~ It's a . . . BOY!
Well two and a half weeks ago I and the rest of the world finally met the little person who had been shoving, kicking, and pushing me for so many weeks. On Saturday the 18th we picked up our team shirts for the Step up for Down syndrome walk and my dear hubby showed the two younger boys and me where he has been working since it was in the same area of the Metro. We returned home and I sorted the shirts, made thank you notes and frittered the day away. Partially in a funk that I was having no signs of productive labor, yes I had contractions but nothing new from the past few weeks. By 10 pm I was ready to wind down my day. I chose to read a few extra devotionals from the book I have read for every pregnancy after Jesse. As I read several entries for a second time for this pregnancy two gave me renewed hope, "Shall I bring to the point of birth, and not give delivery?" says the Lord" Is 66:9 and "When you pass through the waters, I will be with you" Is 43:2. After reading this last one, I felt a small little "POP"--nothing painful and for a moment wondered what that was all about.
I continued to read deciding about 15 minutes later I should get up and go to the bathroom before I fell asleep and had to awake later and go. By the time I got to the foot of the bed I had to quicken my steps because I felt water coming. Thankfully I made it to the bathroom before it rushed out on the winter wheat carpeting in the bedroom (aka white carpet). That "POP" was my water breaking and when I got upright it decided to flow and flow it did. I had at least four gushes of water before we left for the hospital, causing me to change clothes twice. There were no contractions at all just the ever-present water that first came out slightly brownish green and then clearer with a small amount of bright red blood. If it wouldn't have been for the color and the blood I would have waited to call the doctor, but with those two indicators, I knew I better check with the doctor. He did exactly what I figured he would do and sent me to the hospital.
Only the three little ones had fallen asleep so Jesse and KayCee helped to remove car seats and pile towels on my seat as we prepared to go to the hospital. I asked KayCee to wash all the towels and clothes that had been soiled with my water breaking and when I got to the suburban and had another gush of water, KayCee faithfully followed me back upstairs and helped me get yet another outfit to change into. I felt a bit odd going to the hospital with literally no contractions. I figured one of two things would happen--this would be either a really fast birth or a very long night.
As we were driving to the hospital I remembered I forgot to grab the camera. I thought we could just turn around and go get it but hubby said no and had me call KayCee to go wake Joshua and have him bring it to the hospital. Joshua grumbled a bit since he had just fallen asleep but cooperated with his dad's plan.
This is the first time I arrived in the ER in labor and to actually see people in the ER waiting room was kind of weird. I stood around waiting for someone to take me up to labor and delivery chatting with a mother and daughter who looked like she had broken her leg. They couldn't believe I was so calm and that my water broke with no contractions. Meanwhile I kept wondering if there would be another gush of water all the while feeling small amounts of water leaking out. I could tell the pads I had put on to help absorb water were soaked and soon the rest of my clothes would be too. Thankfully I got to the birthing room before that happened. I really wanted to walk but policy stated I needed a wheelchair . . . ugh! I had walked up to labor and delivery four other times while contracting but not this time!
By the time my clothes were changed and I was being hooked up to the monitors, it was around 11:30pm. I measured a one and still thick; my first contraction didn't arrive until around 1:00am. The nurse checked to make sure my water was truly what had broken, and it was thank goodness. I find this odd since there was so much but guess they have to be sure and certain. She said that by the looks of everything, it appeared that the baby had its first bowel movement so they would more than likely move quickly with the baby once it was delivered to make sure everything was ok.
For the first couple of hours the contractions would build like they should and even got to the point of being almost five minutes apart, but then they would start getting further apart. By 5 in the morning I was lucky if I was having three contractions in an hour. My doctor came in around 5:30 and checked me; I was a 3. When I contracted, I measured 4--so much for the fast birth. It had been a quiet and long night. I tried to sleep but whenever I would doze off in came the nurse to check the monitors or readjust the belt and on every hour I had to go pee.
Doc said we would start pitocin but he would wait a little while. I found out later he had another mom delivering who was moving slightly faster and he didn't want us both going at the same time. I was fine with waiting hoping that labor would move without the need for the pitocin. At some point I think around 7:00 am, Doc broke a foresac of water that had remained. We hoped that would help move things along but nothing. After a couple more hours of no change and no real contractions, Doc ordered the start of pitocin. As I groaned, Doc cheerfully reminded me that I couldn't deliver without contractions, to which I jokingly replied I was giving it my best shot but it looked like he was right!
At 9:30-ish another love hate relationship with pitocin started. The nurse faithfully moved up the dial every few minutes (I'm guessing about every 15 minutes). As soon as the pitocin hit, contractions started on a regular, steady basis and intensified with every dial up the nurse made. Thankfully I could still get up to use the bathroom to which the urges increased as the contractions did. Around 10:00 the nurse suggested that if I had brought my toothbrush I could brush my teeth and rinse my mouth. That felt really good since I was on no water, no ice, no nothing. The night nurse had given me a "washcloth diet" as she called it but the day nurse was not allowing that. With this round of activity, contractions increased and when I returned to bed the dry heaves hit. Can we say TRANSITION!!!
By 10:30 I asked hubby to page the nurse because I was having pressure with each contraction. So he managed to somehow page the nurse while still rubbing my back, which he had started doing without me asking and it helped so much. Another check and I could not believe it I was only a 4 but thinning . . . GOOD GRIEF this baby just did not want to deliver! The contractions were on top of one another and so intense I knew from past labors I should be a much higher number than this; how was I going to make it? I asked the nurse for a shot of Stadol; she told me how I would feel and I said ok; I felt I needed something. She came back and gave me a shot and left for just a moment. All together it had been maybe 10 or 15 minutes and I was telling hubby to page the nurse again. He asked me why and I replied as best I could because the contractions were rolling into each other and I felt the need to push during contractions.
The nurse must have been in the hall or something because she was right there; she reminded me that it had only been a few moments since the last check but she would check again. She was shocked that I was an easy 8 and totally effaced! She said at this pace there would be no time or need to check again and began preparing what little needed done for delivery. I, on the other hand, upon hearing this was wishing I had not asked for the Stadol shot because it was so hard to focus and I felt very funky! Instead of several hours to get here, it had only taken minutes. The room was in a buzz with activity! Next thing I know Doc says, "Push when you are ready," and those words never have to be repeated twice for me! Two pushes and Doc says, "Ok let your uterus do the rest of the work." I swear I gave it another little push for good measure!
At 11:09am on Sunday, September 19 our little man was born weighing in at 7 pounds even and 20 inches long! Darius remembered that I had asked to cut the cord and reminded the nurse and doctor so with help getting the scissors into my hands I got to cut the cord! It was wonderful!!
I had a small tear that doc stitched up. He said my scar from the caesarean was looking good and that I could easily birth another four or five babies and patted my hubby on --the back. WHOA Nelly--that was not what I wanted to hear after this birth! I know it was said in good humor but I was exhausted and that was going to take some serious prayer!
I asked the nurse how long the Stadol side effects would last and she said a few hours. Then she told me she had only given me half of what she was allowed to give me. She said she looked at my face and said no way was she giving me the full dose; she wanted me to be 'with it'. Thank goodness she only gave me half the dose. I don't even want to know how a full dose would have felt! I realize that I do not like the feeling that med leaves me feeling.
Earlier hubby had asked me about names. I told him the names I had thought of and why I rejected some of my earlier choices and that I liked the name Victoria for a girl and Caelan for a boy. Well he wasn't fond of Caelan and promptly asked about Caleb. I thought about it awhile and decided I liked it; my heart wasn't at peace with Caelan as our son's name but had decided it was ok. I had picked out Zacchaeus for a middle name but said I could go with Zachariah. The kids really liked Zacchaeus so with everyone having input we chose Caleb Zacchaeus.
We all are adjusting well. Caleb is faithful to nurse every 2 hours and gaining well. Isabella said "mine" when she saw him! She is fascinated with him and I do have to keep an eye on her she gets so excited with him. Our only major adjustment is that dear hubby had to begin working out of town when Caleb was only a week old. So far it hasn't been terribly bad and all of us agree we are thankful daddy has work when many do not.
Thanks for following along. May God bless you and bless you indeed!
Nancy ~ mommy to seven!