Wednesday, August 21st, I had a Non-Stress Test scheduled at 10am. I went alone because Brian had to work. My mom stayed with the kids. At the testing, Judah was fine. His heart-rate was good. My fluid level was good. The doctor checked me and said I was 5 cms dilated now and at a -2 station. So the baby had dropped and all my walking had been productive even if it hadn't put me into active labor. The doctor said that they had room in Labor and Delivery if I wanted to stay and have my water broken. I went to Triage after talking to Brian on the phone and asked them if I could go home, get things settled, and pick up my husband. The doctor there, after hearing my dilation, etc. said she would prefer me to stay so that I wouldn't have this baby on the Beltway. I knew this wasn't going to happen, but we worked somethings out so that Brian could get a ride to the hospital with my bags to humor them.
While I waited for Brian, a nursing student came in to start my hep-lock IV. I didn't immediately know she was a student, but when the real nurse came in and started coaching her, I quickly figured it out. I had vowed after my last birth experience at this hospital that no students or early residents of any kind would be allowed near me, but I have amazing veins and thought I would give her a shot. She seemed sweet and I didn't want to hurt her feelings. Well, the first one she blew, at which point I told myself that she got one more try before I kicked her out. The nurse helped her more on the second try and they were able to get it right that time. I now have a major bruise on my right arm from that first attempt. It's not a huge deal. It was a minor issue compared to all the stuff I put up with last time.
By the time Brian got there, I was set up in a room and they broke my water at 1:30pm. I was lucky enough to get a midwife this time which is just better when you don't want pain medication. They are more encouraging of it and don't try to push me into getting an epidural. She even listened to me do my regular cry about having to have my water broken ordeal. I do this every time I have to be induced or have any intervention to start my labor, mainly because I am scared to death to choose to be in pain. So all of you who think I am Wonder Woman or something because I have natural childbirth can rest assured that I am really just a scaredy cat like everyone else. You might think after 4 births that I would waltz in there and give birth like a pro with no thought to the pain. Unfortunately, I can no longer forget the pain of childbirth. It is forever seared into my mind. :)
|This is one of the first pictures once they had wrestled him away from his smitten mommy.|
So I was scared and the midwife, my loving husband, and a dear friend talked me off the ledge and gave me all the support I needed to do what I had to do. I was afraid that the contractions would come on really strong and fast, but it turned out that they started light and gradually got harder just like in a normal labor. So they started right away, but they were more than bearable for a good two hours. The midwife also told the nurse that I could be monitored only a quarter out of every hour (which was great!) so that I could move around. Those dumb monitors barely let you breathe without coming off and the nurse rushes in thinking the baby's heart-rate has dropped. This made it possible for me to walk around. Out of all my labors, once I get past 6cms I hunker down in the bed, but this time I was determined to walk around as long as I could take it. I walked around until about 3:30pm and then I started leaning on couches and things because the contractions got a lot harder. At ten til 4pm, the midwife came in to check me because her shift was ending and she really was hoping to deliver me. I had just moments before told Brian, "Okay, I'm done with this now and I want it to be over" literally moments before she walked in. Turns out I was at 9cms! I was so so happy! I still hadn't really showed signs of being in transition or anything. I felt that things were just getting hard to handle, whereas by 9cms I am normally in so much pain that I am wanting to quit and doubting myself. The midwife said she would go do her paperwork and then see if I was ready to push. If not, she offered to have me push once while she tried to get rid of the rim so I would be ready to have this baby. That's what we ended up doing and then she had me start pushing.
I have to be honest and say that although I felt pressure, I was not totally ready to push yet. I went ahead and pushed when the contractions came. I was not feeling as effective as I normally do, but in the end it turned out to be a good thing because I pushed longer and didn't tear. Three pushes for each contraction and three contractions later, my little bundle of joy was born. I instantly thanked God that it was over and that my beautiful baby boy was here and healthy. That feeling when you are done with the hardest part and you have your reward in your arms is amazing. There is nothing like it, truly. He was born at 4:40pm, 3 hours and 10 minutes from when they broke my water.
I was able to hold him right away and nurse him for an hour before they took him to clean him, do tests, and get his stats. He latched on like a champ and has a very vigorous suckle unlike Drew who took days to figure things out. His APGAR was 9, I think. Because he was a heavy guy, they took his blood sugar. It was 38 and so they insisted on supplementing with a syringe-full of formula. I had misunderstood at the time and thought they said his sugar was 30 which is a bigger deal. I probably should have pushed for a second opinion on that one, but it didn't hurt him. It was a sad moment for me since none of my children had ever had formula until that moment. When I commented on that, the nurse said, "It's okay, this doesn't count. We won't tell."
|Look at Drew's wide open mouth! He is so expressive. He kept saying, "Tiny" and "Hey" while he poked at the Plexiglas like it was a fish tank.|
Then he was pricked in the heal 4 more times throughout the night until he was cleared for his blood sugar. Those four were all in the normal range. It was an eventful night with the heal pricks every 2 hours. He slept great that night except that he was spitting up mucus every 5 minutes in between feedings. I didn't even get one solid hour of sleep. That and all the nurses and doctor visits are what led me to leave the hospital earlier than I usually do. We went home just after the 24 hour mark so I could try to sleep in my own bed.
I felt great at the 24 hour mark. I was very dizzy the first few times I tried to get out of bed, but after that I was okay. Brian went home to bring the kids and my mom up which turned out to be a mistake since traffic was so bad that they didn't even get there until almost 9pm. It was a late night for all of us.
The kids were thrilled and couldn't wait to have a turn holding him. Hannah's arms got tired quickly, and Genevieve said, "she would never get tired of holding him. Isaac suddenly was done and just dropped his supporting arm without warning. We'll have to practice, I guess! Drew held him in my lap very briefly. He was pretty good about being gentle. All our baby doll practice paid off.
Judah had gifts for all his big sisters and brothers waiting for them too.
We still haven't figured out exactly who he looks most like, but I will bust out the old baby pictures soon and make a direct comparison. I am leaning towards Genna, but his head and face shape are different from hers and his eyes are not as big as hers.
One delightful surprise was that he has the cheek dimples that I have been wanting each of my children to get. His left dimple is deeper than the right and you can only see them when he smiles or grimaces, but I am thrilled nonetheless. I dreamed he had a head full of dark hair and dimples, so I wasn't too far off.
|I have been pleasantly surprised to see how often Drew kisses Judah when he rarely ever even kisses me.|
|I brought this t-shirt that has frogs on it since he was my little tadpole in utero and my little frog now.|