In case you didn't know...I had my baby yesterday! I just finished writing the 'story' in my journal and figured I'd share it with you, to make it so I don't need to tell the story 50 times to people over and over again. So...here goes (please note that this is from my journal and may not make much sense and I don't really care...read at your own risk!)
At 1:30am this morning, I finally got out of bed and decided I was probably having Torah today. I had been having contractions that woke me up and were the intense kind that accompanies true labor. I told Brandon while in I was still in bed that I was probably going to have the baby today, but that he could go back to sleep because I didn't need him yet. Apparently that didn't work and he was not really able to go back to sleep. He was out earlier that night playing basketball until 11 and probably didn't lay down for bed until 11:30...so he was pretty tired.
Anyway, I dinked around for a couple more hours while having contractions until I figured it was time to get people situated...mostly Brandon, my Mom and Bran's parents. I believe it was around 4am when we got my Mom up and called over to M and W. They got to the house around 4:30 and we hung out for a little bit more while I worked through contractions. They had went from about 7 minutes apart to about 3 minutes apart and they were intense. After 'one last big contraction' we headed to the hospital. Bran and I went in the van while Mom and M went in the truck. That was a really LONG hard drive to San Luis! I was glad when we made it and I could sway through the contractions instead of being stuck sitting upright in the van. I guess I didn't fully realize how far a long I was in the whole laboring process. Basically it was go time, but I didn't know that.
I figured it out quickly though as we were on the way to the Birthing Center. It is situated at the back of the hospital, so you have to walk about a quarter mile (it seemed) before you are actually there. I had 2 fairly large contractions in the parking lot that I swayed through before we even made it in the hospital. And I think I had probably 4 more in the hallway on the way to the Birthing Center. Just inside the hospital, there was a man with a wheelchair that said he would wheel me over there, but the last thing I wanted to do right then was to sit down again and relive the van ride to San Luis. So, we would slowly walk until another contraction would hit, and then I would lean up against the wall and sway/groan/count through the contraction.
By the time we finally made it to the Birthing Center to check in (at about 5:15am), I was pretty sure the baby was coming soon...either that or I was going to die. The first thing the nurse said to me was, "I need you to pee in this cup". Now, I've given birth to 3 other children before and never before do I remember a required cup pee prior to having a baby. Maybe I just don't remember. Miraculously, I somehow made it onto the toilet, but another large contraction hit and I peed before I could get the cup. I was able to get a little more out to put in the cup though. I still don't know what they did with that pee.
The next thing I heard from the nurse was, "I need you to lay on the bed so I can check you". I was like...'seriously???' I told her it wasn't possible for me to lay down on my back for that long and asked if she could check me on my hands and knees...turns out she wasn't skilled enough to do that. She tried to recruit another nurse to do it, but somehow I managed to get onto my back long enough for her to check me and...surprise...I was 'complete' as she called it. This was a new labor term for me...so I said...'What does that mean?" I figured it out soon enough as she said 'I need a table in here, NOW!" and "Call Helen!" Suddenly a swarm of people (nurses I'm assuming) were in the room getting things ready. At this point, I was beyond ready to push and contractions were coming very strong and I wanted to push the baby out, but the nurse said 'Don't push yet, the doctor is not here yet!". I didn't really care, because I wanted the baby out, but I kind of held off as I didn't really feel like Torah was totally in birthing position yet....but she may have been. Luckily Helen (my favorite midwife of the group) lived only 5 minutes away, and made it in less than 5 minutes. While we were waiting, Mom said something to the effect of "Can she push yet?" And the 'pee Nurse' said "Well, do you see a doctor here?" Mom was like..."I don't know!" This nurse was minutes away from finishing her 12 hours shift, and seemed ready to be home.
When Helen arrived I was still on the bed on my knees with my head up on the back of the bed while squeezing like crazy the hands of my Mom and Brandon during each contraction. She said I could push, but by that time it seemed that my contractions had subsided some. My body seemed to kind of shut down. I'm not entirely sure why, but I wonder if it was because I had some really good pushing contractions that I didn't push with, so maybe my body just slowed itself down some...who knows?? Anyway, I wasn't progressing on my hands and knees so the midwife said it would be good to change position. She had me go sort of on my back, but with my knees up on my chest and I was supposed to pull my knees towards me with each contraction and curl up towards my knees (that probably didn't make much sense). At this point, it was hard to distinguish between pressure pain and contractions. It felt like I should push, but I didn't have any contractions to help me do it. I tried to push a couple times without contractions and Helen said something like "Jodie are you even having a contraction right now?" To which I replied "I'm not sure". She explained (very well I might add) that the baby will come out much easier if I just waited for a contraction and that I will be feeling tonnes of pressure, but that is not necessarily a contraction. Once I had that figured out (this was all something new and different from past labors...my contractions had never stopped mid push mode), I waited for what seemed like a really long time till I felt a contraction and then pushed like crazy to get her out...and she came! I was so glad. Helen had me push a little and then wait to help me not tear so much, which was easier said than done and I pushed even at times she was telling me to breath. She would say "push a little, now breath, little push, breath, little push...breath...etc". This again was something new, but it was to help me not tear (but I still tore).
Torah came out looking up with her hand up by her face. As soon as her head was out she started screaming and I was so excited to see her. Helen said, reach down and get her, so I did and I pulled her up to my chest. I didn't realize it at the time, but I was the one that actually pulled her out of me, which is super cool. I laid there with Torah on my chest for a long while and just kind of sobbed. What a relief! Brandon said that he lost it at that point, which I didn't realize. We looked at her cord and after the cord stopped pulsing, Brandon cut it and I nursed Torah. I got a few stitches...that took forever to get in because I wouldn't relax and then all of a sudden I felt light headed and I couldn't hear people very well. I almost passed out! They got me instantly on oxygen and lowered my bed, so I didn't actually pass out. They took my blood and found that I was super anemic...so they hooked me up to an IV and starting pumping fluid in me. Unfortunately my blood count is still super low and I am beyond pale. I wasn't anticipating anything like this happening to me. My concern has always been that there would be something 'wrong' with the baby, not me. So, to have it be me that is in need of something has been a little strange and it will be a challenge for me to relax and take it easy enough so my body can heal. Thankfully my Mom will be here for 2 more weeks to help with that! Thank you Mom, you are a life saver. Anyway...after Torah was born and my little almost fainting episode, Helen showed us the placenta complete with sac. It is a weird thing, but it was still cool to see.
Oh...yeah...Torah was born at 5:49am, just about a half hour after getting to the hospital! So, all this stuff happened fairly quickly. She weighed 8 lbs 2 oz and was 22.5 inches long (a whole inch longer than Wade!). She has blondish hair with brown tips and a great furrowed brow. She also has chubby cheeks and a longer face shape than Wade and Elle. I think she looks like Brandon's baby pictures. She is super cute and so far is a super sweetie. She doesn't cry much and is pretty easy to please. She seems super chill! I have had a somewhat rough recovery so far because of my low iron. I feel very tired and somewhat lightheaded. I feel like I'm healing alright in the birthing area, but my body just feels sluggish and I feel weak. I'm on strict commands to 'not clean, cook or pick up Wade' and to take it extremely easy for a while. That really isn't my style, but if I want to recover, I'm going to need to really take it easy. They offered to give me a blood transfusion like 3 times, but I feel like I should be able to recover by increasing my iron intake (from vitamins and diet) and to just lay low for a while. They said my iron was at a 7.4 today (July 1st) and yesterday it was 7.6. Anemic is 9 and normal is supposedly an 11...so I'm pretty low I guess.
Torah is absolutely beautiful and I can feel her tender spirit already. Thank you for coming to our family little lady! We are so lucky to have you!
Oh...and behind the scenes...Grandpa Cohen took care of the kids while I was in labor and Mom and Melanie were at the birth. He did a fabulous job with them and they were so cute when they got to see Torah. Elle and Bryn seemed just to know just what to do while Wade was a little cautious. Elle made Torah a drawing that was our house with Torah and I in the window with it labeled "Welcome to the Cohens, Torah!". Super cute. Bryn's picture was me turning into a lion. I'm not sure what to make of that one! They also brought me all sorts of excellent gluten free food which I was craving...so thank you!
I just realized that I didn't really mention Brandon's role in all of this. Let me just say...he did FANTASTIC. He said just the right things and was very supportive and I'm positive I couldn't have done it without him. Thanks Bran!
If you made it through this, I am amazed. I don't really have pictures yet, because most of the pictures were taken with Brandon's Mom's camera. I look pretty sick in all the pics because of the low iron. It is kind of scary to look at...but I'll still post some when I get them. Yeah for Torah!