Well, my mom insisted on being at my house by my due date, so the parents were there about 3 days before he was born. People were competing for him to be born on their birthdays – husband already missed out on that one. We went out to dinner at an Italian place, super yummy, and aftewards I said the baby felt weird. I think he shifted down, looking back. Went home, went to bed, woke up with contractions early that morning. At first I just went back to sleep between each (didn’t even realize what was happening for at least the first two). Then I stayed awake but left my husband to sleep. I figured we had no idea how long we’d be, one of us might as well have slept decently. Around 5 I realized that my best friend would be awake because it was 7 on the east coast, so I texted with her for an hour or so. She was the first person to know I was in labor, lol.
After everyone woke up, I said the baby was coming that day. I attempted to drink a smoothie but didn’t get far. Wandered around the property and stuff like that until we decided the contractions were close enough (I was using some app that I have since deleted). I think it was about 11 when we went to the hospital a half hour away. I was going to try a water birth, but in the end just spent a little time in a tub and went about it the “normal” way. One set of contractions made me sit up and puke (goodbye smoothie) but other than that I didn’t get sick. I also never wanted to eat or drink.
The nurse was awesome – she made me do all sorts of things that totally sucked but helped the baby along, like straddling a toilet to ‘squat’ while holding the pipes. So sexy. The midwive who was delivering didn’t come in for ages, which surprised me. Really she wasn’t there until it was time to push, which was that evening. Eventually I caved and got some medication, which kinda worked for a bit. Then I caved further and got an epidural (seriously – go in there with your plan. I tried natural with the intention to give up if I wanted to and never feel bad about it). After the eipidural (and that man was incredible, I never felt it go in) I drank a ton of water, chatted more, made and laughed at jokes, etc. I’d still try it naturally first, but it was amazing how much better I felt overall. Another thing they don’t tell you: you won’t really feel the contractions except to note they are happening, but you will feel the hell out of your crotch. Once the baby was really coming, it felt like I couldn’t go on, but obviously no choice at that point! He was out more abruptly than I realized he would be. I was preparing for another push and she was already tossing him on my chest. I was shocked to be done. I did have first degree tears that were stitched up and dreaded using the bathroom or showering for awhile. Walking was a bit of a challenge as well – more of a waddle for a bit. Oh and my husband was asked to hold one of my legs, which surprised us, but he rose to the occasion. Poor thing probably still has nightmares.
He was born 4 minutes before midnight, on a friend/coworker’s birthday. Immediate skin to skin, I didn’t need to ask. They did take him away to weigh and to flush his lungs as he “wasn’t screaming as loud as we’d like.” Thanks a lot… he sure can scream now The next day he had Jaundice and had to get tested to make sure there wasn’t a significant reason. They decided he needed antibiotics as well as lights, which meant a week in NICU. Little bugger moved too much and had his IV moved all over his body – feet, hands, elbows, head even (they say that’s best but freaks people out). He was covered in pinpricks by the time we got to go home.
The NICU part sucked. It was boring and I didn’t get to spend tons of time with baby. Still, I was able to stay in the hospital for free because the rooms weren’t needed (I think it’s amazing that our hospital does that, though for all I know it’s standard) and got meal cards daily. The cafeteria was delicious. My husband, after some initial guilt, was able to go to work every day (I was on summer break). My parents took care of our house and yard and came up to visit us.
All in all, I’d say I had a typical birth with a little hiccup afterwards. I believe it cost 6-9000 out of pocket but around 100,000 in insurance. Hurray for insurance.
Nursing has just about always sucked for me. He could do both breast and bottle, which was awesome, but had a lot of difficulty with latching initially and it hurt, then got too mobile to want to stick around, got a couple of teeth to bite with, got a bad cold and couldn’t breathe and drink. In the end a bottle was easier… I didn’t give up on nursing until this April though (when he started daycare, land of a million colds). I’m still pumping but I can’t freaking wait until his birthday (just 3 more weeks!) when I will quit.
needs: a bikini top to preserve my dignity a little, greater than overnight bag due to unexpected stay, crotch washing bottle – I think they forgot to leave me one, breast shield, books/entertainment, epidural
not needed: sarong since I gave up on the water birth, food (barf)