It's a boy! Ethan Jakob Wiegand was born at 4:56 p.m. on Thursday, August 22, 2002 and weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces and was 19 3/4 inches long.
Early in the morning (around 3 a.m.) on August 22nd, I got up to pee, and when I went back to bed, I felt a small trickle between my legs. I thought for sure I had peed myself! But when I stood up, more fluid came out and soaked my underwear and ran down my leg. I turned on the lights to check and be sure the fluid was clear, and Steve didn't even wake up! So I whispered in his ear, "How would you like to start your vacation today?" His eyes popped open and he knew right away that my water broke. So I called the midwife, and she said to head on down to the hospital since I was Group B Strep positive.
I took a nice long shower (I even shaved my legs and armpits!) and we got ready to go. The dogs seemed to sense that something was going on, because they were very calm, and even seemed to be a little scared. We arrived at the hospital around 5 a.m. and got checked in. The birthing room was HUGE! The nurse started my IV medication and hooked me up to the monitors. We called a few people to let them know what was happening and of course, they were all very excited.
By 9 a.m., my contractions hadn't started and the midwife asked if I wanted Pitocin. I was a little hesitant, but I wanted to get the show on the road! So the nurse started the Pitocin drip, and my contractions picked up in regularity a bit, but not in intensity. The nurse kept upping the dosage, and by 1 p.m. the contractions were pretty painful. We turned off the TV at that time, as it was VERY distracting. Steve started helping me breathe through the contractions, and the midwife checked and I was 3 cm dilated. By 2:45, I was in an extreme amount of pain, but I was dilated to 6 cm.
Steve was helping me through each contraction, but it hurt so bad!!! The only position that seemed to offer some relief was on my knees, facing the raised head of the bed, with my head leaning over the top edge of the bed. I was pretty nauseous with each contraction and I was gagging pretty bad. Steve was offering me the puke basin, but I never actually vomited. I was crying and felt like I couldn't make it. Steve and the midwife kept reassuring me, and the midwife reminded me that the painful contractions would help me dilate to 10 cm. I apologized to Steve and the midwife for being such a baby and crying, but they both told me that I was doing a great job.
Around 3:45 p.m., I told the midwife that I felt like I needed to push, so she checked and I was at 10 cm! It was such a relief to push. My lips and face were getting tingly, and the baby's heart rate was dropping slightly during each push, so the nurse gave me oxygen and I felt much better. The midwife tickled the baby's head, and the heart rate went right back up. I kept my eyes closed the whole time, as it helped me to concentrate, but when we could see the baby's head, Steve held up a mirror so I could see.
As the baby started crowning, Steve said he would buy me a Super Woman T-shirt (I got him an Incredible Hulk T-shirt for his birthday last week) and everyone in the room laughed (including me). But then the real pain started. I felt the "ring of fire", and I thought for sure that I was going to tear. But the midwife was guiding my pushing SO well, and Steve was reminding me to listen to her. He said that she was actually offering counter-pressure on the baby's head so that the baby wouldn't deliver too fast and tear me.
The next thing I knew, the midwife said that the head was out, but that the baby's arm was wrapped around the neck. She slipped the arm off from around his neck and Steve caught Ethan as the rest of his body slipped out (Steve commented that he felt like a warm, wet liver - remember, Steve is a hunter. They placed the baby on my body, and he was pink, and his eyes were open but he was not breathing. I thought I felt a little scrotum, and then the midwife and Steve exclaimed that it was a boy!
Steve quickly cut the cord and the nurse took him over to the warming lights. I was crying tears of happiness, but when I wasn't hearing him cry and Steve wasn't taking any pictures, I started crying even harder, out of fear. Finally, after what felt like forever, he let out a big cry. The midwife delivered my placenta, and I could not stop crying and shaking. The pain was pretty intense, as it felt like my whole bottom was on fire. But Steve came over and kissed me and I felt a little better.
But when the nurse placed baby Ethan in my arms, the pain completely disappeared. Steve and I spent the next 20 minutes talking to Ethan and telling him how much we loved him and how happy he made us. The nurse then took him back to the warming lights and did all of the newborn assessments and they washed him up while the midwife checked me. I had only a very slight nick on my perineum (not even first degree) that did not need stitches. Ethan had an Apgar score of 3 at birth, but the score was an 8 at 5 minutes. The nurse brought in dinner for us and we started calling our family and a few close friends. We just kept staring in awe at little Ethan Jakob.
We were able to come home Saturday afternoon. I didn't get much rest in the hospital, as there were 13 babies born on Thursday (it was a full moon Wednesday night!), and I had to have a semi-private room. At home on Saturday night, I was over-tired and Ethan was very fussy, but Steve took over and soothed Ethan and me, and then my milk came in around midnight. What a change it made in Ethan to have Mama's milk!
He is such a wonderful baby! He nursed well in the hospital (in fact, too well, as he was nursing about 45 minutes on each side!), and is doing even better now that we are at home. He is nursing every 2-3 hours during the day and every 3-4 hours during the night, and he is such a good nurser that he finishes in about 15-20 minutes.
We are so proud and happy to have our little boy, and thank you for sharing these nine months with us!