|First picture of me holding her :) She's checking me out!|
|First camera-captured smile!|
|First Sunday at church :)|
|Hanging out with me for a day :)|
Woke up at about 1:30 in the morning Sunday, February 5th, feeling a strange cramping. At first I just thought, 'I have a stomach ache' and quickly fell back asleep. Woke up again about 1:45 with the same pain and it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn't felt cramping in awhile...9 months obviously. Oh crap! I thought. I ran to the bathroom to find one of the first signs of labor staring back at me. I won't name it cuz I don't want to make the guys that read this gag lol. I stayed in there a minute...now shaking because this is that moment that I had been terrified of. The moment that you, as a pregnant girl, know that there is definitely no turning back now. You are about to endure some pain. It's inevitable. Kill me now. I had a couple more contractions while sitting there googling 'what do contractions feel like' on my phone lol. Answer: Mild to severe cramping. Oooooh man! I go back to our bedroom. Tell Joe that what had happened and I'm extremely nervous. He tells me to calm down cuz my water hasn't broke yet and Dr. Citty told me to endure as much as possible. They get about five minutes apart and I call the hospital and they tell me to come in so they can check me. We get to the hospital about six in the morning and they start monitoring me, but I'm not dilated at all. The contractions continuously become faster and faster and they won't give me any pain meds because they don't want to slow down labor while I'm there. They checked me three times while I was there which hurts REALLY bad people. REALLY BAD. And for some reason apparently I am hard to check. From what I hear my cervix is high...meaning it felt like they trying to go elbow deep in me to find out how much I was dilated. Too much information you say? Well guess what! It's not as painful to hear about it as it was to endure it! So back off! Lol. The nurse asked me to walk around the hospital for an hour and to come back and see if I had progressed any. To show you how much I didn't want to get checked again...I walked around for 2 1/2 hours lol. When I went back, I was only to a 1. Not good enough. I started crying with that last check, and then the nurse told me she was going to send me home. My crying got a little more intense. At this point my contractions were about a minute apart and mind you no pain medicine at this point and they were gonna send me home?? I said, amidst crying, 'How will I know when to come back??'
Response: 'Oh honey...they will get worse. You will know.'
How could I 'know'? To me, it was already bad. I started crying more. I start getting ready to leave. Joe had to put my shoes on because I literally couldn't bend over during contractions. I'm sure Joe at this point probably thought I was being pretty pathetic, but nonetheless.
We go home, I literally overdosed for the next twelve hours on tylenol. It slowed down to every ten or fifteen minutes. They were more intense, but there was enough time in between that I could recuperate if you will lol. By that night...the Tylenol quit working. I literally took six baths from the time I got home to when I left to go back. It was the only thing that helped with the intensity. About midnite, I had decided I thought I just might meet Jesus that night. Everytime I had one, I would literally start walking around the bed with my hands on the bed and screaming crying. No joke. It was terrible. My mom was timing them and they were so sporadic. It was crazy. Probably because of all my Tylenol lol. I couldn't believe the amount of pain I was in. I was just in so much shock of how terrible it was. I finally decided it couldn't get worse and we headed to the hospital. I had become a cussing machine. MA.CHINE. I had to have sounded like an addict. On the way there, this was me...
'I don't give a $&@? what they $&@):$; do! I need drugs! I'm gonna die! I need drugs! If they don't give me some $)&@ drugs, I'm gonna $&@);$& flip out! I'm gonna flip out!'
Add a few more expletives and you'll get pretty close to my demeanor that night lol.
When I got there, they start asking me the same questions as 24 hours earlier. I literally couldn't talk thru contractions. I couldn't do anything but scream and cry. It was awful. BUT finally, I was dilated to a 3-4 and 90% effaced. Which was a lot if progress considering! So I get admitted to a room and they tell me they have to check me again because i have to be a five before they can call the anesthesiologist for the epidural. I started crying again (I was already crying because of contractions lol). 'I can't right now, I can't!! I need a minute! I need a minute!' The nurse said 'Ok, but I can't call until I can check you'...she leaves the room.
At this point, my husband decides to say the wrong thing..it went a little something like this..
Joe: You're gonna have to chill out Erica
Me: SHUT THE $&@? UP!
You can guess the expletive I used. It is by far, the best expletive for pregnancy. I don't care what anyone says lol. God has already forgiven me for my expletive usage so do not judge me! :)
So I toughen up and let her check me and in that fifteen minutes I had already gotten to a five and 100%. Enough to get an epidural. Praise the Lord. I'd always heard about how still you have to be while getting and epidural and that they hurt, but at that point, you could care less. Let me just say. I COULD CARE LESS WHAT THEY STUCK IN ME! A 5" diameter needle would have been acceptable. I literally kept thinking, I'm going to meet Jesus. Tonight. Definitely tonight. Me and Him are gonna walk the golden streets TONIGHT. I must say the anesthesiologist came very quickly, with that said, he was not Mr. Personality. I mean I know it was 4:30 in the morning, but it's ok to smile. You're already up anyways. Might as well make the best of it. Not that I was at my best, personality wise. I kept trying to tell the nurses that I was normally really nice lol.
For the epidural, they made everyone leave the room except for the needle man and one nurse. I was bent over a pillow on the side of the bed and the nurse was holding my hands...
Me: Do people ever talk to Jesus out loud in here..
Nurse: Yeah..sometimes lol
Me: I'm bout to
Nurse: Well do whatever you need to do lol
But in that moment, he started shooting stuff in me and I'm telling you, in about 45 seconds, God had answered my prayers. It was like magic! My legs felt like big old heavy logs and it was amazing lol. I told the needle man that he was my new favorite person. And his response was the wave of a hand and a very monotone 'Have a good day'...I'm not sure who peed in his cheerios, but I don't care what time of the day/night it is, I enjoy when someone tells me I'm their favorite and it usually makes me crack a smile. Just saying....
I felt completely normal and fantastic except tired (I hadn't slept in about 24 hours at this point and had endured A LOT of pain) so this is where my normal joking self kicked my in...
Then I got my first catheter ever, because I was now hooked up to this IV and epidural. There was no getting up at this point...I informed the nurse that I was sorry. I had not been able to see down there for about a month...lol She started laughing and told me not to worry becuz most women hadn't seen theirs for more extended periods than that and I was doing good for only a month! BAHAHA! I thought that was funny lol
They let everyone back in and as Joe describes it, 'I came back in the room to Erica' Lol. I had literally turned into a different person before the epidural. One time I went to this conference and the preacher said, 'When life squeezes you, what do you ooze?'...let's just say, I was not oozing Jesus before that epidural lmbo!
Joe was watching the contraction monitor and he asked if I could feel it when the numbers were rising and I said NOPE!! :D 'You can't feel it at all?' NOPE AND IT'S AWWWEEEESSOOOMMMEEE!!!! lol
So from there is was smooth sailing. Even pushing didn't 'hurt', just felt a lot of pressure. Dr. Citty came in at the last minute. I might have pushed five more times when he got there and Ali had arrived.
Then the stitches. Which I didn't have to have that many, but my epidural was wearing off and it wasn't hurting, but I could definitely tell what he was doing and it was uncomfortable and this is when they first gave me Ali. I felt so funny because I couldn't 'take her in' because I was so focused on him stitching lol. I was trying to look at her, but I just kept watching him pull back this long, thick string and he worked on me. I couldn't process her. They took her and cleaned her up a bit more and brought her back. By that point, he had finished stitching and everyone was gone (nurse and doctor wise).
At that point, I got a good minute to cry a little bit. I was trying not to do the ugly cry so my eyes just watered A LOT. My mom said, "Erica, she's so pretty. She's not ugly at all" lol which yes, I was worried about her being pretty. But all I could say was "She's ok". I was so happy that she was ok. Nothing was wrong. She had ten toes and ten fingers. My whole pregnancy I was consumed with her 'being ok'. I already face days with a disabled child, so I think I was more consumed with this thought than most pregnant mom. I was more worried about her being healthy than anything and she was. A happy, healthy 7.6 lbs and 21 1/2 inches long. My long, skinny baby lol.
So that night and the next day, we just stared at Ali. I left the hospital believing that everyone thought I had the most beautiful baby in the whole world. Sound familiar moms? I doubt I'm the only one hahahaha.
We got home and Joe said 'Well, you don't have to just call yourself a bonus mom now. You're a momma'
Yeeaaahhhh and I have to say that it feels pretty good. Ya know a lot of times stepmoms get the shaft. They are mom when the kids are at their house, regardless of what people think. We walk around behind them picking up stuff, cooking three times a day, loving, hugging, trying to make scratches feel better and all the junk, but we aren't 'mom' and not only the kids, but others are also good at reminding us of that. But now I am 'mom'. And when my kid cries for someone, it will probably be me. Even if it sounds selfish or maybe a little vain, I don't care. Because since I've never felt that, it's a little more special to me :D
So I say my worst/best experience because the first half was horrendous, but the latter was AWWWEEESSSOOOMMMMEEEE :D