As shown in the previous post, our 3rd child, Samuel Aaron was born this week – on Tuesday! Here’s the promised birth story.
(Note: It’s a very girl-friendly post, so if you don’t like reading things like ‘dilated’ and ‘cervix’, this would be a good post to skip. No hard feelings!)
Monday, April 6th
The story really starts here. Or, maybe really the night before – Sunday night. At bedtime (10:15), I started feeling contractions and wondered “Is this it?” I really wanted it to be it. I tried to sleep, but couldn’t. At 11:45, I got out of bed and tried to sleep downstairs on the couch as it’s much firmer and really quite pleasant to sleep on. At 1:15 am, the contractions were every 5 minutes, but not very hard and not for very long. I finally fell asleep around 2:30 am.
I wanted to see the doctor that morning, but we kept playing phone tag, so eventually, I just went to Labor & Delivery. I was dilated to a 2 and maybe 60% effaced and they had problems picking up the contractions on the monitor. They had me walk around for an hour, then checked me again. No difference. Went on home. Disappointed.
Tuesday, April 7th
11:00 am – No contractions or anything that morning, but I did have a regularly scheduled OB appointment. Dr. B checked me – I was still at a 2, but maybe 75% effaced. Some difference, but certainly not much. She said “It could be any time, you never know, but I don’t think I’ll see you again today. And, oh by the way, I’m out of town this weekend, so if you do go into labor, it’ll be with the on call doctor.” Bummer. Went on back to work. Disappointed.
2:00 pm – I had a big presentation at 2:00 that day. If I had been gone, someone else was prepared to give it, but they were really hoping that I’d be there for it, so that they didn’t have to. I was. I gave the presentation from 2:00 to around 3:00. I left work around 3:30 to go pick up my niece & nephew from elementary school and head home.
3:45 pm – In the carpool line, I started feeling STRONG pains. At first I just thought: “Man, what’s that baby doing? Those are some big movements!” Since I had seen the doctor that morning, I didn’t think it was the start of anything real. I was wrong.
4:30 pm – I got home, started dinner. Dinner prep was painful!
4:45 pm – Jeff gets home and informs me that his doctor thinks he has Strep Strain C, which would explain why the antibiotics he had been on for the last week didn’t seem to make much of a difference. They started him on a different antibiotic, but suggested that if I did go into labor before he had been on them for 24 hours, that he wears a mask. Okay, great – so tonight would not be a good night to have this baby.
5:00 pm – I loosely timed the contractions and sure enough, they were like 3-4 minutes apart, really painful and about 45 seconds in length. I tried taking a quick shower to see if the heat would help (or if maybe my water would break like last time). No help. Decided to call the doctor. She told me to come on in – it was the only way to know if it was real or not. Called my sister and arranged to drop off the boys.
5:50 pm – We left for the hospital. Given the false alarms from the day before, I wasn’t fully confident that I was in labor. So I suggested we stop by our church to drop off some books for Jeff’s Bible Study since he was going to miss it that night. The church isn’t even on our way to the hospital! It isn’t super far off the path, but it did cost us about 20 minutes for that detour. (I was actually even tempted to tell Jeff to go to Bible Study; he could meet me at the hospital afterwards, but I thought better of that suggestion). Had Jeff known that I was really in labor, he never would’ve agreed to even dropping off the books, but when your wife is in ‘maybe labor’, doubting it herself AND she suggests that you meet your obligation, you kind of go along with it.
6:30 pm – Got to the hospital. Checked in. Nurse asked her questions, started an IV line. Asked me my pain level (a ‘7’). Hooked up monitors, saw that yes, these were definitely contractions. Asked me my opinion on epidurals (love ’em) and questions about my last 2 labors.
6:50 pm – So she decided to check me. After checking, she looked right at me, paused and said “Well, you’re at a 9. And your bag of waters is just hanging really low right there. You’re not going anywhere. If I would’ve known that, I would’ve checked you sooner.” A few calls to other nurses to help prep the room (3 more nurses filed in!), to Dr. B to tell her to get in, and to anesthesiology.
7:07 pm – Anesthesiologist arrives. Asks his questions. Tells me his next steps. I’m thinking “Yes, yes, I got it. This is a serious deal. Just get the medicine in already. Please and thank you.”
7:13 pm – Epidural in and on the FIRST TRY! Both other times, it’s always taken them 3 attempts. YES! Relief within a few minutes.
7:34 pm – Dr. B arrives, checks me, agrees with the nurse and breaks my water. Gush!
7:45 pm – I stopped dilating and even went backwards a little bit. I guess my bag of waters was so low that it was helping to keep the cervix opened. With it broken, everything closed a bit. Not much, but it wasn’t going to be a matter of minutes like we thought.
8:30 pm – My contractions had gotten further apart (thanks to the pain meds) and baby hadn’t descended fully. After waiting a bit to see what happens, she checked me again. He was face up instead of face down like she prefers, so she had me push while she tried to turn him. I don’t think I had much control, but it took about 3 sets of 3 pushes and she was able to turn him.
9:04 – One more set of pushes, he dropped down and came on out. It is a boy! Samuel Aaron is born!