Monday, September 8, 2008

I'm Baaaa-ack!

May it be known that Kaley is officially returning to the land of the living. She may doze off occasionally, but she is alive and well.

I thought I would mark this occasion with the post you have all been waiting for--the birth story! Let's just get one thing straight before I start. If there is one thing that every woman who has ever endured labor has earned, it is the right to share every single nitty gritty detail of the birth story with anyone who is within ear shot--as many times as she would like.

Fortunately for you, you are reading this post, so you may opt out of enduring every little detail. Humor me, though, and post a comment whether you read it all or not. All you really have to say is something to the tune of, "Wow, Kaley, you are the woman!" and I will assume that you did indeed read the whole thing.

Now, where shall we begin? Oh yes--5:30 am on Thursday, August 28:

5:30 am: wake up early with typical pregnancy discomfort. Decide to get up and enjoy one of my final quiet mornings on the porch. Write this in my prayer journal: Dr's appointment today. I've found myself really wishing I would go into labor this weekend. If I don't, I will probably be induced next week. You know my heart's desires, Lord Jesus, and I know You delight in giving them to me. I trust Your good hand!

10 am: drop Griffin off at his cousin's house while I head to my dr's appointment a couple blocks away.

10:15 am: dr's appointment. I am still 2 cm dilated (have been all week) and about 50% effaced. Doctor Miller says she does not think I will go in the next couple days. Oh and she will be out of town this weekend. Leave feeling pretty discouraged.

11 am: stop at farmer's market up the street. Buy ripe cantaloupe. Bad idea.

11:15 am: return to my sister's house to hang out with Griff and kids while I wait to go to my non-stress test at 1:30. Let Wes and my sister and brother in law know that I will probably not be going into labor anytime soon. Fight back tears.

noon: Griffin announces to his cousins that he wants 'Baby Bob' (his nickname) to come out right now! Me too, Griffin. Me too.

1 pm: discover a parking ticket on my car. Bummer of a day.

1:10 pm: stop at Dunkin Donuts for a donut and coffee. (Dr's orders--gotta eat something sweet so the baby will move during the non stress test!)

1:30 pm: pull into parking lot for appointment and feel a very strong braxton-hicks contraction. Hmmm? But no, it couldn't be.

1:45 pm: nurse points out two contractions during my non stress test. They are about 10 minutes apart.

2:15 pm: make a run to Walgreen's (free stuff!), Toys R Us, and Price Chopper. Oh--and to pay off my parking ticket. (The fee goes up $5 every week--and we might be a little distracted this week!) Start timing contractions. Still about 10 minutes apart.

3 pm: return to my sister's house. Call Wes and my mom to let them know that I think I may be having contractions, but they are really not strong. What does that mean?

3:15 pm: decide to go for a walk since Griffin is napping and I want to try to keep the contractions coming. Find myself walking on Lincoln Avenue. Is this a sign??! Contractions seem to increase, but still are not very strong.

4 pm: decide I should head home since my bags are there. Keep timing while I drive home. Still about 10 minutes apart.

6 pm: Wes gets home and I am feeling discouraged. Contractions are very sporadic and still not intense. Starting to think this is false labor. Google 'false labor'.

6:30 pm: decide to make dinner--spinach calzones from my friend Anca (yummy!) and corn from the farmer's market. Contractions are now coming more regularly and about 6 minutes apart. According to google, this is a good sign. Still not intense.

7 pm: our landlords pull into the driveway after being gone for a week. Didn't know they were coming home! Finish dinner and send Griffin over to hang out with Grandma Mar and Papa Nick. Fill them in on the situation and ask if Griffin could stay over night if need be.

8 pm: contractions still not intense, but are about 4 minutes apart. Wes decides to pack the car, calling upstairs to check up on me quite frequently.

9 pm: head next door to talk with our landlord, who is a nurse. Let her know that contractions are about 3 minutes apart, but are not intense and ask what we should do? We finally decide to just take the plunge and head to the hospital. We leave a tearful Griffin behind, but know he is in good hands.

9:30 pm: head to the hospital, meanwhile calling both of our parents and letting them know. Tell them we will call if things progress. Contractions seem to slow down, but get more intense. Why can't they just follow the rules??!

10 pm: arrive at emergency room, feeling all eyes on the pregnant lady as I walk into the room. I know what they are thinking--why is she so calm? Indeed, my contractions come even more slowly now.
still smiling

10:30 pm: nurse gives me a knowing glance when she sees that I am far too calm to be in actual labor. Is this your first baby? she asks, quite smugly. I am ready to turn around and head home. I am now only 3 cm dilated and 70% effaced. We call the family and tell them to stay home. Looks like it's going to be a long night. Try to watch news coverage of Barack Obama's speech.

11:30 pm: shift change. New nurse is someone we know from church. Contractions are becoming stronger and I ask Wes to rub my back and breathe with me. Maybe this is the real thing? Take a walk to go look at the babies in the nursery. Have to stop multiple times to breathe and begin to feel nauseous. Oh yeah--this is what real contractions feel like. Darn.

12 am: ask Wes to go get the nurse to come check me. Feel a little silly, but I do not want to miss my window for an epidural. Nurse announces with a great deal of surprise that I am 8 cm dilated. Does that mean I won't get an epidural? I ask with dismay. We'll see what we can do, says the nurse. That is code for Not a chance, honey. (Especially since I have not gotten lab tests done, do not have an IV, have not been taken to the birthing room, and the call still has to been made to the anesthesiologist. I'm no dummy.) Wes asks if we should call family. YES is the quick response.

12:10 am: nurses swarm into the room to get me moved into the birthing room and ready to deliver. This is really happening. No turning back now.

12:20 am: someone in green enters the room and approaches my bed. Well, I am surprised to see you here! says Dr. Miller. I feel a rush of relief, knowing that she has not left town yet. I am so glad to see you, Dr. Miller! I whisper gratefully.

12:30 am: Dr. Miller announces that I am fully dilated and this baby is about to be born. Is she just saying that to make me feel better? I wonder. Dr. Miller, Julie (our nurse), and Wes begin to praise and encourage me to fight through the pain. It doesn't take long before Dr. Miller tells Wes to take a look at his son's head. Seriously? I think. It can't be.

12:51 am: LINCOLN PARKER EHRET ENTERS OUR WORLD. He is more beautiful than I could have imagined with his newborn cry and head of brown hair. Exhilaration. Euphoria. Awe. No word even touches the emotion and gratitude of that moment.

(unfortunately, our camera died shortly after this and I haven't gotten any of the pictures my family took yet...)

1:15 am: Both of our parents and my sister and brother join us to meet our son and hear his name spoken out loud for the first time. His name is Lincoln Parker Ehret, we say with pride. Wes's mom cries as she finds out that her maiden name is her grandson's middle name. We spend the next hour and half taking pictures, passing Lincoln around the room, and trying to determine who he looks like.

3:30 am: the room clears out and Wes and I are left alone with our boy. Exhaustion sets in.
Give me this kind of exhaustion any day.

This boy is worth it.


Jeremy said...

Great story. I enjoyed every minute of it.

Susan said...

You rock Kaley!

Hillari said...

I read it all! :-) Way to go, Kaley! And Lincoln is absolutely adorable!! Can't wait to see his cuteness in person!

Partyhouse 4 God said...

I thought you were going to get more details in there- a scream here, a scream there. =) First I have to say, I love the story and I hope that the labor is in the family genes to go that smoothly this year, secondly your hair looks GREAT!! and thirdly, you have a beautiful baby boy and I knew you could do it without drugs (I've done it 3 times and have one more to go- pain tollerance is in the family genes too cousin.) Thanks so much for sharing and keep the pictures rolling. LOVE YA

KochisCorner said...

Kaley, you write beautifully. I laughed and cried and truly enjoyed every line of your story...totally AWESOME.
There's a rumor going around in church that you were as beautiful after giving birth as when you started labor. I am not sure who started it (lol), but you really looked great.
I am so proud of you, drug free labor and delivery super woman Kaley!!!

Macia said...

Kaley you are awesome!! If you could go through all of that, then surely we could all read it all the way through. Your whole family is simply adorable

livingpalm said...

my favorite part of the story is that you googled FALSE LABOR!! love it.
my only regret is that I believed the report that "it's going to be a long night; don't hurry in"

Braden/Cayman said...

Even though the process did not go quite as you expected or planned... you now have an amazing and heroic tale to share with everyone! You are truly AMAZING!!!

tonya said...

ewww you get up at 5:30?

just kidding.. good story, and congrats, you did it! you're a fabulous mommy. we love you guys.

Briggs said...

You are the woman! I can't believe you did it without the drugs! If you add to this story you might want to add a little more about the pain you endured!
Lincoln is adorable and we're so glad he's here.

Serena said...

Hey! I gave birth 24 hours and 22 minutes after you! I didn't think I was in labor until the last 45 minutes--I was going to be induced in the morning--and we barely made it to the hospital. This is a great birth story! I love reading birth stories!