Conrad was supposed to be born on April 1st 2009, but came 10 days early on March 22, 2009.
I was at work Wednesday afternoon and experiencing pretty hard contractions that lead me to believe i was going into labor soon. So I came home and started timing contractions. They were 5 mins apart for an hour, then they would stop, then they would start up again, then they would stop. We tried EVERYTHING from going on walks, to eating pineapple, to doing what got us pregnant in the first place and nothing seemed to work to get the baby to come out. I was exhausted and frustrated so after 3 days of "Pre Labor" I got concerned that the baby wasn't moving very much, so we went to get monitored at the hospital and find out how close we actually were to having this baby. Was I dilated? Was he Ok? What was going on?
I got monitored for an hour and was told that i wasn't leaving the hospital until i had the baby. So we went to our birthing room, got unpacked, called our parents and friends and the party began. I was dilated to 2 centimeters when we got to the hospital, and I wasn't happy at all about being induced because my chances to labor naturally were slim to none since i was going to be induced. So I began asking my friends to pray, and within an hour, I started going into REAL labor on my own without pitocin and I was dilated to 4 centimeters. Which was a huge answer to prayer.
My doctor said that the baby needed to come soon even though i was already laboring on my own, I needed more help. My contractions needed to come quicker and harder than they were coming. So they hooked me up to pitocin which makes you have really intense contractions.
My nurse Linda (who smelled like cigarettes and fake tanning lotion) kept pushing me to start getting my epidural, and I kept telling her no, i was going to continue bouncing on the birthing ball and walking around the room, and getting back massages through contractions from my husband and i was determined to have this baby naturally!
After 9 hours or laboring without pain medicine, at 3 am, I couldn't handle the pain any longer. (If I wasn't on pitocin, I might have had a better chance of laboring naturally, but the baby needed to come soon before he was in more danger than he already was in.)
(Just a side note, woman in labor aren't hot. I looked like a sweaty, greasy, nasty mess. I had no make up on, my hair wasn't cute, and I was humongous. Labor isn't glamorous or sexy at all. Your husband has to help nurses lift your fat ass up off of the hospital bed to change the pad every few hours, or if they break your water and it gets all over your husband like it got all over mine....it's not an attractive ordeal at all if you were wondering. And you only get to eat ice chips, so you sit there gnawing on ice like you haven't seen food in months and this is the last ice on earth.)
I held onto my nurses shoulders as Dustin held my hand. I was crying, drooling, shaking and trying to breath while the epidural was inserted. The epidural made only one side of my body numb which made getting my catheter really uncomfortable since i could feel EVERYTHING and it was not fun at all.
Around 10 am the next morning, the anesthesiologist reinserted my epidural because It didn't take very well and I was feeling really uncomfortable. Once my epidural was reinserted, my body relaxed and I quickly dilated to 10 centimeters. The nurse told me it was time to push and i was so excited and relieved that i started crying. My parents were in and out of the hospital room all night encouraging me, taking pictures and cheering me on. Once it was time to push, they went out of the room and waited. I pushed for while and my nurse realized that my cervix was bubbling and I was dilating backwards from 10 to 8 to 6 centimeters and the baby was rejecting vaginal birth.
So at this point, my nurse went and called my doctor who was on her way to the hospital. Once my doctor came into the birthing room, she said "Ok, no more messing around, we're getting this baby out. Sorry honey, we're doing a C-Section."
I labored for 20 hours at this point and after all that work, i was a little discouraged but really relieved that my baby was going to be in my arms within a few hours. I didn't care how he came out I just wanted him out safely.
A massive team of nurses rushed the room each with a specific job to get me ready for surgery. The anesthesiologist made sure I couldn't feel anything and they wheeled me into the surgery room. Another nurse shaved my bush....(another side note, everyone and their mom is going to see your junk when you deliver, so have no shame, if they've seen one vagina, they've seen them all!)
Once we were in the surgery room, I tried to be calm and breathe but I was terrified to be cut open and have no control. I couldn't control my breathing and my arms were shaking from the pain medicine. Then I felt like God was telling me "This is how it was supposed to happen, I'm in control, Everything is going to be fine." So I relaxed and looked into Dustin's eyes and my doctor made the situation lighter by saying "At least you ain't gunna' get all stretched out down there!" Which made us laugh.
Within minutes the baby was being pulled out and I heard the sweetest sound I've ever heard in my life, his first cry. I was so anticipating that sound, and once I heard it, I kept saying "Oh my God, Oh my God, that's my baby, I love him..!" The tears of joy were pouring out uncontrollable. I had no idea how wonderful that first cry would make me feel! And once he was out, Dustin rushed over with the camera and was shouting across the room "He's beautiful, He's got hair!" and the doctor was saying "Damn, look at that head, measure that head, How big is that head!? 14.5 inches!" (My doctor is black with a southern accent, so it was pretty funny hearing her say all of this) I was a little concerned that my baby was going to look crazy with that huge head, but it wasn't bad at all given that he was in the birth canal for 3 1/2 days.
They pulled the curtain down so i could watch Dustin cut the umbilical chord, and they quickly brought Conrad over to me. I had tears in my eyes when I saw him for the first time even though his head was shaped like a football, and he looked a little tore up from the vacuum that they used to help him come out easier. I kissed his little white face and told him I loved him and Dustin stayed by my side while the nurses took him to get his first bath and I got stitched up. Tears of joy were still flowing.
In the recovery room I got to nurse him for the first time. He took right to my breast and I couldn't help but cry. It was the proudest moment of my life seeing my new born son. My mom & dad were there shortly with tears in their eyes as well. They kept kissing me and telling me how beautiful Conrad was, and telling me how proud they were of me. And my dad busted out his camera again to take more pictures of the first moments of our new family.
The happiest moment of our lives.
One thing I learned about my experience of delivering my baby was that it's ok if it doesn't work out the way I wanted. I had to have my babies best interest at hand, and not my own idea of an ideal delivery was. I wanted to have that fairytale experience of having the doctor lay my brand new baby on my chest for the first time, I wanted to push and get to experience vaginal birth, I didn't want a catheter or an epidural, but it didn't work out that way, and the doctor said that some babies reject vaginal birth, and had i NOT gotten a C-Section, both of us could have potentially died.
I thanked my doctor the next morning when she came to see how i was doing. I told her that i wouldn't have wanted it any other way and that my C-Section wasn't so bad. I didn't feel robbed of my birthing experience. I was present, I got to go through the most rewarding, and challenging thing in my whole life with the man i love and it was amazing and beautiful.
Now our days consist of pooping, taking naps, suckling off of Mamas warm ninny, pumping milk out at 4 am and breaking hearts looking so damn adorable...Every sneeze, every movement, everything this kid does makes me smile. He can do no wrong. He is my little baby son and I love him so much. I tell Dustin that it terrifies me that I can love this baby so much. I didn't think I had the capacity to feel so much love. I feel so privileged to care for him.
Conrad was 7lbs 3oz. when he was born, All 20 inches of perfection and 14.5 inches of football shaped head.