(Just oh ummm... 7 weeks late LOL! I wrote this the day after his birth but haven't posted it here yet.)
The morning of Friday, May 28th, Brandon and I laid in bed and discussed whether or not to send the children to Georgia with my Aunt. She was returning for the weekend to take care of some things because she had been in Virginia with us since Mother's Day. I had been hospitalized for preterm labor and put on bedrest so she came to help with the children. After I was taken off of bedrest, it seemed like Solomon was going to arrive any day so she stayed with us.
But, I had some hard contractions during the night that made me nervous. Brandon decided the children were to go with my Aunt and I packed them up while they were eating breakfast and then I saw them off. Right after they left, I wondered if I had whined too much about being uncomfortable or if I really was supposed to send them to Georgia. I decided that I did the right thing by submitting to Brandon's decision.
Friday afternoon I took Brandon back to work after lunch and ran errands. I had more contractions-- but by this point I had had contractions since 33.5 weeks and it was nothing really new. Friday night we went out to dinner... I remember telling Brandon that I thought this baby was much larger than our past babies because I could feel him on more than one side of my tummy at the same time. We laughed.
Saturday, I had a strong urge to get out of our house. We restocked the pantry and the freezer. Brandon bought minor league baseball tickets for Monday night. I accused him of “stacking the deck” (LOL!) but he insisted he was just trying to keep my mind off of the impending labor and if it cost $20 to encourage Solomon to arrive-- so be it.
Sunday, we slept in, ran an errand, ate lunch and then went swimming. It felt SO good to be weightless. We got rained out, came home, grilled out, and then went back to the pool after we cleaned up from dinner. Brandon and I teased that if Solomon was going to come early, our health insurance year started over on June 1st. I felt great. I was without pain in my hips/tailbone/pubic bone and I was walking a thousand times better. The pool was shut down for thunder and we headed back home.
Suddenly I felt really floaty and went to into our bathroom and shut the door behind me. I felt like I needed to be in a small, enclosed space. Then, I started having contractions. They hurt a lot and I had to really breathe and concentrate to get through them. I laughed and told Brandon “Oh they are nothing.. we've been doing this for weeks, now!” Solomon kicked and squirmed in between contractions. And then I couldn't talk through them anymore. I started getting a little cranky even between them. I just could not get comfortable. Brandon decided to call my doctor (who was on call) when I got “stuck” on our bed on all fours. Nothing else felt decent.
Brandon chatted with Dr. S and he said to come on in and we'd see what was going on. When Brandon told me, I started crying and said “I'm NOT ready to do this!” Brandon rubbed my hair and said that we were just going to check and we'd be back home soon and I could shower when I got home. (He knew we weren't coming home.. but he said he just needed me to actually walk to our van!) He grabbed our things and we headed in. I still smelled like chlorine and sunscreen from our pool outing! We walked in from the parking deck and had to stop several times. Brandon says I kept doing this thing where I looked like I was going to fall down and sit on the ground or something and it made him very nervous.
We had to check in through the ER and the poor lady had no idea what she was doing to register me. There were two of us in the ER pregnant and trying to check in and neither of us were getting admitted very fast. They came and got me and took me to L and D in a wheel chair. My blood pressure was VERY high (this was causing the floaty feeling.) I had been having great blood pressures up to this point. They tried to start an IV and they weren't having any luck. Finally I got one that worked but it was in the bend of my wrist... a very yucky place to have one! They sent off labs to check and see why my blood pressure was so high. I was steadily contracting and Solomon would NOT stay on the monitor. I had a nurse at my bedside for most of the evening trying to keep him monitored. My blood pressure was sky high and not coming down.
I dilated some more and Solomon's heart rate was going up and down... but I was still sure I was going home. I remember telling Brandon I could NOT wait to get home and shower... I want to say somewhere around 5-6 am, Dr. S came in and asked if I wanted an epidural and I said. “YES, PLEASE!” He asked if he could break my water and put a fetal electrode in the top of Solomon's head to keep his heart rate monitored better as well as monitor the strength of the contractions. I told him that was fine as long as I got my epidural first. (I'm such a chicken. I seriously told myself “Oh if the epidural doesn't work, I won't let them do anything-- I can go take my shower and we can try again another day!”) Brandon and I prayed that my epidural would please work- since I had a very bad experience during Lainey's pregnancy. I had tears running out of the sides of my eyes and down my face but didn't make a sound.... Next thing I knew, I had an epidural that was WORKING! I got my catheter inserted since I wouldn't be walking anymore and they put the monitor in for Solomon. Then they took the monitors off of my belly. And my blood pressure dropped down to a more normal range.
We called my aunt to let her know that it was Baby Day and Brandon called my mother in law. We finally announced it on MOMYS and on Facebook. Dr. S was off call and Dr. B took over. Dr. B is the doctor that admitted me over Mother's Day weekend. At 11ish, I was 6 cm. I was amazed that things seemed to be going quickly. And then Solomon's heart rate dropped. I had a handful of nurses in my room ASAP and they were repositioning me trying to get his heart rate to go back up. I asked to be checked again, and I was 9 cm. His heart rate dropped again and this time Dr. B came in. I was repositioned again and his heart rate came up. Dr. B said that if it happened much more, that we'd have to discuss another csection.
My first thought was “OH NO! I've gotten all the way to 9 cm and NOW I'm going to be sectioned! And then right as I completed that thought, my mind said "Stephanie.. this baby has been planned by God for forever. He KNOWS if this baby will be a csection or a VBAC, it's already decided. DO NOT STRESS!” I was so peaceful in that moment. Brandon was rubbing my hair and I said to him “Either way, he's got to come out...” He thought this was hilarious in the moment. The nurse said she'd be in, in about an hour to see if I was ready to start pushing but to let her know if I needed her before then.
I didn't make it an hour. After about 30 minutes, I told Brandon that he had to get someone NOW because I was feeling like I needed to push. The nurse came in and said I was right, that I was complete, started setting up and called my doctor. It all still felt surreal and I was thinking “I just want a shower!” They couldn't find the stirrups to my bed... and I was breathing hard, trying to not push... I grabbed Brandon's hand and said to him “Please, tell them to hurry or he'll be born in my bed without a nurse, doctor and stirrups.”
I finally got to push at 2pm. I had a contraction and pushed three long pushes. Dr. B commented that I sure did remember where to push. The nurse walked away after and said next time I felt another I could push... I couldn't even get the words out. I just said “Another!” and went to town. Then they had me stop pushing and I was given oxygen. I could hear that Solomon's heart rate had dropped... My next contraction came and I told them I couldn't put off another one-- I had to push! Dr. B said to go for it and then they started cheering me on. I heard Brandon say “He has a lot of hair, Stephanie!” (YES, the same man that said he wasn't looking at anything other than my eyes!) and the next thing I knew, when I opened my eyes, he was on my chest. I didn't get to look in the mirror because I didn't realize that I was so close. I had gone back and forth a few times in my mind, not knowing if I really wanted to see, and planned on asking after that contraction. Oops.
Solomon was born crying at 2:14pm and had vernix all over him. I had never had a new baby on my chest and remember thinking that I didn't know what to do with him as I started wiping him off. Brandon exclaimed that I finally got to hold one of my babies first. Solomon peed all over and they took him to the warming bed where he peed again. We all took guesses on his weight. I said low 6's, Dr B said 7's and Brandon said high 7's. My OB, Dr. S, had said 7 lbs even, earlier in the day. He was 6 lbs, 15 oz. I watched Solomon get feisty with the nurse and eventually delivered my placenta. I had one stitch and then Dr B said I needed one more. They had to turn on the pitocin to get my uterus to clamp down a bit and I felt a little light headed until they got that under control.
They brought Solomon back to me and the first thing I did was kiss and smell him. And then I pulled his hat back so I could see his hair! I got him latched when he was about an hour old but he wasn't interested in nursing. He kept making the worst faces and pulling off. He did suckle a little bit but he was a little congested-- they said it was typical of a very fast pushing session AND common for 36 weekers. He went to the nursery with Daddy to be checked out. There we found out he was 19 ¾ inches long. I eventually got my shower.
Solomon did have his stomach suctioned out because it was full of mucus. But he nurses like a champ. The only breastfeeding issue we had was getting him to flare his lips out for a great latch!
My aunt returned with the children on Tueday and I was discharged from the hospital on Wednesday.
Solomon is my earliest baby and also the second largest! DeLainey beat him out at 7 lbs even but she was born at 38 weeks and some days and Solomon was born at 36 weeks and 5 days. The rule of thumb is a half a pound a week so if I would have kept him in for another 2 weeks, it's estimated he would have been almost 8 lbs! My OB, Dr. S, teased and said that Solomon WAS 7 lbs before he peed all over everyone. LOL!
God's perfect timing through the whole thing was just amazing. We are thrilled that everything worked out so well.