Monday, August 31, 2009

Welcome, Tristan Alexander!

What can I say? I've been away too long. The only excuse I will give is that the longer I stayed away the harder it was to come back. I also went through a very mundane period where the only thing I wanted to write were pregnancy complaints. I have trouble writing the mundane. Many people can write daily blogs about their lives and keep people begging for more, but I am not one of them. But I do have some good stories saved up. The first being the birth of my son, Tristan Alexander. He is now 3 1/2 months old.

My due date was May 11th. I've had two children before Tristan, and each one went past due. Therefore it was no surprise when my due date came and passed me by. A visit to the doctor's office that morning yielded no hope that the situation had changed. I had been dilated to 1 for a few weeks by that point. The next day, May 12th, I awoke (if you're a male or someone squeamish, read no further, and apologize for TMI, but that tends to happen in pregnancy tales) with a bit of bloody show. That had never happened to me before, so I spent a lot of the day googling it, wonder what it meant -- would there be a baby soon? Anyone who's been nine months pregnant knows those last days and weeks are long and full of impatient waiting for any sign that you won't be pregnant forever. I was excited to find that bloody show usually indicated labor could begin with hours, up to two days. So I gritted my teeth and thought, okay, two days, I can handle this! Amber, my eldest, went TWO WEEKS overdue. I'm still traumatized by that one!

That evening was business as usual. I laid down and read for awhile. Only, shortly after I laid down, I felt contractions. Not unusual -- I had tons and tons of contractions the whole way through, so I waited for them to stop. To my delight, they weren't stopping. I put my book down and tried to fall asleep, but I was too anxious with the hope that I was in labor. I watched the clock -- 6 minutes in between contractions. After 5 or 6 of those, I decided to get out of bed and walk around to see if they would stop. It was 11:30.

My brother was awake, and wondered why I was walking around the house. I told him I was having contractions and was trying to determine if they were real or not. I walked around, and to my delight, not only did the contractions keep going they got closer. When they were about four minutes apart, I had a particularly pressing contraction, at which point I decided to take a shower (which my brother thought was quite amusing, but there was no way I was going to go through labor and all it entails without being as clean as possible beforehand!). I got out of the shower and dressed. It was about 1:30 am. The contractions were 3 minutes apart. I decided it was time to wake the hubby, who had warned me earlier that he was particularly tired so I'd better not go into labor that night! I turned on the light, woke him up and left the room. When I came back, he was asleep again. I woke him up a second time, to which he answered "Seriously?" when I told him we needed to go to the hospital. He finally crawled out of bed.

The kids had field trips that day, and needed drinks for their lunches. Alex had planned to do this in the AM, but since we weren't going to be there, he had to make a run to the gas station then. He's gone for about 25 minutes, at which point he comes back and tells us that the gas station was closed, and Walgreens was closed. We asked him why he didn't just go to quick trip, which was 1 mile up the road, but apparently he wasn't thinking correctly at that point. So he had to go back to the store. Finally, he returned, with the drinks, so we were in the clear to go the hospital.

At about 2:15 am I arrived at the hospital. By that point my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart. As I was walking in, a couple walking out did a double take. I heard the guy say "She's going to have a baby!" I arrived at the counter, where the attendant took one look at me and says "oooh, I know what you're in here for." By 2:20 I was changing and settling into a hospital gown. They checked me, I was dilated to 3, and they admitted me. I settled in for a long night, admitting to myself that I wouldn't be sleeping anytime soon!

I informed them that I wanted the epidural as soon as they'd allow, because I'd had fast progressing labors before, I didn't want to be caught without one! By 4:30 am I had my epidural, and was quite happy, even though my legs were numb and I was hooked to a catheter. The only thing I cared about at that point was that the contractions were gone. They were so far gone, in fact, that I asked the nurse if I was still having them! Even though the contractions were gone, I wasn't quite able to sleep, although I did try. I almost fell asleep a few times, but the epidural was making me itchy and twitchy. On top of that, anyone who's been hospitalized has to know that hospitals are the worst places for trying to get some sleep. So, sleep eluded me at that point. That's okay, it seemed selfish of me to try to sleep while I was in labor anyway. My body was pushing out contractions every two minutes, and I was just sitting back, not feeling a thing!

At about 8:00 am my doctor arrived to check my progress. I was only dilated to 5 by that point. He broke my water, and then left to go to his practice. At about 8:45, I told the nurse that either my epidural was wearing out, or I was feeling a bit of pressure. She checked me, and sure enough, I had gone from 5 to 10 in 45 minutes. She called my doctor back, and he arrived at about 9:25. He changed, got set up, and at about 9:32 I was pushing. Two pushes later, at 9:35 am on May 13th, Tristan was born! He weighed in at 8 lbs 8 ounces and was 21 1/4 inches long.

Everything after that was a blur. I had a range of emotions going on. The first thing I noticed was that the nurse was calling him Tristan. For some irrational reason, I was upset that they were calling him by his name before I had gotten a chance to. Then, one of the nurses kissed his forehead. At that point, I was thinking, wait! I haven't even kissed him yet! Why hadn't I thought to his him while he was on my stomach? Now someone else is kissing him and calling him by his name before I ever got a chance to! Yes, I know, all those thoughts were irrational and overly emotional, but those were the thoughts running through my head right after his birth.

I suffered a moderate tear, but that was the worst of it. Well, that was the worst of it for the actual birth. I had a huge, scary postpartum experience, but that's a story for next week. Check back here next Tuesday for the rest of the tale! In the meantime, I'll work on stopping by everyone's blogs and catching up a bit.

Tristan, a few hours old:

Whatcha Want? One Week Old

Little Teddy Bear! 3 Months Old