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Saturday, October 15, 2005

How it all began


Today I decided that I was going to take Estee to shul to meet Aaron because we were invited out. I got her dressed in a pretty dress and tights with ruffles on the tush. For some reason she thought it would be funny to not only kick off the blanket I kept putting on her to keep her warm but also to take her dress in her hand and lift it up for everyone to see those cute little tights. Every time she did it, she laughed which makes me assume she understood what she was doing! I tried to explain to her that it is cold out but she didn't seem to care. I also tried to explain to her that it's not very tznius but she didn't seem to care about that either. That better change soon...
Well anyway, today I was thinking...I started this blog when Estee was 6 weeks old and I filled you in briefly about life up until that point but I realized that I never told you about the actual labor. Well, here goes...this is how it all began....
I had just finished my childbirth classes and had been growing more and more uncomfortable by the day. The teacher constantly reminded us that the beginning stages of labor could be mild like cramps. Because of this, any pain I would get starting in my 35th week, I would look at the clock to make sure that my pains weren't a certain amount of time apart, making them contractions. The teacher also told us that the beginning stages of labor can be 12 hours so we should plan to stay at home, going for occasional walks or watching movies. I had it all planned out. If Aaron was at work I'd call him and then watch all our dvds. If he was home, we'd do something fun together like play a game! I guess I never listened when I was told that things don't always work out the way we plan them. Wednesday night June 30th: Aaron was out at shiur and my mucous plug came out. Hey, I remembered learning about this! This is a sign! I called the doctor and he basically told me that this can indicate the start of labor but it can also mean that labor is a week or two away so it is a "non-event." I don't know, to me it was still an event!! I took out my trusty what to expect when expecting bible and looked up everything they had to see about mucous plugs. They too said that it can be another week or two. But I knew. That night, every hour on the hour I woke up with a small pain. I knew this had to be it but I didn't want to tell Aaron, not yet atleast, not until I was sure! Thursday July 1st throughout the day I would get periods of time where pains would come at regular intervals but it wasn't consistant. During our staff meeting my co-workers got great kosher chinese food in order to bid me goodbye. Every half our I felt a pain. But, I didn't want to tell anyone, in case it wasn't real. They, of course having no need for chinese food were so kind and gave me all the leftovers to take home. Of course, being the pregnant pig I was I helped myself to another portion when I got home. Shortly after enjoying my chinese food my aunt came to pick me up to take me for a routine sonogram. I just had this heavy inclinition that I would need someone with me at the doctor's office. They told me that little Estee was approximately 6lbs 3 oz in my womb. The technician also asked if my water broke, which I thought was kind of strange. After my sonogram I was examined by my doctor. She did a few acidity tests and told me that she thinks my membranes ruptured. It is dangerous for me to wait for labor and she will have to send me to the hospital to be induced. It was so surreal. For the past month or so with the sciatica pains getting worse and the bladder pressure becoming unbearable I declared to everyone that I was ready and I want her to be as early as possible (and still be to term). But, the second the doctor told me that I freaked, well in my head. I kept my composure and said "can I go please tell my aunt?" The second I reached my aunt I was in hysterics. "I'm not ready! This isn't how I planned it! I'm supposed to be watching movies! We didn't finish packing!! I ate chinese food today!!" (you see, a week before we closed on our new apartment that we went to contract in in December. we never thought that it would take so close to close. Moving day was set for the following Thursday) My aunt told me not to worry, everyone would help out and she reminded me that my baby is coming. I got so excited. Scared, but very excited. I couldn't wait to see my little cutie pie! Aaron met us at the hospital and they hooked me up to a monitor that measured my contractions along with the baby's heartbeat. The doctor examined me said I was only 3 cm dilated (I was already 2 at my last OB visit) and my contractions weren't coming fast and hard enough. He decided to give me medicine to sleep and would check me again in the morning. If my labor hadn't progressed he would induce. I slept about an hour or so. Aaron slept in the chair. Around 2 am I woke to the woman next door screaming her brains out "it hurts, it hurts! I can't do this, it hurts!!" Oh boy! Sleep was not an option. I was determined to hear the cute cry of her baby so I would feel better about her pain but it never came. I found out in the morning that she had a cesarian. When the doctor returned in the morning he told me to my dismay that my waters did not in fact break and my membranes were still intact (well woohoo) He told me I have to make a decision. My choices were, enducing labor which at this point isn't necessary or going home and waiting for it to come naturally. Although I really wanted to see my baby I knew that waiting would be best. I was filled with such utter disappointment. I went into the hospital the night before positive that I was going to leave with my baby and in fact I was leaving still pregnant. I now had to go through the pleasure of calling everyone in my family and saying "false alarm!!" The good news was we had reservations for the rye town hilton lasko kosher family tours july 4th weekend and the doctor said to go for it, so we did! With my hospital bag in the trunk of the car and cabfare in our pockets (in case labor happened on shabbos) we made our trek. The whole week all I could think about was that lady next door to my labor room screaming. Tuesday morning July 5 I had an appointment to check on my water. When I walked in my doctor said "hey I thought I sent you to give birth." I answered "oh shoot. Guess I'm still pregnant." Thursday morning, July 7th, moving day. 9:00 am the movers were expected at our old apartment and 9:00 am the carpet guys were expected at our new apartment. 8:45 am I woke up got out of bed and felt warm liquid gush down my leg. "Hey I know what this is!" I thought. I called my dr. she said I should come now but I can shower first. I called Aaron and told him the news. His parents and my stepfather had to take care of the apartment situation. At 12 pm my labor didn't progress much so they gave me petocin (to induce). That was the day of the london subway bombings and I told Aaron I didn't want to keep watching that on tv. I suffered through my painful contractions while enjoying old dawson's creek reruns. Halfway through general hospital my contractions got unbearable. I kept screaming at Aaron "I can't take this anymore I want to go home." Although I am terribly afraid of needles I succumbed to the pain and finally opted for the epidural. I had the head of the department, yipee! They first give you a shot in the back to numb the area and then they put the epidural in. Well, of course just like when my dad gives me novicane (he's a dentist don't worry) I didn't get numb right away. I had to get 6 shots. oh joy! By the way you have to stay extremely still the whole time. Needless to say, my legs were jelly. I wasn't allowed to get up and go to the bathroom. I had absolutely no feeling in my legs whatsoever. At 10:30 that night I was finally 10 cm but they said I wasn't fully effaced. So, I had to wait more. At 11:30 I was finally ready to push. But to my utter horror they said they are going to stop the epidural drip so I can feel the contractions and know when to push. Why can't I just look at the screen? Why can't you just tell me!!?? They didn't listen and oh boy did it hurt! Since I was in so much pain and since I wanted to see my child so badly I pushed and pushed. I was determined to get it over with fast. Halfway through the pushing they asked if a nursing student could watch, sure why not, the more the merrier, just get this thing out of me!!
At 12:34 Am July 8th my beautiful Esther Malka was born at 6 lbs 7 oz. I guess the sonogram was accurate after all. It was the most beautiful experience ever. (even though it hurt.) When the doctor said "it's a girl" and plopped her on my lap I cried tears of joy just like in the movies. The nursing student said it was the most beautiful labor she has ever seen. Well, I'm mighty glad she liked it! So friends, this is why when people ask "how long was your labor?" I answer, "approximately a week."

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