Monday, April 20, 2015

Luca Michael - Our birth story

It's hard to believe Luca is already almost 3 weeks old.  It doesn't sound like much time at all, somehow these have been the longest days of my life but they also seem to have flown by.

I probably should have written this sooner, details keep escaping me, but I've been meaning to get Luca's birth story down so I can remember it.

{Luca Michael - 1 day old}

My due date was March 27, 2015, but for most of my pregnancy I had it in my head that he would be born on March 21st.  The first day of spring just seemed like a nice day to have a baby, plus one week early sounded nice too.  My self-imposed due date came and went.  And then my actual due date came and went.  I'm not sure I was ready for labor but I was definitely ready to no longer be pregnant.    

I was drinking gallons of 3rd trimester tea and red raspberry leaf tea, taking evening primrose oil, taking long walks and doing prenatal yoga - lots of squats!  I went to my acupuncturist several times in those last few weeks as well, which I think helped prepare me, and if nothing else, gave me an hour of relaxation.

My water broke at 8am on March 31st, but I wasn't feeling any contractions. I called my doctor and she said that there was no rush, but to head to the hospital soon.  I called Dan at work and told him not to rush, but that he should head home.  (He was home in 20 minutes - a record time.) I took a shower and packed a few last minute items and we headed to the hospital.  

We checked in at 9.30am. I didn't start feeling contractions for a couple hours so Dan got us coffee and breakfast at a nearby cafe. And we waited...

I started feeling contractions in the early afternoon.  They checked me around 2pm and told me I was 1 1/2 cm.  I held it together, but inside I burst into tears.  I knew I wanted an epidural, but didn't want to get it too soon and risk slowing down the labor. Also, I didn't want to be stuck in bed since I thought walking and moving around would help things along.

After a few hours later, and many more painful contractions later, they checked my again and I was 4cm.  The doctor told me that if I wanted an epidural then she would want me to have pitocin too.  I was trying to avoid pitocin, so I decided to wait a bit longer and keep moving.  Every so often the nurses would monitor my contractions and the baby's heartbeat but other than that I was out of bed and walking around the room.

By 6pm I couldn't take the pain any longer and asked (begged) for the epidural. An hour and a half later it came. I was 6cm. That epidural was a total game changer. They estimated that the baby wouldn't come before 5 or 6am the next morning and they told us to get some rest. My mom and best friend, Amanda, who had been there with us, left shortly thereafter. We promised to call as soon as anything changed.  I was exhausted and looking forward to some sleep.

An hour or so later, I started feeling a lot of pressure. It felt like my sit bones were bruised like after a spin class with no padded seat. The anesthesiologist came back and gave me a bit more, which helped a little.  But I was feeling a lot of pressure pretty regularly, so I called the nurse.  She looked at the monitor and said my contractions were getting really close together.  They checked me and were shocked to find out that the head was right there. They said we'd start pushing in about 20 minutes.  Dan bolted upright from his chair/bed.

He immediately called my mom and Amanda so they could make it back in time for the birth. The doctor then told me that first births can take up to 3 hours of pushing so she wanted me to prepare myself. That was news to me and I was not at all ready for 3 more hours even with the epidural. 

It may have been the hardest thing I've ever done, but 40 minutes later at 12:46am, Luca was here.  Dan and I were both shocked when we saw he was a boy.  I had a feeling for most of my pregnancy that we were having a girl and Dan just really believed in my intuition.  Dan had even been brainstorming names when we first got to the hospital and he'd only written down girl names.  I know you're not supposed to say this, but I really wanted a boy, so I was pretty thrilled.

When he came out, they immediately put him on my stomach.  He didn't make a sound and was a blue / gray color.  After a few seconds, when he still didn't cry, they moved him to the warmer and a nurse started rubbing him all over to stimulate him.  I'm a bit fuzzy on this part but Amanda and Dan said that there was a lot of talking in low voices and a nurse immediately got on the phone.  I just stared at Luca and the nurse with him.  I don't know how long it was but it felt like an eternity.  I watched his color slowly change from gray to pink and then finally we heard a cry.  A huge weight lifted from the room once that cry came.

They brought him back to me and I just couldn't stop staring.  My Dad arrived soon after that. 

{my parents - Grandpa & Gram}

Dan called his parents who immediately got in the car and drove an hour and half to meet their grandson.  

{Dan's parents - Cece and Papa Skip}

Our parents opened a bottle of champagne to celebrate and Luca was passed around for the next few hours.  I don't think he was in the bassinet much at all during our time in the hospital.

We were anxious to get home and thankfully both Luca and I were given a clean bill of health and my doctor discharged us the next afternoon.

I know I may be speaking too soon but aside from a couple really tough days in the beginning, Luca has been an absolute angel.  I feel like I may have wished him into being.
I really can't believe he's ours.
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