Our baby Austin was born on January 21, 2014 at 7:24pm. These are the events leading up to his arrival:
Midnight: Mike & I go to bed1:15am: I wake up because my water breaks. What they don’t tell you at these labor & delivery classes is that initial breaking is not the last of the water… The water keeps on coming, and it is not a fun feeling.
2:00am: We finally get to the hospital after taking our sweet time packing our mostly-ready bags, getting dressed, walking the dogs once more, etc.
2:30am: The hospital begins to check us in after confirming that my water broke and that I am 3cm dilated.
3:00am: They ask if I’d like to sleep a bit as I’ll be needing the rest later, and I try. I probably get about an hour’s rest between contractions and hospital staff coming in to take vitals and other stuff.
7:00am: I can’t ignore the contractions any longer, so we get up and walk around and sit on a birthing ball.
8:00am: 6cm dilated! Nurse says, “I know you’re hungry, but I think you’ll have this baby before lunch, and you’ll be eating in no time!” (wrong. she was very wrong, but that happens sometimes….)
8:30am: I ask for an epidural because it hurts.
9:00am-ish: The anesthesiologist comes in to do the epidural which in and of itself kind of hurts and feels weird. He has to insert tube or whatever in me it twice because the first time he hit a blood vessel (or something).
9am-2pm: I feel GOOD… totally relaxed and good.
2:30pm: I say to Mike, “Labor is kind of boring…” and we start wondering how much longer this is all going to take. At some point, they start giving me pitocin to speed up the process.
4:30ishpm: I’m fully dilated, and they say I can push whenever I want, but that I’ll “know” when it’s time. I actually can’t tell- maybe the epidural is working too well?
4:45pm: It’s go time. I’m tired of waiting, and I want to meet this baby. We begin pushing with each contraction. Mike is a great coach, counting and helping me breathe, and eventually they can occasionally see the top of the baby’s head as I push. Unfortunately, he’s not coming out, and with each push, his heart rate decelerates.
6:45pm: We discuss and choose to do a c-section. They’re worried about his heart rate; they’re worried about how tired I am; they’re worried that he might be too huge to pass through even if I get his head out… I ask the obgyn on call if I should push the button for another dose of the epidural before going into surgery. She says, “yes, sure!” But she was wrong. You’re not really supposed to do that. The anesthesiologist chews her out in front of me, and in my drug-induced state I say, “you’re angry…”
7:00pm: We go into surgery, and they’ve numbed me for surgery, but the epidural that I took moves its way up my body, so that I can’t feel anything. I can talk, but I can’t swallow; I can’t feel my arms; it’s difficult to breathe. I am so out of it.
7:20pm: They ask Mike, “Dad, do you want to take some pictures?” So he stands up to take some pictures
7:24pm: I hear our baby wailing- he’s here! Mike says, “whoa.” And gets a good shot of him just as he enters the world. From the other side of the curtain I ask, “How big is he?” expecting at least an 8 pounder, but he’s tiny, just 6 & some change.
7:30pm: I meet our baby boy who is tiny and perfect, proof that love does actually multiply and grow… They ask if I want to hold him, but I still can’t feel my arms, so Mike does some initial skin-to-skin with the baby
8:00pm: I’m all stitched up, and in recovery, and will be in recovery for several more days.
The next days are spent in the hospital as I slowly learn how to be human again while also learning how to care for and feed the baby. On Friday, January 24th we come home to fend for ourselves!
Austin’s birth was not how I would’ve planned it if I had a choice. But he’s here, he’s healthy, and we’re learning how to be a family together, and in the end, that’s what matters.
I’m so grateful for the nursing staff who babied me while I babied my baby. I’m grateful for Mike who was by my side the whole time, and who changed all of Austin’s meconium diapers (which I never even saw!) I’m grateful for modern medicine that made Austin’s entry into the world possible. I’m grateful for all the calls, visits, and messages sent our way with all your love. And I’m grateful for a God who is present with us through it all… I actually found singing Taize hymns very helpful during contractions…“Nada Te Turbe” was one I found particularly helpful and kind of ironic because I was troubled indeed!