On Halloween, Lennon Joseph made his way into the world. It was the most bizarre and amazing day of my life.
I started to go into labor some time on Friday or Saturday. Early labor is pretty easy going. Lots of little contractions, not a lot of progress. By Saturday afternoon I was having regular contractions every 4-7 minutes with growing pain and tightness in my back. That went on for about three hours and we weren't really sure what to do. I wasn't in any pain, I was just contracting a lot. We called the nurse line and she recommended we come in and get checked out. We packed up the car without any real anticipation that we'd be coming back home with a baby. We figured we were jumping the gun and they'd send us home to continue with the contractions.
Turns out, we were right. Kind of. I got checked into a room, handed over various samples of my bodily fluids and got hooked up to a monitor. The world's sexiest obstetrician checked me out and told me that I wasn't dilated enough to be admitted. However, my blood pressure was totally jacked (like 150/100) and I had protein in my urine so I needed to be watched for preeclampsia. (Pregnancy-induced hypertension.) This involved me collecting all my urine in a bucket for 24 hours, storing it in my fridge, and returning it to the hospital the next day. Sweet. So, we took my pee collection kit and we left, hoping to return soon in actual labor. We got about five minutes away from the hospital when a less sexy OB called me and asked me to come back. They decided they weren't comfortable letting me go home with such high blood pressure and they'd go ahead and induce me that night since I was a day away from 40 weeks.
We went back and Dr. Sexy told me that they'd let me labor on my own for a while and see if I made any progress. It was now around 7:30pm. They checked me periodically but nothing was happening. Around 3:30am on Sunday they broke my water. Umm, wow. Gross is all I can say about that. I pray if I ever get pregnant again that my water does not break on it's own. Everyone is all, "Just wear a maxi pad around your due date." Right, I don't think an entire package of maxi pads would do any good in that situation. Long story short, I had baby poo in my amniotic fluid which meant Lennon was at risk to inhale it on his way out. Baby poo in the lungs = bad. (I learned that watching 16 and Pregnant.) A pediatrics team would be in the room when I delivered to check him out and make sure everything was okay.
Fast forward another four hours and my damn cervix hadn't budged. I was having some crazy back pain because Lennon was flipped around backwards so I was already cracking and looking for someone to hook me up with drugs. Then Dr. Sexy dropped by to tell me it was time to hit the pitocin to try and move things along. I now happily consented to an epidural. Best. Decision. Ever. I got that around 9:00, got the pitocin shortly afterwards, and was ready to push by 11:45. The epidural never completely took so I had most of my feeling in my left side. Feeling quickly started to return to my right side, so by the time baby was ready to make his exit, I could feel everything. GOOD GOD I FELT EVERYTHING. I felt myself pooping in front of a room full of strangers. I felt things that required stitches to fix. I felt my baby getting stuck on his way out. I couldn't get him out fast enough and he started to stress. His heart rate dropped and he took a big gulp of that poo fluid so the vacuum made it's appearance. The fastest way to get a stuck baby out of the birth canal is to suck it out. So that's what they did. But before the vacuum can come out with a baby attached to it, it needs to go in. Ya, not something I realized before that moment. I certainly felt that too. Most of the pushing phase is a big blur but I remember screaming like an animal some time around here.
The vacuum had his head out in about .5 seconds. His body slipped out with one more push. And there he was. Lennon. I got one brief look at him before he was taken by peds to be checked over. At this point, I have no idea what's happening. The nicest nurse in the world was hugging me and telling me I did great. Everyone else is assessing the damage and doing whatever it was they were there to do. Then someone came in and told me that about 10 minutes after delivery Lennon started struggling to breath on his own and he quickly started loosing color and movement. He was now on oxygen and in an incubator and needed to be taken to NICU immediately. I freaked the fuck out. All I could think was that I just brought him into the world and he was going to die before I could even hold him. I can't think about it without crying still. It was the most terrifying thing I've ever experienced.
An hour or so later, someone came and told me and my family that by the time they got him down to NICU he had already started breathing strongly and had really perked up. It was likely just a case of him being too tired from delivery and needing a little help getting going on his own. I finally got wheeled down to NICU and he was hooked up to a bunch of machines, wires and IVs all over the place. I didn't feel like he was my baby. I was just staring at some child, crying my eyes out, not knowing why. Someone finally pulled him out of his little incubator and let me hold him. I got to look at him, study him, kiss him. He looked a lot like me, which I couldn't believe. It was like, "Ok, ya. I guess this is my baby after all." It was such a relief.
The next couple of days are blurry. I didn't really sleep at all in the hospital. I just sat in my bed and watched hours and hours of TBS. Whenever I wanted to see Lennon, I had to walk down to the NICU. It sucked. I just wanted him with me, beside my bed where I could see him. Technically, he was fine and didn't need to be in NICU but since he was on an IV to prevent infection from breathing in the poo he had to stay down there. No infection ever developed so he got to come home with us when I was discharged. We were afraid he was going to have to stay an extra day but the kiddo checked out just fine at his 48 hour tests and was sent packing.
So, now we're parents. We're in love with our baby. And we're tired.
I'm sure there's a lot more to the story that I could share, but my brain is running at half speed right now. Taking care of a newborn is friggin exhausting. I'm sure I'll write little stories here and there that fill in more details. But for now, that's about as coherent as I can be. :)