As I sit down to write this Paige is 1 month old and I can't believe that time has already starting to fly. The past month has been a blur. I wanted to sit down and write out Paige's birth story before I forget due to a lack of sleep but that didn't happen until now. I have a feeling that mommy brain and time will erode some of my memory and I wanted to post her story here so I can come back and read it over and over again..
My Due Date
Paige's due date was set as 12/31/2019 and I was dreading her being stuck sharing her birthday with a holiday. I figured that I could go 2 weeks past my due date and there would be the possibility of her being born on 1/14/2020. Since 1/14 was the date that Richard proposed I thought it could be nice. It turns out that since I was going to be 35 when I delivered I was considered Advanced Maternal Age (which sounds so much nicer than Geriatric Pregnancy) and my doctors didn't want to go past my due date. The doctors actually wanted to induce me at 39 weeks which would have been on Christmas Eve and I refused to let that happen. I was just a few months past my 35th birthday and everything else was going fine so they had no problem with me going to my due date. I talked to a few friends who have a New Year's Eve or New Year's Day birthday and once they told me how fun it is I started to come around. I made up my mind that Paige was going to be born on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day and I was determined to will it into existence.
I woke up on Monday, December 30th and I was starting to get a bit anxious because I noticed that Paige wasn't moving as much as normal. At all of my doctor's appointments, they told me to give them a call or come in if I felt a decrease of movement. I called the office in the morning and was told to go to the hospital for triage. When I called I figured I would go to the office for a check but they didn't have any availability in the office so I was sent to the hospital instead. I called my mom who was in town for the holidays and Paige's birth to let her know that I was going to head to the hospital soon. She was going to need a few minutes to get to the house so I took the time to do the dishes, walk Smuckers ( our dog) and clean the house just in case I didn't come back home. My mom got there and I drove down to the hospital, which thankfully is only a few minutes away from our house. I honestly thought that they were going to send me home so I parked on the street and put 2 hours on the meter and we headed inside.
After filling out paperwork I was put into the triage room and attached to a monitor. The nurse was explaining to me what was being tracked. She was pointed out my contractions were regular but were still far apart. Until that point, I didn't realize what I was feeling was actually a contraction. I expected them to be more intense. Turns out I had been having contractions for about a day. I assumed what I was feeling as just Braxton Hicks contractions. She also showed me that Paige was moving enough that they weren't worried but her movements were low likely due to her being lower in the birth canal ready for birth. She checked and I was at 1 cm and she didn't think I needed to be admitted yet. However, my midwife would be in to talk to me and make the decision. I texted Richard and let him know what was happening but that I was likely going to be sent home so there was no need to leave work. Once the midwife came in she checked and thought that I was closer to 3 cm. I had the choice to go home and wait until I was farther along before coming back or they could admit me and start to induce me. I decided that I might as well get the show on the road and start the induction. I texted Richard and let him know that I was being admitted to the hospital but it was going to take a while so there was no need to leave work yet.... he didn't listen to me.
Labor and Delivery Room
I was moved into my labor and delivery room and strapped to the monitoring device and my IV was placed. I just want to take a quick second to talk about the IV. If you know that you are going to have an IV put in make sure you are hydrated and do pretty much anything you can to have a "good vein" anywhere other than the crook of your arm. It is the worst place they could put an IV in my opinion ... but to be honest I haven't had that many before so I don't really know. All I know is that I was close to kissing the nurse when she finally took my IV port out 2 days later. Once I was set in the room I sent my mom home to do a car swap with Richard and for her to get some lunch. I was far enough along they could start the Pitocin right away to make my contractions stronger and closer together. I just laid in bed and started texting everyone to let them know what was happening and then the contractions started to really be noticeable. I was glad that I have used Headspace for so long, it helped me meditate through the contractions. The midwife came in to check on me before her shift ended. She decided that it was time for them to break my water. I won't go into the details of my water being broken but I will say that I'm SO glad that it didn't happen in public. From there it was just a waiting game.
The contractions got stronger but I was holding out as long as I could before I got the epidural. The idea of being paralyzed from the waist down freaked me out. I asked what else I could do for the pain. I was given Stadol and that was an experience. I had not had more than a sip of alcohol since I found out that I was pregnant and the Stabdol felt like I had taken 5 shots all at once and it hit me instantly. I could still feel the contractions but very much like being very drunk I could still feel the pain but it was dulled greatly. I was able to take a nap for about an hour but was woken up to the full force of a contraction. I couldn't take it anymore so I gave in and asked for the epidural. I can take a good bit of pain but at this point, my back was arching in pain like I was in the Exorcist. The first time they did my epidural it hit a blood vessel so they needed to take it out to do it again. The second time worked .... kinda. I could still feel the right side of my body. I was so worried that they would have to do it a third time. I laid on my side for a while and it started to work ok both sides. I was at 5 cm at this point so I took advantage of the time to take a nap.
Time to Push... Kinda
Richard and his parents went to get some dinner after the epidural was fully working. I fell asleep for about 45 minutes and then woke up to the feeling of a lot of pressure. I called the nurse and was told that I was at 10 cm and she was going to call my midwife. I texted Richard and let him know not to rush but some changes were happening and he should make his way back to the hospital. At 11 pm Richard was back and the midwife walked in ready to go but I wasn't ready just yet. The exchange happened like this:
Kat ( Midwife): Wow you progressed really fast. You went from 5 cm to 10 cm in less than an hour. Are you ready to push?
Me: Ummmmmm I really want her to be born on the 31st. If we start now and she is born on the 30th could you fudge the time and say she was born on the 31st?
Kat: We cannot do that but since this is your first child it will likely take over an hour of pushing.
Me: Is it safe to wait a little bit longer before I start pushing?
Kat: If you are sure that is what you want. I could do some paperwork and check on my other patient. Just call us when you are ready.
Me: (lots of deep breathing and meditation)
15 Minutes Later
Me: Ok I'm calling it.
Richard: Are you sure? It has only been 15 minutes.
Me: You are right. I can hold out a little bit longer. (More deep breathing)
5 Minutes Later
Me: I can't wait any longer. Now! I don't care if she is born on the 30th. I just need her out now.
Less than 45 minutes of pushing and lots of cussing later Paige Alyse LeBlanc was born at 12:06 AM on 12/31/2019.
As soon as she was born they gave her to me for some skin to skin. She was perfect and Richard and I couldn't do anything but look at her and be amazed. I only partially noticed the fact that my midwife was starting to get worried because I was bleeding too much. The midwife got everything under control, the umbilical cord was cut, the first diaper changed and swaddling lesson completed by Richard. It was now time for the family to meet Paige.
Paige Alyse LeBlanc was born at 12:06 AM on 12/31/2019. She weighed 7 lbs. 1 oz. and was 20 in. long.
We were excited to be cleared to go home, sleep in our own bed and get start our lives. More than anything we were excited to see how Smuckers and Lilo would react to their new sister. They were both wonderful with her. Smuckers was instantly obsessed with her and just wanted to lick her. She has since settled down but she still wants to be near her all the time. Lilo has been slightly curious about her but has kept her distance for the most part.
One Month Later
A month has flown by and we are all so in love with Paige. There are hard times, crying for no reason, dirty diapers, spit-up, and sleepless nights but we wouldn't change it for the world. I love more than anything to see Richard holding Paige. It is one of the greatest joys of my day to see his face light up when he looks at her.