Early the morning of November 10th whether I was ready or not (I wasn’t), my life changed forever.
I became a Mom.
I still can’t believe that it happened, that I gave birth to a little human life and I’m about to share the story with you. Surreal for sure.
So if you aren’t into detailed birth stories I’m warning you…there will be nothing super graphic, but it was childbirth, so…just sayin’ I won’t be offended if you leave now and come back for the next recipe or workout post.
Here’s how it all went down:
It was Sunday night, November 9th, we had just come back from a time of study with our church small group, and were settling in at Mom and Dad’s to watch the historic rivalry showdown Packers vs. Bears. And since I’m a Bears fan I will say no more about how that game went.
Pete and I grabbed some cheese, crackers, and apples to snack on and a short while later my brother arrived with his family. We watched the game, talked, and I felt TOTALLY fine, no clue of the coming adventure we were about to have.
Around half time my sis-in-law left to put her kiddos to bed, and then when 10pm rolled around we decided to head in the direction of home as well. I got up off the couch to use the bathroom before leaving, and half way there GUSH, it was like a huge water balloon breaking between my legs!! You read about pregnant women that experience a trickle running down their leg and they are like ” I think maybe my water broke?” Not so for me. There was no “I think” about it. It was like a lake on my parent’s bathroom floor.
I called to Pete and told him what had happened and then asked my Mom if I could borrow some pants. Once I was changed we left the dog there with Mom and Dad, and headed back to our place to get ready for the long (or so we thought) labor ahead of us.
My plan all along was to labor at home as long as I could stand the pain, and then head to the hospital to give birth there with the midwife. Of course, a plan is only just that, and with labor plans can change often and quickly.
When we arrived home I got in the shower right away (not knowing when my next one would be) and Pete packed some last minute things into our bag for the hospital, and some snacks, like sparkling water, fruit, nuts, trail mix, and protein bars. Since it was my first baby we were anticipating a longish labor and wanted to be prepared. From everything I’d read, and heard in our birth-education classes first labors on average take at least 8 hours.
Once I was out of the shower I changed into yoga pants and a tank top, preparing myself to be comfortable.
Token selfie before entering contraction land.
Pete got in the shower, and around 11:30pm my contractions began.
At first they were no big thing, I started timing them on my Iphone while wandering around the apartment doing things. We called the birth center just to let them know my water had broken and they advised me to hold out at home until my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart consistently for 1 hour. “Try and get some sleep” that was the advice I got.
My contractions were getting more intense and I told Pete that I knew I wouldn’t be able to sleep, so we decided to watch a few shows together to take my mind off the contractions. While we watched I timed contractions, they were about 7-8 minutes apart at this time and lasting around 45 seconds to 1 minute each.
After 40 minutes (2 episodes) of Parks and Rec the contractions had gained intensity and the only position that was comfortable was being on all fours on the floor. Pete massaged my lower back between contractions which helped alot, and recorded them for me.
Around 2:00 am my contractions had gotten quite intense and had been 3-4 minutes apart for about 45 minutes, and I told Pete that we needed to go to the hospital. I rode in the back seat and shivered while the contractions hit me over and over like a giant wave I felt like with each one I might not stay afloat.
We live about 25 minutes from the hospital where I had chosen to deliver, so we arrived in the emergency room around 2:30 am where a nurse met us, and accompanied us to the birth center on the 2nd floor. I had two SUPER intense contractions on the way to the birth center, and ended up riding the last few yards to the room in a wheelchair…I kind of a felt like a huge pansy.
The nurses on duty settled me into a labor and delivery room right away, checked me and told me that I was 3 cm dialated, but almost complete effaced already. Then they began to attach the needed equipment to monitor baby’s heart rate. At this point the last position I wanted to be in was on my back on the bed, but they couldn’t monitor the heart well enough unless I was in that position. Pete was awesome and so supportive as he let me squeeze the flesh out of his hand as each contraction came and went. He also fed me ice chips like a boss out of plastic cup, ice never tasted so good.
After about 45 minutes in the labor and delivery room baby’s heart rate was confirmed to be good, but contractions were so painful (I had even thrown up once due to the pain) that I told Pete I needed an epidural if I was going to last through the labor. It wasn’t what I orginally wanted, I wanted to try and have the baby naturally, but I could feel my muscles tensing, and I knew I would soon start cramping up if I didn’t get some relief.
Pete called the nurse in and around 3:30am she checked me again and told me I was now 5 cm, and then she started an IV with fluids and assured me that the doctor that would give me the epidural would be there in about 40 minutes to give me some relief. The nurse also told me I could now get up off the bed if I wanted and get in a warm shower, or labor on the birthing ball, or get in a more comfortable position. She assured me she would be out in the hall monitoring my contractions and when things progressed she would call the midwife in.
I was all about this idea of getting off the bed, so I rolled to the side and started getting up on all fours on the bed to get down, and a SUPER intense and painful contraction hit me and dropped me flat. And then almost instantaneously I felt the urge to push.
This totally freaked me out so I yelled at Pete to call the nurse back into the room right away! I felt so bad for him, he had no idea what was happening only I knew that baby was coming and now!!! There would be no time for that epidural! The nurse asked what we needed and Pete told her that I was saying I was ready to push.
The nurses sprang to life ran in the labor and delivery room with tons of supplies. One of the nurses was asking me if I really did have to push, I assured her I did, and she said, okay, here we go. The second nurse ran out to call the midwife as the nurse had confirmed that I was completely dialated at this point (yep, 5 cm to 10 cm in about 10 minutes!) and baby was coming!
You guys, I was SO scared. The nurse assured me that she’d delivered babies before and there wasn’t anything I needed to worry about, but my midwife wasn’t there, and I’d never done this before, but there was no turning back and no waiting.
Just minutes later, around 3:45 am I began pushing, as each contraction came I pushed harder. I must have been in the zone because I don’t remember at all when the midwife arrived, but it must have around 3:55am (because it was moments before Kester’s birth) and she was faintly telling the nurses that if I didn’t get him out soon, I would need oxygen, I guess, his heart rate was dropping quickly.
I heard the midwife’s calm voice as she told me, “you need to push this baby out right now.” So with the next set of contractions I pushed with all I had, and his head emerged. Our baby had the cord wrapped around his neck and chest, but the midwife was able to slide it off quickly as the rest of his little body was being born. And our sweet bundle, Kester Lewis, entered this world at 4:02 am.
Wow…15 minutes of some intense pushing and my sweet son was born and laid crying on my chest! It was incredible, amazing, emotional, and I felt spent. My legs were almost jumping out of the little stirrup things they were spasming so much. It felt awkward, but I was also pretty distracted holding my bundle of blessing.
Immediately after Kester was born, un-beknownst to me there was lots of blood and Pete told me later that my midwife was getting a little worried because it kept coming and she didn’t know the source. However, momentarily she found the problem and informed us that I had a varicos vein in the birth canal that had ruptured due to the quick birth, and that they would be calling in a specialist doctor to repair it. I also tore a bit, and she told me the same doctor would stitch that was well, while he was down…yonder.
When the doc arrived any pain I felt from the numbing shot, and the vein repair was nothing in comparison to the pains of labor I had just experienced. I was also holding my little Kester and the nurses had draped a heated towel over us both, best.feeling.ever.
Since Kester was born at 4am we had several hours as a family before any visitors came. It was really nice to have time to adjust and realize that we are now 3, and let the moment sink in a little.
We had celebratory sparking water at 4:30, and then each tried to get a wink or two of sleep. But, it was a just so exciting and new. The brand new little life we had created.
I still can’t believe that he’s ours. And I can’t imagine my labor going any better than it did, and I know that there were people praying for me, and for that I am so grateful.
This week we will celebrate Thanksgiving for the first time with our families in 5 years! And we have SO MUCH to be thankful for. God is the giver of good gifts, and Kester is not only an amazing gift, but he has made our lives complete.
As I finish typing this post, little Kes, is 2 weeks old and I find myself loving him stronger as each moment passes.
I simply can’t imagine our lives without him.
So, that’s our story, and just the beginning of a great adventure!