Alas, future Joseph Peter, please forgive your mother who needed pain medication and therefore couldn't remember much of anything about your birth story! I already feel guilty about it. Alright already! I'll bake you some cookies to make up for it! I'm sorry!
Ahem... Let me pull myself together...
On Tuesday, July 9th I was awakened at 4am not by contractions or my water breaking but by a phone call. I was scheduled to arrive at Methodist Hospital at 6am to begin my pitocin. Instead I was told to stay at home because they were full and would call me when a bed opened up. So back to sleep I went for a few more hours. When I did climb out of bed I told Travis I'd like to go to the mom's group at my church so they could pray over me one last time. It was a special treat since I would have otherwise missed that chance.
Shortly after I got home Trav left to run an errand but had forgotten something and had to turn around. Just as he was pulling up to the house I called to tell him we were ready to head in. It was 12 noon.
|I made him take my picture.|
Wednesday morning the nurse came in, woke me up, and began my pit again. I tried walking the halls but it's pretty boring when you're being monitored and can only go so far. Up and down the hall again and again, pushing my iv, wearing two hospital gowns that were humongous. This time I asked for a birthing ball so I could give birth that day. I bounced on that sucker for hours which helped bring the baby into position and helped me dilate, admiring the beautiful bouquet of flowers my mom sent to help encourage me.
In addition to the flowers I was also able to look out my window and have a perfect view of the back of St. Mary's Cathedral. I had so much turmoil throughout the pregnancy and it brought me a great deal of peace to have that view. I would often gaze that the spot where I knew the tabernacle was and pray to Jesus. Even though He was blocks away in the Blessed Sacrament I felt so close to Him and it felt like an answer to prayer.
Contractions began to pick up and we decided it was finally time for an epidural around 3pm. Travis and I watched a video where the woman said her husband was with her in the room as he support while she got the epidural. After the video was done and the anestesiologist arrived Travis was told to leave. Neither of us liked that and I protested that the video said he could be there but it wasn't enough and he was kicked out for hospital policy.
Getting the epidural was the worst part. I'm super sensitive in my back and tried explaining this to the anestesiologist. "I wll jump - you should touch my back before you touch my back. I'm like a horse, you need to keep a hand on me at all times." Everyone laughed and I said I was serious.
I sat on the edge of the bed with my nurse right in front of me, holding my shoulders. I gripped her arm and apologized for the bruises I was possibly leaving on her upper arms. At one point I had shooting pain going diagonally down from the spot where the epidural entered my back to the spot in my right hip that had bothered me all pregnancy. The pain was incredibly intense, made worse by the man with the needle jiggling things in my back. Or that's what it felt like.
When the epidural was in I laid on my right side and they propped up my legs. Travis came back in and we were alone. I started to cry. Honestly, despite how wonderful and professional everyone was getting the epidural was horrible for me and I felt scared. After the nine months of pregnancy which were really difficult for me emotionally and mentally I was so worried I wouldn't be able to give birth, that when it came to the moment I wouldn't be able to handle it. I was worried for another dead baby. I was worried the epidural wouldn't work and I would still feel the pain.
Travis sat by my bed and held my hand. He calmed me and reassured me. And he asked me what we would name the baby if he was a boy. I had known the girl name since the positive ept but we had never decided on a name for a baby boy, though we were leaning towards Joseph.
"What will Joseph's middle name be?" Travis asked and I smiled at his confidence that the baby was a boy. We went over the possible middle names again: Andrew? Thomas? Kolbe? Travis suggested Peter and I immediately loved it.
|The flowers from Mom.|
Joseph for St. Joseph and also a nod to a family member I was once close with. And Peter for St. Peter but also for our first child, Peter, who I miscarried. I was touched that Travis had thought of the name and I smiled at him, so grateful for the man I'd married.
Transition finally began around 6pm. My midwife had really wanted me to be able to have feeling while I was pushing. She was afraid that the baby would get stuck (like two of my previous ones had) and she wanted me to be aware of my body in case that happened. So we turned the epidural meds down, though not off.
It was horrible.
There I was in transition, feeling incredible pain, and pretty much having a panic attack. I was laying on my left side to help the baby descend and my left hip seemed to be the epicenter of every contraction. I began banging the side of the bed and yelling at people.
"I cannot do this!"
"Why are you making me do this?!"
"I can't feel this pain!"
"We need to do a c-section."
"I CANNOT DO THIS!!!!"
When I asked about the c-section I was told that there was already a woman going in for a c-section and they had to keep the other room open for an emergency.
"This is an emergency! I can't do this!" I yelled.
"No, it's not, Bonnie. If you think you need a c-section I'll call Dr. K- but we will have to wait."
Dr. K- was called. In the meantime I begged them to turn the pain meds back up. The pain was too intense and the memory of the horrific pain from birthing Resa was ever present. I knew that if I had to continue to feel the pain I would really truly not be able to handle it.
The anesthesiologist came back into the room and I banged on the bed and yelled, "LISTEN TO ME!" The anesthesiologist stopped in his tracks and said, "Yes. What is it?" in the tone of a slightly scared boy. (He usually is on the OR floor and not the LD floor. So he's not used to laboring women screaming at him.)
"I cannot feel this and you have to do something to make the pain go away!"
And then he did. A shot of Lidocaine to get me through until the upped epidural kicked back in and I fell asleep during contractions, during transition. It was amazing. *This* is why women use drugs during childbirth!
I could feel him coming down and I told my midwife I felt a little like pushing though it wasn't time to push push. For about 30 minutes I would doze, wake up with a contraction, bear down a little bit, and doze again.
In the last 10 minutes the real pushing happened and while I could feel lots of pressure I felt no pain. It was exactly what I needed so I could safely deliver the baby and not completely lose control and have a panic attack.
As his head began to crown I was still on my left side but my midwife and nurses flipped me onto my back and hoisted my knees up and to my shoulders. Dr. K- whispered to my midwife, "That head just keeps coming," because it was so big. Just like Resa he got stuck on my pubic bone and the nurse had to push her fist down to free it. A good push and his head was born and one more push and he was born at 8:35pm.
While I am *so* glad I had the epidural and couldn't feel the pain I did really miss the awesome sensation of delivering him. If you've ever given birth naturally you'll know what I mean about that overwhelmingly glorious feeling of "He's OUT!" the moment the baby is completely delivered.
The next thing I remember was Travis' face near mine, a look of victory on his face as he said, "Joseph Peter is well."
"He's a boy?" I said as they passed him up to me.
|I guess they had time to put a hat on him first.|
I don't remember much of what happened next. Everyone commented on how big he was and we wondered about how much he would weigh Joseph was weighed, and was a whopping 11lbs 4.5oz.
|Proof that he weighed that much.|
|Not the best family picture but it's all we've got.|
|L, B, and J meeting Joseph for the first time. T was napping. Had she been awake the picture would probably be even worse, if you can imagine that.|
Joseph Peter is almost 3 months old and he is a joy. He's a good sleeper, a good eater, and a happy boy. Oh you should see him giggle and smile! Every time I hold him I pray, "I did not think I should have another baby. I did not think I could do this. But look at this great gift You have given me. You have been so good to me."
|Newborn Joe and his blue eyes|
|I adore those baby fingers!|
|Such a serious sleeper.|
PS - Having a planned induced, medicated hospital birth was very different than my home births (obviously) but even my non-medicated hospital birth with Resa. A lot of people have wondered which I liked better and I can honestly say that I am grateful for having experienced all of them. My home births are still my favorite but I needed to be in the hospital for Resa and Joseph's births. Every birth is different and may need something different for every woman, right? That's not a bad thing. But I am VERY glad I had the pain meds for Joseph. I actually wish I would have had them for Resa's. You can read more thoughts on this at Team Whitaker.