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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My birth story.

So, around 4:15 a.m. I was in dream world. What's funny is I was actually dreaming about my very closest friends. As I recall, I was dreaming that they hosted a GTG and didn't invite me b/c I was pregnant. It was this little secret GTG that they all planned. I remember feeling hurt about it and then, WHAM, major cramp and a release of...something. I thought, "What the feck, was that my water?!" I jumped out of bed and shouted, "Joe, I think my water just broke!" I had to say it twice b/c the mofo sleeps more soundly than anyone I've ever known. He immediately jumps up and says, "What are you serious?!" I figured the leaking water from in between my legs was proof enough that I was 100% serious. I soaked through two towels just in a few minutes, so there was really no mistaking it. Let's just say that I'm SO glad I wasn't at work as I'd have to quit my job and hide away forever from the embarrassment!







So, in true Joe/Natalie form, we're scrambling around the house. My bags were not packed. I have NO idea what my Drs. phone number is. I'm looking through the phone book, Joe is looking through the phone book. We can't find her damn number anywhere. I'm mad at myself for being so unprepared and scatter-brained. He finally remembered my appointment card in my car, so he went outside to get it so we could get the phone number off of the back of it. When I called the answering service I mis-dialed about 5 times.  I finally got a hold of someone and told her what happened. She said, "Well, congrats, looks like you're going to have a baby today! Head on over to L&D now!"

So, here we are right before we leave the house - one last belly pic:

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We finally get to the hospital around 5'ish or so and head to the ER to check in. What's fortunate is we took a hospital tour the week before, so all of my pre-registration paperwork had already been completed. While we were heading inside, my contrax started kicking up a notch. Fun, fun, fun.

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Note how happy I was at this point (this all changes later).

After checking in, I'm wheeled up to the L&D floor in a triage type unit. They informed me that every single room in L&D was full and that I JUST got the last room there. What was even better was that the room I was given was the biggest room on the entire floor, total luxury suite. Had I arrived any later, I would've had to labor in the triage room with other women who were there for various reasons (non-stress tests, problems with their pregnancy). How miserable!

Here I am getting hooked up to monitors to make sure I'm ready to go. The nurse who examined me said my bag of water was, "Grossly ruptured" and that my cervix was "Neat as all hell!" She had a RN in training give me an internal just so she could feel how softened my cervix was. I was about 90% effaced at this point but still at about 1.5 cm.

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(I just realized that I look a tad bit polygamist in this picture with my Pentecostal looking hair) .

After being molested by every RN on the floor, they finally decided to take me to my room. My contrax were starting to intensify a bit by this point, so having my hoo ha inspected by every nurse available was starting to lose its appeal. The room they put me in was like a 4 star suite - totally gorgeous and HUGE.

Joe's parents arrived at the hospital shortly after I was admitted. They came into my room as soon as I got setup. Here's a picture of them walking in smack dab in the middle of a contraction. Notice my fake happy expression. Yeah, hell on earth to try to be happy when you feel like your innards are being squeezed by the Jolly Green Giant.
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Natalie in between contractions:
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Natalie in the midst of a contraction:
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Finally after 4 or 5 hours of that painful feeling, I begged for an epi. Let me tell you that I've never experienced that significant level of pain, well, ever. Imagine the worst diarrhea cramps and the worst period cramps you've ever experienced and then multiply it times 100. I'm not being dramatic either. How people go their entire labor without pain meds is beyond my comprehension. I would rather pluck out my own eye than feel that again.

What's worse is that I had an audience the entire time I was in pain. Joe and his family were in the room the entire time, so I had to finally speak up for myself and ask them to leave. I believe it went something like this...

"Would you all mind stepping out for a moment? I'm about to start cussing, and I don't want you guys to hear it."

They left after that.

Oh, I forgot to mention that I'd had Taco Bell the night before. A huge Nachos Belle Grande with jalapenos. This meal had not re-surfaced at that point, so I had wonderful visions of pooping myself on the delivery table. However, my body knew what needed to be done and it helped me out prior to delivery. Poor Joe was standing there holding my saline bags while I was using the bathroom. I realized at that point that this is what marriage is all about - having a man who loves you enough to hold your saline bags while you take a poop.


So, my contrax were so bad that I was starting to get nauseous. I felt as though I was going to vomit at that point. Right before I was on the verge of losing what was left of my Taco Bell, my savior walked in - the epi man.

I love him. He is my best friend.
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Of course I had about 3 contractions the entire time I was getting stuck with the epi needle. Keeping still and not saying every curse word in the book was really a challenge for me, but I managed.

Here I am about 10 minutes after the epi was in:
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I was examined at that point and found out that I dilated nearly to 5 cm on my own within a few hours time span. No wonder I was wishing death upon myself. Holy crap!

After the epi was administered it was basically a waiting game. My wonderful nurse would check me every hour or so and I'd consistently dilate each time. Just to speed things up even more, they gave me a very low dose of Pitocin. This was ordered my the Dr. on call. I forgot to mention that my OB was out of town. Of course she was. Oh, and the Dr. on call was a man. I've never been to a male doctor...ever. I was freaking out about it, but after meeting him it was all good. The man was frindiggin awesome, like someone I'd want to hang out with awesome. I think he's gay, so I didn't feel the dirty old man factor. Plus, he's hilarious as all feck. I was glad it worked out for him to be there.

After the pit was administered, I went from 5 cm to 9 cm in just a few hours. I had a tiny bit of my cervix left at that point, but the pressure was tremendous because Anna had dropped down very low. The nurses were all freaked out about how quickly my labor had progressed, so they started bringing in the sterile table and setting up the stirrups.

Here I am after realizing that my legs had to go into those stirrups.
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Homeslice can't even bend down without pulling a ligament, how the feck am I going to contort my swollen legs to fit into those things. Oh yeah, I had an epi. I was like gumby. I could've performed as one of those pretzel people in the Cirque Du Soleil if I'da felt like it. It's all good.

At this point I was starting to shake b/c I realized I was about to birth a child. Holy crap! It's really happening! Everyone was running around the room all excited, my mom was praying over me, the nurses were calling the Dr. and asking Joe to watch the parking lot for his car. It all happened so quickly.

The Dr. finally arrives and has me do some test run pushes. I nearly pushed her out at that point, so he wanted me to slow down. He was doing all sorts of odd things with my hoo ha (this is the medical term he kept using, I kid you not). Then he informed me that there was no way she was going to come out w/o tearing me. He also said that I have a very small pelvis and it's quite miraculous and perfect that she came 3 weeks early 'cause there's no way she would've fit three weeks from now. It's truly amazing that my body just knew what it needed to do.

Here's the Dr. getting everything ready
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So, we started doing more pushes and after about 3 sets of 3 pushes she came into this world. Anna Kate was born at 3:45 on 10-10 weighing in at 6.6 1/2 oz. and 18.5 inches. She's a tiny little thing, but she's so beautiful and wonderful.

Here are some pics of Anna:
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Monday, May 12, 2008

And so it begins, well sorta.

I just realized today after 15 weeks of pregnancy that I haven't been keeping a blog or a journal. Actually, I read a post on a message board from someone who regretted not keeping a blog, and it made me feel guilty (it's not like I came up with this blog idea on my own - I can't take all the credit). I often wish that my own mother would've kept a better journal about how she felt during her pregnancy with me. Everytime I ask her if she felt this or that, she stares at me blankly and says she can't remember. Since I can't remember what I ate for breakfast this morning, what better way to memorialize the most precious time of your life (sans the vomiting, chronic constipation, heinous mood swings, and massive heartburn)? Now when my future son or daughter asks me how I felt at a certain stage of my pregnancy, I'll say, "Child, go read my old blog." There, very simple.

So, let me catch you all up to speed. We all know I'm pregnant. This is good. I found out on Thursday, February 21, 2008. Here's the obligatory pee stick.

And another test b/c I'm crazy and had a hard time believing it was true! HEY, don't judge me!

So, we had been trying unsuccessfully for about 9 months or so. All during that time I envisioned all of these sweet ways of telling Joe that he was going to be a father. I would be very creative and cautious so as to not give away my wonderful little secret too quickly. Yeah, that lasted about 20 seconds. As soon as I saw the positive result, I was on the phone calling Joe up like a crack whore in need of her next fix. He knew what was up almost immediately and sat in stunned silence for a good minute or so. I just sat there shaking and smiling and shaking again and smiling some more. He wasn't able to talk long since he was at work, but he came home from work shortly thereafter and was still completely shocked. I guess I was expecting more excitement from him, but it was a huge announcement, and since I wasn't delicate at all in my delivery of the news, he had a lot to digest. I don't think he really believed I was pregnant until we were on our way to the Olive Garden to tell my family the good news.

On my wedding day my mother was pining for grandchildren. It was no secret that she was ready to be a grandmother - a woman who looks younger than me wanting to be a grandmother. Wow. So, I seriously couldn't wait to tell her the good news. She knew our struggles throughout the entire process and had been praying so hard that it would all come together for us. Our plan was to tell my mom, dad, Nicolle (sister) and Trent (Brother-in-law) in person at the Olive Garden (their favorite restaurant). I called my mom that next morning and asked if they would want to go out to eat that night. She agreed. I tried to disguise my voice as best as possible, but it was really hard keeping my big announcement a secret from her at that time.

So, my idea was to have a little box with a rattle inside. I would include a card that said, "You're going to be a grandmother/father/aunt/uncle" and have the wait staff bring it out during dinner. I couldn't find a rattle ANYWHERE, believe it or not. So, I settled on a pacifier that actually said, "Grandma/Grandpa" and one with a cat head for my sister and Trent.

I packaged them up every so carefully in Easter Chinese take-out boxes. Why I used Easter Chinese take-out boxes, I'll never know. I digress. Joe and I decided to swing by Target on our way out to take another pregnancy test. I told you I was crazy, now didn't I? My fear was that it was all some weird dream and that I'd tell my mom and it not really be true. It was true, though, the Target test proved it. So, off we went to Slidell to dine at the OG.

We get to Olive Garden and I call my mom - they're going to be late, as usual - like 45 minutes late. So, Joe and I get a seat at the bar to wait for them. I'm pregnant and sitting at the bar, just one more thing that makes me classiest woman of the year. I digress. Joe and I specifically asked for a table for 6 (not a booth), and the chick said that a group just sat down at the table, so it would be a while. This worked out b/c we were still waiting on my parents. So, we ordered an appetizer and a glass of wine. Joe drank most of the wine and put it in front of me right before they got there so as to make them think I was drinking the wine. Just one more step in my evil plan of deceit.

My parents finally get there and we wind up waiting at the bar for another hour and a half (no kidding). Can you imagine how freaked out I was at this point? I was just SO ready to tell them! I kept pretending to sip my wine, and my mom would say, "What if you're pregnant?" I said, "Nah, I don't think I am - no symptoms (I hate lying to her, but I had to, God forgive me)." Then my dad and Trent kept wanting to re-fill my glass of wine (that Joe had sipped out of earlier) and I kept having to dodge them and be like, "No, maybe once we sit down, I've already had two glasses and am starting to get sleepy."

The funniest thing was while we were sitting there, my mom blurted out, "We were thinking that maybe you had an announcement or something!" Then my sister, totally clueless, kept saying, "No, mom, Natalie can't test 'til Sunday!" Then I just played it off and said that I doubted it and I felt bad b/c she had gotten her hopes up, etc., and then she dropped it b/c I think she really believed me at that point.

Prior to taking our seats, Joe pretended to go ask how long it would be to get our table, and while he was up there, he filled the wait staff in on what we wanted them to do (bring out the gift boxes during the meal and present them to my family). What's great about Olive Garden is that everyone there knows my family b/c they go there every Friday, so they're always given the royal treatment and they surely didn't disappoint last night! Joe's plan was to head out to the car when we were walking back to our table (pretending to go to the restroom) and get the boxes to give to the waitress.

The table for 6 FINALLY left and we were taken to the table. I swear, it was totally worth the wait b/c it was a huge table in a secluded part of the restaurant, almost in its own room. How great was that?! My serious concern the entire time was making a complete fool of ourselves at the restaurant, but where we were located was far away from other people, so it was truly perfect. The sucky part was that Trent stayed behind talking to an older gentleman at the bar. Joe was looking at me like, "WTF do I do now?!" With Trent sitting there, there was no way he could go to the car and get the boxes and not give something away. Not sure what happened after that point, but Trent came to our table shortly thereafter and didn't look like he knew anything, so I guess Joe pulled it off.

As each passing minute went by, I could feel myself getting more and more nervous. The waitress kept coming by our table WITHOUT the boxes and I was like um, hello? Finally, my mom said, "I have to use the restroom" and we all went together as ladies usually do. While I was walking to the restroom, I was able to catch our waitress and ask her to bring out the boxes as soon as we got back to the table.

We get back to the table and within maybe 3 minutes she appears around the corner with the boxes. I had them labeled on the bottom so she would know to whom to give them. At first my dad thought they were candy, so he pushed his box over to me and said I could have it (totally clueless). I pushed it back to him; he pushed it back to me. Finally I said, "No, DAD, YOU open it!" By this time my mom and sister had already started opening theirs and he soon followed suit. This was their reaction (better with pictures):

Mom's/Niki's reaction when they read the card

Dad's reaction - he was a little confused by it all at first Me hugging dad w/ mom and Niki stunned in the background

So, they were just ecstatic. My mom didn't freak out as much as I thought she would mainly b/c I think she was just in shock. Of course after a few minutes the worrying mother side of her said, "Oh no, now I'm going to worry about you even more over the next 9 months!" My dad was excited. He said I was "stout" enough to have a healthy pregnancy. Not sure if he thinks I'm a short, fat gnome or what, but that one kinda made me go . Then he kept saying stuff like "This child is going to have a golf club in his/her hand by the time he/she is 3." Oy! So, all in all it went really well. Everyone was TOTALLY surprised and seriously had no idea it was going to happen like that. My mom knew in her heart I was PG but certainly didn't expect it all to go down like that. So, mission accomplished!

We told Joe's parents the next night at Chili's! They were also completely surprised by the announcement although I suspect they had a feeling we were going to be announcing something big since we wanted to go out to eat vs. eating at the house. I wanted to make it a little more special and surprising. So, we made boxes with the "I love grandma/I love grandpa" pacifiers and were on our way to Chili's. Once we got there Joe arranged with our waiter to deliver the boxes during our meal. The waiter was actually a former student of Mrs. JoAnn's, so that was kind of neat! He did a great job. They were quite stunned initially, and it took a while to sink in just what we were trying to say to them. They were extremely excited, though - it went off perfectly!

Mr. Bruce's expression is hilarious!

Mrs. JoAnn is excited about her first grandchild!

Chris gives a thumbs-up Joe and Natalie So, that's how it all went down! This blog will probably go down in infamy as the longest blog ever written, so I'll cut out of here for now. I plan on updating soon with little tidbits that have happened to me along this journey into pregnancy. So, stay tuned!

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