10 weeks ago tonight, E and I decided to go on one last date before little man was born. I was going about my business and getting ready-- about ready to step in the shower-- when my water broke! I was in such shock that I didn't know if it had really happened and I wondered if I was getting a weird end-of-pregnancy thing where one starts peeing herself, ha! I mean, I like to think I'm a little more sophisticated than that!
So E and I get ready and head on post to the hospital-- they checked to make sure that my water really had broken, and then informed me that they didn't have a bed available for me. No, I'm not joking! Thank God I wasn't having contractions then, otherwise I might have really hurt someone! They told us we could either wait for a bed (um, no) or go to a hospital off post (yes, please!). Looking back, we were SO lucky to be sent to an off-post hospital, especially when all I hear are complaints about the one on post. I take these complaints with a grain of salt, though, as they usually come from those whiney, nothing-makes-me-happy Army wives. Anyway, E and I went back home to set up everything for Buddy since we'd be 45 minutes away rather than just 10, and then we set off for the hospital!
When we got there, they had to give me something to start labor, and then the fun began-- contractions. Throughout pregnancy I had seriously thought about giving birth naturally, but let me tell you, when I felt that first painful contraction (which I didn't know were contractions at that time), I wanted medicated and right that moment! They gave me something which made me feel completely intoxicated, but it wore off quickly so I was then offered an epidural. It was wonderful! I was numb from my belly button down, the way God intended childbirth to be, ha!
Throughout the night they kept checking me for dilation and to keep readjusting the straps that monitored the baby because I was moving around too much--oops! I wasn't able to sleep, but I did get some rest and it seemed like everytime I looked at the clock, a few hours had already passed. I was for sure that it would have felt like time was dragging. In the morning my new nurse came in to introduce herself. I have to say, we couldn't have asked for a better nurse-- she was AWESOME! After noon I was finally dilated to a full 10 and it was time to try out some practice pushes. There was a big roadblock in the way, though-- my wonderful, beautiful epidural had worn off on the right side of my body. I was in so much pain that when they had me try to push, I could only hold out for three seconds. They tried to get the anesthesiolgist in to fix my problem, but he was with another pregnant lady. It seemed like it took him the longest time to get to me and I was so ready to tear into him when he got in the room-- I really thought I'd end up yelling things that would even make my husband blush. So I finally get remedicated and the nurses position me to help me labor down. A little while later they came into to let me do some practice pushes again, after explaining to me that a woman usually pushes for 2-3 hours with her first child. This time when I tried to push, I could push for the entire 10 seconds, and with the second push, I had literally pushed the baby down quite a bit and the nurse looked shocked. So then a million people come into the room and they all put on their baby-delivering gear-- they told me that I'd be having a baby soon and I thought they were just saying that so I'd keep pushing. Well... three contractions and ten minutes later I felt an emptyness down there, and looked up at the glass on the ceiling and saw the most beautiful and precious sight I'd ever seen. I started crying so hard that my nurse almost cried too, haha! So yes, I'm pretty much a freak of nature with my baby delivering skills.
After the epidural had worn off, they took me to another room and E went home to check on the dog. While in the room, they made me watch a video about shaken baby syndrome, so that started me crying already. Then that night, with E laying on the couch on one side, and Joseph in the bassinet on my other, all I could do was just cry knowing that E would have to leave us so soon. As soon as I'd feel better a doctor would come in and talk to me about postpartum and I'd start crying again. I have to say the short time between Joseph being born and E leaving was one of the hardest in my life. Every night around dinnertime I'd just start crying and couldn't stop. I was just shocked by how emotional I was because I had really thought I had come to terms with him leaving. It almost seemed like it was a relief when he did leave, as horrible as that sounds. It seems with a deployment that two of the hardest things are waiting for them to leave, and then waiting for them to come home right before they redeploy.
I'm doing fine now with the blues and Joseph keeps me busier than I could have ever imagined. I feel so overwhelmed sometimes because it seems like I can't keep up with the house and other such things, but instead of feeling blue about that as well, I should be happy that I have so much to keep me busy. I hear from E often, and have even heard from other wives that he has been talking about Joseph a lot from their husbands! :) I just can't wait to have our whole family together again and to see E with his son-- I know Joseph is just going to be nuts about his daddy :)
So that is the birth story-- 10 minutes of pushing and I was a Mama.
For your viewing pleasure, here are some pics from Joseph's first day of life: