Monday, January 12 (this is a long post, but i didn't want to forget any details!)
8:00-11:00am—The day began with our usual breakfast routine and later, coffee with friends. I did some final food prep for a meal I was taking to my friend Erin who had just had a baby.
11:15am-12:30pm—We arrived at Erin’s house and I enjoyed meeting her daughter, Parker, for the first time, and letting Maggie and Hudson play. It was really great for me to see her transitioning so well from 1 kiddo to 2. She seemed very positive and upbeat and not frazzled or distressed.
1:00-5:00pm—Maggie and I both took naps, then afterwards, headed downstairs to the courtyard to play outside with friends.
5:30-6:00pm—I quickly ate a yummy bowl of black bean soup for dinner and when Aron arrived home at 6pm, I headed out to get a pedicure and manicure with my good friend Nicole. The drive was so enjoyable and I spent most of the time talking to my good friend Laurie.
7:00-8:00pm—The pedicure and manicure, as you can imagine, were *just* what I needed. It was an enjoyable evening, spending time with Nicole, and getting pampered. As I drove home around 8:30pm, I was aware of how relaxed I felt, how much I was actually at peace with enjoying the waiting process for Curren’s arrival. I called Aron and basically told him these things and started to cry.
9:00-10:15pm—When I arrived home, Aron and I chatted some, watched a quick show on TV, then headed to bed around 10:30. I remember sitting on the couch and looking at him and saying, “I cannot wait for Curren to come, but I hope it isn’t tomorrow because I don’t really want him to be born on the 13th (because of Friday the 13th).” I know that seems silly, I’m not superstitious in the least, but well, I just don’t prefer the 13th. :) Anyway, little did I know!
Tuesday, January 13
12:00am—I awoke around midnight with some very mild contractions, but didn’t think anything of it. I headed to the bathroom for the multi-nightly pit stop.
12:20am—After about 20 minutes, the contractions didn’t seem to be subsiding so I began to wonder if this might be “it,” but wasn’t convinced (though I did start to time them—5-15 minutes apart, roughly 45 seconds in length). Aron told me to get back in bed, listen to my Hypnobirthing affirmations and relaxation techniques CD and try to rest.
12:50am—I did just this for about 30 minutes, hoping to fall back asleep, but the contractions were not subsiding and in fact, were getting more intense.
1:15am—I got up and took a long, hot shower.
2:00-2:30am—I think it's pretty clear that I am in labor (and it's a very surreal experience since I was induced with Maggie and did not go into labor on my own). Aron began to time my contractions and to my surprise, they were coming every 3-5 minutes, lasting 45-60 seconds. By 2:30am, the contractions were coming every 1-2 minutes apart! I found myself definitely having to focus on my breathing as each one came.
2:45-3:15am—I called my neighbor, Bethany, and said, “This is the call!” and she came right over to spend the night with Maggie. I was actually packing my hospital bag in between contractions. After a call into the doctor was finally returned (“You should probably come in”), and after several more intense contractions, we were walking to the car. Bethany later told me that she was certain I was much further along than I realized!
3:30am—The drive to the hospital brought even more intense contractions, and I was actually telling Aron, *very loudly*, to drive faster, faster. I continued listening to my Hypnobirthing relaxation techniques and gripping the door handle through each contraction.
3:45am—We arrived at the hospital and as Aron was signing us in, I had one really strong contraction and suddenly, my water broke. I started to leak all over the hospital floor, and felt slightly relieved/embarrassed and yet totally focused on what was coming because I figured at this point, things were going to start moving even quicker.
4:00-4:30am—A nurse immediately ushered us into a room where I promptly asked for a birthing ball and walked around through a few more contractions (I never did get the ball). Another nurse asked me to sit on the bed so she could get some readings on Curren’s heart rate, so I did, much to be my great discomfort. Allison, my good friend and birth photographer extraordinaire, arrived about this time and I was relieved to see her, knowing that she would be a huge support during this time. Not minutes after lying down, I began to ask, “How far dilated am I? How is my baby’s heart rate?” The nurse said she would get to that in a minute, but first needed to ask me some questions. I was vaguely aware of her asking, “How many surgeries have you had in the past? What medications are you allergic to?” Slightly perturbed, I tried to tune her out as much as possible and focus on my breathing. I wondered why she wasn’t answering MY questions. I did manage to ask her, “Do you support a natural delivery? I’m also hoping to VBAC my baby,” and she responded in a supportive manner. An anesthesiologist came through, talking to me about putting in a dry block (no thanks). A few more nurses filtered in. For the next 25 minutes, my pain level rose to a new threshold I didn’t think possible. Aron held my hand and helped me breathe through every contraction, but the pain was so intense that I started to hyperventilate and thus, required oxygen.
4:30-4:50am— The OB on call, Dr. Peregini, finally arrived and checked me. I was dilated to 8cm! The next 20 minutes proved to be the hardest yet, as the contractions came closer and closer together and with increasing intensity. I began to involuntarily push and dry heave. The nurses repeatedly told me, “Don’t push!”and this was terribly annoying because I could not NOT push! At this point, I’ll be totally honest, all desire of a natural birth went south and I began to somewhat shout aloud, “Give me the epidural!”all the while looking into Aron’s eyes and telling him how much it hurt and how much I didn’t want one, but just couldn’t take the pain.
4:50-5:00am—Ten to fifteen minutes passed and the OB checked me once again and declared, “You’re complete. It’s time to push!” Praise God! There was no time for an epidural.
5:00-6:10pm—Joy and relief flooded over me. This was the moment! Curren was almost here! I could almost feel him in my arms. I had visions of him being placed on my chest. Alas, it would be another 1 ½ hours before I held my baby. After about an hour and very little progress, my discouragement grew. I was saying aloud at this point, how badly I did not want another C-section, how I couldn’t believe we were at the same point we were with Maggie and there was no progress being made (I pushed for 1 ½ hours with Maggie and she never presented, and thus we ended up in a C-section). I was almost in tears between contractions. The nursing staff was doing their best to teach me how to push, but it was so hard and Curren wasn’t making his appearance yet. He was actually presenting face-up (and at a slight angle as he’d been trying to turn during prior contractions). Maggie was also face-up and this proves to be a much more difficult to deliver because babies are supposed to come face-down. I looked at the OB finally and said, “Are we going to end up in C-section? What’s happening? Why won’t he come out?” She gave me a somewhat matter-of-fact and not-too-encouraging talk about how I could keep pushing, his heart rate was fine, but some babies just don’t come through the pelvis. She said, “You need to really focus on where you are pushing. It’s going to hurt like the dickens.”
6:10-6:20am—Maybe it was just what I needed to hear because through the next contraction, I actually made some progress and she looked at me, for the first time genuinely excited, and said, “That was your best push yet. Keep doing just that!” Greatly encouraged, I pushed through 3 more contractions and it felt like I was on fire. The pain was unbelievable, but I was starting to be able to finally see him emerging! By the fourth contraction, the OB told me to stop pushing and I exclaimed in great distress, “WHY!?” and she responded with, “Because we are delivering!” She put my feet in stirrups and I pushed through 2 more contractions, all the while feeling like I was being ripped in two (this must have been me feeling myself tear…I have a 3rd degree tear, but hey, it was SO worth it!) and our little boy was here!! He was born at 6:20am, a little over 6 hours after I initially went into labor at midnight.
Immediately, he was placed on my chest, Aron cut the cord, and I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time! It was miraculous! I kept praising God aloud, while looking at Aron and saying over and over, “We did it! We did it! God is so good!” This experience was unlike any in my life (obviously VERY different from my hellish 20-hour labor with Maggie that ended up in an unplanned C-section). There are no words to adequately describe what I felt. It was so surreal to hold my baby, knowing I’d been able to deliver him just like I had hoped and prayed for.
From start to finish, the labor had been a little over 6 hours.
My recovery has been excellent and we are settling into a routine as a family of 4. I’m breastfeeding Curren and it’s been a *night* and *day* difference from nursing Maggie. He is a pro nurser and this aspect has been an absolutely flawless transition. I am in awe of God’s faithfulness as I prayed for a good breastfeeding experience all through my pregnancy. We went to the doctor last week for what ended up being a clogged tear duct for Curren, but they weighed him again and he was back to birth weight after only one week! How encouraging to know that he is getting all the nutrition he needs from me!
Thank you to all our family and friends for your love, support, and encouragement to our family during this time of newness in our lives.