Thursday, September 6, 2012

Luke's Arrival

It's funny how having same experiences does not necessarily mean you will have the same experiences.  Perfect example: Child Birth.  I've now gone through three (weird--- still getting used to that) and all three were completely different.  Jared's birth was late, Annabelle's early, so what was I to expect with Luke?  Or was I being foolish for even expecting anything?

When we first found out I was pregnant with Luke and did the Due Date calculation, I automatically counted back two weeks, just in case he decided to come early like his sister.  September 1st then became our goal date; here it also happens to be the school cut off date.  I just had a feeling about weekend (plus it was a full moon HOLIDAY weekend).

So--- almost nine months later, last weekend finally arrived.  I was miserable with a capital M.  ON Thursday, my weekly doctor's visit was mostly upsetting because I barely progressed the littlest bit since my visit the week before.  We weren't even talking about inductions, I was going so slow.  My doctor even parted with the four most hated words by full term pregnant women everywhere: "See you next week."  I was really hoping to see you sooner than that actually to get this baby OUT.

Luke must have sensed some of my tenseness because my contractions picked up on Friday.  Just like my previous two experiences, they were never very regular, incredibly annoying and usually painful.  I started thinking that maybe this is when my body really does start to kick it in (Jared's could have been unique since he was my first).  Maybe Luke was going to be born 2 weeks early, just like his sister.  It's pretty much a wait and see game by this point, so we went to bed.

At 2 a.m., I thought my water broke.  However, it wasn't so bad that we decided to try and get some sleep before going to the hospital.  Greg fell right back to sleep.  I did not;  kind of hard when you think that you're about to go through the whole Labor and Delivery process.  Yeah, I didn't sleep the rest of the night and finally pried Greg out of bed at 430 am and we were out the door by 5.  Luckily, we were already prepared for an early arrival because of our experience with Annabelle.  And we didn't have worry about the kids because we have amazing friends surrounding us who were ready to help.

We get to the hospital a little before 7 to start the triage process.  All the wonderful procedures they do to absolutely make sure they're keeping you to have a baby that day.  Triage reminds me of the rooms they always show in sitcoms; it's one big room separated by a bunch of curtains.  I overheard a couple other birth experiences of the day: one teenage, another c-section prep and the last an over-anxious first-time mom being sent home.  I really connected with the last one I overheard because I had been there before and was about to be there again.  No one likes to be told the pain they're experiencing is truly nothing and go home to play the waiting game some more.  After all the preparation, it turned out that my water was still intact and we were getting sent home--- this was a little before 9 am.

After a little bit of IHOP goodness on the way home, we finally arrive home to start our Saturday a little bit later.  Apparently though, my body had different plans.  I could barely move once we got home and since I didn't sleep well the night before, Greg planted the older two in the playroom and locked me in our bedroom, so I could get some rest.  This lasted until 12, when my contractions picked up and my water actually broke.  I got to the bathroom as fast as I could and banged for Greg through the walls to get going to actually have the baby this time.  Jared was the one who heard by banging and ran into the office to tell Greg: "Mommy is hitting the walls."  Whoops.  He came in and I told him the news, we were going back to the hospital.

I couldn't believe the difference between 'not sure' and 'for sure' water being broken.  Night and day.  You think since I experienced it with Annabelle, I would have remembered these things.  I chalk that one up to 'pregnancy brain.'

We arrived back to Triage at 2, with everyone recognizing me from the morning.  Unfortunately, I didn't have the same nurse, so I had explain everything all over again PLUS she had to double and triple check that my water was actually broken.  Yep, I'm pretty sure, but go ahead and make me even MORE uncomfortable.

Previous experience with the first two kids told me at this point that I would stall until I got Pitocin.  I also knew I wanted an Epidural before that stuff was anywhere near my system.  I had a sneaking suspicion that the Pit would work even faster this time.  However, since it was the weekend, we had to wait for the one on-call doctor from the practice to give the go-ahead for any step forward.  This is the only thing I do not like about having a baby on the weekend... I don't get my own doctor.  I'm really hoping that doesn't happen again, unless my doctor happens to be the one on-call.

From 3pm to 7pm, the on-call doctor is busy with other patients; mostly c-sections or first-time moms (at least that's what my nurses told me).  The best part about the whole wait--- I watched the Cardinals come from behind to beat the Nationals.  Greg passed the time by napping (recovering from Mono still), playing games, and updating family.  The worst part--- knowing I could have been done, recovering and eating by the end of that period--- if the doctor would have had five minutes to listen.

I finally see him at 7 and we order my Epidural.  Unfortunately, that doctor was stuck in another C-Section and wasn't able to come until 8--- everything finished at 830 pm.  Nurse then started the Pit drip at 9 pm.  I mentioned my secret goal of having him before midnight and she said, "oh honey, I don't think it'll work that fast, but I guess we'll see."  Personal challenge excepted.  Since it was nighttime by the point, we waited for me to progress by sleeping.  

Besides the nurse coming in to rotate me every 20 minutes, I 'slept' for a good hour and a half.  'Slept' meaning I had my eyes closed, but never lost consciousness.  Around 11, the nurse comes in and I told her I felt a little different, possibly ready.  I didn't feel the insane urge, like with Annabelle, it was more like a 'hmm, time for the baby' urge.  I think it was because I had very little sleep that whole day.  She checked me at 11 and, lo and behold, I'm complete.

So, just like always, she dashes away to get the room ready.  Except, since it was the middle of the night, my nurse was the only one getting ready.  Around 1115, the doctor comes in and by this point, I'm awake and ready.  I then told the them and Greg that I'd have the baby before midnight.  I don't think they believed me; Greg knew I pushed well, but 45 minutes?  Before everything was ready, the nurse gave me the typical rundown of pushing... push for 30 seconds, take a break, repeat.  Yeah, I know.  Silly lady.  At 1130, I started pushing.  The doctor was so surprised at Luke's progress in the one push that he had me keep going.  Luke was born at 1156 pm.  Just in time.  Just like Annabelle, he didn't wail and wail; he just quietely looked at the new world around him.  We stayed in the Labor room until 2ish when they finally moved us to recovery and we all got some much needed sleep.

Ready to Go Home
Overall, this was the most relaxed of all three births.  We only had 4 people (not including Luke) during his birth and it was so peaceful.  The whole time I felt this extreme amount of love for my family, especially Greg and Luke.  I also felt overwhelmed with gratitude that our prayers were answered, after struggling with miscarriages last summer. 

The whole thing took longer than Annabelle's, but that part of it was completely out of my control, so how would it have helped if I worried about it?  Since it was a holiday weekend, and I had him so late, we stayed at the hospital through Monday afternoon.  I feel pretty good for having had a baby less than a week ago; Greg has been able to stay home all week.  The true test comes on Monday, when it'll be 1 versus 3.  Let's hope that goes well, but if experience has taught me one thing it is to expect the unexpected.

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