I can’t believe that it was just a little less than a week ago that Jasper’s birth story began.
Last Thursday (my due date) we went to the midwife for an appointment, but I wasn’t really having any signs of impending labor. She wasn’t going to check my cervix, but I asked her to do so for my own sanity. I was 70% effaced and 1 cm dilated. It really meant nothing as far as how long until I would go into labor, but I was thrilled to know that at least my body was doing what it was supposed to be doing.
We talked a bit about what the midwife and the doctor went over as far as the GD. The doctor didn’t see any sense in getting me on meds now, but he did want me to get an ultrasound at 41 weeks and then an induction at 41 and 1/2 weeks. So we finished up the exam, made an ultrasound appointment, and went home.
My Mom and I spent the rest of the day walking around the neighborhood, but I was really starting to feel like I would be pregnant forever. That night I sent DH to the couch to sleep because I really couldn’t take his snoring that night.
At about 2:30 that morning I awoke to a menstrual cramp. Or was it? That’s what it felt like, but it was short. Like a minute long. I dozed back off. 10 minutes later I felt it again. Dozed off. Again in 10 minutes. I decided to get up and go to the restroom. No bloody show. Maybe if I lay back down in a different position it will go away.
It came back. It was definitely in a wave. It would start and then intensify, and then go away. I decided just to start timing them. They were starting to average 7-8 minutes now. Was this really it? My stomach isn’t tightening though. It really just feels like a menstrual cramp. As it went on it did start to go toward my back, but I still just wasn’t sure. I started to search for “false labor” on my phone. I’m sure that’s what it is. Don’t get your hopes up.
I decided to just see how it went until about 5 am. Then I would go, wake up my DH and Mom and ask if they think we should call the midwife. Needless to say, it was still happening at 5 am. So I went to the bathroom one last time. I had brown tinged mucous. I still wasn’t going to say I was in labor.
I calmly woke everyone up and told them what was going on. We decided to go ahead and call the midwife. She said that she felt I was definitely in labor, that she would call the hospital to alert them that we were on our way, and that we should start heading in. In hindsight I’m glad I didn’t wait any longer. We made it into the hospital by 6, but any later and we would have been trapped in hour long rush hour traffic.
We got to the hospital and got checked in. Midwife #3 met us there as she was the one on call and said that Midwife #2, my main midwife, would be in later. Once we got settled and they put all the monitors on me, the nurse checked me. I was 100% effaced, but still only 1 cm dilated. She informed me that there were scheduled C sections at 8:30 and 9:30, and that we would get in after that. At that time (maybe 7 ish? After this point time is really non existent for me) it was fine.
Soon Midwife #3 got a call. There was another woman they were taking care of that was 2 weeks past her due date with her third child. She is notorious for going fast (like for her second child she was making pancakes and suddenly the baby came out. Husband had just enough time to catch him. Crazy), and of course was going into labor the same time I was. So midwife had to go, but assured me Midwife #2 was getting ready and on her way in.
This is when things got crazy. The contractions started getting stronger. I could barely stand it. I couldn’t get into any comfortable position in that bed. At one point I got on all fours on the bed. That felt better, but I couldn’t stay that way with all these wires hooked onto me and my bare butt in the air in that stupid hospital gown. The doctor finally came in with the sonogram to make sure baby was still in breech position. He was, and then decided to check how long I was coming along.
In half and hour I had dilated to 3 cm. The doctor was actually going to tell us that we may have to push back the operation until 12:30, but then they realized they had to get me in there NOW. If this baby wasn’t breech and his head would have been pushing on my cervix, I would have had him in only a few hours. That’s not how the story goes though.
So before I knew it we were walking into the OR. It was freezing in there! They got me on the table and prepared me for the spinal tap. I informed them that I had a cyst on my spine, and of course it happened to be right where they really needed to be. They aimed for a bit higher. Now, it may be my own ignorance but on tv they make a spinal tap look like just stick a needle in and done. No, no, no. It’s a lot of sticking, and it felt like it took ten minutes. I’m not sure what’s worse. The cold, the pain of the tap, or the fact that if you have a contraction during you just have to endure it and keep still.
When it was done they laid me down. I was shaking uncontrollably, and they put all kinds of heating things on me. One problem though, although I was feeling a bit tingly, I could still feel everything! I could lift my legs, feel cold and needles on my legs. So they quickly called the anesthesiologist back and got a longer needle. So I had to do the tap all over again. This time he also nicked my cyst, but only a bit of fluid came out.
After that I was completely numb. I really had more like a spinal tap and a half. I felt NOTHING. So finally they let DH in, and he sat beside me. This is when it was all hitting me. I was about to be cut open. “I’m so scared,” I told him. He comforted me, and the anesthesiologist nurse told me that they had already cut in. Knowing made me feel a bit better.
It felt like a lifetime that they were in there. Suddenly they said that they were pulling him out. I heard someone ask how many times it was wrapped around his neck. His umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck 3 times! No wonder he didn’t want to move! At that point all I could think of was, “Cry, please, cry”. It was seconds before he was wailing. The whole OR echoed in his wails. I started to cry I was so relieved.
The nurses were fawning over him. Look at those long features, those eyelashes, he’s already ready to nurse! I could barely see the nurses cleaning him up in the corner, but I could see his pink skin and it made me feel so much better. DH was off to take pictures.
Jasper Malcolm was born at 9:24 am on July 27. He was 7 pounds 15 ounces (suck it skeptic midwives) and 20 3/4 inches long.
It takes a long time for them to sew you back up, but the nurse with me was very sweet and kept me entertained while I was there. Let me take this time to say that EVERY nurse I came into contact there was absolutely WONDERFUL. Everyone was kind, attentive, and accommodating.
After they finished up they wheeled me into recovery. Because I had such a strong dose of the tap my breasts were still kind of tingly, but they were already ok with the baby coming to me. So really I only had to wait a few minutes before he was skin-to-skin with me.
I couldn’t get over him. He had a full head of hair (and some on his back), eyebrows, long eyelashes, and was just really cute!
That’s Midwife #2 in the background. She was so upset she missed me before I went in. We really had no clue I would go so fast. She was apparently great behind the scenes making sure the baby would get back to me as soon as I got into recovery.
Then we put him to my breast, and he latched on immediately! I cannot begin to express my relief and joy. Every fear melted away. It was so blissful.
What normally would have taken a few hours in recovery took double because it took so long to get the feeling back into my legs after the spinal taps. I finally got wheeled into a room though and we got settled in.
We only spent two days in the hospital. Both Jasper and I did great. My baby is a breastfeeding champ! We agreed that this wasn’t the path we wanted to take, but it couldn’t have been a better experience. Everything went smoothly, the staff was fantastic, mommy and baby were together as much as possible and were both healthy. I was happy to be heading home though on Sunday.
The entire way home I cried. Everyone can tell you that having a child is different. That you will love them so much. You will not get it until you have a baby. I’m so in love with him. It feels like something beyond love. I’m so lucky and blessed to have him. I just can’t explain this feeling.
I just hope that every woman on the infertility journey can find this joy in whichever path they have to take. Every woman deserves this, and I wish more people would understand and appreciate that.
I wish I could write more and there’s more stories to be told, but it will have to come in spurts. That’s his birth story, and now he needs to be fed. Not only can’t I believe that I get to be a Mommy, but I get to be his Mommy. I’m so blessed!