First - a little back story.
A few weeks before our baby was due I had quite a long day scheduled for us - all the kids needed their dental cleanings and it would be BB's first visit. Her last trip to see Uncle Doc, our dentist, was for mouth stitches so I was not surprised she was not all that happy about her visit. I was big and uncomfortable and just didn't care if she got her teeth cleaned or not. But from there, I promised the older kids a fast trip into the Lego store while BB and I started ahead to get to my office where we could all get our flu shots.
All that day I was just not feeling well. Like I was ill. I felt like I had a fever and my body ached but at 36/37 weeks pregnant, who feels great? So I chalked it all up to pregnancy and being grumpy that day. We went ahead and made it to my office for flu shots and those were a success - working at an allergy office that gives allergy shots every day, my nurses rock and no one else gives as many shots as them. The kids didn't even bat an eye lash from discomfort.
While they collected stickers I talked with one of my colleagues. I showed him my hand which had been throbbing all day. That mixed with the other symptoms I was having I suspected an infection on my hand (which I've never had any type of skin infection ever and I don't like self diagnosing - I always guess the worst scenario on myself). So I asked him for his opinion. He concurred. He said it was the type of infection that really needed antibiotics and that since I was already an established patient of the clinic he would go ahead and send in some pregnancy safe antibiotics.
I started the antibiotics that night and the next morning the hand was somewhat worse and needed to be drained. I took care of that - I had done that many times on other patients during my urgent care rotation. It was not pretty but it felt better and over the course of the day the antibiotics kicked in and the ill feelings I was having started to lift and my hand started to improve. That night, however, my digestive tract revolved against the antibiotics.
I've never taken antibiotics while pregnant. Plus, it was a new antibiotic to me (Keflex). I prescribe it all the time and it's fairly mild for GI side effects but I think since my GI tract is already very delicate during pregnancy (like I take anti-nausea meds every day while pregnant), it put me over. Between the diarrhea, vomiting, and cramping from the other two symptoms, I became dehydrated and started having some contractions.
I contacted the doctor the next day and we worked on hydration. It took a few days for me to bounce back but I finally did just in time to make it to family bingo night at the school. I had been on bed rest for a few days and was anxious to get out of bed and I was assigned a strictly only sitting job as a compromise. (I helped the kids call the numbers - it was quite charming.)
I went back to work and finished up my time with my student over the next couple weeks. I went to my 38 week OB appointment and we discussed induction at just over 39 weeks. He said he was worried I would wait to long to get to the hospital and with the logistics of planning around the other three kids, I may just end up having the baby in the car so we should go ahead and just schedule it early. Plus, he really did not think I would make it to 40 weeks. I was losing weight from not being able to eat due to no space from the baby and the poor baby was crammed in and starting to move less.
I was happy - we were all scheduled for induction October 11 - which I thought 10-11 had a nice ring to it for a birthday. My doctor warned me - be vigilant as I could still have spontaneous labor happen before then and to come to the hospital if contractions were too painful to talk through or at 5 minutes apart.
We had a nice weekend after that - launching rockets with out two closest families of friends. I was pretty tired and very immobile but the end was in sight. I went to work on Monday and all was good. I was slow. The week progressed normally - I had meetings at school and lots of kid activities. The kids had the latter part of the week off due to teacher in-service. That Thursday I took them to the library, lunch with their dad, picked up the dog at the groomers, and we came home where I completed a baby hat for W because the first one didn't match him coming home outfit. I also had a girls night out scheduled with my friend.
That night, my friend picked me up at 7 and we went out for soup, salad, and Carmel apples. She dropped me off at 8:45 and I helped tuck BB into bed. I felt tired - tired from a very busy day but fine. My mom called to check on me. She said, "I just had a feeling you may need me". I told her, "No, I'm fine. Really. I want to go watch some Dr. Who with the kids before they go to bed. I will call you if we need you."
I took my shower, put rollers in my hair, and laid down to watch a show with Hubby and the older kids (about 9:15/9:30). As we were watching these old Dr. Who episodes I had a really painful contraction. About 10 minutes later it happened again. Little S tried to snuggle up to me but I just didn't want anyone touching me. I texted my friend at 9:45 and just asked her to be on standby, just in case because I was having painful contractions but about ever 10 minutes so a long way to go. She assured me she would keep her phone close that night.
Hubby put the older kids to bed at 10 (remember, no school the next day), and I laid in bed, experiencing horrible pain that lasted about a minute very regularly at the 10 minute intervals. At 10:45 pm I looked at Hubby and said, I think you should go get my mom - even if it's a false alarm, I'd feel better having her available just in case. I called my mom and she said she would be ready (she no longer drives).
At 11:00 my husband took off to get her and they were back at around 11:45/11:50. I texted him while he was gone - the contractions had moved to every 8 minutes. I was still trying to lay down but the contractions were getting so painful that I would often wake up and having to stand when they occurred. I assured him, I had to get to 5 minutes apart and I thought that would take more time. I didn't want to be turned away at the hospital nor did I want to labor that much at the hospital. Five minutes apart should give me plenty of time to get there, get checked in, get pain meds, and then have the baby.
At 12:15 am I could not tolerate the contractions any more. They were 6-7 minutes apart but the pain was so intense I had to practice all my relaxation techniques I studied with kid 3.0 (we didn't do classes this time around - I was opting for as many pain management techniques as I could have so why take a class when I've been through child birth 3 previous times). I was also pretty sure my mucous plug fell out during one of the many trips to the bathroom I was needing to have - pretty much after every contraction.
So, we woke my mom up and left the house. We arrived at the hospital about 1:00/1:15ish. The main entrance was closed so we had to go through the ER. I could not walk the long distance from the ER to the second floor so Hubby pushed me in a fancy wheel chair. It felt like it took forever to get there.
Once there, the lady doing the checking in would not do anything for me until I showed her my ID - thank goodness I did not leave my purse in the car! Then she handed us this 2+ page paper to fill out while we waited for a nurse to come get us. She could see I was uncomfortable and I could not sit during the contractions. Finally, she said we could fill out the paper work in the back (my husband could complete it while I gave a urine specimen, changed my clothes, and a nurse hooked me to the monitor for 30 minutes). I used the bathroom and had to have Hubby help me change my clothes. I laid my upper body across the bed and rocked back and forth - contractions seemed to be much closer together since we left and I thought gravity from sitting/standing was the cause. Finally a nurse came in (Carrie) - it was someone I went to school with 16 years ago. It was nice to see her friendly face and she started to try and hook me up. Then she looked at me and asked a couple questions. I was so out of it having been focusing on pain management through relaxation I actually could not make out what she was saying. She repeated herself and then said, "Let's skip the monitoring - I'll do your check." 7 cm with boggy bag. She left to call anesthesia and my doctor. Another nurse immediately showed up and wheeled me away. She said her name was Shannon and was just floating that day because the floor was full. She also did not even know what room we were going to as at some point they were all full but we would find something. Oh, bonus, the hospital had just launched a new electronic medical records program that was slowing things down.
We ended up in room 6, I think. I immediately went back to standing. She tried to hook me up to monitors and had to do so while I was standing. Then she started my IV. First one blew. I told her to stop being gentle and not use lidocaine to numb the area because I was in so much pain, IV pain was the least of my worries. When I'm in active labor like that I also don't like to be touched (my poor sweet husband starts to feel helpless at this point) Finally the IV was in. The nurse said they could give me some pain meds through the IV but if she thought the baby would arrive before 2 hours then there would be no time. I definitely did not think we had two hours and if we had two hours, I'd go epidural all the way. (That's saying a lot because I HATE, and I mean HATE needles, and big ones I hate especially but I was banking on epidural this go round.) Alas, I knew there was no time for meds or epidural. What's left? Nothing.
I was left in the room, standing against the bed contracting about every 2 minutes with 1 minute breaks from severe pain. I was pretty deeply relaxed when I could feel baby pushing down. I looked up at my husband and said, "It's time. You better get someone." He went out into the nurses station and calmly said, "Hello? I think we're having a baby in here." The nurse and the doctor came screeching in and he very, very quickly slid on his suit cover up thing (I think that's the technical name). and he said, "No pain management options but if you push the baby out, you will feel better." That's all the motivation I needed. In my mind I leaped onto the bed and started pushing. (Remember, I was doing my funky hypnobirthing so some of what happened is foggy.) But according to Hubby, it went a bit (only a bit) slower than that. The doctor said I could push and I pushed and out came the head. I heard the nurse say, "You can reach down to touch him." but I was sort of frozen in pain and didn't want to. But I heard my husband say he could see him and that I was doing amazing that gave me a lot of energy to keep going. My water also broke at that moment. I don't think I was in a completely broken down bed because I felt the warm fluid hit my feet. The next push out came the shoulders and then one more easy push and he was out. Six minutes later the placenta.
I have often heard people describe pushing the baby out like they were being torn in half. I did not experience that. To me, it felt so much better to push and get the baby out than to keep laboring and cramping. I may have had that "ring of fire" sensation but it really was not bad, even with second degree tearing. My pushing was not super controlled but my doctor said with natural childbirth it is tough to control the pushing.
Baby also came out really clean because he was in a mostly intact sac for most of the process. He did have the cord wrapped around his neck - twice and was quite blue/purple. He also pooped on the way out. When I was born - I had the cord around my neck once and pooped on the way out. Maybe this kid will take after me?!? He also sucks his two same fingers I sucked as a baby, too.
After the birth, the doctor told me about the tearing and he needed to do some stitches. I looked at him and said, "You're going to numb the area, right?" I don't know if he normally does or not, but the nurse had to go track down lidocane to numb the area before he started. The numbing of the area was awful! I still feel like I felt the stitches and the whole "you're numb in that area following birth" - that was not the case for me. But, the cool thing about natural child birth - I recovered SUPER fast. As soon as those stitches were done, I was up to the bathroom and cleaned up. In fact, the photo of baby and me was less than 30 minutes after he was born and I think I looked fairly decent because I had already visited the bathroom and sponge bathed myself.
Then back to bed to get some pitocen to contract my uterus to ensure no hemorrhage. They really don't mess around when you've had 4 kids. Three hours hooked to that thing! At that point, my nurse started asking my "pre-admission" questions and I signed consent forms.
Total time from first timed contraction to birth 3.5 hours. W was born at 1:57 am. Super fast. Honestly, I was completely surprised that he came early and at how quickly he arrived. The doctor kept insisting he was a week ahead of schedule and I just kept putting it in the back of my mind having these visions of waiting around like I've done in the past. He also kept telling me - give myself plenty of time to get to the hospital. I thought I had. I guess I gave just enough time to get there. I didn't even get to prep the kids before leaving as they were already sound asleep. They woke up to their Nan (my mom) at the house, no parents, and her telling them the baby was born.
As I said, recovery went super smooth and fast. The one thing baby struggled with was temperature regulation. He kept getting cold and his temperature kept dropping to below 98 degrees. So at one point he went to the nursery to sit under a heat lamp for 30 minutes. Otherwise, he was great. Super healthy and happy. Of course, I did not sleep much those two nights I was at the hospital. The nurses tried to give me rest but I was in a hallway right next to one of the nursing stations. It was loud - all the time. Then at one point during a 2 hour nap when they said no one would disturb me I woke up with a window cleaner outside my window. I was on the 8th floor - that freaked me out! But once the grogginess of sleep wore off I was fine. Ironically, I was in the same recovery room that time as I was when T was born.
Early the morning of baby's birth I called my friend who had dropped me off from our girls' night out. She gets up at 5 am to work out. I let her know the baby was born and she was my first visitor coming at 7:30 am. She had seen me less than 10 hours prior and I was very pregnant but not having contractions. She was amazed things changed - literally over night. We had several other wonderful friends and family stop in. It was a great day! But I was tired after 24+ hours of no sleep. I was also quite sore.
We are so happy with our little one. He just fits in perfectly and is so pleasant. The first few nights were tough but once we got him into a rhythm he's sleeping well and waking twice at night (2 am and 6 am).
He weighed 7 lbs 12.8 ounces, 20.25 inches long. Lots of dark hair. He shares his dad's name - just in reverse so his first name is his father's middle name. I really wanted to name him after his dad but we did not want them having the same first name so we were going to call him by his middle name. Then one of my colleagues at work, who does that with his name, said he grew up his whole life struggling with that and it has caused confusion since kindergarten through medical school and still as a partner in his own practice. So, we simplified things and reversed them. My husband is named for his two grandfathers.
The other kids have been wonderful. Our toddler (almost 3) struggled the most. It took a few days for her to warm up to him and she kept checking my tummy to see if he really was out. The other two are in love with their brother. T just wants to pat his head all the time. S has changed her mind and thinks some day she may actually be open to being a mom after seeing how amazing her brother is (she really did not like all the changes I experienced while pregnant - she would keep saying, "Yet another reason I never want to have a baby.") She said the other night, "Mom, it was totally worth it - he is so amazing!" She's my unfiltered child so I know she is in earnest.
There you have it. Birth story and lots of details. Now for photos!
1. Profile pic - 38 weeks.
2. Profile pic - 38.5 weeks - less than 24 hours prior to delivery
3. Just out of the womb and the first time seeing him - he came out very clean because his sac didn't break until his head came out. He was quite blue so they were trying to get him to cry.
4. Our doctor holding him - he's also very clean because of the super fast delivery - the bed was not even completely broken down when I started to push. I could barely speak but I remember saying I needed somewhere to put my feet after that first push. (Side note - our doctor's sister is the kids' vice principal at school.)
5. The nurse's timer and notes - it was so fast she jotted stuff down on her notepad next to a timer - all the computerized charting had to wait.
6. Stop watch on my phone next to my husband's watch with the time. I started my stop watch when I thought the contractions were regular. You can see how fast things progressed.
7. Being checked out by nursery nurses - he liked the warmer.
8. Measurements - these are my proof - the hospital wrote his measurements down wrong in the chart. The nurses were shocked when they weighed him before discharge and he had gained weight instead of losing it (It was because they recorded it incorrectly - just they insisted not. Just saying - here is my proof.)
9. Baby and me about 30 minutes after delivery. As soon as I was stitched up I went to the restroom and cleaned myself up. Recovery was really fast - one perk to natural child birth. That I did enjoy.
10. Baby's first bath - he likes getting his hair washed.
11. Clean, clean baby.
12. Daddy and son hands.
13. Baby feet - my favorite!
14. Dressed to head home (I really missed being at home - 36 hours at the hospital was plenty.)
15. Older kids meeting him and instantly loving him. He totally recognized their voices.
16. Day 5 snuggles.
17. Just hanging out on his soft blanket being "chill".