Every month I was pregnant, I vowed to begin a pregnancy journal, the half-assed version of which became this blog… although I never went way into preggo details here because I remember thinking at the time, no one cares about my silly doctor’s appointments or weird cravings or whatnot. And now without a doubt I wish I had recorded my pregnancy because it was a transitional period, bridging the gap between my old life and my new one, two paths that may occasionally run parallel or intersect, but that will never, ever run the same course again…. I wish I had those last few months recorded so I could better share with Millie the years 1-28 BB- Before Bug.
In the meantime, though I offer a vivid and shamelessly joyful recount of Baby Girl’s birthday.
I had my 39 week OB appointment on Monday, August 30th, with Mike Baby in attendance. We with Dr. Iobst, with whom we discussed the possibility that Dr. Agrios would not be my delivery doctor over the weekend should I go into labor- given that it was, ironically, Labor Day weekend. We were given the option to schedule an induction and, since I’d had such an easy pregnancy, Mike and I discussed it and decided to opt in for the induction. I was so nervous- my stomach was in knots, my nerves shot to ribbons- but in the end I realized I was going to feel that way about childbirth and the resulting baby no matter what, and knowing what to expect- knowing I had a day to put things in order, re-check my bag was packed, get a pedicure (yes, that was one of my last errands!) I felt relief as soon as the reality sunk in…and we were scheduled to check into the hospital on Wednesday night.
That Tuesday was Mike’s and my 2nd wedding anniversary, a day spent with little fanfare, having had our celebratory anniversary dinner weeks before at MT Chophouse on the off chance Bug decided to arrive early. Wednesday was spent cleaning house, getting a pedicure, checking and re-checking my overstuffed Vera Bradley duffel for all the items I deemed necessary for childbirth, from my citrus-scented facial wipes to my cherry Vaseline lip therapy… my Pretty Pushers hospital gown… my bright pink nursing pajamas that have, in hindsight, proven to be ineffective for actual nursing.
I spent the latter part of the day blowing out my hair,(a task I will forever be grateful for, as I am one of the few people who are happy with my I-just-pushed-a-baby-out-and-am-now-being-photographed pics!) and getting ready to go. When we finally called the hospital to make sure we had a room, we were told that yes, it’s all ready for us and a nurse was coming in for us at 9pm. We loaded up the car, petted the dogs, went on a walk…. We were so antsy! Finally we just decided to take off and stop by Publix for a snack on the way… my last BB meal was a chocolate milk, yogurt, and Lunchable. Lunchables were the official food of this pregnancy… and first 6 weeks post partum, in fact!
Our arrival at the hospital was a lot like checking into a hotel. We showed up, our room was ready, and we were able to settle in with ease. I was given Cervadil to help ripen my cervix, along with an Ambien to help me sleep as Cervadil can sometimes cause contractions. I changed into my jammies and we read and watched TV a bit before settling in for the night. In the middle of the night, I requested a half-dose of Nubain, a mild painkiller to ease the pain of contractions and let me get a better night’s sleep. The next morning, I showered (with the use of my handy-dandy shower cap to preserve my blowout!) and changed into my Pretty Pushers hospital gown. We started Pitocin at 9:00am…. At 9:07am Dr. Agrios came in and broke my water! He was like, well if we’re gonna do this, we’re really go for it! 2 hours later, I received a second dose of Nubain while I waited for my epidural- my anesthesiologist was in a C-section. When he arrived- Tony- I couldn’t have been happier! That was the worst of the pain- I even fussed at the nurses to be quiet because it was getting so hard to focus. After my first dose of epidural I tried to sleep for a bit, only it wasn’t taking on my left side! Tony came and saved the day though, and within the hour I was napping peacefully. I did have to be put on oxygen for awhile since with the Nubain, Bug’s heartrate had dropped a bit, but I slept through all of that, and I woke up at 3pm refreshed! The nurses came in to check my progress and laughed at my progress… They said I was ready to have a baby! I can still see Nurse Angie’s look of disbelief. While Mike shut down the computer and prepared for his official Hand Holding Duty, the nurses called Dr. Agrios, and fussed around a bit…. By 3:47pm I was pushing, with our pushing playlist going loud- Salt and Pepa’s Push It, Hey Ya by Outkast, Eye of the Tiger… We were having fun! Dr. Agrios came in joking with me about how he knew I’d be having the baby before 5pm… and sure enough, our precious darlin’ baby girl, Amelia Rose Herchel, was born at 4:24pm on 9/2/10. 7 pounds 4 ounces of perfection.
The fam all filed in, held her, congratulated Mike and me, fed us some tasty BJ’s, and left…The nurses came in and bathed Millie, we packed up our loot, and then moved into our regular hospital room (which, admittedly, is NOT as nice as the birthing rooms, but I digress.) I showered up and we settled in for our first night as a little family. Adrenaline kept us from realizing how tired we were, and we started learning how to swaddle, how to change diapers…. It all went by so fast! Friday morning the swept her away for tests, and we were able to nap then before Round 2 of visitors. In the afternoon, we took a walk around the NFRMC pond for some fresh air…. Nursing seemed to be going okay, and Mike was a champ at giving me water in a straw while I nursed, since it’s the most thirst-inducing activity I’ve ever done!
That night, we had our first Whoa! We’re parents! moment…. I went to get a popsicle and Mike was like, oh I’ll go with you! But then we looked at each other and were like, wait, we have a baby now! Can’t leave her!
Friday night was rougher- I realized I was allergic to Stargazer lilies, and they were keeping me up coughing and stressed, and Millie was hungry… we were refusing bottles and paci’s at this point, trying to establish breastfeeding while we waited for my milk to come in, and she and I both struggled to get some rest. By Saturday we were SOOO ready to come home, and were happy to have gotten released in time to watch the first Gator game on TV. I remember coming in to the house, setting her down in her crib, walking across the hall to lay down in our bed…and promptly realizing that there was no way, no how I’d have the willpower to keep her that far away from me! So we moved her into our room that very night… our first night at home as a family.