As the weeks continue to pass and we patiently wait for the time of Hayden's arrival into the world, I find myself reflecting on our sweet, handsome 1st born Leeland. He will be 2 in April and I cannot believe how much he has grown over the past few months. I am baffled each day by what he is doing and learning and saying. Today I found myself clearing out my iPhone of photos, because it said that my memory was getting full and the other day refused to take a cute picture when I wanted it to-- many of the photos I found when I was going through the memories were of Leeland as a baby. He was a baby at one point in time. And as I looked at those tiny little baby photos, wondering where the past 2 years went, I found myself thinking about his birth and what we have to look forward to with the birth of Hayden. And then it dawned on me that I have never written out Leeland's birth story, so here it goes.
Leeland's due date according to our doctor and the ultrasounds was April 11, 2010. Honestly I was always weary of the date and never quite sure if it was right because my cycle had been so irregular. They picked the date based off of his size in the first two ultrasounds that we had. It was always very confusing to me though because at nearly every appointment in my last trimester, I was told that I was measuring too big. In all actuality, the date is just a guess and technically he could come at anytime, but it was my first pregnancy and I was VERY attached to the date.
I should also mention that I was very miserable the last few weeks, and I was SO SO SO anxious to meet my little boy. In the last four weeks leading up to the due date, I was checked at each appointment to see if I was dilated or if there was softening of the cervix. This is where things got to be VERY frustrating and VERY confusing. When you go to a large OB practice, they rotate you through the various doctors because they want you to know each one, not knowing who will be on call for the delivery. Each week I saw someone different, and each week I was told that I was progressing. I went from 1cm, to 2cm, to even 3cm at one visit. When they told me I was 3cm was when I had called in the last week and told them that I was feeling some unusual pain and had an increase in fluids and thought maybe I was leaking amniotic fluid. They had me come in, checked me out and tested the fluid. They said it was nothing and had me return home, but they must've felt sorry for me, or understood how ready I was to have the baby because they went ahead and set my induction for the following week. The day before my due date, I went to the hospital and tried to be admitted-- I was having a few contractions here and there (nothing regular) and in my head, if I was at 3cm, then maybe, just maybe, they would decide to keep me. I got in, undressed, was strapped to the monitors, and was checked..... I was then told I was only 1cm. I tried to argue with the nurse at first explaining that just days before my OB told me I was a 3. She played the "don't worry, he'll come when he's ready card." I didn't like that, I was disappointed, I felt lame for embarrassing myself and coming in, I felt silly for getting my hopes up that they would keep me, I was ready to be done, I was uncomfortable, I wanted to meet my baby.... and I cried.... and I went home.
The next day was April 11th, a Sunday, we went to church. We had been visiting some different churches at the time, trying to find our church home. I remember being approached by several people in the congregation just introducing themselves and asking us how we heard about the church, what brought us there, etc. I was pretty large at the time, so it would always come up, "when are you due" in which I would follow with, "today." They always seemed so shocked, like I shouldn't be out of the house. It was humorous, but what else did I have to do to pass the time?
As the few days before the induction came passed, I tried everything in my power to kick start labor. I went on walks with our dog Lilly. In fact, the Friday before his birth, I had walked 3 miles one afternoon at our local park. By myself, which probably wasn't too smart being so far along but in the end it did no good so it didn't matter. I ate everything that the internet suggested, spicy food, eggplant, balsamic vinegar. Nothing changed, and I didn't feel any different. It was time to come to terms with the fact that I was being induced, and that I just needed to look forward to meeting our little guy in a few days.
The induction day came, we were to be admitted to the local Women's Hospital the evening of April 13th. I think I was expecting to have him within a few hours that night, but that's not how it works. We packed our bags, got checked into the hospital and settled into our labor and delivery room. That night I was given Cervadil and was told that it would "kick start" labor, and also a sleeping pill to help me get some rest. Not sure what I was expecting, but I didn't feel anything through the night. The next morning the only change was that my cervix had softened some more-- apparently that's all that was supposed to happen with the Cervadil. Around 8am I was hooked up to an IV of Pitocin and then sometime between 830 and 900, my doctor came in and broke my water with a large hook. Immediately it was noted that my water was not clear, there was a large amount of meconium which essentially means that Leeland had pooped in the womb. We had went over the dangers of meconium in our birthing class and I was a little worried by it, but my doctor and the nurse assured me that when it came time for delivery, Leeland would be suctioned and cleaned very thoroughly to ensure that he didn't inhale any of the meconium.
As the day went on my family and Daniel's family were in and out of our room visiting and checking in. My original goal was a "natural" childbirth. In my head, I was still counting this as a natural childbirth because up to this point I hadn't had any pain medication. In all actuality looking back, my natural childbirth was thrown out the window as soon as I accepted being induced. About 4 hours after my water broke, I began to get sick, as in throwing up. We had been told in our birthing classes that this was fairly common, and I assumed I would be one of those lucky ones because I had been sick so much during the pregnancy. Let me just say, that I can handle a lot of things. I would consider myself at least somewhat tough, but when I get sick it is SO over. I remember my morning sickness days early in pregnancy-- I'm talking about when I would curl up in the fetal position in the bathroom floor and cry for Daniel. I'm a total sissy when it comes to sickness! With all of that said, just because I was getting sick, didn't stop the contractions. I had been able to stay on top of them and cope somewhat but suddenly, I found myself sitting up in the bed, hurling into a trash can and throwing in the towel. I remember saying the words, "I NEED and epidural." Within 20 minutes the anesthesiologist was in to take care of it for me. The rest of my labor, I layed in bed on Facebook on my iPhone and watching TV. The nurse came in every hour or so to check in on me and check my progress. Just after 530pm it was time to push.
Pushing was a breeze. I mean, I couldn't feel anything. They had to tell me when to push because I had no idea when I was having a contraction. The nurse was astonished by how well I was doing-- within 20 minutes, Leeland was almost out. She had to halt me for us to wait on the doctor to come in. The doctor arrived, I gave a few more steady pushes and out came Leeland around 610pm.
I'm not so happy that my original "natural childbirth" goal was thrown out the window and I'm really the only one to blame for it. Sure I could point fingers at the doctors and their need to intervene and schedule things, but I was the one that didn't stand my ground. I let a date get in the way, I was so focused on that date, and so focused on just getting it done. As I look back, though I'm a little disappointed in myself, I know that it all worked out in the end. In the end, I had a happy, healthy, handsome, 8 pound 6 ounce little boy in my arms.