Dave and I are proud to announce the birth of our son, Carter James!
Carter was born on Friday, March 29 at 7:03pm. He was 8lbs, 3oz and 20 inches long… and totally perfect to us! But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s start at the beginning…
I went into the hospital to be induced on the evening of Thursday, March 28. They wanted me to stay overnight so that they could give me some drugs to help prepare my body for the induction of labor the following day. When they first started monitoring everything I was already contracting on my own (but not very strongly) and was 1cm dilated. It was a restless night since I was excited to get things going the next day and because the nurses came in every hour to check my vitals, take my blood sugar or adjust the fetal heart rate monitor that would inevitably slide down my belly every time I moved in my sleep (or restless tossing and turning).
Friday morning they got me up at 5:30 a.m., unhooked me from the fetal monitors and IV and let me shower and eat breakfast before starting the pitocin. Dave and I took the opportunity to take one last belly photo before the little guy came out. And yes, I did bring my own hospital gown :-) It was much more comfortable than the ones I knew had been worn by many women before me with goodness knows what washed off of it. Yuck! Bringing my own was just a much better option for me.
At 6:30 I was hooked up to the pitocin and was ready to get things really moving so I could meet the little guy who had been growing inside me for the last 9 months. Things were off to a slow start and I wasn’t even 2cm dilated until nearly 11:00 a.m. Luckily I had a great support team with me at the hospital to keep me company and entertained: Dave, my mom, my Aunt Pat and BFF Kendra.
At the 11:00 a.m. check I was in a decent amount of pain and was ready to talk about an epidural. Let me tell you, pitocin is no joke and even though I hadn’t been through labor before, I was pretty sure that the contractions were stronger that anything my body would have been able to produce. Unfortunately the nurse thought I wasn’t far enough along to get the epidural and told me I had to wait a while longer before I could have the drugs. Boo.
So there I was, hanging out in the bed while the contractions got even stronger and I was in much more pain. It was to the point where they were coming every 2 minutes and were lasting for a minute and the pain was so intense that I could hardly keep my eyes open and I was barely able to speak during a contraction. So at 1:00 p.m. I
demanded again asked about the epidural because I was SO OVER the pain. The nurse checked me and I had only progressed to 3cm. Ugh. But this time she said she would call my doctor about the epidural because she could see how much pain I was in.
Luckily my doctor said I could have the epidural (I knew I liked my doctor!) and they called the anesthesiologist right away. I was all hooked up to the epidural by 1:45 and was happy as a clam. To me on that day, epidurals were the best invention ever. I was more relaxed, alert and talking again all while making progress in my labor. Good stuff.
At 3:00 I decided to take a nap, which I desperately needed. I was woken up at 4:00 by the nurse who needed to check me to see if I had made any progress since I had received the epidural. I was at 4cm and my water had broken on its own (and I didn't even feel it)! That sounded like progress to me! The nurse said I could expect to dilate another centimeter about every hour and that if all went well baby could be born before midnight. I said that I was hoping he’d come before then, and she laughed at me. Hmmm, challenge accepted!
By 4:30 I was feeling a lot of pressure and could now feel the rest of my bag of waters leaking. The pressure was so intense and such an unusual sensation that I had the nurse come back in at 4:55 to check me again. She said that she would check me if I wanted but didn't think that much would have happened in less than an hour. Well, she checked and I was at 10cm!
Because baby’s head was still pretty high up it was decided that I needed to labor for another hour to bring his head down so that I didn’t have to use too much energy bringing him down with my own pushing. Well, an hour passed and his head was at -2 station (if you don’t know, that just means it was still up there but lower than it was). With the nurse in charge and Dave and my mom holding my legs, I began to push. I pushed for about 30 minutes to bring the head down far enough to warrant the doctor coming in for delivery. Things paused while everyone got dressed in their protective gear and then the doctor said to me, “well, show me what you’ve got!” Again, challenge accepted. Two pushes later and Mr.. Carter James shot out into the world.
Even the doctor was surprised at how quickly baby came. That’ll teach her to challenge me to show her what I’ve got ;-)
After delivery I got to spend the first hour of Carter’s life holding him skin to skin so that we could bond. After the first hour Dave got to hold him before he was weighed, measured and bathed.
After all of that, we all gathered around the bed to sing happy birthday to Carter and celebrate with a piece of birthday cake… because there is no more appropriate time for birthday cake than on the day of the baby’s birth, right?
We are so happy to have this little guy in our lives now. He is so loved and we are so very grateful for a healthy, happy baby. Welcome to our family, Carter James!