He’s here! He’s here!
If you follow any of my social media, you have known that for a few days now that baby Clayton was born on March, 23 at 7:01 pm. He was born three weeks early but is my biggest baby of the three coming in at 7lbs and 11oz.
We are all pretty smitten with him around there.
First Signs of Labor
On Wednesday morning, March 23rd, I dropped the kids off at preschool and settled in to do some blog work. I was having painless Braxton Hicks contractions around every 9-10 minutes the whole morning. This wasn’t something new to me but I was paying close attention to them because the day before I had found out I was dilated 3cm.
At around 10:30am that morning, I suddenly grew quite uncomfortable. The gentle Braxton Hicks were suddenly not so gentle and familiar. They still didn’t hurt much but the contractions were getting more intense. I also noticed that they suddenly started to come every 4-5 minutes. I got up to move around to see if they would subside (which they usually do) but instead of backing off, they intensified. I know the rule of thumb is to wait to go into the hospital until they have been under 5 minutes apart for over two hours but I just knew this was different. I called my husband and told him he probably needed to start wrapping up at work because we may be heading into the hospital.
I was kind of in a fog and felt totally scatter brained as I packed up some last minute things in my hospital bag. I stopped timing contractions but they were really frequent. Like 2-3 minutes apart all of the sudden. My mind was a million places.
Is this the real deal?
Who will pick up kids from preschool?
Should I call my parents and ask them to come up?
I need to tidy up the house.
I need to pack my glasses.
Where the heck is my glasses case??
We need to feed the dogs before we go.
Should I shower real quick?
Seriously, ALL over the place.
When my husband got home, we finished up some last minute things, took a moment to pray together and then hopped in the car and headed in to the hospital.
Half way there I realized my contractions had not been coming as frequently. In my flurry, I had stopped timing them so didn’t know exactly what they were doing. I just know they had slowed and were less intense. I suddenly started to question myself and feel like I overreacted for even heading in to the hospital.
I should have waited longer.
I’ll feel so dumb if this is a false alarm.
Those contractions DID feel different, right?
Maybe I’m making it a bigger deal than it is.
I ended up calling my doctor to get her opinion on if I should check into labor and delivery or not. She suggested I just swing by her office instead and she would check me out to see what is going on.
We were at her office within 5 minutes and found out that I had indeed progressed from 4cm. Since we weren’t quite sure what my contractions where doing, she sent me over to labor and delivery to hang out in triage for a bit until we could tell what my body was doing.
As we were checking in, I realized I was having some strange discomfort in the backs of my legs. It was so weird. The only thing that made it feel better was to squat up and down or to kick my legs back. So here I am, calmly giving my information to the secretary meanwhile donkey kicking one leg at a time to alleviate the weird pain. I was also feeling totally spacy. Like, she told me where to sign and I had to stare at the paper for a while to understand what she was saying. I also was trying to answer questions she was asking me and having to look to my husband to confirm answers. He thought it was funny and later titled me Captain Disoriented.
Around noon, we finally got settled in and were waiting to find out our fate for the rest of the day. Again, this was such a weird stage to be in. I couldn’t quite get excited about the potential of having a baby that day because there was a chance we could be sent home any minute! I was told my doctor would be by around two to check me again so I assumed we would know more around then. While waiting, I continued to do my squats, sit on the exercise ball and occasionally do some strange backwards kicking to shake out the weird nerve pain going on. In retrospect, I’m sure it was hilarious to see but I didn’t care.
Around 2:15 two new nurses came into the room, introduced themselves and told me I was being admitted.
Huh? What does that mean?
The nurse explained that my doctor had seen enough from the contractions to admit me.
Being a little slow that day, I asked the nurse, “So, does that mean we are staying?” She confirmed that yes, indeed we were and even clarified that we weren’t going to leave the hospital without the baby.
Holy Moly. This is happening.
We moved rooms, got settled in once again and once again began the wait. My contractions were regular but not at all painful. I almost didn’t feel like I was in labor despite all the signs telling me I was. It was actually quite enjoyable. We knew we were going to have a baby one way or another so it was super exciting.
Epidural, I Love Thee.
Around 3:30, I found out I had progressed to a 5 but was still not feeling much from contractions. They were regular but a tad on the weak side. However, my doc told me she was going to break my water to see if this would strengthen my contractions. She also told me that there was only one anesthesiologist on the floor and he was going to go into surgery around 4:30 so would be unavailable after that. So basically, if I wanted to get an epidural in the next few hours, I needed to do it sooner than later.
Since I really wasn’t in that much pain, I felt weird saying I wanted it now. However, she assured me that after breaking my water, things would intensify quickly. It didn’t take much convincing. I was NOT about to miss my epidural window. I told them I wanted it and they told me he would be there within the hour.
As predicted, as soon as the water was broken, things got a bit more rowdy. And when I say rowdy I mean, “Holy crap, these really hurt now!!”
However, I only had to work through painful contractions for less than an hour before Mr. Epidural arrived on the scene. Again, I felt a little bit like a wuss getting an epidural when I had only been in moderate pain for an hour but I also did not want to take the chance of missing my window. In retrospect, knowing I would deliver two hours later, I am SO glad I got it when I did.
After the epidural, my body continued to progress pretty quickly. Every time she checked me, I had progressed a centimeter or two. Went from a 5 to a 6 in an hour and the next hour was suddenly an 8.5! At this point she told me she’d be back in 30 minutes or so and we’d likely start pushing then.
I’m pretty sure I could tell you the moment I was fully dilated. I just knew. Anyone who has labored can probably relate but I began to feel pressure in a new way and was itching to push. It felt like eternity before she came back, when in reality it really was only 25 minutes but as soon as she came back in the room, I dictated a, “Let’s do this!” probably a little too loud. It gave the nurses and doctor a chuckle at least. I was serious business though. Turn me loose doc. This baby wants OUT.
After being saddled up, giving up any sense of modesty I thought I had retained and being refreshed on effective pushing techniques, I was ready to roll. As was the baby apparently because after only 10-15 minutes of pushing, I felt that sweet relief of being emptied out. I still had my eyes closed as I overheard, “What do we have?? It’s…a…BOY!”
It honestly took me a minute to absorb the information that had just been announced.
It’s a what?
Oh, yeah, we don’t know the gender.
It’s a boy
Wait, IT’S A BOY!
Wait, it’s a boy? (I had thought all along it would be a girl.)
I have blurry memories of them suctioning out his nose and mouth, placing him on my chest, me asking why he’s not crying, the nurses assuring that it was OK, him eventually letting out a little squawk, me again asking why he’s not screaming (my previous two has been screamers out of the womb), nurses again assuring me that some don’t cry as much, me reminding my husband to take pictures, the doctor informing me of the moderate damage that the delivery had caused, being relieved when he actually started crying, and then just so much joy and relief over what had just happened.
He was here.
He was healthy.
The first few hours post-partum are a little blurry.
They gave us an hour or so to just be quiet and bond before cleaning up Clayton and all the other to-dos for a newborn. He nursed great right off the bat and has been a champ eater ever since.
Speaking of hunger, I remember being SO hungry (I hadn’t eaten since breakfast that morning) and requesting that my parents bring me “Something fatty and delicious.”
Between checks on baby and me, moving rooms, nursing Clayton and other nurses in and out, we didn’t sleep much that night. I didn’t care though. I was one happy mama. Our hospital stay was short, sweet and pretty quiet.
The Kiddos Meet Their Brother
One of the highlights was introducing our kids to Clayton. Here is a video of them seeing him for the first time.
Turns out that Tyler cares a bit more about Nana being there than his new baby brother.
Their initial reactions were somewhat mixed. Adelyn, who I think was thrown off by the hospital environment was reserved and clingy. Tyler, not so much. This is a perfect picture of their reactions.
Austin brought Adelyn by for a second visit later that day and she did much better. Presently, the kids can’t get enough of Clayton. They are slightly fascinated by him. I love it.
We are five days in, pretty tired but thankful for so many reasons. Thanks for all of your prayers and encouragement over the past few weeks. Follow my instagram if you want to keep up with baby Clay and the rest of the pack!