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Gavin’s Birth Story

It’s only taken me 18 days to sit down and write this post – the 18 longest, yet shortest days of my entire life. The 18 craziest days that I feel like I accomplished nothing, yet I know I’ve kept a human alive which is kind of huge. 18 days where I felt more love than I have ever known – for my baby, my husband, and all of the amazing family and friends that have supported us through our son’s first few weeks of life. 18 days in which everything has changed completely and my priorities have just been flipped upside down.

But back to the beginning….

Chris and I’s one year wedding anniversary was on October 8. Selfishly, I really didn’t want our baby to be born on that day. I just wanted the day for us. That morning I had a prenatal appointment (that Chris was able to come with me to) where I was told that since I was 41 weeks, we needed to talk about scheduling an induction. We scheduled it for 6 pm on October 11, and I was 0% happy about that. I wanted to be able to have my baby on my own. My midwife stripped my membranes and said it could possibly help with labor, but no guarantee. She encouraged us to go home, enjoy the day, and basically just wait for something to happen. So we left and went to a local cider mill to have lunch and hang out for a while. Then we came home, went for a walk, took a nap, ordered pizza, looked at our wedding pictures, and just enjoyed a low-key anniversary together. As always, I went to bed way before Chris and was reading in bed about 10 pm when I felt like my water broke. I wasn’t positive, so I didn’t say anything to Chris, but then a few minutes later super intense contractions started and my water broke a little more with each one. I couldn’t believe it!

I think Chris and I just layed in bed and stared at each other for a while saying, “Well, what should we do? Do we call someone?” Finally the pain was so bad that I called my midwife who confirmed I was probably in labor, but encouraged me to stay home as long as possible. So I got in the shower and tried to find some relief from the hot water on my back, but it wasn’t working great and the pain was super intense already at this point. I did manage to shave my legs, which I am still very proud of – especially since I had no idea how many strangers were going to be touching all parts of my body in just a few hours!

By the time I got out of the shower it was around 1 am and another call to my midwife determined that we should head to the hospital. So we packed our stuff up and eventually made our way out the door. The car ride to the hospital was brutal – every bump we went over was miserable. Chris was way calmer than I thought he would be, which I was so grateful for. We pulled up to the ER (the only door we were allowed to go in since it was the middle of the night), and Chris got me inside with the security guards and into a wheelchair while he went and parked the car. I really still couldn’t believe it was happening at this point. I remember the long walk down the hospital hallway with our suitcases and thinking, “Holy crap. We are here to have a child.”

Finally we got up to the labor and delivery floor where we were checked in and I was admitted to a triage room to confirm I was really in labor. In my head I was thinking, well duh I am, but I suppose they had to check for themselves. This was really when everything turned into a blur. My contractions were already so bad by this point that I couldn’t really concentrate on what anyone was saying to me. They did indeed confirm I was in labor (duh) and started me on an IV of fluids, which I hated. After what seemed like forever, I was moved to my room and my midwife got there.

For the rest of the night we basically tried to hold off on getting an epidural. My midwife had me walk the halls as much as I could, sit in the bath on a ball while Chris sprayed hot water on my back, set up essential oils, tried to get me to nap, and just sat and talked with me trying to distract me. Eventually around 8am I caved and asked for the epidural, but it took another half hour or so for the anesthesiologist to get there. Once he administered it, I had relief on one side, but could still feel everything on the other. They tried to mess with it a bit over the next few hours, but it just made it worse. By 11am I could feel everything again, so he came back to re-do it. This time it worked for about an hour and then totally stopped, but by that point I was 10 centimeters dilated, so they basically told me too bad – it’s time to push.

To be totally honest, I was terrified to push. I think I actually told them no, I’m not doing that haha. I had the best midwife and two nurses I could have imagined, so luckily they knew just what to do to encourage me to get the baby out. Up until this point, Chris wasn’t really able to do anything for me except feed me ice chips. I was just in my own world during the majority of my labor and didn’t really want to talk to anyone or acknowledge anything. I felt bad that Chris just had to sit on the couch and wait, but when it came time for me to push I really couldn’t have done it without him. I was so scared, and he made it seem manageable. I was also so impressed with how bossy he was with me! Every time I complained he basically shot me down and told me I had no choice but to get the baby out haha.

Anyway…… So I started pushing around 2pm or so and that lasted until our son was born at 3:48pm. Chris said it was the fastest time of his life, but for me it was the longest amount of time I think I have ever experienced. I cannot even put into words how intense the pain was, but the second our baby was born all that pain went away. He was placed on my chest, and I still didn’t feel like it was real. I couldn’t believe (and still sometimes can’t!) he was mine. I just kept alternating between staring at him and staring at Chris and smiling and crying and not really knowing what to do. There was so much commotion going on around us, but we were in our own little bubble. People really aren’t joking when they say that moment changes everything.

Gavin Robert John was born at 3:48 pm on October 9, 2018, weighing 8 pounds 15 ounces (!!) and 21.25 inches long.

We had a couple of scary minutes where they had to take him away from me and put him on oxygen, but that was short-lived, thank goodness. I feel so lucky that I was able to nurse him immediately and just cuddle with him for a couple of hours that really felt like a couple of minutes. Eventually I decided I needed to get up and try to take a shower, and it made me fall in love even more with Chris to hand our baby over to him to hold for the first time. He was so nervous about holding such a tiny person, but immediately he looked so natural at it.

My labor was long (18 hours), really hard, exhausting, and so totally worth it. I still stare at our son all the time and am in awe that Chris and I made him and I grew him inside of me for 10 months. It really is a miracle.

I’ll be back eventually with Part 2 of this, talking about our hospital stay that unfortunately got extended longer than we hoped….

#Birth #Childbirth #Pregnancy #41WeeksPregnant #LaborandDelivery #BabyBoy

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