As most of you probably already know, Neil and I welcomed little Adalei Grace into our family last Wednesday night. And can I just say...I LOVE LOVE LOVE having a newborn in my house. I had forgotten about all the sweet little newborn things until Adalei came---the random smiles, the cries that are so sweet--I'm even enjoying our night time feedings and the cries that wake me up. Although, this one doesn't cry much--only when she's cold (must get that from her mommy...I HATE being even slightly cold).
So the birth story...
I had written several months ago that I was going to try to go without having an epidural--not for any reason other than the health of Adalei and just to see what it felt like. As the time got closer and I had read NOTHING on natural childbirth, I started getting nervous. Let me back up...I am not one to read and study methodology--it stresses me out because I am one of those people who like to follow all the rules. So, with the birth of both Layla and Adalei, Neil and I decided it best to not do birthing classes and not read too much on the birth experience and just let instinct take over.
So we checked into the hospital at around 2:00 on Wednesday afternoon. The doctor broke my water at 3:45 and I was 6 cm dilated. By 4:45 the contractions were SO close and the pressure was INCREDIBLE. At around 5:15pm I really entertained the idea of giving up and taking my medicine :-) The doctor came back in and checked me--8cm and moving quickly. By 5:30 I was ready to push...and I think I had started hallucinating a little (strange--probably out of pain and out of hunger--I hadn't eaten anything but dry cereal all day). I only lost my temper with one
little nurse who kept asking me questions during YES DURING contractions. Neil said I was perfectly polite and graceful, but I knew the thoughts that were behind my short "yes" and "no" answers...I wanted to strangle the poor girl!
Neil did great through the whole thing. I think this showed me what a great team we make. He held my hand and was quiet most of the time--only offering encouragement just when I needed it. Amazing how he knew exactly what to do--I could not have asked for a better "wing man". He was perfectly strong and gentle at the same time. Just what I needed.
I started pushing at around 5:45 and Adalei came at 5:55--5 lbs and 15 oz--and 19 3/4 inches long. I think I pushed through 4 contractions with no tearing--YIPEE. The doctor said I was free to start running in two weeks (so if you are keeping track--that's one week from TODAY!). I'm already on the elliptical and feeling great--so fingers crossed that this is an easy transition.
So was it worth it--the whole pain thing. Absolutely. I loved the feeling of Adalei coming into this world--a feeling I didn't entirely have with Layla. It forced me to be 100% present...100% in the moment. Adalei was alert enough to nurse and nurse GREAT for the first 45 minutes of her life. I was able to hold her without her being rushed to the nursery. I also declined her Hep B shot--which I'm sure she appreciated.
Do I feel empowered? Nope..no more than I felt empowered by running hills or nursing my babies or cleaning poopy diapers...or making a dinner that Neil loved. I do feel grateful that God gave me a body that could endure childbirth easily. I feel grateful that the whole experience makes me want to have more (Neil asked in the hospital when I'd be ready for more...HA! I love that he loves babies in our house!). So grateful...not so much empowered.
I will say this to all of you who are thinking of natural childbirth--make CERTAIN you specify to the nurse that you want your delivery table set up when you get to 6cm. That was the loudest banging and clanging I have EVER heard...and not very pleasant when you are in pain.
AHH...I hear that sweet little cry in the bedroom...I think its milk time! Moo!
I'll post more later...I'm dying to get my thoughts down on sweet little Layla and how she's doing with the new baby! She's great...better than expected--mommy on the other hand...having a pretty hard time seeing my first baby looking so big...