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I woke up around 1:30 a.m. on April 1st to pee, nothing out of the ordinary there. Then I woke up again at 2:30 which seemed a little soon to have to go again, but I got up and went to the bathroom anyway. As I got back into bed I realized that I was having some pain/cramping. I tried to lay down, but couldn't get comfortable and started thinking "Hmmm... maybe this is it?"
I got up and went into the living room where I watched an episode of Parenthood and tried to pay attention to the timing of the "cramps" I was having. After about half an hour I went and got the paper from the Dr's office about "When to Call..." and I started writing down times. It seemed like the little contractions were coming about every 5-6 minutes, but I was able to breathe fine at that point. I started to panic a little as I realized they were getting closer so I began running around finding all of our cameras, my phone charger, etc. The paper I had said to wait until the contractions had been going on for 1-2 hours, so I called the answering service around 4:30. The on-call dr called me back and said to come in. I hung up the phone and was totally freaked - this was SOOO different from last time! To top if off, I still had stupid pink-eye, a cough, and a sore/raspy throat since my voice was just coming back. Ugh. I woke Ryan up and told him that I had called the doctor and they wanted me to come in, but to “take his time” waking up – ha ha, I was in definite denial!
I put a call in to my mom to let her know that I was in labor, and then we got everything together. I was sad that I wouldn’t get to see Jack before going to the hospital, but maybe it was better that way so that I didn’t get emotional about it.
My mom arrived around 5:30 a.m. At that point I was starting to feel a lot more pain with my contractions and they were about 3 minutes apart. I actually went and just sat in the car while we waited (on a towel…just in case) because I couldn’t get comfortable and I knew things were just going to get worse. We took off for the hospital and, of course, got stuck behind the s-l-o-w-e-s-t drivers ever. I was watching the clock and contractions were 2-3 minutes apart and wrapping around into my back. Ryan pulled up to the Family Birthing Center and walked me inside where a woman in the lobby got me a wheelchair and wheeled me up the third floor. I signed in, handed over my paperwork, and as soon as Ry parked the car and came up, they took me back to a triage room to make sure that I was actually in labor. Everything seemed to be taking forever, but they finally checked me and I was dilated to 5 c.m. (wow! halfway there!!!). They also did a quick ultrasound to make sure the baby’s head was down (it was). My pain was getting worse and I was trying to find a comfortable position, but I just couldn’t. I think I got my IV in there? I can’t really remember when/where that happened. We waited and waited (and Ryan did a good job being patient despite the wait) until they moved me into a labor and delivery room a little after 7 a.m.
I immediately said that I wanted an epidural because I was pretty miserable and at 7:20 my nurse told me that I was “next in line”. Apparently the labor and delivery unit was swamped that day, and I finally got the epidural around 8:15 a.m. – that entire time I just sat on the edge of my bed, grabbing Ryan’s arm, trying to breathe through each one, and watching the monitor to see how big each contraction was. Once the epidural was in place, I felt like a new person. I could actually lay back and relax instead of feeling so tense and in pain. The doctor came in, it was the one who was doing rounds the weekend that Jack was born, so I was happy that it was someone in my practice who I had met before. My mom arrived soon after that and then my dad showed up as well. We sat around talking. The nurse was waiting to check me again and break my water, which worked out well because my water broke on its own around 10:30 a.m. The epidural made me super itchy and I went through phases of having the chills/feeling nauseous, but I would take that over the pain of my contractions ANY day!
Around 11:15 a.m. I started feeling VERY nauseous and came very close to throwing up. I asked my parents to leave and I think the nurse might have checked me? Again, I’m not really sure. I was starting to feel some pressure, so they moved me into a position where I was sitting up very high on the top part of the bed and then had my feet pressed together on the lowered part. This allowed gravity to help bring the baby down even more to hopefully make my time pushing short. I was regularly feeling waves of pressure, but nothing constant. It was amazing though because I could feel the baby moving lower every once in a while. A little before noon, Dr. Gove came back in and suggested that we at least try pushing since I was fully dilated and feeling pressure. The nurse got things arranged, two med students came in (the more the merrier, right?), and a tech was also there. On the first set of pushes, they immediately knew that this was going to be quick (HOORAY!) so they made me stop and made sure everything was completely ready for our little guy’s arrival. It was so different than my delivery with Jack. That time I pushed for 2 hours and was exhausted. This time, we were all just talking and joking around in between pushes – the nurse used to live in Saline and was asking me about different families/names that I might know. I pushed for three more sets, a total of about 15 minutes, and then at 12:10 p.m. the baby was born!!! They put him up on me right away and I got to see my BIG boy; then the nurse took him over to the warmer. Similar to Jack’s birth, everyone was amazed that he turned out to be so big – 9 lbs, 11 ounces and 21 ¾ inches long! They kept throwing around the term LGA which made me worried, but then I asked and discovered it just means Large for Gestational Age! Ryan got to watch them clean the baby up and then held him while they finished with me. Finally, it was just the three of us alone in the room – something that we didn’t get to do with Jackson since he had to go to the NICU right away due to my having a fever during labor. It was wonderful to have time to ourselves and that’s when we had to figure out a name. We had been throwing around Archer for a long time, but had a few other names as well. After trying to decide “what he looked like” (yeah, right…how can you even tell?!?!?!) we came back to Archie and decided that there was nothing we liked better for this sweet boy, so Archer Liam it is! So…there you have it! That turned out much longer than I expected, but it’s pretty darn complete! Thanks for reading!!!