I’ve been wanting to put together a comprehensive post on George’s Birth Day, but time and mental clarity have been a real issue. Now that we are rapidly approaching George’s first birthday, I have been inspired to revisit the topic.
Additionally, I was not sure how much detail I should put on the internet and how much folks even care to read. That being said, here’s the middle ground (yet, still long) approach…
Tuesday, October 8th
7:00 PM — We didn’t know it, but this was our last supper before we met George. For those interested, we had black beans and sausage soup that I made in the slow cooker.
10:00 PM — I went to bed feeling a little off and very, very swollen.
11:30 PM– I woke up to a horrible contraction and just knew labor had begun. We called our doctor’s “emergency” line and we were advised to make our way to the hospital. I showered, blow-dried my hair and did a mini makeup routine. Hey, I wanted to feel like me!
Wednesday, October 9th
1:35 AM — We made the 5-minute drive and arrived safely at Texas Woman’s Hospital and checked into Labor and Delivery for monitoring. I was very mobile and spent a lot of time pacing, but trying to relax. At my first pelvic check, I was only 1.5 cm dilated – the same as I was at that week’s OB exam. Please note that I clipped my FitBit to my hospital gown. I’ll pause while you laugh wildly at my naivete/ignorance/stupidity.
3:00 AM — The OB on-call came by to check things out. She decided to wait until 7:30 AM to make a decision about what to do with me (admit me or send me home). As luck should have it, my OB was beginning her 36 hour shift on-call at 7:30 AM! John and I took advantage of the down time and we both napped.
7:30 AM — My OB came by and was excited to see us. Truth be told, she was a bit surprised — she fully expected me to be overdue. She offered to come back later to check my progress. More napping for us.
9:30 AM — Since I had only progressed to 2 CM dilated, my OB decided to begin Petocin. She was concerned about my lack of food (my last meal had been over 14 hours ago at this point) and wanted to make sure I had the energy for labor. I was a bit disappointed to have an intervention so early on, but in the end it turned out to be the best decision. Contractions intensified.
10:00 AM — My waters spontaneously burst and the contractions intensified even more. I made a commitment to labor standing up at this point. Why not let gravity help things out? At this point, my parents and Julie had made their way to the hospital. While my parents paced around, Julie and I talked celebrity gossip. I was also texting feverishly with my closest girlfriends. Good Times.
12:30 PM — The contractions were unbearable, but I was fighting through them. My nurse advised an epidural at this point. Noting my exertion level, she told me that I needed to conserve energy and that an epidural would help me get some rest. Agreed.
1:00 PM — That was fast! The anesthesiology team came by quickly and gave me the epidural. The pain wasn’t intense, but the mental experience was one for the books. I am a needle-phobe, so this was a trying experience for me. My nurse was awesome and really helped me through it all. When I wasn’t quite getting relief, the anesthesiology team came back to push another pain medication through. After a while, I began to doze, almost pain-free.
2:00 PM — My OB came by to check things out and I was 5 CM dilated. She advised that we were getting close!
2:30 PM — My nurse checked me and I was 7 CM. She manually turned the baby (George was coming face up) and I was instantly at 10 CM. She called my OB and she immediately came into the room. Pushing began.
3:33 PM — This was my initial goal delivery time. Obviously, I fell short. My OB was very positive and said we’d be done by 4:44.
4:44 PM — It’s a Boy! George was born safely and I only suffered a level two tear and a small episiotomy. Incidentally, my OB correctly predicted the delivery time. Hearing George cry and seeing his face after 9+ months of waiting was breathtaking. He was, and is, perfect. We were so excited to learn that we had a son. Not finding out the gender in advance was definitely the way to go (for us). Apparently, my IV fell out of my arm at some point, hence the swollen arm. But did I notice? Nope.
6:00 PM — I ate my first post-baby meal — chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, green beans, pretzels and an ice-cold Sprite. I probably looked like a T-Rex as I ate — I was starving! For the record, Nelda watched me eat this meal and I am pretty sure she is scarred for life.
7:00 PM — We moved into our hospital room — a corner suite. Since they had the room available, we paid for the upgrade. In the end, upgrading was a great choice — we had additional space for sleeping, visiting and lounging.
Friday, October 11th
5:15 PM — We were discharged and made the 10-minute (there was traffic!) drive home. At Cliffwood, we were greeted by my parents and sisters. They were greeted by a child in very large clothing!
Hands down, John was amazing throughout the experience. He was calm and patient with me throughout the entire pregnancy, but especially during labor and delivery. John was an active participant during the delivery and to my surprise, watched as George was brought into the world. John only left my side to pick up things from Cliffwood and stayed the night with us at the hospital. I am a very, very lucky woman.
We delivered at the Texas Woman’s Hospital and the experience surpassed everything we imagined. We had high expectations after the classes and tour we took, and fortunately they were exceeded during our labor, delivery and recovery. The facilities were immaculate and very accommodating. In addition to several gift shops, the hospital has a full-service cafeteria that served really good food. The hospital recently began carrying Chick-fil-A products so I had some pretty happy visitors! Every single staff member that we encountered went above and beyond to ensure our comfort. I’d recommend this hospital without hesitation.
My OB is AMAZING. I realize I had a pretty uncommon experience, but I was thrilled that we were able to spend so much time with her. My OB was literally by my side for almost three hours. In addition to being my doctor, she was my cheerleader, advocate and my friend. I am truly grateful that she was a part of our experience. If you live in the Houston area and are in need of a great OB/GYN, please email me and I will pass along her details. If she wasn’t my OB, I’m pretty sure she would be among one of my closest friends. Yes, she is that amazing.
All of our nurses were amazing, save one who apparently was having a very bad day. I am still in awe of the dedication and passion that our nurses have for their jobs. Most notably, my labor and delivery nurse was patient, kind and quite an advocate for me. She really helped make my delivery experience drama-free and enjoyable. In the final weeks of pregnancy, I prepared these goodie bags for those that helped us in the hospital. To my delight, they were well-received.
As I mentioned, we upgraded to one of the hospital suites. All of our friends advised us to get the upgrade if it was available and we were so glad we did. Having extra space to sleep in and to orient ourselves as a family of three was greatly appreciated. We also had a special food menu that we could order from. John was thrilled to have Chick-fil-A delivered to the room. I also received a nice robe and soft pair of slippers, both with the hospital logo on them. Our room also came with a refrigerator full of drinks, a fruit and cheese plate and a small birthday cake for George. It’s the little things, right? My only complaint is that the towels were very thin. I know — what a problem to have! I’m lucky I didn’t have to deliver George in a field while bearing down on a stick.
We had quite a few visitors in the hospital, but I didn’t really want a whole bunch of people in the early days of our lives together. Everyone is different when it comes to these experiences, and all I wanted was time to sleep and to get to know George.
George stayed with us in our room when he wasn’t in the nursery getting bathed or circumcised. I loved seeing his perfect face!
Hopefully that wasn’t too painful to read or to get through. Please comment or shoot me an email if I didn’t cover something you want to know about. There’s a lot more to this story!