Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Announcing Alexis Star - Our Baby Arrived!

Already, the details or feelings of Alexis' birth have blurred so I can't remember how tough it was. That's not fair because it will trick me into believing it wasn't that bad. Then I'll think of the possibility of doing it again. And that is crazy. This is what makes people have more kids than they can handle!

There are just so many emotions but they have been replaced by love. I adore Alexis. I'm in love with her. I want to bottle her up and preserve this time.

After a lot of teaser contractions for 3 weeks, and being right at the brink of giving birth it was still a no go. My doctor stripped my membranes - which is what I wanted but he didn't ask me first. He said it would more likely cause me to go into labor within 48 hours (stats: 5cm 80% 38 weeks 3 days) or we could talk about being induced. At this point he was batting 0/3 and so I tried not to get my hopes too high. 

after the first ultrasound he said she was a boy
he said we wouldn't make another week (twice)

but this time he was right

That night I got very angry. Stephen teased me saying he wanted Alexis to come when he didn't have a football game or other plans. He wanted her to come when it was convenient for him. I got really mad at him, because, well pregnancy at this point is anything but convenient for me. I stayed mad all night, which he took as a sign that we would have the baby soon. 

Saturday I cried all day (my mascara did not hold up either). I was taking a bath that morning.  Stephen was discussing his plans for the day. He was going to play basketball with his dad all morning, then come home and get me and we'd go to Target. Then he said he didn't want to be away from me too long at one time. That's when I started to cry harder. I didn't want to admit why I was so upset (I was feeling so vulnerable). 
When pressed I said, please don't go play basketball today, I can't handle the idea of you being gone or far from me. I need you right now, please don't go, please stay close by me. So he called his dad and we decided to go run errands. It took me a long time to get ready, because I hurt (which I thought was just due to the exam).

In the car every bump hurt and I was feeling worse. By the time we got to the post office I decided I wanted to go to the hospital. This was it! It was about 11am on Saturday, Sept. 5. We went home to get our bags. I started timing contractions and they were about 5 mins. apart and by the time we checked in just 3 mins. apart. I was still paranoid they'd send us home.

The beginning part is pretty easy, just walking around. I ate some yogurt and a cheese stick I had hid in my purse. 2 hours later Dr. Beirer broke my water. Glad I wasn't in public! It still took some time before things got too intense but I could barely walk at this point.

Some women want to do breathing exercises, get out the birthing ball or stand up during labor. All I want is to get on the bed and not move any more than I have to. I see the doc start to set things up for delivery. I thought, here we go. At this point it's getting hard to handle but I'm figuring I'll push a few times and be done. I didn't take it that seriously. I was sure that it would be a lot easier than with Bjorn...but it was much harder.

As things got harder I started to lose it. I had 2 nurses on each side holding my legs. Another set were in my face to coach me through. Then a tired doc and a few other nurses came and went to watch. These nurses were my angels. They helped me cope for those 40 minutes. Although I wanted to just yell and scream out in pain, I had to push. I had to push hard. 

Stephen wisely let the nurses take over (note: There is no way one childbirth class can make your husband into a birthing coach! They are not professionals!) and he filmed and watched. I was hardly aware that he was there but I did once tell him to stop filming because I felt vulnerable. He kept filming anyway. I didn't notice. He didn't pass out, get sick or flinch from watching me go through all of this. He was just excited when he saw Alexis.

Doc gave me a sheet that was tied and told me to pull back on it like we were in a tug of war. I pulled as hard as I could. I kept thinking I should be done. It was hard and I wanted to give up but the contractions kept coming and I had to find it me to keep on trying. The last push was so long and difficult, 3 phases long, but then she came out. They did the minimum to clean her off and handed her over to me. We didn't cry, there was too much crying already that day. I was hysterical with relief that it was over. They barely cleaned her and set her on my chest. I could hardly hold her. I was overwhelmed. I got the shakes. She cried hard.

When Bjorn was born I went through a few seconds of shock that he was real, then it turned to love and awe. I was quickly transformed from being in pain to the happiest I'd ever been, filled with love and beaming at him. There is only one first time though for something to change your life forever and this was totally different. It took more time to bond.
That night I thought of holding her for a little while but I ended up holding her for 3 hours. I admired her perfect little head and loved to hold her to me. It was after midnight by the time I let her go to the nursery. That is when I fell in love with her and cherished her, it's when we bonded and I felt like she was mine. 
Stephen went home where he woke up missing us. He watched the video and looked at the pictures until morning came. Bjorn could hardly sleep either, he was so excited to have a sister (even though he's so quiet about it). 

Alexis was 6 lbs 15 oz and 19 inches long - I posted pictures and an update to Facebook and many friends and family sent congratulations. I love Facebook - it felt like a celebration even though we didn't talk to many people (it was family time). I cherish the comments we got. 
I didn't get much sleep between trying to get the hang of breastfeeding and nurses checking me all night. It's nice to eat treats again but I'm also still trying to be healthy. I have lost a lot of weight (all but 5 lbs - don't hate me) and I love that freedom. 

Tomorrow we head home for the next phase of this adventure. Thank you for being healthy, thank you for being able to get her here without too much trauma. Thank you for the feeling of family and love we've felt. Welcome to this big world Alexis, we can't wait to show it to you.

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