Baby Runs makes her world debut

One week after we planned (she takes after her mother’s side of the family), Felicity Jean Reaves was born on Monday, July 21 2014 at 11:27 p.m.

Felicity Jean Reaves

I tried everything to go into labor after my due date (July 14). Including, as you may recall, going for a run.

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I won’t get into the specifics, but nothing really was working to get labor going.  Babies come when they’re ready. After the weekend I was looking at being induced on Wednesday (9 days after my estimated due date). This was not in my birth plan, and I was not excited about that idea.

Fortunately it didn’t come to that. I saw this in my Twitter feed the morning she was born, and like running often does, it spoke to me about this situation in my life, too.

Labor started just after midnight on Monday (July 21) morning. I started to get contractions seven to ten minutes apart just after 1:45 a.m., with a few occasional breaks for sleep.

I knew that early labor — where your body is getting ready for delivering a baby — can take a long time, even days, so I tried not to get too excited. But the contractions started getting stronger and were very … arresting.

At 9:30 a.m. we went to see my midwife. I was only 30 percent of the way there, so we went home for a few hours. Actually, we went to Wal-Mart first

… to get a light cotton robe that opens in the front, which was the one thing that was still missing from the hospital bag I didn’t really pack until the last minute (I knew she was going to be late). I was SO GLAD we did this, even if it is the most hideously lime green plaid ugly thing I have ever owned.

At noon, I hadn’t made any progress but the contractions were still pretty close together (5 to 7 minutes apart). So we went home.

Tony explaining to Scoop that life is about to change, big time.

Tony explaining to Scoop that life is about to change, big time.

At 2 p.m., we started to drive to the hospital, but Tony helped me changed my mind. I knew it was still too early, and the longer I stayed at the hospital, the more likely it would be that I would choose to get pain medication.

At 5 p.m., the contractions were still insanely strong but not getting closer together.

So we went in to the hospital, and sure enough, I was only 40 percent of the way there.

At 6:35 p.m., I got that epidural. It was amazing. I know exactly what time it was because I counted down every contraction after the time I decided to get it (when I learned I barely made any progress after 9 hours) and when the anesthesiologist showed up.

Maybe if I had gone into the hospital at noon, or at 2 p.m., it would have been the same outcome — pain medication — and we would have had the baby sooner, but I am very happy and at peace with the decision I made and when I made it. I had read my books and had my mantras and poses and breathing exercises. I went to yoga class twice a week for the last month. I had many strategies for managing the pain but I still was having a lot of trouble getting my body to relax.

I knew from training — and injuries — that relaxation is critical to healing. And sure enough, the epidural did the trick.

BTW, if you’re planning on live-tweeting your child’s birth, forget it when you’re actually in active labor. ;)

An epidural is great because it numbed most sensation from my belly button to the top of my thighs, but I still could get on hands and knees and move around.  There were a few scary moments where her heartbeat got very low and the c-word* was uttered, but fortunately I had an amazing midwife and nurses and husband, and a lot of motivation to meet Baby Runs** before Monday night was over.

And we did.

Tony, Felicity and Pattie

The happy family the next morning.

Random observations from labor and my first week as a mom:

  • When I was in high school I had a pet rat, Suzuki, and she had babies. I tried to make a hole in her nest bigger to see her having the babies, and she bit me. Hard. Fourteen years later, I understand why.
  • I was nervous about spending time in the hospital, because my memories of hospitals are sad and nerve-wracking occasions, but the nurses and staff at Eastern Maine Medical Center were wonderful and I am so thankful for all of them and how wonderful our care was there. <3
  • When we got home all I could see was a house covered in dog fur. Also, Manchild was right.
  • We picked her name, Felicity, in the morning after she was born. Felicity comes from the Latin word for happiness, and I can’t think of a better word to describe her, or how her father makes me feel. :)
  • I don’t care what anyone says, I don’t see how something sucking on a very sensitive part of you 10 hours a day that hasn’t been sucked on before is not supposed to hurt.
  • It takes a village to raise a child and it brings me to (very hormonal) tears to think of the amazing and wonderful support of our families and friends we’ve had over these past few weeks. Especially to my (also new mom friends) Claire and Natalie who have showered me with much advice and hand-me-downs and love.
  • Our awesome employer gives me 12 weeks of maternity leave and my husband 2 weeks of paternity leave. I am endlessly grateful for this as I had no idea how physically and emotionally demanding caring for a newborn can be (exhibit A: It took me 8 days to write this post).
  • I was told not to run for six weeks. … I might have put that day on my calendar.

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*c-section

**(In case you missed it, a play on Pattie Runs, the former name of this blog, and a play on our name, Reaves. Not a joke about baby poop.)

 

 

Pattie Reaves

About Pattie Reaves

By day, I'm the User Experience and Audience Manager for the Bangor Daily News. By night, I'm a soon-to-be first-time mom and renegade fitness blogger at After the Couch. I live in Brewer with my husband, Tony, and our two pugs, Georgia and Scoop.