I know things have been a little quiet on the blog front lately and I don’t want anyone to worry, I’m not going anywhere! Hell Month has been upon us with a vengeance and I haven’t had as much time to write as I would like but I’ll be posting with more regularity when things calm down… if they ever do.
We’ve had some fun things happening on the home front lately. Now that Chuck’s done with school and baby #3 is on the way we decided to convert Chuck’s home office into a playroom. The baby can sleep in there in a bassinet at night and the kids toys are now concentrated into one area to make my life a little easier.
I also found this GORGEOUS print in my basement and I want to try to restore it so it can be put on display. I’ve gotten some good tips on what I can do to clean it up so I’ll be documenting that on the blog too. We have some other big projects on the horizon but they’ll have to wait for Hell Month to be over.
Today is my little guy’s fourth birthday and I can barely believe it. How is he four already?!?! I feel like he was just born yesterday and now he’s this coltish little boy who’s all arms and legs and love. I’ve seen other people post their children’s birth stories and I ❤ them all so much so I thought I’d post Chucky’s on here. If you don’t want to hear about unmedicated childbirth feel free to skip the next few paragraphs.
Chucky was due on May 17th, 2014. I had been suffering from terrible back pain and we’d been staying with my mother in law so I could sleep in her Tempur-Pedic bed. For at least a week leading up to his due date I would resort to pacing around the first floor, groggily finding my way around tables and couches until I was more tired than I was in pain so I could go back to sleep. In the early morning hours of my due date I vaguely remember waking up a few times feeling some kind of crampy pain in my stomach, but because I have a history of extremely painful periods my sleep deprived brain wrote it off as incoming menstrual cramps and I willed myself back to sleep. I finally woke up around 9:00 AM and remembered that I was pregnant and would not and should not be having menstrual cramps (I’m not the sharpest tool in the shed when I’m pregnant). Something was happening.
I laid there for a while, wondering what the pain could be and I realized they were happening fairly regularly. I quickly downloaded a few contraction timer apps, figured out which one was easiest to use, and started timing them. I wasn’t sure I was feeling contractions, they still felt like menstrual cramps to me, and I had a hard time determining when they started and ended. At no point did they feel unbearable or overwhelming, which is what I thought a contraction would feel like. After screwing around with the app for almost an hour I figured out that they were coming roughly ten minutes apart.
I called Chuck and told him to come home and I went upstairs to tell my mother in law. I explained to both of them that I thought I was in labor and they told me I would know if I was. I said it was better to be safe than sorry so I went to shower while they chuckled at me. Apparently, Chuck decided to eat his breakfast before coming back so it was almost an hour later before he showed up (Men. *eyeroll*).
By the time he arrived my cramps were five minutes apart and I was fairly sure I was in labor. I called my doctor and she told me to go to the hospital so they could check me out. Once I was sitting in the car the cramps were fairly painful but still nothing I couldn’t handle. At the hospital they brought me into the examination room and I was 7 cm dilated. The baby was coming and he was coming soon.
We were taken into a labor and delivery room and I was hooked up to an IV for the first time in my life and I HATED it. I have a moderate fear of needles, I like to close my eyes and babble about how much I hate them when I have to give blood and I have been known to conveniently forget a doctor appointment to avoid needles altogether so getting an IV was my worst nightmare. In addition to dealing with steadily worsening contractions I also had some stupid needle in my hand and it made the experience traumatic. I know you think I’m being a drama queen but I don’t care, needles suck.
Over the next two hours or so my contractions got worse and worse until I was groaning and writhing with each one while Chuck kept up a running commentary on their severity by watching the monitor. Example:
Me: *wordless yelling*
Chuck: That wasn’t as bad as the last one.
Me: *Death stare*
My nurse was a sweet woman who kept rubbing my leg and gave me encouragement while I struggled through the pain. I even got to a point where I was almost falling asleep between contractions because I was so worn out. There was another nurse who was checking on us who suggested that I stop yelling and save my strength but I ignored her. My water hadn’t broken yet so they broke it for me and things started happening very fast.
At around 2:00 I was fully dilated and feeling strong urges to push but my cervix wasn’t completely effaced (I don’t even know what that means that’s just what I was told). The doctor on duty told me I could hold off on pushing and wait for it to soften or whatever or he could reach in and forcibly push it out of the way to the baby could start coming out. I don’t remember saying words, I was incapacitated at the time, but I think Chuck got the gist of it and told the doctor to do it. So he did. And it hurt. But we were able to move on so it was worth it but it probably helps that I don’t remember this part very well.
From that point on I couldn’t stop pushing if I wanted to. At one point my vision started going black because I forgot to breathe but I took a minute to recover and we kept going. At another point they asked me to stop pushing because the baby’s heartbeat was dropping dangerously every time I pushed but no matter how I tried I couldn’t stop it. They decided the best thing to do was to get the baby out as quickly as possible.
My hospital bed was apparently a transformer and they were able to change it into some kind of chair with stirrups on it and with the help of gravity our baby boy was born at 3:15 PM. I was in active and painful labor for maybe two hours. Feel free to hate me.
They put the baby in all his warm, squishy glory on my chest and I was in shock that a baby had just come out of me. It was the weirdest sensation I’d ever had in my life. After staring wildly at the baby and Chuck for a few minutes, trying to come to grips with the fact I had just had a BABY, they took him to the bassinet to clean him up and then gave him back to me.
I had finally had a chance to calm down and I was marveling at the perfection of his little fingers when I realized the nurses were whispering urgently to each other. Apparently, the cute little grunting noises the baby was making as he was breathing were not as cute as I thought they were. As quickly as he had come into the world he was whisked away to the NICU with some scattered explanations of breathing issues and collapsed lungs. No biggie.
Chuck and I sat in the quiet and empty delivery room, confused and scared for almost an hour before a doctor came in to see us. They had given the baby an x-ray and it turned out he had a pneumothorax, an air bubble between his lung and the skin on his chest, that was making it difficult for him to breathe. They had given him a feeding tube and attempted to give him a breathing tube but he had fought them so hard they decided to hold off to see what they did. I was a little confused as to why a room full of people with advanced medical degrees were allowing an hour old infant to dictate whether or not he had a breathing tube but I didn’t ask too many questions. I was told I wouldn’t be able to hold him that day so I stroked his little arm through a hole in the incubator and cried.
In hindsight, it was almost comical that he was in the NICU. At 8 lbs 12 oz. he easily dwarfed every other baby in the ward. He was a tangle of wires and sensors not out of necessity but as a precaution. His pneumothorax was of initial concern to the doctors because they weren’t sure of its severity but as it dissipated without medical intervention, it became a waiting game to see how long it took for it to disappear on its own. He ended up being discharged the same day I was so he was in the NICU for barely two days.
Four years later he is the smartest, sweetest, cuddliest little guy I ever met and we are so lucky to have him as our boy.
I hope you enjoyed the story, sorry it was so long. I’ll see you next time!