Now, on to other things. We’re up at 3:00 in the morning AGAIN, so I’ll spend some more time now catching up before I forget all those little moments that Dustin and I still laugh, sigh, or shake our heads about.
Surprisingly, as hard as we knew this pregnancy would be, we spent very little time comparing it to the last one. But we did constantly have one thought in mind – Nathaniel’s birthday, and the fact that it would come up before Alex was due to be born. We didn’t talk about it much, but it was always there in the back of our minds. We decided as we got closer to the end and our doctor discussed the possibility of having to induce labor, that we would wait it out, but if labor didn’t start on it’s own, we would be induced before Nathaniel’s birth date. We didn’t want to go past that day. Before we even had a chance to discuss this with our doctor, he sat down with us, got out his calendar, and gave us several induction dates, but said he did not want us to go past February 19th. How could he have known this was Nathaniel’s birthday!? It’s funny how things work out sometimes!
As the days passed and we got closer to our first induction date, 2/17, we started seeing the doctor more frequently, but no matter how much we tried convincing this little boy to come out, he was happy to stay tucked warm inside. The doctor kept hoping for any sign that labor would start on its own, but we showed little progress, and his non-stress tests we were having done twice a week looked good. February 17th came and went with no induction. So the afternoon of February 18th we headed to the doctor for our next check-up and he decided to send us over to the hospital for prostaglandin in the hopes it would “soften things up” and help me start dilating in preparation for induction. He scheduled us to be induced at 6:00 a.m. on the morning of February 19th.
After a couple of hours in the hospital that afternoon, we headed back home to finish up a few things and get ready for the next day. I remember all of sudden thinking that 9 months had gone by so fast and it was about to all be over. In what seemed like the blink of an eye I had gone through another entire pregnancy and we had all survived. It many ways it seemed like a miracle to us.
I had been having contractions on and off for a few weeks, but just when they would seem regular and close enough to call the hospital, they would stop, so it didn’t surprise me that evening when they started up again. We ate dinner, cleaned up a little around the house, and got ready to get in bed. I asked Dustin to move the cradle into our room so we would be ready, but he assured me there was still plenty of time. By bed time, the contractions were coming a little stronger and a good night’s sleep seemed imperative for the coming day, but I swear in the end it seemed like I had to go to the bathroom every five minutes! How was I supposed to sleep if I was up every few minutes? Around 8 p.m. Dustin went to get the bed ready and I noticed the cramping felt stronger and of course I had to go to the bathroom again! Then I noticed something seemed different – my water had broken. And the contractions intensified almost immediately! We called in to the labor and delivery and they told us to come on in and let them check. As I started getting ready, I looked around for Dustin, and there he was finally moving the cradle into the room! We finally made it out the door, dropped Hanna and Indy off at my Mom and Dad’s, and headed downtown, with me insisting Dustin hurry if possible (but don’t get a speeding ticket of course!).
We arrived at the hospital just before 9 p.m. and my contractions were just over five minutes apart and painful. The nurse seemed unconvinced that my water had actually broken, so they put us in a room and got me hooked up to the monitor, and the nurse told me the doctor would probably give me the option of going back home for the night and coming back at 6:00 a.m. or staying the night but not doing anything further for my labor until morning. Ha! Were they kidding? The doctor came in to check and confirmed that my water had broken and that my contractions were true labor pains. It was time. The best news of the evening was that the pitocin wasn’t even needed! This little boy decided he did not need to be helped into this world – if he was coming out, he was going to do it on his own.
At this point, we had left everything in car, including the camera, Dustin’s bag and everything for Alex. But there would be plenty of time once they had me comfortable for Dustin to go back out the car and bring everything in. The contractions were about every five minutes and very strong when the doctor did my second check and said I was about 3 centimeters. I asked for the epidural and within a few minutes the anesthesiologist had me hooked up. Unfortunately, this little boy either didn’t like the pain relief or just didn’t like the labor process – the nurse almost continuously shifted me from my side, to my back, to my other side, and back again in an attempt to keep his heart rate from dropping. I remember listening to the heart monitor thinking as long as I could hear his heart beat I knew he was still okay. Going through the agonizing moments of hearing it drop so low and then take so long to come back up were some of the longest moments of my life. Through it all, Dustin stood calmly beside me, holding my hand.
By 11:00 p.m. I had dilated a few more centimeters and the doctor commented on how quickly things were progressing. They ended up putting an internal monitor on Alex to be able to better monitor his heart rate. Just after midnight my epidural started to wear off, but with all of the problems we were having with Alex’s heart rate and how poorly he was handling the labor, the doctor would not allow any further pain medication. She said I needed to be able to feel what I was doing so I could most effectively push and get this little guy out. At first she would only allow me to push every other contraction so we didn’t cause too much stress to Alex, but after about an hour of pushing, he was close enough and having enough trouble that she told me to push every contraction. He needed some assistance since he was still partially turned (he never fully turned, but continued to remain with his back on my right side and his arms and legs on my left side) so with the use of the vacuum to turn him and help pull him, he finally made his appearance, through assisted vaginal delivery at 1:5o a.m. on the morning of February 19th. As we said a silent happy birthday to Nathaniel, we welcomed his brother, Alexander Thomas, into the world.
Whew! I’m exhausted just thinking about it again! Or maybe because it is now 4:30 in the morning and Alex has finally fallen back asleep. So on that note I will take him back up to bed and try to get a few more hours of sleep before we begin getting ready for Christmas Eve! It’s hard to believe it is time for his first Christmas already…