Friday, August 29, 2014

The labor and delivery journey

When it came to preparing for labor and delivery, I kept thinking about my labor and delivery with Abby.  I knew it wasn't going to be the same, but I couldn't seem to wrap my brain around HOW it wasn't going to be the same.  And there wasn't anything I could do about that.  

With the second baby, everyone says that it'll go faster than the first.  I seemed to have an 'average' labor (about 8-9 hours) and the doctors were telling me that it would be half that time with this baby.  My biggest fear was not being prepared with coverage for Abby.  It would have been great if Jacob knew to come out while Abby was at daycare.  But what if Jacob wanted to come in the middle of the night?  Who were we going to have come over?  With no family near enough and our close friends at least 20 minutes away, that's what stressed me out the most.  

At my 39 week appointment on July 30th, I was examined and was 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced.  That shocked me really and I remember thinking in the doctor's office, "Whoa, this is real.  This is really happening!".  My OB basically said that it could happen any time and I could have a baby by day's end.  That freaked me out.  

Brent and I immediately got into the car and called my parents.  They agreed to get in the car the following morning and make their way over to Cincinnati.  Little did we know that we jumped the gun a bit and we still had the waiting game to play.  

On Tuesday August 5th, I had another appointment.  Still no movement happening downstairs; I was sitting at 1cm dialated and 50% effacement.  Blah.  So, once a woman has hit the due date, an ultrasound is scheduled to make sure baby is okay, there is enough amniotic fluid, baby is moving,etc.  So, on Wednesday the 7th, I had an ultrasound.  Everything was hunky dory.  Jacob was just as comfy as could be and didn't seem like he was in any hurry to go anywhere.  At this point, the technician estimated Jacob's weight to be 9lbs, 5oz.  They always follow that up with "give or take 8oz".  I think they say that just as a CYA.  While that size scared me a bit, I was convinced that Jacob would decided that the outside world was where he needed to be.  So we wait.  

Fast forward to the following Tuesday (August 12th - my dad's birthday!), I had a non-stress test scheduled.  Just another test that occurs with past due date babies.  I got all hooked up to a monitor and I then had to hit a button every time I felt Jacob move.  Jacob moved as much as expected and I was sent on my way.   In the mean time, we had a birthday celebration for my dad in hopes that his grandson would also have the same birthday.  

Two days later on Thursday the 14th, I had another ultrasound appointment scheduled.  They couldn't schedule a doctor's appointment with that same appointment at the same location, so I defaulted to schedule a doctor's appointment the following day on the 15th.  

At this ultrasound appointment, it was a timed ultrasound.  The technician had to see so many things/movements in 40 minutes.  Well, Jacob barely passed - I mean barely!  By the skin of his teeth passed!  So close that the technician was talking about bringing the doctor in to confirm that I need to go straight to the hospital.  However, in the 11th hour, Jacob decided that he wanted to comply and do what he needed to do to pass the test.  Hopefully, this is not foreshadowing as to how he tackles obstacles in his life!  At this ultrasound appointment, the technician estimated his weight to be 9lbs 15oz.  Whoa!  That is 10 oz heavier than just 7 days prior.  Now that really freaked me out.  I really wanted my body to initiate labor and have this boy to come out on his own, but not at the risk of having a baby too big and result in a c-section.  That I did not want to do.   We had a decision to make.  

After leaving the doctor's office, Brent and I talked (he was at work, so my Mom was with me on all these visits) and he supported my decision to be induced.  I just couldn't wait for Jacob anymore.  The problem was that my doctor's appointment wasn't until the following day - Friday.  And if I wanted to be induced I'd have to wait until Monday probably.  Who knows how big Jaco would have been by then!  So I called the doctor's office to get an appointment moved up.  No problem.  So Mom and I hiked back down to Christ Hospital AGAIN for an appointment later that afternoon.  Dr. Singh agreed with my plan to be induced and scheduled it for the following day - August 15th.  

I left the doctor's office with mixed feelings for sure.  While I was disappointed in my body starting labor, I didn't want to interfere with Jacob's safe and healthy delivery.  Really, I would like to have avoided being induced, but I certainly didn't want to have a c-section.  Especially not after having labored so long and then result in a c-section.  That's just cruel.  

Friday morning came and we had to report to the hospital at 7:30am.  By 9:00am, I was all hooked up to medication to begin labor.  I was only a couple cm dilated at this point.  I was able to move around and was encouraged to walk the halls.  So I walked/waddled while Brent walked beside me hauling my IV bags on wheels.  By 12:30, I was feeling contractions pretty well and so I requested an epidural.  Before they could give me an epidural, they wanted to check me again and I was 5 cm dilated.  After the epidural, I could finally relax and maybe catch a catnap!  My water broke on its own - which is weird when you can't feel your lower half.  And I'm so glad that it happened at the hospital rather than at home or in the car.  Whew!  I don't think I slept, but was able to relax in bed.  

By 2:30, I was checked again and I was ready to push - 10 cm had arrived.  Dr. Sutler predicted that I'd have this baby out in 10 minutes.  Now, this whole time, I was on my phone and Facebook communicating with friends and co-workers.  I have a text that I sent at 2:39pm and voila!  Jacob arrived at 2:53.  I don't know how I pushed that big baby in 10 minutes or how Dr. Sutler could predict it, but the boy came sliding out!  

I guess after Jacob's head emerged and Dr. Sutler and the nurse saw the size of his head, they were preparing for some difficulty getting the shoulders out.  Luckily, that wasn't the case.  

Dr. Sutler didn't think he was going to be as big as the ultrasound had predicted, but we were all proven wrong when they set Jacob on the scale to be weighed and he was 10 pounds flat.  Wowsers.  

Welcome Jacob Timothy Cullen
10 lbs
22 inches
2:53 p.m.

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