We arrive at the hospital at 5:15am, quickly check in with the ER receiving desk, strap on my admitting bracelet, sign a few forms, I grab Josh's hands and we're off. Floor 2. Ding. The labor and delivery ward is expecting us. A nice nurse greets us, takes my paperwork and before I know it I'm in a hospital bed having an IV put in. An IV means this is for real this time.
The IV nearly makes me lose it. What would otherwise be no big deal nearly made me pass out. Mostly because the nurse inserting it was having a hard time, grimacing as she tried to get it right, and after a failed attempt, I had to put her in time-out. She switched hands and I threw a penalty flag. I asked her to wait a couple minutes because I could feel blurriness coming on and the room beginning to move. After some water, a few deep breaths, (and silent prayers for her success), I was ready to begin again. Round 2 = success. The room was back to normal and I was ready to go.
I was monitored for nearly 45 minutes and then it was pitocin time. I was induced for the fourth time. Why? Several reasons. Joel was measuring big. I was in and out of the hospital so many times, with contractions that never fully stopped, that the doctor felt sorry for me. I was 4cm and almost entirely effaced. I was tired. I was 39 weeks. I said, yes. Josh said, yes. I talked it over with Joel, (for real), and he said, yes. So, that's why. You raised your eyebrows at that last part, didn't you? That's okay.
I texted some friends to ask for prayer. And then got out my ipad for some Sudoku, which I've become pretty good at.
At about 6:30am pitocin began. The doctor broke my water at some point thereafter. My friend Nicole arrived at about 7am. She, Josh and I talked about all sorts of things until things got rough, and then it got quiet. Josh and Nicole were great. Josh knows this labor thing very well by now, and also knows well when my contractions go from tolerable, to uh-oh, so he's a big help to me. Nicole was really sweet and I was happy to have her there.
I had two intrathecals (shots that relieve pain, and last for about 1 1/2 hours before wearing off), and then I had Joel at 11:41am. About 5 hours of labor. Pitocin makes your contractions go from a level 1 discomfort to a whoa! level of discomfort fairly rapidly, especially if the amount of pitocin administered is done at a fast pace, which was the case for me. I was used to it.
Side note: The anesthesiologist might very well be the sweetest little old man in town. He should be retired, but he loves what he does and doesn't want to quit. He's apparently climbed every tall mountain in the world and is an avid snow skier. He was definitely a bright spot in my morning...especially after he gave me that shot. :)
Joel was born with no complications. I think I only pushed for 10 minutes at most. He was bigger than I expected, weighing in at a whopping 8lbs. 11oz.
I think he surprised all of us. I’ve never had a baby bigger than 7lbs. 12oz. He came out with a perfectly round head, and once he was cleaned, a perfectly smooth complexion.
I thought I might’ve had an all natural birth this time around, meaning no intervention by the hospital in the form of medicine, but that wasn’t the case, and I’m okay with it. I’m not particularly extreme either way about medicine and labor and delivery. I think I'm more in the, "I trust the Lord, and I know He'll protect us no matter what," camp. That's just me. To each their own.
As you can imagine, our hearts are full and our family is complete. We are thrilled to add our son, Joel David, to our house full of girls. This will be an adventure for sure. And we plan to savor every second, or at least try to!