have been going, but it's hard to find time with a newborn who constantly eats! :) When he naps I either nap with him or shower and tidy the house like a ninja!

Anyway, without further ado... here he is...Grayson James Curley! :)

Right after delivery...hadn't had his bath yet. 

all clean and swaddled! He was 8 lbs 1 oz of pure perfection! :)

his going home outfit :)


a few days at home. So relaxed! :)

now he is 10 lbs 14oz!!

Happy Halloween
Well...he just woke up! Gotta run!!
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