It’s high time I break my long silence. Hello everyone! Life has been so crazy. I feel like from one blog post to the next things were changing faster than I could write. And so I didn’t! I put my blog on the back burner in order to navigate the major life changes that have occurred in the last few months. Here’s my life in a nutshell:
In February my husband quit his job to find a new one. We loved spending time together as he hunted for jobs.
March my husband was hired on at an amazing company doing a job that more fully fit his interest and utilized his degree. His new job prompted a relocation. At the end of that month we moved.
April we found a place to call home in the city we relocated to for my husband’s work. I immediately began nesting and settling in to the home where we would welcome our baby boy.
In May our son was born! Our lives are forever changed and I’m excited to tell you more about his entrance into the world in this post.
Nothing Like the Movies
I read in my pregnancy book that only 16% of women go to the hospital to have a baby because their water breaks. Most women are prompted to go to the hospital because they are having contractions and then their water breaks once they are admitted. That is nothing like the movies. All month long I was waiting for the iconic moment when my water would break and I would rush to the hospital.
In the last month of my pregnancy I had a bit of a rough go. My blood pressure kept creeping up and I was showing some signs of preeclampsia. Fortunately, I was never diagnosed, but I did have to be monitored closely because of my blood pressure, some dizzy spells, and swelling of my feet. I got my hopes up each time I had to go to Labor and Delivery for monitoring, always wanting to stay at the hospital and have a baby. There comes a point in time when anticipation gets old, and you’re just ready to do the dang thing!
Photo Credit: Shearer Photo + Video
A few weeks before baby boy was born I had to have an ultrasound. As they measured the baby to check out a few concerns he measured much bigger than they anticipated! His head and abdomen were abnormally large, which raised new concerns about my ability to deliver him. Nothing was emergent, but we had to keep an open mind about a potential c-section if he presented too big.
Control the Controllable
As my due date drew closer, with no real progress, we started considering an elective induction. We scheduled one for the day after my due date for a number of reasons, the number one being the opportunity to deliver vaginally instead of waiting and having to have a c-section because of his size. We figured it would be better to get him here closer to his due date and eliminate the opportunity for him to grow any bigger being overdue. That late in the game another week could make a big difference on his size at birth.
Which brings us to the big day.
Saturday, May 26th, 2018
I called the hospital to find out what time I needed to arrive for my induction. They told me to be there at 7:00 AM. I held my breath, hoping I could meet my sweet boy today and not go home empty handed. Because my induction would be elective, they would only be allowed to give my pitocin to start contractions. I would not be able to receive anything to help me dilate, and I was only dilated to 1.5 cm.
I woke up my husband to tell him the news, then texted our parents to let them know when we would be heading to the hospital. They were all on stand-by as we weren’t sure if my body would take to the pitocin or if we would be sent home.
We arrived at the hospital. We checked in and got settled in a room, but I was not started on the pitocin right away due to several women coming into the hospital in active labor. I got changed, got my IV, and got set up on the monitors, but nothing started yet.
The pitocin drip began. My husband and I took some time to sleep and relax.
The nurse came in to check my dilation. I was still only dilated 1.5 cm.
I spoke with my doctor (who happened to be the doctor on call that weekend). She checked my cervix again, still not progress. We talked about what would happen if I still wasn’t progressing in a few more hours. We discussed our options and exchanged well wishes. My husband and I decided to put on a movie. We watched “Napoleon Dynamite.”
Our movie ended and the nurse came to check me. Still 1.5 cm. She said my doctor would come in shortly to talk about my lack of progress and decide if I should stay or return home. Our family was still on standby.
My doctor came back and checked me. I was dilated 2 cm at that point. She asked me what I would like to do. I asked if she would be able to break my water. I did not want to leave that hospital without a baby! My doctor explained that she felt breaking my water would be a good course of action to get my baby here before he has any chance of getting bigger! I was thrilled!!
My doctor broke my water and the real contractions began. We called our parents and invited them to come to the hospital. Now that my water broken I could not leave the hospital. My husband and I celebrated. This was really happening! We would be meeting our baby in a matter of hours. I suddenly started trembling as my next reality set in: over the next several hours I would labor with all my might to bring a baby into the world. Still to this day I’m not sure how it is physically possible for a woman to deliver a baby. It doesn’t make sense to me. It is humbling and very intimidating.
Our parents arrived! My husband went to have some dinner before all the excitement began. The nurse came to check me and I was still dilated to about 2 or 2.5 cm.
My contractions had gotten much more intense, so I called for my epidural. When the anesthesiologist came to administer the epidural I was so nervous. My entire pregnancy this was the part I had dreaded more than any other. I have a very bad back and have undergone back surgery, so I was wary of anyone poking around down there. We talked about my concerns and he explained what he would be doing. His words were familiar to me because a few weeks earlier I had met with an anesthesiologist to discuss my options for pain relief during delivery. We talked about local anesthetic, an epidural, a spinal block, etc. I had decided I was most comfortable with an epidural, but now that the moment was here I was very nervous. It took the doctor two tries in two different locations to find the sweet spot for my epidural. The first point he tried there was no space for the epidural to penetrate because of the scar tissue in my spine. I will say this, getting an epidural was not as bad as I thought it would be (even considering it took two tries) and the relief that followed was AMAZING. I honestly felt like my delivery was so peaceful and lovely just because of the relief from the pain I was experiencing with the contractions. I don’t feel like I was slighted or missed out on any part of my labor and delivery because I received an epidural.
From 5:30 to 8:00 I enjoyed the company of my parents, my parents-in-law, and my brother who had all come to the hospital to await the arrival of our little one. We talked and laughed and shared in the excitement of his imminent birth. At 8:00 when the nurse came in to check me, I had dilated to 4 cm! It seemed that progress was still slow, but I was relieved to be dilated more. After this check, I decided to get some sleep. My husband and our families left the room to leave me with some peace and quiet. During this time I threw up a few times from acid reflux (I had horrible heart burn and acid reflux my entire pregnancy that regularly made me lose my lunch).
A little before 10:00 my little brother had come up to the room to be with me. Everyone else was still out, but he joined me for a little while. We played cards and enjoyed a moment together. My mom also came up at around 10:00, just as the nurse was coming in to check me.”Well, now you’ve really done it,” said the nurse. “Done what?” I asked her. “You are 10 centimeters dilated!” I couldn’t believe my ears. I’m progressing like molasses all day long, and then in a matter of two hours I’ve gone from a 4 to a 10?? My brother frantically texted our families and I called my husband to come upstairs. The nurse left to get my doctor to determine if it was time for me to push.
I began pushing. I’m not sure the number of pushes or the amount of contractions I worked through, all I remember is feeling the excitement and butterflies of the moment finally arriving! I was finally going to be able to meet my son!! I still held my breath, wondering if he would get stuck at his shoulders. I prayed he wouldn’t!
There were a few things that were not what I expected them to be. My doctor did not put my feet in any stirrups. Instead my husband and my mom each got to hold a leg. I loved having that support and feeling like they were right with me the entire time. Thanks to my epidural, I didn’t really feel much pain. Pushing was a relief as I fought to release the pressure of childbirth, but I wouldn’t call the experience painful. I did have to have an episiotomy, which I absolutely felt. That was painful. As were the stitches after delivery. But still, my experience was quite painless and peaceful. The delivery room was packed with nurses standing by in case my baby or I had any trouble, and yet there was an overwhelming peace and calm that I felt in the room. By my side was my husband and my mom. I also invited my dad to be in the room. He stood at the head of my bed and off to one side. 3 of my favorite people in this world, there to cheer me on and witness the miracle of life that comes when a baby enters this world.
Our sweet son entered this world. I will never forget the moment my doctor put that brand new baby up on my chest. I held my breath waiting for the cry. As he gasped for air and let out his first cry, I also began to cry. There is really no way to describe the love, relief, and joy that washes over you when you have a baby. I looked up at my husband. Neither of us had to say a word, we just had to look at each other. Our little boy had entered this world with vigor and strength. He has been bright eyed since the moment he was born. I loved looking into those eyes.
My doctor was amazing. She was supportive, informative, compassionate, and efficient! As I held my baby she got to work putting me back together. I am so grateful for good doctors who take wonderful care of their patients.
For one full hour my son and I experienced skin to skin. That is an hour of my life and his that I will always cherish. He wasn’t whisked away. They simply wiped him off a little and set him on my chest. They didn’t take him for measurements or weighing or anything. They just gave us time. It was beautiful, him and me, with my husband sitting by my side. Our little family. I just feel like words can’t describe that time. The closest I can get: Heaven. When our hour was up I breast fed for the first time, we got his measurements, and our family came to hold him.
Our sweet son weighed 8 pounds 13 ounces and was 21.5 inches long! Our perfect boy, who really wasn’t terribly big at all!
The End and The Beginning
I could go on and on about the rest of that night, our stay in the hospital, bringing him home, etc. But we’ll touch on some of those things another day. What I know is that the end of my labor was the beginning of my son’s life on earth. Without opening a door and walking into that hospital, another person entered my room at 11:05 PM. Just like that. A life. A son. He came pure and clean and perfect, straight from the presence of my Heavenly Father. He has brought me such great joy, and given me immense responsibility. My first few days I would find myself crying as I looked at him, in all his sweetness, and I wondered what I ever did to deserve him.
My husband and I love being parents. It’s true what they say, that you fall more in love with your husband when you watch him become a father. I will never forget watching him experience our son’s birth that night. It is a precious memory. He has been in a champ in the weeks since his birth as well. He has lacked the awkwardness of a new father and has been consumed with love for his sweet son. He has also worked tirelessly to take care of me. Again, I can’t help but wonder what I ever did to deserve him.
And that’s what’s new! I’m thrilled to announce the birth of our boy! I’m excited to have even more to blog about. Thanks for popping in! I know this has been a long one, but I’m happy to share my story and to document the beauty of life. Until my next post, God bless you and yours!
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