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Laura Kate's Birth Story

As I was organizing the Scout's tabs at the top of the blog (if you havn't checked them out, you should!), it occurred to me that I haven't ever written out Laura Kate's birth story. The blog was started after she was born and we were still feeling out what the blog would look like (work or family blog) so it never occurred to me to write about it before. I decided I would still like a record of it.

So this is Laura Kate's birth story, as best as I remember it 4 years later.

In the weeks leading up to LK's birthday, I really worried about having to induce. I really didn't want to because I didn't think that it should be up to me to decide when a baby should be born or not. At the same time, at my 39 week appointment I was miserable. At 38 weeks my doctor told me that it took a week to get on the schedule for an induction and that he didn't want me going past 41 weeks. He suspected Laura Kate would weigh about 9lbs. With still some reluctance, I went ahead and scheduled to induce on May 12th, 2008, 4 days after her due date, all the while praying and praying that she would come on her own. 

After seeing my doctor on Friday the 9th (40 weeks, 1 day), we received our instructions for showing up to induce on Monday. After wonderful first mother's day on Sunday the 11th, I started have contractions about 2:45 in the morning on Monday. I layed in bed for a long time timing and counting contractions. Finally, realizing I wasn't going back to sleep, both Kyle and I got up and watched F.R.I.E.N.D.S. and ate popcicles. I remember talking with Kyle about how I didn't know how anyone could sleep the night before they were going to have a baby, just because we were SO excited!!

I think we were scheduled to go in to the hospital around 6:00, so we headed out with my contractions about 10 minutes apart. I checked in a labor and delivery and I they gave me a clipboard with paperwork to fill out. I specifically asked if I should turn in my paperwork or hang on to it and the nurse told me it didn't matter. We were the first in the waiting room and a few other couples also scheduled to induce filed in the room. It turns out we should have turned that paper in because that's the order they ended up putting people in rooms and we were the last in the waiting room This happened to be the day of an earthquake in China so we watched the news footage and waited and waited, all the while contracting and getting a bit more uncomfortable.

By the time we finally got to our room is was probably about 7:30-8:00. My nurse Lisa was amazing. Pretty soon my doctor came in to break my water and get me hooked up to the monitors. When he got the monitors hooked up he asked me "Do you realize you are have contractions??". I told him yes as a matter of fact I do. He told me regardless I would have a baby by 8:00 that night or we could have a baby by 2:00 that afternoon if we went ahead with the pitocin. I didn't know anything since it was my first baby and without any thought at all, chose to have a baby as soon as possible. I was ready to meet my girl! He started a pretty fast drip of the pitocin and told me he would see me when I was ready to deliver. 

In the meantime, my nurse had told me when I first got to my room that if I wanted an epidural I needed to get on the list immediately.There was only one anesthesiologist on the floor for all labor and delivery, including C-sections. (yeah, it's still the most ridiculous thing when I think about it). So about an hour after the pitocin was started, a man rushes in to give me my epidural saying this "I don't have time to explain this to you, I've got a woman next door in a lot of pain so let's just get this going". He told me to lay on my side and curl up as tight as I could. It hurt very differently that I expected (and worse) and I remember jumping. The doctor left as fast as he came in and I waited for the medicine to kick in. Unfortunately the only place it did was from about my mid-thigh down and only on my right leg. 

For the next 3 hours I was in incredible pain.....the worst ever. Contractions were very close together and very long. I was completely unprepared in any kind of natural childbirth techniques. My natural reaction was to bear-up against the pain and try to hold my breath until it was over. Obviously I see now what a bad idea that was. Kyle was amazing....right there with me reminding me, making me breath. I made noises I never wanted to make and I got to the point of panic and I remember saying to Kyle.... "I can't do this...I can't do this".  As lovingly as he could he told me "you kind of have to do this" but we decided to get a 2nd epidural hoping it would work so we got back on the list. In the middle of all of this, my nurse told me that my doctor had ordered some IV pain meds (demorall and phenergen) that I went ahead and consented to. 

Sometime around noon, the lovely (not) anesthesiologist came back, not a lick nicer than the first time but with Kyle giving him threatening looks on his way out of the room (and holding back everything he had in him from punching the guy in the jaw), telling me that there was no guarantee a second epidural would work. I remember asking my mom (who was in the labor room with us the whole time) if she was praying and bless her heart, she had been in the corner of the room emailing everyone she could think of to pray for relief for me and that the 2nd would work. PRAISE THE LORD IT DID! Within 10 minutes, I was completely pain free. My mom left to give Kyle and I a few minutes together and we were both pretty emotional with the relief. 

I relaxed, dozed for a little bit (the phenergen had made me pretty sleepy and I was just realizing with the relief of the pain). Before I knew it, the nurse came in to check me and I was at a 10! She called the doctor who came in told my mom and Kyle to each hold a leg and we started pushing. I was not very good at pushing. My doctor had to tell me to "stop pushing with your face and push with your butt". Since I blissfully couldn't feel anything, I had a hard to telling my brain where to push. I ended up only pushing for 20 minutes. To this day, I don't know why, but at the very end, my doctor used the suction to get her out the rest of the way. I don't know if it's because I was a bad pusher, or because he was in a hurry, or for some other medical reason. Luckily this didn't cause any complications. He held up this purple, cheesy, screaming beautiful, 7lb 12oz 20.5 inch long (not 9lb) baby girl for me to see and then instructed Kyle on how to cut the cord. They took her to the warmer to clean her up and do her APGAR test and Kyle put her first diaper on her, all while my doctor was sewing me up. Boy was she screaming.

After what felt like forever, they finally handed her to me and I said "Hi, baby" and at the sound of my voice she immediately stopped crying and became very calm. I couldn't stop staring at her and the first thing I noticed about her was her eyelashes. These long beautiful eyelashes. I just never thought about babies having eyelashes before. 

We let family who had been waiting in the waiting room come meet her in the delivery room and I asked the nurse to call for a lactation specialist. I knew I wanted to nurse as soon as possible since she was so awake from delivery, but I was very nervous because I hadn't done it before and I wanted help. The LS did come and help and from the first latch, LK was an excellent nurser and I fell in love with nursing. 

We stayed in the hospital for 2 nights and from the get go, LK was on a 3 hour schedule and never wavered.

While the day went nothing like I had thought or dreamed and I learned a lot in hindsight for #2 and #3, it was one of the best days of my life. Being a mother is something I know God created me for and being Laura Kate Wiley's mother is a privilege and an honor. She brings me more joy than I could have ever imagined. 

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