san antonio

41 Weeks

I’ve always wondered why people shared their birth story, but now that I’ve given birth, I realize how important and memorable the experience will become. Not only that, giving birth is one of the most BADASS things I’ve ever done!

I mean, this blog is 6 months late, and I still remember almost every detail vividly.

I wanted to share with y’all.

Well, here we go…..

A full-term single pregnancy lasts somewhere between 39 and 41 weeks.

Of course, someone like me, who is not only extremely impatient, but a control freak who likes to plan everything, would make it to 41 weeks.

FORTY-ONE WEEKS

Image result for bonnie swanson pregnant

From the very beginning of my pregnancy, I had plans to labor and deliver as natural as possible.

Unfortunately for me, at 41 weeks I had to be medically induced because I was ZERO centimeters dilated. I made the choice to be induced as opposed to waiting because I knew I wasn’t progressing on my own, and I didn’t want to risk the complications of being post-term.

April 19, my husband and I stopped for chicken biscuits from Chick-fil-a, which was very important because I knew I couldn’t eat while in the hospital.

We arrived a little after 8 am.

I checked in and was escorted to labor and delivery room 6.

I changed into my hospital gown, and the nurse hooked me up to an IV and asked about my birth plan—which shocked me because I figured that birth plans were frowned upon because things don’t always go as planned. They asked if I wanted to breastfeed, if I wanted skin-to-skin contact with the baby, if I wanted pain medication, and if David would be cutting the umbilical cord. My answers—yes, yes, no, yes. The nurse also gave me all of my options for pain relief. Shortly after, the anesthesiologist came in. They basically come in to get my consent for an epidural, just in case I need an emergency c-section.

It was around 9:30 am when the nurse practitioner came in to check my cervix, and to insert the Foley balloon catheter. At that point, I still wasn’t dilated at all (although my cervix was almost completely thinned out), which helped reassure me that I made the right choice to get induced.

I could have been pregnant forever, who knows.

The Foley balloon was basically like a weight that was inserted in my cervix, one balloon inside, and one outside. They are filled with water. The friction of the heavy balloons causes the uterus to contract. I was also given Cytotec. The Cytotec is a tiny pill that helps soften the cervix, it also helps cause contractions.

It took about an hour before I started having obvious contractions. They were maybe 7 minutes apart, but they only felt like mild period cramps. I was still in a pretty good mood, watching my favorite show. We brought DVD’s, I wanted to laugh through the pain.

It wasn’t until 2:30 pm when I finally dilated to 4 centimeters, and the Foley balloon was removed.

CERVICAL EXAMS SUCK—so when the nurse asked me if she could break my water, I said YES since she was already in there removing the balloon.

Once my water was broken, the contractions really started kicking my ass.

Things were progressing as expected. The nurse told me that things would move much quicker if I either walked around my room, or used a peanut ball. The peanut ball is basically a giant peanut shaped exercise ball that you hold in between your legs while you lay in bed. Helps open the cervix & get the baby into the correct position for delivery. It wasn’t comfortable, but I couldn’t be lazy if I wanted to get this baby out.Image result for peanut exercise ball

I was still in good spirits, just very very uncomfortable.

The nurse gave me permission to eat real food, as opposed to Jello or chicken broth. I ordered a cheeseburger. I wasn’t really hungry, I just chose to eat because I had no idea how long I would be in labor. The burger was gross, but it held me over.

Even though the contractions were getting pretty rough, I was still anti epidural. I made sure David promised to not let me get one. His job was also to make sure I wasn’t given a c-section unless it was completely medically necessary.

I was able to tolerate the pain until around 7:30. I basically blacked out from the pain. I couldn’t see much, but I felt every.single.contraction. I couldn’t get comfortable at all. I could barely talk. The nurse recommended that I hum in order to calm myself down, which I did.

It was around 8:30 maybe 9 pm when I finally gave in and requested pain medication. I decided to go with Fentanyl which was given to me through my IV. It kicked in pretty quickly, and allowed me to get some rest. I still felt the contractions, but I was able to nap in between them. I knew it was important to save my energy for delivery. Unfortunately the medication wore off around 10. I blacked out once again. Everything was a blur. At this point, I couldn’t even space apart my contractions. I just felt pain consistently. I was restless, and just miserable. I felt weak, and defeated. I believe it was around 10:30 when I got my cervix checked. The nurse told me I was at 9 centimeters, and I wouldn’t get another exam for 4 hours since my water was already broken, they didn’t wanna risk infection. Y’all have no idea how discouraged I was. I cried when the nurse left the room. I basically started to question if I could continue without an epidural.

I was pretty much yelling through my contractions, the humming no longer helped. The urge to push was rough. About 30 minutes after my last cervical exam, I got to the point where I couldn’t hold it anymore. I had David push the nurse call button. He didn’t even know what to say. I’m sure all the nurses heard was me screaming. That was enough to get the whole team in the room. I told them I couldn’t hold this baby in any longer.

I had my two nurses, the baby had two nurses, my OB as well as the delivering doctor were there. So 6 people on the medical team, plus David & I. The room was packed.

The nurses raise the bed up, turn all the lights on. It sounds like it would be embarrassing, having a huge spotlight on your vagina. However, at this point, I just wanted this baby OUT.

THE MOMENT WE’VE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR.

The doctor gave me a cervical exam. I was at 10 centimeters, and I was ready to push.

Somehow, I got a huge burst of energy, I was still terrified, and I had no clue what I was doing.

During my next contraction, I gave my first push. It took so much strength, it was tiresome.

The next contraction took about a minute, which wasn’t much time for me to recharge.

I relaxed, paused, and took a huge inhale, I pushed long and hard. Her head was out.

THAT WAS SO EXHAUSTING.

I literally asked my nurse if I could take a break lol she said I had to keep pushing.

I’m not sure where the strength came from, possibly fear, or maybe eagerness.

On that third contraction. That. third. push.

She was here.

The first thing I said after birth, “it’s a girl right?”  I asked that during every ultrasound as well. I was convinced I would have a boy and he would be wearing pink his entire first year of life.

It was a girl.

I went from screaming “OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH OH MY GOSH” to ugly crying, I ugly cried 5 minutes straight before I even looked at her face.

Immediately I felt relieved.

I did it.

I. Did. It.

I may have gotten medically induced.
I may have caved and gotten pain medications.

But I did it.

I birthed a baby—and it’s one of my proudest accomplishments.

8 hours and 44 minutes of labor.

Somewhere between 5 & 10 minutes of pushing.

1 Beautiful baby girl.

 

Is Reverse Culture Shock a Thing?

Howdy y’all! So we are down to our last 5ish weeks in Japan, and when I tell you, I can’t even sleep at night these days! I have never struggled with anxiety until now, and it’s exhausting. I NEED SLEEP! I had been ready to leave island forever, but as we approach moving day, I get more and more nervous. Between the packing, finding an apartment, finding new doctors, prepping for our trip back home, it’s a lot on our plates. I don’t know how to adult, help!!

I’m not really sure why I’m so uneasy about moving back to the country I’ve spent 18 years in. I mean, I’ve heard so much about reverse culture shock. Is it really a thing? It totally makes sense. In Japan, there are so many things we do differently here. Customer service, or should I say, the lack of, is going to take some getting used to. However, one thing I won’t miss, is the fact that there are no free refills in Japan. To top it off, the cup sizes are ridiculously small. Not really sure how Japan expects me to quench my thirst with a quarter cup of melon soda with 4 big ass ice cubes in it. Fun fact: Majority of places in Japan will refuse tips. I’m pretty excited about not having to use my Google Translate app to go grocery shopping. But the toughest transition will FOR SURE be the whole driving situation, I have no idea how long it’ll take my brain to readjust to driving on the right side of the road.

Although I’m starting to see a tiny little light at the end of the tunnel, we still have so much to do. TMO comes in a few days, and shit is about to get real. My dining room table is gone, and we are eating on the couch, #RECKLESS. My car is sold, which is kinda tragic. It’s so crazy how quickly everything is going! I honestly didn’t expect to be this emotional about leaving, but I’ve met so many amazing people here! People I’m going to miss so much, but I guess that’s all a part of the military life. Aside from the people, I’m definitely gonna miss my house! I’m gonna miss Bollywood Dreams, Hamazushi and Daiso, possibly even MaxValu (gotta get used to the Walmart life now).

But I’m so excited I get to see my parents and my sister, hopefully my brother soon! Sucks that we only get to spend a few days back home, but we are gonna make the best of it—if the jet lag allows us to. We are legit gonna be #TeamNoSleep while on vacation, since we haven’t been home in almost 3 years!! But seriously guys, all I keep thinking about is food. Gyros, Flyers, Chickfila, Bahama Breeze, I-CAN-NOT-WAIT. We get to be tourists for once, and I’m pretty thrilled about it. We basically wanna do everything except the theme parks, ain’t nobody got time for all that.

Onto Texas! Super excited for Texas. Super optimistic. Super anxious. If anyone knows somebody who knows somebody who knows anybody who lives in San Antonio, send them to my blog! I wanna know everything about everything. Best places to road trip to, favorite bars, where does everyone grocery shop? Seriously, I really wanna know your favorite hole in the wall restaurants, favorite boutiques, favorite mom & pop shops, tell me everything! If anyone knows anyone who owns any small business in San Antonio, comment below! I would love to visit as many small shops that I can!

I’m hopeful that during my transition back stateside will give me lots of inspiration for blogs, and even possible vlogs. So stay tuned everyone! I can’t wait to share with y’all the business that I’ve been prepping all throughout 2016. But seriously, I’m hoping that I can soon get my mojo back! It’s about that time to make the switch from Ash, to Whiplash *winks**twerks*.