Written before we left the hospital on December 23, 2018. Disclaimer….only read if you want real labor and birthing details otherwise this post may not be for you.
As I write this, baby Sawyer is receiving some of his final tests before we head home from the hospital. This has been such an experience that I had to write it all out before too many sleepless days and nights passed and it all became a blur. Sawyer’s birth story started on December 21st the day before his scheduled induction. It was the boys’ last day of school and they both had Christmas parties, it was our last day of work for the year and Sawyer was scheduled to arrive the next day. It was an exciting day for everyone. After picking-up the boys from school, we got ready to head over to my mother and father-in laws for an early Christmas celebration. They are both teachers and spend their winter break beachside every year making us all very jealous.
We had a nice evening spent with family, but I had been having more consistent and intense contractions. I didn’t worry too much about timing them out as I was headed to the hospital in a few hours to start the induction process. After Christmas, we dropped the boys off at my parents’ house and we headed home to shower and get our bags together. I ate my final meal and then we sat down for a few minutes in our living room. We reflected on the peace and quiet of our house and that the next time we came back home, we would be a family of five. I will remember that peaceful moment for as long as I possibly can.
We left for the hospital and arrived shortly after midnight. It is very different arriving for an induction than a true spontaneous labor. Everything is much more calm and obviously controlled. We checked in, they made me take a wheelchair to my room and we started to get settled in. This would be the room that I wouldn’t leave for nearly 2 days. Around 3am, dressed in my wonderful hospital gown, we started the induction process and settled in to get some sleep. (spoiler alert….I got very little sleep, buy my mediation app on loop did help me relax).
Several hours later around 5am, I suddenly felt a gush of warm liquid and my water had broken. At this point, my contractions were very consistent and progressing in intensity. I tried to do without an epidural for as long as I possibly could but by 8:30am it was time. I had never had contraction pain with this level of intensity in my two previous pregnancies due to an earlier epidural, and three and a half hours of it was enough. By 9am, the anesthesiologist had arrived. They kicked Jason out so she could insert the epidural into my back and I was anxiously awaiting the sweet relief of eased pain. The anesthesiologist was great and the epidural procedure itself went well. My epidural on the other hand…did not go well. I started noticing that my pain was not improving but instead becoming more intense. My blood pressure dropped and baby’s heart rate had started dropping. Jason was still in the waiting room and it was now 45 minutes later. By the time Jason was back in the room, I was on oxygen and barely coping with each of my contractions that were now very close together with little relief in between. My epidural did not work in the areas that I needed it the most and the pain was so terrible in a way that I can’t describe other than there were parts of it that I simply wanted to give-up but I didn’t know how.
My epidural did not provide relief from my contraction pain, but what it did do was progress my contractions and labor to the point that I was fully dilated within the hour and was ready to start pushing by the time Jason returned to the room. It all progressed so quickly that my doctor was not available yet. She was still in a c-section in another room and was just finishing up.
I want to stop my story now to give credit to a few people who I am so grateful to have with me during my labor and delivery. First, I had the best flipping nurses. The nurse that was with me for my epidural and delivery did everything that she could possibly do to help me get some comfort. I wish I could go back and give her a big hug. Second, my badass doctor who was exactly who I wanted delivering my baby. Because of her, baby came out safely, she brought me a few much-needed laughs and she helped me avoid any tearing which has made recovery so much easier! The other person that I owe everything to is Jason. Once he got back to the room, he was so confused what was happening because my labor went from calm to crazy in a matter of 45 minutes. I was in so much pain that all I could do was cry, squeeze his hand and scream. (Confession, I was that screaming woman in labor. It’s not an exaggeration. I could do nothing to bear the pain but clutch his hand and scream.) Jason did everything he could for me as well including stroking my hair which he knows helps me relax and try to encourage me as best as he could. I could not have done it without him.
At this time, I was ready to push and freaking out. A squad of nurses entered the room and jumped to action getting the room ready for delivery within 60 seconds. I can only compare it to a Nascar tire change with how quickly they mobilized. My doctor walked in and it was instantly time to push with no time to spare. The pushing without an epidural was the part that I was the most scared of. The thought of pushing a watermelon out of my vagina really sounded like it would be the worst of the pain, but as my fantastic nurse assured me, it would feel good to push the baby out after the contractions that I was experiencing. You know what, she was right. Pushing baby Sawyer out provided such a relief, and 3-4 solid pushes later and there he was. Sawyer Bailey Lamar born at 10:02am weighing in at 7lbs and 3 oz and 21 inches long with his cone head (20.5 inches long once his cone head went down to its normal size).
Sawyer was placed on my chest and I experienced what I imagine all mothers do at the time their new baby is delivered and placed on their chest. It is that instant moment of relief and joy. I wish I could find the perfect word to describe the emotion that you feel in that moment, but I guess it’s just spontaneous and instant love while feeling like a badass at the same time. The video below is the moment right after Sawyer’s birth. It may be my most vulnerable moment ever captured on video, but I am glad I have it to remember that moment in time which will be my very last birthing experience.
We feel so blessed that everything went so well. It was my quickest and “easiest” labor thus far from a recovery standpoint. We are all working to get settled in at home as a family of five. It’s amazing how one tiny 7 lb human can completely alter your entire world. Over the next several weeks when I have time between feeding and snuggling a baby, I will post about my recovery and some other topics that I want to remember. For now, I need to go cuddle a baby.