Let's back track a little bit...here's my little guy at 7 weeks in utero. We decided even before we got pregnant that we wouldn't find out if the baby was a he or she. There are so few surprises in life that we wanted this one (and every kid after that!) to be a surprise. Because when it comes down to it, no matter how crazy labor is, there will be the biggest surprise ever at the end: finding out if the little baby I've carried for 9+ months is a little lady or little man.
Okay, so my pregnancy went great! ...until 34 weeks. At 34 weeks, I went in for my appointment and ruh-ro, something didn't feel right. My doctor checked me, and said that I was already 1cm dilated and 50% effaced! Yikes! And my belly was measuring +4 bigger than it should. Double yikes. So we were sent across the hall for an ultrasound. The ultrasound tech said that our baby was a BIG baby; he or she was already over 7lbs (with 6 weeks still to go!) and off the charts for all the measurements.
After that ultrasound, I went back to meet with my doctor (who was also pregnant), and she told me she really wanted me to keep this baby cooking for at least 3 more weeks, and suggested I stop working and sit on the couch and let this kid cook: modified bed rest if you wanna call it that. She really thought this kid was going to come early. Okie dokie. I could do that.
Fast forward 3 weeks: still pregnant. Hadn't really progressed from the 1cm I was at 34 weeks (which was good--I didn't want a super early baby!), but my doc had ordered another ultrasound to check the baby's size, because I was still measuring +4 bigger on my tummy size than I should have been. Well, same story at our 37 week ultrasound: this kid was hugeeeee. Now, the ultrasound tech told us this too, but we knew that ultrasounds were not always accurate. They could vary either way by a pound or more and have been known to be "off" in their readings. So we kept this in the back of our mind that this kid may not be all that big, he or she may just be looking that way on the screen.
After my 37 week ultrasound, I went to see a new doc at the same practice--because mine had just had her baby. Great. I've seen the same doctor my whole pregnancy (and have actually never seen another lady doctor than her!), and now I'm being put with this stranger. Awesome. Well, this new doctor, said that he didn't think this baby was big at all, and that there was no reason for concern. Uh, whatttt?!!! That is NOT what my doctor has been saying for the past 3 weeks! My doctor did NOT want me to go to 40 weeks either; she wanted me to have the baby early so it didn't get too big for my to not be able to deliver on my own. Well, new doctor didn't think this way. He said he would not induce me till well after my due date. Um, whattttt?!! Again, not what my original doctor said. Needless to say, I did not leave my 37, 38, 39, or 40 week appointments very happy.
Me on my due date. I was hugeeeeeee.
Yes, I went past my due date, as many pregnancies due. It sucked. I was uncomfortable and I was sooooo beyond ready to meet this little guy or gal. Especially since for the past 6 weeks I thought he/she would be making their appearance early. Nope. And, for the record, from 38 weeks on I tried EVERY SINGLE (safe) THING to try and get labor started on my own: bouncing on an exercise ball. Spicy food. Pineapple. Squats. You name it, I tried it. NOTHING worked.
So, 5 days past my due date, I had another appointment. This time my new doc told me that if I hadn't made any progress on my own, they'd send me over to the hospital that night to start a nighttime induction so that a full induction could happen the next day. Sounded fine to me, I was just ready to be done.
Well, it turns out at 40 weeks 5 days I HAD FINALLY made progress from 1cm to 3cm (woo hoo!) and I was immediately sent over to the hospital to be induced that morning. I was excited and relieved and nervous all at the same time. We called our parents and told them the plan, and told them they did not have to rush up to the hospital because this baby was not coming anytime soon, that inductions take a bit. Well, do you think anyone listened??! Ha. Nope. By 1pm, it seemed like everyone was there waiting to meet baby Mooney. I had just been hooked up to a monitor and IV and the pitocin started, and I felt bad that they were going to have to wait around for a while, but oh well, I guess everyone was just as excited as I was!
With the pitocin the contractions come on strong and close together. I had planned on trying to have a natural delivery without any drugs. As soon as induction came into the picture, I told myself that that game plan may not happen, just with knowing what pitocin does to the contractions. Well, I was right. Shortly after 4pm the doc broke my water, and holy moly, those contractions were STRONGGGG. Like worse pain I've ever felt. I'm not a screamer or anything like that, but I think I squeezed Mike's hand so hard I could have broken bones if he didn't yank it away out of pain. It was intense. After about 30 minutes of these awful awful awful contractions, I looked at Mike and said, "I think I need an epidural. These are no joke." I was at 7cm (proud of myself for making it that far without drugs!) and caved and got an epidural. Oh boy, what magic that was.
Once the epidural kicked in our family started filtering in and out to say hi. We just chit chatted, stalked people on Facebook, and watched TV. Pretty boring. I was sucking down kool-aid slurpees (the only thing they'd let me have) like it was my job. I was hungryyyyy. About 8pm or so the contractions were super strong again and I could feel them even with the epidural. I told the nurse that she needed to up the pain med drip and she got the doc to do that. Thank heavens. Once I decided I didn't want to do this naturally I didn't want to feel ANYTHING.
About 10pm, my amazing nurse (who, side note, is a very good friend of mine's mom--she was so great to have there with us!!) told me I was at 10cm and it was time to push. Yee haw! Finally! I was definitely tired: been up since 7am (that was the last time I'd eaten too) and been at the hospital since 11am. I was ready to meet this kid. However, at this point I had a flashback to our labor and delivery class and the nurse saying, "Whenever you have your baby, that counts as your first night...so if you have your baby at 11pm, that's your first night in the hospital, and you only get 2 for vaginal birth, and 4 for a c-section". Great. Looks like this is gonna be my first night in the hospital and I'll only maybe have an hour or so to claim it. Super.
Mike and I wanted our moms to be in the room with us, so he went and got both of them so they could see their granddaughter or grandson come into the world. Well, that didn't happen. from 10pm - 11:15pm, I pushed...and pushed...and pushed. Over and over and over again. I'm pretty sure I pulled many muscles pushing. This kid wasn't budging AT ALL. After over an hour of pushing, this kid hadn't moved an inch. My nurse, who tries to avoid c-sections at ALL costs, looks at me and said, "The baby is not coming out this way. We can trying some more, but if he/she can get through, I worry about shoulder dysplasia." Um, say no more. A friend of mine's baby had shoulder dysplasia on the way out and that story was scarrrrry. No way. C-section it was.
So our moms went out and told the lobby full of family that I had to have a c-section. My sweet grandma Goose freaked a bit, but my dad reassured her it'd be alright. They gave Mike a surgical gown, prepped me, and off we were to the operating room.
When we got into the operating room, the clock said 11:50pm. Yikes. Again, I'm thinking about how close it is to "the end of the day" and really hoping this kid comes after midnight so I get an extra day in the hospital and this isn't my "first night."
By this point I had a TON of drugs in my--epidural drugs, and then more for the c-section. All I remember is looking back and forth between Mike and the clock...tick, tick, tick. So close to midnight. 11:59pm. Yes. One more minute. at 11:59.20 the doc tells Mike to stand up--the baby is coming out and Mike gets to announce boy or girl. At 11:59.40 on May 2nd, 2013, I hear a teeny baby cry and Mike say, "It's a boy!" I immediately start crying. I was so happy. My child was here. I have a son. We are parents. It's all over. And these 20 seconds are my first night in the hospital. Side note: I have ZERO pictures of Patrick on his actual birthday. Since he was only in this world for 20 seconds before it became the next day, we don't have any pictures of him from his actual day of birth. (cue mommy tears)
After Patrick was pulled out, the rest of the 45 minute "sewing me up" was a blur. Probably because of the relief that he was finally here, happy, healthy, and that I was utterly exhausted. After Mike told me, "He's 10 pounds! TEN POUNDS!" I laughed, and was like, "My doc was right all along!" And then Mike squatted down next to me, holding our little (giant) bundle of joy, and I struggled to stay away. Yep. I couldn't keep my eyes open no matter how hard I tried. So that was a blur.
When they finished sewing me up, they took out my epidural (and immediately I was AWAKE--that was my sleepy culprit!) and put me back on my bed, handed Patrick to me, and wheeled me back to my room.
One of the coolest parts is that the hospital takes the c-section moms past the waiting room and lets the parents announce the birth to the family (usually it's just the dad running out to the waiting room, for us we both got to do it and show off our new son). So we rolled by, Mike said (again), "It's a boy!" And I said his name (Patrick Ray Mooney) and that he was 10 pounds.
The rest of that early morning on May 3rd was a blur: first feedings, bath, meeting the family. As much of a whirlwind of excitement and anxiety and craziness as it was, I wouldn't change it for a thing. Patrick is perfect. He came into this world perfectly. And as much as I complained about wanting to be "done" with my pregnancy and how uncomfortable I was, I will gladly take another pregnancy, labor, and delivery exactly like this one just to bring another miracle into this world (although, side note, I'll be having a scheduled c-section here on out. I'm not a risk-taker, and if my first kid was 10lbs, and they tend to just get bigger with each pregnancy, I don't want to chance another one getting stuck again!).
So that's the story of Patrick's birth. Whew. Glad I got it all down. Hopefully one day he'll read this and appreciate the story (and what mom went through!! :) and how he came into this world.
*Patrick did spend the next several days in the NICU. Read all about that over here.