I'd had so much pre-labor for the last 3 weeks of my pregnancy, by the time real-deal contractions started late Saturday afternoon, I was purposely ignoring any and all symptoms. They always came to "close but no cigar". After a while I recognized that these contractions were continually coming and decided to risk disappointment to time them. For a few hours they were 3-5 minutes apart, but not very painful. I would say more "uncomfortable". Still, never having birthed a human before, I didn't know what to do or what these regular contractions meant. I called my doctor's office and the doctor on call told me I'd better come in.
Jeff and I flipped -- TO THE HOSPITAL!
Two hours later, we were back at home. The contractions weren't strong enough to dilate me much. I was so mad I made cinnamon rolls.
We continued tracking the dumb contractions over the next day. I was going to go to church but my parents said, "What?? Do you want your water to break while you lead the Sacrament hymn??" Point taken.
The contractions were definitely getting worse as the day went on, but after Saturday night's fruitless hospital party, I was not going to be sent home twice. I was waiting for something fool proof. Good thing that at about 10:30, in the middle of watching The Blind Side, POP! went my water!
Then we really flipped. I was relieved that this was clear cut, we WERE going to have that baby, and we hopped in the car again with stacks of towels. I texted to family, "My water broke; here we go!" My little brother texted back a line from Home Alone, "This is it, don't get scared now." It cracked me up. That was the last time I laughed or smiled for a while -- by the time we were on Crown Valley Parkway the contractions had KICKED INTO HIGH GEAR. Jeff took the toll road, and since there was no traffic on a Sunday night, we made it to the hospital in about 15 minutes. Whenever we would come up behind a slow car on Newport Blvd, a street with a light every 4 feet, I was yelling, "GOAROUNDGOAROUNDGOAROUND!!!"
We got to the valet at the front of the hospital since the contractions were murdering me. Wouldn't you know it, there was NOBODY at the valet desk. We ditched the car and Jeff helped me hobble inside at a quick pace. (He later went back and gave the keys to the Valet.)
We got to labor and delivery and at the nurse's station Jeff explained what was going on. I was able to squeak out, "Can I officially request my epidural NOW?" The nurses chuckled, "No sweetie, we have to check you first and get your labs. Now are you sure your water broke?" Flames, flames on the side of my head, heaving breaths....
So after I was able to convince them that my water had ruptured, and they found me to be dilated to a 4, they sent off blood work to the lab so I could get my much requested epidural. So began the worst hour+ of my life. The contractions were pulling my body in 50 different directions, and there was nothing I could really do to alleviate them. I was having "labor shakes", throwing up, I had a 30 second break in between contractions, I was sobbing, begging Jeff for a tranquilizer, basically the hottest of all the messes. So much for my dignity and composure. I think I was 30 times worse than any overly dramatizing actress in any made for tv movie. But do you know what? It hurt that bad.
After a little bit of heckling from my main stud man Jeff, my fantastic nurse went to go get the lab results herself in the name of speed. I was dilated to a 7 when Dr. Leighton Smith, Anesthesiologist EXTRAORDINAIRE, most blessed man, came breezing through the door. I let out a "THANK GOODNESS!" He said, "You must be in labor!" He gave his disclaimer spiel and I said, "Sounds great, shoot me up!" Even though I was in the middle of a contraction and shaking, he plugged me in and 2 contractions later, I was 3 sheets to the wind, lovin life, and high as a kite. Could not feel a thing.
About 20 minutes after the epidural of epidurals, baby's heart rate was dropping. As the nurse went about trying to see why, she suddenly gasped, "Oh! It's because you're fully dilated and he's right there ready to come!" OK!
They had us rest for about an hour (since anyone within 2 miles of my room would have known I'd blown out all my energy). I knew that unless the baby took until the next morning to come, I would not be seeing my OBGYN for the delivery. But the on-call Dr. Howe came in, and we immediately felt great about her. She took charge, was very personable, all flags forward.
I'd always thought that pushing sounded like the most evil part of labor. Because of the epidural, it didn't hurt, it was just odd to push a muscle you can't feel. I started pushing at 3:05 a.m.. After what only seemed like 10 minutes (it was really 50), more people came into the room and things started happening very fast. They were detaching the end of my bed, moving things here and there, getting into position, plugging things in, putting on caps, it felt like an Indy 500 team changing tires. I could tell by the sudden jaw drop on Jeff's face that we were close, and then suddenly there was a blanket on my chest and...
I couldn't stop saying, "Oh my gosh!" Jeff and I kept looking at each other with the truest expression of "WHOAH!" He was here! Love, love, love. There wasn't anything to compare.
And ever since then he's been the sweetest one. My heart regularly swells looking at him, but the swell stays a while. I love my little family in a way that I could never really describe.
I keep trying to write the birth story while I sit in the glider with my baby all hours of the night, but it doesn't come out very clearly and a few sentences after starting, the next thing I know, I jolt awake to find my arm still crooked around Jude in the boppy, he's just eating away, and my wrists are still completely elevated typing on my iPhone, except I have made 3 rows of "XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX". I will wait for a time when Jude's asleep and I can bear to put him down. And I'm sort of impressed that I'm not only capable of sleep talking, but sleep blogging. Put that on my resume.
Here is what Jude has clued us into so far:
- He keeps one hand on his ear or side of his face when he's eating or sleeping, which I love.
- He doesn't like a dirty diaper, but he doesn't like swapping it out for a clean one, either. He's made his sentiments known by first, screaming his head off during a diaper change, and second, letting his geyser go a few times on us. We have a sort of delayed reaction to this.
- He loves music, in fact, I am giving the credit for last night's 3.5 hour stretch of sleep (a record!) to the music session he had with Jeff last night just before bed. Jeff gave him a good sampling of Hayes family favorites, sang along, and Jude just stared at him the whole time, loving it.
- He has big, blue eyes.
- His dark hair is turning light -- a testament to the power of positive thinking! Come on, baby, let's just finish the job and be a toehead!
- His every squeak, gurgle, facial twitch, snuggling him, burping him, looking at that sweet face, so dependent on us, so clean, oh it's all so marvelous. I knew he'd be cute, I knew we'd love him, but I just didn't know it would be like this. Magic.
P.S. My baby hibernation show of choice is Friday Night Lights. To everyone who told me to watch it, you are RIGHT! It's great. And I want to move to Texas now. ???
P.P.S. My mom was helping me this week, and we squeezed in some period piece movies, and when Downton Abbey arrives via Netflix, I just might do a postpartum cartwheel!
The nurses and the doctor-on-call at "Hoag Memorial Hospital Presbyterian" who delivered our little baby did a great job. Those Presbyterians sure know a thing or two about child birth--even though Dr. Howe (right) could not be much older than Doogie Howser. Just moments after his birth, Jude weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces. I'm sure you will notice his broad chest and well-developed upper arm muscles.
When Jude first emerged from the womb, his skin was as white as a sheet. But within seconds he turned a bright pink, kind of like a lobster does in warm water. He cried a little at first, but is now content to eat and sleep. Everyone is happy. There are more pictures to post, but the camera battery died during import and needs to recharge, so this will have to do for now.
I also took a great picture of the placenta, but I'm not allowed to post that here, according to Merzy. If you want to see that picture, I would be happy to arrange a private showing upon request.
I've been keeping up with my favorite thing of reading birth stories and looking at newborn pictures on blogs, so to my friend's who've supplied such things on their blogs, THANK YOU. 10 gold stars for each of you.
My sister had her baby boy last Friday -- he is pushing the limits on cute, and the only time I've hated being so close to birthin time is during moments when we're on the phone. If Baby Hayes weren't coming any time I would have leapt into my car and scooted over to Vegas to hear that little lamb bleat in person. One thing I love about this baby is he's reminded me anew that when a sibling is born, it's a big change for the whole family, not just the parents. Case in point: The Former Baby of the Fam
Besides baby watch, life has been pretty quiet, probably because we have turned almost everything into a something that revolves around baby watch. Hmmmm. We operate on Apple TV now. We love it, the only complaint I have is that the remote is so microscopic. 2 words: Couch Cushions.
That was a lie, I have 2 complaints. The other complaint is I am actually interested in watching The Bachelor this season because it's like the thing I can't get away from! My parents are even watching it and text commentary. Apple TV is not cooperating with that. But today a solution was affixed (it's called going over to a friend's house) -- so I guess that complaint is knocked out.
my goal is to not be the most grumpy person on the face of the planet. I feel like my body is decomposing, blah blah blah, we want to meet him, and I feel sure that he WANTS to come, he just won't. However, amidst my many pre-labor treats, when one kicks into high gear, I all of a sudden think, "Oh no! I should have thrown ____ into the laundry, now there's no time!" Then I'm back to realizing I'm not in labor, and the cycle starts anew.
This goal will be much more easily accomplished if, by the end of this week, I'm also not pregnant.
Last Wednesday night some of our favorites descended. Erica and her brood had a fever, and the only prescription, was Disneyland, CA Adventure, and Hotel Ladera Land. I am so glad.
They're hilarious and sweet. J gave me a hug just because he was so happy with my choice of Orange Juice (Tropicana 50 -- he clearly has been taught 50% fewer calories is better than 0% fewer calories). The girls, per usual, asked for any opportunity to help around the house. They all made me feel like a million bucks when they'd ask to be my partner on a ride. And while the older kids and adult(s) went on the rides that are not recommended for "Expectant Mothers," I had a little pal (who did not yet meet the height requirement) to hang out with me and go on the carousel or play Angry Birds. I got QT with ALL of them! Yes, members of the Hayes and Reynolds families and beyond, I know you're jealous, and I'm going to rub it in good with some adorable pictures!
I just hope they were having fun. Sometimes I wondered. :)
Disneyland improves 50 times over with kids in tow.
One of the Disneyland employees told me I should name the baby Mickey or Donald or Walt. Jeff and I chuckled politely, and then realized she was totally dead serious. And I swear Jeff and I didn't match on purpose.
Just imagine the possibilities when an arrow is carefully deposited into the Wheat Thins!
My non-roller coaster riding companion with a bed head to be proud of. Erica tells me he has the same hair as Jeff at that age -- crossing my fingers way too hard for the blonde gene to dominate!
That lovely song from White Christmas comes into my head when I look at this picture.
Thanks for coming, my dears! The door to Chez Hayes is always open.