Friday, August 9, 2013

40 weeks + 5 days.

This is a story that is extremely close to my heart. A story to be documented.  The story of Mason.    

I started my maternity leave on the first of August (keep in mind my "estimated" due date was the 5th).  Most people just knew that I would have him early since I seemed to be a good size.  Well, I heard this quite a bit, and started to believe it as well, even though my due date had never changed.  This is not the mindset that you want to have, especially as you watch your due date come and go. 

On Tuesday, the 7th I had a doctor’s appointment to make sure that my fluid levels were still good and that Mason was still okay. (Just in case, I had my bag packed and with me.)  My vitals were great, fluid level was where it needed to be and most importantly, Mason was healthy.  My body had begun the labor process.    My doctor said that one week past my date was the recommended extended time to go and at that point I would need to be induced, so I was scheduled for Monday, the 13th.  I did not want to be induced…I wanted labor to progress naturally (even as miserable as I felt). When Hubby and I left that appointment, I cried.  Oh how I cried.  I was so ready to meet our Mason.  My body was huge.  I was tired and extremely uncomfortable.  I was tired of being watched for labor symptoms.  (With the big move to the country, while Hubby was at work all the way in town, someone would hang out with me, just in case I needed to be taken to the hospital. I do appreciate my family, especially my brother, for taking his time to come over.)  
I had been experiencing Braxton Hicks on and off for several weeks, so when on August 9th I started cramping, I didn’t think too much of it.  As the day progressed, I began to pay more attention.  My dog, Savannah was sticking extra close to me and I was feeling uncomfortable with pains in my lower back that wrapped around through my front.  The times were not consistent though…not what is drilled into your head, but still, something was different.  10:00 p.m. that evening rolls around and I’m still having pains.  I’m debating in my head and with Hubby if I should actually go to the hospital.  I was even texting with my best friend to see what she thought.  I definitely did not want to drive all the way to the hospital and then be sent home…I did not want to experience that disappointment.  And my contractions were not to the point where talking was difficult and the times were still inconsistent.  But I could not get comfortable no matter what position I was in, so Hubby decided for us to just go on and see.
While gathering my stuff, it hit me.  I was going to be bringing a child into this world.  Our dynamics as a family were shifting.  At that point, my emotions overwhelmed me.  I literally stopped in my tracks and just started crying. So much was going through my mind.  I was excited to meet this little one and ready for him to come out, but also scared.  Scared of the actual delivery, of both of us being okay.  Aware that our life as we knew it was getting ready to change.  Hubby reassured me that all was okay, that I could do this.  And with that, I gathered up my bag, took a last look around at our home and waddled (yes, I admit, I waddled) out to the car.
There was no crazy driving with our hazard lights flashing speeding through traffic.  Just a regular drive into town.  At one point we were even stopped at an intersection for an extended amount of time due to the power company putting up new lines and poles.  My pain still wasn’t too unbearable during all this.  At the hospital we parked in the parking garage and made our way towards labor and delivery.  In order to enter, you have to be buzzed in.  Apparently the magic words to enter are “I’m in labor” because the doors swung open instantly. The nurses got me checked in and dressed in my snazzy gown by 11:00 p.m.  

Yes, I finally got to stay.  I was almost 4 centimeters and my water was on the verge of breaking.  Then we settled in for the wait. I continued to listen to the comforting sound of Mason’s heartbeat and watched my contractions come and go. Several hours later, my doctor came in and broke my water. Can I just say that is the craziest feeling ever… This really moved my delivery along and about an hour or so later, I was dilated to 7. At this point I received my epidural and was able to rest up for a bit, until I started experiencing contractions on one side. Evidently, Mason’s head was positioned in just the right spot where he was blocking the effectiveness of the epidural.
 Finally the nurse declared that it was time to push. Now, during this time, my mother was in the delivery room but the plan was for her to leave before I actually started to push. Well, plans change and before we could even think, the nurse had Hubby and my mom helping. For 2 hours, I pushed and I prayed for strength. Strength to keep pushing as the waves of contractions swept through my body.  

At 10:21 a.m. on Friday, August 10th, Mason made his appearance. 8 pounds 14 ounces 20 inches. A head full of dark hair. At that moment, my heart was open and exposed for the entire world to see. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I took in this miracle of life that was given to us. That first feeling is unlike any other, that first time you see this life that has been growing and nourishing within you, that first time your baby is placed on your chest, that first time your baby instinctively latches on to feed. The magnitude of what your body has accomplished. Unreal.  Life changing. It’s an experience that I want to forever hold in my heart.

One year ago, we became a family of three. Honestly, we had no idea what to expect, no idea what that first year would bring. Parenthood was and is uncharted territory. I will tell you that you learn a lot about yourself and you realize that you are stronger than you can imagine.

     Mason, you are my greatest accomplishment. You are beautifully and wonderfully made.

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