Friday, January 27, 2012

Ruby's Grand Entrance

WOW, she is almost 4 weeks old. In fact, tomorrow she'll be 4 weeks old, I cannot believe it. I also can't believe that with all the down time I've had, that I haven't written her birth story yet. :-p Hope you'll forgive me. I know I need to just DO it now, so that I will have it documented to remember later. So here she blows....

Saturday, December 30th was the day I went into labor. I was SO tired of being pregnant at that point - I was one day away from being 41 weeks pregnant. That day I went overboard to get labor going with the tips and tricks I had heard of in the past. I remember the day pretty clearly. I started out at Bible study in the morning with my best friend, Tara. I had had that ultrasound the day before and couldn't stop staring at the 3D (or is it 4D?) images of Ruby's face. I was SO ready to meet her! During Bible study I had some light contractions, probably just Braxton Hicks. It got semi-painful (though nothing like what I was to experience later!) enough that I had a hard time reading out loud and had someone else at the study read my chapters.

Later I went home and did all sorts of cleaning and what not around the house. I decided we needed groceries (and that I needed castor oil), so I went to Winco. It was a zoo. Went to the Winco on Lancaster, which is always busy, but especially so right before New Years. While on my way to Winco and while I was there I was texting my midwife, Patricia. I was asking if I should try castor oil and where to buy it. She first told me to try it, then asked if I could wait until the next day, because she had just delivered a baby and was tired. It makes me laugh a lot now, but at the time I was NOT happy about that! I didn't get the castor oil, but bought a HUGE can of pineapple juice. I got home, ate spicy food and had glass after glass of iced pineapple juice.

Later in the afternoon, around 4-5 o'clock I was home alone and thought my water broke. Or at least started leaking. Turns out it didn't at all. But that paired with some bloody show that I experienced right after made me start wondering. I called Brian to let him know, and he repeated out loud what I had said to him (about my water maybe breaking). His co-worker who is hilarious heard him say that and said "Man, get the F*** out of here!" That cracks me up to this day. He did come home then, and nothing new happed. We sat around, ate dinner, watched tv, not sure what was going on. My midwife told me to go to sleep early, because she felt I would go into labor that night. I didn't really listen. I made Brian do some dance videos with me to help things progress. Then we went on a walk around the neighborhood. We walked up a steep hill then did squats at the top. Must've been quite a sight!! Then we got home, calmed down a little bit and watched more tv. At 10:15 I decided I should go to bed. I did and Brian was right behind me. Right as I was starting to drift off - BOOM! My first real contraction. Wow, it was nothing like a Braxton! The contractions continued, but Brian told me to try to sleep. I tried really hard, but couldn't. They were painful! They caused me to squirm and drew tears to my eyes. I was excited! Around 1 o'clock a.m. we started timing them, they got to around 2 minutes apart. We finally called the midwife and she told us to head out to the birth center. At 2:30 a.m. we headed out. Not the most fun car ride ever!

We got there and reality set in. We are going to have a baby!! We walked in, it was quite and peaceful. We were greeted by the midwives who had prepared the room for us. We walked back into the "buttercup" room, the lighting was dim and the bath was being drawn. Again, I was excited.

First thing that happened, was the midwife checked my cervix. I was 5-6 cm dilated already! Good sign. I progressed nicely, about a cm every hour or two. Somewhere along the line, though, it must've slown down. The hours felt like minutes during labor. I coudln't believe that while I was laboring, I saw the sun come up in the morning then go back down before she was born. I felt like I was letting everybody down for not being quicker. I also wondered during labor (many times) "WHY WOULD ANYONE DO THIS MORE THAN ONCE?!" It hurt sooooooooo bad. I was expecting the contractions to just feel 'intense' not painful, but they were painful! I am surprised I didn't pull my hair out, I did pull on it a lot during labor. I also pulled Brians hair, squeezed him, bit him on the shoulder etc....... :) I only bit him once. He didn't mind. I remember making eye contact with him, my mom, or the midwives and informing them "THIS HURTS!!!!" As if they had no idea. :) I didn't understand at the time why nobody told me it would hurt so bad. BUT, they actually did.

I tried every position I could just about think of for labor. Nothing felt good, but I thought the next thing would. I labored on the toilet. I labored in the shower - both sitting and standing in it. I labored on my side on the bed. I labored in the tub - laying down, on my side, and on my knees. I labored standing and swaying with Brian. I tried it all, and it all hurt. By the time pushing came, I got scared. Pushing was scary! I felt like everything 'down there' was going to burst open. I was sure it would. I really held back during pushing, which is why it lasted 3 1/2 hours for me. My midwives, mom, and husband were all so encouraging and sweet through it all. Let me rant about him for a second:

We hadn't taken any birth classes. I thought for sure they would've helped Brian out, but it turns out he didn't need them. He knows me well. He was by my side the entire 20 hours. He never stopped encouraging me. "You can do this baby!" "You're doing so well, you are so strong!" "You're my hero!" "We are going to have a little baby girl at the end of this!" Etc. Etc. The staff was so impressed by him. They tell us all the time that he has a great reputation at the birth center. It's been suggested that he should be the male version of the 'hypno-birth' cd's. Or that he should come in and help other husbands who don't know what to do during labor. This makes me so happy. He never stopped encouraging me. He prayed for me toward the end when I was so exhausted. He was so wonderful, what a blessed woman I am!

I had pictured a water birth. That's what Bella Vie does, and that's what I was planning on. Toward the end, however, the water irritated me. I just wanted to lay on the bed. I did, and on the bed she was born. Seeing her curly dark hair making its way *slowly* into the world re-booted both of us. I think Brian teared up quite a bit once he saw her head slowly emerge...? Once her head was out, the midwives yelled his name, to reach down and grab our baby. He got to catch his first born baby, what a beautiful memory. The moment she was set on my chest from Brian (6:27 p.m.) my countenance changed. That oxitocin really works!!! I was filled with energy and joy. I examined her every feature and couldn't stop giggling. My baby is here! What a relief. She was worth all that pain. She was so beautiful. I was completely overwhelmed.

So there she was, 9 pounds 4 ounces, 22 1/2 inches long. Beautiful baby girl with a curly mohawk. I couldn't be happier, thank you, Lord!!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Love of My Life

Ruby Joy Bradley, the love of my life, is here now! All of you know that by now, but I needed to post something about her.

Such a joy! Birth story coming soon...