Nathan is 8 weeks old today. Right about this time of day on September 18th, I was sitting on my couch with my friend Cindy, eating Taco Bell and telling her how I was having strong contractions again. That morning I had woken up to contractions, which was unusual for me. I had had a lot of Braxton Hicks, but never until I had been up and moving around for awhile. Once I got up, my stomach started feeling a little queasy, which I knew was also a sign of labor. However, I had so many plans for the day, I just figured it was nothing and I went along with my day. Visited my parents that morning, contractions were still coming so I got out my timer - nothing regular. My mom and dad looked nervously at me, telling me I was probably going to have the baby that night. I said no way, and was planning to go to Lucas' gym class at 5pm. The contractions went away and I put the thought in the back of my mind, but not before calling Ryan to "warn" him that I was feeling a bit different.
Cindy and I talked and shared pregnancy stories for a few hours while Lucas took a long nap, we laughed at my contractions, saying Nathan probably wouldn't be around for another week or two. She left around 3pm, and shortly afterward, my grandma stopped by to drop off some goodies for us. By the time she left it was about 4:30 and I called Ryan, who convinced me to call the doctor. It was almost 5 on a friday, so he though we should call just in case. I did, and they told me to go to the hospital. I still wasn't convinced, but I agreed.
By the time I called Ryan back and told him to come home, called my father in law to pick up Lucas, alerted my mom and grandma, and grabbed the hospital bags, I was having contractions 5-10 mins apart and they were getting stronger. And by the time we were in the car on our way, I was convinced Nathan was on his way. When we arrived at Labor and Delivery around 5:30 the nurses looked at me and Ryan, unconvinced that we should be there. I think we looked too calm. I started getting annoyed. Then one of them asked if it was our first baby, and when we said no, they sprung into action. I guess it is true that second babies come quicker than the first!
They checked us in to a delivery room for monitoring, and it of course was the same room Lucas had been delivered in. Memories flooded my head and I almost started to cry. Luke's birth had been the most amazing yet difficult and somewhat traumatic experience for me, but I wanted to stay as calm and positive as possible. This time would be different. I just knew it. After an hour or so of monitoring, the nurse told us we would be staying to have our baby! We called our family, sent out text messages, and even alerted facebook!
The labor part went pretty smoothly. I had decided already that I wanted an epidural, so I had that done before the contractions got too painful. I was given some pitocin to speed things up, the on call doctor broke my water, and things started moving quickly. There was a bit of concern because I had a fever when I arrived, and the babys heart rate was elevated. It turned out I was just dehydrated from my extra busy day, in the heat, and I hadn't been drinking much at all. Once I had enough fluids his heart rate went down to normal and everything looked good.
The epidural worked great, but soon I could tell it was time to push. When the nurse confirmed this, I started to cry. The whole thing was so emotional for me. It had been a very personal decision for me to go with a normal delivery rather than follow my doctor's recommendations to have a C Section. I really felt like I was meant to have the true birth experience, and was prepared to deal with whatever happened to my body because of that.
With Ryan on one side of me, my dad on the other, and my mom, Ryan's mom, and my grandma all in the room with us, I had so much emotional support. Things took a bit of a turn when Nathan showed some signs of distress after awhile of pushing. I heard the nurse mention a vacuum, at which point I just closed my eyes, the doctor came running in, and a few minutes later our little miracle arrived, at 11:33pm. He was limp, blue, and not breathing but the amazing nurses took great care of him and within minutes he was perfect. It turned out they didn't need the vacuum. I did it, all by myself. Even with the epidural it was the most intense pain I had ever felt in my life. There were moments I though I couldn't breathe, couldn't push, felt overwhelmingly sick, but I did it anyway, and because of that I feel stronger than I have ever felt in my life.
Once they handed Nathan to me, he never left our sight. That first night, neither Ryan or I slept. We just held him close, marveled over the experience and how happy we were.
To Be Continued.... day 2 and the first 8 weeks.