Ethan Maverick G****
June 7, 2013
7 lbs 2 oz
Thursday, June 6
40 weeks 5 days
I kept myself very busy during the day - I took Emerson grocery shopping at Superstore, we made a trip to Costco for diapers and wipes, baked banana muffins, did a few loads of laundry, and was busy cleaning up the house in preparation for my mom's arrival on Saturday, and what I thought would be my induction date on Sunday.
I had been having lots of Braxton Hicks contractions throughout the week, and Thursday was no different. They were sometimes accompanied by back pain, and I was hoping that they were making me progress towards getting ready for labour - at my appointment 2 days previously I was 2 cm dilated, but my cervix was still very thick and posterior.
Around 7:30 pm, I put the kids to bed. Chris was teaching a class from 6-9 pm that night, and I had joked that maybe I'd just wait til he got home and then go into labour. Shortly after I put the kids to bed, I noticed that the contractions I was having were not as sporadic as they had been earlier in the day, and maybe I should time them. I downloaded a contraction timing app onto my iPhone and started timing them. They were about 30-50 seconds long, and coming every 10-12 minutes. I started cleaning up in the kitchen and kept timing as I worked. By 10 pm Chris was home and my contractions were still 10-12 minutes apart, and about 50-60 seconds long. I also had a bunch of bloody show when I went to the washroom around this time too.
Chris and I watched a movie - he did some work on his computer and I timed my contractions on the couch. They were moderately strong, but easy to breathe through. At about 11 pm we decided to get into bed - I wasn't sure how much sleep I was going to get, but since the contractions were still 12 minutes apart, I knew Chris would be able to get a half decent sleep that night, even though I was pretty sure we' d eventually be heading to the hospital the next day.
Friday, June 7, 2013
40 weeks 6 days
From 11 pm to 3 am, I tried to rest, and took a break from timing the contractions, but they were still coming every 10-12 minutes. At 3 am I decided to get up and go lie on the couch because I was becoming a little louder with my breathing and I didn't want to disturb Chris. From 3-4 am I timed my contractions on the couch (still 10-12 minutes apart, lasting 60 seconds) and wasted some time on the computer. At 4 am Chris came out to see how I was doing. I told him I was pretty sure these weren't going to go away, and they were getting stronger, even if not closer together. I had lots more bloody show when I went to the washroom at 4 am as well. Chris went back to bed around 5 am. At 5:30 am Eli woke up complaining that his eyes were watering (yes, he developed pink eye the same night I happened to go into labour! Lovely!) so I wiped his eyes, used some eye drops and sent him back to bed.
By 7 am, the kids were all up. I let Chris get up with them and went to lie down in bed again. I was pretty frustrated because the contractions were getting a lot stronger and harder for me to handle, but were still 12 minutes apart. I didn't want to head to the hospital and discover that I was still only 2-3 cm, so I thought I'd better keep waiting until they got closer together. I lay in bed until about 7:40 am - then I got up to get a drink of juice. As soon as I got out of bed, the contractions immediately jumped to 3-4 minutes apart and were lasting 60-90 seconds. They were painful enough that I needed to moan, vocalize and buzz my lips to get through them. I would lean on the counter, table, washing machine, or whatever I happened to be standing by when they came. I knew we were going to have to head to the hospital soon, but we didn't even have anyone lined up to watch our other kids!
We spent the next 15 minutes calling numerous people from church, lining up babysitters for our kids for the whole day (Funny, we thought we'd need babysitters for the entire day! We had someone coming right away, someone taking over at 1 pm and someone else taking over at 4 pm.) After we got that lined up we finished packing our things for the hospital. Chris packed himself a whole backpack full of work to do, anticipating many hours of waiting around in the hospital room. By 8:30 am I was REALLY struggling with the contractions and kept saying " we need to go NOW", but the babysitter hadn't arrived yet, because we told her to head over 40 minutes from when we called her. Finally at 8:45 she arrived and I barely made it out to the car. I could not talk or move through the contractions at this point. We started for the hospital - Chris had never been there before and didn't know where it was so I had to give directions! Thankfully it is a pretty direct route.
In the car I was contracting for 2 minutes at a time, with a 2 minute interval between each one. The drive was excruciating but I appreciated Chris driving fast because I was starting to get the sinking feeling that we had waited too long. With each contraction I was becoming louder and louder. I was also starting to feel pressure in my bottom each time, like I needed a bowel movement. This ultimately freaked me out because I was finally realizing how far along I must be. Between contractions I also started to feel slightly nauseous, and I kept burping. I thought about all the women who throw up during transition, and was pondering in my head what on earth I would do if I needed to throw up in the car. Thankfully nothing came up. I was also experiencing a tingling, numb feeling in my arms during the drive.
The drive to the hospital took about 20 minutes, and I'm sure there will be a number of speeding tickets in the mail on their way to our house! We pulled up to the emergency entrance and Chris helped me in. The receptionist at admitting took one look at me, grabbed a wheelchair, and sped off with me, running down the hall, leaving Chris to register and park the car. Up until that point poor Chris had no idea how serious the situation was - I hadn't been able to vocalize the feelings I had had in the car on the drive over. It was finally starting to become clear that we were in a real hurry when the nurse bolted off down the hallway with me!
She ran me all the way to the labour triage unit, where I was helped immediately into a bed and checked - I had no charts, wristbands, or identification of any kind still! At 9:10 am, the nurse declared me fully dilated and I sorrowfully and very pitifully begged her for an epidural, even though I knew it was too late! She said, "No, I think we'll just push a baby out instead!" I responded with an, "Oh, crap!"
Chris arrived just in time to run with the nurses and my bed down the hallway to the elevators on our way to the delivery unit. One of them said, " You'd better hurry up and come along Dad, she might have this one in the elevator!" Unfortunately, the elevator was out of order(!) so we raced down another hallway to the service elevator. I was lying in the bed as they wheeled me, pretty much hyperventilating, having trouble getting through the contractions. My arms were getting continually more numb, and my legs started as well. By the time we reached the delivery room, my entire hands had frozen and seized up into a very demented shape, and were completely immobilized. My arms were stuck in a bent shape, as were my legs and feet, and I couldn't move a single limb of my body. They had to drag me onto the delivery bed and pry my hands open to hold onto the handles down by the stirrups. The Dr. on call confirmed that I was fully dilated and could proceed with pushing as soon as I had a contraction.
The pushing stage is a huge blur to me. I was completely out of it and not focused. Having never done a delivery without an epidural before, I nervous beyond belief, which probably didn't help. They put the oxygen mask on me to calm me down. I still had no control over my hands, arms, or legs, so I had nurses and Chris holding my legs up for me, and numerous nurses and the Dr. attempting to coach me through the pushing. I have never been very vocal during the pushing phase before, but this time I couldn't help myself. Chris says I wasn't too loud, but there were a couple pretty nasty screams that escaped me as I attempted to follow their guidance and push him out. Finally my body did what it was supposed to do, and baby boy came into the world at 9:32 am, 22 minutes after we arrived at the hospital, and less than an hour since we left home.
I was still wearing my own shirt, having had no time or inclination to change into a gown. They placed a clean towel over my shirt and placed a very quiet, calm, and purple baby on my chest! He also was covered in meconium, since he pooped about 10 seconds after being born. He cried a few small cries to clear out his lungs, and then lay perfectly still on my chest, sleeping for about 30 minutes while I delivered the placenta (9:40 am) and was stitched up (small second degree tear). Because he came out so fast, baby was quite purple for a while, and I received a shot in the leg to aid in the contractions to bring my uterus back down. After I was stitched up, I breastfed him for 20 minutes and Chris and I wondered about how big he was, since he hadn't been weighed yet. He seemed very small to me and I knew he wasn't going to be anywhere near as large as his brothers.
We finally weighed him at 10:45 am, over an hour after he was born, and he was 7 lbs 2 oz, and 20.5 inches long. This was the biggest shock of all - our very smallest baby! Over 2 and a half lbs smaller than Emerson, he seemed absolutely tiny in comparison. We spent the rest of the morning getting cleaned up and letting the nurses catch up on all the paperwork, since none of it had been done before I delivered! Chris was able to go home just after lunch to be with the big kids at home. As soon as Emerson was up from his nap, they whole family headed to the hospital to meet our new arrival!
We carried on our "E" name tradition by naming him Ethan Maverick G****. Chris has been wanting to use Maverick as a middle name every time we have a boy, and I have turned him down every time! After the way this little boy decided to enter the world with such excitement, I decided it was rather fitting to finally use the name - he was quite the little rebel.
We stayed at the hospital for just 24 hours and were home by lunchtime the next day! Our family is now complete!
(pictures to come!)