It is kind of crazy how drastically different the stories are about how our boys came into this world. With Jacob, everything was new uncharted territory for us, there was a lot of anticipation and wondering about the unknown. This time around, I felt more confident and knew what to expect having been through the labor and delivery process before, except I didn’t, because it was completely different.
On April 30th I had a check up with my OB and I was telling her that I was ready to have this baby and my time with my mom here to help was running out. So we talked about being induced if he didn’t come by his due date. We looked at her schedule and called the hospital for availability and scheduled an induction for May 6th (3 days after my due date). I left that appointment feeling better since we now had a plan, if nothing happened before, then I knew that we would be having a baby on the 6th.
A few days later on May 4th, the contractions I was having were getting more intense and more frequent. I was one day past my due date and I wanted to get checked out and see what was going on. So Justin and I went to triage and they were pretty busy, but we didn’t have to wait too long before getting checked in. They hooked me up to the machines and monitored me for an hour. I was 2.5 cm dilated and was having contractions every 3-5 minutes, but they just were not doing anything. The nurse told me that I had the option to walk around for 2 hours then come back and see if anything changed, but at that moment I was not in “active enough” labor to be admitted. We didn’t want to waste time walking around the hospital since I was doing plenty of walking up and down the stairs at home and walking around during all of our errands. So we went home.
The contractions continued, on May 6th, induction day, I got a phone call at 6:00 am from the hospital telling me that they were so busy and instead of coming in for my induction at 9:00 am, to call them at 9:00 am to see what time I should come in. When I made the call they told me that they were full with women who were in active labor and I was put on standby but not to expect any availability before noon. By then I was getting frustrated because “my plan” to have this baby kept getting delayed. My OB’s office called and said they were working with the hospital to see what they could do to get me in. As the day went on with no increase in labor and no phone call from the hospital telling me to come in for my induction, I started realizing that it wasn’t going to happen that day. At 6:00 pm my OB’s office called to tell me that my induction had been pushed back to Friday, May 8th.
The good thing about my induction being postponed was the next day I was able to go to the Mother’s Day brunch at Jake’s preschool!
I even got my big belly in the teeny tiny preschool chairs and had quiche, fruit and bagels with Jake while admiring the place mat, coffee cup, and crafts he painted and made for me. Then after realizing I had a miscommunication with my cleaning lady and she was not coming that day as we thought, my mom, Justin’s mom and I cleaned our house before we had to go back and pick Jake up from school. See what I mean about the whole walking/moving around vs resting up for baby…there was no resting going on. That night after dinner I had some spotting and my contractions were still going at it, so Justin and I went back to triage.
After getting checked out and monitored, I was still only 2.5 cm dilated and my contractions were the same, just not progressing. This time they were not as busy and since I was past my due date the doctor wanted me to stay at the hospital and walk around but she didn’t want to admit me to labor and delivery yet. So we were told to walk around for 2 hours and come back. I was ready to have this baby and didn’t want to go home only to come back the next day for my induction, or run the risk of them calling me to tell me not to come in for my induction because they were busy. I had my foot in the door and I was not taking it out! So we walked…we went up and down every hallway, we looked at all the pictures on the wall and read all the plaques next to the pictures. We explored the “Suzy’s Zoo” artwork on display in the hallway leading into the NICU, which reminded me so much of my Grandma since she used to write notes to me on Suzy’s Zoo cards all the time. Since it was late, the coffee cart was closed and when we asked the reception desk if there was somewhere Justin could get a cup of coffee they said there was not. When we were walking away, one of the ladies ran after us and said she would get Justin a cup from the doctor’s lounge, another point for Mary Birch, we love this hospital! We rode the elevator between floors and smiled and nodded at the same people we passed countless times. As we walked we talked, it was kind of nice since Justin and I rarely have 2 hours of uninterrupted time, away from home and all the distractions to just talk. Twice we stopped to sit down and rest, my back was killing me. After the second time we sat down it was about 10:15pm and we got up to walk out the last 15 minutes of our 2 hours and my water broke! Hallelujah! I was so happy and we quickly made our way back to triage. After getting changed and hooked back up to the machines, they checked me and said I was still only 2.5, maybe 3 cm dilated. We started the admitting process and they took me up to Labor and Delivery. Justin’s parents arrived at our house to take over with Jake and my mom came to the hospital. Since the contractions were still tolerable and I was not that far dilated I decided not to get the epidural right away. We turned off the lights and laid down to try and get some rest (finally that rest that everyone keeps talking about!) Only it wasn’t too restful for me…It wasn’t long before my contractions started getting stronger and more intense. Finally I told Justin to get a nurse because I was in pain and wanted the epidural. The nurse checked me and I was 7 cm dilated, she told me that the anesthesiologist was tied up in a double emergency cesarean section and would not be able to get to me for another 30-45 minutes. At that point my contractions were coming fast and furious and shortly after I felt the intense need to push. I told my mom to get the nurses again and when she opened the door they were all huddled around my monitor outside the room waiting, they knew it was coming. They came in and bustled around the room getting everything ready. I kept thinking, no you can’t get things ready yet, I haven’t had my epidural yet! Then they started coaching me through the pushing process. After a few pushes, one of the nurses told me that his heart rate was dropping with every contraction so they needed to get him out asap and she left to get the doctor. Then the anesthesiologist walked in and I was never so happy to see anyone in my life. He apologized that I had to wait and said he heard I wanted an epidural and I said yes! Before he could say anything else the lead nurse walked in and said, sorry no time, the doctor is on her way and we are getting this baby out now. The anesthesiologist wished me luck and reassured me that I was in good hands and left. I looked at Justin and my mom and said I don’t want to do this without an epidural! But I really didn’t have a choice. I don’t remember all the details after that since it happened pretty quickly. But basically the doctor showed up, she attached a suction cup to his head and after a couple of pushes, he was out. The cord was wrapped around his neck, that is why his heart rate kept dropping. From the time I started pushing to the time he was born was only 30 minutes, it felt a lot longer than that! They put him on my chest and we snuggled for about an hour and a half before they took him to check his stats.
Before the doctor left she congratulated me saying that I was part of an “elite group” to have a baby naturally, I don’t think I responded to her, I was in shock. Looking back on the process, I am kind of amazed at what happened. It was not my choice to have a delivery without an epidural, but it really was not as bad as I thought it would be. Of course at the time I thought this was the worse it could get, I was scared, in pain and everything was happening so fast and I was screaming. In fact, I do remember yelling “get this baby out of me!” during one of my contractions. And Justin was convinced he was going to have to see an orthopedic surgeon to repair his hand. No matter how many times he tried to get me to hold on to the rails on the bed or the nurses were trying to get me to grab my thighs when pushing, it was his hand that I had a death grip on. If I had gone into this wanting to do a natural birth, I’m sure it would have been completely different. I probably would have taken the classes that teach you about meditating and focusing on something (other than your husband’s hand) and breathing techniques and I would have felt more prepared. Then maybe it wouldn’t have been the frantic frenzy that it was. About a week and a half later, when talking about my delivery, I remember the word that my mom and Justin used to describe it was intense…That it was…but it was all so worth it…
The result of all the waiting, the contractions, the walking, the intense delivery was the perfect addition to our family. Dylan Luke was born on May 8, 2015 (on a rainy day, just like his brother) at 4:57am. He was 8 lbs 3 oz and 22 inches long. All 10 fingers and toes and a healthy set of lungs. He is such a blessing and we are in love with this little man.
Since Mary Birch was so busy the past few days with all those babies being born, they didn’t have any overnight rooms available, so we ended up at Sharp Memorial next door. We were quite the parade of orderlies, nurses, me in a wheelchair holding Dylan, my mom and Justin with all our bags walking through back hallways, underground tunnels between the hospitals and staff elevators to get to our room. That evening, my mom brought Jacob to the hospital to meet Dylan.
The next morning Justin’s family came
I was recovering nicely and Dylan was doing well so we only had to stay one night. We had a checklist of tests and and things that needed to get done before we could leave, including the hearing test, which Dylan passed with flying colors (thank you God!)
After getting our discharge checklist completed we went home, to the other crazy part of our lives, packing up our house, sickness and moving…More on that to come.
If there is one thing I’ve learned about my body after two deliveries is after my water breaks, things tend to happen really fast. And after this time around, IF we decide to have a third (that is a BIG if) I’ve learned not to wait to get the epidural after my water breaks. Of course things would probably be completely different that time around too!
And I leave you with more pictures of our sweet boy.