I figure I'll need to get this all down before I forget (newborn sleep deprivation is real, folks).
Honestly, I was kind of thrown for a loop when little man came just past his due date. The week leading up to his birth I had no signs of going into labor. Honestly, I was getting a little discouraged and even starting wondering if we'd have to induce at some point. Lo and behold though, Sunday evening into Monday morning (my due date) I started having contractions. From about 11pm to 6am I started having a cramping sensation that was uncomfortable enough that I couldn't sleep through them, but weren't getting stronger and were sporadic. When they all but stopped that morning I was sure it was false labor, but Nathan and I stayed home just to be sure. That day I ate spicy food for lunch, got acupuncture done at my chiropractor (for the 3rd time that week), took a nap, and went on a walk. I basically tried all the "natural" techniques that say they can induce labor.
While I'm still not sure that any of these really worked, around 6pm that night when we were going for a walk my contractions picked up again. Nate started timing them, and we noticed they were more regular. When we got home we finished packing our hospital bag (even though I wasn't convinced it was the real thing yet) and even made a trip to the grocery store for some stamps and Target for some dog food and snacks.
When we got home from running errands, the contractions were consistent but I still didn't think they were strong enough to warrant going to the hospital. I have had enough friends that were first time moms who got sent home because they weren't far enough along, and I was set that if we were going, I wanted to make sure we wouldn't have to come back home. Eventually when Nathan realized my contractions were getting stronger, he won out and got me to go. We showed up to the hospital just after midnight on Tuesday. Once we were all set up in the room the nurse came in to check me mid-contraction (definitely not the most pleasant experience) and said I was a good 5cm dialated. I was so relieved that we were staying and so in shock that this was actually happening!
Once we knew we weren't going back home, I called my parents and had my mom come to the hospital. By that time the contractions were getting stronger and were so close together I was having a hard time coping, but my mom being a nurse I wanted her there in case I wanted an epidural. She showed up around 1am, and by 2:30am the anesthesiologist had administered the epidural. I kept telling Nate and my mom that I was so nervous about it, but I honestly didn't feel much and the relief was amazing. I kept saying that it was made out of angels tears (definitely an odd comparison but hey, it sounded right at the time). By that point I was 7cm and the nurse was thinking by 7am we'd have a baby.
My mom left for Nathan and I to get some rest, knowing it was going to be a big day for us. From 2:30-6:30am my progress slowed and I only dialated another cm, so they put me on pitocin to get things to pick back up. From 6:30-10:30am we waited it out as I made it the last 2cm, and then around 10:45am I started pushing. Since they had weaned me off the epidural by that time, I could feel pressure as he made his way down, but no pain. He was almost out by 11:30am, but his head was stuck so the doctor had to make a cut (again I was nervous about this, but it didn't hurt). With the next couple of pushes I felt a lot of pressure and then cries as Owen was placed on my chest. Nathan and I were stunned and I kept looking at him and Nate saying "he's here!" All three of us were crying so hard, and it was one of the most surreal, and beautiful moments of our lives.
Now that he's here we can't imagine ever being without him. I also feel fortunate that he's such a good baby, and that my recovery was really quick. My body handled delivery like a champ, and I can feel my body bouncing back slowly but surely. Breastfeeding was challenging at first, but after meeting with some lactation consultants we're doing a lot better.
Your dad and I love you with all our hearts, Owen. We can't wait to see you grow (just don't do it too fast, okay?).