As I get closer to the birth of baby number 4, and think more about labor and delivery, I realized I've never shared the boys' birth stories. I know not everyone likes those kind of posts, but I wanted to have them on here. So if you like birth stories and baby pictures, keep reading. If not, feel free to check out some other posts (like homeschool reviews) or come back another day!
We found out in late March that we were expecting our first child. Excited, overjoyed, elated. Maybe a little scared. I was due in late November. I was lucky, and had a relatively easy pregnancy. The only time I had a "problem" was when we went on a bus trip. I was pretty far along by then. The trip home was horrendous, with a broken down bus, no air conditioning. I came home hot, swollen and likely dehydrated. I spent a couple of days swollen and on bed rest, but returned to normal within a few days. I worked in retail at the time, and I worked Black Friday, getting all the stares and questions, because I was obviously very due by then.
I then went off work since I was getting so close to my due date. When I was 40 weeks I went in for a routine appointment and had my membranes scraped. It didn't do anything. I was told to come back in two days. I had a non-stress test and was having contractions that I couldn't even feel. I was then told that I was just starting to dilate, and that I would be an "easy induction" and that she'd do it right then if it wasn't a Friday, because basically the anesthesiologists didn't like weekend inductions. How nice. I was told if nothing happened on its own, to show up Monday morning at 6:00 AM.
I didn't know any better, I was a first-time mom and excited to meet my baby, so I went along with it. I remember waking up, tossing and turning, nervous, thinking I had to go to the bathroom every time I woke up, because naturally, that's why I was used to waking up in the middle of the night. In the wee hours of the morning, I noticed I was now up every 15 minutes, and eventually I just gave up on sleep. It dawned on me on the way to the hospital, when I was actually awake and alert, that I was actually up all night having contractions, not needing to go to the bathroom. I got to the hospital at 6:00, and the nurse told me later that when I walked in, they joked that my baby must be standing up ready to go, because I was HUGE! I weighed in 69 lbs heavier than when I got pregnant. They said I was all belly. I felt like a big blob. I did all the obligatory Q&A and got settled in.
Oh, my . . . Wow! Look how young!
They informed me that I was having contractions. By that point I was well aware. They didn't start the pitocin until around 9:00 though. Shortly after I started really hurting, and I requested the epidural, but I was told it would be awhile so they'd give me something to tide me over. I was not paying attention, and I realized later they gave me a muscle relaxer that all but knocked me out. It was only a few minutes later that the anesthesiologist arrived, and I couldn't even keep my eyes open to sign the waiver for the epidural. I labored well enough, but they did have to break my water. I started pushing around 4:30 pm. I know my epidural kept wearing off and I'd wimp out and ask for more...anything. I didn't care that I was pushing better without the full strength of the epidural, nor did I understand the repercussions at the time. I also remember that I was in so much pain under my ribs from the baby's position. By 6:30 PM, two hours of pushing, we still had no baby. I was out of steam by them, and told to rest while they called in the back-up OB. My husband told me later that while that OB had me pushing again, he was pulling so hard that his arms were shaking. He said he didn't recommend forceps, and we should do a c-section. It wasn't an "emergency" c-section, but to the point where he felt like the baby wasn't coming on his own. I know I cried. My sister-in-law used to work for that doctor and she came in to try to reassure me. "He's the best" she said. While he is one of the doctors in the area it didn't make me feel like any less of a failure at the time. So we were prepped, and the only time I got any relief from the pain near my ribs was when I was laid flat on my back for the anesthesiologist. I remember telling him how much better I felt.
Right after I was wheeled back, the anesthesiologist finished dosing me up and said "let me know if you think you're going to be sick" and those words were barely out of his mouth when I said I was going to be sick. Poor guy didn't even have time to reach for a bucket.
It was a very weird experience, knowing I was literally being cut open, but not really knowing what was going on. My husband never left my side. He was and always has been my rock. My heart breaks for women who labor and deliver alone while their husbands are serving overseas, or otherwise can't be there. I absolutely cannot fathom the pain of separation and the loneliness during a time like that.
At 8:10 PM we welcomed into the world a beautiful and healthy baby boy! Daddy rushed to get pictures. Elliott was 7 lbs 15 oz and 21 inches long.
He was perfect in every way, and after all was said and done, I was so relieved. A feeling of pure love that cannot ever be matched when you first hold and cuddle a newborn.
My overall recovery went okay I suppose, but I didn't like being on strong painkillers. I have been blessed and have had two successful VBACs since then, and we're praying for another successful VBAC this time as well.
It's so hard to believe that we've survived this long and our firstborn is now eight years old! He challenges my patience frequently, but he's still a blessing. He's a smart boy with a crazy memory and a huge vocabulary. He enjoys gymnastics, LEGO and anything STEM oriented. He's got a big heart; he's his daddy made over in looks and personality, and I wouldn't have it any other way!
**If you like birth stories, you can read Eleanor's VBAC story here!
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