On September 27 we welcomed little James into the world. He arrived at 10:31 AM at 8 pounds, 10 ounces. This is the story of his birth.
We headed to the doctor’s office on Monday, September 26 for a regular morning appointment. Nick decided to come along for this one, since it was getting close…thank goodness! My doctor told us the disappointing news that I had made no evident progress toward going into labor. I was two days away from 41 weeks, when they normally induce, but the doctor said she could do an ultrasound to see if baby could hang out in there a little longer. The ultrasound showed that he was running out of fluid and I would need to be induced that day! This was a bit of a shock but I was so excited! I had been waiting for this day for so long and couldn’t believe we were going to meet him so soon!
We went upstairs to the hospital and were told we were in for a long day of waiting around. Since I was hardly dilated at all, they were giving me a drug called Cervidil to try to move things along. I would have to be on that for 12 hours before starting Pitocin, the main induction drug that prompts contractions. It sounded like a long day of waiting around, so Nick headed home to get the iPad so we could watch Longmire, our Netflix obsession of the moment. By the time he got back an hour or so later, I was in so much pain! I didn’t realize it at the time, but I had had an extremely strong reaction to the drug and was having intense contractions about a minute apart. I didn’t even know they were contractions because I could not feel any break between them. This was unusual as this drug does not even usually cause contractions. I stayed on this drug from 10:45 AM to around 5:30 PM, at which time the baby’s heart rate dropped, a million people rushed into the room, and we went through one of the scariest moments of our lives. A nurse pulled the drug, put an oxygen mask on me and someone gave me a shot to slow down the contractions. They were too frequent and intense, and it was cutting off the baby’s oxygen supply. This was terrifying as no one told us what was going on, since they were rightly focused on making sure the baby was okay. I searched the room for Nick, but all I could see was medical staff and equipment. I was so scared for the rest of the night and prayed that he would make it out safely. My contractions continued steadily, so I did not need the Pitocin for another twelve hours.
My parents arrived soon after the scare – it was so nice to have them there! They hung out with us for a few hours and then were back first thing in the morning to await the baby’s arrival.
My water broke at around 2:30 in the morning, making me throw up and shiver all over even though I was not cold. It was a very strange feeling. This made the contractions even more intense and I asked for an epidural, which they agreed to even though I was discouragingly only two centimeters dilated. I had been having strong, frequent contractions for about sixteen hours at this point. Fortunately, I had my favorite of all of the wonderful nurses during this part of the night and she made me feel one thousand times better.
The epidural brought immediate relief. I still couldn’t sleep, but I rested and thought about all of the excitement to come. At this point, I was thinking I might have to have a C-section as I didn’t seem to be making any progress and the baby’s heart rate would periodically drop, though never so dramatically as before. My doctor arrived to check on me at eight in the morning and let me know I was nine centimeters dilated and it was almost time to start pushing! After virtually no progress the entire night, this was exciting news! Things moved quickly from there and once I started pushing, he was born in about 40 minutes. I was so determined to get him out before his heart rate dropped again. I could not believe how perfect he was when he was placed on my chest. I have never been so excited and happy in my life. Things have only gotten better since then, as we adjust and welcome the newest member of our little family.