Part II: A good old-fashioned birth story 😉 We may be on the tail end of James’s first year earth side but here I am, still trying to document his birth. This is what happens when you throw a newborn into the mix with a 3 and a 5 year old and then the earth decides to throw in a Global Pandemic just for fun, leaving all children home 24/7 who have to do school via distance learning, that of course you have to help with, while you try to care for your baby at the same time. Yikes. My last post was literally right before our world all but shut down – while I wanted nothing more than to sit and write, or even just think in silence, there wasn’t time for it.
(It got so bad that David literally set alarms on my phone to remind me to eat because I’d go through the day and feel terrible, only to realize I never even bothered to eat. Oops.)
Regardless of timing, I know that writing this down is worthwhile. It’s so bittersweet thinking about how everything with Jamesie’s birth went – starting from a failed gestational diabetes test to being induced yet again. I wrote all about that here. So, here I am, ready to go rock this whole induction thing. I’ve done it twice before. The second induction with Alex was easy breezy so third time is a charm, right?! Hahahaha.
As scheduled as an induction can be, a hospital has no power over how quickly labor and delivery rooms become available. Despite having an assigned “time” to get to the hospital – Nov 15th at 3am (ugh!), you still have to call ahead to make sure they are ready for you. I spent my last day taking the big kids to an ASU basketball game (hoping all the standing and walking would get the contractions going) and having a great time with them before bringing home baby #3. Went home and when we called, found out that they didn’t have room for us. We rested, slept in, and hoped to get a call. With no luck, we called again and they said to have some lunch and get ready to come in, they would let us know what when and they anticipated it soon. We live 45 minutes from the hospital so we packed up, went to that side of town to go out for lunch, and still…no call. We go literally to the hospital to find out that nope, still nothing because another mom who hadn’t answered her phone when they called her finally called back and went in. I was next on the list! We gave up and went home to sleep, only to get a call at 1am to head in.
So, here we are at 3am getting checked in and things progressing quickly. Pitocin immediately to get the contractions going. I knew what to expect and that it would be uncomfortable – they increased it as much as they could until lunch time and after realizing I had been having contractions but making zero progress, turned it off and gave me a break and let me eat. So now it’s been about 12 hours and their next plan of action was to give me Cervidil and said “as long as it stays in 2 hours, it’ll be great.” It really got things going and as Dave and I walked the halls, I had contractions so bad I had to stop to have him put counter pressure on my back before I could keep going. Unfortunately, it didn’t last the whole 2 hours and fell out before then. Back to the drawing board. We’re at about 16 hours in L&D now – my OB came in and broke my water and then we started another round of Pitocin. By now the contractions were rolling in strong and I was in PAIN and so uncomfortable. No positions seemed to work and they couldn’t keep a good monitor on the baby’s heartbeat because he kept moving away from it as I moved myself through contractions. Alarm after alarm going off while I decide to call for the epidural. We’re around 20 hours in the delivery room by now. Go figure that by then, a few others had requested one as well, so I had to wait a little longer than normal. By the time he got there I was struggling to sit still and wondered how I’d make it through him inserting the needle (honestly, one of the worst parts of labor) but we made it happen.
This is where Dave fell asleep and things went to shit. On par for way things were working out, something happened I never imagined.
My epidural experiences have only been great and I have only read about this happening to other women. My epidural this time only “took” fully on my right side. So, the right side of my body is like “Ahhh, thank God!!” while my left side is saying “What the hell, man?! WTF did you do?” It wasn’t as bad as nothing, but it most certainly wasn’t as effective as it should be. I still had to move and try to get comfortable through contractions which was REAL HARD when the right side of my body was numb. Then we’ve got monitors still going off because James’s heartbeat was fluctuating so much. It was in that moment that I started to really worry about James thinking “This isn’t going to go the way I want, this isn’t working” and worrying that it would all end in an emergency C-Section. I called for the anesthesiologist to come back and he had me ‘push the button’ they said, which resulted in a heavier dose of meds to come through the epidural in an effort to make up for the left side. Boy, did it. It ended up being too much and my entire lower body was more numb than ever – on the plus side, I felt zero contractions – haha! I didn’t want to wake up Dave because one of us needed rest but I was freaking.the.F.out. Third time is NOT a charm!!
26ish hours in the delivery room now. The increase in meds + insane contractions has caused severe hormone issues and I’m trembling uncontrollably and James’s levels are going down. They put me on oxygen and move me onto my side, the only position they could keep better track of James. I’m about a 9 so they call my OB to tell her I’m close. The nurse who has helped me with so much leaves because her shift is over and I want to cry because she was so helpful and then, of all nurses to take her place, it’s the precious woman who helped me birth Caitlin 6 years ago. I recognize her immediately and feel so much better. Dave wakes up to find masked up on high oxygen shaking uncontrollably and freaks out wondering what the hell is going on. I try to tell him “it’s fiiiiine babe” and whether he believed me or not, he acted like he did which helped the situation along – I know he asked the nurse if I was ok anyway 😉 – and everything was fine until I realize that I need to push. The nurse tells me that I’m not far enough along but I insist so she checks me again and voila, I’m at a 10 and ready to go!
Thirty minutes later, 28 hours after starting the entire induction and labor process, I found out my sweet baby was a boy (please ask Dave about his massive fail on this one, hahaha!) and got to hold him in my arms because the shaking finally subsided.
It was so incredibly hard and the ups and downs are not something I wish on anyone, but the ending will always be worth it. The third time was not a charm, not even a little bit. Not one part of it went the way I wanted, but having my sweet baby boy in my arms at the end of it all made it more worthwhile than anything.