** Today I'm going to share Jonathan's birth story. I promise it won't be too graphic, but it's certainly a story that I want to share! There are a few "gooey" photos towards the end, but I promise there's nothing that will leave you traumatized!**
When we arrived at the hospital over a week ago we had no idea the marathon that lay ahead of us. Jonathan was a week over due and we were being sent in to be induced. As someone who wanted to try to have as natural a birth story as possible, the idea of being induced was, I admit, depressing. Sunday evening was the start of our induction and before we headed into the hospital I broke down into sobs. Dave held me as I cried and cried asking why it was happening this way. After spending some time praying Dave and I went in ready to start the process.
I remember the nurse who triaged us asking me if I was excited. Excited?! How about terrified! Quickly we were set up and put on the monitor and I waited to find out what would happen next. Unfortunately I was contracting too close together to actually begin the induction process. So after four or five hours of sitting in a triage room we were sent home. I was so excited that perhaps labor was starting on it's own and I went to bed incredibly hopeful.
Monday morning I woke up and nothing had happened. The contractions had stopped completely. It looked like we were headed back into the hospital to be induced. At this point I was ready. Ready to face labor, to face induction and to face a birth story that wasn't exactly how I imagined.
We began the induction process at 10am on Monday morning. The beginning steps required me to take a pill and wait for four hours. Unfortunately the first does did nothing and so we took another. It was a long day of waiting and waiting. We took two doses and I sat for eight hours in a very uncomfy hospital bed. I also had the world's WORST IV placed in my hand. I mean no exaggeration when I say that this IV was more painful than the contractions. For twelve hours I sat with this IV until the best nurse in the world was able to fix it. That face, that's the face of pure frustration. A moment of exhaustion and frustration.
For the most part I kept a great attitude but it's hard to stay positive for a 48 hour period! To keep us entertained as we waited for anything to happen related to labor we kept a weight pool on the white board. The longer we stayed the larger the pool got with doctors and nurses guessing too. Little did we know that one of those guesses would be spot on!!
Towards the end of Monday evening, around 8pm, my parents arrived to brighten my spirits. We were still in the beginning stages of induction and I was frustrated beyond belief. I found relief in the adorable outfits my parents brought as well as the cutest little bear that played peek a boo. It was the little things at that point!
After my parents left we settled in for the night unsure what would happen next. Over the next few hours we began the next step of induction (an uncomfortable and yucky step) and were able to sleep for a little bit. Sometime in the middle of the night we were finally administered pitocin and were able to rest some more. I awoke to my water breaking and was very excited as it was the one thing in labor I was able to do on my own!! At that point there was no sleeping and labor started to really get going. Thanks to the pitocin the contractions were strong and regular and almost impossible to get through. Between each contraction though I felt great and felt ready to get through the rest of labor naturally.
After several hours of laboring I asked the nurse just how long she thought we might have left. In my mind I thought it was just the matter of a few hours. And while those few hours would be HARD Dave and I could get through them together. I really did not want an epidural. I was terrified of it. But the nurse gave it to me straight and said she believed that we still had at least another 12 hours of labor to go. Did she really just say 12 hours?!! There was no way that I could continue to work this hard and still have energy to push 12 hours later. Begrudgingly I gave in and asked for an epidural in hopes that it would allow me to rest and have energy for the hardest part, pushing.
As someone who is terrified of needles and has a HORRIBLE time with ivs (remember?!) I was afraid that the epidural would be a painful and uncomfortable process. But despite my fears, the whole procedure was a breeze. I was even able to still have feeling in my legs and move around a bit. And while I was not allowed to leave the bed, I could still FEEL things, which was exactly what I wanted. I got relief from the pain but mobility in my legs. Awesome!When you are administered an epidural you're not allowed to drink any water except for occasional sips here and there.
By the time Tuesday afternoon rolled around I was THIRSTY. So incredibly thirsty. Around 3pm my nurse walked in asking if I wanted a popsicle. I'll never forget that glorious popsicle. It was amazing!!It was also around the same time that our family came in for one last visit. I had dilated enough that we would begin pushing soon. Almost 48 hours since this process began we were getting ready to meet our son. It was such an exciting and overwhelming moment. I was so glad to have our family there to keep us entertained and smiling! That glorious popsicle!!
Dave managed to take lots of pictures during the labor process. I'm so grateful that he took the time to do that and that we have images that documented such a special time in our life. I also love this picture as it was taken just moments before we started to push. Little did I know what the next six hours would bring.
Fast forward three hours later and we found ourselves headed to the ER. After three hours of GOOD pushing our baby just didn't want to come out. And there ended my hopes of a natural labor. If there was one thing I had said through those whole process was that I didn't want a C-Section. And here we we were getting prepped for the OR. I was so exhausted from laboring for so long and for pushing for so hard that I don't remember much of what happened next. But once again Dave was there with the camera to capture it all - the doctor's joked he was the photojournalist Dad;).
We couldn't have asked for a better team to work with. We had the BEST delivering doctor who had a great attitude and sense of humor. He kept us on our toes and his energy was infectious to this exhausted duo.
I remember asking if he was healthy and the doctor making some sort of witty comment about it. I also remember asking them to shave off a few extra pounds while they were in there....
All of this happened as I fell in and out of sleep on the OR table. Our big boy!! Eight pounds, eleven ounces!! Dave brought our son around and I couldn't believe how adorable he was!! He was nothing that I had imagined and he was absolutely perfect!!
Seeing Dave hold our son for the first time was nothing short of amazing, I'll never forget that moment. Shortly afterwards we were rushed into recovery and then brought down to the postpartum floor. Our poor families had waited and waited and waited for Jonathan to be born. They joked that they were like the head table of the waiting room
(Ok skip the next two pictures if you don't like gooey.) But here is Jonathan making his entrance into the world. Did I mention that I'm so grateful to my husband for capturing these moments? I can't describe what it felt like to hear Jonathan's first cry. We had prayed and prayed for a healthy baby and that first cry was an answer to prayer.
There are a few things that you miss when you have a c-section. One of those things is cutting the umbilical cord. Thankfully they left a little bit of the cord so that Dave could have the honor of cutting the cord.
As families came and went they held down the fort and made a lot of noise! I'm so grateful for them and all the support and love they showered on us!! Jonathan was born on April 30, 2013 at 8:51pm. Two days of labor and we finally met our son. It was an exhausting but AMAZING period of our life. I'm so incredibly grateful for him. Because we had a c-section we were given five days in the hospital for recovery. It gave me time to think about the whole experience we just had. And while nothing had happened in the way I imagined it would, I wouldn't trade the experience for the world. In the end we had a beautiful baby boy in our arms.
And while labor was HARD work, it was not the SCARY work that I had originally imagined. Over the next few days we got to know our son more and more. He is an alert, active, little munchkin whose cheeks I could kiss all day long! The grandparents sure are smitten and hug Jonathan every chance they get!!
I had said our son would be born when the sun was shining, the bird chirping and the flowers in bloom. After being the hospital for a week we were welcomed home to trees and flowers blooming everywhere! What an amazing journey we went through and what an amazing journey we are ready to embark on!! For those of you who prayed of us, supported us and kept a Baby Watch for us, thank you. It was your support that helped us get through this whole process and I'm grateful to have shared in the journey with you!!