Monday, February 13, 2012

39 and 40 Weeks...Sort Of!

Hudson Robert Adams 
arrived January 18 at 12:34 p.m. (38 weeks/4 days), 
so week 39 and week 40 turned out to be a little bit different than expected!  

39 Weeks
(Ha! That is a really awkward angle!)

40 Weeks 
(We forgot to take a traditional pic, but this was on Sunday at 40 weeks/1 day!)

The Beginning of Week 39

I felt pretty good on Sunday. I walked with Natalie for an hour on the treadmill in the morning, and I got some things done around the house. I went to the store, and Mom and I visited with Grandma and Grandpa in the evening. It was a pretty normal Sunday overall.

Monday was a little more challenging, and, looking back, the first signs that the baby was ready to make his appearance took place that day! It was Martin Luther King Day, so I didn't have to work. I was determined to get my work out done first thing in the morning, so I hit the gym when Nick's alarm went off at 6:31. After my work out (an hour of walking) and a shower, I spent the rest of the day with Mom and Claire. We had lunch at Pickleman's, and then we wandered in and out of some of the stores downtown. We made our way to Michael's, and they helped me pick out some frames for the nursery. My lower back was beginning to hurt, and I told Mom a few times that I was pretty uncomfortable. I didn't have any back problems throughout my pregnancy, so I'm thinking this was probably an early sign that labor was imminent. We went to Target and Walmart in search of nursing tanks/bras and thank you notes, and then I was READY.TO.GO.HOME. When I got home, I told Nick how uncomfortable I was, and I remember him commenting that he was beginning to think I may be ready to have the baby! He made me relax while he got dinner together. I wrote some thank yous, packed my bags (e.g., lunch, gym bag) for Tuesday, and called it a night.

On Tuesday, I went to the gym in the morning. I was a little bit late, so I only walked for about 45 minutes. I talked with Natalie for a while when she finished with her training group, and I saw my nurse ("Nurse Debbie" as my family affectionately calls her!) on my way to the shower. I told her I'd see her at my appointment the next day (not knowing that I'd have the baby instead!). I also remember another friend at the gym commenting that the baby had dropped, and I guess she was right! I didn't have any back pain at work, and I had a really good day overall. I was a little uncomfortable in the morning, and I sent my boss an email to tell her that I may work from home a couple of afternoons that week. I accomplished just about everything on my to-do list, and I felt like I'd be in good shape to be gone from work after Wednesday or Thursday that week if the baby decided to come early. Nick called me in the afternoon, and I remember telling him that my back pain was gone but that the baby felt heavy and low and that I had to go to the bathroom every time I stood up from my desk chair (I guess this may have been another sign that the baby was coming soon!). I stayed at work a little bit late so that I could update my maternity plans and update the most important people on our big projects...just in case I went into labor that night. On my way out, I ran into two former colleagues from when I was teaching at Free State. I told them the baby should arrive in a week and half - obviously I had NO IDEA he had other plans.

Nick was with some friends, so I worked on the last of my thank you notes until he came home. I finished all of the thank yous, and I emailed people for the remaining addresses. Finishing the thank yous was another task on my to-do list that I hoped to have crossed off before the baby came, so I was feeling pretty good about my progress! I made the beef for French dip sandwiches on Monday, so dinner on Tuesday night was easy to throw together when Nick got home. (Callie ate one of the French bread rolls, so that was frustrating - but I bought four so it worked out okay!) Tiffany and Elsie stopped by with a bassinet and swing for us to borrow, and I promised Elsie that she could visit me and the baby in the hospital (see below!). I was exhausted, so after dinner I laid out all my clothes and organized my backpack for work the next day. We got in bed between 9 and 10, and we started watching something from the DVR...

Labor and Delivery

(My college friends emailed with a long list of questions about Hudson's arrival, but I thought it may be easier to just share our labor and delivery story. While I'm avoiding the technical terms because they gross me out, there may be more details (TMI!?!) here than some people want to read. Beware!!)

As I was drifting off to sleep about 10:15, I felt a little trickle on my leg. I quickly jumped u(as quickly as a 38-weeks-pregnant person can jump!) to rush to the bathroom. I remember walking awkwardly because I couldn't "hold it." As soon as I made it into the bathroom, my water broke E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E. I had just shut the door, so through the door I managed to shout, "Uh...I think my water just broke!" I opened the door and Nick was sitting up in bed. We were in shock!!! It was clear that either my water broke or that I had peed E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E! 

The overwhelming feelings began, and I can liken them to the same way I felt when I found out I was pregnant. I repeated "What do we do now?" a million times, and we tried to calm down. I wasn't having any contractions, so I knew we didn't need to rush to the hospital - but that wasn't too reassuring! 

I called the hospital and the doctor. The nurse at the hospital said that we could come in then (about 10:30) or we could wait until morning to come. The doctor on call (not my doctor) called me back, and she said the same thing that the nurse had said. She also said that it could be that the baby was in a funny place on my bladder...and I just wet my pants (ha!).

We knew that if it was my water had broken we would have to stay at the hospital, so we decided to stay at home to see what would happen next. I did NOT want to labor for hours at the hospital! I had made a packing list over the weekend, so we packed our bags. I also emailed my boss to tell her that I might be in labor. After that, we reviewed our PowerPoints from our birth class (I know...NERDY...but it made me feel better! Ha!). I still wasn't having contractions, but since I felt like I was "leaking" more fluid I was pretty sure my water had broken. 

Nick thought we should rest, so we turned off the lights and tried to sleep. Nick slept for a little bit, but I was awake and waiting, waiting, waiting...and then my contractions started around 12:45. I wasn't sure they were contractions at first, and I'd get up to go to the bathroom after each one. There started to be a little bit of blood, so I knew I was really in labor and having contractions. The contractions were about 15-20 minutes apart at first, so I even managed to drift to sleep for a half hour or so. We ended up wide awake, so we decided to watch some shows on our DVR (and pretend that we weren't about to meet our baby!). Nick timed my contractions on his iPhone (There's an app for that!), and we were actually pretty relaxed as we watched TV and waited to see what would happen.

Eventually, we realized we were pausing the TV too frequently to bother watching anymore, and the app showed the contractions were between 5 and 7 minutes apart. I started to panic a little bit. I was in more and more pain, and I started to worry that we were waiting too long to go to the hospital. I remember repeating "I really think we need to go now!" several times as we put on our shoes, put the bags in the car, said goodbye to Callie, etc.

The drive to the hospital was surreal! It was about 5:30 a.m., so the streets were deserted. I had a few contractions in the car, and I was kind of in shock that we were actually having the baby!

I was pretty nervous as the male nurse in the ER escorted us to the Family Birthing Center. He seemed nervous, and that made me nervous. I also felt awkward having contractions in front of him while we were en route (e.g., in the elevator!). We were assigned a room, but it took a few minutes before a nurse came in. 

I FREAKED OUT until a nurse actually came in to see us because I didn't know what to do. I wasn't sure if I should get ready to have an exam. I wasn't sure if we had come to the hospital too early. I wasn't sure what would happen next. I was scared at this point, and I kept shaking as I'd talk to Nick. Eventually, a nurse came in, and she took down some initial information before the shift change. She also did my first exam in the hospital, and she announced that I was dilated to four centimeters.

Our second nurse, Cindy, came in around 6 a.m. and things really started moving from there. She confirmed that my water had broken, and she hooked me up to some machines to check my contractions and to monitor the baby's heartbeat. According to my phone, I called my parents at 6:34 - exactly six hours before Hudson was born! I even had to set the phone down for a little bit to have a contraction while I was talking to them! 

I was unhooked from the machines for a while, and I tried to find a comfortable position for contractions. I didn't have much luck, and I must say I am a little disappointed in my attitude during some of them. I definitely uttered a few too many negative statements (e.g., "I can't do this!") along the way. Nick was so supportive, and he tried to stay calm and do whatever I needed him to do. I was NOT prepared for the pain in my back, but Nick was able to apply some counter pressure to alleviate some of the pain.

My sense of time from the day is totally thrown off, but Nick thinks my doctor came by a little bit after 8 a.m. to check on me. I was a mess when she was in the room, and I remember telling her that my contractions were making me feel nauseated. She said that some women throw up during labor and that it was totally normal...and I instantly became determined NOT to be one of them! I was dilated to a five by this point.

Soon after she left, I asked for an epidural (around 8:45 or so - ?). My goal going into the hospital was to labor without pain meds for as long as possible, and I think that I met that goal. I was worried about having an epidural because it can slow labor and can introduce the need for other interventions (e.g., pitocin, forceps, vacuum). I also wasn't sure that I would like being numb. I can't say that I liked being numb (especially since it didn't wear off until about 7 p.m.), but the pain from my contractions was much worse than being numb for a few hours; )

When I had the epidural, I was dilated to a six. Within minutes of the epidural, I felt like a whole new person. I was able to have a conversation again, and I was not so scared anymore. Nick and I watched my contractions on the monitor. Nick made a sales call (Got to pay the bills!), and I even dozed off for a few minutes.

Around 11 or so (?), different nurses began to come in the room to prep for the birth. Nick and I kept looking at each other in disbelief because just hours before we thought we had a week and half until the baby would arrive. Cindy also told us that my doctor would be there soon, and we'd get going! We did a practice push, and then we waited for my doctor to arrive.

Once my doctor came, everything happened so fast! There were eight people in place: two nurses from the nursery, two extra nurses (I'm not sure what they were there to do!), my doctor, my doctor's back-up doctor, Cindy (my nurse), and Nick! As an extremely modest person, I remember thinking that I hoped my doctor was "blocking the view" - ha! Nick and I think that I had around eight rounds of pushing and pushed for 45 minutes to an hour, but I really have no idea! I couldn't feel anything - except a tiny bit of pressure - so pushing was much more difficult than I'd anticipated. I couldn't feel my contractions at all, so they (Nick, my doctor, and Cindy) would tell me when one was coming so that I could begin the next round of pushing. It didn't hurt at all, but since I was numb I was trying to follow their instructions without knowing if I was actually pushing correctly!

Nick was AWESOME! He was SO encouraging, and I felt reassured each time I opened my eyes to see him between rounds of pushing. He would place the oxygen mask on my face and assure me that I was making progress. He told me that the baby was right there and ready to come out, and he was right the third time he said this - ha! Near the end of the pushing, the doctor had me reach down to feel the baby's head, and then I knew just how close we were! With the last few pushes, I could tell he was coming, and I could feel a little bit of pressure as he popped out at 12:34 p.m. 

After Delivery

The first few minutes after delivery were AMAZING! There are really no words to explain the rush of feelings and emotions - SO happy, relieved, excited, amazed, changed... 

Since all seemed to be well with the baby, he was placed on my chest as soon as he was born. I have never experienced anything like that moment. I can't remember now if I laughed or cried - I think it may have been both! - but I know that I was in disbelief that the little guy we'd been waiting for, preparing for, and praying for was finally with us. Although he had not planned to do so, Nick cut the umbilical cord at the insistence of my doctor (and I think he is glad that he did!), and then he snapped a few photos...

A few minutes later, I handed the baby over to the nursery nurses, and they did their initial assessments. As seen in the photos, he had no trouble exercising his little lungs, and his Apgar score was a nine! He was weighed (7 pounds, 7 ounces) and measured (19 1/2 inches), and then Nick put on the baby's first diaper before holding him for the first time.

My doctor finished up with me (I needed a few stitches!) around 1 p.m.; coincidentally, my regularly scheduled appointment was supposed to be at 1 p.m. that day! Since the baby came quicker than anticipated, my doctor said it looked like her afternoon had been cleared, and she'd have an unexpected afternoon off! In my opinion, she deserved it; )

I can't seem to recall exactly what happened between 12:34 p.m. and 2:30ish, but I know it involved officially naming the baby and preparing for his first visitors. Nick and I came to the hospital with two names in mind: Landon and Hudson. A couple of weeks earlier, I told Nick that I thought Hudson was the front runner, and he agreed that he'd been thinking the same thing. We still decided to meet the baby before making the final decision, and we were happy to see that "Hudson" would fit him just right: ) Hudson's middle name is Robert because my dad's middle name is Robert. My dad's middle name comes from my Granddad and my Granddad's dad. Once the baby officially changed from "Baby Boy Adams" to "Hudson Robert Adams," he was ready for his first visitors!

Meeting the Family

I did cry when our family members came in to meet Hudson! Again, I feel like I can't find the words to do those moments justice. Hudson obviously changes my life and Nick's life, but he also changes the lives of everyone close to us. My sisters go from being my sisters to being my sisters and my child's aunties. My parents go from being my parents to being my parents and my child's grandparents. The family dynamics shift, and I think it will actually bring us all even closer as our family grows and changes. 2012 is an exciting year for the Wilkinson family!

Auntie Claire
(She may have shed a tear or two...)

Grandma ("Cookie"!?!) Terry

Grandpa Butch

Auntie Lisa via Skype!
(SOOO glad it worked out to introduce her to Hudson on his first day! 
Can't wait for them to officially meet in March!)

Unfortunately, my dad and Nick's mom, didn't get to come to the hospital on the first day as we'd/they'd hoped: ( Dad had a horrible cough and a fever, and Judy was out of town for work. Luckily, they both were able to meet him on Thursday (pics coming soon!)!

Evening Visitors on Hudson's First Day

Paul, Anne, and Lucy came to see us! 
(Lucy ran all around the room, 
and sometimes she'd stop long enough to point at Hudson and say "Baby!" So cute!)

Tiffany, Brad, and Elsie came, too!

For months - literally - Elsie talked about getting to meet the baby. 
When she and Tiffany came by to drop off some baby items to us the night my water broke, I had no idea I'd get to introduce Elsie to Hudson so soon: )

I could go on forever...

Amazingly, I remember so much about the day and the time in the hospital! I thought it would be more of a blur, but I really think I could outline the rest of the hospital stay if I had time. Since it has taken me almost four weeks to publish this post, I'm thinking I'll skip the rest of the hospital details - except for some pictures; )

Overall, we had a great experience at the hospital! The nurses were SO helpful (especially with breast feeding!), and I would actually say that I enjoyed my labor and delivery experience. I heard so many horror stories while I was pregnant, and my experience wasn't anything like those stories! I plan to share my story with pregnant friends because there was nothing too scary about it! The best part of all is the sweet little baby that makes it all worth it: )

The weeks before Hudson's birth were emotional ones! With my friend Jerod's accident, the passing of my aunt's mother, Mary, and the passing of one of Nick's closest friend's father, Bill, Hudson was a bright spot for many people. As Anne so beautifully outlined, "Hudson is a welcome reminder of all that is good in the world."


Sara Eagle said...

Again, congratulations on Hudson's arrival Lauren and Nick!

It's so great to hear that you had a good, positive labour and delivery experience. I also did with my two and, like you, I try to share this with people as most of the time you just hear the horror stories!

Enjoy this wonderful time, they grow so quickly but each phase is a lot of fun.

Sara Eagle :)

Anne said...

Yay! He's official now that he's been blogged about. :) Can't wait to come hold him again soon! He's so cute!! XO

Elisa B said...

So much fun to read! Can't wait until sometime I run into you and get to meet him! Congratulations!

Jami said...

Thank you for posting your story! Natalie has shared so many milestones along the way and I've followed along on the blog. It's wonderful to hear it from you.

Congratulations and best to you as you continue on your first few weeks of adventure as a mom!

Natalie said...

YAY! Even though I have heard nearly every detail it was so fun to see it in writing...and finally meet my "other" running partner. Love you :)

Cassie said...

Beautiful Lauren!! It's a pleasure to read your birth story! I'm happy it went so well! I wish I was closer so I could hold baby Hudson.
Love you!!