It’s hard to believe that I wrote my last post over two months ago. It’s hard to remember even what it was like being pregnant. I look at pictures of myself from a month ago and can’t believe how huge I was!!! It’s unbelievable how time flies, and I can’t believe I have a daughter. 🙂
Daisy is now 4 weeks old, and it has been quite a ride! I had written a very detailed version of her birth story that was mainly intended to keep for myself so that I could remember all the details for years to come, and I thought about sharing it with the world, but after some thought, I like the idea of keeping that for myself and giving you all the abbreviated version.
In my last post, I shared that I was going to have a natural birth, and that I felt really confident in myself, my husband, and the Bradley Method, but things didn’t go as I had hoped. I really went into it without any fears, but God had a different plan than I!!
Daisy was due on December 20, and that day came and went. It really is true what they say about the last 3 weeks of pregnancy (weeks 37-40), as soon as you hit that 37th week, which is considered “full term,” those last weeks are a total waiting game. Once that due date rolls around, you’ve already been sitting and twiddling those thumbs for three weeks. I definitely got cranky and uncomfortable, and I tried not to let all the phone calls and texts asking me, “any news yet?” bother me. Even though I would have been overdue, I wanted to have a Christmas baby, but I came to my senses and decided that I wanted to go into labor on Christmas night after all the festivities were over, so I could actually enjoy the holiday with my family.
Still smiling at this stage! I had no idea what was in store.
Our power of intention is pretty amazing, because I went into labor Christmas evening. I started getting contractions around 7-8 pm or so, but I ignored them while my family was still here. It wasn’t until around 10 pm that I was pretty sure the contractions were real and not just false labor. I tried to get some sleep but only ended up taking about an hour and a half nap on the couch where I was awoken by a contraction every 10 minutes. I got up a little after 2 am and tried to get in bed only to realize that I wasn’t able to sleep through the contractions anymore. Tad woke up and started getting things ready, like packing my hospital bag (I’m such a procrastinator) and helping me relax and time my contractions.
Long story short, I labored at home for a long time. Everything was going smoothly, and my contractions were progressing nicely. I wanted to stay at home as long as possible and was hoping to get to the hospital right before I was ready to push. I followed all of the little rules of when you should go to the hospital like 4-1-1 (contractions are 4 minutes apart, lasting at least a minute for at least an hour) and the emotional sign posts that we learned about in our classes (really focused, rituals, loss of modesty, and in my case – self doubt).We arrived at the hospital around 10:30 am after laboring for almost 15 hours, and was certain that the baby was coming soon. After my exam to check dilation, we were told I was only………. wait for it……… 2 cm!!!! I honestly couldn’t believe it and thought that something HAD to be wrong. I had heard the stories of women believing that they were further along coming to find that they were only 3 cm dilated, but 2?! I was angry and confused and really started to doubt that I could handle the pain any longer.
Clearly, I did not care what I looked like going into the hospital…
I labored for another agonizing 8 hours without any medication, but by around 6 pm or so, I couldn’t handle it any longer. I really started to panic through each contraction and truly believed I couldn’t take one more. I begged my husband (after several failed attempts) to get the epidural. I knew in my heart that it was necessary for me to continue, and after Tad spoke to my doctor (who specializes in unmedicated and natural births, we all thought it was the best decision. Dr. Cap was concerned that because I had been laboring for so long, I might not have the strength to push the baby out, which would introduce a whole new set of problems.
It’s worth mentioning that the hospital was EXTREMELY busy that day. Each request or call for a nurse seemed to take an eternity, and every nurse that came into the room kept saying how busy they were. When I begged Tad to have the epidural, he really wanted me to have an exam to see how far along I was before we went through with it. I refused, because I knew how long it would take to have the nurse come in, and I didn’t want to have to wait only to find out that I was only 5 cm and then wait again for the anesthesiologist. When we did request the epi, it took about 45 minutes to an hour to finally get it.After the epidural (which really did not provide me with much relief), I was pushing within 15 minutes, and Daisy was born about 45 minutes later at 8:17 pm on December 26, weighing in at 8 lb 1 oz!
Looking back on it now, I was probably in transition (the hardest stage of labor) when I asked for the epidural, and if I’d only waited another hour, I would have had a natural childbirth. OR, I can believe that the epidural is exactly what I needed in order to let my body relax and give me that last push to open up. I was in labor for 24 hours and 23 of those hours were unmedicated, and for that I am proud. But the most important thing is that I have the most beautiful healthy baby girl, who I am madly in love with.
I had to stay in the hospital for 2 nights because I had some major swelling. During those 2 nights, Daisy lost 13 oz, which was much more than the 5-6% drop that’s normally seen in babies, and continued to lose even more weight over the next couple of days. Her lowest weight was 7 lb 1 oz, and the doctors really had me concerned, and I felt so sad and depressed that I was slowly starving and killing my baby by trying to breastfeed. The last few weeks have been extremely stressful and emotional for me with lots of visits to the doctor and several meetings with lactation consultants. Since day one, I’ve had to pump and supplement for every feeding (every 2 hours), which has been beyond exhausting. I never understood why women always talked about how exhausting breastfeeding was. I seriously thought that you just fed a baby breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and that the sleepless nights were just mom and dad trying to calm a crying baby and change some diapers. Little did I know…
I am happy to say that little Daisy is now a whopping 8 lb!! She is a perfectly healthy little babe! Things are still a little rough. I’m still supplementing and pumping, which takes so much time and hasn’t really allowed me to get out much. I am absolutely dying to run again. We’ve gotten out for a couple walks here and there, but unfortunately I still have pretty bad pelvic pain. It’s gone away for the most part, meaning I no longer have to waddle from point A to point B, but anything longer than a trip to the fridge at a “brisk” walking pace, causes my pubic bone to once again scream in agony. I actually tried running the other day (at 3 weeks postpartum), and it was so painful! I ran through it for about 3/4 of a mile, because it felt so good to be “running” again.
Apparently, 6 weeks is the norm to take off after having a baby, but for some reason, I was under the impression that my pelvic pain would magically disappear after childbirth, that I’d be running after 2 weeks, and back to full speed at 6 weeks. I guess I just have to be patient. Honestly, sometimes I wonder if I will ever be able to run again. Whenever I voice that to my husband or to a family member or friend, they just respond with a “just give it time,” or “you’ll be fine,” but what do they really know? I was in pain for so long, and it was so severe, it’s hard to imagine life without it. I’ve tried to prepare myself with the thought that I may never be able to compete the way I once did or the way I know I could, ever again. It sounds dramatic, but it could be a reality. I pray that I am just being dramatic.
I don’t ever want it to seem like I am ungrateful for the incredible blessings in my life such as my new little family, but running is extremely important in my life, and I’m going to continue to do everything I can to get to the level that I know I am capable of. For now, I’m going to embrace my new role as a mother and try to be patient with this healing process. I can’t wait for the day when I’m able to run pain-free and push my body to its limit. I’ll keep you posted on my recovery and my progress. Until then, I’ll be following the track world and dreaming of my first race back. I’ll leave you with a few of my favorites…