I cannot believe how quickly time goes when you are sleep deprived and caring for a baby. Our little girl is now over three months old! She came two days after my due date, but her daddy jokes that she may have a future as an accountant since she came December 31st–just in time for a tax break!
The day I went into labor, the hubby and I had gone to the gym and I had spent about half an hour walking around the track and grumbling as several elderly people consistently lapped me. Despite staying fairly active throughout the rest of my pregnancy, I had had a lot of trouble getting around ever since the baby dropped Thanksgiving weekend!
That afternoon at 3 p.m. my husband and I had a doctors appointment, where one of the nurses informed me that I was having contractions that lasted up to two minutes long. I was surprised by how long they were, but didn’t think too much about them since I’d been experiencing them for a couple of weeks. However, as we were leaving, I noticed that I was feeling a lot of pressure in my tummy, and it felt like I had a Charley Horse in my back. While my husband and I were getting groceries, I felt uncomfortable even lifting my own purse. I didn’t say much to my husband about it because I didn’t want to get him excited for no reason–after all, we were starting to think she was going to take her sweet time coming.
Later, at about 5:30 p.m. while I was talking to my family on the phone, I had to sit down on the bed instead of pacing around like I normally like to do. I was also beginning to really feel the contractions. I ended the phone conversation by saying to my dad, “Yeah, that was another one. I think I should probably go time them.” I went downstairs and made supper, thinking that if I was in labor, I didn’t want to go to the hospital and be starving all night. While I ate, I timed my contractions and noticed that they were long enough and close enough together that I could probably start thinking about going to the hospital. At 9 p.m., although I still couldn’t quite believe it, I looked over at my husband, who was hard at work studying, and said, “Hey, can you call the hospital?”
I was a little surprised by the nurse’s response: “Unless she’s in unbearable pain, there isn’t anything we can do for her right now. Have her go get in the bathtub and relax.”
Unbearable pain?? What is unbearable pain–isn’t childbirth SUPPOSED to hurt enormously? And take a bath? I knew that if I was going to be in labor all night long, I wanted to try to sleep.
Two hours later at 11 p.m., the sleep thing wasn’t happening. I was tired, but there’s something about (unbearable?) pain that makes it impossible to sleep. I thudded downstairs thinking of making myself some apple cider, getting a heating pad, and trying to relax. My husband began timing contractions for me, and applying pressure to my hips as he had learned to do a few weeks ago (despite the stress that comes with being married to a medical student, there are some definite benefits that come with him being in an osteopathic school!). THAT helped tremendously. However, it wasn’t long before he looked down at the paper he’d been writing on and said, “I’m…going to get my coat.”
The ten minute drive to the hospital was one of my least favorite car trips. However, I still didn’t think I was in “unbearable” pain. I was glad I’d remembered to bring a pillow with me so I could bury my face and avoid the stares of everyone in the hospital lobby area. I got checked in and wheeled upstairs to the labor and delivery floor, where one of the doctors made small talk with me for awhile. As soon as he checked me to see how far I’d progressed, he said, “…We’re going to call your doctor now.” I was informed that there would be no time for me to have an epidural placed to help with the pain; it was time for me to deliver. Luckily, my doctor made it to the hospital in time, and our beautiful, healthy girl was delivered just before 2 a.m., weighing 7 pounds 3 ounces and measuring about 20 inches long. It was a little strange to me to see that she didn’t really look very much like me at all–I told the nurses it looked like I’d just given birth to my husband! I knew he wouldn’t be able to make his standard joke about our baby possibly being the mailman’s anymore!
Although childbirth is never easy, I sometimes think the sleep deprivation I experienced the first few days–and weeks!–was more difficult for me to handle than the labor itself. Neither my husband nor I really slept at all for three days straight, between our excitement and our baby’s early fussing, and the nursing staff coming in constantly to check on me and our little girl.
Since then, we’ve had ups and downs in the sleep department. I have to admit that there were plenty of times when I never thought I would get any real sleep again. After her two month shots (a traumatic experience for Mommy and baby!!) she stopped sleeping through the night, after a one week stretch of sleeping from around 9:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. I was frustrated at first, but felt better after I talked to my sister-in-law, who assured me that it’s just like that with babies–sometimes when you think you have it all figured out, they throw a curveball at you. Now, she is sleeping pretty consistently at night, and even though she does usually still wake up to eat at least once, she usually always goes right back to sleep–a TOTALLY manageable situation for Mom!
Overall, Baby Bear is a little sweetheart and a true blessing. She loves to laugh, “chat,” and giggle, and the only time she is a little fussy is when she is hungry or tired. Even though she’s not quite three and a half months old, she really does seem to have a beautiful little soul.
I think she was definitely worth the wait–and even every minute of the sleep deprivation.