Wednesday, December 19, 2012
Charlie's Birth Story
Saturday I began to have a few contractions, but nothing too painful and nothing regular. Then they went away. Saturday night I woke up with a few contractions, but again they were irregular and I could talk through them. Ryan and I went downstairs to see if things would pick up, but after a couple of hours I told Ryan we should just go back to bed and if I fell asleep we knew that things were not progressing. I fell asleep.
Sunday, NOTHING happened. Maybe one or two contractions but mostly NOTHING. I was feeling very defeated and bummed that this baby was not going to come on time. So I called Nurse Maureen. She told me to tweak my nipples, take a walk, and eat something spicy. I got right on those nips, went to Target to walk around since it was freezing outside, and sent Ryan for some vegetarian sushi with extra wasabi. By the end of the night we still had no signs that birth was impending. So Ryan called his "just in case" substitute and told her he would be at work on Monday. We called daycare and told her that Paul would be there. I made a little list of things to do in order to keep myself busy.
Ryan and I went to bed disappointed. And then the clock struck 3 AM. I woke up with a pain that felt very familiar. I immediately got myself on all fours and rested my forehead on my pillow. In 1/2 hour I only had 3-4 contractions, but they were pretty serious in terms of pain, so I woke up Ryan. Ryan looked at me (on all fours) and called my mom within 10 minutes. Let me interject here and say both Ryan and I thought we were being very conservative on giving ourselves plenty of time to get to the hospital. Paul came quickly, and my one hope for this delivery was NOT to have the baby at home or in the car. My mom drove over while we finished up packing. I had a quick contraction in the kitchen with my mom watching, and my mother later reported that based on what she saw she thought we had plenty of time to get to the hospital and receive pain medication.
We left the house at 4:15. I requested that the radio be turned off and we drove the 10 minutes to the hospital in silence. It was very uncomfortable. Very. There had been part of me that thought I would have baby #2 without drugs, just as I did with Paul. I thought that when it was actually game time, I would tell myself that I had already done it once and I could do it just one more time. But during that drive to the hospital I changed my story. I was welcoming of the idea of a needle in my back and my legs becoming numb. I started to guess how far along I was. I was hoping for a 5.
We pulled into the very empty emergency room. They called up to labor and delivery and I was told to just have a seat while they came to get us. This was the longest part of the entire evening. I am sure it was only about 10 minutes that we were waiting, but it felt like FOREVER. Sitting down felt awful, so I stood up and draped myself over the chair and tried to get a grip. I am sure I was a sight to see. Finally, the nurse came through the double doors with a wheel chair and we were on our way. I could not sit in the chair without excruciating pain, so I walked. The nurse called ahead to the delivery room to get everyone ready. As we approached labor and delivery, the doctor followed all of us right into the room. I stripped off my clothes, but myself in an hospital gown and tried to lay down. But again, sitting back felt terrible, so I sort of sat sideways on the bed with my legs dangling off the side. The nurse told me that the anesthesiologist was just in the other room and the doctor asked to check how far along I was. As the doctor did her exam, I watched her face to try and get any clues about the dilation situation. After a minute she reported that she did not feel any cervix. I had to have her repeat the news. She said I could push whenever I felt the urge. I was sad for a second, knowing that I couldn't get an epidural, but then I was distracted as my water broke.
Since the doctor had to break my water when I had Paul, I always wondered if the water breaking was similar to what you see in the movies. My curiosity stemmed from wondering, if I was standing in front of my class of 16 year old students, would they know that my water had broken? The answer? It is way less dramatic than it is in the movies, but there is a bit of a popping sound. If you were wearing jeans, I think you could get away with it, but if it was summer and you were sporting a skirt or a dress, it would be a little harder to hide.
After two sets of pushing, the doctor told me that she could see a lot of brown hair. I was pretty surprised to hear this since Paul was a baldy. After the second round of pushing, I had to lay on my left side and get a bit of oxygen. They told me that the baby was a bit in distress, and I needed to push the baby out. And so I did. Ryan said I went in pure primal mode. I remember that it hurt a lot and I almost felt like I couldn't do it. In fact, I think I would have let anyone cut me open from head to toe, if that would have made the pain stop. But just as those thoughts entered my mind, I heard "look down, look down" and there he was. My 7 pound, 13 ounce baby boy. They brought him right up to my chest and I was instantly in love.
Charlie's oxygen was a little low, so they took him to the nursery to help him a bit. This was the only negative to my entire birthing experience. All of a sudden, Ryan was gone, Charlie was gone, and there were no nurses to be found. I was alone for almost 30 minutes, not sure if the baby was okay. My purse was across the room, and I couldn't get my phone to call my mom. Finally Ryan came back to tell me that everything was okay, that Charlie received a bath and was breathing just fine. He gave me my phone and headed back to be with the baby. I called my mom, who thought I was checking in after getting an epidural. She was surprised to hear that baby had already been born. So was I. The contractions had started at 3 AM and Charlie was born at 5:02.
I was wondering how I would feel after having my second son. How he would fit into our family? What would Paul do? How would we make this all work? But those worries were for nothing. Charlie just fits. It is like he has always been here, right where he should be. You don't have to find the extra love or patience. It just grows. My heart is so full and I am feeling beyond blessed to have two healthy boys that are surrounded by so much love. I cannot express the gratitude I have for my little family of four! Welcome to the world Charlie Ryan!