Birth: A Story

james-smile-collage
If only gas were this cute on everyone.

When our due date came and went I knew our son would be born exactly one week after {I also knew our son was a daughter at first, and look at what that did for my motherly intuition record….}. Everyone was still holding their breath all week long, thinking he could come at any time once the due date passed, but I really just kicked back and enjoyed that last week without any angst.  We had our induction scheduled to begin on Tuesday evening, expecting it to take long enough for him to come late Wednesday afternoon.  When Tuesday morning rolled around, it appeared my intuition record was redeeming itself and that all systems were go for our induction that evening.

Our doctor, Dr. H., made it sound like this whole induction thing could take up to 24 hours, or even more.  So we geared up for the long hall, packing extra duvets and pillows and clothes.  We wanted to make our hospital experience as comfortable as possible.  John suggested, too, that we have one last big dinner date on our way to the hospital so that I wouldn’t get unbearably hungry once they started the induction and made me stop eating.  So around 6:15 that evening we headed off to the hospital for our 7:15 induction, by way of Red Robin.
It wasn’t even 6:30 before the cramping began.  We had just gotten our food and I kept thinking that the Red Robin burger must not be agreeing with me.  But John suggested I keep eating to stock up so that I wouldn’t get famished in the hospital.  I kept forcing the food down, and kept having weird stomachaches about every five minutes.  At one point John even asked me if I thought I might be in labor, but I immediately dismissed that idea thinking I was just having tummy problems.  We finished our meal and headed out the door, when all of the sudden I found myself doubled over in pain the Red Robin lobby, experiencing an undeniable contraction.  It was then that I knew without a doubt that I was in labor.  Thank you Red Robin Bottomless Steak Fries!
Luckily we were only about five minutes away from the hospital.  But within that five minutes I most definitely experienced another doozy contraction.  We got to the hospital right on time for our scheduled induction, only to explain that I was already in labor.  We were escorted to our room, experiencing several contractions along the way, and tried to get as comfortable as possible.  They gave me a little pill that dissolved in my cheek to help ripen my “ unfavorable” cervix, but never had to induce me or give me pitocin.  By this time the pain was coming about every three minutes, but I was only dilated to a two.  I really wanted to try to make it to a four before I got an epidural because I wanted to experience laboring and I wanted to rely on JW for emotional, spiritual, and physical support.  I also didn’t want to be bed-ridden for an entire day, so we put the epidural off.  I did get some narcotics to take the edge away, but those only lasted about an hour.  And it all still hurt something fierce.  We were able to squeeze in a little “present session,” though.  John got me some adorable jewelry and I got him To the Rescue.  We like excuses to get each other gifts.  I particularly like it when John’s the one getting me the gifts… John also gave me a beautiful blessing that really set the tone for the incredible night.  It was so special to me.
After about four hours of laboring naturally, and a gargantuous scream from contracting that probably awoke every newborn in the nursery, my darling nurse asked me if I was ready for my epidural.  I didn’t know what I was dilated to, yet, but I was eager to relieve the pain.  At 10:30 pm I got the drugs.  I could not have asked for a better epidural experience!  Dr. F, our anesthesiologist, was straight from heaven.  I can honestly say now that milk let-down hurts way worse than anything that had to do with sticking a huge needle in my spine.  I did not feel a thing!  And I could still move my legs and feel a tinsy bit of {painless} pressure from most of the contractions, which is the sign of a perfect epidural.  Turns out I was only dilated to a three by 11:00 pm, but I was still very proud of myself for sticking it out as long as I did.  And now I know that next time I’ll want an epidural right when I get to the hospital :0).
John and I were able to get some rest after that.  But not for long, because at 11:30 my water broke.  I was trying to sleep, when all the sudden I felt a flush of fluid in my “region.”  I thought to myself that either my catheter had just come out or my water had just broken.  I called the nurse and she confirmed my suspicions, that it indeed was not my catheter, and explained that it could still be hours away.  So we tried to catch some more zzzz’s.
About 15 minutes later I noticed in my half sleep that every time I contracted Biscuit’s heart rate would drop.  I figured that the nurses could see this on the monitor at their station and that if it were a problem they would come in and check it out.  Five seconds later, in walked my nurse.  I told her my observation and she said she had noticed the same thing.  She said that she wasn’t planning on checking my cervix again so soon, but that she wanted to see how much further along I had gotten, just to be safe.
I WAS A TEN!  I went from being a three to a ten in 45 minutes, and we were ready to start pushing!!  Our nurse said people could be pushing for hours, so to not worry about calling our moms just yet {we invited them and my sister to be at the delivery with us}.  She wasn’t even going to call the doctor for a little while longer.  So we pushed here and there for about an hour.  It wasn’t too active, though.  We didn’t get every contraction and our nurse was setting things up here and there, but we were moving things along.
Around 1:00 am the on-call doctor, Dr. D, showed up.  It was then that we started getting a little frantic, thinking our moms weren’t going to make it.  So we called them and they made like bats outa you-know-where to get there right quick.  They all arrived around 1:15 am, and we met James for the first time at 1:32 am, just seven short hours after my first contraction at Red Robin.  My darling husband and glorious mother held my legs while my saintly mother-in-law rubbed my shoulders and my untouchably talented sister took pictures of the incredible event.
Some thoughts on the delivery:
I could not have asked for a better experience.  John was so incredible the entire time and we were both so relieved that our moms and sister could be there.  Everything went perfectly.  At one point during the delivery I literally yelled out, “I love birth!” The nurses chuckled and said they hadn’t ever heard that one before… But I just couldn’t contain my joy and awe over the whole process.  I’m so glad I labored naturally for as long as I did.  I’m so glad I got such a successful epidural.  I’m so glad we had the nurses we had.  And I’ll never forget what it was like when Dr. D delivered James right onto my chest.  I was a new woman from that moment on.  “My baby!  My Baby!” I kept yelling out.  He was so perfectly cute and so perfectly John’s, with his little puffy eyes, juicy lips, and gobs of dark hair.  I may have not contributed anything genetically, they look so much alike.  And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
My labor and delivery was the most sacred, precious, impressionable experience I have ever had.  It was like an entire seven hours with my Savior right by my side, ending with Him personally giving me my son.  My SON.  OUR SON.  Our sweet baby James… who just so happens to get the “THE cutest baby ever born” award.

8 comments

  1. Brynn and Jared says:

    YAY! I’ve been so excited to hear the story! And…if I was a good friend I would have already been at your house, holding biscuit, feeding you dinner and hearing the whole thing in person. But…I’m not. Get over it 🙂
    Just kidding.
    I love you and I love Baby James! Can’t wait to hold and love him, congrats Jess!

  2. Sarah says:

    What a sweet story! I totally got teary when I read it (okay, I actually cried in some parts). Anyway CONGRATS!!! What a beautiful little baby. By the way I love that he decided to come like 10 minutes before you were going to be induced! Never heard of that happening before! Congrats again 🙂

  3. Jessica says:

    Oh, I’m so happy for you! I was wondering how he got here so quickly 😉 Please don’t be afraid to ask for help. I did and things would’ve been so much easier if I just asked. Our ward is wonderful in helping, I promise.

  4. Anne Marie says:

    You are a wonder! I cried reading James’ birth story. Beautiful. Reminds me alot of my 2 boys. Very precious feelings, very sacred. He will love the story as he grows up. Enjoy the beautiful time you have now. These are very special days with one so fresh from heaven. love to all 3 of you xxx

  5. Conn Family says:

    Love how you yelled “I love birth!” That is hilarious! I had that feeling with my 3rd birth- the only one I had an epidural on (what was I thinking for the other two?) And all three of my boys look just like my husband… I’m glad I carried them otherwise I’d be concerned they weren’t mine 🙂

  6. Katie says:

    Just saw your blog on Pinterest, and I have to say, I’m pretty sure we would be best friends if we knew each other in real life. haha. I’ve been reading your posts and I keep thinking “that sounds exactly like me”, like the post about your thoughts on becoming a mother, and this post. I loved my labor and delivery experience. Funny thing though — my husband and I went to Red Robin the night I went into labor, and I started getting all crampy while we were eating, and for a few hours, I was convinced it was from the food. We got to the hospital, and found out a while later my doctor wanted to induce me that day. Ha. I’ll definitely be keeping you on my blog roll (sorry this is so random!)

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