Baby Will made his debut nine days early on August 7 at 6:41 a.m.
Eight pounds, nine ounces
twenty-one and three fourths inches
a headful of hair
But, let's back up a bit...
Thirty-six week belly picture before heading to a girls' dinner at Bonefish Grill in Will's honor.
Thirty-eight week ultrasound side profile, taken to make sure he wasn't too small.
Weighed in at seven pounds, seven ounces that day (give or take a 1/2 lb), with potentially two more weeks to go. I was 1.5 cm dilated for the second week in a row and no signs of labor.
two days before his birthday
On Monday, Aug 6, the kids and I had a very normal day - hit the pool, naps at home, played outside, dinner and bed. They'd been doing a bit of their own nesting as well...
(someone could have taken an identical picture a few days later by replacing them with a real baby, mommy and daddy!)
Tyler was working late, so I took a nice relaxing bath and skimmed through the natural childbirth book I'd bought the day before...just in case I decided to go that route.
I turned the light off around 11 and had only been asleep for an hour or so before Tyler crawled in beside me, ready for a restful night after a long day at work.
(Jump to next set of happy baby pictures to avoid the birth story I feel must be recorded before mommy-brain erases it...especially my sister whom I hope will give me a niece or nephew some day.)
Around 1:30 I woke up to what seemed at first like the same old Braxton-Hicks contractions I'd been having for months. But then it feel a little different. lower and more crampy...hmm, oh well. And then again five minutes later. And then six. At that point I told sleeping Tyler that I thought I was having contractions. He laughed a little at that because we'd said all along that with my doctor out of town and it being a crazy week at work, this would of course be when the baby would come. Then he told me to let him know if I really thought something was happening. :)
I got up and started packing up toiletries and last-minute essential hospital-bag items. I was debating on blow drying and straightening my hair, when a contraction sent me to my knees and I decided that I'd just have to give birth with damp fuzzy hair - I needed to get to the hospital!
I woke up a dozing Tyler and after the on-call doctor told us by phone to come on in to rule out false labor, told him to call our good friend who lives in our neighborhood and had offered to come stay with the kids should this very thing happen. "Oh and the natural childbirth thing, forget it - when I get there, I need that epidural...these hurt!"
By two-thirty, we'd kissed the kids, loaded up my bags and were heading to Women's East, a 10-minute drive that felt like 40. Contractions were about 30 - 40 seconds long and coming every 2-3 minutes with enough force that I couldn't talk until one had passed. While on the phone with his parents, I gasped to Tyler, "my water just broke!"
In the car.
No false alarm here.
Once we got up to the triage room, five minutes before three, I put on a gown and the nurse, Jamie, checked my progress. "We're at seven centimeters!" she exclaimed and my "just in case" plan of natural childbirth became a reality. "If you really want the epidural, we will do everything we can to get you one," she said reassuringly.
"But if you're not deathly afraid, you've got this."
After all, I was already a seven.
We didn't have long til I'd have to start pushing.
Oh, except that we did.
From three until six, to be exact. My cervix was covering part of his head and not fully dilating. Not to mention that he seemed to be turned posterior. We had some work to do.
Keeping in mind that my resume consists of marketing plans and layout design...this was work that skimming through a book with pictures of hippie women calming breathing through their contractions did not prepare me for.
This was a rollercoaster through hell and back. One contraction would be purposeful, focused. I could stare at that dry-erase marker across the room from me and breathe slow and deep. I could visualize the process and using the pain for good, knowing that it was helping my baby work his way into the world.
The next would turn me into a panicked savage.
(Tyler's hand that he thought was crushed so badly he needed to photodocument it.
I'll let him write his own post about what he endured sometime.)
Joking aside, Tyler was beside me the whole way through. Encouraging me and letting me squeeze the life from his fingers, keeping a Christy Nockels Pandora station by my head on his phone and massaging my back. He was helpfully guided and I was coached my my amazing nurses, Jamie and Shiloh. Jamie quoted scripture to me and Shiloh offered different laboring positions. I'm pretty sure their hands and arms were sore after that shift too.
Finally, around six a.m., after laboring on my alternating sides in attempts to turn the baby, and sending a desperate prayer up begging to be ready, Dr. Mitchell announced I was at 10. Time to start pushing.
Scared to death, but knowing it was the only way to get him out and take away the pain - the pushing began. My parents had arrived from Nashville, so my mom (who is also a nurse) came in for the big event. Dad was left in the waiting room, plotting revenge on Tyler for the sounds coming from his daughter's hospital room. :)
Several good pushes into it, and part of the head was out. I heard, "he's got a lot of hair!" and thought oh good, we're about done here, I can do this. And then, "Stop! Don't push."
Apparently he needed to slow down in order to not create further destruction. But I had gotten to a place of peace with the pain of pushing because it was making progress and getting that kid out! Trying to fight that need to push was excruciating.
And then it happened. Pushing resumed and admist the tornado of pain and cheers from the room, out he came! And the pain was gone.
He was worth it.
We love you, William Evan! I promise to not use the pain of childbirth to guilt you into keeping me out of a nursing home someday. But if you could sleep in the bassinet we bought you, that would be great. After all, I did deliver you without pain medication...doesn't seem like too much to ask...:)
One week old
Fearfully and WONDERFULLY made.