So I know it’s a little late but I wanted to finally get Gavin’s birth story recorded and posted before too much time passed and my lack of sleep caused me to forget everything.
Thursday morning (May 29th) started out like every other morning. I was 3 days before my due date and waddling out of bed was still as painful as ever. I had horrible insomnia the night before which resulted in me staying up until 2:30 in the morning working on the boys yearly picture books. I was also trying to get Gavin’s baby book started so that I’d be ahead of myself when he arrived. Somewhere in the back of my exhausted brain I remember thinking that I was probably going to be in labor soon since I couldn’t seem to rest. (Mother’s instinct I guess) So when I woke up that morning and didn’t feel any contractions or any sign of labor I was more than disappointed. After weeks of false labor and crazy contractions I was needing a sign from the universe that this child was indeed going to fall out of me….otherwise I probably wouldn’t have believed it.
Thankfully about 9:00 a.m. I got my sign. I was lying down when I felt a gush…nothing crazy like in the movies….just enough to make me think I had wet myself. I got up and walked around before going to the bathroom and much to my dismay it didn’t happen again. My water had broke with my second son so I knew what to look for…or so I thought. With Mason I had a light trickle no matter what position I was in. It was constant and consistent. After using the bathroom I stood back up and felt another gush. However, nothing more after that. This continued for the next couple of hours when finally I decided that I better go in. It didn’t feel like my water was broken since it wasn’t continuous but it definitely wasn’t me peeing myself either. So to be on the safe side we headed to the hospital. I was certainly not getting my hopes up and definitely expected to be sent home since nothing seemed to be panning out with this pending labor. We did the whole routine…pee in a cup, put on a horrific backless gown, hook up to the monitor and wait….wait…wait. They had to test the fluid to see if it was amniotic fluid or urine which took about 30 minutes. The initial nurse seemed doubtful that my water had broken since it wasn’t continuously coming out. Therefore, I was almost positive we were going to be heading home.
Me and the hubs killed time for a bit and planned what we would eat for lunch when a different nurse came in and said, “Alright, you’re gonna have a baby. It was amniotic.” I’m pretty sure if I hadn’t been hooked up to all those monitors I would have waddled my way up and jumped for joy…backless gown and all. I was never so relieved in all of my life. I was only having light contractions at that point and was certainly not in “active labor.” My pain was nonexistent and I was able to walk happily to the delivery room.
The hospital was completely booked in the labor ward. They said they hadn’t been that busy in over 10 years. Every labor room was completely filled up and they were having to turn some women away to a nearby hospital. Thank God I was not one of those women and we came in when we did. I would have died if I had to go somewhere else and deliver. One of my nurses was an old high school classmate’s mom so I spent some time catching up with her while she did my IV and asked questions. Then the shift change happened and I got my real nurse. Unfortunately, my doctor was off that day…..which is the one day I told Gavin he was not allowed to come…..stinker butt! However, her on call doctor was there and would be delivering all day. I met him a few hours later and he was AMAZING. I should have known my doctor would have an awesome on call guy but he definitely made me feel as comfortable as if it had been my own doctor.
Due to the floor being so busy it took a while to get things started. I still was at a 4 and 85% effaced and my contractions were not really getting much stronger. We were going to start pitocin after my epidural but we had to get the doctor to order it and he was tied up in the OR for a while that afternoon. We certainly didn’t mind waiting. I wasn’t in pain and I knew we were gonna have a baby so we were on cloud 9. Worst part was I was starving as was my hubs. We hadn’t eaten since 7:00 that morning so laying around on empty tummies was not the greatest experience. Finally, I begged him to go eat so at least one of us wouldn’t wither away. I’m not sure he tasted the BBQ sandwich but at least his belly was full.
I got my epidural around 3:00 and that was the worst experience of my life. I didn’t have too much trouble with my previous two epidurals and so was not fearing this one at all. However, he could not find my nerve space and had a lot of difficulty getting the catheter to go up my spine. After an hour and 8 sticks later it was finally successful. The whole experience was extremely painful and after being shot so many times I really started to worry about permanent damage or paralysis. I was just hoping and praying my feeling would come back after delivery. I had an enormous bruise afterwards and a lot of swelling in my back. You can still see 8 holes where he put the shots and every nurse and doctor that saw it was mortified. I don’t think anyone had ever seen anything like it before. My anesthesiologist even personally came to see me on rounds the next morning because he felt so bad about the torture. He said he hadn’t slept the night before because he was so worried. I assured him it was a small price to pay for not having to do it naturally.
While I was waiting for the pitocin to get ordered and started my nurse was checking on Gavin’s head position. He was head down, but face up and the back of his head was at the opening of the cervix as opposed to the crown. She put me in 4 different, and crazy positions to allow gravity to move him where he needed to go. Trying to be on all fours when you can’t feel from the boobs down was very interesting. I’m sure my poor husband will never look at me quite the same and in that moment I definitely knew it was gonna take a while to get my sexy back. Haha. Thankfully all the acrobatics worked cause he ended up being right where he was supposed to be when I started to push.
At 5:15 pitocin was ordered and started and active labor began. Since I had such a great epidural I wasn’t too aware of this. I felt a little bit of contractions high in my abdomen but the nurse quickly fixed that by pumping a little more into me. God Bless Meds!! By 7:00 the nurse went to grab the doctor and get the show on the road. I was feeling great (well besides feeling famished) and was super eager to meet the little guy. I started to push and we were all laughing because I couldn’t feel any contractions to even know when to push. Then I had no idea if I was even doing anything since I was so numb. We all got quite a chuckle at a numb woman attempting to push. I pushed 4 times, laughed with the staff and voila….at 7:30 Gavin arrived.
I saw his hair first and nearly questioned if he was even mine. I was soooo shocked that he had a full head of hair. He was the most beautiful baby I had ever seen in my life. He had all ten toes and fingers and was absolutely perfect. They put him on my chest and we have never looked back. His first few minutes of life were full of screams and cries and once I put some food in his belly he has been content ever since. I completely understood the hunger sentiment and after the doctor “put things back together” (much to my husband’s delight) (haha) I was able to get a sandwich, chips and a fruit cup. The sandwich looked like something I wouldn’t even give a dog but it was by far the tastiest thing I had ever eaten. It was so good, in fact, that once I got to my room 3 hours after birth I requested another one. I was literally starved to death….or so I thought.
Besides the epidural, labor was again pretty easy for me. I have been so fortunate to have 3 really great labor experiences. I keep thinking I’m pushing my luck but I am so thankful for what my body has been able to do. Every time I look at the stretch marks and the skin that will never be taught across my belly…I remember these labors and my beautiful boys and am thankful for everything this body has done. It truly is a miracle.
Our lives have forever been changed for the better since welcoming Gavin. He has brought us so much joy in his short little life and I look forward to the many years to come with all of our boys.