After runs to Labor & Delivery to stop contractions at 32.5 weeks and 35 weeks, I was anxious to see when I would really go into labor. I woke up around 3 in the morning on Tuesday, October 30th and noticed that I was having a lot of contractions. I got out of bed around 4 to use the bathroom and decided to watch the clock. The contractions were coming anywhere from 3-10 minutes apart and gaining in strength. I was also having loose bowels, which was a good sign that I was in labor. Around 5, I told Jody that he probably shouldn’t go into work in case this was the real thing. I took a shower to see if that would make the contractions ease up. After I got out, Jody took a shower, and I woke up Anna to let her know what was going on. She also got up to take a shower while I finished packing my hospital bag.
Around 6:30 I tried to call some people from church that offered to help watch the kids when I was in labor. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get a hold of anyone. Jody suggested he stay home and watch the kids, but there was no way I was letting him out of it that easy. After trying to call several people I started to get frustrated and emotional. I went to bed and had a good cry while Anna took over making phone calls. She finally got a hold of Lacy Brown who said she would gladly watch the kids. By this time my contractions were 3 to 5 minutes apart and I was ready to get on the road since it takes an hour to get to the hospital. As quickly as Paxton was born, I wanted to make sure we got to the hospital in time. Anna called Kayla Shirley, who was suppose to come take pictures, and told her that we were heading to the hospital. Kayla said she would meet us there. We dropped the kids off at the Browns at 7:30 and headed to the hospital just in time to hit rush hour traffic.
We got to L&D at 8:30 and they took me right to a LDP room. Kayla got there not long after we did. The nurse got me hooked up to the monitors and confirmed that I was having consistent contractions.
At 9 she checked me and I was only 1 cm dilated and 60% effaced. I couldn’t believe I wasn’t more dilated with all the contractions I was having! She called the doctor and he said to have me walk around and be rechecked at 11.
So Anna, Kayla and I walked and walked and walked. We even made a stop at the cafeteria and grabbed a bite to eat. I was afraid to eat much since my stomach was upset, but I knew that I needed to keep my energy up. We went back to the room a little before 11. The nurse checked me and found that I was 1-2 cm and a little more effaced so I was in early labor. She called my OB again and he said to keep walking and that I could stay. I stayed on the monitor and watched TV until 11:35. During that time they came and took my blood. We sent Jody to Toys R Us to get a present for Olivia from the baby since there wasn’t much to do but wait.
After being monitored, we got out and walked some more. This time we brought the camera to have some fun. The grounds of the hospital were really nice. There were garden paths that led to a bubbling fountain that I found very relaxing. We stopped at various points to take pictures and wait out contractions. My contractions were about the same distance apart and getting a little stronger. Sometimes I had to stop and wait through them.
As we were heading back into the hospital we saw that Jody had pulled up so we met him by the parking lot. Since we knew I was going to stay, we went to the van and got my bags and the presents for the kids.
At 1 my OB Dr. Alston stopped in to check on me. He said he was heading into surgery and would check back with me when he was finished. Everyone was getting hungry so we sent Jody out to get food. I laid on the bed and tried to get some rest. At 2 I was hooked back up to the monitors again. My OB came in and checked me. I was 3 cm, 60 % effaced and the baby was still high. He offered to break my water, but I declined. Breaking my water led to a super fast labor with Paxton, and I wanted to avoid that this time. I was also worried about a cord prolapse since the baby was still high. My OB assured me I would have my baby today so they had me fill out the necessary paperwork.
Kayla had to leave around 3:30 because she couldn’t find anyone to cover for her gymnastics class. We knew she wouldn’t make it back before 6 so we hoped I wouldn’t deliver before them.
I laid in bed and tried to get some rest. I was frustrated with how slow I was progressing. At 3:35 I called the nurse for some heartburn medicine. I had been having horrible heartburn since the 2nd trimester but never thought to bring my meds with me. The nurse brought me some nasty tasting medicine to drink. It must have done the trick because the heartburn quit bothering me after a while.
At 4:30 I was hooked back up to the monitors. Jody came back for a while. We discussed what to do about the kids. Jody was stressed about leaving them for so long, but there wasn’t a whole lot I could do about it. Anna and Jody both wanted me to get my water broken to get things moving. I was still hesitant though. The nurse checked me at 5:30 and I was 4 cm and the baby’s head was lower.
The nurse left to talk to the doctor and came back to let me know that my OB was leaving for the day and wouldn’t be back until the morning so if I wanted him to break my water, now was the time. It was getting late, we were worried about the kids, and I knew that breaking my water was all it would take to get things moving so I reluctantly agreed. I had a brief cry because I knew what was in store for me. The nurse put in a heplock and at 6:05 my OB came in and broke my water just as Kayla got back from work. At that point I was 4 cm and 70 % effaced. The water was clear thank goodness. My OB told me to sit up for a while to make sure the head settled down since it was still a little high. I was afraid to move onto my side for a while because of that.
Within minutes the contractions began to pick up in intensity. Jody joked that he knew I was progressing by the way I was gripping the handrail on the bed. The nurses changed shifts and I was introduced to my new nurse. I apologized for not meeting her when I was in a better mood. She looked over my birth plan and asked me some questions about my wishes. She was very respectful and was impressed with how realistic my plan was.
The contractions started to hurt really badly. They felt like they would peak and just when I couldn’t take much more, they would get even stronger. We dimmed the lights of the room and the atmosphere got serious. Anna started coaching me through each contraction. I breathed through them and tried taking them one at a time, but the pain soon began to feel unbearable. The nurse and staff started bringing in the delivery supplies. Luckily they were quiet and got things done quickly.
At 7:15 I started feeling some pressure so the nurse checked me and I was at 5 or 6 cm. I was out of mind in pain and upset that I hadn’t dilated more. I told the nurse I wanted drugs. Anna tried to convince me that I didn’t. She reminded me of my birth plan and that I wanted to try and deliver without medication. I told her I didn’t care. I couldn’t stand the pain anymore. I got a Stadol / Phenergan cocktail through my heplock at 7:27 and instantly relaxed.
The medicine made me sleep in between the contractions. I would wake up and need coaching during the peaks and then fall back asleep. Apparently I was pretty amusing because I would complain during the peak that the drugs weren’t working but would fall asleep as soon as it was over.
At 7:50 I started feeling more pain even with the drugs. I started feeling more pressure so the nurse checked me. I was finally at 8 or 9 cm. The end was in site! The nurse left to call the doctor. At 8:10 I couldn’t help but to start pushing. Anna told me not to push but I couldn’t stop during the peak of the contraction. She pulled the sheet back and looked and saw that I was bulging and there was a hint of hair. She hit the nurse button and told them “I see the baby!”
The nurse came in, took a look and told me not to push because the doctor wasn’t there yet. I told her “Well he needs to get here” and I continued to push. There was no stopping the urge. The doctor rushed in at 8:13 and started giving orders to take the bed down and let me push if I wanted. Anna told them I didn’t like it when people counted as I pushed so they let me do my own thing. I instantly got the “ring of fire”. I kept asking if the baby was almost out because it was burning so much. I just wanted the baby to get out so the pain would stop. I said during my pregnancy that I wanted a baby with brown curly hair. Anna said I got my wish. She could see that the baby had dark hair.
Because of the scar tissue from my last two births, the skin wouldn’t stretch to let the baby out so my OB did an episiotomy. After that he said to give one strong push and the baby’s head was out.
The cord was wrapped so tightly around the baby’s neck that my doctor was afraid it might tear so he quickly cut the cord. Then I gave another push and watched the baby slip out of my body. The baby was facing me as the OB lifted him up and I saw his boy parts. I said, “It’s a boy!” The doctor turned him around and said, “You do have a male child!”
The doctor handed the baby to the nurse and I laid back and closed my eyes. I realized after a bit and asked, “Why isn’t he crying?” I looked over and saw that Jody was crying and wiping his eyes while Anna tried to comfort him. My doctor left me to go see what was going on. I was too out of it to realize at the time, but the baby wasn’t breathing. The nurses started to panic so my doctor jumped up to help resuscitate him. Apparently, his heart rate never dropped but they couldn’t get him to take a breath. They had to give him a shot of something to reverse the affects of the medicine I had been given. After a few tense minutes, the baby finally let out a little whimper. His apgars were 4, 8 and 9.
The nurse asked what the baby’s name was. We had discussed it on the way to the hospital and we couldn’t decide between the names Thatcher, Sawyer and Thomas for a boy or Madeline and Sophia for a girl. We said we would wait to see the baby after it was born and then choose which name fit it best. Jody told the nurse the baby’s name was Sawyer. I said “Really?!” because I really like that name. I later asked why he said that name and Jody said because he thought it was the one I liked.
Everyone made phone calls to let family and friends know the baby was here. Jody called his parents, who now had the kids, to tell them the news. Olivia answered the phone and when Jody told her it was a boy, she cried. She really wanted a little sister.
The nurse said they needed to take Sawyer to the nursery to make sure his oxygen stats were good. My doctor made sure they let me see him before they took him. We had Kayla go with to take pictures since they were going to weigh him too. Sawyer weighed 7 pounds 1 ounce and was 20 inches long
Meanwhile the doctor delivered the placenta, which I got a good look at this time, and stitched me up. They hooked my heplock up to an IV of pitocin for a few minutes to help with bleeding. The nurse massaged my uterus and commented about how low it was already. The doctor said I could probably wear my jeans home from the hospital. The whole thing was painful to say the least. I vowed then and there to never have any more children (of course the mommy hormones kicked in a few days later and that is already debatable).
They got me and the room cleaned up and let me rest. Jody left to go get the kids since it was getting late. Every time the nurse came in, she talked about what a great job I did. She said women with epidurals don’t do that good. I just kept thinking, “Was she here in the same room?” I didn’t feel like I had done such a fantastic job. I guess the drugs and the pain clouded my memory.
They finally brought Sawyer back to my room a little after 10. Kayla and Anna took turns holding him. I was too exhausted/drugged to care. All I wanted to do was sleep.
Kayla left and they moved me to a regular room. Sometime during the wee hours of the morning, I came out of my fog and decided to have a good look at my baby. I unwrapped him from his blankets and looked at his skinny legs and tiny fingers and toes. He was just perfect.
I was so impressed with the hospital and staff. They allowed me to labor as I wished and respected my birth plan. They were great with the kids when they came to visit too. I had a wonderful experience; although, if I had to some it up in two words, they would be “It hurt”.