I love having this blog as a record of my life. Today's post will likely be one of my absolute favorites. Just like I've reread Isaac's birth story about 100 times, I will have this typed out to read and relive over and over and over again. First, I've got to get all the details down before my brain gets murky. Sometime soon, I hope to post a blog of the pictures that our birth photographer took... they are seriously amazing.
Before I can tell you about the day Ian was born, I've got to include the few days leading up to birth day, because the lead up is pretty important. See, originally, I had planned to have a baby on January 26. It was a great plan. My sister would be here in town and wanted to be at the delivery, so not only would we have an extra set of hands, but she could actually be at the hospital when Ian arrived (Casey was in Haiti when Isaac was born). All of the troops (my doctor, CRNA, and nurses) were aware of my grand plan. It was a great plan.
And obviously things didn't exactly happen that way.
I went to my 39 week appointment on Tuesday morning (1/20) feeling no different than I had at most of my previous appointments. Four days earlier, I'd seen my doc at a 38 week appointment and was informed that I was already 3cm dilated (but funneling), 50% effaced, and the baby was floating around -2 to -1 station. Between this appointment and my 39 week appointment, I spent a long weekend at home, resting, napping, and not contracting... because remember, I wanted to stay pregnant until the 26th. So imagine my surprise when I saw Dr. Canterbury on Tuesday morning and my cervix had changed. I had been keeping track of my blood pressures at home, which were a little bit higher than my normal. I'd lost 3 pounds in 4 days and was feeling a lot more low pressure. All signs were pointing to baby.
And then my doc says, "lets have a baby tomorrow."
And then I cried. Cried in the office. Cried on the phone. Went back to work and cried at the nurse's station, the break room, the locker room... I wasn't mentally prepared to have a baby. I had to mourn the loss of my big plans. I had to mourn the loss of my one kid life. Oh my gosh, what was I going to do with my 2 year old?!? Who would take care of him while I was in the hospital?!? Plus, it would be Wednesday, so who would lead youth worship?!? So many questions to answer and so little time. My charge nurse was gracious enough to let me go home from work early so that I could get all my ducks in a row before coming back at 5:30 the next morning. I was thankful to have an afternoon to spend with my little boy. The weather was beautiful, so we went to the park until Dad got home and then we all went out to eat as a family of 3.
Very early the next morning, Jordan and I woke up, loaded our bags, drove into Corpus Christi, and walked up the back stairs through the staff entrance to L&D. The weather was terrible that morning. A cold front was just beginning to blow in and it was very foggy and misting rain. My dear friend and coworker, Bobi Jo was already there getting my room stocked and ready to go. I was a total bundle of nerves... I told her to disregard my blood pressures for a little while! I changed into my gown and was put on the monitor. Bobi Jo started my IV and shortly thereafter, started some pitocin. Once she was finished and my lab work had been drawn (with a high white cell count! Its likely that I wouldnt have been pregnant much longer regardless of intervention!), I took a few minutes to put on a little makeup and tried to relax. It was a little after 6am.
Nothing much happened between 6am and 8:30 other than lots of non-painful contractions. It was just like my labor with Isaac. I could always tell when I was having contractions, but they were never painful. At 8:30, Dr. Canterbury came by and broke my water. My cervix had not changed any further since being checked in the office 24 hours earlier. The fluid was clear (yay!) and the uncontrollable gushing was just as disgusting as I remembered. Because it was a busy day on the unit, I went ahead and asked for my epidural, knowing that there'd be a little wait time involved. I still wasn't hurting, but wanted to make sure and get it before the big time contractions really kicked in. About an hour later, I was sitting up for my epidural. Dirk did an amazing job once again... totally painless, just some strange pressure and sensations during the procedure. Before long I was getting heavy and numb, with the exception of still feeling pressure with each contraction. This was strange, because it was exactly what I was feeling before my epidural was placed. A quick touch to my stomach or legs confirmed that my epidural was indeed working, but I was feeling some pretty substantial pressure with every contraction.
After giving it a little time (and getting a touch more medication), the epidural seemed to take effect and I was only feeling pressure with every third or fourth contraction. It was about 10am and I was 4-5cm. Not a whole lot of change yet from early in the morning and I wondered if this would actually be another long labor like Isaac's. Jordan's parents had arrived by this point and we sat around and chatted for a little while. I needed a lot of help to move around, but Bobi Jo was awesome at making sure I was 100% comfortable. Shortly thereafter, I started feeling more pressure again. I was not interested in being any more numb, so I just shrugged off the occasional discomfort. Then I started noticing on the monitor some little variables (dips) in the baby's heart rate. Something was happening. It was about 11:30 or so at this point and Jordan's parents were talking about going to get lunch... and all I could think was that they needed to leave SOON. The baby was definitely on the way. I tried to play off the growing pressure, but as soon as they were out the door, Bobi Jo was in the room to check my cervix. I was 7-8cm! It was around noon at this point. She said the baby was still high and that I had a lot more cervix on one side, so she flipped me over (we L&D nurses like to call it the multip-flip. Works every time.). Within the next 2-3 contractions, I felt like I needed to push. Bobi Jo was hurriedly setting up my room for delivery and calling all the people who needed to come. Dr. Canterbury was in the hospital, but the charge nurse was in a meeting and my nursery nurse was on her way to the hospital. Just as I am really starting to have to breathe with my contractions to keep from pushing, my boss walks through the door.
Talk about poor timing.
She seemed perfectly oblivious to my discomfort (which was still not painful, just that overwhelming urge to push), and decided to make small talk while I was panting through my contractions. I couldn't very well tell my boss to get out of my room, so I attempted to make small talk as well... and I probably did a very poor job. As soon as she made her exit, Bobi Jo was back to check my cervix again. I was 10cm dilated and the baby was low enough to nearly see the hair color. It had barely been four hours since my water was broken. We were still waiting on the delivery team to arrive, so she turned my pitocin off and I continued to breathe & blow my way through contractions, although I could feel the baby getting lower and lower with each one. Bobi Jo called Beverly (the nursery nurse) and told her to come straight to the room, don't even change into scrubs!
After what seemed like an eternity, everyone was at the bedside. Dr. Canterbury was there along with Bobi Jo, Edie, and Beverly. Somewhere along the way, we added Annabelle and Kendra too. I was surrounded by the people I love most, many of whom were also there for Isaac's birth. I was put into stirrups and prepped for delivery... and I was more than ready to push at that point.
Three short contractions later, HE was born.
The baby I'd prayed over and dreamed of and loved from the very beginning was here. And it was a boy!!!!!!
Before I could see him, Jordan announced to the whole room that it was indeed a boy! Ian Michael had arrived at 12:52pm and I was absolutely overcome with joy. I don't think there was a dry eye in the entire room, and through my own tears I saw and held my little boy for the first time. Jordan cut the cord and we both marveled at our little brother.... and he was certainly little!
After delivering a 9+ pound Isaac the first time around, we were more than shocked to learn that Ian weighed in at a very normal 7 pounds and 4 ounces. He was 20 inches long and absolutely perfect. He had long arms, big hands and feet, kissable lips, and a sprinkling of light brown hair. He was beautiful and I was instantly in love. I know it sounds cliche'd, but it was as if he had always been a part of my life and our family. Despite leaving the gender a mystery until birth, of course it was Ian... it had always been Ian.
Once again, the Lord answered the prayers of my heart, just in ways that didn't necessarily make sense at the time. He knew exactly what I needed, who I needed, and when I needed things to happen. It didn't look anything like the grand plan that I had in mind; it was better and sweeter and bursting with evidence of God's provision for our family. We are so richly blessed and thankful for our sweet Ian.