Saturday, November 9, 2013

Miss Carter Avery

We have a baby! She is now 16 days old, but those 16 days have gone by so fast. It seems like she has always been here.

She came 8 days before her due date, which I was convinced was not going to happen. I needed her to come on her due date so I could finish up some projects for my Master's program and take a midterm. But Carter came on her own time.

This is the story of how I had a natural childbirth-even if that wasn't the plan.

The day before, October 23, I felt great. Several times that day I was asked if I was feeling anything. I had not. I had not had one contraction or even fake contractions. I felt normal-or as normal as one can feel while 9 months pregnant. I planned on going to work the next day. I had parent conferences scheduled, tests printed, papers to grade, etc. 

I had class that night which ended an 1 1/2 hour early, so I used that free time to go to bed. I was sleeping by 9pm. At midnight, I woke up with some cramps. Nothing too major. I got up, walked around a bit, got out the heart monitor to make sure the baby was still alive (she was) and went back to bed. Around 1am, I realized that I wasn't going to get any sleep with my "cramps" (I was refusing to call them contractions). I went to the couch and downloaded an app to track my cramps. They were happening about every 3 minutes and were about 1 minutes long, average. But I wasn't in too much pain. And she wasn't due for another 8 days!

I eventually decided to run a warm bath and sit in there for awhile. Things slowed down a bit and were less intense. However, when I got out, that was not the case. At 4 am,  (I was still calling them cramps in my head) I had decided that I probably shouldn't go to work that day and I started timing again. They were 2-3 minutes apart and lasting 1-2 minutes. 

A little before 5am, I woke up Chris because I realized that I was in a lot of pain and just in case I had to go to the hospital, I probably shouldn't be driving myself. He called into work and I called the hospital. The nurse told me to drink some water, take a tylenol and lay down on my left side. If I didn't feel better in an hour, then I should come in.

Well, I called into work and decided to take a shower while Chris got some tylenol. By the time he got back, I guess I sounded like I was in pain and he decided we should go to the hospital right away and not wait an hour. But I really wanted to finish my shower, so I sent him to pack a bag while I suffered in the shower. I was still sure that these cramps would go away and that I would be coming back home before the end of the day. Chris kept trying to rush me, which was the one time I snapped at him. I kept telling him to be patient with me. 

At 6 am we were on the road and I was kind of screaming by this point. It hurt. I have never had such bad cramps in my life. We made it to the hospital around 6:30 and I had to stop a couple of times walking in because of the pain. (I did not want to be dropped off and walk in all by myself while Chris found a parking spot.)

We got checked in and into a room and  I heard the worst words of my life. "Well girly, you are at 9cm." I knew that I was not going to get an epidural which was not the plan. I did not want to feel the pain- the pain I had already felt for 7 hours. At 6:58, I was at 10 cm and time to push.

I pushed for 2 hours. The on-call doctor said that she thought the baby would be there by 7:30. No such luck. I was just hoping to have her out by the time our families showed up. They were an hour away. That also didn't happen. My doctor came in around 8:30 and mentioned using a vacuum to help get her out. And at 8:50 I asked her to use it. 

At 9:03am, Miss Carter Avery Stowe was born. She was 7 pounds, 7 ounces and 20 1/2 inches long. And she had a lot of hair. 

Life is mostly definitely different now. I don't really have a sense of time as I get used to being on her schedule for the moment. Chris took off a week of work and had to go back this last Monday. That was hard, I wish he could stay home with us forever. 

She is mostly a good baby. She cries when she is hungry. She doesn't like her feet touched, and she doesn't like her feet covered up with a blanket. She hasn't really liked sleeping in her crib, but I think I found a solution for that. 

She is just adorable and I really can't imagine our lives without her.