The birth of Graham Lucas
Since several of you have asked, here’s the story as I recall it [at the moment]- granted, I’m sleep deprived, so some details could be a bit off.
The players: Mommy – me Daddy – Luke Big brother – Kasen Doula – the amazing Delilah Midwife – Cecily Floyd Nurses – 2 sweet ones, I don’t recall either of their names though.
Saturday (5/26) night I got a full night of sleep (well, minus the constant peeing a pregnant woman does). I even want to say that Kasen was nice enough to sleep all night, which is rare.
Sunday (5/27) morning started out normal, with the joy of being taken out for my birthday/pre-baby pampering by Denya (who knew it’d be perfect timing!). We had coffee & treats at The Life House, made a quick shopping trip, then had wonderfully relaxing pedicures. I got home & really wanted a nap, but wasn’t sure if it’d happen or not. Oddly enough, when I told Kasen that if he took a nap, he could stay up late that night, he obliged. So, all 3 of us took a nice nap, I think about 2, maybe 3 hours of good sleep! Thank goodness for that nap!!! I had no idea it’d be the last good sleep I got for days.
Sunday (5/27) evening, shortly after we all woke up, we headed to Kroger to stock up on groceries for the week. I was feeling a little crampy when we got to the store (probably around 5:30 or 6), but didn’t think too much of it. By the time we made it to the check out though, I was getting impatient, cranky, crampy, and just feeling “off”. Kasen & I sat on a bench to rest while Luke checked out and I made Luke drive us home ’cause I knew I was just too uncomfortable to deal with it. When we got home I told Luke I was going to soak in the tub & drink lots of water, to see if I was dehydrated or if something was really happening.
Sunday (5/27) 7:35pm As I ran the bath, I texted Delilah: “I’m having stop-in-your-tracks cramping. Still don’t feel that band wrapped around my stomach though…” Delilah verified that I should feel that tightening, from top to bottom & all around. So, I figured this wasn’t really anything BIG, maybe just the beginning of a long week. 😉
7:48pm After soaking a little while, I texted Delilah again: “If this isn’t for real I may have to rethink no drugs. :p” A little while later I started timing the “cramps” to send her an idea of what I was dealing with. W/in the 30 min I timed, they were 2-4 min apart & lasting 1-1.5 minutes. –Kasen did get to stay up late, per my deal with him, and Luke was wonderful about keeping him occupied & away from me. I think it was around 9:30 or 10 that we finally read him a book & put him to bed.
10:49pm Texted Delilah: “Still every 2-3 min, for 1-1.5 min & still hurt. :p” Delilah called me right after I sent that text & said that I needed to lay in a dark room & try to at least rest, if not sleep, for 4 hours or so, so I wouldn’t feel like I hadn’t had sleep in days. She also said that since I was laughing at her jokes, I probably wasn’t too far along & that when I was really in the throes of labor I likely wouldn’t laugh at her jokes any more. So, I attempted to rest, as did Luke. I was completely unsuccessful & watched some tv instead. There was some silly gag show on for a couple of hours & I was still laughing at a lot of the jokes, though I was starting to find it just annoying after a while.
Monday (5/28), around 2am I decided to take a shower to see if it helped any. It sorta did, but not that much. Nothing helped that much, I just HURT. When I came out of the bathroom, Luke was asleep, so I went downstairs to keep from disturbing him. One of us needed rest! I attempted to lay on the couch & watch TV. But besides the fact that even cable sucks at that time of the morning, I was too busy getting up & down, rolling on the floor, leaning against the wall, and doing everything else I could think of during each contraction – which were 2-3 min apart & lasted 1-3 min each at this point. I fell asleep a few times, for maybe a minute each time, until I finally gave up even trying.
Around 4:00am I decided I wasn’t gonna make it much longer, but I really didn’t want to wake anyone up. I went through a mental checklist to be sure everything was packed in our bags. I also started to worry about Kasen & getting him settled somewhere. I got a little sad when I realized his world was about to change & he wouldn’t be an only child anymore.
4:53am I emailed Delilah: “I’ve gotten maybe a few minutes of sleep so far. Still constant, painful cramping. I don’t feel my stomach tightening, but it does feel tight from the outside. I guess I just lost my mucus plug – sticky, bloody goo.I’m trying to make it a few more hours before I call someone to pick up Kasen, but I’m feeling more confident that today may be the day. I’ll talk to you soon!” (Yep, still in denial that the “cramps” were serious contractions.) I still hadn’t called my midwife ’cause I just knew I was only in the beginning of this process & I wanted everyone to get a full night of sleep.
6:00am I finally went upstairs to wake Luke, who was laying in bed looking tired & maybe a little anxious.
Around 6:30am I had Luke call someone to get Kasen.
6:40am I called Cecily, who asked me what I wanted to do & suggested I take a shower, eat, & said she’d get dressed & be ready to go, so I needed to just call her back when I was ready to go in. Then I called Delilah, who also suggested a shower, eating, & maybe a walk if I felt up to it. Once I did all that I was to call her back & she’d either come to me, or meet me at the hospital.
7:00am While I was showering, Luke’s parents got to our house to pick up Kasen. When I got out of the shower he was yammering away & being his usual, energetic self. I wanted him far away, I didn’t enjoy his energy or sound level at all! I think it was about an hour before everyone was gone, idk though, it seemed like eternity. Between contractions, I was cleaning up & making sure the house looked good in case we had a showing. Yes, really, that was a concern to me during labor. ha!
8:15ish I was finally able to get a peanut butter waffle & 1 bite of banana in me, and I couldn’t stand the thought of more than that. Luke was getting anxious at this point & kept asking about going to the hospital. I finally agreed with him & said that either I was further along than I believed, or I wasn’t as strong as I thought & I needed an epidural.
8:20am Delilah texted to ask my plan. I told her I wasn’t looking forward to the drive so I kept putting off the idea of going in. I also said: “I think it’s time though. Either I can’t last through the pain or I’m dilated enough that knowing will push me through.” She asked me to make a deal w/her to not speak or think about an epidural for at least an hour after we got settled at the hospital. I sort of agreed. Then, I called Cecily to let her know I was ready to go to the hospital.
8:30am We headed to the hospital. I had several contractions during the drive & I commented to Luke that they were hurting more than they had been.
9:05am We got to the hospital & parked in the parking garage. I didn’t want to be dropped off ’cause I just knew I was only at a 3 & I needed to be walking. 😉 I had one hard contraction on the walk from the car to L&D & a security guard yelled over to see if we needed a wheel chair. I have no idea how a wheel chair would’ve helped, but it was nice of him to notice & offer I guess. We ran into Cecily on the way in, and Delilah had just beat us there (we all came from the same side of town, so convenient). I filled out some paperwork & they sent us back to a room. I got changed & peed & agreed to Cecily checking me. I was shocked when she said I was an 8. I had labored all night, mostly alone, and was almost done already! Wow. I tried a lot of positions, none of them helped much with the pain though. 😉 At some point I heard Cecily & Delilah discussing that my bag of water was bulging. (The fact that it still hadn’t broken had added to my denial about really being in labor.) I was still feeling good between contractions, chatting & laughing. During the contractions I don’t think I was very vocal, but I had a hard time relaxing my body & letting them work. Delilah was great at massaging my back & getting fluids in me. I had brought Gatorade but I didn’t like the sugar, I really just wanted cold water. Cecily was supportive & helpful too (so very, very different than an OB!!).
10:50am (I think), Cecily asked if I wanted to be checked & have my water broken. I agreed, knowing that once my water was finally broken things would progress quickly. I don’t think I really realized HOW FAST it would change things though. I was a 10, so she told me to push whenever I felt like it.
Then, ALL HELL BROKE LOOSE! That’s the only way I can explain the next 20 minutes. I realize now that my problem was that I lost mental control over it all. I am a control freak, I need to have control over things or I freak (which is why I really wanted to do this whole thing w/out drugs this time). My body went into a natural state of pushing when it needed to & I couldn’t do anything about it. It hurt, it was scary, & I started telling everyone “I can’t do it”. I remember my body shaking & not being able to control my words, sounds, physical functions… nothing was under my [mental] power, my body just did what it needed to do. I was also HOT. So very, very hot! Delilah had mentioned, pre-labor, that women usually strip down at this point. Yes, yes they do. I don’t even remember how I got naked, but I definitely lost my gown at this point. A few minutes into my freak out, I was told to reach down & feel his head. SO MUCH HAIR!
Once I did that, I knew I was almost done & I just HAD to get him out. I may have broken those 2 sweet nurses’ hands. I know I apologized afterwards, I hope they forgave me. I channeled all the pain I could through the squeezing of their hands & pushed for what I thought was hours. I didn’t think it was ever going to end & while I couldn’t control the primal-sounding screams, I was very aware of how loud I was & it really bothered me. I was “that” lady & I know the other laboring mothers had to hate hearing all that. Turns out that once I felt his head I only pushed for 15 minutes.
At 11:15am, Graham Lucas, a 7#, 6oz, 20″long baby boy, was laying on me, and already prepared to nurse. He nursed long & well, as all the necessary things went on around us. He is absolutely perfect & such a calm, happy baby. I felt so good afterwards that I asked to leave at 24 hours & I only took 2 doses of ibuprofen after his birth, for the cramping & back pain.
Today, 4 days later, I am still feeling really good & I’ve even already had my first outing alone with my TWO sons! Graham is an excellent nurser, a very calm & content baby (so far at least) & has the most amazing head of hair! Kasen loves him & thinks he is “so cute”. We’re getting used to life as a family of 4, and life with little sleep, but everything feels so absolutely perfect for us right now. I can’t imagine a better place to be than exactly where I am.