Sunday, March 16, 2014

Ava Lily's Birth Story

I am just two (ahem now that I have returned to this blog, 3.5) months late, but I thought some of you might want to hear Ava's birth story.  I like reading people's birth stories, so maybe some of you do as well.

**Disclaimer, if you are a man this might not be your favorite post, feel free to stop reading**

The day before Thanksgiving I went to the doctor for a check up.  I was 38 and a half weeks along, but they had been saying Ava might come early for the last couple weeks.  I had given up on the thought of her coming early and decided she would probably be late.  Oh, those last weeks of pregnancy….so ready to get something going.  I know y'all know what I mean!  So, nothing had progressed and I saw a different doctor than my normal doc because she was on vaca all week.  The doctor I saw said the same thing, "she could come anytime.. but if you have her tomorrow, could you wait until after Thanksgiving lunch?"

I went home a little bummed that there hadn't been any progress, but decided to just enjoy some Thanksgiving the next day.  We were staying at my Mom's house and Ryan's parents and brother were coming over on Thanksgiving day for all the festivities.  Little did we all know how many festivities there would be :)

Thursday morning I woke up and helped a little (not much) getting things ready for lunch.  Ryan's parents, bro, my bro and nephew, and my Memee all came over for lunch.  Up until this point I wasn't feeling like anything spectacular was going to happen anytime soon.

I loaded up on Thanksgiving lunch and then we were all sitting around talking.  I started feeling some pains, kinda like cramps.  I went to the bathroom for a minute and didn't say anything to anyone.  I came back and told R (and everyone else there) that I was feeling some contractions…maybe.  It is so hard to know when you are really having contractions at first.

We all decided to go on a walk around the neighborhood and that is when I realized something different was definitely happening.  Like I had to take a little break from walking because of the contractions.  Anyways, this kept on for a few hours.  Not the walking…just the contractions.

It was all pretty crazy and exciting to be in labor while both your family and your husband's family are all in one house.  I would go in the back room and rock in the rocking chair a little.  Different people would come in and chat.  Everyone that is, except my brother.  He doesn't do so well with people in pain, especially his little sister.

I had all these ideas of how I wanted labor to go and what I wanted to do during labor.  Stretches, take a bath in the jacuzzi, let R use all those massage techniques we learned at birthing class, and wait until I was having steady contractions to go to the hospital.  I didn't want to be one of those girls that went to the hospital and then got sent home.

I did get in the jacuzzi and was feeling pretty good about myself and how well I was handling this labor thing.  My contractions where getting stronger and closer together.  They were still only lasting about 45 seconds, but after getting a shower I decided we should head to the hospital to check things out. That was around 9pm.

Well, R, my Mom and I loaded up in the car, while R's dad(the photographer took pics of us) and headed to the hospital.  In my mind, I was totally a 4 at least!  My contractions were getting so strong it was getting hard to walk, but I was determined to walk to the labor and delivery floor, not go in a wheel chair.  So, R and I got to the room while my Mom parked the car and I changed clothes and all that.  Then the nurse came in to check me.  She told me I was still a 2 and my effacement hadn't changed.  She said I was dehydrated some and that probably my uterus was just aggravated, maybe I wasn't really in labor.  SAY WHAT!?!  She suggested I walk around the hospital for an hour and she would check me again.  An hour later…no change.  By this time, I was having to breathe through contractions and all my ideas of R and I doing this together where out the window.  I had to breathe and I didn't need any help doing it!!  So, she sent us home.  I was so upset.  For one thing, I thought, "if this isn't labor, oh my goodness…I am going to die when I really go into labor" and for the second thing, how was I supposed to know when to come back.  She told me to go home and try to sleep and drink a lot of water.  That was around 11pm.

We headed back home and everyone rested while I rocked in the chair and breathed through contractions.  After a few hours, I went to the bathroom and realized we needed to head back to the hospital.  Although, I was kinda nervous about going back and nothing being different.  That was around 2am.

Once we got there the same nurse checked me and I was a 4!!  Woo hoo, I really was in labor!!  Praise God :)  I knew I had to  be!  My labor progressed and it pretty much consisted of me keeping my eyes closed and breathing and trying to relax.  Every once and awhile I would open my eyes and see R and my Mom looking exhausted and watching the contraction monitor.  I had decided before everything that I wanted an epidural, but I wanted to wait until I was at least a 5 or 6.  Turns out the anesthesiologist had a little trouble getting out of bed and making it to my room until around 6am, when I was a 7.  He strolled in with his cocky self and said, "wow, glad I got here, we almost missed giving you an epidural."  I said, "I'm glad you got here too."  I secretly wanted to smack him in the nose!  I got my epidural and it was fabulous.  I was so exhausted because my contractions where about a minute apart.  One minute is a really short time to try to relax before the next one comes, so it was a really peaceful time to be able to relax and focus on getting ready to push.

Around 12pm my doctor, well not my actual doctor, but the one who was on call, showed up.  My doctor was still on Thanksgiving vacation, so sad.  I really love her.  Anyways, she broke my water and I started pushing.  Forty six minutes later, Ava Lily Hartsfield was born.  It was beautiful.  I think during labor I was so focused on each phase that I didn't have much time to really imagine what I would be like when that baby girl was laid on my chest for the first time.

She was perfect and chubby and had good lungs.  I held her to me and cried and looked at R with his teary eyes and my Mom did her cry squeal that she does only about her grand babies, and everything all the pain of the last 20 hours made perfect sense.  Of course, I was still numb from the epidural…I don't wanna lie…that was nice.

We spend the night in the hospital and headed home the next day with our 7lb 14oz beauty.  Birth one of the most painfully, beautiful things I have ever experienced.

*walking around the neighborhood

*we played a game where everyone tried to guess how big my belly was, Boston won!

*loved having all these people in town for Ava's birthday :)

*just a few hours old

*Naani and Grandaddy

*family picture

*sweet cheeks

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