Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Tyler's {birth} story.

   I really wanted to write this out before too much time passes and the details become fuzzy. Birth stories seem intensely personal to me and I want to be able to recall or read the stories of first meeting my boys years from now when they're older. Unedited, personal stories are my favorite and I don't want to forget any of the big and little things that marked the moment I met my youngest son!

{Read more after the break} 

  I'll start by saying that it seems my body isn't meant to carry to full term and my kids are just in a hurry to arrive. With Caleb, my water broke a day before 37 weeks. I knew there was a good chance I would deliver a bit early this pregnancy, but had mentally prepped to go overdue. Because no one wants to set themselves up to be miserable at the end of pregnancy!
  Our first hints that Tyler was on his way started on Thanksgiving. I woke up pretty early to consistent {not painful} contractions every 2-7 minutes apart. And they didn't stop. We called the doctor and she recommended not driving too far away, so we stayed home all day. While the contractions didn't stop or slow down, they did vary in intensity and never became really painful. In fact, I kept contracting regularly {every 2-7 minutes} until my 38 week appointment on Tuesday afternoon. 
  When I woke up Tuesday, December 1st, I noticed the contractions were a bit more intense but didn't want to think too much of it. I met a friend at the gym and we walked a few miles. On my way home, the contractions were a bit more intense but still really bearable. After feeding Caleb lunch, I put him down for his nap and noticed I was having a hard time moving through the contractions. Still not crazy painful, just distracting. I had a small inkling that it might be real labor, but didn't want to get my hopes up. I did the dishes, swept the house, added toiletries to my hospital bag, did some laundry, took a shower- really just trying to keep my mind off the contractions and not worry too much about them since I knew I'd be seeing the doctor that afternoon anyway. I was so skeptical about it being real labor that I didn't mention anything to Justin about it at all.
  After Caleb woke up from his nap, I loaded us both into the car and made the 10 minute drive to the doctor's office/hospital for my appointment at 3:30pm {my dr's office is attached to the hospital, which is great!}. I had a bit of a hard time getting Caleb out of the car, in his stroller, and up the elevator to the office; stopping every few minutes to breath through contractions. I small talked with the nurses as she found the heartbeat and took my blood pressure {which was surprisingly low!}. When the dr walked in, I was a bit distracted with a contraction and we talked a little about how I'd been feeling since calling her a few days before. She checked me and I was only 4cm, but she knew I was contracting. She told me the baby was coming that day and I should head home to walk or hang around the hospital for an hour or so and be checked again for any progression. I sort of downplayed it, but couldn't really talk much through my contractions at this point. She changed her tone and became pretty serious. She made me promise to drive around to the hospital entrance and go right up to labor and delivery. But I didn't want to be sent home! So I convinced her to let me drop Caleb off at my sister's and then head up if I still felt contractions. She was hesitant and thought I was a bit crazy, but let me go. 
  On the elevator down, I called Justin and let him know I might be in labor and was going to head to L&D after dropping Caleb off. He made plans to leave work and head to our house to get a few things ready for my mom in case the baby really did decide to come. That was at 3:50pm.
  I packed Caleb up and made the 5 minute {literally} drive to my sister's house to drop Caleb off. I was still contracting and couldn't really talk to her so I unloaded him and he walked himself into the house while I got back in the car. I drove back to the hospital and headed up to L&D where I knew they'd put me in triage before admitting me. 
  And all of that is probably the longest part of the story, time wise! As soon as I got to triage, things moved FAST. I had to wait in my triage room for probably 15 minutes until the nurse came to hook up the monitors and check my progression. She decided to go ahead and check me first {I was contracting every 2 minutes or less and couldn't talk through them or look at her at all}. Her face was priceless as she checked me- she was so shocked and exclaimed immediately that we would be wheeling straight to L&D! I was 8/9cm and ready to break my water. I offered to walk so she didn't have to push the bed, and she just laughed and said I would break my water if I even stood up. I called Justin right away to let him know he might want to hurry. It was 4:40pm.
  They wheeled me straight to my delivery room and I asked for my epidural! My contractions were bearable, but pretty painful. I've heard of so many people pushing and laboring for hours and, in case that ended up being my situation, I didn't want to exhaust myself if there was an option for relief. I don't need to be anyone's hero by enduring more pain than necessary! But when the anesthesiologist walked in 5 minutes later, he asked me if I was serious about an epidural since I had already done the work pretty much. I told him I didn't want to push forever in pain and he sort of laughed at me because he didn't think that would be my case. I didn't care! I had my IV started and then he got to work and Justin walked in at this point. It was 5:10pm.
  They wanted the epidural to have time to set in so I was rolling around and trying to get it flowing. We couldn't get it to work on my left side and I could still feel all my contractions, but it was still such a relief since the pain was cut in half. My dr came in and checked me again {I was fully dilated}, breaking my water. She let me know that since I could feel my left side, I would know when it was time to push and the baby was low enough. She and the nurses left the room to grab some things {important stuff like my hospital bracelet, epidural consent forms, and all the things you usually do before getting to this point!}. The moment she stepped out I calmly told Justin I could feel the baby really low and was probably ready to push, but we could wait until everyone came back. He didn't agree and immediately left to find everyone. They all came back and moved to the bed so I could push. I started pushing at 5:36pm and, three contractions later at 5:40pm, Tyler was on my chest! I felt a relief on my last push, but didn't think there was any way I was already done! 
  It was all so fast and furious! I progressed crazy fast and, since I was unconvinced all day about being in labor, I just didn't have time to process any of it. Looking back, there are a handful of things I really want to remember. Sitting in the triage room by myself {while I waited for the nurse} and contracting on my own- I did a lot of deep breathing, gritting my teeth, and just being really prayerful for whatever my body was doing and the little life depending on me. Justin rushing into the room, all exasperated and in disbelief that this baby was coming now. Justin exclaiming after my first push, "Look at the dark hair! He has a headful of brown hair!". Seeing his gooky newborn self held up in the air and willing him to cry and to cry hard- and then hearing that sweet sound of life. Immediately having him placed on my chest and feeling him settle right away and being able to cuddle with him for the longest time- he was here! 
  Just like with Caleb's delivery, it was so surreal. One of those experiences you just want to bottle up.  Justin counted his fingers and toes and we noticed Tyler's perfectly round head. We both mentioned over and over that we couldn't believe he had brown hair. I kept looking at him and soaking in his newborn sounds. I must have kissed his head 50 times. I felt my stomach deflate immediately and all over again was amazed at what my body had just done. 
  As I handed Tyler off eventually to be weighed and measured and wrapped up, I was in awe of the miracle of pregnancy, labor, and delivery.  I don't say that lightly. One miscarriage and two healthy births later and I am confident it is a miracle to hold a healthy baby at the end of those 40 weeks. Such a sweet miracle. Watching Justin and Tyler over by the warmer, I remember feeling so small. Maybe that sounds silly since I had just birthed a baby. But I was overwhelming aware of how big God is and how he is the only one who can do really great, huge things like create new life and stitch it all together so perfectly. 
  Tyler was born so quickly and the delivery was pretty easy on my body, so we were able to head to our postpartum room as soon as he maintained his body temperature. My epidural wore off quickly and we were able to settle into our room by 7:30 or so. We had a few visitors that evening {my mom and sister}, but it was overall really quiet with the three of us. It was all a bit hectic when Caleb was born, so this was just right. 
  A week later, and I still can't believe how fast it all happened and that I was just pregnant and the Tyler is actually here. But it did, I was, and he is. Our new normal is so sweet, and while I know we'll have hiccups and tantrums and I will inevitably feel overwhelmed at some point, I'm enjoying this. I'm soaking up newborn snuggles, but also putting him down to play with my toddler. I'm asking Justin for a bit more help around the house. We're not sure if we'll have any more kiddos or if Tyler is our little caboose, so I'm glad I have his story written down. And I'm determined to keep documenting his little quirks and milestones, just like I did with Caleb!

Ps. Read Caleb's birth story here

1 comment:

Katie @ My Darling Days said...

Congratulations!!! I love that you shared this with us, because I love reading these. Pregnancy, labor, and delivery is truly a miracle... I can't wait for my turn some day... and pray that it goes as seamlessly as yours!