|I just love this pic of Piper's first footprints!|
|Getting her vitals checked!|
|Getting cleaned up.|
|Getting her first bath.|
|Piper's first shampoo.|
|Right after her eye drops.|
|First view after eye drops|
|Her first try at nursing, latched immediately!|
|The first time I held her, and first pic with Nana!|
|Her first shirt!|
|Her first cuddle with my brother Christian.|
|Her first hospital swaddle.|
|Her first skin-on-skin session.|
|Her first bird!|
|Her first tutu and her first day home!|
|Her first kitty encounter!|
|Her first cuddle with her cousin Larkin!|
|Her first cuddle with her cousin Haven!|
|Her first visit with her great grandmother, aka Momo!|
|Her first multi-generational encounter with Nana and Momo!|
|Yes, I think nursing is amazing and beautiful!|
|Best cuddler ever!|
|Sweetest face ever!|
|Even her toes are cute!|
|When she sleeps, she zonks completely out!|
|I think aqua is her best color!|
|...and a close-up!|
|Most adorable lips ever!|
|Playing Chubba with my dad, aka Papa|
UPDATE (4/24/13): Over the past couple of days I have come to realize a couple things I left out of my original telling of this tale. Two very important things, actually, at least in the sense I think they're important in understanding maybe why I chose to go with an epidural and why they administered one so early in my labor progression. I'll start with the incident that came first.
I've previously mentioned how excruciating my contractions were right from the get-go. For three days I had horribly painful contractions off and on before heading to the hospital that final morning. To give you an idea of how bad they were, on the morning of Piper's birth, right before I left for the hospital, the contractions were so bad they actually made me hurl! Yep, I puked from pain, something I had never done before in my life. And something I really thought was more of a myth than something that could actually happen in real life. Hell, I had been in some very painful situations before and nausea neve reared it's ugly head. Labor proved me wrong and showed me that it wasn't just in the movies that pain could push you to puke.
Believe me, it was no fun to lose all my dinner from the night before while trying not to have contractions at the same time. At least I hurled between contractions, thank goodness for small favors. Once at the hospital they gave me a "cookie jar", as I like to call it, since I remained nauseous. Once they finally had me hooked up with an IV, they then pumped some anti-nausea medicine in me. While it helped, it wasn't until after the Stadol wore off. The effects of that horrible drug outweighed my anti-nausea meds and kept me on the brink of puking for quite a bit longer than I liked. Towards the end of labor they had to re-up my nausea meds, but at least they worked quickly at that point. I swear there is nothing worse than nauseous while also being in pain, especially labor pain. With each contraction came the urge to purge, definitely not a fun combo.
Besides the puking and subsequent nausea issues, I also had a bout with back labor. For any of you other women out there who have also experience back labor, I know you know what I'm talking about when I say that shit makes you feel like you are literally being ripped in half! I initially made a statement that I wish my contractions weren't all centrally located right above my pelvic bone. I thought if the pain moved to a different locale I'd be able to handle it better. Well, be careful what you ask for! Right after making this statement, I got my wish. There are really no words that can describe back labor. All I can say is that once the contraction started, and I felt it growing in strength within the confines of my lower back, I knew I never wanted to feel pain like that again. It was literally the most horrifically mind-numbing, I'd-sell-my-soul-to-the-devil-to-make-it-stop kind of pain that is just plain cruel to have to experience. What kind of sick jokester is mother nature for making women suffer that way?
Anyway, once I had the back contraction that almost drove me to tears, I was then absolutely terrified every time I felt another contraction coming on. They say contractions are less painful if you do not fear them and try to relax through them as much as possible. Well how the hell are you supposed to do that after back contractions? I grew fearful every time I felt another one build, and then I tensed when it started, and by that time I was already screwed! Luckily my contractions did not move entirely to my back, as I know this happens sometimes and I truly have mad respect for women who have back labor and still refuse an epidural. If ever there was a deciding factor that I couldn't hack non-medicated childbirth it was the back labor...screw that!
Okay, I feel much better now that I have updated this story with those two additions. Between puking and back labor, on top of three days worth of ridiculous contractions, there was no way they could refuse me my epidural, right? I really think my doc and the nurses all felt sorry for me and that is why I got the epidural at only 3cm dilation. Whatever the reason, it was much appreciated and made labor enjoyable rather than a nightmare. I will say it again, I do not regret the decision as it was the right one for me. Go drugs!