A Look Back: 6 Months Later.

Noah is six months old today.

Half a year.. goes by so much more quickly the second time around.

Despite my fears of having another baby, Noah has been a complete delight and pleasure. He’s the happiest, most joyful, smiliest baby I’ve ever encountered. His charm and constant laughter keep me falling in love with him on a daily basis.

It’s crazy now to think back about his traumatic entrance into the world – it feels so far away. It was most definitely the most painful day of my life – quite unintentionally, might I add.

Yet – so, so, so, SO worth it.

One of the brighter points of the most painful parts of labor (pre-Noah-getting-there-and-making-it-all-worth-it) were you all being there with us. Through Twitter, Facebook, and emails, you encouraged, congratulated, and empathized with us. I had a blast having a Social Media Baby.

Also, I cannot express how perfectly amazing Chris was that day. He took awesome care of me, kept Ali in the birthing loop, greeted and took care of his new son while I was still anaesthetized, AND helped me with my wish to share our birthing experience with all of you.

So, for celebration of Noah’s half birthday AND Father’s day (two for the blog of one!), I decided that it would be fun to take a step back in time and publish the twitter logs of Noah’s birth.

(I totally get it if this post isn’t nearly as fascinating to everyone else as it is to me..and hopefully Chris..and maybe Noah one day, but hopefully you can find it in your heart to forgive me for this narcissistic…or babycisstic…post.)

My tweets (ObjectivityRach) and Chris’ tweets (RehpoChris) are in bold, and all of the other tweets were all of you talking back to us…

(And by the way, I usually answer every tweet I get, but for obvious reasons I couldn’t that day. I do think I answered most of them in the next few days, though…)

December 19, 2010:

ObjectivityRach: Looks like Noah has his own plan after all…1 day before his deadline! Sign of a future procrastinator? On way to hospital! #EvictivityNoah

cosmicgirlie: @ObjectivityRach Omg!! Are you over? Or are you due? Are you in labour?? OMG!!! GOOD LUCK!!! :D :D :D xxxxxx

scampikins: @ObjectivityRach YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I can’t wait to see pictures! (Of Noah…)

ObjectivityRach: @cosmicgirlie in labor and you’re the only one awake to experience it! 345am in this Bham.

cosmicgirlie: @ObjectivityRach Oh wow!!! I am SO EXCITED for you, hoping everything goes fantastic. Can’t wait to see him!!!

cosmicgirlie: Wishing the best of luck to @ObjectivityRach who is in labour in Birmingham…in the United States!! :D :D :D xxxx

RehpoChris: At hospital! I got to speed at 3:45am w/ hazards on, run red lights, & swerve to avoid an accident! #herewego ? #EvictivityNoah

ObjectivityRach: Progress is definitely being made.. Slowly and quite painfully. But he’s definitely on his way! #EvictivityNoah

ObjectivityRach: Just got my I.V. Bring on the lovely facial swelling. #EvictivityNoah

KetzerMusic: @RehpoChris ObjectivityRach By far the coolest use of Twitter yet, bring on the baby #EvictivityNoah

PeggyAnn_Design: @ObjectivityRach congrats!!! Sending easy labor vibes your way!

WadeOnTweets: @ObjectivityRach Pulling for you!

ObjectivityRach: @PeggyAnn_Design @scampikins @WadeOnTweets thanks!!

momunabridged: @ObjectivityRach yay! Glad he finally decided to make an appearance.

mommyinstincts: @ObjectivityRach yay Baby Noah is on his way! Good luck sweet friend!

ObjectivityRach: Just got Demerol. Way too much. My tweet is spinning. #EvictivityNoah

ObjectivityRach: Progress is happening quicker, but so is the pain. Looking forward very much to my epidural. #EvictivityNoah

RehpoChris: Epidural happening now! #happymommy #EvictivityNoah

ObjectivityRach: OhMyGoodness I’m so glad God has started forgiving us women from the curse and allows epidurals!! #SoHappy #EvictivityNoah

llatkins: @ObjectivityRach I totally agree! Bring on the drugs!

RehpoChris: In the quiet, calm, sleepy world that is post-epidural labor. #EvictivityNoah

amykiane: @ObjectivityRach yay!! Glad he’s on his way.

JacksMomMarie: @ObjectivityRach so excited for you!

CraftyChele: @ObjectivityRach Hope you’re comfy now. Can’t wait to see your new baby!

JacksMomMarie: @ObjectivityRach epidural=good thing! Did not have twitter 5 yrs ago but I emailed & every1 thought I was crazy! U make me look sane :)

ObjectivityRach: @JacksMomMarie glad to help your sanity quotient :)

OttawaMaryJ: @ObjectivityRach WooHoo! Glad to hear he’s on his way! #EvictivityNoah

MediaGuyCarl: @ObjectivityRach I think this is the first live tweeted childbirth I’ve witnessed. Can we count on baby photos?

ObjectivityRach: @MediaGuyCarl of course!

ObjectivityRach: Wow… I just realized how much pain I was in.. I told the nurse I weighed 7 pounds MORE than I really do when I checked in. #EvictivityNoah

LaureeAshcom: @ObjectivityRach just opened twitter…. blessing on you… prayers are winging…

TimWillingham: @objectivityrach @RehpoChris Come Noah come!

southcheesehead: Praying for @ObjectivityRach and @RehpoChris as they are at the hospital having baby #2!! Excited for you guys! #EvictivityNoah

sweethomealagrl: @ObjectivityRach yay!

ObjectivityRach: Halfway there!! #EvictivityNoah

AlabamaMoms: Wishing my friend, Rachel @ObjectivityRach , a safe and fast delivery. Time to disembark-Noah! #EvictivityNoah

Noscriptomylife: Go @ObjectivityRach!!!!! #EvictivityNoah

WinLiannefield: @ObjectivityRach Happy Baby Day! And *all* it took was reading all your emails and Google Reader? Maybe you should’ve done that sooner? ;)

gina7477: @ObjectivityRach Yay! Clearly, Noah just wanted you to sweat it out a while. Praying for a speedy labor!

tlatkins: @ObjectivityRach I have to admit, I’ve never heard play by play labor before…and from the one in labor. Praying things go well.

OttawaMaryJ: @ObjectivityRach You’ll blink and he’ll be there! #evictivitynoah

OttawaMaryJ: Here in Canada the nurses would probably confiscate @ObjectivityRach’s phone (but having Twitter during labour sounds fun) #EvictivityNoah

LaRee1979: Me too! Hooray! // “@southcheesehead: Praying for @ObjectivityRach and @RehpoChris as they are at the hospital

jonathansmom: @ObjectivityRach This is so exciting!! Hope you’re feeling better now that you have the epidural! : )

jonathansmom: Is so jealous that @ObjectivityRach is having her baby today!!! Hoping for a great delivery for her!

cturnip: @ObjectivityRach good luck! #EvictivityNoah

tiamimi: @ObjectivityRach excited for you, Chris and Ali.

RehpoChris: Redo on the epidural. C’mon back, mommy’s happy place. #EvictivityNoah

ObjectivityRach: THAT was not the most fun hour of my life. Epidural fell out. Got a new one. Then got nauseous. Getting better. Phew. #EvictivityNoah

ObjectivityRach: I would reply to you all but the phone is spinning again. But thanks so much for all the encourageyness & excitementeyness! #EvictivityNoah

greekgrits: @ObjectivityRach How in the Sam Hill did the epidural just fall out. I have never seen that. Wow!

lzannis: @ObjectivityRach @RehpoChris Yay yay yay!

RehpoChris: OK, mommy’s happy place is back. It brought new friend Queasy with it, but manageable. #EvictivityNoah

RehpoChris: Makin’ progress. 6 down, 4 to go! #EvictivityNoah http://twitpic.com/3hi0vp

EvictivityNoah TwitPic1

llatkins: @ObjectivityRach Ha! Got a little nervous when I saw you posted a pic. lol. We’re praying in the nursery area!!

LaRee1979: @RehpoChris yay go rach! I was a little scared about what a twitpic was gonna show at this point… ;)

tlatkins: @RehpoChris Praying…

TimWillingham: RT @tlatkins: @RehpoChris Praying…

WinLianneField: @RehpoChris God bless y’all!

lzannis: @llatkins @LaRee1979 @ObjectivityRach I love how we’re all tweeting in the middle of church… :)

LaRee1979: @lzannis @llatkins @objectivityrach yes well we have to keep up w #EvictivityNoah ! :)

BethBryan: @ObjectivityRach A huge CONGRATS on the #EvictivityNoah news! Praying for yall today!

robinandmarty: @ObjectivityRach good luck Rach!!!!

MediaGuyCarl: @ObjectivityRach Given all the attention, should we rename the baby Truman? #EvictivityNoah

kimt205: @ObjectivityRach yay! Congrats!

Leslie_Wiggins: @greekgrits @ObjectivityRach My epidural came out during my 3rd labor. No one had ever heard of it happening then, either. It happens.

Leslie_Wiggins: @greekgrits @ObjectivityRach But we didn’t notice it til labor was over; anesthetic all over my back. RN: Oh, that’s why U felt everything!

CourtFuller: @ObjectivityRach thinking about you! Can’t wait to see pics!

sketsananer: @ObjectivityRach I hope u and baby r safe!

grass_stains: @ObjectivityRach Go, Rach, go! Praying that the delivery itself goes smoothly and recovery even more smoothly. Get here, Noah!

ObjectivityRach: Progress is speeding up!! Happy happy!! #EvictivityNoah

ObjectivityRach: I’m apparently the 1 in a million. 2nd epidural failed at 8 cm. I think I almost died fr pain. Please pray for 3rd to work. #EvictivityNoah

RehpoChris: Good: Still Progressing. Bad: Getting 3rd Epidural. She was feeling everything just b/f anesth arrived. #EvictivityNoah

cosmicgirlie: @ObjectivityRach Oh honey you’re STILL going?? :( :( Really hope 3rd time’s the charm xxxx #EvictivityNoah

countryfried: @ObjectivityRach Ach! I’m so sorry. You are strong, mama. You can do it! Wishing Noah a speedy eviction. ;-)

CraftyChele: @ObjectivityRach Are you guys dancing?! Third time’s the charm. #EvictivityNoah

sweethomealagrl: @ObjectivityRach get @greekgrits in there right away! Hope the 3rd time is perfection & Noah comes shortly after!

beckyjomama: @ObjectivityRach Praying sweetie – You need a good anesthetist … where is @greekgrits when we need her?!

LaureeAshcom: @ObjectivityRach i am praying… but you will be fine…. make yourself relax…. breathe…

greekgrits: @ObjectivityRach Oh.My.Word.

MediaGuyCarl: @ObjectivityRach C’mon Noah … the suspense is killing us, and I think your mom’s ready! #EvictivityNoah

Shelly_Overlook: @ObjectivityRach Oh honey. I hope you found RX relief soon! Bring on the baby!!!

WeMentorSMM: @ObjectivityRach I’ve really got fingers crossed that the 3rd epidural worked…

RehpoChris: No Spinal. She’s going to be put under. C-section coming immediately. #EvictivityNoah

WinLiannefield: For those who follow @ObjectivityRach but not her hubby @RehpoChris , he just tweeted that she’s being put under for c section. Poor Rach!

RehpoChris: Baby is born. Doing fine. Rachel is successfully asleep. Expecting Noah back in room any minute. #EvictivityNoah

southcheesehead: @RehpoChris still praying. Glad he’s here safely. Sorry @ObjectivityRach had such a rough time. #EvictivityNoah

WinLianneField: @RehpoChris Congrats!!!

LaRee1979: @RehpoChris glad to hear it! Congrats! Bummer that the VBAC didn’t work out but it’s a good thing that everyone is ok! Can’t wait to meet baby Noah! cc @ObjectivityRach

RehpoChris: Unto as a child is born. Unto us a son is given. 21 1/2″. 7lb 9oz. #EvictivityNoah http://twitpic.com/3hkef3

EvictivityNoah TwitPic2

RehpoChris: Rachel is back and groggy and in good shape. #EvictivityNoah

SouthernRhoda: @ObjectivityRach Thinking about you, Rachel!!

gina7477: @RehpoChris @ObjectivityRach He’s beautiful! Congratulations!

JacksMomMarie: @RehpoChris congratulations!

JacksMomMarie: @RehpoChris and so glad Rachel is resting. Please send her our congrats. Have fun with the BOY!

tlatkins: @RehpoChris Congratulations. When he gets older, make sure to take him here: http://bit.ly/i0Rk5t.

southcheesehead: @RehpoChris beautiful!!!!! Praise God for this miracle!!! #EvictivityNoah

sweethomealagrl: @RehpoChris awww, tell sweet Rachel I’m praying for a swift recovery! Glad they are both ok! @ObjectivityRachel!

LaRee1979: @RehpoChris beautiful! Congrats!! cc @ObjectivityRach

WinLianneField: @RehpoChris Yaaaaaaay! He’s so handsome!

KetzerMusic: RT Congrats @RehpoChris: Unto as a child is born. Unto us a son is given. 21 1/2″. 7lb 9oz. #EvictivityNoah http://twitpic.com/3hkef3

TimWillingham: @RehpoChris Congratulation! Noah only missed @jordanfrenzy’s birthday by 2 days!

brandiofbham: @RehpoChris @ObjectivityRach Congrats y’all! He’s beautiful!

WeMentorSMM: @RehpoChris @ObjectivityRach many congrats!

gretacarter: @RehpoChris, @ObjectivityRach Congrats to y’all and welcome Noah! Sounds like a pretty exciting day. Glad you’re all done and doing well.

BamaELF: Congrats to @ObjectivityRach and @RehpoChris on the latest addition to their family!! #EvictivityNoah

amykiane: @ObjectivityRach yay!!! Can’t wait to see pics. Glad you are doing well.

ObjectivityRach: Noah is SUCH a precious baby. And he’s quite fond of me. Makes the nightmare of the day all worth it!! #EvictivityNoah

ObjectivityRach: Here he is! Sweet Noah James. #EvictivityNoah http://yfrog.com/h7wxefj

EvictivityNoah TwitPic3

MediaGuyCarl: @ObjectivityRach Attagirl, Rachel! Congratulations!!

SarahBroadus: @ObjectivityRach yah for baby birthday!!!

PotentialBham: So happy for @ObjectivityRach ! Baby Noah has disembarked and looks beautiful. WIshing you the best. Nanci

Hillary_Liebman: @ObjectivityRach Happy Birthday Noah! Congrats you ya’ll!

vitafamiliae: @ObjectivityRach Just caught up on your tweets. I missed it! But so excited and happy for you! enjoy all those baby cuddles!!!

MaryRSnyder: @ObjectivityRach welcome to the world baby Noah ! I know Mom is glad you’re here. Rach, glad he’s so precious! Iknew he would be!!

robinandmarty: @ObjectivityRach Awwwwwwe, congratulations Rach!! I bet he is precious! Sorry you had such a rough day!

sweethomealagrl: @ObjectivityRach so glad y’all are both ok – he is a precious little fella! Rest well & heal quickly!

xoxo_trina: @ObjectivityRach Oh my goodness, he’s gorgeous! :) #EvictivityNoah

Noscriptomylife: @ObjectivityRach how cute!!!

amykiane: @ObjectivityRach precious!!!

kimt205: @ObjectivityRach Congratulations yall ! And yay for big sister too! : )

onetruegemini: @ObjectivityRach Precious! So happy for your family!

flourishes: @objectivityrach Yay! Welcome to the world, Noah James!

robinandmarty: @ObjectivityRach He is a DOLL! CONGRATULATIONS!

grass_stains: @ObjectivityRach Here he is! Sweet Noah James. // Congratulations, Rachel! Just precious. I know you’re so happy! Can’t wait to meet him.

McKt: @ObjectivityRach He does look pretty precious! Congrats.

greekgrits: @ObjectivityRach GIRL, I am so sorry you had a horrific epidural experience!! You at StV? Can’t wait to see pics of sweet Noah.

wilsonsway: @ObjectivityRach: Congratulations Rachel & family! Noah looks great!

3girlsmom: @ObjectivityRach BLESS!!! Congrats mama!!! So happy for you!

beckyjomama: @ObjectivityRach Oh, he is HANDSOME! Congratulations mama!

BethBryan: @ObjectivityRach Here he is! Sweet Noah James. #EvictivityNoah He is BEAUTIFUL!! So so precious. Congratulations!

KetzerMusic: @ObjectivityRach Congrats!

scampikins: @ObjectivityRach YAY! Congrats! How precious is he!?!?!?

sweethomealagrl: @ObjectivityRach love :) and I still love his name!

KennMegs: @ObjectivityRach Congrats, Rachel!! He’s a doll! Hope you are both doing well and getting some much needed rest!

LaureeAshcom: beautiful!!!! RT @ObjectivityRach: Here he is! Sweet Noah James. #EvictivityNoah http://yfrog.com/h7wxefj

MaryRSnyder: @ObjectivityRach oh so precious…. wonderful days of baby snuggles!

lzannis: @ObjectivityRach He looks SO much like Ali! Precious!

naycauthen: @ObjectivityRach Aw! So glad he’s finally here for you and he decided to come on his own!

made2worshipJen: @ObjectivityRach Congratulations!!! He’s precious! Praise the Lord!

LaRee1979: @ObjectivityRach so glad!! Can’t wait to meet him!

llatkins: @ObjectivityRach Aww. He looks like Eli to me.

sue_anne: @ObjectivityRach Congrats! You’ll definitely have a story to tell for this one. :)

southcheesehead: @ObjectivityRach he’s precious! Congratulations!!! So sorry you had a rough time. #EvictivityNoah

bekahbutler: @ObjectivityRach woohoo! Congrats! He IS precious…and I think he looks a lot like his big sister! :)

michaelstewart: @ObjectivityRach Congrats!

SouthernRhoda: @ObjectivityRach Awww, Rachel, he is so sweet. Congrats!!

kevinandamanda: CONGRATS Rachel! He’s so handsome! :) RT @objectivityrach Sweet Noah James #EvictivityNoah http://yfrog.com/h7wxefj

ValerieGail: @ObjectivityRach Rach how precious he is!! Congrats to you, Chris and Ali!

mommyinstincts: @ObjectivityRach so sweet. Congrats mama! You’re one tough lady! He’s precious!!

tiamimi: @ObjectivityRach How adorable. Congratulations to you guys.

kbama: @ObjectivityRach Oh how wonderful! He is lovely. Congratulations!

sketsananer: @ObjectivityRach congrats

WadeOnTweets: Congrats to Rachel @ObjectivityRach who gave birth to Noah James Sunday, and live-tweeted labor: http://yfrog.com/h7wxefj

MagicCity_Mama: Congrats @ObjectivityRach!!!

WadeOnTweets: @ObjectivityRach You’re way tougher than most people I know.

(For the whole birth story, click here.)

Happy half-birthday to Noah, and Happy Father’s Day to the best Daddy ever!

Wardrobial Consequences.

As I was folding my jeans on Saturday, I saw a horrific sight.  My favorite pair of jeans – the most cherished item in my wardrobe – had, unbeknownst to me, acquired quite the hole.  And said hole was notsomuch in a place where holes are acceptable…

IMG_3321

My first reaction was mourning, of course.  There were so many things that I never got the opportunity to tell those jeans…

Then the paranoia came.  Obviously, that hole had developed at some point when my butt was actually in those jeans, meaning that there was a good chance the someone – or MANY someones – knew about the death of my jeans (and, therefore, the color of my undergarments) before I did.

(If you were one of those someones, I do apologize for my immodesty.  Oh – and I’m no longer speaking to you for allowing me to continue on in that condition, blissfully unaware of my hinder issues.)

As I continued my ten steps of grieving, next came blame.

IMG_3309 
Okay, I can’t totally blame Noah for that hole.  He didn’t make me choose to cram myself into my jeans until I was seven months pregnant, therefore stretching the very soul out of that poor, unfortunate expanse of denim.

But now I know, first hand, that Sir Isaac Newton was no fool: Every action does indeed have an equal and opposite reaction.

So of course, I became consumed with replacing my favorite pair of jeans.

Which, of course, had been discontinued.

But, thanks to my best friend, Internet, typing the style number into Google found me the one pair left in the universe – that happened to be for sale on Ebay, and in my size.

(Seriously – how DID people live before the internet existed???)

Those jeans are now flying towards me from whence they came with the help of UPS, desperately hoping that they don’t suffer the same fate as their predecessor.

…But then on Sunday I watched the Grammys. 

And I realized that my wardrobe sorely needed to be updated, not replaced.

Because – Who Knew? Denim is totally out, and CARTOON clothing is the way to go.

Lady Gaga dressed as Madeline,

LadyGagaMadeline2
(Or, at least, she dressed as Madeline in the as-yet-unpublished book, “Madeline Meets Teen Angst”.)

Nicki Minaj was most definitely channeling Cruella De Vil,

Nicki Minaj Cruella De Vil2 
And Cee-Lo was strutting the style of Giant-Elmo-Eats-The-Entire-Cast-Of-Sesame-Street.

Cee-LoSesameStreet2 copy

But I didn’t feel TOO bad, because I wasn’t the only one who didn’t get the memo:  Poor Miranda Lambert thought the style was COMMERCIALS, not cartoons.

So she naturally dressed as Mud.

MirandaLambertMud copy

Swiffer would be so proud.

Noah’s Arrival

Spoiler: This post is a Long Birth Story interspersed and ending with Unbelievably Cute Baby Pictures to help detract from the traumasticity of the contents herein – at least for my sake.

IMG_2223

As I’m finally on a low enough dose of pain meds that I can type without the screen doing funky swirly things (and having the urge to write about white fuzzy rabbits), I’m going to make a weak attempt at this post, before I subconsciously block parts of the following memories from my mind.

At the beginning of last week, I was finally able to pinpoint exactly what I had been desiring birth-wise: it wasn’t that I necessarily wanted a VBAC and didn’t want a C-Section, I just wanted the experience of actually going INTO labor. I didn’t get that opportunity with Ali, and I really wanted it with Noah.

And so, on Thursday night when our Small Group prayed for us, they prayed that we would get to experience the excitement of naturally occurring labor.  And since our Small Group prayed both of our babies into my body (we got pregnant with Ali 3 months after they started praying for us after we had been trying for 2 years, and then got pregnant with Noah the next month after their prayers after having been trying for a year), we figured that surely they could pray a baby out of my body.

I’d been having fairly painful, regular contractions all week (nothing new there), and they got especially worse on Thursday night.  So I went into my OB’s office one last time Friday morning, just to see if anything had changed.  And, as had been the case for weeks, nothing had.

Despite the prayers from the night before, after my doctor’s appointment, I put aside all hopes of going into labor and focused on enjoying the last weekend of our pre-baby life.  I was ready for a C-Section on Monday, and accepted that in all likelihood, I was not going to be going into labor.

On Saturday night, every step I took was painful, but I wasn’t having contractions.  Everything just hurt. I didn’t think too much about it, except to thank God that this baby was coming OUT on Monday.

After Ali went to bed, we started wrapping her Christmas presents.  I got about three presents into the process and had to quit – it was too painful.  So I laid down while Chris kept wrapping, and I started having contractions – something that again I thought nothing of, since that’s all I’ve been doing for months.

But when we went to bed around midnight, they had gotten fairly painful.  THEN they started getting very rhythmic – something I hadn’t ever experienced in that way.  Then they started getting even more painful and more rhythmic.

I started giving myself a pep talk.  There was NO WAY I was going into the hospital for the second Saturday night in a row on false labor.  NO WAY.  So you just need to quit having contractions and GO TO SLEEP.

But I couldn’t sleep, and they continued to get worse.  Finally, at 2:30 am, I jumped out of bed, woke Chris up, and told him I couldn’t take it any more.

We made that thrilling middle-of-the-night phone call to my parents, and they headed over to stay with Ali.  When they arrived, I no longer had any doubts.  I told them I would never be fooled by fake labor again.

Chris, of course, despite the fact that I was NOWHERE near pushing, took his one and only opportunity to use his hazard lights and unnecessarily speed (“careen” might be a more appropriate word) to the hospital, running all red lights and stop signs, swerving maniacally, all while I was contracting quite painfully.

I’m so glad I had the opportunity to afford him such a gleeful experience.

We arrived and I was quickly declared in “real” labor, hooked up to the machines and IVs, and began the laboring process.  I was absolutely high from glee (and Demerol) that I actually DID manage to achieve labor on my own.

(Anyone need or want anything? Just come to our Small Group on Thursday nights.)

We got there just at the right time (due to Chris’ crazy driving, I’m sure), because I began progressing very quickly, and the contractions got much stronger.  I began questioning the sanity of all of my natural childbirth friends and relatives, and was overjoyed when it was time for my epidural.

After the agonizing process of getting an epidural, we settled in for a nice, relaxing, boring labor experience like we’d had with Ali.  It’s a wonderful thing to feel nothing.

But then, around the time I reached 5 centimeters, things began to hurt a little.

They said it was normal.  Even though I hadn’t experienced any pain with Ali, I said okay and kept laboring, a little less enthusiastically.

Then the pain got worse.  And worse.  And then unbearable.

They called the Anesthesiologist in, and he quickly determined that my epidural needed replacing.  When he took the bandages off, he realized that somehow it had come loose – all the medicine was puddled on my back.  This “never” happens, they all assured me quite puzzledly.  And I hadn’t moved hardly at all, so it certainly wasn’t caused by me.

But I was just relieved to get a new epidural, so even though getting the second one was ten times as painful during the now much worse contractions, it was a happy moment.

So we settled back in for a nice, boring rest-of-labor.

That lasted for an hour and a half.

I progressed quickly to 7.5 centimeters, and then started hurting a little bit again.

They said “it’s normal – that just means you’re getting close to pushing.”

Then the feeling began coming back into my legs.  And the pain – it was indescribable.  I know people choose to do this naturally and I’m totally cool with that, but usually,  natural choosers are more prepared than I was.  Natural childbirth had NEVER been even a potential in the plan for us, so I didn’t know how to breathe, how to cope, and how not to scream, and the pain was an absolute shock to my system.

The doctors rushed back in.  They quickly took out the epidural again, but this one hadn’t come loose.  They had absolutely no idea why it wasn’t working.  They said that very rarely, an epidural won’t work at all for someone, but never did one work for an hour and a half and then just quit.

In the meantime, I  began completely panicking.  Besides the pain, I was petrified of going through the entire labor process in unplanned, unprepared natural childbirth (especially after a prior C-Section), but even MORE scared of having to have a C-Section and the drugs failing there, too.

They gave me my third epidural.  This time the process was nearly unbearable, and I was scared out of my mind that it wouldn’t work again.  But they put it in, the numbness began to come back, and I started to (kind of) calm down.

Until an hour later.

I started having one spot that was hurting.  I thought it was my catheter, so I had the nurse remove it.  That didn’t help.  It started hurting more.  And I started freaking out.

The doctor came in and said that sometimes you can have a “hot spot” – a spot that the epidural doesn’t reach, and there’s nothing you can do about it.  But then, as he was talking, all of the feeling returned to my legs again, and I panicked.

Within seconds, more pain flooded my body than I’d ever experienced.

The nurses and doctors began trying to have a conversation about what could be happening to me without actually using the words – but I asked, and yes, they admitted that they were discussing the possibility of a Uterine Rupture.

Things got really chaotic really quickly.  My OB checked me, I was at 8 centimeters.  My uterus had not ruptured, thank goodness.  The Anesthesiologist rushed in, pumped more meds in, but nothing helped.  Although I usually get very quiet in pain, the pain had reached a level where I was no longer quiet.  I screamed that they needed to either numb me as if they were giving me a C-Section or they needed to give me a C-Section.

But my doctor had already determined that since they had absolutely no idea what was happening with my body AND that Noah was sideways, had been sideways for a while, and wasn’t looking like he was moving, that a C-Section, immediately, was the best solution.

My first scream question was how were they going to make sure the pain medicine worked while they were cutting me open?

My doctor assured me that they would do a spinal – not an epidural – and I wouldn’t feel a thing.  But then the Anesthesiologist said that he couldn’t do that – there had been WAY too much medicine pumped into my body, they didn’t know where it had gone or what was happening, and he couldn’t risk putting more in.  The only way to do a C-Section was to put me completely under for the procedure.

At which time my nurse told me, “But you need to be prepared that when you wake up, you WILL be in pain.  Because that is just putting you under, not treating the pain.”

Even though it was an emergency C-Section, it still felt like it took an eternity to get set up for.  I had at least 8 more contractions during the surgery prep, the trip to the operating room, the transfer from my bed to the OR table, more surgery prep, and finally to the point where they mercifully let me lose consciousness, screaming all the way.

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It took me a long time to get myself to actually wake up after the surgery, but my first thought was that I was relieved that, although I was in pain, I now knew that an incision cutting me open from side to side was much less painful than the contractions I’d been having.  Who knew?

And from that moment on, it all got better.  Noah was a delightful baby from the second I first got to hold him.  He came into the world a professional eater (hopefully not Man-V.-Food-Adam-Richman-style), nursed wonderfully, immediately calmed down for me every time I held him, and captured my heart immediately.  And he loved me – I could sense it.

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I have been able to enjoy so many things about the first few days of newbornness with him that I wasn’t able to with Ali because I was so overwhelmed with the shock of parenthood.  I immediately bonded with Noah and am completely in love with him, and have been able to cherish each and every moment.  And, thankfully, I have been so laid back about everything.  Almost nothing has worried me or made me nervous, and everything about newborn care has come back so naturally.

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So, although Sunday could have qualified for one of the worst days of my life for a few hours, it most definitely and much more so qualifies for one of the best.  I am completely in baby heaven right now, and the early part of Sunday is a distant memory.

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We’re still in the hospital right now – I’ve had a couple other complications (most likely too gory to blog about, but feel free to ask about them if you’re a glutton for the disgusting) that have slowed down our process.  They are much better now, so we should be going home tomorrow (Thursday), and jumping right into a magical Christmas with our family of four.

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Thank you all SO much for your prayers, visits, emails, tweets, texts, facebooks, and phone calls.  They have meant SO much to us, and I have wanted to be able to respond to

each and every one of them, but I just can’t tear myself away from this precious, beautiful baby that’s asleep on my chest to do anything else but cuddle.

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