Here is my birth story in pictures and words. There may be some redundancy from earlier posts, but at least it will all be in one place for the final story.
It all started in my OB's office at 1:30pm on Friday, April 16th. My blood pressure was 155/109 so he said he would like Andrew to drive me straight to the hospital to get baby out as soon as possible. He kept reminding me that it wasn't an induction, but an augmentation since I was already pre-laboring. We drove home together so we could get our house in order and prepare Blake for our departure. Through tears of fear and anxiety, I kissed Blake goodbye and left him in the wonderful company of our neighbors. We called my parents and they got on the road to watch Blake for the remainder of our hospital stay.
I can't even remember driving to the hospital at this point, but I was not sad that I was not going to deliver Reade at home. As much as I wanted a home birth, I understood the hospital was a good place for me to be monitored for everyone's safety and health. The hardest part was leaving Blake and not knowing when I would be back home near him.
We got to the hospital around 4:30pm and so began my birth story. I loved that my first nurse was Nurse Payne. We told a few jokes and then she inserted my I.V. Boy did that hurt and here is a picture of me bouncing back from almost passing out:
They started me on a very low dose of pitocin in the beginning:
My contractions started coming every 3-5 minutes with a low level of pain. They couldn't bump up the amount of pitocin because of how frequent the contractions were coming. This went on and on for hours and hours. I would check the time every now and then and got a bit unnerved that it was taking so long. At 6am the next morning my contractions started to get quite painful. I tried a variety of coping techniques to get through the pain. I tried: walking, standing, rocking in the rocking chair, and relaxing completely through the contractions. I called the relaxation part Zen-ing through the contractions. I did this for six contractions to really try my hardest to allow my body to relax and open my cervix.
Then I lost it. I started to fear the next contraction and had no idea how I was going to fight this battle. My midwife suggested requesting my water to be broken. She explained this could speed things along, but the pain might get stronger. We agreed to get through a few more contractions before calling the nurse in. I really lost it at this point. I just wanted something to change. I needed hope that it would speed up or that I was close to some end point. I decided I was going to leave the hospital. I didn't want to rip out my I.V., but I was ready to get up and walk into the streets looking for some salvation away from the pain. We decided to have the nurse come in and check my progress. Once she told me I was only five centimeters dilated I lost all hope. My midwife suggested getting through a few more contractions before making any decisions.
After the first contraction I decided I was going to kill myself. I knew Andrew would see my plan so I tried to think of things that wouldn't be so obvious. That is when I started banging my head backwards against the rocking chair. I figured I could split my head open and end this stupid process once and for all. I told Rosanna and Andrew to get me a nurse ASAP and when one showed up in the doorway I screamed, "I NEED AN EPIDURAL NOW."
Minutes later I was back in the bed meeting my new best friend, the anesthesiologist. I couldn't believe how non-painful it was. He first injected me with a numbing agent and the weirdest thing happened. Baby Reade immediately shifted from my right side to the middle of my belly. I kept telling Rosanna throughout the labor that it felt like I wasn't working together with my baby. In that moment, I knew right away we were ready to work together as a laboring team. Mom and baby were set to go. The epidural was in place and my body felt a wonderful, warm relief trickle down my back. Life was good again. Life was fun again. I told everyone that the party was now starting and that labor was fun. Here I am excited to be in a better frame of mind:
The party finally started:
I liked my laboring team again (I never did stop loving them, just liking them):
My OB came in and said I was 10cm dilated and could start pushing. I asked if I would be pushing for hours and he (jokingly) requested I did it quickly because he had a lunch date. At his cue, the pushing started. Eight minutes later, my son was set on my chest so I could meet him for the first time. I immediately started crying and was so happy to see he was healthy and strong. Andrew was crying too and we knew it was time to move on past this labor and start enjoying our new family dynamic.
Reade's Apgar scores were 9 out of 10 both times they checked them. This made me happy because I was worried I had drugged the poor kid for 18 hours. Here he is weighing in at 7lbs, 8oz. and using his vocal chords:
I loved how he looked like a scrunched up monkey animal. He looked just like Andrew's baby pictures (even more than Blake) and had the funniest neck fat (still there):
Andrew giving Reade some skin-to-skin attention while they cleaned me up. Reade was looking all around and I couldn't believe how alert he was:
The nurses gave him a sponge bath and set him in the warmer:
I can't believe it took 18 hours to get this kid out. Hindsight is 20/20, but I never really thought my second birth story would go as quick as everyone kept mentioning. Two hours seemed way too good to be true. I learned a lot about myself in those 18 hours and now they are behind me and I get to spend many more hours loving my son. Well worth it:
Here is Reade in photo therapy for his jaundice:
P.S. We saw the pediatrician today and she thought the hospital overreacted to his levels, but who can blame them? They are there to get you in and out and probably try to do the max so that parents don't have to stick around and wait things out. I was sad they forced me into supplementing with a bit of formula, but we are breast feeding like crazy fools so all is well.
Reade did not like getting dressed before going home, but man was I happy to get us out of hospital clothing and into regular clothes:
The pediatrician said he is gaining weight at a good rate and that he is not jaundiced at all. My midwife comes by tomorrow for a post-natal check up for mom and baby. My mother and father left today and I am sad to see them go. They were so helpful and I can't even begin to express how thankful I am they could help us out. Blake started calling my father "papa" so it looks like he has a new name. Blake and Reade are so lucky to have such great family members. Ellen and David are driving up as we speak so we get to hang out with them until Friday. I am sure Blake and Reade will enjoy having a whole new set of people to tire out!
I could not have done this without all of my friends, family, and wonderful midwife. All of your comments and support really allowed me to keep my head above water while making decisions I had no idea I would be facing. I know I have enough hormones to produce milk in a female cow, but I mean it when I say that the love of friends and family is all I need to keep me alive and happy. Include chocolate in that statement also!
Reade Wright Hurst is here to play! Born 4/17/2010, 11:28am, 7lbs, 8oz., 19.25" long.