Picking up where I left off last time, on Friday September 27th Katy and Jason joined us for pizza night. We feasted on pepperoni and olive (my favorite) and the all-meat combo. Our hubbies fell asleep on the couch watching 'Fast & Loud' and Katy and I gabbed away about waiting for the baby. We also snuck in a few belly photos before the sun set. In addition to being frustrated over a day with no contractions (after two days of inconsistent ones), I was over the edge since my feet were so swollen they would no longer fit in my slouchy, pre-pregnancy roomy cowboy boots. I officially had one pair of shoes my feet would fit into, at least for a few hours before they would start swelling on the top in a less than glamorous manner.
After saying goodnight (and waking our men up off the couch!) I gave into my frustrations of waiting. I mean it was 11 days til his official due date, I convinced myself to just CHILL. I prayed and let it all go. I repeated to myself that God knew Luke's birthday and birth story, and it wasn't one I could be the author of. I just had to wait. I fell asleep and within a half-hour I sprung out of bed faster than I have in months! I ran to the bathroom and sat there wondering if it really could be that my water just broke. When I felt it was 'safe' I made my way back to our bedroom to get fresh clothes. And that's when the second gush came and a series of earth shattering contractions began. I yelled something that I'm pretty sure wasn't even English and Cody sat up half-asleep to ask what the commotion was all about. As he woke himself up, I hung out in the shower--I only had a few items of clothing that still fit, so I figured the shower was the best place to be until it was time to head to the hospital. I had enough clarity to laugh at the irony of how I fell asleep giving control to God and was awakened so soon after with a clear answer!
We arrived at the hospital at about 12:30 AM on Saturday, September 28th. I was immediately given a bed, private room and the nicest nurse on the planet. For the next few hours I tried to sleep while contractions built and I continued to dilate--which means I got no sleep. Cody did, however! At about 3AM I was given an injection to slow my contractions, they were coming every minute and therefore not as effective. By noontime I was desperate for the epidural. My mom and Cody spent the day swapping out as my bedside encourager (around coffee and meal breaks!). I was able to sneak in a power nap with the epidural (finally!) At around 4PM I was feeling the urge to push, so we gave that a thirty minute try. It was around this time that I felt like I had to epidural at all. I mean my legs were dead weight, but my tailbone was horrendously painful. My contractions were also back to every minute, so we had to slow everything down again. Throughout the entire day, I was continually comforted by the monitor showing no change in Luke's strong heartbeat. Usually my level of contractions would have been a stress on the baby, but Luke was strong as ever the whole time!
After my additional anesthetic cocktail for tailbone pain (Luke was set on being born 'sunny side up') and another injection to manage my contractions, I was ready to try pushing again by 7PM. Long day already, but this baby was going to be born on the 28th or bust! My mom and Cody were at my sides and we had one nurse coaching us along (an emergency cesarean had stretched the staff thin). Mom was on ice-chip duty and Cody was on oxygen mask duty. It wasn't long before my contractions sped back up to be by the minute again but with the oxygen and ice-chips we made it through. As exhausted as I was, I had no idea it had been two hours, and thanks to the epidural + tailbone cocktail the pressure of labor was bearable. I did manage to (accidentally) clock Cody in the jaw, though. At 9PM I was still pushing and the majority of my epidural and additional tailbone painkillers had worn off. We tried every angle to get him to turn and make the process easier, but he refused to budge! Since I had been pushing for two hours it was time to get the baby out myself or turn to additional help by the doctor. That's when my midwife rescuer arrived. I mean this in the most flattering of ways--she was the best combination of drill sergeant and cheerleader there ever was. She yelled with me, at me and for me. And at 9:11 Luke was born and made his first cry!
He was quickly placed on my chest and I could barely see through my tears to look back into his eyes. It was a moment I will never forget and to have Cody with me from water breaking to this moment was more than I could have ever asked for. We had been so worried about my water breaking while he was an hour away at his job, so it was truly God's plan to have orchestrated it all this way. He and my mom provided tremendous support in their own ways that I can't imagine my labor any other way. My mom is a pro at childbirth, having four healthy children herself (three with no epidural!) and could also be called a baby whisperer. Babies just love her. Cody has an infamous weak stomach, I was fully ready for him to need breaks during the climax of labor. But he didn't. He never left my side! The two of them coached me through in their individual and intimate knowledge of me and what I needed that nobody else has. Plus, my mom was able to steer Cody appropriately away from me and to our son so he wouldn't see too much of the afterbirth loveliness.
During the end of labor, I had also gone into a fever. So Luke would automatically spend his first twelve hours in the NICU for testing and antibiotics. That first night was everything. Exciting & exhausting. We would visit the NICU every 3 hours to continue bonding and trying to nurse. Which meant by the time we were woken up, and made the slow walk down the hall we got about one hour of sleep at a time. I could barely put one foot in front of the other! But it was worth every teensy step to hold Luke and freak out in excitement over our new reality. By 10AM the next morning, Luke was cleared from the NICU and back to our recovery room. I was given the go-ahead for a shower & family and friends began pouring in to admire our babe! So far, the world is in agreement that he is in fact the cutest baby ever!!
Born September 28th, 2013
at 9:11 PM
8 lbs. 5 oz.
21 inches long
Blue eyes &
(Lots of!) Brown hair
Welcome to our family little Luke! We love you and are so excited to have you here in our arms!