Monday, October 3, 2011

8.28.11 Owen's Birth Story

Owen's birth story, like most birth stories, starts the day before he was born. It was a wonderful Saturday spent relaxing and hanging out together as a couple. Fall semester started on Monday for Kevin, and the baby was due on Tuesday, so even if the baby came late we knew it was probably our last chance for a long time to have a date with just the two of us. Besides the fact that I was 9 1/2 months pregnant in late August I was feeling pretty well. I had started maternity leave that week so I spent the week sleeping in, washing and folding baby clothes and trying to put pants on without falling over. So Saturday we slept in, went to the duck pond south of campus for some "belly pics" and we laughed at the turtles "giving each other piggy back rides" in the pond.

See pic below of humongous belly. Clearly I was about to explode.

Then we went to the Malt Shoppe (another Provo landmark) for lunch and then went home for a nap. I think I took about a 3 hour nap and Kevin stayed asleep a bit longer. He slept so late that I decided to venture out in my sweatpants to the grocery store for a few items that I needed to make dinner on Sunday. Also I stopped by taco bell on the way home. I enjoyed watching something or other on Netflix while I ate my taco bell and Kevin still slept.

For some reason (probably the 2 liter of Diet Dr Pepper I picked up at the grocery store and drank with my taco bell) I couldn't seem to get to sleep that night. The baby was very active that night, (I should have known something was up, but I didn't), so instead of getting a good night's sleep I set out my outfit for church the next day, dinked around on Facebook, read "What to Expect" for the millionth time and finally fell asleep around 3 a.m.

I woke up at 7 a.m. per my usual ritual of getting up every few hours to empty my bladder and waddle back to bed for some more sleep. Unfortunately when I crawled into bed I had a contraction. I looked at the clock to note the time and then tried to fall back asleep. Another one about 10 minutes later. Shoot. Whether this was false or real labor I knew I wasn't going to fall back asleep. I went in and told Kevin who said "Yay, we're having a baby today". I went and took a shower, ate a granola bar even though I really didn't feel like eating and watched a couple of episodes of 30 Rock while I watched the clock. By about 10 a.m. the contractions were still pretty mild and short but they were coming about every 5 minutes, so we decided to head to the hospital and get checked out.

We got to the hospital around 11 a.m. They checked my progress and I was about 95% effaced and about 1 or 1.5 cm. I guess it wasn't obvious that I was in true labor so they decided to keep me for an hour and check my progress then before deciding whether to admit me for real. After another hour or so, I was checked again, but had only made about a cm of progress so they decided to give me a little more time. We hadn't called our parents yet because we weren't even sure if they were going to keep me or not, but I knew this baby was coming soon. I thought I felt my water break, called the nurse and she didn't think it was my water breaking, but she had finally gotten a hold of my doctor and apparently they decided to admit me and help me have this baby.

Then all hell broke loose! Just kidding. Other than the birth, though, this was the hardest and most exciting part all day (my labor was seriously BOR-ING). I think it was about 2 or 2:30 when my doctor arrived. Apparently he had been out of town all weekend but was on his way home from the airport when the hospital called him. Then came my favorite part: the doctor was doing a quick ultrasound and pressing on belly the nurse was trying to get my IV in (took about 5 attempts) AND I was having a contraction ALL at the same time. Awesome. THEN the doctor was going to break my water. After he poked around in there for a while (now I know how Thanksgiving turkeys feel) he declared that my water must have already broken. (This nurse was really nice and all but I'm so glad I got a new nurse by the time Owen was born)

From about 3 to 4:30 was spent finally telling our parents we were at the hospital, reading Tina Fey's Bossypants again, and oh, throwing up several times, more intense contractions, and realizing it was definitely time for the epidural. By 5 p.m. I had my epidural and finally stopped puking so I was a happy girl. Within minutes my legs were completely numb and the best part was I no longer felt anything during all those cervical exams!

I kind of lost track of time after that, but basically Kevin tried to take a nap on the couch, while I consumed ice chips while watching Billy Madison on the TV and occasionally texting or checking Facebook. I attempted to sleep but every time I got close someone came in to check my progress or flip me over so I was laying on the other side. Hearing the baby's heartbeat was really relaxing actually, and the rate got faster with the epidural and slowed down as it ended. It was the only way I knew I was still having contractions now that I had the epidural.

After the epidural I was progressed to about a 5 but stayed there for about an hour. Not good if the baby was going to be born today so they started me off at the lowest dose of pitocin. Apparently that made my contractions too intense and too close together because the baby's heart rate started to drop but at least I had quickly progressed to a 7. They turned off the pitocin drip and luckily the next time they checked me I had progressed to a 9 on my own. Around 10 p.m. my doctor, Dr. Holmes arrived back at the hospital. I guess the nurses had not called him but he decided to come in and check on me - luckily I had in that short time made it to a 10 and a 2 station (whatever that means) and declared it was time to push.

I would like to point out that Pushing (yes, capital P) was the only thing that I was freaked out about with this whole pregnancy and labor thing. So then I got really nervous, but knew that it was kind of too late at this point to back out... At least the epidural (amazing epidural, that is) started to wear off just enough so that I could feel pressure and (I hoped) enough to push. They had me push for a count of 10 about 3 times during each contraction and on the 4th contraction Dr. Holmes got out the vacuum (Kevin saw it but I didn't) and I heard "baby's out!" and then repeated by a couple of other people in the room.

I thought "Really? I didn't feel anyth---whoa!". Weirder than feeling a baby inside of you kicking and punching is feeling that baby exit your body, even though you had an epidural and are pretty numb. I started to cry and asked if I could see him, so Dr. Holmes held him up. Yep, he looked gross but he was my baby and he made it safe and sound! Owen Alexander Cook was born at 10:55 p.m. on Sunday, August 28, 2011. After that he was cleaned off and checked out while I got stitched up, etc. (I would again like to thank the inventor of the epidural). He weighed 7 lb 3 oz and was 19.5 inches long. Somehow Kevin got to hold Owen first but I did finally get to hold the little guy around 11:30.

What a happy day! Poor Kevin had his first day of school the next day, I think he got home around 2 or 3 a.m. I will breeze over the next couple of days in the hospital - I did not expect the post-delivery to be so hard, but what did I expect with only 3 hours of sleep?? Owen was a healthy little baby and I actually had a fast recovery so we left for home on Tuesday afternoon. Kevin had to go to class right after taking us home but it was nice to finally be home with just our little family. We have been truly blessed with our little Owen and could not be happier!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Owen Alexander Cook

Here are the pictures from Owen's first photo shoot - he was 11 days old.