Saturday, May 28, 2016

Luke's Birth Story

So just like with my other two kiddos, Luke had to be induced. This pregnancy was by far my most difficult and complicated one. Maybe it was because of the 4 1/2 year gap in between, but I did not remember my other pregnancies being so painful. I also developed gestational diabetes and had to poke my finger 4 times a day for roughly 9 weeks. Not exactly my favorite thing to do, but it was much more manageable than I had imagined it being. I did have to change my eating habits (maybe why I only gained 17 pounds), but I was able to control my blood sugars by diet only and avoided all medications. So all in all, it wasn't the easy simple pregnancy I had imagined but I ended up with a cute and healthy baby and that's the best outcome I could hope for.

So with the development of gestational diabetes and my predisposition towards high blood pressure at the end of my pregnancies, both my doctor and I thought that this baby would show up about two weeks early. That was totally okay with me, because the last two weeks of pregnancy can stretch on for an eternity and I didn't really relish the idea of going overdue. Ryan and I chose not to find out the gender of this baby, so the last few weeks I was getting really excited to meet whoever was in there! Well we get to 37 weeks and I had 3 nights in a row of contractions about 7 minutes apart for 5-6 hours each night. Enough to keep me awake but not enough to actually be real labor. So I was exhausted and cranky and ready for baby, but no. I get to my 38 week appointment and nothing, no cervical changes not even 1 cm dilated. I was so disappointed. 38 weeks comes and goes, 39 weeks arrives and finally my doctor agrees to induce 2 days before my due date. Now keep in mind that I was under the impression that my baby was going to show up anytime after 37 weeks. Gestational diabetics can have larger babies and I had already had a 9 pounder (Thanks Andrew) so size was a concern. But my blood sugars and blood pressure were all looking perfect, so there was no medical reason to induce. My doc did say that she likes to deliver gestational diabetics around 39 weeks just to be on the safe side. I was more than ready.

So we get everything all ready. We needed childcare for the big kids, because it wasn't a school break when my mother in-law had off from work. Finally we agreed that my mom was going to watch them, which meant that this would be the first birth of mine that she wouldn't be present for. I was a little nervous that it might upset her; but we needed someone to watch the older kids and since Ryan and I didn't know the gender I was looking forward to meeting the baby just the two of us at first.

We went into the hospital on Tuesday night after dropping the older two with my mom. We got all situated in the hospital, checked in and shown to our room. I had a great night nurse who despite missing on the first try for the IV turned out to be great! She was so personable and funny, loved having her there. They gave me the cervadil (a cervix ripening agent) to kick start the induction.

Thanks to the cervadil, I had pretty strong contractions all night long. I was hoping that those would turn into labor, but nope! They would be anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour apart. I just watched food network (Chopped) all night long and dozed off an on. Finally morning came, and it was time to start the action.

My morning nurse was Katie, she was amazing!! Honestly couldn't have had a better nurse while in labor. She checked me and got the all clear from the doctor to start the pitocin. She asked me right away what my pain management plan was and I was quick to inform her that I wanted an epidural and asap.  So at 7:15 my pitocin was started and my fluids. By 7:45 I had my epidural! I forgot was getting one was like, and was super nervous but everything worked out fine and it took the edge off of the pain. I still felt pressure and at one point even had to be redosed with the meds because I had a "window" of pain that wasn't going away with changing my position.

After the epidural placement, it was a lot of waiting and checking in. I had to have regular blood checks to make sure my blood sugars were at good levels and that was all good. Then around 9:30 my doctor came in and broke my water. From there, things moved a little quicker. I tend to have pretty quick labors (6 hours or less) so I was prepared for another quick one.

Around 11:45 my nurse checked me and said I was dilated to a 7. She helped me get turned onto my left side and then put a peanut ball (medicine ball shaped like a peanut) between my legs. She told me she'd be back in an hour but to call her if I felt a lot of pressure. Well about 5-10 minutes later, I told Ryan I didn't think I was a 7 anymore. We called the nurse back in and sure enough, it was time for baby to arrive. The nurse got the bed all set up a phone call into my doctor to let her know that delivery was close.

While we were waiting for the doctor to get in, Katie had me do a practice push but quickly told me to stop because "I prefer to have a physician on hand at the birth." So then all the nursery nurses start walking and a few of them commented on how the baby had a nice head of hair. Awkward right? I remember thinking, if you can tell this baby has hair, can we just deliver it. Katie had me breathe through contractions for about 15 minutes before my doctor came running in. At one point she told me not to push and I told her "I'm not pushing, but I think my body is doing it on its own."

After what seemed like an eternity, but was really 15 minutes, my doctor literally came running into the room. She was getting gowned up and putting on her gloves when Katie told me to go ahead and push, but stopped me again because my doc didn't have her gloves on. Once my doc had her gloves on, I was able to push, counted to 4 and out came Luke's head followed by a big gush of amniotic fluid. Then the rest of him came out and Ryan looked at me and told me he was a boy! He was born at 12:33 pm but probably would have been here closer to 12:00 if we hadn't had to wait on my doctor!

It was such a chill and relaxed labor and honestly went great! Luke was the first baby that was able to immediately go on my chest without having to be checked on/worked on by the nurses. It was really amazing to be able to just have my baby with skin to skin contact and really have that bonding time right away. He passed all of his APGARs and his blood sugars were all very normal as well.

My recovery was quick and easy this time around. Very little physical pain and more just exhaustion. Luke was very active at night and our hospital really encouraged rooming in. I did send him to the nursery for a few hours on our last night there so I could get a good rest. My night nurse Elizabeth was phenomenal and absolutely made my stay much more enjoyable.

I'm so glad we didn't find out Luke's gender, it was a great moment when he was born. And I would do it all over again, the diabetes, the surprise gender and the labor. I love my little Luke and I am so glad he's here! He's my only baby that was born with a full head of dark hair (even though it's nearly all fallen out now) and he still likes to have his hands by his face when he sleeps like in the pictures.

By the way these are the newborn photos from the hospital and I thought they were fantastic.

He came back from the nursery with this blue hat that was made by hospital volunteers!

Andrew picked out this teddy bear as a gift for Luke and the pictures with it turned out so sweet!

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