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Jennifer's Pregnancy Journal

Birth Story
~ Meet Caleb Davids!

Having 7 children, I have had 7 different labors and births, all with their own unique quirks. But this one, . . . this one takes the cake!

I went to my doctor's appointment on Wednesday, August 10, the day before my due date. I woke up feeling menstrual like cramps in the morning and it didn't get any better as the day wore on. I have never been more than 1 cm by 40 weeks, so you can imagine my surprise when she said that I was 2 cm! That was quite encouraging! We discussed the possibility of inducement on Friday August 12 or Saturday August 13, since all of our children have had meconium in the bag of waters at birth and we talked about trying to avoid that. But Adam and I came to the conclusion that, even though I was dilated, it would be better all the way around if we allowed nature to take its course.

The cramps turned into contractions at some point Thursday morning, which gave me hope that it wouldn't be another eight days, but they never got closer then 10 minutes apart and they weren't that hard to tolerate. On Friday, I had a few contractions, but nothing serious. We had a function for 30 people on Saturday that we had to cook for. We weren't serving it or anything, just dropping the food off. I woke up around 4 am with contractions again, but since I had been having them since Thursday, I didn't think much of them (and I had pretty much given up much hope of them doing anything). I worked along side Adam that morning and we delivered the food on time. Little did I know that 12 hours later, I'd be done!

We went for a drive and then came home, had lunch and I took a nap. I didn't get much sleep, for the contractions started to get closer together and more intense. At about 3:30 pm we decided to go into the hospital, since they were about 6 - 8 minutes apart for 3 hours. We arrived around 4:15 pm and when they checked me, I was at 4 cm and they admitted me. I was happy!! My doctor was the one on call, so that made it even nicer. Not being Group B Strep positive meant that I could walk around without that stupid IV pole and that really made a difference. Around 7 pm they broke my bag of waters and there was meconium in there as usual. By 9:45 pm I was having trouble relaxing with the contraction and I know from my past births, that when I get to the point of tensing up, I don't dilate well. So I asked for an epidural. When the anesthesiologist was ready, about 30 minutes after I made my request, he had me get into that lovely position of arching my back, my chin at my chest and not moving. Having contractions 2 - 3 minutes apart, this was not easy, but I did as I was told. For 45 minutes!!! Seriously, he tried to get that catheter in my back for 45 minutes, but it wouldn't go in! I've had 4 epidurals and I've never had trouble with them. They have always gone right in, but this time it was quite stubborn.

After about 35 minutes of trying, my blood pressure started to go down to 80/45 and the baby's heart rate would go up to the 180's and 190's. After 45 minutes of being in this position and after some amount of medication to bring my blood pressure back up, I said enough, no more trying. I was at 6 - 7 cm now for 2 hours and my blood pressure, along with baby's heart rate, wasn't stabilizing, so it was decided to do a c-section. I was throwing up and feeling really bad, which I was told was a side effect of my blood pressure coming back up. My doctor was concerned that my uterine scar had opened up, which would explain why my blood pressure was crashing. Being rolled down the hallway, towards the OR, I was in a daze and couldn't quite grasp what was going on.

Once in there, I didn't have the energy or strength to move onto the table, so it was done for me. I was given the choice of a local, where they put a catheter in your back and numb you from the waist down, or a general, where they knock you out completely. There was no way I was letting them touch my back again!! So I chose the general. While they were prepping me for the surgery. My doctor checked me through two contractions (not pleasant!!) to see if I was dilating or not. We both knew that once I get to a certain point, I just go. But I wasn't doing anything except writhing in pain and the baby's heart rate still quite fast, so she stepped aside to finish getting ready. With a general, they don't give the medication until everything is set in place and ready to go, so the medication won't get into the baby.

In less then 5 minutes later, while they were putting up the sheet and cleaning my stomach, my brain registered what it was I was feeling: I had to push!! My doctor later told us that she reasoned that I've had babies before and I probably knew what I was feeling. So the sheet came down, the end of the table came off and I was told to hold my legs back. At this point I said I couldn't because my arms were still tied down. In my head I kept wondering where Adam was, for he still wasn't in there. Later I learned that he had put the scrubs on only to be told to take them off since it was going to be a general and only OR personnel could be in there for that (for a local the husband could be in there). But once I said I had to push, the nurse ran out and said for him to come in. He was at the end of the hallway, so he ran down towards to OR room, all the while struggling to put on his scrubs and mask (which had broken while he was taking if off the first time and he couldn't get his shoe covered), but he was too late. All it took was three pushes and Caleb Davids was born! I was literally 2 minutes away from a c-section (with one of the attending holding the scalpel ready to cut no less!) and it was over.

Caleb Davids Dewing
11:34 pm August 13, 2011
7 lbs 13 oz, 21 1/4" long

The relief once he was out was amazing! Adam came in at the point of the cord being cut, so he got to see Caleb before I did. With the meconium being in the waters, he was taken over to be suctioned out and checked over right away. I have never had a baby be put on my chest right away, so this wasn't anything new. They were going to take him to the nursery right away, but then I asked if I could see him first (imagine that, a mother wants to see her baby!!!). I tore a little bit and had to have stitches, which I haven't had to have since Grace was born (she's #2).

He had to be put in an oxygen bubble for the first few hours, but he was soon off of that. And he didn't have to be transferred to the NICU!!! Yay!!! With him being born at almost midnight, and they like the babies to stay for 24 hours, we were discharged Monday morning. Adam had to deliver his meals that morning, so he came with the children to bring us home when he was done. Caleb is doing really well, waking up about twice at night, and he is nursing like a pro. The children all adore him, including Damaris, who I was concerned about, but she is doing fine with him.

The Lord answered many of my prayers with his birth: he wasn't born real late, we were able to fulfill our obligations with the catering function, it wasn't during the week, my doctor was on-call, I didn't have any medications (which I was striving for), I didn't have a c-section (even though it was a prayer I never prayed! But maybe Adam or my mother-in-law did . . .), and so many other things! I have no doubt that if it was any other doctor, I would be healing from a c-section right now. She told us later that she waited as long as she did because she knew I was going to "just go". If it was anyone else, they don't know me and they would not have waited.

Thank you to all of you who have followed this journey with me, who have e-mailed me, and a special 'thank you!" to Maribeth for giving me this opportunity to write this journal. Every life is a gift from God and I am very grateful for the 7 that He has blessed us with!

Until next time , many blessings to each and everyone of you!

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