Sunday, April 10, 2011

Tesla's Birth Story


To start the story, we have the go back to the day before everything started happening. My mom had come to town with the hopes that Tesla would have already made her arrival or would arrive that weekend. My father was going to be in town on Sunday, so even if she wasn't going to make her appearance, it would be good to see the family. On Saturday, we got up and went to have breakfast at Poor Richard's Cafe (yum!) where the hostess predicted that Tesla's arrival was imminent. She also told me that I didn't look pregnant from the back which did bring out a giggle. ha ha

Then, us girls headed out for some retail therapy for an hour before nap time. It was a short power nap because Mari had a birthday party for one of her closest friends from school. She had a good old time, but we had to cut it short so we could head out to her cousin Z's  lacrosse game. We don't get to make every game, but she does seem to enjoy watching her older cousin's play! I love this photo that was snapped of us:

I love that my sister and I are both wearing green and how my mom's arms are wrapped up in ours! It makes me happy and I hope I'm just as close with my girls as my mom is with us! Anyway, while I was there, I walked a bit over a mile, did some fake cartwheels, chased Mari, and did my best to be as active as I could be without being too dangerous. ha ha.

After the game, we headed home, ordered some pizza and watched Shawshank Redemption. My sister was going to stay the night "just in case" but after the movie, I sent her home since I didn't think anything was going to happen that night.

A 3AM, I went to the bathroom and lost what remained of the mucus plug (bloody show). I started to feel some heavier contractions, but they were an hour apart. I texted our photographer to give her a heads up, with details that I would call if things got closer. By 6AM, they were every 20 minutes, so I woke up Don, who was barely asleep because I think he was every bit as anxious as I was. While he took a shower, I called my sister, the doctor, and the photographer. I finished packing up the rest of my toiletries and decided to go for breakfast since the doctor mentioned that I could very well be in false labor since the contractions were only 20 minutes apart. That and the fact that she'd only had an hour and a half of sleep, so why not delay so she could get a bit more rest. While he loaded the car, I went to my mom and gave her a heads up that we'd be leaving soon. She was so excited and I was too. I went to kiss the Sugarbean before we headed off and I tried my best to hold on to that moment. The next time I would see her, she would be different, I could feel it.

And so we headed off...with tears in my eyes, I was ready to meet our little sugarbaby!

But first, since I knew that it would be a while before I could eat, so we stopped by Market Street for some breakfast. I had a ham, egg, and cheese burrito with an Odwalla Mango Tango.  yummy! I also had a half a cup of Peet's French Press coffee.  delish!

Afterwards, I wanted to go for a good walk, so off we headed to Arbor Hills. We did the big loop and Don brought along the camera. This was probably one of the most special walks that I've ever done there. And if Arbor Hills didn't already have a special place in my heart (which it does!), then it is firmly planted there now.

I walked with my sister and we talked about nothing really, but just spending time with her made me happy.

And we would stop when I needed to stop. Don held me and helped me breathe through a mother's labor pain.

He kissed my belly and gave our little one well wishes, easing any anxiety she might have. Together we prayed.
With each step, I was closer and closer to that moment. I was so excited!
But don't forget that I was in labor...

The light on our walk was absolutely incredible. It was a bit humid out, but otherwise the temperature was perfect! There was some overcast with sun breaks that made all of the colors pop! I couldn't believe how great of a day it was.

At the end of our walk, I wanted to grab a last photo. Up to this moment, I hadn't had a bare belly photo. I felt beautiful enough to expose myself, even in public, so why not. Don grabbed this image, which I think is pretty remarkable especially since it hasn't been altered in any way. Some glow, huh?
A lovely couple walked by while he grabbed this shot and offered to take one of the two of us together. I was more than thrilled that they made the offer!
At 10AM, we headed off to the hospital, which was just up the road. Here is where it was totally surreal. Everything with Mari's birth happened in a blur. This time, we walked right up, and they checked me into the room. We began to settle in and I was walked to Admitting where I signed all of the necessary paperwork.
I came back to the room where our L&D nurse, Traecy (a TTU alum...guns up!!!), checked to see how far I was dilated. I was about 5, so halfway there! With that check, I was completely admitted and they hooked me up to the monitors. I was allowed one popsicle every hour.

I needed to be on the monitor for half an hour and I could be unhooked from it for half an hour, which allowed me time to go to the bathroom or walk the halls. Each time I got up, I walked to the end of the hall, turned around, and came back to the room. Each time, I looked out the window into the distance and I could see the large cross that sits at the top of Prestonwood Baptist Church. It was Sunday, after all, and everyone was off to go worship. Each time I passed I said a prayer. As the contractions progressed, it became harder an harder to walk without difficulty. When I was at the doorstep of transition, one hit, and I happened to be in front of that window. Pain overtook my body, and I just froze. I couldn't get the words out. Don rubbed my back and tears fell from my eyes. I saw the cross, and was immediately reminded of all of the many blessings God has given me. He held me in his arms and I knew that I was safe, we were safe.

While I dilated further, Tesla wasn't descending. I sat on the birthing ball to help her come down.

We also tried changing positions when I was on the bed. I got on all fours on the bed while hugging the ball. And then the back labor kicked in full force. Michelle, our photographer, commented on how calm I was, especially for being in transition. I looked at her and smiled, replying that all was calm now, but soon enough, I would turn and I would probably be more like what she is accustomed to. When I turned on that ball, sure enough, I mumbled out in pain, words that only Don could understand. We switched my position back to sitting on the ball. I have to pause for a moment to mention two things. Technology has changed so much in the past three years. My sister was updating my progress on Facebook the entire labor. We even got to Skype with my Brother in the hospital before he went to work. Also, we are planning a big family vacation in December to celebrate my parent's 40th wedding anniversary. Sunday was the last day to book the vacation at the sale price. My sister was on the phone with the agent, making arrangements when I cried out that my water had broken, right there while I bounced on that ball.

I was moved to the bed, and the contractions came hard. Sam counted, I breathed, and Don comforted me in between.
With each contraction, my back felt like it was breaking. I remembered similar pain with Mari, but this seemed like so much more. Tesla still hadn't descended enough, so they had me stand. I faced the bed and held my sister's hands. They raised the bed and once it was to a comfortable height, a big contraction hit, more of my water came out, and I cursed out, followed by a very shaky, "I need to push. I NEED TO PUSH RIGHT NOW!" The nurse, told me to hold on and get back in the bed. I just kept shaking my head no. My sister and the nurse in unison telling me to breathe. I tried and immediately, I wanted to simultaneously push and vomit. I held my breath, while my eyes pleaded with my sister, "no!" Her eyes filled with tears and she told me, get on the bed. You can do it. Get on the bed." I was able to get out, "I can't." Which, if you know me, I HATE saying I can't. But Sam looked at me and gave me that look that she gives me when I doubt myself, but I know I can. I said a silent prayer asking for the strength to get on the bed, to not push, and not get sick. And I did. I breathed and breathed. They positioned the mirror and all of a sudden there were all these new nurses in the room and the doc was positioned there to catch the baby. I felt Tesla getting closer and the nurse kept telling me, "This is only ask long as you want it to be." The doc perked up and told me that  she saw Tesla's hair. I glanced and saw it. She was crowning. And then I went for a bit of melodrama, kinda. I couldn't catch my breath. It felt like I was having asthma problems. I said I didn't want to die. And everyone reassured me that I wasn't going to die. But what they didn't know is that I couldn't breathe. I really couldn't breathe. I probably should have asked for oxygen, but I didn't. Instead, I went to my happy place and my lungs opened up. I could hear everyone's voices encouraging me. I glanced to my right at Don and asked him if he was ready to meet Tesla. He smiled. I looked at the doctor and nurse and asked if they were ready. They replied they were. I glanced at my sister to my left and said ok. I took my hands off my legs (because I kept pushing on my legs instead of pulling them) and grabbed the bars on the bed. I took another deep breath, said a silent prayer and told myself that she was more than worth it. And I pushed as hard as I possibly could.

5:33PM Adalie Tesla Jane came into this world screaming and yelling. 10 fingers. 10 toes. Just like the sonogram. Soft, straight brown hair and an incredible set of lungs. They placed her on my chest and she cried a bit more and then quieted down. The moment I met her...well...words escape me.

 While she nestled in, Don where to cut the cord and I cried. We have our rainbow baby!

Clearly we are both very, very happy and in love!


She weighed 7lbs 14 oz. and was 19.25 inches long. She latched on immediately, which was a huge relief.

Not long after, my parents arrived with the Sugarbean. She met her sister for the first time.
Sure enough, just as I thought, she seemed to have grown in those few hours since I'd last seen her sleeping. She was so much older and more mature. A very big and grown 3 year old girl instead of a toddler. She crawled up in bed next to me and let me hold her. They placed Tesla in my arms, and there with my two girls, I was happy. I looked around and was surrounded by my family. I was so, so, so very happy they were all there with us. 

I ordered some oatmeal and a waffle and inhaled it before they moved us to the post-partum room. Everyone took all of our stuff, and there I was with Don and Tesla. I happily prayed and gave thanks to God! Another natural birth, with the help of an IV because I was dehydrated (go figure)! There, we settled in for a couple of days.

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