This week had flown by! We are enjoying/loving/feeding/kissing/holding/staring at Gigi constantly which makes it a little hard to blog. It's all accumulated over this week so here is a big post all about her...
A few things about you:
You were born at 1:37 a.m. on December 31st, 2010
You weighed 6 lbs 11 oz
You were 20.5 in tall
You have light brown hair and steel blue eyes.
On Wednesday morning I started having contractions that were 10 minutes apart. They went on all day on Wednesday and all through the night and I didn’t sleep very well. We headed to the doctor on Thursday morning and Michele, the midwife, determined that things were slowly changing. When I got home around 11 a.m. the contractions had started back up. We were so used to the contractions by this point that Kyle went to work and I got busy making ravioli and watching movies.
The contractions continued to go all day about 10 minutes apart, and it wasn’t until about 4:00 p.m. that I called Kyle and asked him to come home because I was beginning to need some support getting through them. My sister called to let me know she had changed her flight to arrive in Portland and was headed to the airport in San Francisco so that she could be here to support us. At this point, I still didn’t really believe or comprehend that I was in labor. Kyle and I cozied up on the couch to watch a couple episodes of Mad Men. I don't really remember the second episode. My sister arrived and rubbed my back through the contractions, held my hand and talked to me about her Christmas.
I took a shower, washed my hair and got all ready for bed. We thought it would be a good idea to try and get a bit of rest. We all went to bed around 10:00 p.m. and it was only a few minutes later that my contractions went from bearable and 10 minutes apart to unbearable and 2-3 minutes apart. At 11:00 I began feeling really sick to my stomach and I threw up a few times and was shaking really badly. Kyle was worried so he called Michele and Margo (our doula) and also called my mom and told her she needed to get on the road! By the time Margo arrived around 11:30 p.m. I was ready to go to the hospital. I was really panicking and in very intense pain. I was afraid that if we didn’t go now, I wouldn’t be able to go at all. Margo’s presence really calmed me down. She coached me to not fight the contractions, to just accept them and to keep my body relaxed and the contractions slowed down again and spaced out. At this point I was ready for drugs! I truly didn’t feel like I could do it anymore. I was sooo tired, homesick and scared. Kyle kept telling me that I could do it, that I was strong and that he loved me.
At 1:00 a.m. Margo encouraged me to get up and walk up and down the hall a few times. I was standing in the hallway with Kyle's arms around me when my water broke at 1:05 a.m. I went to the bathroom to change my clothes. I was really hitting a wall at this point and I knew I couldn't do it anymore. I didn’t want to feel another contraction. I wanted an epidural. I kept thinking and saying, “I need help”. At about 1:15 a.m. I somehow made the decision to take a hot shower and I told myself that, if the shower didn’t help ease the pain a little bit, I was going to go to the hospital and getting an epidural.
I climbed into the shower and knelt down. Kyle put a towel around my shoulders to keep me warm and let the hot water run on my back. Suddenly, I had a really strong contraction and felt something change. My body began to push and I was sure that I was going to have the baby there in our bathtub. Margo directed me to get out of the bath and Meghan and Kyle helped to dress me. Meghan wrapped a big fleece blanket around my shoulders from the dryer to keep me warm. We flew out the door and I was standing on our front steps when my water really broke. Within seconds we were in the car, it was 1:28 a.m. with Kyle driving and Meghan in the back seat. I was literally holding the baby in and I was yelling, “I’m having her in the car!” and Meghan kept saying, “You are not having her in the car!”.
We sped the mile to the hospital and pulled up to the emergency entrance. Kyle ran and grabbed and ER nurse who appeared with a wheelchair. We got to the elevator which seemed to take a hundred years to come. We entered the birthing center and saw our friend Kim (who is a doula and labor/delivery nurse) standing by the door to room 237. Kim quickly assessed what was happening and she said, “Get in the bed now.” I got into the bed and I felt down and felt the top of her head. Kim instructed me to push. Our baby was was born at 1:37 a.m., only nine minutes after we left the house! Kim held her up said, “Here’s your baby.” They handed her to me and I had her on my body. It didn't feel real at all.
Natural childbirth was the hardest thing I’ve ever done and the most intense experience I’ve ever had but, also, the most wonderful thing that I’ve ever done. I had said that I didn't want IV's, didn't want to be monitored and checked constantly, that I wanted to have as close to a home birth experience as possible and that I wanted to stay home as long as possible. I think that we succeeded in all of that! I didn’t think I could love Kyle anymore than I already did, but having gone through this intense experience with him, I love him even more. All I remember is seeing his face close up to mine, seeing his eyes through a curtain of my hair and feeling his hands comforting me. His love for me in those moments of pain and his unyielding confidence in me that I could do bring our baby into the world naturally has intensified the strong bond we already had. The love I feel for him and for our tiny baby is immeasurable and impossible to put into words. I feel like the luckiest woman in the world.
My two favorite things in the whole world.
Things that happened this week:
You smile in your sleep a lot.
Your umbilical cord fell off... you now have a belly button.
You are inquisitive.
You met Poppy.
You love to sleep with us or in your co-sleeper.
You had your first doctor visit.
You and I had our first slow dance to Louis Armstrong.
You figured out how to roll yourself onto your side.
You had your first bath.
You lifted your head up on your own.
9 minutes from the time we left home to the time you were born.
22 hours in the hospital after your birth.
619 photos have been taken of you.
39 weeks of pregnancy.
3 hospital visits total.
13 inches on the Tummy Timeline.
29 pounds gained.
15 hours of real labor.
1 stretch mark. (Don’t get your belly button pierced!)