At long last, dear readers, the story of Baby Bunny's Birth! You can find more letters to Bunny over at 0 to Mom, detailing the first weeks and months of her life!
In a sense, your birth story began in September 2008, when the doctor discovered that instead of having plenty of time left, you was already beginning to work your way out. But after I (semi-) followed doctor's orders to stay (mostly) off my feet and take it easy (I still worked, albeit from home several days each week instead of going to the office), you settled back in to stay for awhile.
Papa Bunny was gone to south Texas to aid in Hurricane Ike relief and I desperately didn't want you to come while he was gone. But once he was home...let the games begin!
The day before my 37 week checkup, I started experiencing sporadic contractions...that gradually increased in intensity even as the time between contractions decreased. When we headed to the doctor for my scheduled appointment, we were pretty sure that we'd end up staying and bringing you into the world.
We were wrong. I'd progressed, a bit, but not yet the real deal. Instead, it would be just over a week until you actually would arrive.
On your Mama Bunny's birthday, October 8th, some of her coworkers took her out to a nice, spicy Mexican lunch. Yum! At around the same time - noon - I began experiencing fairly mild contractions. I went back to work after lunch, and stayed until later afternoon. Luckily, I already had started wrapping work up in anticipation of your arrival!
By the time I got home, at around 5 PM, the contractions had become noticeably stronger. I started logging them in an Excel file so that I had good information to give to the doctor if and when I called. My contractions came at about 5 minute intervals and lasted around a minute. As the intensity grew, I became more and more certain that you were coming - in fact, I thought you might get here in time to share my birthday! I charted 65 total contractions.
At 8, I called the doctor to ask if we should head to the hospital. Her on-call partner called me back and said to come on in. I called Papa Bunny, who made the 30 mile drive home from work in 20 minutes flat. (I'm not kidding. I timed him.) I wasn't going to be rushed in packing for the hospital, however. I wanted to eat another meal, first, since I knew they wouldn't let me eat once we got there. And I wanted to double and triple check all of my hospital bags to really make sure I was ready. Finally, we headed out the door, and made the 30 mile drive to the hospital in 20 minutes. I was continuing to chart contractions on the laptop in the car while Papa Bunny drove like a maniac.
When we got to the hospital at around 10:15, we went to L&D triage, where we would spend the next two hours being monitored. You see, Bunny, they had to make sure Mama Bunny was actually progressing, or they would have sent us home. But we made progress! Shortly after midnight, we got settled into Labor and Delivery room 8 - I took that as a great sign, since that is my lucky number! We had a fabulous nurse and the doctor came several times to check on us.
Your Mama was doing pretty good with pain - no drugs yet - until about 5 AM. You see, I was continuing to dilate fabulously - but my water never broke on it's own. So the on-call doctor decided to do me a "favor" and break it for me. Not a favor. Let the pain begin! I went about 90 minutes before the dear, kind, wonderful anesthesiologist came to start a light epidural for me.
Time went fairly quickly overnight, but then started to drag a bit as morning rolled around. So what's a Mama Bunny to do but boot up her laptop and get some work done as she awaited your arrival! She even posted to this blog to let everyone know you were coming! In the meantime, we moved closer and closer to your birth, because having my water broken definitely sent things into fast forward.
Papa Bunny got suited up so he could stay in the room while you were being born, and when 9:30 rolled around, it was time to start pushing! Luckily, shifts had changed, and my actually doctor was now available to deliver you. She came to check on me at 8:30 and stayed until almost 9, asking the nurse to let her know when I was ready to start pushing. Well...it was only a few minutes later!
I was lucky, in that a lighter epidural than normal was used. This meant that I had the benefit of much of the pain being blocked, but the even greater benefit of having near-full control over my legs, so I could also be in control of pushing. (And we all know that Mama Bunny doesn't easily give up control!) I called the shots on pushing, and every time the nurse told me that I could stop and rest, I always went a push or two more. That's how anxious I was to meet you, Baby Bunny!
Finally, at exactly 11:00 AM, the doctor untucked your stuck ears and you came crying into this world. Because a bit of meconium had come out when my water broke, you were immediately whisked away to get suctioned out. But I could hear you perfectly and could even see you fairly well. And Papa Bunny was by your side, snapping your first few pictures. You measured in at 19.5 inches long and weighed 7 pounds, 7.3 ounces. We called you our numbers baby: born at 11 AM on 10/09/08 at 7 pounds!
After what seemed like an obscenely long length of time but was in reality only 10 minutes, you were brought over and laid in my arms. Baby Bunny, I have never had a happier moment in my life. And Papa Bunny tells me that I was crying my eyes out. The doctor and the hospital staff gave us about an hour and a half to cuddle you and take in what a beautiful baby you were before they came to move us upstairs to a private room. During that time, Papa Bunny called family and friends to let them know you were here, while Mama Bunny sent text messages to coworkers and other friends.
After we got upstairs, we let the nursery come to take you away for your first bath, so Mama Bunny could get a little bit of rest and Papa Bunny could get bags brought in from the car. It had been a very long night - your Mama was away for 30 hours by that time - and needed to close her eyes for a little while so she could devote all of her time to you later on! When the nurse from the nursery brought you back to my room, since you were rooming-in, she couldn't stop gushing over your long and beautiful hair and what a pretty baby you were. Mama and Papa completely agreed!
You had quite a few visitors at the hospital. Even though your grandparents all lived far away and couldn't be around when you were born, your Mama and Papa have some great friends who are going to be just like family to you. For instance, your Aunt Danielle came to see you on your very first day of life, when you were only 6 hours old. She loved holding you - and who wouldn't? On the next day, October 10th, you had a ton of visitors. First was Cheryl, one of Mama Bunny's coworkers. Next, Aunt Kelly and Uncle Steve came to spend a few minutes with you and welcome you to the world.
Mama Bunny's two Goddaughters, Gracie and Abby, couldn't wait to come see you, either, and they came on the night of the 10th. Gracie was thrilled to be allowed to have you propped on her lap while Abby sat by your side. And Mama Bunny was thrilled to have her daughter and Goddaughters all together! I just know that the three of you are going to be thicker than thieves as you grow up together - there are 2.5 years between Gracie and Abby and 2.5 years between Abby and you, Baby Bunny, and those are great intervals to make you perfect playmates!
Although the hospital staff was great to us during our stay, we couldn't wait to go home. Baby Bunny, make note: a hospital is a horrible place to recover. Between people coming in and out of the room at all hours of the day, loud noise and bright lights, it was like trying to take a vacation at a circus. Plus, Papa Bunny had to sleep on a little folding cot that wasn't exactly...comfy! And so on the morning of October 11th, we got you dressed and ready to go in your cuter-than-cute going-home outfit and waited (im-)patiently for the hospital to check us out. You weren't too sure about your car seat, but once you were snugged into there for a few minutes, you were happy as a clam and we headed home to start our new life as a family.
We love you, Baby Bunny!
Papa & Mama Bunny
Keep reading as Baby Bunny grows over at 0 to Mom, where I'll be posting a series of letters to tell the baby all about her first weeks and months. And please continue to visit me here as I continue to blog about the trials and triumphs of How to Have a Baby.