So to document Duncan's birth, I thought I'd share his "story" minus some of the more gory details...you'll have to buy me a glass of wine to get those!
His arrival begin after the most fun day at exactly 10:02 p.m. on Saturday night when I had my first contration. And do you know what they don't say in the what-to-expect books? If that contraction doesn't make you jump up and say a four-letter word than it's not the real thing. I was 100% certain this was the real deal. I told Ryan to pour out his drink (he was rather disappointed as I'd been making him mint juleps since the Derby that afternoon) and not get another one! We started getting to-go bags by the back door. I downloaded all the photos and videos on my phone to clear up space. At 11:30 p.m. the contractions were still 12 to 15 minutes apart so we decided to try and sleep. At 1:30 a.m. I woke up and knew there'd be no more sleeping for awhile. To distract myself, I folded laundry and cleaned the house until 3 a.m. when my contractions were 9 to 10 minutes apart. I woke Ryan up and took a shower while he loaded the car. On the way out the door he snapped a picture of the mother's day arrangement he'd made me (his secret talent is flower arranging).
Caroline woke up when we moved her to the carseat and I sat in the back seat with her. She smiled at me the whole time like "this is going to be the best adventure ever!" In the moms-to-be parking lot the guard asked us, "Is there a mom in the car actively in labor?" Which made me wonder, does anyone just go push that button for fun at 4 a.m.?
A physician Ryan works with had advised him that when we got to the hospital to leave the MD in the parking lot and just be Daddy; not a doctor. (Apparently this man had become so obsessed with the health of his first child that he'd made the staff preform every test he knew of on the child and they spent two years and hundreds of dollars following up every potential flag only to finally understand the child was 100% healthy).
We went to OB Triage where after examining me the nurse (who was really sweet) declared I was just 1 cm, maybe we should go home and take a Tylenol. Her body language was saying, "Buck up dear, you are just 1 cm and have a long way to go." The test for my water breaking wasn't clear. And after awhile she declared we should just go home and come back when the contractions were 2 to 3 minutes apart (even though my doctor had said head in when 10 minutes apart).
Now there are a few things you don't say to a resident (and especially his wife) and our sweet nurse made the mistake of telling us the doctor was asleep and she didn't want to wake her! I won't say what was going through my head, but Ryan very firmly told her to get the doctor, that I was in a significant amount of pain, that he knew all about the water breaking test and that the results couldn't be read accurately and that, by the way, we weren't going anywhere. If you know Ryan, you know it takes a lot to push his buttons. (He usually lets me be the hot-headed one when needed).
So after much back-and-forth, the physician on-call decided that it didn't matter if my water had actually broken or not and that I was in a significant amount of pain because there was almost no fluid around the baby. I wanted to shout, "see I am not being a drama queen!!!" She informed me I was being admitted, that they would start me on a medicine to induce labor and spend up contractions and that an epidural was mine when I wanted it. But that it more than likely would be a long day.
To tell the truth at this point, time is a little hazy to me. Ryan says after we got a room I sweated it out for an hour and half without an epidural. The nurse advised me that if I got it to soon, that by the end it wouldn't seem as strong because I wouldn't have experienced early labor pains. I finally got the epidural and let me tell you it was fantastic! You people who do natural labor are braver than me. A few minutes later I was 3 cm and moving faster than expected. Then I noticed there were a couple of people huddled around the monitor. They told us the baby's heart rate was dipping slightly with each contraction and they'd just be keeping a close eye.
Caroline and I were two sleepy heads snuggled up and trying to rest. At this point I'm on cloud 9. So excited the baby is coming, that it's Mother's Day, and that I've finally gotten in touch with my parents (who were in Natchez) but were now on their way! And Ryan informs me my Mother's Day present is in his bag, and I can open it whenever I want. I decide to wait.
We made calls and had our friends Jennie and Craig on-call to come pick up Caroline. At this point though we are still thinking it's going to be a long day. The nurse comes back in with something to slow the contractions to see if that makes a difference in the baby's heart rate. It doesn't and a few minutes later the doctor comes in and tells me that she doesn't like the way the baby is looking and that she wants to do a c-section. It was all very Father of the Bride II. I told her that was fine with me and that we just needed to know what time to have our friends come get Caroline. She informs me that I've misunderstood her and that the baby will be out in 10 minutes. At this point the bed is moving down the hall towards the OR. I look back and see Ryan holding Caroline. I give a big wave and think well here we go.
Ryan took Caroline to the nurses station and then got scrubbed in. He tells me they kept him outside the room but every time the door opened he peeked in. I got a spinal (my only thought was oh my goodness I'm never putting a shock collar on Pepe again). Apparently, I jumped off the table. I just remember my left leg feeling like an electric current went through it. The atmosphere in the room was so friendly and unscary (as long as you didn't think about the huge lights or what was going on behind the big blue curtain). It was reassuring to me that the nurses and doctors were teasing each other and making chit chat. I figured it couldn't be too big of an emergency if they weren't going all Grey's Anatomy dramatic. They kept giving me updates of how Caroline was charming every nurse on the sixth floor and could they just keep her all day? I focused on guessing boy or girl. This really was such a blessing because I couldn't make up my mind. Ryan comes in at this point. The clock on the wall said 10:10 a.m. and a beautiful baby boy was born at 10:13 a.m.
The baby was screaming, which I found so reassuring, and nobody announced the gender. Ryan looks over the curtain and then turns to me and says, "I was right. I was right." It was a boy! He had said boy from day one of finding out I was pregnant. At this point they hold him up for me to see, and I lunge for him. Only to be tackled by all these scrubbed masked faces going "Noooo." Apparently, there's a see-but-don't-touch policy. No one told me that!
Ryan went around to take pictures and the team kept me informed on what they were doing. Ryan ran back to me with his camera and offered a picture. I told him no that I'd just wait and see the baby in person!
They moved us to a recovery room where we stayed for about two hours. Apparently, my blood pressure dropped very low. I'm glad I didn't know to worry about this! I was just excited to be holding this precious baby boy. They ended up giving me something to raise my blood pressure. It worked immediately.
Ryan left to go get Caroline and when they got back we were moved to a regular room.
Our sweet friends John and Eryn sent a "It's a Boy" balloon and blue teddy bear. Caroline had so much fun with both. It was her first balloon experience and that thing kept her entertained all afternoon.
More snuggle time! This time with a baby in each arm! And a Duckie. Notice my new necklace. Caroline's birth stone is sapphire. I'm so glad my babies are born in months with great birth stones! And that Ryan finally listened to Sis about her friend who owns an estate/antique jewelry business.
First family of four photo. Be still my heart!
Figuring out who this new little person is...but then she decided her toys were more fun. After a few hours we were moved from the regular sized room to a suite (I didn't know that GHS has two suites on the sixth floor. Basically, it's the corner rooms of Martin/Stockard at Ole Miss). I think Caroline charmed all the nurses so much that they decided we should get one of them. We had a view of Paris Mountain that was unbelievable. Along with a receiving/sitting room separate from the bedroom.
We had all afternoon as a family of four and it was such a special time. Ryan's parents made it in around 5:30 and then my parents got there shortly after.
With Nana and D
And Siggi and Frank
My parents took Caroline back to our house and stayed with her. We were absolutely exhausted. Our first night was very active in that I was given the option to get up after 12 hours. So at 10:45 p.m. the nurse and Ryan helped me up and I took a few steps. It was awful, but Sis had advised me that getting up that first day made all the difference in her recovery time with the twins. I ended up getting up four times that night (the downside of drinking so much water all afternoon). It was a Mother's Day I'll never forget! God is so good. Be back soon with more!