The time has come for another exciting edition of Birth Stories by Rowena. As usual, if you don't like to read the details of the miracle of birth, you'll want to just skip over to Pinterest or Facebook right now.
It was a dark and stormy night. Just kidding. Alex and I went to see Captain America last Saturday afternoon, and when we got to his parents' house to pick up our kids after the movie I rather abruptly went into labor. His mother kindly fed us all dinner, and we went home and put the children to bed. I don't know what I did between bedtime and 11:00p.m., but for some reason I did not go to sleep until then. Dumb idea.
My contractions woke me up at about 12:30, after a nice, long, restful 1 to 1.5 hours of sleep. At 1:00 I called the hospital to see what the nurse on duty thought. She was somewhat abrupt, and she told me to drink some water and take tylenol to see if that would slow the contractions so I could get some sleep. I thought to myself, "No, ma'am, I will NOT be stopping my labor with tylenol thank you very much." I did try drinking water, though. I laid back down and proceeded to contract hard all night about 6 to 10 minutes apart, with awesome, deeply helpful 5 to 8 minute naps in between.
By 5:00 a.m. I was done with that, and when I got up to eat something my contractions were 3 to 5 minutes apart. I woke Alex up. We called his mom, and when she got to the house we headed over to the hospital. I called Labor and Delivery again to inform them I was on the way, and the nurse was a lot friendlier, which I appreciated. When I arrived and they checked me I was dilated to a 4 at around 5:45 a.m. My contractions had been hard all night, and I had hoped and expected to be further along than that. They called my midwife, and when she came at around 7:00 a.m. I was at a 6. In retrospect, I should have been very encouraged at that point.
However, after a sleepless night, I think most of my logic and willpower was gone. My contractions were still a few minutes apart, and I became more and more exhausted with each one. At about 7:30, I decided that if I was not to an 8 by 8:00, that I would get an epidural. Alex and my midwife were very encouraging and told me they knew I could do it without one. Katie (my midwife) said "What if you are at a 7+," and I said, "I just can't do it anymore. I am SO tired." She said that she could break my water, and that if we did he would probably come within the hour. But I think I had given up by the time I was setting that ultimatum. Sure enough at 8:00 I was at a 7+, but I demanded the epidural in spite of quality coaching on the part of Alex and my midwife.
Blessed relief (ie epidural) came around 8:30. We broke my water, and only a little came out. I then stalled at an 8 for about 3 hours. That is so unusual for me. Usually once I get to a 7, I finish dilating and the baby comes fast, like within the hour. We tried different positions, and late in the morning another gush of water came out. Finally we tried some pitocin at the end. Kaleb was born at 12:30, and when he came out the nurses and Katie and her student midwife all exclaimed in surprise because he was much bigger than expected at 9 lbs 10 oz, and 21 inches long. When he came out that size Katie said, "It might have been more than an hour after I broke your water at that size."
I had been measuring normally. I had gone off of sweets for three months at the end of my pregnancy, and I walked or exercised religiously at least three times a week the whole pregnancy. I also did zumba once a week for part of the second and third trimesters, all in the hope that he would not be bigger than Scott was. When I walked into the hospital I was over 15 lbs lighter than I was when I delivered Scott. I am not sure exactly how much lighter because I quit weighing myself with Scott at the end. Frankly, I just didn't want to know anymore.
So who knows what good it did me? Maybe he would have weighed 10 + lbs? Just examine the photographic evidence of the cute little giant. He looks about half the size of his sister. Does he look a few hours old? I submit that he looks about as chubby as a two week to one-month old. When they placed him on me, I was filled with joy and SO glad I had had the epidural, because he was such a tank. I try not to think too hard about the fact that I failed in my goal. I just focus on the cuteness, and that helps a lot.