Read at your own risk. Since Sofia’s was in the blog, I will subject you to Thomas’ also.
In case it’s not your cup of tea, here’s a photo of me seeing him for the first time and then you can skip the rest of this post.
(I have no earthly idea what I’m wearing)
The week before his birthing day, I had kind of felt crampy off and on. But at 39 weeks, nothing too surprising. They always seemed to subside after laying down a few hours. On Saturday, feeling it again and trying to find ways to induce labor, a friend says what worked for her is letting her husband drink too many beers. Then, when she NEEDED to go to the hospital, she almost had to drive herself. Also remember another friend who went into labor with a hungover husband. Tell Big S to start drinking! Go to bed, text him a few hours later that I feel fine, go ahead and tip a few back, who knows how many more nights he’ll have that option.
Then, about 12:30 realize that this feeling is back and not going away. In fact, it’s actually more of a problem, preventing sleep. Start to read a while. About 1:30 a.m. tell Big S to get to bed, who knows how much more sleep he’s going to get tonight. Plus, sitting up in his recliner is more comfortable. After a few hours of reading through contractions, decide they are getting a little more serious and meet the guidelines for calling the midwife. About 3:30 call in, they ask if I want to go now or now. I’m fine waiting. They recommend laboring in the tub. Voila! My vision of laboring in the hot tub can be realized. Hang out in there, reading and being in labor with the contractions getting stronger until I can’t read through them anymore. Enjoy the pre-dawn view and impending sunrise. Try and hold out until 6:00 am so Big S gets a few hours of sleep, remembering the sleepless marathon of Little S’ birth. Manage until about 4:30 or 5:00 am and realize if I don’t get out of the hot tub now, I’m not going to be able to get out, and despite joking around about giving birth in there, it’s not actually my plan.
Tell Big S it’s time to go. Contractions stop me in my tracks now. Get the baby monitor to my sister and two steps before the car, my water breaks. Accuse husband of taking bumpiest road possible. And, for looking for every bump he can as he wheels me to Labor and Delivery. Give requested “specimen” and FREAK OUT that it’s green. That means meconium and that’s not good. Start to abandon hope for VBAC. Lean against wall during contraction accidentally setting off the “help me now” button. Which sends a cadre of nurses scrambling to the room. Oops. Manage to do that about 5 or 6 more times during labor. Consequently, husband gets good at recognizing it right away and hitting the cancel button.
Now we’re getting intense. And I’m yelling louder. Screaming is more apt. Possibly even shrieking in pain. It’s no silent Scientologist birth, that’s for sure. Get to the point where the pain is constant with no break between contractions. Have nearly; broken my husbands hand, fingers, strangled him, broken his ribs, practically chewed a hole in his shirt, deafened him… Probably more things to, those are just what I remember and remember feeling badly about. At the point I’m on the floor, under the bed (getting in touch with my inner cavewoman perhaps?) accidentally rip out the IV line in my arm (no memory of that, just a gnarly bruise for 2 weeks and a permanent bloodstain on DH’s pants) am now screaming for pain meds for me and for the sake of everyone around me. The get me into the bed, calmed down a little, and decide the epidural is coming. Like little S, I’ve only gone from 6 to 7 cm in 3 hours of pain, and getting me to relax is the best course of action. At this point, am told that if baby doesn’t descend more, there’s a good chance of a repeat c-section. At this point, that sounds better than continuing the way it’s going in excruciating pain. Manage to hold still for the epidural somehow, possibly knowing the outcome of NOT holding still when someone is putting needles in your spine. It’s now 8:00 or 8:30. Become sane again. Tell husband to go get himself food. Piece together that a c-section isn’t for sure the outcome yet, I get to try pushing if baby descends.
A little after 10:00, a get to start pushing. Unlike with Little S, I can’t actually feel the urge to push, but, I follow instructions and push when they tell me. It seems like even though the midwife is encouraging me and telling me how good I’m doing that there isn’t any progress. I’m nothing if not stubborn, so resolve to push even harder. At some point, get word that the baby is kind of stuck, shades of Little S. It feels like it’s been a while and I’m expecting them to call it off any minute now. They were only going to give me an hour of pushing and if baby is stuck, well… it is what it is. It’s now the last "chance”. Giving everything I've got, the midwife has me feel the head. Oh my gosh! A fuzzy little head about to emerge. I’m home free. I’m going to do this! After what still seems like forever, the baby is born! 11:04 a.m.
But, because of the meconium, and because I’m Group B strep positive, he’s tended to right away. I ask Big S what it is, and he emotionally tells me it’s a boy! Baby Thomas, named after my father, born on Father’s day. But, his breathing isn’t strong. They take him to the nursery and Big S goes too. Come to find out that his umbilical cord also broke on birth, so he didn’t quite get all the blood he should have either. (and, it made for quite the horror show. Pools of blood, splashed even over my head!)There is talk of needing to transport him to NICU, they can’t get an IV in and the veins in his extremities are collapsing. But, after hours of trying, his color is coming back on his own, and, they get the IV in through his umbilical cord! At 3:00, I’m okay to get wheeled in to go see him. Watch the doctors for a while (hours?) and finally get to hold him. Ask to nurse him, and wow! First time is a charm. Latches like a pro and nurses happily. Very good and good for his recovery too. Go back in every 3-4 hours throughout the night to nurse and cuddle him. By about 11:00 am Monday, he’s cleared to come back to the room with us. Hooray! Now family like can begin.