I started having contractions on Friday night (July 3). My brother, Curtis, was starring as Tarzan at the Hale Theater, and Ben went to go strike the set of the play before so we could get two free tickets to see the show. My mom came over to stay with me since my dad was going, too (we live like one minute away from my parents right now, it's great!). I wasn't having any real contractions until Ben had left. By the time he came home, they were coming pretty consistently at 6-7 minutes apart. I thought it was almost go time! My doctor told me to come in when they were about 3-5 minutes apart for 1-2 hours. When Ben got home after midnight he was surprised that I was in pain and having contractions! We continued timing them and eventually we both fell asleep.
Around 3 am I woke up worried because the contractions had slowed down a little. I was also having some bleeding (totally normal, but worrisome to me when all pregnancy long they tell you to watch out for bleeding!) so I was nervous. We decided to go the hospital. Bad call. We know better now. ;) They checked us into triage and I had progressed since my doctor appointment on Thursday (he did a membrane sweep and I was at 1.5). I was now at a 3. They hooked me up and said if I wasn't at a 4 in an hour that I would go home but that they expected me to be back that afternoon. I thought I'd have a 4th of July baby! I didn't progress while we were there so they sent me home with an ambien to help me sleep and said we will see you soon.
I continued to have contractions that were consistent and painful Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. They were getting increasingly painful and I hadn't really slept in days. Ben gave me multiple blessings of comfort and patience. It was becoming very overwhelming and I was getting anxious about knowing when to go back to the hospital since I'd already been sent home once! My mom had come over several times to be with me and rub my feet, (I love you, mom!) Ben's family had been in Pinetop for the 4th and were ready to come home as soon as we called to come (which we thought would be soon since I'd had such regular contractions!). Monday night we decided to go to the hospital because I felt like I couldn't take it anymore and I was so sick of that blasted baby app telling me my contractions were close enough to go in for an hour and a half (3-5 minutes apart) and then I'd start getting them further apart after that hour and a half, making me feel like we shouldn't go in. My body was playing really mean tricks on me! It had been almost two hours of the above going on, so we headed to the hospital. As soon as we got there I hadn't felt a contraction for over 10 minutes. I was losing my mind. We hung out there in the lobby and decided to visit our friends upstairs who had just had their baby that morning! We went home and I felt defeated.
Tuesday morning, I had Ben drive me to Dr. Beck's office so I could be checked on my progression without the large triage hospital bill. I was a crazy lady and expected to be seen without having an appointment, but they couldn't see me until that afternoon. I had progressed and Dr. Beck could tell I was losing my cool. I still hadn't slept in like 4 days. He gave me a prescription for an ambien and talked about scheduling an induction if I didn't go into labor by the end of the week. Since Friday, I'd been trying to do all the early-morning curb walking, walking around target (way too hot to be outside), exercise ball-bouncing, etc, but by Tuesday, all I could handle was laying down between contractions and pacing the room when they came, followed by one bath after another. I was exhausted. And, I thought I couldn't do it. (I realize I sound really dramatic, but it really was so hard!)
This continued until Wednesday morning around 6 am. I'd been up all night with really painful contractions, worse than they'd been the whole time. I remember feeling like I needed to push/ needed to keep the baby from coming. At this point my contractions were still around 5 minutes apart but the pain felt like more than I could handle. I texted my sister and said it felt like she was coming out and she said "Yeah, you should probably GO." We decided to go to the hospital again, even if it meant getting sent home.
When we checked in at triage I wasn't sure if I was slowly leaking fluid or not, but when the lady was asking me questions I started sobbing and told her that I wasn't sure if I was leaking and Ben did the talking for me. They got me hooked up within 3 minutes of getting there and one minute later Dr. Beck came in to check my progression. This was when I fell in love with him. He checked me and said the best words that I could ever hear: "You're at a 7, 100% effaced. Let's get your epidural started!" Ben and I started crying again, so relieved to be admitted after so many days of torture. 15 minutes later, I had my epidural and it was a beautiful thing. I wanted to kiss my anesthesiologist. I finally relaxed and closed my eyes for a few minutes. Dr. Beck came in an hour later and asked if I was ready to push. I had progressed to a 9 and was almost a 10. He then remembered that this was my first baby and decided to let me dilate all the way and give my body some more time to have the baby drop and get some rest before pushing. I also had tested positive for group b strep, so I needed four hours of medication before having the baby, otherwise she'd have to have some testing after she was born and we might need an extended stay at the hospital. My mom came and helped me put some makeup on so I could be glam for baby's arrival. I started regretting that I hadn't really eaten in days, now that I could relax and notice that I was hungry. (I had lost 5 pounds since Friday when the contractions started.)
4 hours later, I started pushing. After 1.5 hours of pushing and being told that I was so athletic and an incredible pusher (??? Why do they tell you that when it was taking so long?), Lucy Mae* Barazoto made her long awaited debut! It was the most sacred and incredible feeling to see our baby for the first time and we were all crying all over again. I remember saying, "She's so cute. She's so cute" over and over again and kissing her sweet cheeks and fingers. I did some skin to skin time and nursed her as soon as she was cleaned off. She was 8 pounds, 7 ounces, 22 inches long, and sweet and snuggly as could be. Our time in the hospital was so spiritual and I am so grateful that we decided to stay another day and soak it in/get taken care of. Lucy was such a good baby and was pretty good at nursing, right off the bat. I am so grateful for that. Seeing Ben become a dad has been equally sweet. He's so good at it and I tear up pretty regularly thinking about how we really lucked out to have such a wonderful, hands-on husband and daddy. (I didn't doubt him for one second, though! :))
I had an amazing nurse and a student from ASU helping me the whole time. There's nothing like having a baby to make you lose all sense off modesty and not care about this 40 year old male student emptying your bladder and holding one of your legs, while your husband holds the other. ;) And like I said, I love Dr. Beck.
It's funny how now that I'm writing this 5+ months after having Lucy that I forget the magnitude of the pain and all the months of pregnancy. Babies are the best reward and I suppose that's why people keep having em'.
(Whoops...posted 9+ months after.)
We love Lucy!
*Lucy's middle name, Mae, comes from my Grandpa Lunt's mother's name. I'd never met her, but she is an incredible lady. Her husband died six weeks before my grandpa and his twin brother were born and she raised all her children alone while working as a school teacher.