Mar 13, 2012

Overwhelmed with Joy!

My baby is a little over one week old today. It makes me cry because I feel like she is already growing up too fast and I want her to stay little forever. She changes everyday. She is the sweetest thing, Chris and I are definitely overwhelmed with joy. We are so thankful for our little bean and can already see bits of her personality. She makes us laugh, she makes us cry (happily) and she makes us count our blessings. What a sweetheart!

Leni Ann Lewis was born at 8:56 am March 2nd.

Wednesday, February 29th was my due date. Chris and I went to the doctor around 4:00 pm to get checked out and there was no change in progress from the previous week. Bummer. We set up an induction date for the following week. Chris went back to work while I went grocery shopping and started cooking chicken taquitos at home. Yum! While I was shuffling around the kitchen making dinner, my back started to really hurt. I just thought it was from being on my feet for a few hours, but I was halfway through dinner and I pressed on. Chris called me on his way home from work and I told him I needed his help in finishing dinner, I really had outdone myself with all the shopping and being on my feet! So, he came and helped me finish dinner. I sat down for a few minutes and decided the back pain was contractions so we started timing them. About 7-8 minutes apart and really not too painful, but very different than the Braxton Hicks I'd been experiencing for a couple of months. They made me stop and I'd have to sit and breath through them, but that night we were able to sleep. I decided if this was the beginning of labor, it would be a good idea to get some rest :) We took some silhouette photos that evening.

40 weeks

The next morning, I called work and told them I would not be coming in. The contractions were still coming about 4-6 minutes apart. Progressively throughout the day, they got more intense. We have a big fitness ball that I sat on and gently bounced that helped the contractions feel less painful. Chris went into work and checked in on me often. I watched TV, sat on the fitness ball and worked on coding a webpage. Chris got home from work and by then I was in pain through each contraction which were timing about 5 minutes apart. I had to concentrate on breathing through each one. I took a warm bath and that is when the contractions got pretty intense. I told Chris to start packing. I was super nervous about heading to the hospital because I thought for sure they would send me home. And then I would be a wimp. The contractions still weren't any closer together, but they were more intense. We had already packed most things for the hospital, but there were a few last minute items that needed to be gathered. A few weeks earlier, I had made a list of what we needed and taped it to our bedroom door. Chris was excited and nervous! This could finally be the moment we had both been waiting for. He pulled the car up and loaded everything in. We walked to the car together in the blizzard. The ride to the hospital was calm and I remember asking how is it that people have babies in cars? How terrifying!

We rode the elevator to the 2nd floor. The girl at the front desk was so nice and got all our information, then we headed through the double doors to the labor and delivery area. We requested a room with a longer couch :) I was 3cm + at 10pm. That was good progress considering I was only 1.5cm the previous day at my doctor's appointment. Then, I labored for an hour in the room while watching TV and sitting on the birthing ball. The contractions had really started to heat up. They were definitely uncomfortable and closer together. Our room had giant windows and it was snowing outside. It was a really peaceful evening. One hour later, I was 5cm. Yay! The nurse said, "I think we'll keep you." Chris said, "You're halfway!" I said, "I'm ready for the epidural NOW."

I look so happy, must have been after the epidural :)

Phone calls were made to family. From about 11pm - 12:30am I labored through some really intense contractions. It was all I could do to just make it through them. The anesthesiologist was in a C-section so it took him a little longer to get to me. They gave me some drug at midnight through an IV before the epidural that helped for about 20 minutes. Other than that, I wanted to die. Finally, the epidural came! I had heard horror stories about being given the epidural so before labor began this was something that I was really nervous about, but at that moment I just wanted the pain to go away so I didn't care! I sat up in the bed and held onto Chris. It was over in 10 minutes, no horror story there. I felt the effect almost immediately and it was heaven. Seriously made everything bearable. By then, my family had arrived at the hospital (my sister, my mom and my dad). They came into my room and we all talked for awhile, then I decided to get some rest. By 1:30am I was dilated to 6cm and by 3:00am my water broke and I was dilated to 8cm. At 4:30am I was at 10cm! I feel like everything went pretty quickly and I was glad I didn't have to get Pitocin to speed things along. My body just did it's thing.

Love my Mom and Sis

I started pushing at 5:50am. And I pushed for two hours with little progress. I was so exhausted and I knew I wasn't making progress despite the nurses' encouragement. I asked them, "Does anyone ever pass out while pushing?" For some reason, this was very funny to everyone in the room, but I thought it was a very valid question. At this point I was feeling really discouraged and kept telling Chris that I could not do it. The nurses kept telling me I could take a break whenever I needed, but I never did. I wanted my baby out and I figured if I took a break, that would just prolong the whole situation. The baby was beginning to fatigue so they decided to call the doctor in and get his opinion on how we could push this baby out.

The doctor gave me two options:

1. Forceps + a big tear
2. C-section

Chris, my best friend, being so supportive and sweet.

Obviously, the second option was the one we chose. I didn't want to have my baby pulled out with forceps, especially when she was still up the birth canal a ways. Everyone got prepped for surgery and my Dad and Chris gave me a priesthood blessing. I felt so disoriented, I think it was just the exhaustion of pushing and the anesthesiologist gave me more of something to prep for the C-section. They wheeled me down the hall and into the operation room which was buzzing with doctors, nurses, pediatricians, respiratory therapists and students all getting ready to bring my baby safely into the world. They moved me from my hospital bed to the operating table and I really felt like a science experiment. I looked up and I could see my reflection in the big lights above. They strapped my lower body to the table. I was out of it and I had the shakes really bad. I felt like I was freezing, but I think it was more about my body being in shock and the adrenaline from my anticipation. The operating table was slim, just enough room for my body and then two places for my arms to rest. Then the blue curtain went up. Chris was standing next to me the whole time filming the operation with the GoPro camera. The doctors and nurses thought that was the coolest thing (after Leni came out, the doctor pulled my uterus and fallopian tubes out to show Chris)! The doctors began poking and testing the numbness on my belly. I couldn't feel anything but a little bit of pressure. I felt them begin to slice through the layers. Chris filmed the entire thing which was pretty awesome to watch afterward. I asked him if he was freaked out watching it happen in real time, but he explained it was sort of an out of body experience. It didn't feel real at the time. I'm sure we both were in shock and so exhausted.

Chris all scrubbed up and ready to head into the C-section

I could overhear the doctors talking about how she was really stuck in there. Since I had pushed for 2 hours, she was a little ways down the birth canal so it took two doctors tugging and pulling over about 5 minutes to get her out. And I mean, TUGGING and PULLING. My tears had already started because I could feel that she was close to coming out. I couldn't wait to see my baby girl! And I was also very worried, I kept looking at Chris and asking, "Are they going to be able to get her out?" Chris said yes, she's coming. Finally, I felt them pull her out and the tears started flowing. They quickly cut the cord and the doctor brought her around just enough so I could see her past the blue curtain. As soon as both Mom and Dad could see her, she let out the biggest cry as if to say, "I'm here!" It was the most amazing thing ever! She was so pale, pink, swollen and had a teeny bit of dusty, blonde hair. She looked nothing like I thought she would, but she was the most perfect thing I had ever seen. She was rushed over to the nurses who did their tests. I could barely see her being fussed over and Chris shuffling behind them trying to get pictures. The doctors talked about their vacations to Hawaii as they stitched me up. Finally, they brought her over to me bundled and laid her on my chest. She was so calm and so beautiful. I was crying, Chris was crying. She blinked slowly at us with her dark, beady eyes and I couldn't believe this little being was ours.

We love you Leni!


The Bucks said...

We can't wait to meet her! We got back form Arizona and all brought a nasty bug with us, so we will have to wait :(
Congratulations! I love the details you remembered during the whole thing. She is a doll!

Jeff and aimie said...

So Cute!!! I am so excited for you. I am glad all went well in the end!!! Congrats!!

Jennie Kunz said...

Beautiful! You'll love that your wrote this while it was fresh in your mind. You're a great writer Jen! Loved this!

Jarae said...

Jen, congrats on your new little girl! I can't believe you have a baby. I didn't even know you were pregnant. How exciting!! :) I'm glad everything turned out well for you guys, she is just precious. What a bummer you had to have a c-section. I feel your pain. No fun! But I agree with it being the better option than forceps. I hope you are healing quickly. Take it easy and just enjoy her. They get big SO fast! :) Congrats again! Love her name by the way!

Unknown said...

I'm so happy for you guys and what a cutie!! I'm so glad that everything turned out scary when you're in the moment and don't know what's going to happen. Congrats!!

Michelle said...

She is SO beautiful! Congratulations you guys!!!! -Michelle

Cordie said...

I loved reading about your experience. It kind of made me baby hungry. Uh oh!!!! I'm so happy for you two. I can't wait to meet her, she is perfect!!!

Brad and Jenna said...

So cute! Glad she arrived and all is well.

Trisha said...

I love the name, it seriously is one of the cutest names I've ever heard! And she is a beautiful baby, congratulations!

Brittney Wimmer said...

Love her! Love you guys! Love her name! So glad she's here! Congratulations you guys! Can't wait to meet her!

Brittney Wimmer said...

I'm sobbing my eyes out right now. I just read the whole thing again for the second time! I love it! Love Leni! You guys are the best! We miss you!