He’s here! Yes, that is right, he. We had a baby boy!

It still seems surreal, but it’s definitely real. He’s here sleeping in his bassinet next to my bed.

We welcomed our baby to the world on Sunday, March 24th at 11:36 am. He weighed in at 7 lbs 12 oz and was 18.5 inches long. His birth is something I will never forget.

I ended up taking Friday off of work, thinking that my water had broke. I called into the doctor’s office and they told me to go to the OB unit at the hospital. Turns out it was a false alarm though. The fluid was not amniotic fluid, so they sent me home. My husband went to his weekly poker game that night and I went out to dinner and the bowling alley for a friend’s birthday. The next day, Saturday, started off like any other day with my usual braxton-hicks contractions. We started timing them in the evening when they started to get stronger, coming every five to ten minutes. By midnight it was clear I was in labor and we headed to the hospital.

At the hospital.

Settling in to sleep through early labor at the hospital.

Although the contractions were regular and painful, I was still in early labor and they gave me an ambien to try and sleep since I was going to have a long day ahead of me. I tried sleeping without the sleep aid first, but that didn’t work, so I ended up taking the pill. I was able to sleep until 6 am, waking up for each contraction and to pee, all while having the strangest dreams.

After I woke up, time flew by. I still was under 3 cm when I woke up, but it didn’t seem long at all before I was at 6 cm! During the earliest part of my active labor I did some walking in the hallway and tried sitting on a birthing ball. I did get sick twice and threw up the water I had been drinking and a popsicle I ate. Since I couldn’t keep my liquids down, they hooked me up to an IV for fluids. I remember asking how long it would be before I was fully dilated when I was at 6 cm, and the nurse told me it was usually about a centimeter an hour. My thought was, Oh god, another four hours?! Not long after the IV was hooked up I was relieved when they told me I was at 9 cm. “So much for a centimeter an hour!”

By far, the most trying part of my labor was from 9 cm to being fully dilated. The contractions were incredibly painful and I felt ready to push and had to fight the urge. I wanted to be done so bad and my legs began to uncontrollably shake. I felt like giving up, but the nurse coaching me kept pushing me to keep going and telling me I could do it. Honestly, I don’t know how I could have gotten through it without her. She was incredible. She helped me to focus, to breathe, and helped give my husband the right cues to help me through it, too. They were both incredible.

Mom and Baby Meet

First time Mom and Baby meet face to face.

Soon the doctor was there, and after just a half hour of pushing, a baby was born – my baby, our baby. Everything was such a rush, so fast. The nurse, the doctor, my husband, were all telling me to push, telling me breathe, telling me how close I was to being done. An oxygen mask would go over my face and then it would come off when it was time to push. All of a sudden there was a baby on my stomach, then in my arms, and it was the baby I had been carrying for the past nine months. It almost felt like magic. I remember feeling the bottoms of his feet for the first time, rubbing them with my thumb, just like I would when he’d stick his feet out the side of my stomach.

I have to say, I am very happy with my birth experience. In all, since the time we started timing the contractions, it was 18 hours of labor, 12 hours of which was painful labor. Even though it was painful and I almost gave in at the end, I didn’t take any pain medications, which is what I wanted.

Now, daily life is adjusting to revolving around the newest member of our family. We try to sleep when he sleeps and get housework done in the order it needs to be, leaving the small things for last. Baby comes first.

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