CaseyLand: Nathan Casey: A Birth Story

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Nathan Casey: A Birth Story

I debated whether or not I even wanted to write down Nathan's "birth story" on the blog, but when I came to grips with reality I realized that if I don't write it down here, I probably won't write it anywhere else. So, for posterity and for myself, here is the birth story!

Nathan was due on September 11. I had spent most of my pregnancy telling myself he would be late, because most first babies are late, and because I didn't want to get my hopes up for the due date and then be super depressed when it didn't happen. Well, September 11 came and went. I was disappointed, but I reminded myself that he had to come out some time! It's not like babies can just stay in there. So I forced myself to be patient and keep the house clean.

On September 12, at around 3:30 p.m. I was doing laundry when I felt the first contraction. It wasn't horrible, just a cramping feeling, so I wasn't sure if it was even the real deal. Alex was sleeping, so I just went about my day. I decided to paint my nails, because if people were getting close up pictures of me holding the baby my nails should look good, right? The contractions kept happening about 10 minutes apart and still not too painful. More just uncomfortable. When Alex woke up, I told him what was happening and he didn't want to believe me! He also didn't want to get his hopes up, especially since we knew early labor could start and then stop suddenly, or continue for days on end.

The contractions were getting more frequent so we started timing them. They were about 7 or 8 minutes apart and getting more painful each time. We decided to get Chinese for dinner. There's this Chinese restaurant right around the corner from our house, and it looks super sketchy from the outside, but the reviews online were really good, so we decided to test it out. It was pretty good! During dinner the contractions kept coming. I decided to watch some Gilmore Girls and rest while Alex worked on homework. I kept timing the contractions and they got more and more painful and closer and closer to 5 minutes apart! I wasn't having much fun at this point. It was getting later and later and I was getting pretty tired. Alex and I usually go to bed at the early hour of like 9:30 p.m. so I was ready to sleep. The problem was, I wouldn't be able to sleep because every five minutes I would wake up from a contraction!

Throughout my pregnancy I had the idea that going natural would be a good idea. I know the recovery time is supposedly shorter, and you're able to really feel your body working, and all that. I was interested in hypnobirthing, so I read a book about it and then... I just got busy. I mean, you guys know what my summer was like! How were Alex and I supposed to have time to practice hypnobirthing?! (Or hippo birthing, as Alex likes to call it.) I'm no dummy, so I knew that if I wasn't totally prepared and committed, the likelihood of a natural birth actually happening for me was very slim. So I just decided to relax about it and see what happened!

At around midnight I told Alex that I wanted to call the hospital. The contractions were very painful, and I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep at home at all, and I didn't want to lay around here being miserable. I also didn't want to be the girl who cried wolf and get sent home from the hospital, and neither did Alex, so he was hesitant about calling them. However, my contractions were about 5 minutes apart and had been for an hour or even longer, so I talked him into it! They told us to come right down!

I was flat out miserable at this point. In between contractions, going natural still seemed doable, but during the contraction I would lose all hope. Ha ha, it was a little too intense for me! We grabbed all the stuff we needed to take to the hospital, and jumped in the car. The ride there wasn't too bad. Granted, during the contractions I felt like dying, but we hit only green lights! So it was awesome. And then we pulled into the hospital parking lot which is where I realized that I had left my toiletry bag at home. So we turned around and headed back. That ride was not quite as great, and the way back to the hospital from home was pretty unbearable.

So, at this point it was like 1:30 in the morning. We got checked in and walked up to the delivery room. This hospital is SO nice, and the delivery rooms are huge, so you can have plenty of people in there with you. It was kind of funny just me and Alex. We definitely did not fill up the room! I changed into the hospital gown, and laid down on the bed. Again, in between contractions I felt like I could probably do anything I put my mind to, but during contractions my mind decided it didn't want to do much of anything. I was exhausted. I actually did fall asleep in between some really big contractions! It was a rude awakening for sure. When they checked me, I was dilated to a four. This was good news for me in some ways, but I knew that the rest of labor could last for a really really long time. There was no way to tell! I was so tired, and I couldn't imagine being able to actually push a baby out if I kept on enduring through the pain, so I asked for an epidural.

Sing choirs of angels!! Getting the epidural was a breeze! The hardest part was that my body was shaking non-stop, so the nurses and Alex had to hold me still the best they could. (I didn't stop shaking until after the baby was born, and even then I still got the shakes randomly. It was weird.) At first only the right side of my body went numb and I got really nervous, so I told the anesthesiologist and he fixed it right away! No issues whatsoever.

And then I fell asleep.

I slept and slept and slept.

I woke only for them to roll me to the other side. Or sometimes when the blood pressure monitor would squeeze my arm too hard.

I kept sleeping.

At around 6 in the morning they woke me up to check me and I was at a 9! I was thrilled, and also tired. My doctor broke my water at this point, and they found some traces of meconium, which meant that they needed to bring the NICU team in when I delivered just in case. They told me they would come back in an hour or so to check if I was ready to push and that we were going to try to "labor down" which is where we just let my body do the work for most of the time. I was fine with that.

So I went back to sleep.

I woke up an hour or so later. Alex was awake, because he had hardly got any sleep at all, and I suggested we put on HGTV. I love HGTV! House Hunters was on. A nurse named Katie came in and decided we should start moving things along. My epidural was great because I couldn't feel any pain, but I could definitely feel pressure and knew exactly when I should be pushing! We got things moving right along, and eventually they called in the doctor and the NICU team.

About an hour later, at 9:17 a.m. on September 13, 2015, my little baby Nathan made his appearance! It was the craziest out of body experience. I just burst into tears! I couldn't believe he was real and he was mine. They whisked him away to check out his little lungs with the NICU team, and Alex followed. The doctor finished cleaning me up and I just stared around the room in shock, basically.

 Once Nathan was decided all clear, they brought him back to me and laid him on my chest for skin to skin time. It was amazing. As soon as he was with me, he was so quiet! He just stared at me. He knew me. It was such a cool beautiful experience. After those long nine months, we were together, and we knew each other. He is perfect!
The huge delivery room, and me, smiling between contractions.

First family photo! Looking fabulous after giving birth... nbd.
Little burrito baby.
My mom showed up the next day, and it was perfect timing!
The daddy/son thing is so so so awesome.

 Oh my goodness. Look at that little face! Obsessed.
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  1. I'm tearing up in a classroom! Ah I'm so happy for you and your family. Also, that delivery room is way nice.

  2. I'm tearing up in a classroom! Ah I'm so happy for you and your family. Also, that delivery room is way nice.