Thursday, February 24, 2011

From the Peanut Gallery- The Final Post

As it turns out, we skipped these:
39 weeks- The Mini Watermelon

40 weeks- The Pumpkin

Because little Mr. Anderson is here.

Last week, I told J that we needed to make plans for the weekend.  I told him that if I had to just sit around and wait for the baby to come, I would drive myself CRAZY.  So we made plans to see a movie, have dinner with friends, and enjoy some lazy time together.  The school where I used to teach was also having their annual Spaghetti Dinner, so we decided to dine there Friday night and visit with some of my old friends and co-workers.

When we walked (and/or waddled) into the school, I was immediately met with jokes about how I was going to have this baby any second!  I joked that maybe there was enough red pepper in the sauce to throw me into labor.  LOTS of people kept asking when I was due- it was delightful to reply "any day now!"

We enjoyed our spaghetti and chatted with lots of folks, then headed home and went to bed.

Maybe there is something to those old wives tales about the full moon...

At 10:30 that night, I woke up feeling a little crampy.  This was definitely a different kinda feeling, but I ignored it and went back to sleep.  After all, two days prior to this the doctor had told me that I most likely still had awhile to go, as I had made zero progress.  We even went so far as to schedule an induction for March 3, just in case.

Midnight rolled around, and I was again awakened by a weird, crampy feeling...I started getting suspicious.  But I went back to sleep again.  I really didn't want to get my hopes up.

Then at 2:00, I woke up yet again.  At this point, I knew I was having contractions.  I still didn't wake J up, however, as I thought this might be a trick, and not the real thing.  He woke up on his own, though, and noticed that I wasn't sleeping.  I told him that I was having contractions, and that's when the real fun began.

We started timing my contractions.  At this point, they were anywhere from five to ten minutes apart, definitely annoying, but not unbearably painful.  I was most certainly not able to sleep through them anymore, and J was on the alert and not sleeping, either.  So we did what any normal couple in labor would do: we turned on a movie.  We watched "Beauty and the Beast" while I breathed through contractions.

Around 5:00, I told J to get some more sleep.  At this point, I knew this was the real deal, and he was definitely going to need the rest.  He managed to doze off for another hour while I went downstairs and handled the dogs' morning routine.  Contractions had now gotten quite a bit stronger, and were three to four minutes apart, lasting about 30 seconds.

Fast forward to 7:00- J is off to McDonald's to grab some breakfast for us.  (Just for the record, I threw up my McGriddle, so yes, I officially threw up through my ENTIRE pregnancy.)  After we ate, we decided to gather our things for the hospital.  We both showered and got ourselves together, then went for a walk around the neighborhood, trying to encourage my contractions to become a little more regular.  We made it about one-third of the way through our normal route before we had to turn around and head home.  My contractions were suddenly a minute and a half to two minutes apart, and I could no longer walk or talk through them due to the pain.

When we made it home, J called the doctor.  For some reason, I was hung up on the fact that my contractions weren't lasting a full minute.  The rule of thumb for going to the hospital is usually 4-1-1.  Contractions 4 minutes apart, lasting for a full minute, for at least one full hour.  Luckily J insisted on making the call.  Of course, we were told to head to the hospital.

The car ride there was when things got real.  As in, excruciating.  Walking from the entrance of the hospital to my room took a good ten minutes, as I had to stop every other minute and try not to fall over from the pain.  I was certain that when the nurse checked me, after contracting since 10:30 the night before, and considering the frequency and intensity of said contractions, I would be dilated several centimeters.

One centimeter.  That's what that bitch told me.

Originally, my plan was to try and do this thing drug-free for as long as I could stand it, and hope that I could make it all the way to the end.  J was instructed to try and talk me out of it if I asked for drugs, at least at first.

But one freaking centimeter?  After 12 hours of labor?  No thank you.

I looked at J and told him I was getting the epidural, and not to even think about trying to talk me out of it.

"Oh, thank God!" was his response.  My wonderful husband was feeling completely helpless as he tried whatever he could to comfort and help me through all of the horrible contractions.

Unfortunately, the epidural had to wait until I had made some more progress.  So for the next five hours, I labored.  And progressed.  And tried not to die.

At 3:30, I got my epidural.

Oh, how I love that anesthesiologist.

About ten minutes after I got the good stuff, I looked at J and said "I'm so happy!"  Labor became a whole new experience.  I no longer felt any pain.  I could relax and get excited about meeting my son.  J and I hung out, watched "The Golden Girls," Facebooked on our phones, even napped a little.  At this point, we were just waiting.

Around 11:30, it was time to push.  Apparently, according to my Labor & Delivery nurse, I am an excellent pusher.

And so it was that at 11:47, my perfect, beautiful little Gabriel Clark Anderson was born.
Gabriel Clark Anderson- 2.19.11- 8 lbs 6 oz- 20 inches

And I am in love.

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