At 4:00am my alarm went off and I rolled out of bed, not needing to hit snooze since I was already awake. Despite having crazy butterflies the day before, on this morning things were calm and peaceful.
Since I showered the night before I merely got dressed and straightened my hair. Because having a good hairdo is important for a safe and easy delivery (note the sarcasm). Okay, it's because I was attempting to look semi-put together. We snapped a picture a few minutes before we headed out the door to the hospital.
Since I was "past due" we didn't need to call ahead to see if there was room for us to come in. Past due, apparently, takes precedence when it comes to inductions. We walked in and the labor floor was calm and there was a group of nurses at the nurses station. They pulled my binder and got me into a room. While I "gowned up" my nurse Mary came in and started setting up. Since I wasn't in labor the process was easy and methodical. I was already in the system, so there was just some last minute paperwork to be filled out and put together. Mary set my monitors up and after awhile I started to notice that I was having Braxton Hicks contractions regularly. Mary informed me that they were 12-15 minutes apart. Although I secretly hoped it was my body telling me that today was the day, I took it instead as a good sign that this induction wouldn't be like Grace's at all.
I was checked before the pictocin was started and learned that my cervix and the baby's head were both pretty high still. In order to encourage the baby down I sat on a birthing ball. Please take note of the shape of my bed in the picture, Mary informed me that this position was called the "Queen's Throne." Who knew a hospital bed could do that?
My doctor came in and checked me. I was at a 4.5. While he was checking me, my water broke. It startled me and I started laughing which was causing the water to come out faster than my doctor was expecting. The whole situation struck me as hilarious and I couldn't stop laughing. After the doctor left I was talking to Aaron and said, "Can you believe my water broke when he was checking me?" to which Aaron responded, "That's because he broke your water, did you not hear him tell you beforehand?" It made the situation a whole lot less funny and apparently I have selective hearing.
After my water was broken my contractions became really intense really fast. Each contraction I had crept one number higher on my "1-10 pain scale." Suddenly breathing methods and focal points were traded for phrases like "Holy hell" (pardon my french) and me desperately gripping Aaron's arm and rubbing my face as hard as I could into his shoulder. Logical thought in any form or fashion was out the window. Aaron was wonderful as he let me grip the living daylights out of his hand and as he stood calmly with me and pretended like my sailor like language was totally lady like. I reached a point where I said "Nothing is worth this, I want an epidural." About 4 minutes later the anesthesiologist was there ready to go. I didn't feel a thing, aside from the contractions that made me want to snap my fingers right off. Rebecca, the anesthesiologist, was amazing and somehow got things situated so I could still feel my lower legs and feet but I couldn't feel the contractions. Once the medicine settled, my body was able to truly relax for the first time in nine months. Every pregnancy ache and pain was gone and the mere comfort of it all made me tired.
The room was already prepped and ready to go. There was just my doctor, my nurse, Aaron and the pediatric nurse in the room. I remembered how oddly crowded with hospital personnel my room seemed to be when I had Grace and this time around I soaked in how quiet things were with so few people there. After a few pushes on my part, it was clear that the baby was getting stuck in my pelvis. As his heart rate dipped, the doctor was pretty eager to get the little man out. After more pushing, more dips, more attempts to get the baby's heart rate back up, my doctor got the vacuum out. I could see him using the vacuum to maneuver the baby's head through my pelvis and after a quick episiotomy and one last push, the baby was out. His cord was wrapped once around his neck which was the cause of his heart rate dipping. My eyes filled with tears and the moments before they laid him on my chest felt like hours. I could see his little hands and feet and desperately wanted to look at his face. They laid him on my chest and I fell in love. He was finally here, my little boy. He seemed so brand new yet so familiar to me.
They took him for a few routine things, a quick relief of his bladder while on the warming table, and his measurements. We all took bets on what his weight was. The doctor and nurses both commented that he was a "big boy" but I wagered low and said he would be 7lbs 11oz, Aaron guessed 8lbs 3 ounces. He was 8lbs 7oz, 20 and 1/8 inches long.
He was here. And we could finally announce his name: Christian Clark
July 3rd was an incredible day. It was a birth experience that went 110% better than I ever expected. Despite having the cord around his neck he made a quick, safe, and easy arrival and I was so happy to have been in such good hands with the doctors and nurses. My boy had made his debut, and life was very very good.