Sunday, April 25, 2010

And Then We Were Five

One year ago, you entered our family.

Due to what would happen just days after your birth, I never did get around to writing your birth story.  And I'm not about to let the fact that you're the third, or that Mama nearly died when you were a leeetle baby, or any other reason keep you from having what Kelsey and Colton have - my candid record of just how you came into this world!

(As an aside; this is not in lieu of a birthday letter, because that is coming too - will be up before the week's end)

You were born on a Saturday.

The Wednesday prior, I had my 39 wk check-up, and just about cried in the doctor's office.  I'd had a few episodes of contractions and had signs of impending labor for weeks, yet had only made, maybe, .5 cm progress in 3wks.  We discussed induction at that appointment, but opted to wait and see if the doctor roughing me up a bit would suffice at getting you on your way out.  Later that night, it appeared that it was going to work.  I had contractions 5-8 minutes apart for HOURS and threw up my dinner before church due to the pains.  But it was all for naught.

On Thursday, Daddy and I walked, and walked, and walked, among other things, but uh, you probably don't want to think about that!  And I contracted, but nothing regularly.  By day's end, we'd called the doctor's office and scheduled your eviction.  We would induce on the morning of Saturday, April 25th.  You were "due" on Monday the 27th, but our doctor was sympathetic to our plight.

I nested all day Friday with Daddy's help.  The excitement built.  It was so different.  With your sister, I went in with complications and we had a medically necessitated induction.  With your brother, he poked a hole in his bag of water somewhat early but then had second thoughts about coming out.  With you, we picked the day and knew you'd be here that day.

On the big day, knowing that we were headed to the hospital to meet you, I got up, showered, and put make-up on.  I told Daddy that since I knew what the drill was and hadn't with your siblings, I figured at least my "just delivered" pictures with you should at least be pretty!  I asked him if he thought that was silly or vain, and lucky for him, he assured me that he thought it was perfectly rational and understandable.  It was his third time around the pregnancy block, he knew that hormones needed appeased by now!

Nana and Papa had come up and stayed the night with Kelsey and Colton, so we said goodbye and took a picture before leaving.

Daddy and I drove to the new hospital in which you were born and wondered aloud how things would go.

We checked in at 7:00 am.

After paperwork, undressing, getting hooked up and all the other rigamarole that is hospital admissions, it was about 9:30am before the pitocin began to pump.

The doctor on call was not my normal doctor, but she was ok.  We didn't really see so much of her as we did of Brenda, the amazing L&D nurse we were assigned for the duration of the induction.

Nana and Papa came in (they'd gone to a health fair with the other kids), and soon Grammy and Gramps followed.  We watched tv and played games.  Kelsey left to go to a friends' birthday party in the area.

Around noon, the doctor came in and asked how I was feeling.  Pretty decent, I told her - the contractions were really not bad.  She frowned at that and told me she'd hoped to hear that I was starting to get uncomfortable by now.

At 3:00, I was starting to really feel the contractions and was breathing thru them rather than just riding them.  I'd told Brenda how with Colton I fought the pain for so long, avoiding the epidural because I was progressing slowly and I feared stalling once an epidural was administered, yet once I finally had gotten the epidural, I went from 4-10 in an hour and a half.  It was at this point that she reminded me of this, as well as the fact that since I had low blood pressure, I would have to take IV fluids prior to an epidural being administered (to avoid me passing out as BP dips with an epi) and that would take a minimum of 45 minutes.  She encouraged me to stay ahead of my pain, and not let it go to a point that that 45 minutes of IV would be too much.

The doctor came and checked me, and I had gone to 3 cm, I'd walked in at 2.5 cm, in the 5 1/2 hours of pitocin.

Brenda's words won out.

I got the IV, and at 4:15, my epidural was administered.  They broke my water at that point, and I immediately dilated to 4 cm.

4:55 - check, great news, you're at 7! 

Before Brenda got to input the data from the doctor's examination into the computer, I told her that I was feeling a lot of pressure.  And that was because in just 2 seconds* I was at 8.  She was going to call the doctor back in, because she had a feeling I was going to go fast from here.

* that's what it felt like anyway.

Sure enough, I was at 10 before the doctor's equipment was fully laid out.

Your heart rate had some decelerations during the peak of the contractions leading up to this point, and after I began pushing, the doctor and Brenda exchanged a Look that frightened me.

"Heather, you need to push this baby out as fast as you can, ok?" ordered the doc.  "This is baby number 3 and should be old hat."

I pushed, 3, maybe 4 times? 

You crowned and there was a hush in the room.

And then you were out.  It was almost effortless, which seems an oxymoron for any labor.

But it the triumph of an easy delivery was overtaken by the fact that my baby was silent.

My heart palpitated in limbo.

Why isn't he crying?  Why isn't my baby crying?!?  C'mon baby, just cry!

They took you away and rubbed you and spanked you and suctioned when, F.I.N.A.L.L.Y. you cried.

I realized I'd been holding my breath.  My heart surged with joy.  The endorphins pushed play from their paused state and my body buzzed with elation and fatigue.  I looked over at your Daddy and we cried.

At last, they placed you on my chest, and I kissed your face.  You shivered and trembled on my torso as I too became wracked with tremors.  You were devoid of the waxy vernix and carried the rusty musky scent of the sanguine birthing fluids you'd just bathed in.  You had so much hair, and clearly red hair at that too.  The wives tale about heart burn held true on this one!

Your skin was so dry in appearance, cracked and flaking off with scratches everywhere.  We'd find out later that your appearance was that of a post-term baby - so who knows if you were actually overdue or if I just cooked you a little warmer than appropriate?
The doctor questioned how I felt, and I told her that I felt great - that it was the easiest birth yet and of course it was great to be holding the prize at long last :).  She told me that a lot of women hated people like me, that she didn't just mean the easy birthing part, but that she bet you were over 9lbs and here I was saying it was easy.  I thought she was off her rocker because you seemed small-average to me.  We have this on video tape, too.  Which is funny because she was way off - you weighed in at 7 lbs 2oz.

You did give us a scare though, the heart rate decelerations were because you had your cord around your neck twice and also around your chest and tucked up under your armpit.  Your early APGARs were low, but the second ones were good, thankfully.

You nursed like a champ when we got to it, which was when Kelsey and Colton came in to meet you.  And your grandpas, and uncles, etc.  Grammy and Nana were in the room at your delivery, so they let everyone get a good look at you before they held you.

Kelsey gave you your first bath, with the aid of the nurse.  And, while I was already in love with you, it was breathtaking to see her give her heart to you in those moments.

Colton's "moment" came with you the next day.

You captured our hearts forever on the day you were born.

From thenceforth, we were five.

Happy Birthday Christopher.


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  1. A year already? Wow! Happy Birthday to both of you. =)

  2. That was adorable ... thank you for sharing Christopher's birth story.

    Happy Birthday to your little man!