39 weeks and 1 day:
Connor Winton Smith was born at 6:44am on Tuesday, October 23rd. He weighed 7 pounds 6 oz and was 20 inches long. We are more than a little bit in love with this little guy. :)
proud papa after delivery
resting up in our postpartum room
For those of you who love birth stories ... here is mine. :) I woke up on Monday morning with a weird feeling that I thought must be contractions. I had made it through my entire pregnancy without ever having a contraction (Braxton-Hicks or otherwise) so it took me a little while to figure out what I was feeling. I got out of bed at around 9am on Monday the 22nd and started timing them. I timed the contractions for a few hours and realized that they were consistently 40 seconds-1 minute long, 4-5 minutes apart. I figured it *had* to be a good sign, especially since I was heading to my midwife appointment that afternoon at 3:30 for a membrane sweep.
At my appointment the previous Thursday (the 18th), I had been dilated to 2cm and around 80% effaced. I was really hoping for some progress when I went in to my appointment on Monday - especially after the contractions started. They built and built all day and by the time we got to the office, I was definitely in quite a bit of discomfort. I told Matt that if I hadn't made any progress, and if these weren't really "for real" contractions, I was going to be pretty discouraged.
I had a non stress test (I've been having one every Monday since I went on bed rest) and the baby looked great. When Liz (my midwife) came in to check me, I told her I was having regular contractions. Lo and behold, I was at 4cm and 90% and she went ahead and did the membrane sweep. Not fun, but it really didn't bother me much at that point.
Liz said that she thought I was definitely in active labor, and said if I wanted I could head straight to the hospital and she would come over and break my water. Matt and I had been hopeful that this was the real deal, and had packed our hospital bags in the car ahead of time so we decided to go for it and have this baby!
We got to L&D (after a quick trip through the Wendy's drive-thru so I could grab a chicken sandwich for labor fuel), got settled in our room, and Liz arrived about an hour later. After another check, I had already progressed to 5cm and I was feeling really great. I had done the Hypnobabies home study course and had planned to try to deliver without any pain meds, and at that point I felt really in control of the contractions. Liz broke my water (weird!) and I labored for awhile. I remember telling Matt that if the contractions stayed at that level, I could totally do this. Aaaand that's when things started to kick up a notch.
All of a sudden, they started coming fast and furious and it was really, really tough for me. I got in the tub and turned on the jets and just enjoyed soaking for awhile. Matt was world's best labor coach and did a great job coaching me through every contraction, but I was quickly starting to lose my focus. I learned quickly that each contraction was a huge mind fuck (pardon my french) ... a big one would hit and I would think I CAN'T DO THIS I CAN'T DO THIS I CAN'T DO THIS and then it would be over, and the relief felt so good that I would think ... well, let's just try one more. Repeat times a million.
At around 9:30pm the contractions were so incredibly powerful, painful and furious that I started feeling very fearful and teary with each one. Liz checked me and I was at 7cm. At that point, I made it through a few more contractions but decided at 10pm that I wanted an epidural. I was having extremely painful back labor and I absolutely could not relax my body during a contraction. I felt like there was no end in sight and I didn't know how I would make it through one more hour, let alone the possibility of several more hours. I remember thinking I was quite possibly going to die. :) Nothing overdramatic or anything like that, of course.
By 10:30 I had my epidural - something I was absolutely petrified of ahead of time. I wanted nothing to do with it. But at that point, I absolutely did not care what it was or what it looked like (I knew better than to look at the anesthesiologist preparing the massive needle anyway). I just needed the pain relief, and I needed it badly. Within minutes, the pain relief started and it was like night and day. I relaxed, smiled, and chit chatted with my midwife for about an hour while Matt went out to the waiting room to fill his family in on what was going on. His mom and his sister camped out in the waiting room all night, and my parents arrived at around 3am, so we had a small cheering section out there.
I also remember texting several friends and writing several facebook messages. I was clearly drugged up. Ha.
At around 2:30am, Liz checked me again and said I was at about 9.75 cm with just the tiniest lip of my cervix in the way, so she told me to nap for about another hour and then we'd see how I was doing. FYI - we never napped, and that was a HUGE MISTAKE. Oh well. At 4am on the 23rd, it was time to start pushing. I really didn't want to push for 2 hours and decided I would push this little guy out in 20 minutes. Cue hilarious laughter.
Let me just say ... pushing is hard freaking work. I thought my head was going to explode. I will spare many of the gory details, but let's just say that Connor got stuck for kind of a long time and instead of pushing for 2 hours, I pushed for 2 hours and 44 minutes. And ended up with an episiotomy because I think if he had his way, he would have stayed stuck for forever. After the episiotomy, he basically flew out (thank goodness) and then he was here!
My recovery has been pretty good ... pushing for that long does not so great things to your lady bits, but I am thankful to have no tearing (and only stitches from the episiotomy). I am still moving pretty slowly, but managed to stick Connor in the Baby K'tan and take a family walk with Matt and Oscar yesterday. And by "walk" I mean "slowest stroll ever." My midwife told me that if I feel like all of my parts are "falling out," then I'm overdoing it, and since that is not a feeling I want to have, I'm trying to take it easy.
Breastfeeding is going great so far - but I think that will be another post because this one is already far too long. :) So let's get to the good stuff ... photos of baby Connor!
he hated his first bath, but loved having his hair washed!
he's too small to fit into his Michigan gear yet, but we brought this IU onesie to wear at the hospital since he was born at IU Hospital
this kid has reeeeeally long fingers!
and reeeeeally big feet! look at them!
he is a great baby and mostly does a lot of sleeping and eating. he only cries during diaper changes and naked time.
oh, and he didn't like our football photo shoot much, either. but how cute is that?!
he is already changing and growing so much - his cone head is gone and i just love watching him sleep like this. he is such a snuggler - Matt and i have been snuggling him nonstop since he was born!
another adorable sleepy face
So! That's what's been going on around here. We feel so thrilled and happy and blessed and every word you can think of that Connor is here and in our lives. We love him so much it's unbelievable!