I had always had irregular periods so when I missed a month I didn't think anything of it. I didn't catch on very quickly because all the signs were pointing to my little Brayve developing inside of me. I suddenly was very emotional and very tired. My last mma fight that I had was when I was 4 weeks pregnant. I won, and then got out of the ring and began to cry, claiming that it was scary! hahaha Of course everybody thought I was nuts, and you could see why. Then I decided that I wanted a puppy. We already had one that was only a couple months old. I remember driving to go pick him up with Alex (now my husband), and searching for names. I remember having conversations about how certain names would be so cute for a baby. Then a couple of days later I told Alex that I thought all of the chest press lifts I had been doing were making my boobs grow! The next week I decided I should take a pregnancy test just in case. I found out on November 7th, 2008 that I was pregnant! I began hysterically crying. I was scared. That is all I can say to explain it. My first trimester was full of sickness. I'm guessing a lot of it was from stress. I stayed in my living room on a giant bean bag chair rotating between crying, sleeping, and throwing up. My relationship with Alex was very up and down. Most of the time I didn't even want to look at him. He proposed to me and I said, "Hell No!" Then suddenly in my second trimester I was in love again, and we did become engaged. I remember the exact place and feeling of Brayve's little body wriggling around. What was amazing was not only did I feel him 'early,' everybody else could too. So, Alex was able to feel him the moment that I could. That was exciting!
I signed up for childbirth classes at the hospital I was going to deliver at. I learned a good deal that I didn't know, but when she began talking about cesareans I tuned her out. I knew that wasn't going to be me. I wanted a natural delivery with no narcotics or epidural. There were also a lot of things going on at the OB office I went to. The only midwife they had left, and the only OB I had met actually retired the week of my due date. OH, and just to share a little bit about him. I liked him, and I thought he was funny, but one thing he said still rings in my ears. When he asked me about pain medication I said that I wanted to labor and deliver naturally. His reply was, "well my wife and daughter had nothing but csections and they claim it is the only way to give birth!" WHAT?! There are so many things wrong with that statement. I'm not even going to go there though.
My due date was July 4th, and I went into labor on Tuesday July 7th at 8pm. I began having contractions that were about 12 minutes apart for about an hour, and then they got closer and closer together as the night went on. I had learned that the average first time labor is around 12 hours. I don't ever remember researching or hearing that labors could go on for days. I was so uneducated about everything. I tried to sleep, but only got a few minutes here and there because I would wake up with every contraction. By 4am they were only 5 minutes apart consistently, so I called my mom and we all went to the hospital. I was checked and hooked up to the monitor for awhile. They said I was only 1cm dilated and not effaced. The monitor showed that I was having contractions every 5 minutes but they said they weren't strong enough, and the longer I stayed the more they spaced out. I was sent home, which was kind of defeating, but I was dealing with it. I was on a clock in my mind because labor was only supposed to be 12hours!
When I got home they sped back up to 5 minutes apart again and every passing hour they seemed to get more and more intense. I wasn't able to sleep, and at 8 pm that night we called the doctor again. I was exhausted because I hadn't slept since Monday night, and it was now Wednesday night. He told me to take a couple of tylenol pm and try to take a nap, and that I should come in when the contractions were 3mins apart or my water broke. At 2am on Thursday morning I was in the bathtub crying because I still hadn't slept and I was in a good amount of pain by then. Alex and I decided that we would go back to the hospital because they were finally 3 mins apart. When we got there I was 3cm dilated and about 50%effaced. When I went to the bathroom my mucus plug suddenly came out. I got a little excited by that, but was still feeling very stressed that I was only at 3cm and that I hadn't slept in almost 48 hours. They broke my water sometime that morning because they said it would speed my labor up. I labored in and out of the tub in the hospital until about 1pm on Thursday afternoon. I got out and felt insane. I actually don't remember too much after this, and had to be told about what happened next. I was at 6cm dilated and decided that I couldn't do it anymore, so I decided to get a shot of nubain. This was horrible! I felt really drunk and it felt like one endless contraction. I would sleep for a minute and then wake up to another horrible contraction. I remember feeling like I was fighting it. I would tense up and yell for them to go down. I had lost it! This went on for two hours.
Around 3 pm I said that I had to have an epidural. I wasn't supposed to get one because I had two herniated disks and stenosis and was told that I could have bad back problems after. At that point I didn't care. The anesthesiologist came in within the next hour, and I can't even explain how relieving that was. I finally was able to sleep, and I had a smile on my face because of how relieved I felt. They decided to give me pitocin to help the contractions become intense enough to dilate me the rest of the way. Unfortunately that didn't help, and when I was checked again I was actually less than 6cm dilated because my cervix was swelling. hmmm…maybe because my poor baby's head was posterior and had no cushion left because the bag of waters had been broken and his poor head was being slammed into my cervix. Around 8pm the doctor came in, whom I had never met before I had gotten to the hospital, and told me that I needed a csection. I was devastated. My epidural was wearing off and I was having horrible pains shooting down my left side (probably from the effects of the epidural on my herniated discs). Alex, my mom, and I were all crying by now. I actually can't even explain how horrible that moment was. I was at an ultimate low, and I was terrified. I remember screaming profanity at the anesthesiologist who was somewhere out in the hall taking his sweet ass time! If I was going to have a csection then they might as well take me back out of the pain I was in because it was getting me nowhere but crazy town!
At 9:15pm on Thursday July 9th, 2009 after 49.5 hours of labor and only 3 hours of sleep since Monday morning at 8am I was cut and Brayve was removed from my uterus by cesarean weighing 8 lbs 4 oz. and 21.5inches long. I remember being strapped down to the bed like I was on a crucifix. Alex said the nurses were literally jumping up and putting all of their body weight into the top of my stomach. Maybe this is why I remember violently rocking from side to side. I was given a sedative as soon as Brayve came out because they were worried that I was panicking. I fell asleep immediately. I do not remember his first cry, or what he looked liked, or what was talked about as they sewed me up. I do not know what he looked like when he opened his eyes for the first time, and I was not the first to hold my son who I had housed and nourished for the 9 months leading up to that moment. When I finally got back into the room where Alex, my mom, and Brayve were waiting I was on drugs and don't remember what happened. I don't remember holding him for the first time. The next thing I remembered was waking up in a different room by a nurse around 5am telling me that it was time to try to walk. I tried to stand and couldn't. It felt like my legs were too weak to hold my weight, and the burning in my incision was unbearable. On top of that my vagina was swollen and bruised so badly from Brayve trying to make his way out that if a picture was taken nobody would be able to distinguish what it was!
When I woke up the next morning the nurse told me that Brayve would probably want to eat soon. I guess the night before he was so swollen from the iv fluids that I was given, and so tired from the long labor that he just slept and didn't act hungry. He didn't latch on well, but we fumbled through it. Eventually somebody told me his tongue was too big and he needed a nipple shield in order to latch on. Unfortunately nobody told me that I shouldn't use that long because he ate with that for the next 6months! Once again, completely uneducated.
The recovery was horrible. Every time I tried to stand or walk my incision burned from the inside out like nothing I can explain. After a couple of weeks blood started to come out of the incision site and then little bubbles full of blood were sticking out between the stitches. It was gruesome. When I went in and showed the doctor he told me that eventually it would stop doing that… that the blood looked old, so it was okay. Another week went by and I got a big pocket of fluid above the incision side. My skin looked bruised and when touched it would wave underneath like a bag filled with water would if you touched it. I went in again and he said that I could try to put hot compresses on it, but mostly that I needed to stop being vain and my bikini days were over. He was the most insensitive person I had ever met. The stitches that were supposed to dissolve never did for some reason and months later they would come to the surface of my skin and I would have to push them out. When the incision had finally closed the scar was huge, itchy, swollen, and crooked. You know the mouth of those smiley faces, the ones that I call the uncertain face, that is what it looked like to me. That pocket of fluid above the incision… it never went away. My body looked grotesque to me.
However, I LOVED my baby! He was amazing. He was incredibly handsome, and smart. He slept through the night at just a couple weeks old, and barely ever cried. He was the most laid back baby ever, and I was so blessed for that! He was rolling over by the time he was 3 months old, sitting up at 4 months, crawling right at 6 months, and then walking by 10 months. He said his first sentence before he he was 16months old. His vocabulary is incredibly extensive for his age. He is amazing, and I love that little boy with all of my heart, big head and all! :)