Peter's Birth Story

Monday, December 8, 2014

Okay, birth story!  Let's do this!!!

Short story:  Peter Damian was born at 12:26 AM on Saturday, November 15.  Either 6 days or 3 days late, depending on which date you use.  8.5 lbs, 21.5 inches long, 13.5-inch head.  My first unmedicated labor, and yes I feel like I deserve a prize!

40 weeks 1 day OR 40 weeks 4 days, depending...
As it became increasingly apparent that this baby wasn't making an early arrival, I started halfheartedly planning a low-key "birthday party" for the twins, who turned 2 on November 14.  I knew I didn't have energy for much, and if I ended up in labor I didn't want to have to call a million people to cancel!  So I convinced them that brownies and ice cream were the way to go, and invited one family over to celebrate with pizza and dessert.  

And yeah, it's a good thing that's all I planned!

I woke up in the wee hours of the morning on the 14th with my usual pregnancy insomnia, so I sat around on the couch for a while having contractions and playing games on my phone (I don't know WHY nobody's on facebook or twitter at 4 AM!  Keep a pregnant lady entertained, huh?).  But after weeks of prodromal labor (seriously, nearly every night after dinner since about 36 week...), these contractions finally felt REAL!  Real enough that I downloaded a contraction timer, but they petered out after about an hour and I went back to bed.

40-degree temperatures call for a strappy sundress, obviously.
I woke up a couple hours later with more contractions, but tried to sleep through them.  They were coming every 10 minutes or so and getting more painful, so I asked Andrew to email my mom and ask if she would come by today and maybe stay for the weekend to celebrate the twins' birthday (she was going to come watch the kids while I was at the hospital anyway, but she lives 2 hours away so we weren't sure when would be a good time for her to come).  Because if I was actually IN labor right now, it would probably be good to have somebody else to deal with the kids...

Contractions petered out again, and we got ready for the day.  Somewhere in there I lost my mucus plug and texted Andrew that the baby was probably going to be here fairly soon.  But still just a few contractions per hour, and mostly just when I got up and did too much, so I knew it wasn't real labor yet.

Our friends came over around 4 and the boys got to work building all the train tracks and all the duplo houses.  My mom was already there to help, the pizza was ordered, the brownies were made, and I was convinced this baby was staying put for another day at least.

And remained in denial for several more hours...

Newly 2!
It was actually kind of awesome having to DO things while I was in labor - I was distracted enough not to psych myself out.  Around 5 the pizza arrived and as I got stuff set up for dinner I realized that the contractions were getting more frequent and more painful.  There came a point where our friend just made me sit down because clearly SHE realized I was in labor even though I was kind of brushing it off...

(After all, the hospital bag still wasn't packed!)

Newly 2!

We finished up dinner and dessert, and another friend stopped by to return some baby things and give the twins birthday presents - I tried so hard to be social but kept having to sit down and deal with contractions!  On a side note, taking a 2-year-old to the potty and having to squat while she does nothing is NOT pleasant mid-contraction.  Why did I not just go to my room and lie down?  I don't even know...

Anyway, people kept offering to leave or telling me to sit down, but I brushed it off.  And finally sat down and realized hey, my contractions were 4 minutes apart?  So we got the twins to bed, everyone left, and my mom started getting John Paul and Cecilia ready while Andrew and I headed to our room to pack the hospital bag.  And finally decided that, yeah, this baby was probably coming SOON!  And we should probably get going so I don't end up having the baby in the car or something ;)

 We headed out, saying good bye to the big kids before they went to bed (side note: they were so excited that we were heading to the hospital to have the baby, to the point that they thought it would be appropriate to try to jump into my arms?  Ouch!!!), and calling the hospital to let our on-call doctor know we'd be coming in.  Except they couldn't reach her so apparently it was a surprise when we showed up.  Oh well, it was quiet in there, because apparently Friday night isn't a popular night to have a baby.

(Another side note: I'm REALLY glad we waited as long as we did to go to the hospital - rush hour traffic around here is no joke, particularly on a Friday night, and all the traffic was gone by the time we left at about 8:15.  It could have taken over an hour to get to the hospital, but only ended up taking 20 minutes.  Hallelujah!)

Aaaanyway, we got to our room and they checked me and I was already at 7 cm!  Considering I arrived at the hospital at a whopping 1 cm and 2 cm for John Paul's and Cecilia's births, this was really exciting!  Maybe we'd have a triple birthday after all!

They hooked me up to all those stupid monitors (seriously, WORST PART of the whole experience, and if I'm gonna go drug-free again we're doing it at home) and I did the labor thing and the doctor came in after about half an hour saying she thought I was probably complete!

What?  Already???

Nope.  7 cm.  Still.

My water broke on its own (a slow trickle) and I dealt with the contractions the way I do (NOBODY TOUCH ME WHEN I AM IN LABOR).  I'm pretty sure the nurse thought Andrew was incredibly unsupportive as he kind of hung back and did his thing, but when I snapped at her to stop touching me during one of the contractions, I think she realized that yeah, I just don't want anyone near me when I'm in labor.

Which made the fact that she kept adjusting the monitors mid-contraction particularly annoying...

I'm kind of going fuzzy on the details here - I think I got to 9 cm around 10 o'clock and was convinced that I'd be pushing soon.  Nope.  11 o'clock?  Still 9 cm.  And losing steam...  I'm pretty sure I was the most whiny and annoying pregnant woman ever, with my cries of, "Is it too late for an epidural?" and "I don't like this!"  But yeah, it was too late.  

(Side note:  I was praying for you all throughout, and that really helped me deal with the pain!  So...  Thanks for needing prayers?  Hope they helped!)

Cockiest newborn ever?
I wanted to push.  I started pushing even though the nurse told me not to.  And she checked me and saw that every time I pushed it swelled up the stupid lip of cervix that wouldn't budge.  So I was supposed to STOP pushing???


Whine whine whine, ice chips ice chips ice chips (THAT is what I like Andrew to do - sit by me and feed me ice chips when I reach that point!).  The clock ticked closer and closer to midnight and we realized that this baby was going to take his own sweet time to arrive!  But finally things fell into place, or the nurse worked some sort of magic, and we were ready for the delivery team to come in!

And again I'm hazy on the details...  1 push?  2 pushes?  I got him out fast, I was DONE! 

And then we heard them say he had HAIR!  One of OUR babies?  Seriously???

Yup, our 5th baby managed to be the longest, largest, and hairiest!  Way to go, Peter!

After an uneventful hospital stay, we headed home and have been enjoying awesome newborn snuggles (and copious amounts of bodily fluids) ever since.  And yeah, pretty sure he won't be our last baby :)

Are you a glutton for punishment?  Here are my other birth stories:

John Paul (Part I, Part II, Part III)

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