Brooklyn will be ONE(!!!!!) tomorrow! Since today marks one year since I went into labor with her, and since I didn't have this blog back then, I thought I would post her birth story here. I wrote this when Brooklyn was about a week old.
I am a mommy now! Brooklyn Lillyann arrived on March 10, 2008, at 3:55 a.m., exactly three weeks early.
On March 6, we went to the OB for my 36 week visit, and she told us that I was 2 1/2 centimeters dilated and 75% effaced. She said that her best guess was that the baby would come around 38 weeks.
Everyone thought it would be cool if Brooklyn was born on March 9th. See, my birthday is September 9th, Dave’s is December 9th, and we were married on April 9th. The 9th was also my 37 week mark. I had been praying that Brooklyn would hang in there until 37 weeks because at that point, she would be considered "full-term" and her lungs would be mature before she was born. I had been having a lot of contractions for weeks, and my contractions on March 9th (Sunday) seemed like nothing out of the ordinary. Dave was at work, and my mom came over. We walked the dogs around the neighborhood at about 6:45 p.m.
We got back to the house around 7:30. Soon after, I began having a lot of contractions. I began keeping track of them at about 8:10. They weren’t more painful than they had been lately, but it seemed like I wasn’t getting much of a break between them. I called Labor & Delivery at about 9:00, and a nurse told me that I just needed to drink water, lay down, take some Tylenol, etc. She didn’t seem to think that I was going into labor, but something didn’t feel right. Something was just different about these contractions.
My mom left my house at about 9:50 to go pick up my little brother from work. She kept offering to stay, but I told her that I would call her if I needed her. Within 10 minutes of her leaving, I was in a lot of pain because the contractions just wouldn’t let up. They were from 4 to 6 minutes apart, but it didn’t feel like my uterus was relaxing in between. I called Dave. He had arrested someone and was at the jail booking them in. I started crying when I tried to tell him how much I was hurting. He told me to call our OB and see what they wanted to do. My OB, Dr. K, was out of town, and one of her partners, Dr. W, called me back. She said to come to the hospital and they would monitor me to see whether or not I was in labor. I called Dave back, and he said that he would be home as soon as he could.
While I was waiting for Dave, I decided that I needed to take a shower and shave my legs (haha). I kept contracting a lot while I was showering. I caressed and cradled my belly and realized that this could be one of the last times that I could do that with Brooklyn in my tummy. I really felt like these contractions were the real thing, but it was so surreal. And I was scared. Scared of how much this might hurt, scared of how much everything was about to change, scared of how I would be as a mommy. And I started to cry. I cried hard. I stood with my head leaning against the shower wall, sobbing out loud. The water rained over me, wrapping its arms around me and washing my tears away. I got out feeling a little bit better and a little bit calmer.
It took Dave about 40 minutes to get home, and the contractions had been getting more intense during that time. Dave came straight from work in his patrol car. He used his lights and sirens to skip all the traffic lights on the way to the hospital, LOL. The last 5 minutes or so of the car ride felt like I was having one nonstop contraction.
We got to the hospital at 11:15 p.m. and were checked in through the emergency room. A nurse came and took us to labor and delivery. I was glad she brought a wheelchair, because I was having a hard time standing or walking by then. The nurse took us to our room and had me change into a hospital gown. About midnight, another nurse came and hooked me up to the contraction monitors. By that time, my contractions were about 3 - 3 1/2 minutes apart and were hurting really, really bad. The nurse checked me and said that I was between 2 and 3 centimeters dilated and 90% effaced. She said that I would be checked again in an hour to see if I had progressed. I couldn’t have any pain medication because Brooklyn’s heart rate was low initially and the doctor wanted to wait and make sure she was okay.
That was a painful hour, but it actually went by pretty quickly. I was getting less than one minute to catch my breath in between contractions. My mom and little brother came to the hospital around that time. At 1:00 a.m., the nurse checked me again, and said that I was dilated to 4 centimeters. This meant that I was in active labor. She asked if I wanted an epidural; I told her that I did, but didn’t want to slow my labor down. She said that if I got the epidural now, I was far enough along that it shouldn’t slow my progress. I agreed to it. The anesthesiologist arrived at about 1:30 a.m. I was having to sit on the side of the bed while he got ready to give me the epidural, which it hurt so bad to do. The contractions felt like they were ripping me in half, and I had less than 30 seconds in between them (which isn’t even enough time to start breathing normally again.) I remember that the anesthesiologist was telling me the risks of the procedure, and I couldn’t even listen to him. I didn’t care. I was crying and begging everyone, "please, please help me!" I had been worried that the epidural would be painful, but I honestly didn’t even feel it. The medicine kicked in a little after 2:00 a.m. It was WONDERFUL. There was just one spot on my left side that didn’t numb, and I could feel the contractions there, and they radiated down my left thigh. But that was soooo much better than how I had been feeling before, it wasn’t a big deal. The nurse checked me then and said that I had dilated to 7 centimeters! Wow!!! We couldn’t believe how fast my labor was progessing! The nurses were surprised too, because long labors are expected with your first baby! They told me that if I hadn't gotten the epidural when I did, there wouldn't have been time for me to have one.
Dave put in a "Friends" DVD, I texted some friends to tell them what was going on, and put my hair in a ponytail. I felt much, much better.
At 2:45 a.m., the nurse came back, checked me, and said that I was COMPLETE! I was 10centimeters, 100% effaced, and the baby was at +1 station. We were shocked! The nurse went and called Dr. W and said that we were about to start pushing. I could tell that if I hadn’t had the epidural, I would have had an uncontrollable urge to push, because there was so much pressure.
Dr. W got to my room at 3:10 a.m. I started pushing then. They said that I was doing it perfectly, and told me that I was making all of my pushes really count, especially the last one for each contraction. They actually had to break my water after I started pushing. There was a ton of pressure, and it was really hard work, but there was really no pain. Epidurals are amazing. Dave and my mom were with me and were so supportive and wonderful. Brooklyn was born at 3:55 a.m. on March 10, 2008, after only 45 minutes of pushing!!!
They put her on my belly and Dave cut her cord. She was so little! She had this tiny, pitiful little cry, but she cried a lot. She sounded like a baby kitten. It was the most wonderful sound. She had a head full of hair and turned pink quickly!
My baby girl weighed in at 5 pounds, 14 ounces, and was 18 1/2 inches long. She has big dark blue eyes and soft, fuzzy, dark blonde hair. The nurses kept calling her a little "peanut." :) We named her Brooklyn Lillyann. Her middle name is a combination of both of my grandmother’s names, Lillie and Ann.
Childbirth was NOT nearly as bad as I had scared myself into thinking it would be. I was terrified, and I shouldn’t have been. I didn’t think that I was strong enough to get through it, and now I am so proud of myself when I think about the experience. Beginning to end, it only lasted 8 hours, and I got the greatest gift in the world for it. I would do it a million times over for her.
I am now a believer in love at first sight. She is the most beautiful, sweet baby I have ever seen. My heart feels like it’s going to explode when I think about how much I love her. I feel like I could do nothing for the rest of my life but tell her I love her, and it wouldn’t be enough. There are absolutely no words to describe it. There is nothing I could ever do in my life that would let me be deserving of such a gorgeous little miracle. Thank God for my beautiful little blessing named Brooklyn. She is the best thing that could ever happen to me. I am so head-over-heels in love.