Sunday, September 21, 2008

She's Here!!



Teagan Claire made her arrival at 2:48 this morning. She weighed 7 pounds, 4 ounces and was 20 inches long. Like the others at birth, she too has dark hair and lots of it! Teagan is doing well, nursing about every 4 hours or so.

TJ and I took the kids on a walk yesterday to go visit our neighbor who lives behind us. She has lots of land and animals, a small farm of sorts. She recently added some ducks and chicks to her animal collection, and last week brought us some fresh eggs, one of which was green. She invited us to come by and see the hen house where the chicks live.

While we were walking, I began to have some contractions. Nothing major, but they were there none the less. By the time we arrived at my neighbor’s house (we took the long way there so the kids could ride their bikes and burn up some steam), I was tired and the pressure from my belly was getting to be too much. We took the shortcut home (which is just through our backyard) and once I sat down, I was okay.

We lit a campfire and roasted marshmallows before bringing the kids in to get ready for bed. I was still having contractions, but again, nothing major or overly concerning. I bathed T.G., then Th took a shower, and TJ gave Ta a bath while I dressed T.G. None of the kids had good naps yesterday so T.G. went to bed at 7:45pm. The boys followed shortly behind her, with Ta finally falling asleep about 8:30pm.

I went downstairs to do some schoolwork and study for a mid-term exam I have on Tuesday. I tried to concentrate but the contractions were becoming more painful (like menstrual cramps in my lower abdomen). TJ was sitting outside by the campfire again so I told him I was going to take a bath because I wasn’t feeling well. He knew what I meant and brought me the phone in case I needed him while I was in the bath (isn’t he sweet?). I tried to relax in the tub but my schoolwork was weighing on my mind so I made it a short bath, only about 15 minutes.

Once I got out, I did feel a little better and was able to begin studying. It was probably around 9:30pm or so at this point. At about 10:20pm, I told TJ he should start timing the contractions because they were more painful and lasting about 45 seconds each. Of course, as soon as I said that, he went into panic mode and rather waiting to see if a pattern was established, he immediately suggested I call someone to come over to stay with the kids. I assured him I was okay for now and that before I could call the doctor, I needed to find out how far apart the contractions were. As usual, they were erratic. I had one 4 minutes after I initially told TJ to begin timing then, but then it was 10 minutes until the one after that. Finally, at 11pm, I told TJ I was just going to bed and would see what happened.

I lay in bed for about 15 minutes trying to fall asleep, but with each contraction, I was jarred wide awake (not that I was sleeping, but dozing). I decided I had better call someone while it was still fairly early. I did, and thankfully I didn’t wake my friend up (she had been at the Clemson game all day and had recently arrived home). I also phoned the doctor who told me to come in for observation. By the time I had my things together, my friend arrived and I went over the schedule/phone number list, and we got to the hospital, it was a few minutes past midnight.

The nurse checked me upon arrival and I was 3 centimeters. TJ and I were sent to walk the halls of the hospital for the next hour. Let me just put it this way: by the time the hour ended, I could barely stand with each contraction, and they were coming regularly about 3-5 minutes apart. When the nurse checked me again, I had made it to the magic number of 4cm (the number I had to get to in order to be admitted) so I was immediately relieved. Once I got settled in a permanent room, I was permitted to relax in the Jacuzzi tub. I got in the tub about 1:45am. About 30 minutes later, I had TJ get the nurse and I requested an epidural (I have had my last 2 deliveries natural, but this time, the pain was much more intense). She came in and helped me get out of the tub, checked my cervix, and informed me I was too late. In the 30 minutes I was in the bath, I had dilated to 8.5 cm! She paged the doctor, my water bag was broken, and Teagan entered the world on my second push. Since TJ and I did not have a name immediately upon her birth, the doctor joked that we should name her “Bullet” because of her speedy arrival. She was born about 2 ½ hours of us arriving at the hospital- crazy!

Overall I am happy I once again did it without any medication because the recovery is SOOOO much better. Yes, it’s extremely painful during labor, but once the baby is out, I am virtually pain free. With the epidural and other medication, there are side effects that cause drowsiness and require a person to need assistance to get up, walk, potty, etc. I am self-sufficient and was able to go off the IV once my bag of fluid was empty.

Below are some pictures of my sweet baby girl. T.G. is already in love, as is Ta. Th is just excited and overwhelmed about the whole situation, so I’m not really sure what he thinks of her specifically. Plus, with her birthday so close to his, he thinks that’s neat too.