Our baby boy is finally here! The following is our birth story written by me with some help from Josh:
This past Tuesday morning I was 40 weeks, 6 days pregnant, so I started off the morning with all the labor-inducing remedies I had been trying since week 39: pineapple core, red raspberry leaf tea, and some evening primrose oil capsules. Mentally, I realized that these were probably doing nothing, but it gave me satisfaction to do something. I decided, however, to ramp things up by going on a 2-mile walk with Millie. My pelvis and lower back were killing me, and it was literally freezing outside. But, we went anyway, and, indeed, it was excruciating. Millie, however, enjoyed herself immensely.
Next on the schedule was my 41-week visit to the baby doctor and sonographer. My parents had been in town for over a week now, so I was fortunate to have my mom go with me since Josh was working. Since Caleb was post due date, the doctor wanted an ultrasound to make sure everything looked okay. He looked confined, but healthy. And, I was told that due to calcification in the placenta an inducement would be necessary by Sunday, the 12th, if he didn’t come by then. After the sonogram I visited my doctor around 2 pm, and she seemed optimistic because I was at 2 centimeters. I then told her that she could strip my membranes in an attempt to get things moving a little more quickly. As soon as she finished the procedure, I felt menstrual-like cramping, and she said this was totally normal.
This cramping continued throughout the evening, but I had no expectation that labor was going to start since this was considered normal. My dad was out with Josh’s dad. So, my mom, Josh, and I decided we would just eat leftovers for dinner. I did not feel hungry due to the cramping, but I felt an obligation to eat the leftover Mexican in the fridge–a decision I would later regret.
We went to bed early, but I still felt uncomfortable from the cramping, so I listened to Erwin Lutzer to distract myself. I dozed off, but about 20 minutes the cramping woke me up. I told Josh that I was leaving the light on so I could get to the restroom in a hurry. He grunted something and rolled over. About ten minutes later, the cramping was really bothering me, so I shook Josh’s shoulder and asked him to hold my hand. Bless his heart–he was so tired, but he managed to throw his hand over his shoulder. Within the next 30 minutes, I tried to deal with the cramping, but it was intolerable. At this point, I really woke up Josh. He set up and started timing the cramping, and we realized that these were actually contractions occurring 90 seconds apart!
I then started trying to pack in between contractions. During the contractions I just doubled up on the floor in pain. I remember trying to reassure Millie that everything was just fine as she looked at me with bewilderment. We woke up my parents and headed toward the hopsital. It was about 11 pm, and traffic was light, so Josh sped the whole way there. Once we got in triage, they told me that I was 4 cm and would be admitted ASAP.
Once we got to our maternity suite (which was wonderful, by the way!), I met my nurse and doula, and I also realized just how nauseated I was. The nurse and doula commenced with helping me get through labor naturally. I constantly shifted positions and walked around, but I couldn’t get past the feeling of nausea and completely lost that night’s dinner (sorry if TMI!). Plus, I was rather sleep deprived and just wanted a short nap. At 7 cm I asked for an epidural, and by the time the anesthesiologist was there, I was almost at 8 cm. My nurse, doula, and loving husband assured me that I could get through without an epidural since I was moving so quickly. But, at this point, I realized I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the rest of the process without some relief, so I went forward with the epidural. About 20 minutes later, I was able to talk, laugh, and even take a very brief snooze.
Labor continued to progress well, although towards the end the baby showed a number of decels, so I had to wear an oxygen mask and keep getting repositioned in order to keep the baby’s heart rate up. Around 5:45 am, I was completely dilated, and began pushing with Josh, Tess, and our nurse Andrea helping. Dr. Adams, the physician on call, came by to check on things and get ready for the delivery. Then, after only about 45 minutes of pushing, Caleb Thomas entered this world at 6:23am!
He had a nuchal cord that was quickly fixed, and furthermore had deposited some meconium during labor, so Dr. Adams immediately cut the cord and handed him off to the NICU team that was nearby. Caleb immediately begain crying, but he was suctioned out and cleaned up anyway for about 20 minutes before he was able to finally, after a very long wait, be held in my arms. I had wished for a snowfall on his birthday, and it snowed the entire night of his delivery. And, interestingly, he was born on a Wednesday at 6:23am on the night of a full moon, precisely like myself.
We stayed in our maternity suite until Friday afternoon. During that time, Caleb had an entourage of visitors–ranging from the pediatrician to the lactation consultant, and we unsuccessfully tried to sleep. It didn’t matter though. Our son was finally here, and we couldn’t be happier!