Sunday, August 21, 2011

Birth Story: Kieran Edward Hardage

I’ve been waiting for this day for so long. In some ways I’ve been waiting nine months, in some ways I’ve been waiting over a year, and in some ways I’ve been waiting my whole life.

I have always known that I wanted kids. The fact that they came this early in life was a little bit of a surprise, but we went with the flow of it when Dex came around. I have also always known that I wanted more than one kid. I have a younger brother and while there was a lot of fighting growing up, he is now one of the most important people in my life and there is no way that I would want to deny that to my own child. I’m sure there are many great reasons to want to have an only child, but I knew that wasn’t what I wanted. Also… Logan being one of seven helped us be on the same page about growing our family.

After Declan was born, I wanted another baby pretty soon after. Like, fighting the urge once he turned six months old. After many discussions, Logan and I decided that we would try again once he was a year old. Lo and behold, once he turned one in April, we found ourselves pregnant in May 2010. However, this pregnancy resulted in one of the biggest losses I have ever had to deal with. I lost the baby. It took some time to work through those emotions, and I came to the conclusion that while it is something I will probably never get over entirely, we knew we were ready to try again.

Once we got pregnant again, we were so happy. There was a changed air about this pregnancy for me, however, because I was now no longer in the naïve world that nothing could go wrong in pregnancy. I cherished this time around, knowing how much I would miss it once there was no longer a baby growing in me. (It also helped that I wasn’t vomiting every day for months on end. That helped me perk up a bit). While I was cherishing it, I was also longing to see my new baby safely in my arms. I tried my absolute best to keep positive thoughts in my head and heart, but I had a bit of anxiety about something going wrong. I wanted to see him.

This helped my decision to have an induction in the end. I was induced with Declan due to low amniotic fluid. This time it was my choice to get induced, and I had a few reasons. We chose a day that I knew my doctor would be available. This was important to me because I had seen her at every appointment and I knew that she was on the same page as us with all of our decisions thus far. I knew that my mom was coming into town, so I would have help with Declan and the new baby. Also, I was ready. I had been having Braxton Hicks contractions and real contractions every time I stood up, sat down, turned, etc… for six weeks or so. Since I had hit my due date, all of these decisions fueled my choice to be induced.

 So, on Wednesday night, Logan and I dropped Declan off at Logan’s aunt’s house. (More on Dex becoming a big brother in another post) and on Thursday, August 18, 2011 we arrived at the hospital at 6:30 am. I got checked right in and settled into my room. I had an IV in and Pitocin started by about 7:15am. My doctor came in shortly after that and when she checked me, I was at 3cm. (I had been at 2cm for the last two weeks). She left and the contractions really got going. My plan was to go for as long as possible without an epidural but knowing that I wasn’t ruling one out since that was what happened last time. The doctor had predicted me giving labor around 2 to 3 pm, though things could either be shorter or go longer. I was also told that it would take about 40 minutes to get the epidural once it was ordered. Keeping these things in mind, I went about trying to breath through the pain.

It started out as a definite pressure. With definite pain. I was breathing through the contractions and doing my best to completely relax in the time between them. It quickly got to be an incredible amount of pain. At 9am I was counting the minutes and wondering if I could make it 5 more minutes at a time. I was already starting to seriously consider getting the epidural and feeling like a complete failure as a woman once these thoughts entered my head. I had Logan sit next to me and hold my hand as I writhed in pain as each contraction waved through my entire body. Since it was such a long process last time, I was really feeling badly about myself that I couldn’t handle it as easily this time around. However, the pain was getting continuously stronger. So strong in fact, that I ended up throwing up. Once that happened, the next time the nurse came in, I told her I was ready for the epidural. She got it taken care of and suggested (and I agreed to) a pain med through my IV while I waited for the epidural. It helped a tiny bit. Enough for me to relax just a little through the pain for about ten minutes. Then even that slight relief was gone. At this point I was pretty much crying as the contractions came. I have never felt a pain like that in my life. And it was 10am. This had been going on for about three hours. How was I in so much pain so fast?

The epidural came and Logan was asked to step out. I freaked out, but he had to go. Luckily I had an awesome nurse that helped soothe me so much while I got the epidural. I was to the point that getting it didn’t even matter because I was in so much pain with every contraction. It was all I could do to stay still while he was getting it in. I felt badly for Logan in the hall. He knows how I don’t do well with needles, and I was making a lot of noise. I just wanted to be able to tell him that it was because of the contractions, and not the epidural. I wanted him to know that I was alright. The epidural went pretty quickly, and I was at the point that I couldn’t even imagine getting through the two or three more contractions it would take for it to kick in. I was in more pain than I have ever been in my life. Logan came back in and it was 11am. I had no idea where the last hour went. Between the incredible pain and the epidural, somehow that time had flown.

Now the epidural was in and working. However, I really wasn’t in as much relief as I would have thought. It wasn’t so much the pain now though. It was an insane amount of pressure. I know that giving birth means pressure, but this was a lot. A lot more than I thought I would have felt after only four hours. I tried to tell the nurse about the pressure but I didn’t want to seem like I was overreacting. The pressure was pretty overwhelming. So, right after the epidural was in, she checked me for the first time since my arrival. I was at 8cm. I now didn’t feel as bad about myself for wanting an epidural. She walked away and checked something. She came back and checked me again less than five minutes later and I was at 10cm. I was feeling so ready. She made a phone call and a few nurses rushed into the room to start setting up tables. She made another call and the doctor was on her way. Last time I pushed for 27 minutes so I started preparing myself for the push time. It took them about ten minutes to get set up, and I was fighting the urge to push the whole time. They got the stirrups out, my legs up, and I pushed through one contraction. I felt a burning sensation between my legs that felt like stretching, but I didn’t think too much of it as I was in the pushing stage. When that contraction was over I took a quick second break to breathe. When I felt the next contraction gearing up, I get myself ready for another push. And then I heard the doctor say… “and here comes the shoulder…”


The shoulder? That means that the head is already out. It had only been one push! How was that possible? I almost wasn’t able to push again due to complete and utter shock. I somehow pulled it together to push one more time and out he came. After TWO contractions. That’s about four minutes of pushing with a break in the middle. I so wasn’t prepared for it to be over that I just looked at Logan with total disbelief on my face.

Here he was. He was ready.

As they laid him on my chest I could barely contain myself. Logan just kept repeating “He’s so beautiful, he’s SO beautiful.” And he was. 7 lbs 4 oz. 19.25 inches. He was perfect.

We’re now at just over three days old and it has been a complete joy so far. He sleeps well, nurses great, and is an absolute doll. I’ll write more about our adventures so far, but for now I’m just going to go and enjoy the sweetness of my sleeping newborn.

Love to all and thanks for everyone’s support through all this. Thanks for sharing. 

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