{alice ann} pt 1

Welcome to the world, Alice!


She came out screaming - loudly.

She came out screaming – loudly.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

5lb 12oz     19in


Here’s her story:

(This is a long one… be prepared.  Apparently there is a 1300 word limit on a post so this is just part one.)

On Friday everything was normal, well, the dog was being extra dickish (non-stop whining and running around the house at 6:30am because he was upset that Derek went to work – like he does every day at that time…), but other than that things were normal.  I started having contractions around 10:30 that night.  I guess I thought it would have been more dramatic, you know, like you see on television.  I don’t know how contractions felt for other people but mine felt just like menstrual cramps.  It took us a long time to really accept that they were contractions.

In the last few weeks I had tried to make it a point to not pay tooooo close of attention to my body because I knew that I would start thinking that every little thing might be a sign of labor and then I would just make myself overly anxious.  After trying to get pregnant for so long, I became (maybe a little overly) hyper-vigilant of my body signs/symptoms/changes, so I was always very aware of anything going on in there.  So I was trying to be calm about it and tell myself that if it really was labor I wouldn’t miss it but to let my body be in charge and not my mind.

So, after timing the contractions for a few hours we decided to contact the on-call OB at my doctor’s office.  I know that it’s a part of their job to get woken up in the middle of the night, but I’m sure they are never pleased about it.  This guy was not terribly pleased at our call full of questions and requesting advice at 1am.  He told us to wait awhile before coming to the hospital until the contractions met whatever requirement he wanted them to meet.  We were still really calm at this point.  Derek was picking up the house and finishing some small tasks he had planned to get done that weekend and I finished packing the hospital bag (I know… get it together, Laura…).  Then the contractions started to be about 2-3min apart and we decided to leave since it was a 15 minute drive and there was no way in hell we were going to accidentally have this baby at home or on the side of Chicago Dr. on our way to Zeeland.

When we got to Zeeland Hospital the nurse checked me and I was already 4-5 cm dilated.  Up until then I was still pretty much in denial that this was happening – I had to work in the morning, after all.  I wasn’t planning on this yet.  When she told me how far dilated I was and confirmed that, yes, I would be having a baby today I started uncontrollably crying (which would happen several more times before we left the hospital…).  It was so real.  I guess that even though I was pregnant for 9 months, could feel her move around, knew she was real, knew that I was going to be a parent – despite all that, it didn’t feel 100% real until that moment with the nurse.  The idea of having a baby was still something that was a future idea.  Like when I was young and I was looking forward to something it always seemed like a cartoon – I could imagine it, play it out in my head, but things were still not real until it actually happened.  That probably doesn’t make a lot of sense to anyone else, but that’s the best way I can describe it.  The idea of having a baby was just a future thought – a cartoon.


39 weeks - on our way to the hospital

39 weeks – on our way to the hospital

Just before we realize this is actually happening...

Just before we realize this is actually happening…



Our last picture as just people and not parents.  Weird to think about.

Our last picture as just people and not parents. Weird to think about.

I had decided that I was going to try to make it through labor without an epidural.  Dumb, right?  What was I thinking?  I was worried about side effects – I rarely taken anything other than Tylenol or ibuprofen and I’ve really never taken any hard-core pain medications.  Also, I didn’t want to go into the situation expecting to have an epidural and have something happen where that wasn’t an option.  So I guess part of not wanting one was for the purpose of mentally preparing myself for the idea of not having the option of having one.

I made it until about 5:30am before I gave in.  About 2 out of every 3 contractions were in my back.  If you’ve never experienced that, let me describe.  It was as though this baby had lodged herself so that her upper body was in my gut and her feet were at my spine and she was stretching as hard as she could.  It felt like she was trying (very hard) to push my spine out of my body.  Holy freaking cow.  That’s painful.  At this point, I gave in and made Derek get the nurse to order the epidural.  I had made it to 8cm before I got the meds, something I’m kinda proud of.  He likes to laugh at the fact that I kept saying that I was “done,” as though I had an option to be done at that point.  “Nah, nevermind.  I’m going home.  We’ll try this later.”

After the (very grumpy) anesthesiologist hooked me up and got me going everything was great.  Now, I know that with future babies I am going to trick myself into thinking that I can do this without an epidural.  DON’T LET ME TALK LIKE THAT!  That’s dumb.  Dumb.  Dumb.  Dumb.  I’m going to try to tell you, “I made it to 8cm last time, I can do it the whole way this time” or “It’s just temporary.  I made it so far with Alice and now I know how it feels so I am better prepared.”  That’s stupidity talking.  Remind me of the spine-being-kicked-out pain if you hear me talk like that in the future.

Thank you sweet sweet epidural.

Thank you sweet sweet epidural.

Now, keep in mind, Derek and I had been up since about 5:30am on Friday and it is now about 6:30am on Saturday.  That’s a long time to be up.  After I got the epidural, Derek’s coaching duties could take a break.  (He was a great partner, by the way.  Really great.  And for those of you that were convinced I was going to be a huge bitch to him during this time, you were wrong wrong wrong.  Ask him.  Not a mean word was said.  I swear.)  Derek was able to take a nap for awhile.  I tried not to be too jealous.

Even though his wife is in labor with his first baby I guess he's allowed to take a quick nap since he's been up for 24+hours...

Even though his wife is in labor with his first baby I guess he’s allowed to take a quick nap since he’s been up for 24+hours…

The nurses changed shifts and we got Vicki.  She has been a labor and delivery nurse for 30 years.  30 years!  Wow.  She was amazing.  I loved her and I was so thankful that she was there.  She asked me if we knew if the baby was a boy or girl.  We hadn’t found out, but I told her that I thought she was a girl.  When things started to speed up they called the doctor in.  I didn’t have my OB because it was the weekend, so I had the doctor we woke up at 1am.  Another nurse poked her head into the room and said that the doctor was on his way, “but isn’t running red lights or anything.”  Which I assume means that he is taking his time.  The look on Vicki’s face suggested that he probably should be running those red lights.  She had me push a few contractions, but not all because it was taking him quite awhile to get there.


KEEP GOING >>  {{part 2}}