Thursday, July 16, 2015

A Birth Story: Round 2

On Saturday, March 14, 2015, I was 40 weeks and 2 days pregnant. For the previous three months of my pregnancy, I had been nearly bed-ridden with lower back pain that left it impossible for me to take care of myself, much less a 2-year-old. When my husband, Ben, wasn't home taking care of us, my wonderful family and church friends stepped in and helped above and beyond the call of duty. So when I say, "I WAS SO READY TO HAVE THAT BABY", I want you to understand my full meaning.

Ben had given up hope of going to the board game convention that was in town that weekend. He assumed we'd have a new baby by then. However, the weekend arrived and I was still as pregnant as ever. I decided that William and I would hang out [at] my mom and dad's house that day and send Ben to the convention for a day off from Daddy Duty, since he had been working so hard to take care of us.He happily agreed to that idea. "Watch you go into labor as soon as I get there and start a two-hour board game," he joked. I smiled and said, "Whatever it takes!

During lunch, I had a few contractions that were definitely more than just Braxton Hicks, and I wondered if these might be the first twinges of labor. I put William down for his nap at 1:00; and, since I was still having sporadic contractions, I figured it would be a smart idea for me to take a nap too. 

I didn't sleep very soundly. Basically, I just dozed in between contractions that were gradually becoming more consistent. When William got up a 3:00, I was convinced that this was it. Can you say, "IT'S ABOUT TIME!!"?

I called Ben at the convention and told him it was show time. He left immediately and came to pick me up. (He had just sat down to a new board game.) We were already planning on William staying at my mom and dads house when I went into labor, so we gave goodbye kisses and headed home. 
At about 5:00 I was having to focus more on the contractions and breathe through them rather than continue chatting Ben's ear off and singing along to my Labor Playlist. He had been busy since we got home with a "Things To Do when I go into labor" list. 

Around 5:30 my back was killing me during each contraction so I went to go take a hot shower. Just before I got in the shower, I lost my mucous plug and was shaking. I had Ben text Susie and she responded with, " I'm on my way ". In the meantime, I was on my hands and knees in the shower thinking, “Holy cow these contractions are coming really fast! I don't remember it being this intense with William." The hot water eventually ran out and I had to get out of the shower. FYI, it's really hard to get dried off and out of the bathtub when you're in intense labor. I thought I would never make it to the bed. 

I finally did make it to the bed and Susie's assistant, Cindy, got there at about 6:30. Susie and my mom arrived at 7:00. By this time the contractions were pretty insane. I remember feeling like there wasn't much of a rest in between each one and I was having to focus really hard on breathing. The only position in which I could get in the zone and focus was lying on my side. Ben was next to the bed, holding my hands, talking me through each contraction and giving me sips of water. I could NOT have made it without him. 

Just after Susie got there, my water broke. I was 5 cm dilated at that point. The contractions just kept getting more and more intense and I remember thinking once again, "I don't remember it being quite this fast and intense with William". Susie and Cindy were scrambling to get their stuff set up because I think I was progressing faster than they thought I would too.  Mom had set to work making [coffee and] food for everyone, because she's awesome like that.

Not long after my water broke, I started feeling REALLY pushy. I told Susie and she checked me again. I was 7 cm - no pushing allowed yet. It was soooooo hard not to push. Like, really hard, almost to the point of impossible. 
Thankfully, not long after that Susie checked me again and said "10 cm”. I was so happy. Just before that announcement, my mom had stepped out of the apartment to meet my Dad in the parking lot, who had brought the biscuits my mom had forgotten at her house. When she walked out of the door, she thought I was still at 7cm. This was the update she then gave my dad. Little did she know that I had jumped to 10 cm in a matter of minutes and that we were shouting, "Mom! Get in here! You're gonna miss it!!!"  She made it back just as the baby’s head was crowning - just in time!
Three or four good pushes later, Calvin Benjamin was born at 8:15p.m.  All 8 lbs.and 14 oz. of him!! As soon as I saw him, I burst into tears of joy and exclaimed, "WHAT IS IT?!" I don't remember who said it, but someone answered, "IT'S A BOY!" I noticed immediate back pain relief, and I was just so happy he was out of my body and into my arms. 

He was the chubbiest newborn you ever did see and had a head full of dark hair that still sticks straight up in the air. Unlike his big brother, he had a hard time getting the hang of nursing, but with the help of Susie, we got him on the right track. 

It's hard to believe that chubby little baby turned 4 months old yesterday and is a whopping 15 lbs. He is the happiest baby ever, and his squinty-eyed smiles and infectious laughter light up any dreary day. 

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