Tina is turning two this week! Isn't that crazy? I am having a hard time believing I am a mother of two kids and the oldest is a two year old. Am I nuts? I'm nuts. But I'm happy nuts.
One of the nice things about having two kids is you have two birth stories to share, and you people sure like birth stories. This will answer some of life's big questions, like:
"What happens if you are hungry, but you're on the way to the hospital?"
"How amazing is Spouse Unit?" and
"Melissa said she used cloth diapers on herself in a previous post. Is she ever going to tell us about it?"
This birth story is from my journal, and I'm going to add some other details that I have since remembered. So here you go. Your wildest dreams are about to come true
(just kidding, that might make me a little sad, but flattered, if your wildest dream is
to read my birth stories).
The night before school started for Spouse Unit, we were getting ready to go to sleep. All of the sudden I felt like I had peed the bed. It was so weird. So I said so, followed by "I think my water just broke!" It was beyond surreal because this was happening five weeks early!
Spouse Unit and I went into panic mode, running around like chickens with our heads cut off. I called the hospital and told them what happened. They said I should come in, so I said, "Okay. What should we bring?" We were not ready. No hospital bag was packed, and the car seat (which we got at my baby shower the week before, thank goodness!) wasn't installed yet. We were panicked. Luckily, Spouse Unit was in tune with the Spirit and had better nesting instincts than I did, so we got the nursery done the day before. We at least had that going for us.
We had planned on cloth diapering Tina, so I grabbed an insert and stuck it in my pants, since I still had fluid coming out of me that I couldn't control. We packed a bag and went to Smith's to get snacks (yes, really. I was starving. We had eaten junk food all day that day, and I knew they wouldn't let me eat while I was in labor at the hospital. All signs pointed to buying snacks at Smith's).
Besides calling our family members and them getting all antsy, we had to undo the entire week we had planned out. Tanner was starting back up at school and I was supposed to have the opening shift at work. I called my boss and left her a voicemail that said something like, "Hey. I'm not going to be able to come into work tomorrow because I'm having a baby right now and headed to the hospital... so you're going to have to find someone else to open. Also, I quit! Sorry, not sorry! Bye!"
When we checked into the hospital at 11 pm, they asked me who I'd like the pediatrician to be. We didn't have anyone picked out, so I just said the first name I could remember (he ended up being a fabulous doctor, by the way, and we really miss him). I was escorted into my room and was asked to change into a hospital gown. When we told the nurse about our cloth diaper trick, she was grossed out and thought we were weird. No, lady, we are geniuses. You're weird.
We had the nicest nurse (a different nurse) helping us through the majority of the labor and delivery process. I am so grateful she was assigned to us. She was literally an angel sent to help. She also told me that she would leave the room and let me eat my snacks (that I had to stop at Smith's for, remember?) if I didn't tell her about it. Told you she was great.
Anyway, this is where the story gets intense. At about 2 am my nurse came into check my progress. I was dilated 3 cm, so she told me she was going to put me on pitocin to jump start my contractions and get labor going. I had been laying on the hospital bed the whole time, which probably didn't help things, so I asked if I could go on a walk. She told me that I couldn't once I was hooked up to the pitocin, but that I could stand next to the bed. So I did. I was told the pitocin would take about 15 minutes to kick in, but it happened immediately and hit me like a ton of bricks.
Man, I don't think I have ever been in that much pain before (note: this is before going natural with Lil Spits, but it hurt just as bad). Worse cramps of my life times 10. I was having a hard time standing up, but I couldn't sit down either. I started crying because of the pain, and Spouse Unit started crying because he couldn't help me. Then, Tina's heart rate monitor started beeping and the nurses came in. The contractions were coming so fast and hard that her heart rate dropped from 150 to 80.
I started having a panic attack, so they took me off the pitocin and put an oxygen mask on my face. I asked for an epidural, and the anesthesiologist came in quickly. I signed the paperwork, all while breathing from an oxygen machine, having the nurses work on bringing Tina's heart rate back up and having a panic attack. I distinctly remember yelling at the anesthesiologist to "only give me one epidural! I don't want five!" because my friend had given birth the week before and had had four failed epidurals before the fifth finally worked. Kind of.
He told me he would let me know when he was going to do the epidural, but he didn't and stuck me, and I freaked out! The nurses told me to hold Spouse Unit's hands and focus on him so I could calm down. Looking into my husband's face was the best thing I could have done in that moment. He was being so strong for both of us. He was telling me that I could do this and that it was going to be okay. He helped me to breathe. I could say that he still does the same thing, today and everyday. Spouse Unit is my rock and my calm, safe place. To say that I love him a lot doesn't begin to cover it.
They gave me the epidural, and almost immediately I felt relief. Tina's heart rate went back to normal. Things went fairly smooth after that, besides the occasional involuntary shaking and puking, but I'm not going to go into that.
Mombie showed up at about 4 am, so she missed all of the excitement. After all of that, the contractions were coming more frequently, and though I could feel them, they didn't hurt. At about 5:45 am, I needed to go potty. They had put a catheter in to help me with my bathroom needs (I promise it didn't hurt at all), but I needed to go #2. I called my nurse in to help me to the toilet. She checked me and said that I was feeling that way because I was fully dilated and ready to push!
We did some practice pushes, but I had to hang out for a while so they could assemble the Avengers. Just kidding. The doctors. Just seeing if you're still paying attention. The best nurse ever finished her shift (sad), my doctor missed my delivery by 40 minutes, and our pediatrician was also out, but I had a great team helping me. I pushed for half an hour and Tina was born at 6:20am on the first day of school! She weighed 5 pounds, 15 ounces, was 18 inches long, and had hair! And a conehead, but that went away.
I felt so empowered that I had just given birth to a human being and felt like I could do it again. I almost felt guilty about how easy it had gone. It was 8.5 hours from the time my water had broken to the time she was born.
Tina came out gray, so they took her away for a few minutes and worked on her, and she was fine. She also had to stay in the NCU while we were at the hospital because
she was a preemie, but she didn't need oxygen or anything. She was suprisingly, and miraculously, perfectly healthy. The pediatrician kept calling her "the All-Star Baby." I was so grateful, and heartbroken at the same time. Every time I went down to the NCU to see her, I saw the other parents whose babies didn't get to go home with them. They were hooked up to oxygen, and wires, and the parents were living in the NCU. I only had to go down to feed her, and then I got to leave. I wanted to much for them to have the joy of being able to take their sweet babies home, and I hope that eventually they were able to.
After Tina was born, I decided not to go back to work. Money is tight, but we felt like this is what we should do. Spouse Unit works so hard to provide for us and is exhausted from work and school and everything, but we are so grateful for what the other is doing.
Tina is teaching us a lot about our weaknesses and how to become like Heavenly Father. We don't sleep as much, have as much time alone, and the tantrums get old. But she melts my heart. She is beautiful, hilarious, curious, smart, sensitive, the best big sister, has an affinity for sharks, loves Frozen, and she is currently tickling me.
Tina is one of my greatest blessings and I love her so much. Happy birthday, baby girl. Please stop growing up.