Friday, November 29, 2013

Eli William's birth story

I realize that I have been rather MIA lately, but the reason is-

early Tuesday morning we welcomed this little guy into our family:
Eli William Smith
8 lbs 9 oz 19 1/2 in long
born at 5:53 am 11/26/13
William is a family name. My Papaw's name was William as well as my sweet nephew (John William) who unexpectedly passed away last year. Our hope was to honor both of these amazing people by passing the name William along to our new little boy.

Eli is the only name that we could agree on after months and months of long discussions on the matter. Apparently every name that I like is the name of a kid who will "get beat up on the playground" (not my words). Of course, no alternatives were suggested- until we somehow landed on Eli.

Eli William.

This is a birth story- so if that isn't your thing- feel free to skip this post with the happy knowledge that HE IS HERE!!! And he arrived safely.

If you like birth stories- let me take you back to last Monday. Actually before that. I fully expected to have this baby right on 39 weeks just like the other two. But this didn't happen. And we tried EVERYTHING (i.e. everything that worked to send Carter Henry popping out right on schedule. Addison was induced right on 39 weeks). I had been having many contractions on and off for a solid two weeks, so really I felt like I had been in labor for a long, long time by the time I actually went into labor. My body was spent.

Because my blood pressure has continued to climb this pregnancy (this has happened to me in pregnancies past as well), my doctor deemed it now more safe for the baby to be out than in. Because of some of the intense headaches I was getting and stress and exhaustion of just a simple day- I fully agreed.

So Monday- the day of induction.

I awoke at 6:30am eager to get the call from the hospital telling me to come in. (I had been into the hospital for a non stress test the day before because I wasn't feeling any movement and they said for SURE there would be a spot for me on Monday. After hearing the baby happily jump around they refused to induce me on Sunday because Monday was FOR SURE. ha)

I didn't get the call. I was rather tense about this. Especially when I called in and they said that they were all full up because of so many deliveries that came in the night before. (I KNEW that would happen.) I went in that morning to a regular checkup, and everything was poised and ready for labor. All it would take would be a simple nudge- such as breaking my water to get me rolling.

At one point they called and said that they HAD a spot for me, but in the amount of time it took them to dial my number, a high risk doctor called and took the spot for one of his patients. Hearing this, I began to panic. A big storm was coming in and Aaron needed to be available for his snow removal business the next day. The week was bound to get only more busy as it was a holiday week, and I just knew that my baby needed to be born sooner than later for health's sake.

Since it would take us 40 minutes from the point we got the call to get into the hospital (20 for babysitter to get here. 20 for us to get to the hospital), I began to worry that we would get cut out again because we couldn't get there on time. So I called the babysitter and said "come now!" told Aaron to get ready and that we were going to go walk at the mall (right by the hospital). We loaded up all our stuff and prepared to set off without a call from the hospital saying there was a spot for us. It took us about an hour to get on our way. (Aaron said I was rather psychotic about this, but it made perfect sense to me at the time.)

As we were driving past the hospital exit- we got the call. We were there within minutes. The nurses looked rather surprised to see us so fast and asked us if we had been circling the place. (Insert joke from Aaron about how weird and tense I had been all day about this.)

So we finally got settled into our room around 4pm, and my doctor (who said she had to bribe the head nurse with bagels and chocolate to make sure I got in today) went ahead and broke my water.

Seriously I thought for SURE this would be all it took to put me into active labor. My body was ready. I was feeling weird pressures. I had so so many contractions (I started this process at almost 4cm dilated). And I had done this twice before. I was feeling confident.

But after 4 hours of literally running around the walking circle, squats, and all the many positions that have gotten this rolling for me before- there was little to no progress even though the contractions had picked up speed to a very intense place.

That's when they started the Pitocin. (The WORST)

I was induced for Addison's labor, and managed to survive the whole 31 hours without an epidural. I never wanted to repeat that experience, but here I was again.

The Pitocin quickly picked everything up to an insane level- off the charts painful. I was making my way through them all, holding on because I thought we were getting there FAST. Until I discovered after 4 hours of THIS (every two minutes) that we had only made 1 cm dilation progress. After 8 hours I was now at 5 cm- where I STARTED for my last labor. My doctor projected at this point that it would take at least 12 more hours for my body to get to the point of pushing.

This was extremely discouraging to hear- especially since my body was just done. After weeks of not being able to sleep, crazy contractions, and a toddler schedule that didn't stop for me- I knew I couldn't make it for another 12 hours.

So I got my very first epidural.  And in the moment I struggled with this decision. Aaron said "don't try to be a hero". And I thought about WHY I didn't want an epidural vs why I really needed one to make it through this birth and realized that this was another one of those mom war things.

We have our ideals. We have our "perfect world scenarios" but in all reality we need to make the decision that makes the most sense for our bodies in the moment. After two births that I successfully did with no epidural- I was now facing the need to get one. And I was completely at peace with this.

The worst part of was the 2 minute apart Pitocin contractions having to sit completely still while they got the epidural up and going via a needle in my back. I also didn't even know if the epidural would work because of my various back issues. But it did. And it was just what my body needed.

The epidural let me sleep for a couple of hours- and this relaxing was all it took to get my body the rest of the way there and to have the strength to push. My doctor came in to check me and said it would probably be about 2 more hours, but a few minutes later all of a sudden the epidural stopped working.

The intensity of the contractions was nothing new to me, but after a little rest I had some strength back to deal with them. I knew it was time, so I had Aaron go get my doctor after about 40 minutes of this. He came back with the resident who said that yes, I was ready to push and I could do some "practice pushes" while we waited for my doctor. Um...third child here. Who practice pushes after so much real life practice?
Pretty much the baby was half out within a few minutes (a couple big pushes) and my doctor came running into the room just in time to catch the baby. The resident looked a bit stunned that a couple "practice pushes" could accomplish what she thought would take a few hours to get moving.

When I saw my baby come flying out- I cried. He was perfect. I had waited so long for this moment.
He was big- by far the biggest of my babies. (Carter was 7lb 11oz and Addison was 7lb 14oz). And he was definitely ready to join us- one day before my due date.

I also have to say- Aaron was amazing through the whole birth process. I gave him so much grief for falling asleep during CH's labor, but he more than made up for it this time. I could not have asked for a better coach or support. (My only complaint was when he went to get his sandwich from the cafeteria and then came back complaining about how much his stomach hurt from a questionable tasting pickle. Um...really?? Tell me all about your pain.)  Other than that- I couldn't have done this without him.
I don't know if it is a third child thing or perhaps because my body was truly the most relaxed it has been for any of my other labors (or maybe it was just in relation to how horrible I was feeling those last weeks)- but my recovery has been fast and relatively painless. I am so thankful because jumping right back into life with three kids three and under- there just isn't time for the pampering I got after my first baby.

Carter came to the hospital to meet his new brother, but we didn't have Addison come because she hasn't been feeling well this week. She still hasn't bounced back to her regular self, so we haven't taken official "meet the baby pictures" with her because we're trying to keep her sick germs away from him.
Also, my official camera started giving me some grief while at the hospital, so all of these are phone shots. Hope to have my DSLR up and going again soon. Sorry for the fuzzy pictures!
This week has been overwhelming and a bit strange as our family has been scattered, but we are so thankful to have welcomed another son into our family. Taking it one day at a time- we already can't imagine our lives without our sweet cuddly baby. (FINALLY A CUDDLER!!!!!)
Thank you for your many kind words of congratulations on facebook and Instagram. We could not be more thrilled and happy. It has been a one-of-a-kind Thanksgiving week around here.

Here's to sleepless nights and snuggly babies!!!! #thankful

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