On Tuesday, June 11th, I had my regular 40 week OB appointment. I told her that I'd like to give him one more week to come out on his own, and she agreed pending a perfect ultrasound. It was perfect, so we scheduled the induction for Monday, June 17th. I was really hoping I wouldn't make it that far, but I was excited that there was an end in sight. She stripped my membranes (which she had done the appointment before, and it resulted in nothing), and I was sent on my way.
Tuesday after my appointment I went to the YES center to pick up Norah. I asked Daniel to take her with him to work so that I could focus at my appointment. I had a feeling I'd be getting an ultrasound, and that would have been difficult to keep Norah in check while getting an ultrasound done. While I was at YES, one of the boys said, "So, are we coming to ya'lls house to watch the game tonight?" (referring to game 2 of the NBA Finals). Daniel looked at me and said, "Ask her. She's the baby mama." I told them that I was totally ok with that, and that I hoped having 8 teenage boys over would put me into labor. :) So they came over that night. I made a fabulous coconut cake and chocolate cake. We all ate burgers on the grill, I cleaned up the kitchen right before bed, and I went to bed around 10:30.
I had been having a really hard time sleeping lately, so when I woke up around 4 with menstrual like cramping, I didn't think anything of it. Well, between 4 and 6 I had a really difficult time getting any sleep. The cramping was bad, but it was just cramping. It was very uncomfortable. At 6:07 I was awoken with my first real contraction. I remember thinking, "holy crap-- so that's what a contraction feels like..." I went ahead and passed it off as a fluke and decided to try and go back to sleep. About 6 minutes later (estimating), I felt another one. I put it into my contraction tracker on my iphone and tried to fall back asleep. I was very surprised when another one came at almost exactly 5 minutes later. I got up to pee, and then laid back down, starting to get a bit excited. Well, the next one didn't occur until 11 minutes later, so I was really down about that. I thought for sure that I was having false labor. So I decided to go back to sleep.
Sleeping was impossible. I ended up having a few more very irregular contractions, so I got up and took a shower just in case. At this point Daniel and Norah were still asleep. It was a little after 7am, and I didn't see the point in waking them just yet. While I was in the shower, I had three contractions no more than 5 minutes apart. They were the kind where I had to stop what I was doing, grab the shower bar, and breathe through it as best I could. On the third one I figured that it was time to tell Daniel that we at least needed to go get checked out.
So I get out of the shower, open the door to our bedroom and say, "Hey Baby? Baby?" He looks up really fast and says, "What's up?" I said, "I'm pretty sure I'm in labor." He said, "Really? Are you sure? What do we need to do?" I told him that I was going to call Jamie so that she could come watch Norah for us, and that I was going to wait to call my parents just to make sure that I was really in labor before they started the 9 hour drive to come see us. He got up, got things ready. I got dressed, did my hair and makeup (if there were going to be pictures, I didn't want to look awful!), and packed the last few things in my hospital bag. I had several contractions during these activities. They were not fun to try and talk through or do any sort of action through.
Jamie got there around 8:30, and we left the house around 9:05. I had a major contraction right before getting into the car, so I was sure this was it. Of course we got stuck in traffic, and I was terrified that I was going to have contractions on top of each other in traffic, but that didn't happen. Traffic lasted a little bit, and wasn't too bad. I got really nervous as we pulled into the hospital because I had ZERO contractions during the entire ride to the hospital. Not one in the 30 minutes it took us to get there... I was really worried they were going to send us home because I was in false labor.
|Me arriving into the observation room at the hospital|
So I get put into this observation room just to make sure that I really need to be admitted. The nurse checked me and I was at 4cm, which was 1cm more than I had been the day before. She did tell me I was 100% effaced, which was 70% the day before-- so definite progress! So Daniel and I hung out in there while they monitored the baby's heartrate and the contractions. A short while later, the nurse came back in and said that they were admitting me. She got a bunch of info from me, which was reeeeally hard to answer during contractions, which were now about 2 minutes apart.
So I got put into a labor and delivery room a short while later. The nurse came in and introduced herself and some other nurse that followed her throughout the day. She was very relaxed about everything and she was very mellow. They went ahead and put in my IV, which was awful. The nurse who was following here was the one who did the first try. She put it in my hand and shifted it like 1000 times. It hurt like a B... then she blew the vein. So it had to be done again. She let the regular nurse do it the second time. This one went in fine, but it hurt sooo much because it was on the wrist bone. Ouch! Then, for some reason, they couldn't get blood to come out of it, so they had to do my bloodwork through my veins on the other arm. Poked so many times!
Now, at this point I hadn't been checked in about an hour and a half. The nurses were busy setting everything up with the IV, my blood pressure, the heartrate and contraction monitors, etc. The contractions were super super strong, but Daniel got me through them. I was curious if I had made any progress, and I also wanted the stinking epidural, so I was willing the nurses to hurry the crap up.
Finally, around 11:30, they checked me again. I was 7cm! No wonder I had been in so much pain! I had gone 3cm in a little over an hour with no epidural! When she checked me, she was surprised. She said, "Oh! We've got to get your bloodwork so we can get you that epidural! You're going to go FAST!"
So they get the bloodwork back and it was fine, so they called for the epi. The anesthesiologist apparently was doing another epi at the time, because the nurse randomly checked me again (it was around 12:45ish at this time), and I was 8 1/2cm! She said to the other nurse, "Go get the anesthesiologist nurse, she's going to have to do her epi or she won't be able to get one." That statement almost made me go pale-- I did NOT want to do this with no epi! I was in so much pain, and I knew that it would only get worse.
The anesthesiologist's nurse came in, told me all of the side effects, and talked really really fast while she prepped everything. I honestly didn't care. I just wanted pain relief. The contractions were about a minute apart at the time, and they were hard to get through. Again though, Daniel got me through them.. seriously, I don't know what I would have done without him. They attempted to place the epidural, which was insanely painful this time around, and right before it was completely in, she said, "oh.. I cannot get past this thick bone of yours!" So then she had to take it out and redo it a few vertebrate higher...ooohh, that was no fun either.
About 15 minutes after she placed the epi, I asked the nurse when it was going to take effect. She said, "Well, you should start feeling warmth in your legs in a few minutes." Well, a few minutes later, I did feel warmth in my legs, so I assumed the epi was doing it's job. For 20 blissful minutes, I felt no pain. :)
|During my 20 minutes of no pain...|
And then that bliss ended.
I kept feeling a LOT of pressure in my butt.. like, a TON. I told the nurse about it, she checked me and I was still 8 1/2cm. (Epi had slowed down labor a bit). The pressure turned from just pressure to real contraction pain. I truly felt every contraction. It was awful. Then the nurse said, "Well, why don't we try to get you to push so we can see how you do and what the baby does." So with the next few contractions I pushed, and it hurt. A lot. She said, "Oh, yeah! You are stretching to a 10 with each push! We can call Dr. Blake back and tell her we're having a baby!"
So they call Dr. Blake. Now, Dr. Blake had been in there already. The nurse told her that I was 9cm and ready to go about an hour prior to this. She came in and checked and was irritated with the nurse when she discovered that I was 8 1/2 and not ready to go. She had a scheduled c-section at 2pm, so when the nurse called her back at 2:15, she was rather irritated with the nurse again. I did NOT understand why she wanted to "push through" at 8 1/2cm, but I trusted her expertise. Dr. Blake came in in her OR scrubs and expected the baby to be practically hanging out-- which he wasn't. So she told the nurse in a very nice way that I was not ready yet, and that she needed to go do her c-section.
I was so relived. I didn't want to push for three hours.
The pressure-pain was getting worse and worse and closer and closer together. I asked the nurse if I could have anything for the pain. She called in the anethesiologist nurse. She said to me, "Can you feel your legs? What is the highest you can raise your leg?" I kicked my leg high in the air. She said, "OH! Um, yeah, you're doing high kicks. Let me see if I can get you something else. That epidural is obviously not working." I was happy I was going to get relief, but after they checked me again, they told me that it was too late to fix my epidural, which was not what I wanted to hear.
Around 3:10 they checked me-- I was complete and ready to push. They had me do a few practice pushes on the contractions, and I did. Apparently something was actually happening because they broke down the bed, and I was told to continue trying to push on each contraction. I told them that the monitors were making me extra uncomfortable, so they said, "Well, you are feeling these contractions anyway, so you don't need that monitor on!" Then they took it off.
I felt very nauseated and had Daniel keep a bucket by me at all times. I never actually threw up though, which I did do during Norah's delivery. Dr. Blake arrived again, and told me I was ready. She told me to push on the next contraction, which I did-- and it worked. I pushed and pushed with each contraction. Daniel was amazing coaching me through the pain and the pushing. Around 3:33, Dr. Blake said, "Jennifer, we need to get this baby out. His heartrate just dropped to 60bpm (from 140), which means that the cord is probably around his neck. I need you to push with all your might. So on the next contraction, that's what I did. I pushed with everything I had. I was screaming my head off from the pain. They all said, "I see the head! there it is! Come on, you can do it!" They brought the mirror over, and that was all the motivation I needed. I saw that head full of hair, and I just had to push him out.
His head came out, and Dr. Blake told me to stop pushing. It was crazy hard to stop pushing. She undid the cord that was wrapped tightly around his little neck, and she said, "Ok, now one more push!" I did one more great big push, and he was out. Instantly the pain went away. Instantly I felt relief, and instantly I was in love with this tiny little boy.
|First time holding my son|
After the stitch-up, Daniel gave him to me again, and it was just magical. He was finally here, and he was ours. He looked EXACTLY like Norah did the day that she was born. In fact, they looked so much alike, I had to keep reminding myself that it wasn't Norah. :) He had so much hair. More hair than Norah did, but only a little bit more. He was big! I remember thinking, "holy cow! That just came out of me!?" He looked at us with those big blue eyes and we melted. He was so perfect--- so, so, so handsome. I couldn't believe that we had had two beautiful newborn babies.
|He's completely in love.|
Some time later, we texted my sister and had her bring Norah up to the hospital to meet her brother. Jamie said that when she got the picture that he was here, she was on the playground with Norah. She showed it to her and said, "Norah, look!! Your brother is here!!" She said that Norah's face lit up and she was so happy. She said, "Can we go see him?!" Jamie said yes, and Norah replied, "ok! Yay! But Jamie, can I play for 5 more minutes?" :)
|Beautiful baby boy|
So Norah and Jamie came up to the hospital while we were still in recovery. Norah's face was a face of pure joy. She was so excited to see him. She wanted to hold him immediately, so we let her. She was so gentle and sweet with him. It was precious. I got a little sniffly because I couldn't believe that my whole family was finally together. That little person that I just knew was missing in our life... the one I wrote about here: In this blog post , he was here. Our family is complete. :)
The visit with Norah was wonderful. I missed her terribly since I had been in the hospital. We had spent every single day, all day, of my summer vacation together, so not seeing here for a day was difficult. Having all of us there was perfect. :)
...and then things went bad.
|Loves being a big sister!|
|Aunt Jamie and her nephew|
The nurse called in the charge nurse after she got me back on the bed. There were three nurses in the room, and they all hovered around me trying to figure out what was up while Daniel was helpless, holding our baby boy. I could see the terror on his face. They pushed on my uterus and out gushed a TON more blood and clots. They kept pushing, and I kept losing more blood. It was awful. I felt like I was dying. I was terrified. They seemed to get everything under control, and they told me to call them immediately if I had anymore clots, but that they thought they were all gone.
Only 30 minutes later, I sat up after nursing Miles and I felt faint immediately. I said, "Daniel.. take him!" I almost dropped him from being faint. I stood up to go to the bathroom, and another huge clot, bigger than the last ones, appeared. And more when I went to the restroom. I pulled the string for the nurse to come, and it didn't work. So I yelled for Daniel again to call the nurse. They came rushing in again, and the whole process repeated itself. Vomiting, blood everywhere, sweat-- it was horrible. And again, all Daniel could do was watch-- watch and hope that they could fix me. He told me later that he was more scared than he has ever been in his life.
They controlled it again, and this time they decided to give me a suppository of Cytotec to try and get my uterus to get all of the clots out. I agreed, and they inserted it. I was just happy they were being proactive and that I was going to get some help. About 15 minutes later I started shaking. I was so cold. So unbearably cold. I covered up with everything I had, but I was still shaking. Daniel got me my jacket, and I was freezing. I was shaking so hard. My whole body was shaking. I couldn't control anything. I felt like someone had put ice water into my veins. The nurse just happened to come in right around that time. She saw me shaking and her eyes got wide. I was shaking so hard that I was coming off of the bed. It was a terrible feeling. She got me extra blankets, then called the charge nurse back in.
They pushed on my uterus again-- more clots. Huge amounts of blood coming out. I was still shaking, and even with 8 blankets on top of me, I felt like they were wrapping me in ice packs. The charge nurse decided that I must be having a reaction to the Cytotec (which I don't think I was, because I had had Cytotec before, and didn't have this reaction). She told me that it would calm down. They got me warm blankets from the nursery and covered me from head to toe in them. They took my temp and my blood pressure-- both a little off. After about another hour of continuous, body rattling shaking, my body calmed a bit. I had to keep the blankets on for another 3 hours before I felt like I could take one off without freezing to death.
Throughout the night I passed a few more clots, and by morning they had subsided to smaller ones. They kept a very watchful eye on me, thankfully, and I was getting better. YAY! Around 11pm my parents finally arrived to meet the first boy that has been born into our family in three generations. My dad is giddy after having 2 sisters, 4 daughters, and 3 granddaughters with no boys... finally he has his boy. It's ridiculous. :) My SIL visited during the crazy times, so I didn't even get to see her.
The second day in the hospital was much less drama-filled. We had my family visit for a large part of the day. My other SIL came by and was completely head over heels for our handsome boy. The nurses kept a close eye on me, and overall, it was pretty calm. The hospital food was fantastic! I should mention that with both of my deliveries, I've wanted the exact same meal after labor-- a roast beef sandwich. That's exactly what I ordered. I craved/ate a TON of fruit while I was in the hospital too. One sweet thing that happened was that after I had Miles, and I was allowed to eat, I ordered the roast beef sandwich, a fruit cup, and sweet tea. I was eating the fruit cup when the nursery nurse came in to check on Miles. She said, "Oh, cantaloupe! Yum!" I told her that I had been craving cantaloupe since I went into labor. She said, "Well, I brought two cantaloupes from home today, and they are delicious! Do you want some?" I said, "YES! Thank you!" She brought me some, and oh.my.goodness... best cantaloupe I've ever had. It was so nice of her to do that.
At one point on the second day, Daniel said, "I have something for you." I wasn't expecting anything, so I was very curious about what it was. He said, "First let me say something." He got down beside me and told me that he has always been ashamed of his last name. (His biological father was a drunk, deadbeat, wife-beater that left when Daniel was 5). He went onto say that now that he married me, and we had Norah and now Miles, he isn't ashamed of his last name anymore. he is proud to start a new legacy for it, and it's all because of us. I was crying of course-- it was the sweetest thing he could say. Then he gave me this beautiful locket. It's from the 1920's. He said that he knew I would appreciate it because it came from a time where silver didn't typically survive because of the wars-- that it had been through a lot, just like he had, but it had come out on the other side. I absolutely love it, and I will cherish it forever. It is so special to me.
Now that I've finished this birth story 8 days later and several sessions of writing, I am so glad that I wrote it all out. It was an incredible day, full of so many emotions. My family is now complete, and Miles is worth every second of it all.