Tuesday, January 25, 2011

how it all went down

fair warning: this is a birth story. it would only make sense that there may be details and information that could be dubbed "personal". unless, of course, it is in the context of a birth story, and then it is completely acceptable to throw modesty to the wind and share things that would never otherwise be shared.

it was tuesday night. rewind. it was monday morning. i was due the saturday before. i went to my midwife appointment only to find that the baby was still high up, i was barely dilated and there was no signs of labor in the near future. this was dismal news, not just because i'd never been so uncomfortable in my life and had been ready for months to be done with this pregnancy, but also because my two sisters, niece, nephew, and my dad were arriving friday evening and leaving monday morning. they were coming all the way from michigan and minnesota and although i'm sure my pregnant belly was really cute, i don't think that was what they were traveling so far to see. the midwife used all her force and "stripped my membranes" and said "see you next week". i told her that was not going to work for me and basically she needed to schedule an induction for me. she said it was a long shot, but she'd try. she came back telling me i was slotted for thursday morning. i cried.
that day and the next flew by as i was totally free of worry and i prepared for my thursday morning appointment. tuesday night is my mom, sonny, and my favorite show...
we started watching at 7:00 and i thought i felt a contraction. nine or ten minutes later i thought i felt another, but wasn't really sure. by the time the show ended at 9:00 the contractions were more obvious and had not stopped. i mentioned this to my mom and sonny and made sure my friend nicolette had her phone by her bed in case we needed her to take the boys. sonny and my mom made their way to bed shortly after and i sat down and logged on to netflix. i had discovered...
and had just finished season one. i started season two. i watched a lot of cakes be made as the next 4 hours passed with contractions continuing, intensifying, and getting closer together. buddy and his crew helped me keep my mind off of what i was feeling until i ran out of episodes. i showered and packed the boys' bags and then woke sonny. i didn't know if i should go to the hospital, but the contractions were 5 minutes or less apart and they weren't slowing down. i was just terrified i would be sent back home. my mom decided to stay home and let the boys sleep and then we would call when it was time for her to join us. as i waited by the front door for sonny to get our bags i intentionally paused and knew the next time i crossed that thresh hold my life would never be the same.
by the time we arrived at the hospital it was after 2:00 a.m. and the pain was really starting to overwhelm me. i was not warmly welcomed as there had already been a rush of laboring women and the hospital was at capacity. the triage nurse checked me and said i was dilated to a 4. she implied i should go back home or, she reluctantly offered that i could walk for an hour and come back to be checked again. so, sonny and i began our trek through the sterile halls of the hospital, stopping every few minutes to work through a contraction. after an hour i was about ready to climb the walls and we returned to the triage room. i was checked again and had made it to a 6. the triage nurse told us we still had to wait an hour before checking again and then she'd consider calling my midwife.
that hour the contractions became unbearable. sonny turned out to be the best labor partner and coach i could have hoped for. he encouraged, listened (as i whined), held me up when i couldn't stand, and just kept telling me how great i was doing. having just watched biggest loser i was channeling bob and jillian and imagining them yelling in my face telling me to push through the pain.
after that excruciating hour the triage nurse checked me and said i was still at a 6. if i wasn't ready to throw in the towel before, i certainly was now. i couldn't believe i'd done all that work for no progress. the nurse reluctantly called the midwife to see if she wanted to come in and she said she would head over soon. at this point i finally got put into a delivery room, given a gown, and hooked up to a monitor. i was telling sonny i just couldn't do it and i needed an epidural. i didn't want to have one, but i felt so strongly that i couldn't go the next 3-4 hours it would take to fully dilate without relief.
the midwife did arrive around 4:30 a.m. and got the update. she listened to me say i just didn't think i was going to make it and then asked if she could check me again. she said she knew i was just checked, but she wanted to see if my water had broke and that i seemed in a lot of pain for a 6. as soon as she started my water broke and she said "oh, wow". she looked at me and said "do you want to push?" WHAT?! was she crazy?! pushing means you're almost done, right? i cried. i cried as i thought about the pain coming to an end. i cried as i looked over at the little station where i knew they would weigh and measure my baby. i cried knowing something that seemed so very far away was here. right now. the midwife told me again i could push. she waited. she told me i didn't have to wait for a contraction, i could just start pushing. again she waited. i told her i would....i just needed a minute. i just sat in that moment and rejoiced. and then. i pushed.
only minutes later this bundle was placed on my chest.

and i cried.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

week one

wow. has it been a week? wow. what a week it's been! i am formulating the birth story in my mind, but until i have that finished i thought i'd share a few images of the week we've had.
after a VERY long nine months, the moment finally came and we saw our son's face for the first time.
totally worth it.
so deeply thankful my mom was here to share in the joy and all the "firsts". she has done everything. and i mean EVERYTHING for me for the past two weeks and i truly cannot imagine surviving without her.
our three sons.
so far we love being a family of five.
the boys were so very excited to finally meet their baby brother. they and their classmates made birthday cards for judah and got lots of special treatment at school that day before they came.
my sisters, niece and nephew, and my dad traveled all the way here just to be here for judah's first few days. it was so wonderful to share this special time with them.

we have been incredibly blessed by so many people with gifts and judah is going to be the best dressed baby of 2011. here's a little fashion show...


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

he's here!!

much more detail to come, but, we welcomed...

judah dean varela
january 12th. 2011
5:16 a.m.
7 pounds 12 ounces
20 inches


praising God for this gift