December 5, 2013 at 5:30 pm Connor North Retterath finally joined the world after 20+ hours spent in the hospital. It's been 3 months since we first held him and I am finally getting around to writing about it. We've already seen his first smile and heard his first laugh. Things are happening way too fast. People have asked me if it's all that I expected, and if anything surprised me. Being a parent is the best job in the world. So many things are different than I expected and exactly what I expected at the same time. I think I was least prepared for the overwhelming "mom emotions". The love for your child is so different than that for your spouse, friends, siblings...its crazy. I cried when he got his first shots, I cried (tears of joy) at his first smile. It's a wild ride, being a parent, but its so much fun.
I wanted to write the story of his birth and my first labor before I forgot it all. We went in for our 40 week check up December 4th (one full day past Connor's due date). Our OBGYN had been telling us for weeks that Connor was ready to come anytime, so I was a little disappointed when we went past our due date. I wasn't dilated and so nothing was progressing. At the appointment we were 1 cm dilated and our OBGYN asked if she could "sweep my membranes" which has a high percent chance of getting things moving withing 24 hours. By the time we got in the car to drive home that morning I was already feeling my first contractions.
Dave went to work and I stayed home counting contractions and walking up and down our stairs. At 4:00 pm Dave came home early since the contractions seemed to be more regular and together. We killed time at Costco and Jamba Juice while we waited for the full 2 hours of regular contractions to pass before calling the hospital. We finally were admitted to the triage room at Swedish Issaquah Hospital at 6:30 pm. I still wasn't dilated and they really didn't want to check me in yet. They wanted us to continue to labor at home until contractions were stronger and I was actually dilating. Then they read my blood pressure. It was abnormally high. After 3 hours of monitoring me in the triage room they admitted us early because I was exhibiting many symptoms of preeclamsia.
Once in our birthing suite, I was immediately hooked up to a blood pressure monitor, heart rate monitor, baby heart rate monitor, and an IV with a pitocin and magnesium drip. Magnesium is supposed to relax you and keep your blood pressure down, and pitocin increases the strength of your contractions (because the magnesium can slow them down) but it sort of makes you feel flu-like symptoms plus more intense pain during contractions. So I labored in bed (since I couldn't get up) from 9:00 pm until 8:00 am the next morning when I had my water broken and the pitocin levels increased. Finally around noon I dilated to 5:00 pm and was able to get the epidural. I slept for a couple hours, woke up to find myself at 8:00 am, slept for another couple hours, and woke up around 3:30 pm "complete" and ready to push.
Two hours later Connor finally joined us! He was lethargic because of the magnesium but otherwise a healthy happy newborn. He had no problem learning how to eat and we spent the next two days at the hospital learning how to swaddle, change, and feed him. He was a champ. He has been good natured and sweet since the day he was born. We may be biased, but we also are convinced he is the cutest new born we have ever seen. He already sleeps great and is so curious. We are loving every moment of parenthood.
Also to any ladies expecting their first child sometime soon, I highly recommend Issaquah Swedish and our wonderful OBGYN Dr. Heather Kipa. Even though it ended up being a more complicated labor than I had hoped for, the way our nurses and our OBGYN treated us was absolutely fantastic. We loved the facilities and its staff and will definitely go there next time around.