practicality |ˌpraktiˈkalətē|noun ( pl. -ties)2 ( practicalities) the aspects of a situation that involve the actual doing or experience of something rather than theories or ideas
A vocabulary lesson for you my friends. This word defines this new journey into motherhood I have begun. As soon as people find out your pregnant, they start giving you advice. Little pearls of wisdom learned by others along their life's journey, shared whether you ask for them or not. "Sleep when baby sleeps." "Don't spoil her by holding her too much." The list goes on.
Well I have learned a few things in the past few weeks. Like don't EVER leave home without a diaper bag. When you can't get a baby to latch on and feed, you don't care how many strangers see and handle your boobs. Sleep is a valuable commodity. A box of diapers won't last as long as you think. The first few days the baby is here, any noise she makes can put you in a panic. Babies are one of the most amazing and awe inspiring sights you'll ever see. Love at first sight is real. And not just the sort of puppy love you fall out of, but the type of love that enables people to walk through fire. And it scares you beyond belief to think something bad could happen to her. Oh, and don't leave rubbing alcohol on the counter near your contact solution when you are working on 3 hours of sleep...don't worry I caught myself before I burned my eyeballs into an oblivion.
And people may have told me these things before I had Emerson, but none of it was practical to me until she was here.
I'm sure you have all heard on Facebook by now, but I gave birth to beautiful Emerson Lily Eaton on June 8th at 4:02 pm. A lot of people have asked how the Hypnobirthing worked and how everything went, so I will tell you now.
I went into labor on Friday, June 7th and was pretty glad because I was set to be induced on Monday. I noticed I was having steady contractions while Nate and I were watching The Rainmaker. It was about 8 pm and I was having contractions about 12 minutes apart. After the movie was over, I put went upstairs to bed and tried to sleep knowing this was most likely the real deal and I would need all the rest I could get. I put on my hypno tracks and tried to relax. After a few hours I was starting to get uncomfortable and decided to try sitting in the tub for a while. For me, the tub was not comfy. I was getting too hot or sitting on the tub was too hard and when I felt the contractions I would have to squirm around in the tub to try and get some relief.
Here is where I will tell you about Hypnobirthing. It requires a lot of practice and a dedicated birthing partner who is going to prepare with you. There are relaxation techniques and things they teach you that I feel really work, but if you are trying to do it alone you won't be very successful. I have a high anxiety personality and think I needed someone there to remind me to relax and walk me through things. So other then listening to a cd that came in the Hypnobirthing book, there was not any real preparations on our part. If there is a next time, I want to have Gina Kochany be my doula. She is awesome and I think it would have helped to have someone like Gina there to guide me through the birth experience. All in all, I am glad we took the Hypnobirthing course, and I think it helped, but I think it would have been more effective had we practiced what we were preached!
So I labored through the night, and woke Nate up after calling Jennifer (my amazing midwife) at 4 am and telling her we were ready to come in to the hospital because my contractions were about five minutes apart. I called my Mom and told her there would be a baby today! We got to the hospital and got settled in. Once Jennifer arrived she checked to see how things were going, and I was actually a bit disappointed to hear I was at four centimeters. I was hoping after 10 hours I would be a little more dilated!
We walked the halls, and I labored on. We came back to the room around 7:30 am and I had Jennifer check me again. I needed some encouragement to keep going because at this point I was getting pretty tired. I was at a 5. I asked for an IV bag of fluids in the hopes I would perk up a little, and Jennifer asked if I wanted her to break my water. Slowly I felt like everything in my birth plan was melting away and got a little discouraged. I asked about the pros and cons for breaking my water and was worried knowing that once your membranes release, you are on a time crunch for delivery. She told me it would most likely speed things up, but the contractions may get a bit more intense. I agreed to have my water broken and we discovered Emmy had pooped already and had meconium in her amniotic fluid.
At 10 am, I was at 8 centimeters and I could REALLY feel the contractions. Hypnobirthing teaches you to change your frame of mind from pain to pressure, but when you are having all the intense things happen in your body, you sort of forget anything anyone has ever told you. I felt like things were just becoming too intense for me to cope with. I asked Jennifer how much longer she thought it would take!? If someone could promise me it would only be an hour or two more, I would have pressed forward. But I was exhausted and finally I asked if it was too late for an epidural? And once I got the epidural around 11 am it was instant relief. I could feel the contractions, but not the pain.
With my Mom, Nate, and Jennifer by my side, we waited and I tried to get some rest as instructed. I couldn't sleep, but finally at 3 pm I had made it to 10 centimeters and it was time to push. In Hypnobirthing they teach you to use the natural expulsive reflexes of your body and you shouldn't really push, but I couldn't feel anything below my belly button really so that part went out the window as well. After an hour of pushing, Nate caught the baby and Emerson was finally here. Because of the large amount of meconium and Emmy wasn't taking any real breaths, they had to take her pretty quick and suction her out. As soon as I saw her, I thought... man, she looks like Nate! And then was a little bummed out that she didn't look more like me. After carrying her for nine months, she wasn't even my mini-me!
I can't describe the feelings of joy and relief I had once I got to hold her in my arms. What a little wonder she was (and is). She was wide eyed and looking all around. Not crying or anything, just curious to see what was going on around her.
And there you have it. Emerson's birth story. Things did not go how I had planned or really wanted them to, but she is a healthy baby and at the end of the day that is what really matters. Should there be a next time, I will try again to have the natural birth I really wanted. And hopefully can prepare a little better.
Thank you to everyone for your well wishes, dinners, and presents. We have been showered with love and are so grateful, even if we have been to busy changing diapers and trying to catch naps to fully show it. I am amazed at mothers every where, and am convinced the teenage attitude years would never happen if we could remember what our parents went through taking care of us when we were babies!