Samuel is everything we ever dreamed of. And then there’s all the things we didn’t dream up, and he’s those things too! He does all these cute little faces in his sleep, from grimaces and smiles, to puckering his little lips and precious yawns. He is so cuddly! Loves to just snuggle up to Mom and Dad for just as long as we’ll let him. Our little sweetie is just precious and a dream come true.
I’ve been trying to figure out what it means to write a ‘birth story’, as many people say we just have to do! Do I chronicle every pain and push, or just breeze over the details? My little guy was worth it, as people told me he would be, but there were quite a few struggles along the way. I told myself that my pregnancy wasn’t that bad, but looking back, I had it rough! So, I’ll quickly look up what it means to write one of these stories, while you gaze at a picture of my beautiful boy…. Please hold..
OK, so here’s a good try at it, following the guidelines of Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine. 🙂
I had been ready for this little guy to be born for quite a while. My mother told me that just when I think I can’t stand being pregnant any longer, it will be 2 more weeks before he’s born. She was right. I barely showed up to work 2 weeks before Sammy was born. The week before, I decided to start my maternity leave. I just couldn’t take it anymore. My clothes didn’t fit, my feet hurt, I couldn’t walk, and I kept running scenarios through my head about going into labor in PRISON. (see my other posts Pregnant in Prison) Nobody wants to go through that in prison.
My family showed up on Friday the 11th in Grandma Case’s motorhome, to stick out the weekend with me, and hopefully be with me for the birth. Well, they got their wish. Saturday night, around when the Ducks game was on (4pm?) I started having contractions.. again. By “again”, I’m referring to the week-long ‘false labor’ that I was enduring. I felt a lot of pressure to make this the ‘REAL’ labor. So I bounced on the exercise ball for hours. Finally, I called Keith at work around 8, who came home right away. We went to the hospital, and they – of course- told me I wasn’t in labor because I wasn’t dialated. Though I was SCREAMING in pain, and the contractions were less than a minute apart. They gave me morphine and sent me home. I couldn’t believe it. If that wasn’t labor… what was? What the hell? 4 minutes apart, go to the hospital. 1 minute apart and go home?? Huh?
So throughout the night, I screamed in my room, with every contraction. Around 6 or 8, or who knows when, I told Keith that we were going back in. The nurses told me that I still wasn’t dilated, but didn’t make me leave. They had me sit in the jacuzzi – which sucked by the way and did not help. Little Sammy was doing something inside me that I will attempt to describe for you. He would ball up near my ribs, and then with a great push, ram my pelvic bone like a battering ram. Over and over again. It was excruciating and the most miserable thing I can imagine. I begged the hospital to do something. They kept calling the on-call doctor (not my doctor), who wouldn’t do anything for me, without any dilation, and without my reaching my due date. The due date, was THE VERY NEXT DAY. I cried, I screamed, I begged for mercy. Finally, around 7, I think, my older sister told me that I needed to insist on an epidural. She works for an OB’s office, and I trust her opinion, so I did.
The on-call doctor came in, and kept telling me that I increase the risk of ciscerean if I get induced before my due date, and without being dilated. I screamed and told him that I didn’t care, and literally said, “Cut it out of me, I don’t care!” Obviously, I’d hit my breaking point. I truely thought I was going to die, and they were going to watch it happen, all because my due date hadn’t arrived. Again, this was the day before my due date.
After the epidural they chose to let me sleep a while because I had already labored for over 24 hours, without sleep, food.. etc. I slept between contractions, which were about 10 minutes apart I’d guess. Around 3am, I awoke to my water breaking. The nurse checked me and I was 5 cm dilated! Thank you Jesus! I slept a little more, with regular checks from the nurses. One strange thing though, was that the nurses were unable to track my contractions with the monitor. At 7:30 am, the nurses called my regular doctor (Yay Monday was here!) and he was to come over and put an internal contraction monitor in. He popped in, and did his thing, only to find that I was fully dilated and thinned out! No more cervix! Hallelujah! He told me to feel free to start pushing whenever my body felt the need. I let him know that my baby had been pushing for 2 days, but I wasn’t feeling it yet.
Around 11 AM, I felt like pushing. My doctor came in, and started guiding me through. My mom and my big sister held my legs, while my husband held my shoulders. I was surrounded by love. I pushed for about 45 minutes, (I was FOCUSED) and out came my little boy. I will say, the actual final stage of labor, including the pushing, tearing, etc., was in no way, no how, as bad as the day before. Sunday was the worst day of my life, and Monday was the best. I tore, very severely, so I had a lot of stitches, internal and external, but my little guy was perfect.
I honestly don’t remember the first thing that I said after Sammy was born, but I remember being in awe of how tiny he was. 6 lb 15 oz. Teeny tiny baby. His skin was perfect, no pointed head, snuggly and precious. I still think those things. Keith had tears in his eyes and went straight to work.. even putting on the first diaper. He loved his big feet and long legs.
After the birth itself, Samuel had a difficult time regulating his temperature for the first day. His temp ran about 1 degree low, which they said could indicate an infection. He was to be wrapped in several heated blankets all the time. I was having my own set of problems too. I was on heavy pain meds, and was unable to get out of bed, except to pee. Walking, sitting, standing, peeing, even laying in bed, was completely miserable. Keith was an amazing man, and took care of anything that the baby needed for the first 2 days. Everything except for feeding of course. Sammy and I worked on breast feeding, while Keith changed all the diapers. (Score!!) His temperature regulated after the first 24 hours, and the labs for potential infection showed up negative. We went home on the third day.
My little Sammy is now 5 weeks old, nearly 6, and getting so big. I can see differences every day. He’s smart, strong, adorable, and looks just like his Daddy. Keith went back to work 2 weeks ago, and I will go back in another week. I don’t know how I will react to going back to work, but we have an amazing close friend who will be taking care of him in our absence. Sam is bound to keep us on our toes for the rest of our lives, and we can’t wait…