Saturday, January 06, 2007

Happy Birthday Peek!

This post is generally for my own memory. If you do not want to read a labor and delivery story, please skip to the end and look at the pictures.

On January 5, 2002 I was very pregnant with our first baby. I was 34 1/2 weeks and I was big. And uncomfortable. And unhappy. I hated being pregnant and complained A LOT. I technically had 5 1/2 weeks left, but since it was my first baby I figured I would go 2 weeks overdue - so I had a looooong time left to be that uncomfortable. I was not happy.

That afternoon, Dave and I decided to go out for a date night before the baby came. We went to see Ocean's 11 because it is the best movie ever made, then went out for dinner and planned to do some shopping at Babies R Us afterward.

We wemt to Spaghetti Warehouse in Naperville for dinner. We were seated at our table, ordered our meals and were served our toasted ravioli. While discussingwho we would call from the hospital when the baby was born and whether or not I wanted an epidural (I didn't) or any other pain meds (I didn't), I felt a pop. I clearly felt a pop, but didn't think anything of it - I felt all kinds of weird things while I was pregnant so this was just another one. But this was different. At the risk of grossing anyone out... every time I moved in my chair or shifted my weight I felt fluid leaking. I had just gone to the bathroom and had not experienced any of that pregnancy incontinence like other people told me about, so this was weird to me. Dave noticed that I was acting weird and asked me what was wrong. I told him that I thought my water just broke - but it couldn't have. I had just read in the What to Expect When You're Expecting book that only 15% of women's water breaks... and I had 8 weeks (according to my messed up math) to go.

I told him I was going to go to the bathroom to check things out. I stood up, took 2 steps and it gushed - all over. Remember the book? It also said that if your water breaks you don't have to worry about it gushing all over and embarassing you because the baby's head will plug the cervix and stop it from gushing - there will be a trickle. There was no trickle for me. It was a gush - I looked like Ryann does when she wets her pants... Clearly either I had lost all control of my bladder or my water broke. I went to the bathroom and figured out that it was the latter.

In the meantime, our meal was served. Dave got nervous, sucked down his lasagna (yes he did) and asked the waiter for a check. He gave the guy an enormous tip because he was too nervous to figure it out. By the time I got out of the bathroom with my sweater around my waist I was signalling to him that we had to go - NOW.

We were in Naperville, our house was in Bolingbrook. The hospital was halfway between the restaurant and our house. But we weren't ready. I didn't have a bag packed, we hadn't taken birthing classes. We knew NOTHING. It was snowing and the roads were slick. Dave was a nervous wreck. He ran red lights and kept asking me if I was in pain. I wasn't feeling any pain and he kept saying, "Isn't it supposed to hurt?" I thought so, too, but I didn't feel anything.

We called the doctor twice from the car, he was paged to call us back. He didn't. We went home to pack a bag because obviously we were really smart about all of this:) I called the doctor again from home. He called me back and was kind of ticked at me because he had called twice and got our voicemail (the cell phone did NOT ring while we were in the car) and he was in surgery. I told him I thought my water had broken, he asked how early I was - I told him 8 weeks (remember my math), and he gasped and said, "You're only 32 weeks?" I told him, "No, I'm 34 1/2 but I figured I'd go late." blah, blah, blah - he was in no mood to hear my math and told me to go to the hospital right away and that I shouldn't have come home first.

So we went. Still no pain. Dave's still a nervous wreck and I'm as calm as I've ever been. Went into the ER and they decided that they needed to do a little paper test to find out if my water had truly broken - whatever. It had. They hooked me up to monitors and found that my contractions were 2 minutes apart, but I still was feeling nothing.

At around 10:15/10:30 I started feeling contractions, but no big deal. Dave was bored. We hadn't packed our bag well - just a few clothing items that I could think of at the time. At 11:00 he went home (20 minutes away) to grab a book (and a cigarette - naughty). The nurses had told us that it would probably be morning before I had the baby, so he had plenty of time.

By the time he came back around 12:30 I was in HARD labor. Probably dilated to 5/6 or something, but it was painful. I did not have any pain meds or an epidural and I had not taken birthing classes. Luckily a friend had told us about how his wife just found a focal point in the room and focused on that during her contractions. So thats all I knew. My focal point was in the ceiling right in front of the tv. At one point, though, they had me lay on my left side, so I had to find a new focal point - the door hinge served perfectly, except that Dave kept putting his head in between me and my focal point:)

Right before 2am (January 6) I felt that urge to push that you hear about, but just have no idea what it is until you experience it. I don't even think I had contol over it - I think my body was doing it for me without my knowledge. The doctor came, I began to push and 3 sets of 10 counts later we had our Peek. She was 4lbs 14 oz and was shown to me and whisked away.

During the whole ordeal it never ocurred to me that having a baby this early could be an issue. I had no idea of the seriousness of the situation. To me I was just finally having this baby and yes it was a little early, but it was coming. I think had I truly understood the seriousness of it all I may have been a basket case along with Dave. Two hours after she was born the neonatologist came in and talked to me - alone - about the possible issues Nora could have. I cannot remember a word he said, but I remember feeling like this was serious and could actually be a problem.

I did not get to see her until 10am the next morning when I was wheeled into the NICU. And this is what I saw:

She was beautiful and so tiny. She had a conehead because apparently she was in the birthcanal for a long time. But she was beautiful. She had full cheeks and good color. And I fell in love in a way that I had never known was possible.

Nora spent 5 days in the NICU learning how to suck. She was fed by a tube for the first 5 days and when she could take all of her feedings by a bottle she was allowed to come home. It was so hard to leave her in the hospital, but we visited several times a day and tried to give her as many feedings as possible. She came home on Friday and we have never been the same since. I have learned, through her, about a love that I never knew about, never imagined, and would never give up.

Happy 5th birthday my little Peek!

One Month:Two Months:Three Months:
Four Months:
Five Months:Six Months:Seven Months:
Eight Months:Nine Months:
Ten Months:Eleven Months:One Year:Two Years:
Three Years:Four Years:Five Years:


Jen 10:48 PM  

Happy Birthday Nora!

I do remember Kim calling and telling me and thinking, "Wow~that's how it happens on TV." and "34 weeks is early!"

Glad all went well and she's perfect as can be. And the hair that child grew between 2 and 3 is crazy!

Carol 9:07 AM  

Happy Birthday! Too cute. What a great story. I love how you described that falling in love like you never had or felt possible! Sooooo true. I remember being scared when I was pregnant with my 2nd one... I asked my mom how could I love another child as much as I loved the first. Mom just smiled and said, "you'll see... it grows."

Amanda 3:46 PM  

I LOVE birth stories...thanks for sharing that, Jana. Happy Birthday Nora! :)

kkoois 7:24 PM  

happy birthday, sweet nora! i remember holding and feeding you while you were still in the hospital. you were so tiny and adorable. you have grown up so fast - i can't believe you are 5 already! you are such a sweet little girl and i look forward to watching you continue to grow and mature. love, kim

Mommy Brain 10:04 PM  

Happy Birthday Nora!

Thanks for sharing your birth story! I can't believe your water broke in the restaraunt...I was always afraid of that happening...mine never broke on it's own.

It is amazing how much your ability to love grows isn't it? Do you remember that newborn smell she had? That's the best.

Heaven Sent 11:27 PM  

Happy Birthday, Nora! As your pictures clearly show, your smile has been adorable since day one!

I also love birth stories. It must be a mom thing. And my water broke too -- in a big gush! I heard the pop, and I swear a river came out of me. But mine happened at home. Still, I remember reading the 15 percent and never thinking it would happen to me.

I also remember hearing the news of when little Nora was born. Dave sounded like such a proud Papa. Five years has really flown by⁄!

April 8:43 AM  

How adorable! Sounds like you had a crazy start to parenting, but definitely one worth sharing! What fun and what a beautiful girl!!

Jordan 4:21 AM  

They are so amazing aren't they? Thank God for our beautiful kids. And I loved the way you wrote the story. It so hard to express how your kids make you feel and you did a pretty good job. Were the other girls early?

heidi jo 10:34 PM  

beautiful girl!

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