Friday, January 1, 2016

Anna Reaves' Birth Story

Here I am, 11 months after the birth of my first child, and I am just now getting back to this little ole space on the internet I used to call my bog. Ha! Where did the time go? I honestly cannot answer that but I can tell you that the past 11 have been the best and hardest months of my life! 

Anna Reaves was due to be born on January 28, 2015. January 28th came and January 28th went and I was still looking at my rather large pregnant belly in the mirror. She was quite comfy. That week was a tough week. I decided not go back to work the week of my due date so it was a long week of waiting around. 

Early early Saturday morning I woke up with some cramping. They would start and then go away and then start again. It was a weird sensation, very different from period cramps. I knew what it was but was in denial. I showered and headed to lunch that day with my mom, Diane, Kelsey, and Jordan, a friend of mine who was due with her baby girl just a few days after me. 

This continued throughout the day Saturday and into Saturday night. I got absolutely no sleep Saturday night. I called Dr. Stonerock late Saturday evening and told her what I was experiencing. I don't think she believed me given my track record of absolutely no progress at my last few visits. She told me if it would make me feel better, to head on up to the hospital. I was scheduled to go into the hospital Sunday afternoon at 5:00 anyways to be admitted and to start the cervadil medicine. I opted not to go in and to continue to time the contractions using my app. I got absolutely no sleep Saturday night either. 

Sunday things seemed to have slowed down. Charlie and I cleaned up around the house and spent some time playing and cuddling with the dogs. They were in for seriously life-changing experience so we gave them a few extra treats and lots of love. We ate lunch at home that his mom dropped off from their family lunch and finished putting last minute things in our bags. We fixed some sandwiches for dinner at the hospital since I wasn't able to eat anything after a certain time Sunday night.

I was greeted by my nurse (aka sweet friend of my sisters that my family has known for a long time) in the parking lot. Talk about easing my nerves. She showed us to our room and set out a hospital gown. Talk about a weird experience! I have never been in a hospital before other than to visit. I was a little apprehensive about putting on a gown and climbing into a hospital bed as a healthy individual! That night my parents came by and my sister and her boyfriend brought sweet frog. They visited for a few and then left us alone for the night. It was Superbowl Sunday so we watched the game as we took it all in. Sam, my most wonderful nurse, checked me and I was close to 3cm. No cervadil was needed, yay! Things were happening on their own, just as I had wished!! 

I got absolutely no sleep Sunday night. I was just so nervous and that bed was gosh darn awful! Three nights in row of no sleep is not the way I wanted to start the day of my child's birth! I remember just watching the clock. They started pitocin at 7:00am. It definitely sped the process up and I started having some pretty good contractions. Dr. Stonerock came by and I was happy to see her. She was shocked to see that I had already progressed and was pleasantly surprised! (She really didn't believe me when I called!) 

My parents came to the hospital and my in-laws came but mostly stayed in the waiting room. At about 4 1/2 centimeters, I decided it was time for the epidural. I don't remember it being that bad but I remember sitting on the side of the bed and having to sit still through a seriously big contraction. That was the hardest part.

I had a blood pressure drop shortly after the epidural. I started getting cold, clammy, and very nauseous. It was horrible. They got my blood pressure regulated but the drop caused Anna Reaves' heartrate to drop. Dr. Stonerock was called in. I could tell they were worried but were trying not to show it. They were so wonderful to me. I was scared. Then my worst fear happened. The "C" word was mentioned. I freaked out and started crying. The last thing I wanted to have to go through. I wanted my baby to come into this world the natural way, the way it should be.

Dr. Stonerock spent so much time with me during that last hour. I was at 7cm. She gave me one hour to dilate to 10. If not, they would have to take her. I don't remember anything about that last hour other than Dr. Stonerock's face everytime she watched the baby on the monitor. Surely enough, an hour later, I was still at 7.

She made the final decision and I lost it. She asked me if I wanted her to go get my mom. Of course, I said yes. I got to hug my mom and talk with her for a few minutes. During that time my room was transformed with the anethesist back in and nurses everywhere. They tossed Charlie the sexy hospital outfit and everyone suited up. Then I was wheeled to the OR. I remember everything about laying in that bed as they wheeled me back trying not to cry my eyes out. I tried my hardest to keep my focus on the beautiful child I was about to meet for the first time. They wheeled me in alone as Charlie sat outside by himself. It was pretty scary for both of us. I would not have made it through the process if it hadn't been for my doctor and Sam, the anethesist angel that made sure I knew exactly what was going on and comforted me and Charlie. Once they called Charlie in, things went really fast. They told me I would feel some pressure and I did. They were all pushing on my stomach. After several minutes, I heard a cry.  There she was! All 7 pounds and 13 ounces of her! My first thoughts were as follows: oh my i survived, she's beautiful, i need pepsi, please someone bring me pepsi, ill take water too, or even ice, please i need pepsi, im a mom. Haha! My mouth was so dry it felt like I was swallowing rocks. They of course would not give me pepsi, water, or ice. Jenny cleaned Anna Reaves some and did initial tests and then wrapped her and gave her to Charlie. He brought her to me and we got to see her together for the first time. It was so wonderful to see her but I wasn't feeling so hot and my arms were still strapped down as they completed the surgery. Charlie and Anna Reaves left to go to the nursery for her bath and other tests. The after part of the c-section seemed to take forever! I was so ready to get out of there and get something to drink. I was really feeling terrible and I am so surprised I did not actually throw up everywhere.

I remember them finishing up and giving me my arms back, thank goodness! I remember the process of them moving me to a rolling bed and then wheeling me out and into a tiny recovery room where it was just me and a few nurses. I had started shaking really bad and still feeling nauseaus. My nurse anethesist, Sam, brought me an ice cold pepsi and I am pretty sure I told him exactly how much I loved him and that he was the most awesome person in the world. I still continued to shake profusely and feel sick for a while in recovery. Charlie was with me and Jenny brought Anna Reaves into the recovery room to us so that I could hold her for the first time. To be honest, I was scared to hold her because I was shaking so bad. Charlie stayed right by me as I held her and kissed her cheeks. After I got some pepsi in me, I started feeling a little better. I stayed in recovery for a while I remember, and then they wheeled me to my room. That was when I got to see my parents and my sister and everyone there for the first time. I also got to eat my first meal and it was cold chicken fingers and fries from the hospital cafeteria. It was glorious! The next while was a blur. My hospital room was busy with family, our preachers, friends, hospital staff, Dr. Stonerock, and others coming in and out all day long.

That night after everyone left it was just the three of us. We weren't sure what to do next! We did a lot of loving on our sweet girl and we let her sleep in the nursery while we caught up on some seriously much needed sleep. The days that followed were a bit of a blur. They kind of all ran together and I was in a bit of a fog for a while after she was born. I remember Jenny having to tell me that it was okay to change my babys clothes and put on something we brought. Total newbie mom mistake there. Haha!

Our hospital stay was from Sunday night until Thursday mid morning. We chose to stay one extra night per the suggestion of Dr. Stonerock. I am so thankful for my time at Carolinas Hospital. Even though I went stircrazy and got so tired of looking at those hospital walls, it gave us the opportunity to get all of the help we needed from the nurses. It also gave me an extra day of recovery and rest before going home to be on our own.

One of my favorite pictures from the hospital. My mom and sis looking into the nursery at our new baby girl.

I had some of the best nurses and the best Dr. I could have asked for. Two of the nurses were close friends of ours and we are so thankful for that!

And just like that, I am now thinking about planning a first birthday party. I cannot believe it!