Wow, I am a mother! I can’t believe he is finally here and home and healthy. He made me wait for what felt like ages those last few weeks. I feel so blessed and overcome with emotion that I can’t control it. I cry about every other time I look at him which is partly due to hormones and partly due to pure joy.
Here is my version of how he entered this world:
On Tuesday, January 26th Josh and I left for the hospital as I was going to be admitted around 10PM. When we arrived we got to our room quickly and called mom so she could get on her way to stay the night with me. At first, they didn’t have the orders from my doctor but after a few phone calls they were able to proceed with my procedure. Unfortunately I was still only 1.5 cm so they gave me the Cervidil and a sleeping aid so I could rest. Josh left sometime around midnight so I could try and get a good nights rest and so he’s be refreshed for the big day on Wednesday. I woke up around 2 or maybe 4 in the morning very sad and in tears over being at the hospital. I wasn’t sure if what I was doing was right as I was choosing to induce my labor at 6 days overdue which is not medically necessary but near the point that the doctor and I agreed we wouldn’t go over. I was nervous also that they didn’t have my doctor’s orders which didn’t help my uneasiness. My mom calmed me down and I was able to go back to sleep and found a peace about what I was doing. In the end, I know it was the right thing to do and I am happy I did it.
Wednesday morning, I woke around 8AM and was brought breakfast and started mentally preparing for my day ahead. Josh got to the hospital around the time the doctor did (shortly after 10AM) with Panera that I couldn’t have yet and beautiful flowers. The doctor checked me and “with help” I was at 3cm which was a good sign for the morning. He chose to take out my medicine and start my Pitocin (around 11AM) so we get on with having this baby. I was having my own contractions that morning but had been having them for two weeks so again didn’t think much of them. By 1PM I was getting very uncomfortable and the contractions were happening about every 2 minutes and lasted for 1 minute. Josh and I played Rummy but I could only do one game as I was very uncomfortable. I regrettably said yes to some pain medication to “take the edge off”, I do wish I would have tried getting up and walking around instead but for some reason chose to stay in the bed. I say regrettably because the medicine made me very sleepy but didn’t help enough to not be in pain so I couldn’t actually sleep. Who really hopes to sleep in labor anyway?! Ha! Oh well.
I was checked again and was barely 4 cm which was disappointing. At that time I opted for the epidural as I didn’t think I’d get out of bed being so sleepy! Getting the epidural was the hardest part (as my doctor said it probably would be). Due to being sleepy from the other medication I couldn’t sit straight up which was required. I kept falling to the side so the nurse had to stabilize me, they had my bed lifted so high that all Josh could do was put his hand on my knee and mom was booted from the room. Once that was administered I was given a catheter and bound to the bed until he was born. This all happened around 2:30PM. I then proceeded to rest as much as possible for the next 2 hours while Mom and Josh played cards and brought me ice. I never fell asleep as I could still feel my contractions but I was only in pain in my lower left pelvis.
Around 4:45 I had a nurse change (I had 6 nurses in all from the time I got there to the time he was born, not typical but someone was sent to triage, someone to a class, someone home to sick kids, etc). My last nurse, Melanie was amazing. I let Josh go get dinner around this time as it took so long to get that extra cm that we thought we were in for a much longer night. They checked me again and told me I was 8 cm! Wow, that happened quick. I asked if I should call Josh back and they said I shouldn’t because I still had more time. Just a minute later, however, slight chaos ensued as the next contraction caused Johnny’s heart rate to drop and each subsequent contraction was “squeezing the life out of him”. Of course they didn’t tell me any of that in the moment, they had me hold oxygen over my nose and I yelled to my mom to call Josh. His phone didn’t pick up the call so I had her give me mine and sent a quick Google Chat message which is what he got and why he came back.
For 20-30 minutes I had a doctor (not mine) and 3-5 nurses in the room flipping me over trying to get me in a position that was better for J.T. They gave me a drug to stop my contractions which caused my heart to race and my whole body to shake. They also inserted an internal fetal monitor which was used to better measure his heart rate. Josh arrived as things were calming down and the doctor explained everything to us (again). He had already explained it to me but I was a bit out of it and didn’t know exactly what he had told me. All I could think about was that Josh wasn’t there and that I needed to not panic, I wasn’t actually thinking about J.T. and what was happening to him because I didn’t know exactly what was happening and when the doctor introduced himself to me he reassured me that his team could take care of the situation so I felt he was in capable hands. I just wanted my husbands hand to squeeze on to help keep me calm. Luckily, Mom was there and held my hand and was a good stand in. I think I did a pretty good job of staying calm even through the shakes. My DR arrived and everything was going much better but I was still happy to see him.
I was stabilized and when they rechecked I was 9cm! The DR said he’d be back in 30mins to check on me again but when he came back he told me he was going to give me another 30mins to ensure I stayed stable. Then we would be ready to re-check and hopefully have this baby! He came back around 6:30PM and I was ready fully dilated, we were ready for practice pushes. I did my first practice push to test how well J.T. would withstand the pressure. The doctor said I was a highly likely candidate for a c-section and based on how high he was probably forceps if I was able to deliver vaginally. Luckily the first push was a huge success as I moved him quite a bit (go me!) but I wasn’t out of the woods yet. J.T. handled the pushing well enough but was facing the wrong way (10 o’clock vs. 6 or 12) and his head was at an angle both of which made a vaginally delivery not possible. Around 6:45PM I started pushing continuously with each contraction, which I am so glad I could feel coming on and eventually had control over my pushing. I didn’t make any sounds when pushing other than the occasional “come on” to encourage Johnny to come on out. I loved this part of my labor, the last hour was the best by far as I felt so much control and comfort over what was happening. It felt like the doctor, nurse and Josh were all very close to me helping me through the situation though when I look at the video they don’t look quite as close. Still, he was moving as he should and the doctor was able to do his part to help Johnny get turned towards a 6 O’clock position and his head straight. Yay! No necessary c-section at this point as long as he continued to descend and didn’t go into distress again. Forceps were still discussed but eventually not at all needed as I was determined to push this kid out without giving him more of a cone head or bruised face. The doctor was able to remove the internal monitor so it was up to me to indicate when I was having contractions. I loved this as I really felt like I was in control of my pushing which I didn’t necessarily expect with an epidural. I did agree to an episiotomy to help get him out a bit quicker, he was under so much stress earlier that this made sense. The doctor also said I was going to tear either way and need stitches so this helped me agree to the procedure. I could feel what he was doing which was a bit startling as I didn’t realize he had his tools with him, I assumed he’d need to get up to get something. Once that was done J.T. was just a few pushes away from coming out, on one of my contractions I even pushed a fourth time just trying to get him further. During the delivery they had a mirror set-up where I could see him coming, the doctor encouraged me to reach down and feel his head too which was pretty cool and scary. I barely touched him and pulled my finger back, it was weird!
The doctor paused to aspirate his nose and mouth when his head was out, I thought it was cool to get to witness that part and his shoulders coming out. I didn’t see the whole birth as the doctor blocked the mirror a bit and my eyes were closed with pushing so hard. Just before his birth was imminent, I thought it was crazy that that they had me pause for a few contractions to get his warm towel ready and the doctor had to do a few things to get ready. They also busted out the stirrups for this part I guess so the nurse could be free. Finally the final pushed began and he was born at 7:47 PM. They put him on me right away after Josh cut the cord but I was laying so far back I could barely see him…due to his distress once I was in a position that didn’t bother him I had to stay that way. I can’t explain enough how awesome this last hour was for me and how amazing the whole end process was. Josh did a good job holding my head and rubbing my hand between contractions. He also kept feeding me ice chips like we were in the desert or something which was fantastic. After he was placed on me they took him away to get cleaned up and a quick check, he got an 8 and 9 on the Apgar test which isn’t bad I guess considering he wasn’t crying when he was on me. They said he weighed 9lbs 3 oz (WHOA, BIG BABY!), I couldn’t believe it! they also did his little baby foot prints at that time too. Then they brought him back (he was just a few feet away) and Josh got to hold him as I was being finished up. He was here, healthy and perfect! Now the recovery began…Mom and Dad came back very quickly to see him and hold him for a minute before I fed him for the first time. He was a natural, we were properly positioned and latched all on our own while the nurse finished some of my charting. When she came to check on us she was impressed and let us continue our feeding. A short while later my Aunt Susan came for a visit and held him for awhile until it was time to go to the recovery room.
I was in my recovery room for about 36 hours, 10 PM Wed night to noon or so on Friday. I never left the room which seems like a long time but I was content where I was and enjoyed having my baby with me all day long. He did go to the nursery at night and was only brought to me for feedings. I had great nurses and a great husband taking care of me so all of my needs were met. J.T. was well taken care of too and the staff said he was very good in the nursery though for one session he did spit up “a lot of garbage” but that only meant he would be feeling better with me. We had some visitors in the hospital, my parents came, Holly and Aaron came and brought J.T. some presents, David came, Casey and Tahnee came and hung out for a bit as well. It was so nice to have people visit and want to meet J.T. He is such a blessing, I can’t even describe how awesome it is to be his mother. God gave me the greatest gift I’ve ever received and I’m determined to take care of my precious Jonathan.
Hopefully this captures as many details as possible of the best day of my life.