Ethan Alan Dean was born on February 18th at 1159PM weighing 8 lbs, 9 oz and measuring 20 3/4 inches long. We are both doing fine. He is 12 days old today! I can't believe how fast time as flown by already. He looks different every day. Sometimes I just stare at him sleeping and start crying because I just can't believe that he's finally here and I'm lucky enough to be his mom. I'm sure that's part hormones out of whack and part real emotion. People told me that I would fall in love with my baby the moment he was born. I felt attached to him when he was born but I don't think I truly fell in love with him until he was a couple days old. I love being a mom! It's especially been more enjoyable now that we have gotten to know each other better and gotten into somewhat of a routine.
We had an interesting 48 hours before Ethan came. Here's the short story (sort of) because it's really easy to make it into a really really long one. I started seeing signs that labor was going to start soon about 72 hours before I gave me birth. 48 hours before my contractions were 8-10 minutes apart, but I could sleep through them for the most part. By about 36 hours before, they were 6-7 minutes apart and we walked every few hours to keep them going. We were both getting excited and anxious to get to the hospital, but knew we had to wait until they were 3-5 minutes apart for 2 hours. After having dinner with my parents on Wednesday night (a little more than 24 hours before his arrival), we headed home and the contractions became more painful and 5-6 minutes apart. I wanted to stay up and keep walking around the house to get them closer together so we could go to the hospital. At 11pm we gave up and tried to go to sleep. Even while lying down the contractions were 7 minutes apart and so painful I couldn't sleep. After an hour, crying and freaking myself out, I got home and they immediately went to 4 minutes apart. We waited the two hours to make sure they were consistent and headed to the hospital.
When we arrived at Labor & Delivery they said I was 3cm dilated, but that the contractions had begun to space out. They decided to admit me and have me walk. At this point, I had not slept in 24 hours and while walking was falling asleep. The nurse told me to get into bed and sleep. 2 hours later they had started the Pitocin and gradually we made more and more progress. Then it was time for the epidural at 5cm.
The first epidural didn't completely take. I could still move my toes and legs, but had some numbness. They pushed it over and it worked a little better, but finally they had to replace it. The first one was very uncomfortable and painful to have put in, so I was afraid of the second one. Thank God, after praying with my mom I felt nothing. This epidural finally took and I passed out and slept for a couple hours. When I woke up I was 8 1/2 to 9cm dilated, but Ethan was still high up, so we waited. At 10pm the midwife came in and they said it was time to push.
After 2 hours of pushing and only getting his little cone out, I guess I turned to my sister and said, "I'm done!" and gave a huge push and all of him came out just in time to be born on the 18th. Unfortunately, I tore really badly (3rd degree). I was completely out of it and scared to hold him on my own, for fear of dropping him. My eyes were rolling into the back of my head because I was so tired.
Thankfully, he was perfect and healthy and even scored a 9/10 on his APGAR test. I'll post more about the last week later.
My recovery has been difficult. I couldn't get out of bed for 24 hours after he was born and had a hard time walking for 2-3 days and it started getting easier after that. Ken has been so wonderful! He took such good care of Ethan and me. We joke that I was probably more work than Ethan those first few days. I'm still on pain meds and hopefully will be off of them soon. Life is good!