And then, before I knew it, my due date was here. Yay! I was going to go into labor at ANY SECOND! I then went to bed without a single contraction.
I got to talk with my sister, Kristy on the phone during this waiting time and she mentioned that she had been praying for me to have the baby. It was a very good moment for me as I remembered what I had been praying for. My wording was something like this, "Heavenly Father, please bless this baby to be strong and healthy, to finish growing and to come into this world when it is ready. And if that could be today, that would be awesome." So instead of griping, I trusted and enjoyed my last few days. I really couldn't do much about my secret hopes that my due date would be THE date but it didn't stop me from enjoying the day. I watched Rhode's soccer practice, enjoyed some Sonic Happy Hour, and had a great movie night watching Epic with Asher snuggled up against me. I got into bed at a decent hour and got a good 6 hours of solid sleep... and then all craziness broke loose.
But before we get to that... let's back up a bit.
As you may recall, Asher decided to make a very quick appearance into this world. Start of contractions to his birth was about 5 hours, I did almost all of my progressing in one hour and gave birth to him without an epidural, much to my dismay at the time. This experience, plus the low nature of my baby carrying this round, plus the fact that I was already at a 4 before going into labor, and with a warning from my doctor that the only way he was going to make it to this delivery is if he set up camp at the hospital, really made me think about this delivery.
The one thing that would have really helped Asher's delivery in my mind is if I had been mentally prepared at all for it. I did not have one thought in my head other than, 'this needs to stop hurting right now' and 'where is the *@&# guy with the needle?' If I was going to be doing this again, I really wanted something else to think about. So, a friend of mine suggested this book:
This is an extremely interesting book. I read it from cover to cover, then called my friend and we proceeded to mock it for a very long time. If Jon were to design his own book store with all of his own shelf labeling, he would put this book on the shelf entited "Voo Doo Witch Science". He would then preface the cover with his own summary, "Anytime someone tries to prove a scientific point with one random example of a person that it worked for, it's voo doo witch science."
Here are some of the crazy things this book suggested:
1) There is no physiological reason why birthing a baby should hurt at all. Bologna. Big object, little hole. There will be pain people
2) There is a lady in Africa who, while cleaning her hut, birthed her baby, cleaned herself up and then went back to cleaning, thus labor doesn't have to hurt. I promise you, lady, that mother is about a million times tougher than I am. And I am pretty sure she didn't say anything about it not hurting
3) They list several 'safe' methods to start labor, including the usual spicy foods, "hugs before drugs" and, yes they actually bring up castor oil. Please tell me there are not women who are still doing that. I cannot think of anything more miserable to add to the top of 'just about to have a baby' than squirting bowels. It is really time to stop suggesting that to very desperately uncomfortable women
4) And the real clincher, in case your labor slows down in the hospital and your doctor wants to turn on the drugs, they suggest one option is to excuse the medical staff from the room and go back to some of the previously mentioned labor starers, including "hugs before drugs". Seriously... but seriously, don't ever do that. I don't care what they say, that is weird.
But in between all of the absolute crazy in this book, I found what I was looking for, a few coping methods. In all reality, the whole book basically just tries to make labor seem less scary. Because, if you aren't afraid if it, then you can relax. And muscles work better when you aren't all tense and crazy. Which is true. It gave some breathing techniques to practice and it came with a relaxation CD, which I loaded onto my ipod.
And now back to the story.
So there I am peacefully sleeping the night away when I woke up to a sudden pop and rush of water. My clock was blaring 4:00 a.m. on the dot and my water had just broken. That had for sure never happened to me before. I had prepared myself to go through basically the same labor I had with Asher, only potentially even faster. Instead, I had zero contractions and I was leaking. Talk about throwing a person for a loop.
I started moving around and getting cleaned up, which I am now realizing from other people's stories of their births starting with water breaking is basically impossible because you're just leaking water the whole time. It is really very annoying. I hopped into the shower while sending Jon back to bed because, really, I didn't even have any contractions yet. No need to start running around like a sitcom dad.
And then the contractions started. I had this handy dandy phone app downloaded where I pressed the button when my contractions started and stopped and it recorded all of the information so nicely for me. I can't explain to you why I enjoyed this so much but I totally did. I happily pushed that button all the way to the hospital. Even when it hurt, I thought, 'Hey, I get to push the button again! How long has it been ol' contraction app buddy?'
Well, my contraction app buddy informed me that I was already having my contractions about 2 minutes apart. Oops, sorry Jon, turns out it is still go time. So we gathered, warned my mom we were on our way out the door and were on the freeway by 4:45 a.m. I was keeping steady at 2 minutes per contraction and they were strong but I was able to keep breathing and focusing to where Jon didn't actually know when I was contracting and when I wasn't.
I was totally calm as we approached the labor and deliver desk. I told them my water had broken, I was having contractions 2 minutes apart, and my babies tended to make quick entrances. I am so grateful for my nurse who believed me. A lot of the nurses commented afterward that they wasn't even sure I was actually in labor from my face but my nurse kept things moving.
At 5:20 a.m. I was in a gown, I had my monitors on, I had my earphones in and was listening to a lady with a British accent explain to me how I was going to relax my muscles starting from my head and working down to my feet, and I was checked for the first time at a 7. And the baby's head was "REALLY low" according to my nurse.
The next few minutes were spent getting an IV port in my arm (I requested no IV but they wanted a port in case of emergency) which took awhile because I have very uncooperative veins. I was pretty well in the zone, ignoring a few too many of the nurse's questions (oops) but breathing well and steadily. I did hear my nurse mention say, "You are going to have to tell me when you feel pressure because that is going to be our only sign that this is starting." And probably two minutes later, that is exactly what happened.
The pressure part hit quick and strong and I definitely lost my focus for a bit. I had two big contractions and I remember thinking, 'Once the kid comes out it doesn't hurt nearly this bad,' so I started pushing really hard when I really probably shouldn't have. But I got my focus back, got a chance to catch my breath between contractions, and about three contractions later, had a crowning baby. Then Jon got his crazy birthing scene. The next contraction preceded with a HUGE rushing of water, so much that everyone by my main nurse (have you caught on that there was once again no doctor there?) leaped out of the way. And then, at 6:09 a.m., two hours after my water broke, the next contraction was another huge burst of water with, as Jon describes it, "a baby shooting out of a water slide."
Jon leaned over and told me that I had just delivered my third son and then they handed me my baby. That moment makes you forget a lot of stuff that hurts.
The nurses then swept him away to get him all cleaned up and checked out and that's when the comments started, "Wow, that is a head!" "He is so long!" "This baby is almost 10 pounds and she didn't even make a peep!" "This isn't a baby, this is a toddler!"
9 lb 11 oz.
big head (can't remember how big...)
The doctor on call made his appearance shortly after that. It wasn't my doctor, which was a bummer. I really like my doctor, he just takes things in stride and pretty much lets me do what I want. This guy made it clear that he thought most of my decisions were dumb ones. Most doctors would have recommended c-sections after the bad tearing experienced after Scarlet's birth... says the doctor stitching up my mild tearing from my fourth vaginal delivery. Most doctors would have insisted on a second ultrasound and early induction if I had already delivered a 9 lb. baby... says the doctor who can see my beautiful child which I just gave birth to in under 2 hours. And most doctors would think its crazy to not give a woman pitocin after childbirth... but since he really wasn't my doctor he gave in on that one and let them hold off unless it was needed. I don't about you guys but the pitocin they gave me after Asher's delivery gave me worse contractions than the ones that had just delivered the guy. I felt so much better without the stuff.
And then the doctor finally left and I got to have my baby back. He wasn't as interested as bonding as he was in eating, which he latched on immediately like a pro and it was just us. I took that moment to step back and realize that I had just gone from completely pregnant with no sign of any change to baby in my arms in two hours. If this labor had started while I was running all of my errands all week, it would have been insane. And if the baby had decided to start coming an hour later, Jon would have been on a long Saturday run and would very likely have missed the birth. I said a prayer of thanks for His great understanding and timing.
He is a really big baby. He is so strong and those cheeks of his are just so wide and kissable, it is hard for even me to believe he is only a few days old. The poor guy was absolutely starving waiting for my milk to come in so we've been supplementing with some formula and he has been extremely grateful. Plus, having a baby who can do the breast or the bottle will be very handy.
And then Jon and I had to name him. I walked into the hospital extremely undecided on names but shortly after meeting this little guy, I really wanted to name him Jude. It was on our list and for whatever reason, it just fit him. Jon waffled a little bit, but he was voting for Doctor Earl Nielsen... so it was imperative that I won for both of our sake.
Jude Earl Nielsen
We only planned on being in the hospital for 24 hours so we just basically hung out all day.
Coming up... the siblings meet their new baby brother. Tune in next week (or earlier depending on how well Jude naps) to hear Rhode say, "I don't really like that name mom..."