Monday, May 5, 2008

These last 11 days (the first 11 days of Reagan’s life) have been a whirlwind. The time has flown by, and I have been meaning to sit down and journal the whole experience so that I will never forget this special time. Well, 11 days later, Reagan is sleeping, Daddy is at the gym, my mom and Karly are at the grocery store, and Abby is content basking in the sun outside, so I finally have a minute to reflect.

It all started the morning of Tuesday, March 11th (the day after my actual due date). The night before I have bunco at Donna’s house and was out til 10:00 talking with the ladie and informing them that I was scheduled for an induction Thursday morning if Reagan hadn’t come by then. At 7am I got up with Steve and made his eggs for breakfast and put together a lunch for him. I said goodbye to Karly as she headed to work and then went up stairs to get ready for the gym. Abby was looking so comfortable cuddled up in our bed so I decided to lye down and pet her for a minute. At that point she got up and circled around and plopped herself down right on my stomach. I got up to go to the bathroom and as I was bending to get a headband…….my water broke! (7:45am) I ran to the phone to call Steve who had just left for work. He hadn’t gotten far so he immediately turned around to come home. He stopped his jeep at the top of our sloping driveway but forgot to put it in park. Needless to say when he came back outside to load up the bags, the jeep was in the middle of the cul de sac. At that point we were overwhelmed with excitement! Steve took Abby to the golf course to tire her out for her day by herself and I shaved my legs, brushed my hair, ate a bowl of cereal, and put on some make up. Within a half hour we were loaded into the jeep and headed to the hospital.
It was a pain free ride for me, as my contractions had not started yet. On the way we managed to call all of our family, and within an hour Denise and Cate had booked a flight, which was to get into Charlotte at around 7pm. Upon arrival to the hospital, we were directed to triage where the nurse confirmed that my water had indeed broken and I was only about 1 centimeter dilated. She informed us that because my natural contractions hadn’t started, it would be best to start pitocin within the hour. Steve and I were then directed to a labor and delivery room and introduced to our nurse, a very friendly talkative southern lady. Her first task was to give me the largest IV I had ever seen. After a brief bout of nausea, I was fine and trying to mentally prepare myself for the events to come. According to the monitor, my contractions started soon after the pitocin was administered, but I could not feel them at all (which was nice). So the nurse upped the amount of pitocin and I soon started feeling the pain. Luckily, by that time, Karly had gotten off work and was at my side. She was very soothing and helpful throughout my whole labor experience. The contractions soon became unbearable and I tried getting on the birthing ball. I was leaning on Steve and Karly was rubbing the small of my back. But after awhile, I knew I would need an epidural. By the time I decided to get one though, the anesthesiologist was called in for an emergency C-section and would be a good half an hour. So, after the longest half an hour of my life, I was poked twice in the back before the doc found the epidural space. But thankfully, this would be thehardest part of the whole birthing process. Minutes after the epidural was administered I felt nothing at all from my waist down. My legs were dead weight and I could not feel them or move them at all. At that point, I was 5 centimeters dilated and was able to relax, read a book, and even take a short nap before Dr. Wheeler arrived around 5:15. At that point he check me and I was fully dilated. Soon after I started pushing. Steve held my right leg and Karly held my left and after 6 sets of pushes, Reagan made her way into the world. Dr. Wheeler brought out a mirror so I could watch the whole thing, and although I was reluctant at first, it was so amazing and I’m glad I did!
Reagan was immediately placed on my chest skin to skin where she stayed for at least an hour. She immediately grasped on to my finger with her tiny hand and I knew I was instantly in love! To my surprise, she was not covered in white goop, but was rather clean, a little purple, and so perfect. She lay there wide-eyed without crying, just taking it all in. It was so amazing. Steve looked a little overwhelmed and standoffish, so I reminded him that he could touch her too. After about an hour and hundreds of pictures the nurses took Reagan away to weigh and measure her and give her her vitamin K shot and eye cleaning. Then Steve got to hold her for the first time and that was so incredible to watch. She looked like a little peanut in his hands. Then it was Karly’s turn and she was a natural with her.
Soon we were ready to move up to the recovery room. This room was much smaller, but still pretty nice. Steve had a very small pull out chair to sleep in so he wasn’t too excited about that. At this point I still couldn’t feel my legs at all so I was wheeled up in a wheelchair. By this point I hadn’t eaten since my morning bowl of cereal and was literally starving. Karly went to Chick fila and brought me a grilled chicken sandwich and directed Denise and Cate back to the hospital. They were sad that they didn’t make it for the birth, but they were so excited to see baby Reagan. Denise got to change the first tarry diaper and Steve held her little legs up in disgust.
We came home 24 hours after Reagan’s birth. Steve was anxious to get out of the hospital and the Dr.’s said that both Reagan and I were perfectly healthy and ready to go home. Denise and Cate stayed for 5 days and mom overlapped their visit by one day so it was nice to have everyone here. Aunt Jeanne, Uncle John, Michael, and Kinsey came to visit when Reagan was 3 days old. It was so nice to have her meet them! Uncle John took over one hundred gorgeous pictures while they were here. Mom stayed for about 10 days and was such a huge help! I really don’t think I could have been as sane the first few weeks if it weren’t for her advise and experience to guide me along! She is so good with Reagan, and Reagan loves to look up at her and listen to her voice. I definitely have a whole new level of respect for my mom now that I realize all that she did for me as a baby!

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