Friday, February 22, 2013

Catching Up, Part 1: Pregnancy and Calvin's Birth Story

Hello everyone!  Welcome to my blog.  Hope you enjoy it!

So let’s catch up, shall we?  I’ll start with a bit of background – my pregnancy and birth story.  I'll try to keep it rather brief.  :)

Mr. Calvin, as you probably know, was born on Wednesday, November 28, 2012, after, ultimately 3 years of trying, an IVF cycle, a miscarriage and then a FET cycle.  I was so indescribably grateful once I was finally pregnant and stayed that way.  My pregnancy went very smoothly overall.  I did have considerable fatigue and nausea the entire first trimester, but never actually got sick, so I was certainly thankful for that.  The second trimester was smooth sailing – just lots of hungry days.  The third trimester was quite interesting – I think of it as the opposite of the month of March – in like a lamb, out like a lion.  My belly got so big, my feet/ ankles were incredibly swollen for weeks, and the entire trimester I had the worst heartburn/ reflux of my life almost constantly, so much so that I had to resort to sleeping sitting up for the last 6 weeks.  But the whole time, I didn’t complain, not only because I knew it could be a lot worse, and because I’d wanted a baby for so long.  And I knew to be grateful, after everything we’d been through to get to that point, because I had no complications to deal with, and most of all, because my baby was healthy.

The day of his birth was just incredible.  I was scheduled for an induction because Mr. Man decided not to come out until 5 days after his due date.  We went to bed at a decent hour and tried to get some sleep, but we were too excited, so we just decided to stay up.  Around midnight, we went to the grocery store to buy cupcake ingredients – it was Brian’s idea to bake them for the L&D nurses (which they LOVED, by the way).  Then I actually began contracting on my own around 2am.  I’d been having occasional Braxton-Hicks contractions for a couple weeks prior to this, but these were stronger and regular, and I saw some bloody show, so I knew this was the real thing.  It was exciting, but not in the way it would be for most, since my induction was scheduled for just 3 hours later anyway.  So we ultimately stayed up the whole night.

We got to the hospital at about 4:30am, and I was in bed with the Pitocin flowing by 5:00am.  The drug was very effective.  When I initially checked in, I was dilated to 3cm; by 7am I was at 4-5cm. At 9am I was about the same, I believe.  The contractions were definitely getting stronger and more painful, but I was able to deep-breathe through them.  Eventually I also started squeezing Brian’s hand as well.  By 11am, I was in excruciating pain – the Pitocin sped up the labor so much – and after deliberating for a few minutes, I decided to receive an epidural.  It was the best decision I could have made, because after that, I was so comfortable and able to relax and enjoy the rest of the process.  Right after I got the epi, I was checked again, and to my surprise, I was at 8-9 cm!  No wonder I was in such pain – I was flying through the painful transition phase of labor!

While I rested, I read some of my favorite book, To Kill a Mockingbird, listened to my labor music mix I had created, and chatted with Brian and my mom (who’d shown up by then).  By noon I was dilated to 10cm, wow!  The nurse decided, though, to let me take another hour of labor to allow the baby to move down further.  Then, I started pushing at 1:00pm, and at 1:47pm Calvin K. Donato Penzone was born, after less than 9 (or 12, if you count when I started contracting naturally) hours!  He was perfectly healthy and beautiful, and remains so.  Tears streamed down my face as they laid him on my chest, and I held my long-awaited, precious baby in my arms for the very first time.  I kissed him again and again, cuddled him close and said for him a happy little prayer to bless his life.

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