Gosh it's been so long since I last blogged, over two months ago! I have a good excuse though: I had a baby : ). A baby boy who we named Miles John. He was born on March 23rd at 12:30 a.m. (10 days late) weighing 7 lbs 15 oz, measuring 22 inches long. Since then life has been a whirlwind and a blur. All my focus has shifted to this little miracle and I haven't had any spare time to sit down and blog until now. So I apologize that this official announcement is so late! Better late than never though, right??
I should mention first that I didn't really have a birth plan. My only plan was to deliver a healthy baby safely. If I could do so naturally without drugs, awesome, and if not, no big deal! My husband and I also decided not to tell anyone we were going to the hospital and instead surprise our family and friends with the news of our baby's birth once he arrived, which was easier said than done!
My due date had come and gone and I was a week late when my doctor decided to induce me on Monday March 21st. Thank goodness because I was tired of waiting around and wanted to meet my son! That morning my husband and I went to the hospital and I had Cervidil inserted to help bring on labour and was sent home to wait for contractions. None came so the next day, Tuesday, we headed back to the hospital as per my doctor's instructions. I hadn't dilated very much so I was admitted and he put me on the drip - starting Pitocin, a stronger drug to help bring on labour. That was at 9:30 in the morning. Again, we didn't tell anyone we were at the hospital and everyone was texting me because they knew I was going to be induced sometime that week but didn't know when. I had to tell a lot of "lies" that day to keep our secret ; ). Nothing happened for hours. The nurse kept increasing the Pitocin by 2 units throughout the day. I started at a 2 and by the time I reached 20, there was STILL no action! I thought to myself, "This baby does NOT want to come out!!" 20 is supposed to be the maximum dose (I guess doctors don't like to go higher than 20) but since nothing was happening my doctor said it would be okay to go up to 30, which I guess is the MAXIMUM maximum ; ). Once I hit 30, which I think was around 7 or 8 pm the contractions were almost immediate and extremely painful. I lasted a couple of hours breathing through them but then I asked for an epidural, which I was always open to having.
The epidural was absolute MAGIC and was administered by an anesthesiologist who my husband and I thought looked like a character straight off the cover of a romance novel, he was so handsome lol. (I told him he had great skin, and that he did NOT look his age, much to my hubby's amusement. I swear I wasn't flirting with him, I was only making conversation as he was sticking a needle into my spine, distracting myself.) Once the epidural started working I felt so much better and couldn't feel any pain. Seriously it was the best thing EVER. However a couple of hours later it started to wear off so I required a top-up. Soon after that I was fully dilated and ready to push.
About an hour after I started pushing - I should mention here my husband was ALSO pushing without knowing it, as he was holding my hand, the nurse had to make him aware of this and tell him there was no need for HIM to hold his breath lol- I developed a high fever. I don't know why or how but I did and my baby's heart rate started dropping. I had to breathe into an oxygen mask as the medical team monitored both baby and I. Because of the fever, my doctor wanted baby out, stat! You could tell my husband was quite worried by the look on his face but somehow I kept calm and knew that everything would turn out just fine. I kept trying to get this baby to come out but then for some unknown reason, my contractions practically stopped!! So I had to keep pushing without any. It was like trying to eat without swallowing. Still, baby did not want to move out of his warm surroundings! Stubborn little guy. Around this time my doctor told me my baby was stuck near my tailbone, facing sideways so he tried turning him which he succeeded in doing but he was still stuck and instead of having a C-section my son would either have to be suctioned out with a vacuum or taken our with forceps. My heart sank when I heard the words "vacuum" and "forceps," although I was relieved I didn't have to have a C-section. And I wasn't pleased when I hear the word "episiotomy" either but oh well, it had to be done. (For those of you that don't know what an episiotomy is, I'll let you google it ; ).
At this point there were about 10 people in the room, including a team of nurses that would need to make sure our baby was okay after he came out, since I had a fever, his heart rate had dropped and it was decided he was going to be vacuumed out. Everyone was coaching me to "push, PUSH!" (I had my own little cheering section which was encouraging) and at 12:30 a.m., on the dot, our son entered the world! Finally!! I thought I'd hear a high-pitched cry as soon as he come out but there was silence. And he looked so shocked:
"Who am I?/Where am I?/Who let me out?/Put me back in!/Wait - is John Snow really alive? I'm so confused?!"
He wasn't able to be placed on my chest immediately, after my husband cut the umbilical cord he was whisked away to an observation area where the medical team examined him, suctioned out the meconium he had swallowed and monitored his heart rate. About 10-15 minutes later (which seemed like an eternity), I finally got to hold him. I was in shock, I couldn't believe my husband and I had made this perfect little man who we already loved so much, with 10 perfect tiny fingers and 10 cute little toes, beautiful, bright blue eyes, a button nose and the cutest little lips. And a cone head thanks to the vacuum : (, He was finally here! As I held him, he still didn't cry - he squawked instead -which worried me but the doctor assured me he was okay, everything was okay. We were filled with gratitude. And eventually he did cry. (And my fever went away.)
1 day old
Our beautiful baby boy, Miles : )
I wish I could say the next few days following our son's birth were blissful but to be honest, we were worried about him because he seem so agitated, shaky and fussy, he wouldn't latch to my breast, didn't sleep well at all and no one could give us any answers as to why. The nurses just said he was probably recovering from a traumatic delivery, and maybe had a bad headache from the vacuum, that's all...We stayed in the hospital for 3 days so Miles could be monitored. After he was born I didn't sleep for almost 2 days due to the adrenaline rushing through my body after having given birth. I was delirious, overly tired (obviously, as was my husband), in pain and extremely emotional. On his birthday we had 14 visitors show up, which as much as we loved seeing everyone and introducing them to Miles, was exhausting. Trying to visit and breastfeed with a revolving door of people going in and out of our hospital room (not to mention all the staff at the hospital) was so tough. My husband and I were so sleep deprived at this point (I'm talking Guantanamo Bay sleep deprived), we were happy to be able to take him home a few days later and get some much-needed rest.
My husband carrying Miles out of the hospital, making our journey home
I didn't have the easiest delivery, the birth certainly wasn't how I'd imagined it would be but of course it could have been SO much worse. I'm just so grateful Miles came out healthy and that we were blessed with a beautiful baby boy who has changed our lives forever, opening up our hearts in a way we didn't think was possible. I honestly can't believe I'm a Mom now, it's surreal, it's still surreal, a month and a half later! Becoming a Mother has been beautiful, overwhelming, scary, exciting, challenging, hard and rewarding all at the same time. Miles has just started smiling this week and it delights my soul to see! I'll be posting some photos from our family photo shoot soon, he has really grown and I can't wait to show you guys.
Happy Mother's Day to all you Mama's out there! You have one of the most important jobs in the world : ).