Creedence reached one month of age this week. He is still really cute. He's gained about a pound per week so far. Looking at him now compared to when he was born, the biggest difference I see is in his chubbier chubby cheeks and his extra chins. Aww...
So about when he was born....
I present to you the story of his birth. I really like happy birth stories, and this one is definitely a happy one.
The week before the due date, I was anxiously awaiting a good reason to call Steve home early from work, and Steve was awaiting any reason to come home from work early, especially if it involved me. Daily, I hoped that the baby would come until about three or four o'clock in the afternoon, then I would get tired and would rather get a good night's rest and revisit the issue in the morning. Two days before my due date I was getting ready to go to my weekly midwife appointment, scheduled for 10 am. I woke up at 8 and felt normal, but between the next two hours before the appointment, I realized I was a little crampy and then later realized the cramps were contractions and then later realized that the whatever they were they were really strong. Steve and I were starting to get really excited at this point- the possibilities!- and took our go-bag stuff with us just in case.
The midwife declared me at 3cm dilation, which was awesome, I thought. 3cm and I had just barely realized I was having contractions! Because I'm GBS positive, I was to be on antibiotics during labor. They recommend two doses through an IV, each taking about four hours. Because of these eight hours needed before the birth and the speed with which I may have reached 3cm, the midwife sent me to the birth center directly (the midwives' office and the birth center are all in the same hospital). Steve and I walked over, getting congrats and goodlucks and labor tips from everyone in the elevator.
Once in the birth center, I was monitored for awhile to check baby's heartrate and the track contractions. I only lasted a few minutes strapped down on the bed, and ended up taking the monitors off to move around. After 45 min, I was at 4 cm. I was ready to check into my room.
The nurse got me started on the IV and all sorts of stuff- I wasn't really paying that much attention. In fact, I was ignoring her mostly, even was she was asking me questions. I have no idea why, but all the nurses during my hospital stay perpetually asked me the "On the pain scale of 1-10, how is your pain?" I don't see the point of my perceived pain level being articulated when in labor, especially when I know that I was still going uphill in the labor. So I had stopped being friendly around this point to focus on contractions (remember Steve's stirring post about my aggressive tendencies while physically working?).
Going into this, I wanted to not have an epidural if I could manage. So there we were into all the careful breathing techniques to try to get me through. I had thought that breathing would help me relax, which would make the contractions less painful. This was a major misconception. Nothing made the contractions less strong, but breathing was still useful for me. It helped me to communicate to everyone that I was in a contraction and I needed everyone to appear to be with me, not doing something else distracting. I was also hyperventilating and throwing up with the contractions; breathing helped keep that under control a little.
As soon as possible, I got into the jetted tub. It felt lovely, but after an hour or so, I was sort of losing it and having a hard time keeping myself together. So we pow-wowed and I decided it was time for some additional pain management. I got out of the tub and back on the bed to receive some fentanyl (spelling?) via IV. It was supposed to "take the edge off" but I have no idea what that means. The contractions still felt as strong, but I was able relax/rest in between the contractions now. I was checked at this point, found to be at 6 cm and on a roll. The next two hours went by on the bed, the most comfortable position at this point, and around 4pm I was able to start pushing. Which was really hard- but doable-and the encouragement was really really helpful (stuff like "good push!" worked, instead of "push now!!!"). It got crazy at this point, lots of grunting and some screaming and everyone else was excited to meet the baby. Deep down I'm sure I was too but I was predominantly focused on just not being in labor anymore.
The best feeling in the world- such a release of pressure, such a big immediate high- was when Creedence finally came out at 5:07 pm. He was 8lbs 7 oz, and had his arm up across his face. I feel like I'm missing the details from this point on, but I remember seeing Steve cut the cord and the baby being placed on my chest. I remember thinking he looked pretty good, not at all old-man/newborn wrinkly. He fed within the first 15 minutes or so, and has been a great eater ever since.