“I can’t wait to read your birth story” seems to be a common remark lately. I had a hard time deciding, as odd as this sounds for a blogging mama, how much of his birth story I want to share. I guess the natural thing would be to just start writing and see where it leads me.
Obviously this means the Diaper Bag Confessions Baby #4 has made his triumphant arrival. He was born a bit earlier than expected.. but we were all ready for him to be here and the dramas of the pregnancy to be over. He was born at 37 weeks 2 days – “early term” is how they refer to him. He was 4 pounds 15 ounces and 17 3/4 inches – “small for gestational age” they say.
Regardless of the labels and terminology, he is a strong, healthy little boy who never needed any additional care outside of the realms of a normal newborn, with the exception of blood glucose monitoring for the first 24 hours.. This is apparently routine for babies of his size.
His labor and delivery took me by surprise and was quite memorable. I had just seen my doctor at 2:00 in the afternoon. By 4:00 pm the contractions had started. I tried to sleep and couldn’t. Decided to take a family walk.. I made it one block and had to turn around. I ate dinner and argued with myself about whether or not I was in labor, after all.. I just had an appointment and it could easily just be cervical irritation. At 7:00 pm, when nothing was helping the contractions subside, my husband put the kids to bed, we called his parents and headed to the hospital. (This was playing out exactly how I hoped.. Kids put to bed as normal by us with little disruption in the routine!)
I wish I could say “then Tada! We had a baby..” But I can’t. Despite the contractions that were occurring every 3 minutes, no progress was being made and the hospital staff wanted to send me home. On the instruction of my doctor, I was sent home at 11:30 pm on “therapeutic rest” — basically a drug concoction to help me sleep. If it was false labor, I would sleep through it and eventually it would stop. If it was real labor, the rest would help with progress and eventually I’d be unable to sleep through the contractions.
We arrived home and I immediately fell asleep on the couch. That “rest” concoction was amazing stuff. However, 1:00 am arrived and I awoke. I woefully stumbled my way upstairs in tears. “I can’t sleep through this!!” I cried to my husband. He called the hospital.. “They sent her home at 11:30.. But now she’s in a lot of pain…” They instructed us to return. So, another call to the in-laws and another drive to the hospital. After a short pit stop for me to vomit in the parking lot (Seriously.. A lot of pain!), we made it back into the hospital around 1:45 am.
“You’ve progressed.. A little.. ” they said. “We’ll call your doctor and see what she wants to do.” She chose to have them give me IV fluids and keep me for monitoring. The intensity of contractions picked up.. But progress was sloooow coming. “We can’t admit you until we know you’re in actual labor.. and labor is defined as regular contractions that cause dilation and effacement..” The nurse said. Frustrated, I pleaded with them not to send me home again. I just knew I was in labor.. I had the regular contractions part.. I just needed the dilation! Fortunately for me, my doctor clearly knew it was actual labor as well. She continued to instruct them to keep me there and monitor me.
5:00 am came. BAM! Progress. FAST progress. “We’re going to go call her, now!” I was relieved. My doctor was on her way, as was my blissful epidural. “We’re going to try and hurry through the admitting process now!” Yeah.. I had yet to actually be admitted and that apparently needed to be completed prior to my epidural.
My doctor arrived, cracked a few jokes about me keeping her up all night and then everything stopped. “You stopped progressing.. Baby turned himself and he’s facing sideways. His shoulders won’t make it through this way.. So we need to get him to spin..”
That process was ridiculous and lasted over an hour. I had some great conversations with my doctor and husband.. Neither of which had left my side. My nurse’s shift ended at 7:00 am – she clocked out and returned to my room. “I’m staying for this.. I’ll go home when he’s here!” she said. Finally, at 7:44 am our little boy made his grand arrival. Much smaller than anyone anticipated, but much stronger than anyone expected.
This pregnancy was a physical and emotional roller coaster. Now that it’s over and I have this beautiful little baby in my arms, I am so thankful to have him and that he’s healthy. Especially after seeing the large bruise-like spot on his placenta – The source of the hemorrhage. This baby may be small, but he is mighty.
He is the perfect addition to our family and his brothers all love him so much. He’s 2 weeks and 5 days old now (today is his official due date!) and while we’re still adjusting to the balancing act of a new baby.. So far, four kids isn’t too overwhelming. Trying to balance adding in blogging is a little more difficult, but I’m figuring it all out. Slowly.