It’s hard to believe that it’s only been two weeks since Baby A&W came into my life. They say time goes by quickly, but I think the first few weeks actually slowly trudge along. That could be because of the lack of sleep, or the overwhelming feeling you constantly have because of all of the new information, new learning, new schedule, etc.
Without going into detail, I thought I’d share my story of Aubrey’s arrival.
Monday afternoon (Feb. 2) I had my regular 39 week appointment (I was 38 weeks and 5 days) with my doctor. At 1 pm, I was only 2-3 cm dilated and 80% effaced, and my doctor said she was thinking Thursday or Friday would be the day. If not, we’d induce at my 40 week appointment the following Monday, so that way M was in town for the birth of our baby girl. I went back to work, perfectly comfortable. After work, I went home and took my two dogs, plus my mom’s Vallhund, for our usual 2 mile walk in the neighborhood. It was then that I started to feel extreme discomfort off and on–no real regular timing, and no pain, just uncomfortable. I figured it was because we were walking at a fast clip over the hills in my neighborhood…but apparently it was labor contractions (though I didn’t know this for a few more hours).
When I finished our walk, I stretched out on the couch and my mom said I didn’t look too good, so we started timing the cramping and called the doctor. We waited an hour, I drank about 50 ounces of water and tried to relax, but finally the doctor said I should go into the hospital–it could be one of two things, true or false labor. So at 9:30 we headed out the door and to the hospital. At 10, upon admittance, the nurse checked me over and said I was 5 cm and 100% effaced–this was the real thing. So I called M, and he and my dad started their 3.5 hour journey from Indiana, and with adrenaline pumping through his veins, he made it to Lexington in less than 3 hours.
By 11 pm (or so), I asked for an epidural because the contractions were coming hard and fast–we knew the only way we could hopefully slow down labor so hopefully M would make it to the hospital in time for his baby’s birth was if we did the epidural right then. I was at 8 cm, and we were speeding through. Getting the epidural hurt…like hell. My contractions were nonstop, so it was hard to get the epidural in place, but finally we did.
By 1:30, M and my dad had made it, and I was 9 cm…and finally feeling relaxed because of the epidural and because my best friend was there. Then it was a waiting game…things had basically stopped. My water had yet to break. It wasn’t until about 4 am that I was at 10 cm. Around 5 am, they finally broke my water on their own. At 5:30, the doctor came in and announced it was “time to have a baby!”
Delivery was short and sweet–the nurses and doctors were impressed at how quickly things were progressing. At some point I said something about how I had heard that if you worked out and/or ran throughout your pregnancy, delivery was supposed to be quick. That’s when the doctor looked at me and said, “Considering most first-time moms push for at least three hours, and your baby is going to be here in less than 30 minutes, I think you’re doing pretty good.” Lo and behold, at 5:59, little miss A&W entered the work. (Ironically right before my alarm went off on my phone to wake up to go to CrossFit. LOL)
So, there you have it….labor lasted less than 12 hours, with delivery less than 30 minutes. She was (still is) perfect. Born 38 weeks and 6 days, 6 pounds 14 ounces, 20 inches long, with a full head of hair (taking after her momma, of course). Within the first 24 hours, it was apparent she’s a strong girl–she was already lifting her head off my chest, pushing off my body with her legs and arms.
The first week was a strange sensation that I actually gave birth to this little human being–I’m actually a mother. It’s still a hard concept to grasp for me right now, even after two weeks.
I’m not 100 percent sure all of my maternal instincts have kicked in, yet, but I’m getting there. Learning how to change a diaper wasn’t too hard, and I’m still getting the hang of swaddling. Trying to figure out why she erupts in cries is another story…I may never figure all of those out. Breastfeeding is hard…don’t ever think it’s easy, because it’s not. I’m planning to do a write-up on that soon. Aubrey dropped all the way to 5 pounds 14 ounces by the time we left the hospital (babies typically lose 4% of their body weight after birth, anyway), and it’s been a hard, slow road to get her back to her birth rate (she’s at 6 pounds 2 ounces now).
Do I recommend continuing to work out during pregnancy still? Of course I do. I think it did help me have an easy labor/delivery and I think it’s been what has helped me recover faster than most. But you have to do it on your terms and listen to your body, and fuel wisely.