I can’t believe how fast these past 11 weeks have flown by…and I’m sorry I’ve been MIA from my own blog! I had realistic expectations that the little one would take up all my time, and I proved myself right! =)
I know I’ve already forgotten so many little details about his birthday, so I don’t want to delay writing up his birth story any longer. Consider this a warning if you prefer to not know what all goes on in the delivery room. Although, I have to say, with all the things that COULD have happened, Charlie’s birth wasn’t all that graphic in description. At the same time, I’m jaded! Read at your own risk. 😉
Charlie Alexander Dixon was born on Wednesday, August 29th at 9:25 AM. He arrived eight days past his due date. My hospital staff told me that their policy was to induce before I reached 41 weeks, and they wanted to schedule an induction three or four days after my due date. This was crazy-talk to me, especially since all through out my pregnancy, I kept reading “Estimated Due Date” on my files. I insisted and insisted that they let me go naturally. I kept stalling and pushing back appointment dates. Call me stubborn if you have to. =) I didn’t want to rush him out…My belief was that, if I let him come on his own time, he will come out smoothly and swiftly!
On Monday the 27th, I started having contractions around 4 PM. They were very inconsistent and not painful enough, so I wrote it off as, “these contractions mean nothing.” My contractions subsided that evening and I went to sleep convinced that I would be pregnant forever. The next day, I woke up disappointed that I was still pregnant and that nothing happened at night. I went on with my day, dancing while getting ready, eating spicy foods, anything and everything else I could think of. I think what helped the most was walking. I walked two miles on the treadmill at the gym. Ruth, my very sweet gym lady, told me, “You’re going into labor tonight!” I rolled my eyes in my mind, but hoped she was right. I mean, I had to give birth at SOME point!
I arrived back home and started having those same lame contractions again. This time, however, they were strong enough to where it stopped me from talking, but they were still very inconsistent. Ten minutes apart, 20 minutes apart, 7 minutes apart, 15 minutes apart… Once Brad got home, we went for another (slow) walk. Dinner, some conversation, a little TV and off to bed we went. I kept my phone near me, still timing my contractions on one of the four apps I had downloaded. I was drifting off to sleep when BAM! I clutched onto the side of my mattress in pain and swung my arm back to wake up Brad. “My water broke!” I couldn’t believe it. This was happening.
It was 12:30 AM. I texted my mom and sister with those three little words. At the same time, Brad was on the phone with William Beaumont Hospital. “They said we should come in now!” I took a shower first because, you know, water balloons popping can get messy.
I quickly realized that my contractions were now four minutes apart and getting much more intense.
I had pre-admitted (paperwork) at the hospital a week before (thank goodness!), so I went right in to change into a hospital gown. By the time I got into my delivery room, the intensity and pain kicked up another notch and these mother f’ers (previously known as “lame contractions”) were now coming every 90 seconds. They checked me, and I was already at 4 CM.
What happened over the next several hours was awful. …When you’re in active labor, contractions basically feel like you have four people pulling your hips apart in different directions. For whatever crazy reason, I had told myself that I would try to do this all naturally. I’m sure if I had signed up for and learned the different coping strategies for getting through labor, i would have been able to handle it better. But this was not the case. I was progressing at about 1 CM per hour, and to me, it sounded like I was the ghost howling in an abandoned, haunted house. Brad said I was actually not that loud.
It was now around 5 AM…I was at 6 CM. The epidural guy came in twice to offer me his services. I denied both times, but kept thinking about something he said, “you will enjoy labor so much more.” When I finally decided to accept the epidural, I was shaking uncontrollably and in more pain than anyone should ever experience. (I’m not typically this dramatic, but giving birth is a pretty dramatic experience.) He first gave me a spinal tap (just a shot) to get me to stop shaking. And then I needed another one to totally stop shaking. At that point, he did whatever he had to do to put in the tube so that I could be hooked up to an epidural drip. It was instant, wonderful, sweet, lovely relief. I couldn’t feel a thing besides a tiny bit of pressure at the top of my belly. Ahh…I layed back and Brad thanked me for getting the epidural. I can only imagine what it’s like to see someone you love going through such constant, extreme pain.
One of my worries about getting the epidural was that my progress would slow down, but in my case, it did not. I continued to dilate at 1 cm per hour. My nurse told me to relax and take a nap. Before I fell asleep, she brought in what looked like a big exercise ball, but peanut shaped. I was laying on my side and she put it in between my knees. “This will help to get you fully dilated and it will also help your baby travel down on his own.” Super! I fell asleep for about an hour or so. Around 8:30, I was fully dilated and ready to go. I did a practice push (so I knew what to expect) with the day-shift nurse. When we did the practice push, she said, “Hey Dad! Come over here!” (This was NOT in our previously discussed plans. He was ONLY to be at my head. Things change when you’re in the moment.) Brad walked around and said, “Von, he has so much hair!” I had no idea that the baby was that low. I’m sure I shed a few tears at that point.
I was now anxious to push, and the nurse said we would start soon, as soon as everyone was rounded up and ready to go. At 9:15 AM, everyone (yes, an audience), came into my room. Everything happened so fast. I pushed twice and Charlie’s entire head was out. I could see his entire face. The mid-wife told me when to push one more time and he was completely out. It was amazing amazing amazing.
The nurses immediately put his little bare body on my bare chest, and we were left like that for the next two hours. The little guy latched on immediately, and I was in awe. This little tiny person, who lived inside me for 41 weeks and a day…was now here, in my arms. After being, ehem, stitched up…everyone left the room and it was just me, Charlie and Brad. No distractions, no visitors. Just us. Our little family of three. It was perfect.
After our “golden” time, the baby nurse came in to wash him off and get all his stats. Charlie weighed in at 9 lbs and 1 oz., and measured at 21 inches. (Glad I got the epidural!) 😉 Baby boy fell asleep and we were left alone once again to revel in our tiny little blessing.
I will write more and post lots of photos soon with an update about this wonderful new role as a mother. All is well and we could not be happier with our little Charlie. Thank you to all the supportive and loving people that we have in our life.