Sunday, February 26th
Saturday was completely uneventful. I spent saturday and most of sunday doing final things around the house. My best friend, Sara, arrived mid-afternoon from Chicago. It was really strange looking back, but I wasn't nervous or anxious for my induction. Sara and I hung around the house for a bit and then headed out for dinner around 6pm. We talked and got caught up on things during the meal. Typical to our friendship, we lost track of time. I just happened to glance down at my cell phone and realized it was 8:47 and I needed to report to L&D for my induction at 9pm. We quickly threw everything in Sara's car and headed to the hospital. Unlike my visit on Friday, the place was a ghost town. They had me checked in and in my room with 15 minutes.
My first nurse, Cheryl, was awesome. I could tell right off the bat that she had a good sense of humor, which was good because Sara brings out the funny side of me. Earlier in the day I had made a pan of brownies for the nurses. When I handed it to her I told her that I was afraid I was going to be a overly demanding patient but I hoped the brownies would help my image, ahe got a good chuckle. Cheryl sent me into the bathroom to change into the hospital gown. While I was in the bathroom, I saw this big poster on the wall with facial expressions demonstrating the 10 levels of pain. I came out of the bathroom and summond the nurse over to the poster and told her " you see this" pointing to the smiling face with the number 1 under it. " I want to stay between this smiling face to the 'just wiping the smirk off my face' number 4 during this induction". "This is my birth plan". She told me it could be arranged. I thought Sara was going to pee her pants she was laughing so hard.
At 10pm on the dot we got the induction rolling. The nurse put a tiny pill, cytotech up against my cervix to begin to soften and dilate my cervix. Although I was told previously that I was 2 cm, when they checked me when I arrived I was only at 1cm and the baby was really up high. I don't know what's up with that. Instead of making Sara suffer through sleeping on an uncomfortable hospital couch, I sent her back to my house so she could get a good nights sleep. After Sara left, Cheryl walked back in and told me I should take an ambien to help me sleep. I agreed, and must had fallen fast asleep with minutes after taking it.
Monday, February 27th
Around 2am, Cheryl woke me up to check me and to see if I needed another dose of cytotech. I was only at 1.5cm and was having contractions that were about 5 minutes apart although I couldn't feel them at all. She put in a second dose of the cytotech and I fell back to sleep.
It was around 5am when Cheryl woke me up again. I still wasn't feeling the contractions but I couldn't stop shaking. When I was checked I was only at 2.5 cm so she contacted my doctor to come into break my water. The doctor didn't arrive till 6ish. I still couldn't stop shaking and was just starting to feel the contractions. They still weren't that painful but they were definitely getting closer together. My doctor broke my water only discover that Gavin had already had his first bowel movement. The doctor explained that they were going to do an amnio infusion to help flush out the meconium and that when the baby is born, he would go straight to the warmer where the respiratory team would suction him out first. Once they got the amnio infusion started, I just felt gross. I could constantly feel large gushes of fluid come out of me. This continued up until I gave birth. At the time of the amnio infusion, they also placed an internal monitor on Gavin. He was still really high so my doctor told me that I would probably not have him to really late that evening. This wasn't exactly what I wanted to hear at 6am.
Shortly after they broke my water, the contractions really started to pickup. I asked if I could get my epidural but because I wasn't 4cm, they told me I would have to wait. Thankfully it was shift change, because my next nurse, Kirsten, offered me some Stadol around 7am to tide me over until I could get an epidural. Sara had just walked back into my room but I was so focused on the contractions, it took me a few minutes to realize she was in the room. My shakes were so bad, my teeth just rattled. Shortly after receiving the stadol, I stopped shaking and fell back to sleep for an hour and half.
Kirsten woke me up around 8:30am to check me and I was at 4-5cm. I was in a total haze from the stadol but I was really starting to feel painful contractions. Still shaking, I couldn't stop myself from doing these low moans. Kirsten asked if I was ready for my epidural. Hell yes!! It seemed like only minutes later the anesthesiologist was preping me for the epidural. They had me sit up at the side of the bed,facing the nurse. The stadol made me so dizzy, all I could remember saying over and over again was that I was going to fall and that I felt like I was going to black out. At 9am my epidural was in and within minutes the shaking stopped and I felt great.
Sara and I talked for the next hour and watched some tv. We also began talking about baby names. Sara began telling me her favorite names but I told her to not share her boy names because I didn't want a "Friends" incident. You know, the one where Rachel asks Monica what her favorite baby names are she ends up stealing the name "Emma" for her little girl. I was starting to get groggy again so I fell back asleep around 10 am.
I woke up to Sara taking a picture of me around noon. Although I wasn't in any pain, my shakes had come back with a vengence and I was starting to feel nauseous. Within minutes, I started to vomit. Kirsten came in to check me and I was at 9cm. I could move my legs again and could feel a lot of pressure in my bottom. Kirsten said I could probably start pushing in the next hour, about 6 hours before they thought I would be ready. I was so terrified that my epidural would wear out before I started to push that I asked for Kirsten to top of my epi. I fell back to sleep within minutes.
At 1:30 I woke up to more shaking. I could feel Gavin's head work its way down with each contraction and could tell his head was really close to coming out but I decided to labor down a bit longer. I was afraid it I waited to long his head would come out on his own before the nurses and doctors could come back into the room to suction him out. I sat there with my eyes closed just waiting, trying to decide if I should say something or wait a bit longer.
Around 3pm, I knew I couldn't wait any longer and told Sara to get the nurse. Ironically, Sara was watching TV and what was she watching? The Friends episode where Rachel has her baby. I couldn't believe it was on tv after we just got done talking about it. As much as I thought it was ironic that it was on, I told Sara to turn it off because I didn't want to use Ross as my focal point :)
Kirsten came in and checked me. As she pulled my legs apart she said she could see his hair!! She had me do a couple of practice pushes and then told me to stop. Unfortunately, I kept vomiting which seemed to push him down even more. It seemed like only a minute or two and my whole room was full of people in blue. They broke down the bed and my doctor entered the room. I pushed twice and his head came out. He was already crying. I pushed a third time and delivered the rest of his body at 3:38 pm. I asked Sara to have the honor of cutting his cord. She's been my best friend for 27 years, I couldn't imagine anyone else doing it. Gavin was 7lbs 13 oz and 19 inches long. I had a second degree tear. The doctor and the nurses kept joking around that he shot out of me! They suctioned him out and placed him on me. I think I was just in shock looking down at this little puffy face. I recognized his nose immediately. Everyone in my family has the same nose. He has long toes that definitely did not come from our side of the family but they are so adorable I can't stop kissing them.
Within minutes of having him put on my chest, the lactation consultant came in to help me begin nursing him. It only took a few minutes to get him to have a good latch. Unfortunately, his latch would start off great and then he would some how slip into an incorrect latch which was pretty painful. Through the night I developed suck blisters on the top of my nipples which hurt like crazy but we worked through the pain and they disappeared within a few days. He also had a tendency to fall asleep as soon as he latched on. It's kind of cute but he likes to cuddle up to my nipple, with his little lips just touching it. He still does this. I have to undress him down to his diaper to get him to stay awake while feeding him.
I worked with the lactation consultant off and on for two hours until a nurse came in to take Gavin for his first bath. I kind of regret doing this but I allowed the nurse to take him and sent Sara along to take pictures while I stayed in bed to be checked by another nurse. After Sara left with the baby, the nurse asked me if I wanted to try to get up and go to the bathroom. I could feel my legs and move them without any weakness so after I said yes I quickly sat up and tossed my legs over the side of the bed to get up. The nurse freaked out and started to yell wait. She was afraid I would jump out of bed and crumble to the floor so I had to wait until a second nurse arrived to help. Besides my lady bits being a little sore, I felt great. They slowly helped me out of bed and I then I walked to the bathroom without any problems. I guess women normally need a lot of assistance their first time out of bed so the nurses kept telling me to slow down. They also kept trying to convince me I needed to take a loratab for pain. I refused.
Tuesday, February 28th
I've had just about everyone tell me to take advantage of the overnight nursery so I could get some sleep. I'm so glad I did. They brought my little man in every 2 1/2 hours to feed but as soon as he was done they would wisk him away and I would crash immediately. I was amazed how these little mini naps would energize me.
By the next morning, I felt completely fine. No soreness. Very little bleeding. I couldn't wait to get out of bed and take a shower and change into my clothes. I must have been on a new mommy high because I seriously felt like I slept 12 hours the night before even though it was probably only 5 hours.
I still hadn't picked out a name by the end of the first night. Although the nurses seemed ok with it at the beginning, I was definitely feeling pressured by the end of the night and even worse in the morning. I've always hated the name Brody but for whatever reason the name stuck out and I started to really consider it along with the name Gavin. I spent most of the night trying to "try names on". Around 10 am on tuesday, the record keeper came in for the second time that morning to see if I had come up with a name yet. I made a snap decision and said his name. The record keeper looked up from her paper work and said "that's a good name, that's my three year old son's name". It made me hesitate for a second but then I realized maybe this was a sign. Seriously, how many kids could there be out there with the name Gavin Thomas? So I kept the name. What also sealed the deal was Sara laughing at his initials GT. She thought it was fitting GT = Grand Torino = him tearing out of me so quickly.
I purposely hadn't told many people that I was going for an induction so that my phone would not be blowing up during labor. I had Sara call my Dad and my sister to give them Gavin's stats and iniate our phone tree. I really thought this would help to cut down the number of phone calls I would receive the first and second day but boy was I wrong. I received 63 texts and phone calls within the first 24 hours of his life. Once I hit the mid 30's, I turned off my phone. Granted, I only talked to my mom and my dad during the first 24 hours and let the rest go to voice mail, I still felt so overwhelmed everytime my phone vibrated. It's nice to know everyone is so supportive but I was a little amazed by the number of people who thought I would have time to sit and talk on the phone within hours of giving birth. Maybe some people can, but I was so wrapped up in getting to know Gavin and learn how to breast feed that there was no way I could talk on the phone for more than 20 broken up minutes through out the day. The biggest culprit was one of my aunts. We made sure my Dad called her first because she somehow got forgotten when my sister had her first son and this caused her to be so mad about it she didn't talk to us for two years (kind of extreme but whatever). I'm assuming as soon as my dad got off the phone with her, she texted me three times. The first saying congratulations and asking length and weight (which I know my dad provided this information to her) and the final two asking why I'm not responding. I finally posted a birth announcement on Facebook around 9pm with a picture. I turned off my phone about an hour after the FB posting. When I woke up the next morning I was stunned by the number of messages. Again, there were four more additional text messages from my aunt so to calm her down I briefly responded with the requested info and said things are going well. As soon as I hit send, my phone rings again and it's my aunt wanting to sit around and chit chat. This of course coincided with the baby beginning to cry to be fed so I told her I would call her back wednesday night when things settled down. I couldn't believe it but she said no, this is the only time she had to talk. I was pissed!! I stuck to my guns and repeated I would call her tomorrow and that I needed to feed the baby. I hung up before she could respond. I also turned off my phone again. When I turned on my phone again a couple of hours later to start responding to other peoples texts and messages, she had texted me 4 more times! I still haven't talked to my sister or brothers, other family and close friends and was starting to get really angry about her monopolizing the little time I had. Worse I told her I would talk to her the next day yet she still couldn't wait. It's like she doesn't understand any boundaries. It was really getting me worked up when I should be enjoying this momemt with my new son. I finally just turned off my phone again so I wouldn't have to deal with it which sucked because it would have been nice to talk to other people.
Wednesday, February 29th
I knew the night before they were calling for some severe storms in the area but didn't think much about it. They continued to bring Gavin into my room for feedings that early morning. They brought him into my room around 5am and while feeding him I decided to turn on the TV to check the morning news. I was shocked to learn that Harrisburg,IL had been ravaged by a tornado only a hour or two before. It's a town that is not to far away from me. The weather man was talking in a bit of a panicked voice and started saying the storm was heading towards my town. I still wasn't all that worried but then they started reporting multiple tornado just south west of the hospital. Just then my new nurse ran in to tell me that I needed to get into the bathroom with the baby as soon as possible. She helped me bring a rocking chair into the bathroom with chair close enough to the bathroom door so I could hold it shut. I tried to stay as calm as possible but I could hear the storm sirens going off and the wind picking up and blowing across the roof on the hospital. I didn't want to stress the baby out so I decided to try feeding him. Shortly after 6am my town was hit by a tornado. No lives were lost but our downtown was damaged and there were many houses completely destroyed. Gavin and I really dodged a bullet because the tornado just passed a 1/4 mile from my home and 1 mile south of the hospital. I called my apartment complex in the morning just to make sure I had a home to return to. Thankfully, we only lost some shingles off the roof. What I didn't know at the time was this would not be the last tornado Gavin and I would experience that week.
If that was tramatic enough, the pediatrician came into the room around 8am to take Gavin for his circumcision. It seemed to go well but I really felt bad for him. The first time he peed after the procedure, he screamed like someone was trying to kill him. It still breaks my heart thinking about it.
Gavin and I were released from the hospital at 4pm that day. I was told they wouldn't let me drive home from the hospital so my a co-worker offered to take us home. I definitely felt like I could drive especially since I didn't require any pain medication after Gavin's birth. During my discharge, they still told me not to drive for 1 week which I kind of laughed at. I think I pissed the nurse off because she said "I know your not going to follow any of these instructions..." She did try to joke with me while they were walking us out the door. She asked me sarcastically not to skip down the hallways when leaving because it would make the nurses and doctors look bad :)
My co-worker only sat at my house for 10 minutes after bringing everything in from the car and then we were on our own (she had to go pick up her son).
My mom called within minutes of us walking in the door to make sure we got settle in ok. As soon as my co-worker walked out the door, my crazy aunt began texting me again. Her texts sent me over the edge. I have another aunt on my dad's side that we disowned. The last time I talked to her was well over 25 years ago. I was 9 and my Dad and her started to argue. Tina wanted to borrow money and my dad said they could afford to help her out. She got so mad about it she told my Dad and "your bitches" (my sister was with us) to get out of the house. She then started to swing to hit us. I remember racing to the car and getting out of there as fast as possible. Well my crazy aunt and Tina still talk to one another. Tina has never made an attempt to contact anyone in my family in the last 25 years. For whatever reason my crazy aunt decides to text me "Is it ok that I give your aunt your address". I decided to play dumb, I have a lot of aunts but the rest of them have my contact information, and wrote another aunts name down with a question mark. She then responded with the name Tina and then said this would be the perfect time for me to get in contact with her!! Just what I want to do after giving birth 48 hours ago. Ugggh. Yes let me reconnect with a abusive family member (who has never had a job her whole life, has a history of fraud and says horribly inappropriate crap). Just who I want my son around. I tried to stay calm and told her that I didn' know and I needed to think about it. I thought this would get her off my back but no. She responds with another text that that was ok she won't give her my phone number just my address and email address. GAHHHH!! Pushy are you? I responded that this was not the time to have this conversation. I think she could tell I was pissed and I made it another 24 hours before I received another barage of texts from her. I finally just called her on Saturday morning and told her that taking care of a new baby is a bit time consuming (she doesn't have children) and I appreciate her support and hope she wont get upset but I don't have time to sit and talk or text much. I also told her it was really upsetting that she would try to push my other aunt on me right now when she could have tried to contact me at any point, on her own, in the last 25 years but hasn't so there fore I don't feel inclined to pay attention to my new baby less so I can reconnect with someone who hasn't treated me or the rest of my family well in the past. She seemed really concerned that I would not ever talk to her again but I tried to reassure her that I just needed some space. Ahhhh family drama, but little did I know there was more to come with my parents arrived.