Saturday, December 11, 2010


A few weeks ago, I had the kids all write their guesses on the calendar of when Elijah would be born. Anda guessed Dec. 11, which she didn't know was her Grandpa Jones's birthday.

She was right.

So, I had been adamant about wanting to do this baby all natural--no medication. Back when I really believed I only had 5 hour labors (which I had, until then).

This time, for some reason, I started into labor on Thursday. I had strong, for-real contractions for all of Thursday, all Thursday night, all of Friday, and well into Friday night. That's well over 36 hours of little sleep. I don't do well on little sleep.  The trouble is, the contractions were only 10-20 minutes apart instead of the required 5 minutes apart. And they sometimes took an hour off, here and there. So I wasn't in "real labor," even though it was exhausting me.

So when the contractions finally got to 5 minutes apart at midnight on Friday night, I was BEAT. Already. And "real labor" hadn't even started. And I didn't have the energy or focus to use any of the natural childbirth techniques I had learned. I was too tired.

At 2:30 am, I decided I wasn't going to sleep it off again, and we called babysitters in (thank you, Heather and Kelly, for waking up when the phone rang!).

3:30, I was admitted to the hospital with contractions 2 minutes apart, strong, but only dilated to 3.5 (36 hours of labor hadn't done almost anything but make me tired). Too tired, I asked for an epidural, hoping I could sleep for a few hours and then have a baby.

5:00, the anesthesiologist came.

6:00, the epidural had numbed my legs but not my tummy. Am I now immune? Who knows, but I was VERY not happy. Doctor tried to re-do the epidural while the nurse, realizing that it wasn't working because the baby was coming "precipitously" fast, started calling in help to deliver a small child. I was so not numb, I felt my water break. And everything else except my left leg and right thigh. And I got to work throwing up, which I always do in labor.

6:19, baby popped out without me even feeling the need to push, and before the doctor arrived. What a relief! And, for the first time, no stitches.

I think the natural childbirth would have been easier if I hadn't been expecting an epidural to work. As it was, the expectation made me angry on top of everything else, and that didn't really help.

6:35 I told Tim if that's how it's going to be every time, I'm not having any more babies. I'm too much of a wimp. Every other child has come with me calm, smiling, and ready to hold him. This baby came to a mess of a mother who was angry, hurting from needle pricks everywhere AND childbirth, frustrated, and downright exhausted from 3 days of little sleep topped off by a miserable night of zero sleep and lots of stress and pain.

Within an hour, though, Elijah and I were contentedly nursing, talking to a very tired Tim, and feeling much much better. Then we all slept. Tim went home and put the kids back to bed (they had been up since about 4:00 am, Anda and Dan trying to help Nathanael, who had discovered I was gone and were doing as I asked them to do and help him feel happier--by playing Nintendo. Which worked.). Babysitter went home. Tim went to sleep.

I think he got more sleep than I did, but I also managed to get to sleep and slept for a long time. Thank goodness Elijah is a good sleeper and a good nurser. (I realize that usually changes after a few days, but today, I needed that!).

So, Elijah James Jones. Born today. 7 lb 10 oz. 20 1/2 inches long. Surprisingly, he has lots of black hair. We haven't had any kids born with lots of hair. A few with black hair, but not lots of it like this. Very cute.

And I am so glad that's over! And so glad he's here.

1 comment:

Brooke said...

Whoopee! Hooray for baby Elijah -- and hooray for his heroic mom. What an epic! It's great to hear that the baby was calm enough in the hospital to let you recover a bit.

Although I will admit that your tale of enduring three days of early labor was TERRIFYING, especially since it was so different from your previous deliveries. Ack, watch the same thing happen to me.

I, too, had an epidural with William that only numbed my legs and not my tummy -- but that was planned that way. The anesthesiologist was supposed to come back when I was in late-stage labor and numb my tummy, but the pain was so much less with my legs numb (contractions always send shooting pains down my legs) that I didn't think I was in "real" labor until I felt William's head crowning. Oh, well.

Get some sleep -- what are you doing reading this comment, anyway? SLEEP! :-)