June 1, 2012

Judah's arrival

I can't believe he is actually here!  We've had about 5 weeks with him and are completely smitten with this baby.  As I approached my due date, it still felt surreal that I was even pregnant.  Little did I know that the morning of my due date, April 28th, was when we would finally get meet our Judah.

My water broke around 6:45 am as I was making my way to the bathroom.  I heard a quick grumbling in what I thought was my stomach, only the quickly realize my water had broken.  All I had to say was, "Ummm...Joel..." and he was there in an instant.  As he packed our toiletries, I called the hospital and let them know I was on my way.

It felt like an eternity until we got to the exit for the hospital.  The whole time there we were texting and calling people letting them know what was happening.  Since my water broke, at least we knew we were going to have a baby soon.  The ride was a mix of excitement and anticipation.  In fact, Joel was so focused on driving well that he almost passed up the hospital if I wouldn't have said something.

We got to the birthing unit and what I mainly remember about it all was how calm everything was.  The registration was super simple and they got me hooked up to the fetal monitor in no time. I was able to snap one last pregnant picture before I got changed.  Here is me at exactly 10 months:

At this point, I was expecting any minute to begin feeling contractions. I kept thinking, "Ok, this is it."  But then another hour would pass.  Nothing.  And another.  Nothing. After a few hours, Joel and I were getting restless and a little bored actually.  After about 4 hours of no progress or a single real contraction, the nurse came in to let me know that they normally give the moms whose water breaks 18 hours before they get the baby out one way or the other.  Some hospitals have different policies and time frames, but this was ours.  Immediately my heart sank a bit, knowing that already this was not how I had pictured the whole labor process--and that with each passing hour, the possibility of me going natural became less likely.  She gave us some options, and we told her we would let her know what we decide.  She was a big supporter of me going natural, but secondly wanted me to at least be able to have a vaginally delivery even if my contractions never started.  The last thing we wanted was to hope that my body would kick in and then miss the time frame and have to have a c-section because we waited too long.

So there we were in the exact room we were in a month earlier and were faced with yet another decision that was not in our "plan" and out of our control. I should also start off by saying that a month ago was when we had a very scary hospital scare that we thankfully got through with no harm done--after that we began praying for the doctors and nurses to have wisdom and guide us on my actual day of delivery.  So in the midst of what was happening, we had to remind ourselves of just that.  We are not doctors and while we had a plan, it was just that---a plan and not a for sure thing.  I have a tendency to get stuck on one direction and when it deviates, my world shakes. The thought of me not getting contractions never even crossed my mind--in fact, I don't even think I knew that was a possibility!

Anyway, Joel and I decide that after 6 hours, if I didn't show any progress or get any contractions, then we would start the pitocin like the nurse suggested to jump start my labor. So around 2 pm, the on call doctor showed up (my doc was out of town) and I found out that again I had no signs of progress and I was still just 2 cm.  So that was it, we decide to go ahead and get hooked up and see what happened.

Within minutes of getting the pitocin, the contractions began.  And oh my goodness, these were not normal contractions; the nurse did warn me that what I would be feeling was if I had reached the 3rd stage of labor contractions.  The stage that is usually the shortest and most painful of labor, before the pushing begins.  I still wanted to at least try and go natural even with the pitcoin--even though at this point, it was already not "natural."  Call me crazy, but I thought it was worth a shot! :)  

Well she definitely didn't exaggerate on just how painful the contractions were.  Within minutes, I was out of the bed, trying to get through each one as they came.  Joel was such an amazing support and my most successful position was rocking side to side with him behind me, saying that I could do it and how good I was doing.  However, with each contraction they got worse and worse (it also didn't help that the nurse kept coming in and upping the dosage). After 2.5 hours, I was in such pain! I would get a contraction and my mind would think "Oh gah, get me and epidural, stat!" but once I got through it, I thought, "Ok, I can do this."  This happened long enough for me to tell Joel that if I hadn't progressed a lot, then I was getting the epidural.  After 8.5 hours, I was just ready to hold our Judah.  

The nurse checks me, and we find out that I'm barely 4 cm. That news sealed it for me. Along with her saying that I was probably looking at another 10 hours of labor.  Um, no thank you! After the nurse left, I got through a few more contractions just to see how I was feeling and could not get over how the pain just wrapped around me for so long and in such quick intervals.  During one particularly painful contraction, I lost my breathing pattern, and it completely threw me off. After that, I looked at Joel and said, "Get me the epidural--go get the nurse.  I want it now!"  Looking back, it was such a scene from a movie when the girl is done and just wants the drugs and then they never come fast enough.

The nurse comes in and hooks me up to get the necessary fluids I need before I can get the epidural, and then says, "Ok, I just called him and he should be here soon."  To which I replied, "What do you mean 'be here'??  He isn't AT the hospital???"  I should also note that my filter completely disappeared during this process and is actually just now coming back.  I dropped curse words that I haven't used in YEARS and my nice factor was non-existent.  It definitely was not my finest moment.

Anyway! She told me that he was at home but lived nearby, so it wouldn't be that long and that I needed to get all the fluids in me first anyway.  To which I looked up at the bag and drop by drop I could see the bag emptying.

After a few more contractions, I looked at Joel and said "Go ask the nurse where he is.  I want to know where on the road he is!"  Joel said that it was a silly question and he was positive he was close.  Nope--not good enough.  I slammed my hands on the bed, "Why aren't you listening to me?!? Go find out! NOW!"  Hahaha I will totally admit that I was completely crazy at this point and Joel said, "Ok, be right back."  He later told me that all he did was step outside the door, wait a minute, and then come back in and told me, "The nurse said 30 minutes."

Thankfully it was less than 30 minutes and the door opened with the wonderful sound of a wheeling cart that I knew carried a cure to the pain I was experiencing.  I asked the Dr. if I could get a low dosage and he explained that wasn't an option, but that his mixture isn't strong and I would still be able to move my legs. I was so relieved.

Despite what everyone told me, getting the epidural did not hurt at all.  However, my definition of pain has been forever altered, so that may have been why.  I got three more contractions while I was getting the epidural and somehow managed not to move a muscle--breathing really works! Immediately I felt relief and the contractions felt less intense.  I also loved that I could still move my legs and even wiggle my toes.

About 10 minutes passed, and I asked the nurse if I could take a nap.  She laughed and said she would check me first.  However, I quickly found out there would be no time for rest.  I was 9 cm! I couldn't believe how fast it happened! I went from 4 to 9 in about 15 minutes.

I wasn't quite ready though because I learned that only half of my cervix was completely effaced, so I had to lie on my right side and get oxygen for about 10 minutes.  After that, I was 10 cm and totally effaced.  I even had another nurse check to make sure since it all happened so fast.

Next came the pushing.  I don't know why, but I thought it would be a little more climatic that it was.  As she was pulling up the stirrups, the nurse just said, "Ok, ready to start pushing?" Umm, sure? That's it? No mad dash to get supplies ready? No one else is coming in?  It's just you, me, and Joel?  Ok.  Sounds good.

Pushing was one of my favorite parts.  Joel asked if he could do the counting and held one of my legs, while the nurse held my other.  Since my epidural wasn't strong, I felt the pressure in my lower back and knew when it was time to push. After a few minutes, she said that his head was already almost crowning.  I asked for the mirror for extra motivation, and it was incredible!  I could see his little head covered with black hair with every push. Joel did great counting and would take his dear sweet time at some points while I was holding my breath--thanks babe. After pushing for about 30 minutes, the nurse stopped me and got the doctor. We were about to meet Judah!

The third doctor of the day came.  Yes, third.  My doctor was out of town, and the on-call doctor was scrubbing in for surgery,  so I got my hospital's on-call doctor.  At this point, I didn't care who was down there.  With a few more pushes, I felt that his head was out, and in no time, I heard crying as the doctor held him up.

It was a little past 6 pm, and a feeling of such intense relief and thankfulness swept over me as Judah was placed on me.  Joel immediately started talking to him, trying to soothe him, and was even the first one to hold him.  I was in shock as he lay on my chest crying.  This was Judah.  He was finally here, and he was beautiful.  His head was so round and he didn't have a single red spot or blemish on him. I searched his face over and over again and could not get over the fact that I was holding our perfect son.  I can't even explain the feeling of happiness that I felt, but it was a top life moment for sure.

After Joel clamped Judah's umbilical cord, they took him and got him cleaned up a bit and did what they needed to do.  His temperature was a little low, so they had to turn on the light and not bathe him until he warmed up.  I couldn't wait to feed him and got to do so soon after.  It was amazing how he just knew what to do and immediately latched on.

Sidenote: Once they took Judah away, I looked at my right arm to find a huge, golf-ball sized knot where I had the pitocin going in my arm.  Apparently, when I bent my arm to hold Judah, it blocked my vein and the pitocin just kept pumping and pumping. It totally freaked me out! And I had a giant bruise for days.

So finally, Judah warmed up and was able to have a bath. Then we got to hold him again. Neither of us could wait to just be alone with our boy.

So that about wraps it up!  I can't express how wonderful the experience was and although it wasn't what we had in mind, I wouldn't have changed a thing.  The Lord is faithful and gifted us with Judah, to which we couldn't be more grateful and honored.  


Emily said...

You go girl! :) You'll be so glad you recorded these memories while they are still fresh. Can't wait to meet the little man!

Eryn Unglesby said...

LOVED this! LOL'd a few times too!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...