Well, um, let me dust this blog off just a bit. It's been severely neglected over the last almost two weeks. And I suppose that has a little something to do with the surprise arrival of our sweet Graham Isaac. You see, he wasn't due until May 10, but he decided to come on April 21, catching us all off guard just a bit. Ok, more than a bit.
It was last Easter Sunday/early the next Monday when I woke up thinking I may have just peed on myself a bit. I hopped up as quickly as a nine month pregnant lady can and made my way to the restroom. For a split second I DID wonder if perhaps my water had broken, but having never actually experienced that before, I just chalked it up to poor muscle control and got back in bed.
Over the course of the next hour or so, right around two in the a.m., I realized that I might be having contractions. I was induced with both Cayden and Sawyer, so I technically have never felt contractions, so again, I was a little unsure. When I realized that there was a pattern to things, I woke Jeremy up, let him know what was going on and started timing everything. They were consistently about ten-ish minutes apart lasting for about a minute each. Never having gone into labor on my own before, the only thing going through my head was that they should be five minutes apart, lasting a minute, for an hour.
At 5:30, when things seemed to just be staying the same, I decided to just go on and shower thinking that they might eventually stop. It was at the moment that I pulled out some of the paperwork they give you at the beginning of your pregnancy. Perhaps I should have looked at that sooner... because there was a little sidenote about being in labor and how if this wasn't your first child and your contractions were ten minutes apart, then just maybe you need to call ahead and get your hiney to the hospital. Oh.
So I showered anyway, called the hospital and let them know what was going on ("Please come in as soon as you can, but be careful!"), gave my mom a heads-up that we'd be dropping the boys off earlier than normal and oh yeah, packed my hospital bag.
My contractions were starting to get closer... probably about five minutes apart. We loved on the boys, dropped them off and started making our way toward the hospital. It's probably a 30 minute drive on a good day without traffic. And even though we were hitting everything right at rush hour, I don't recall there being a ton of traffic. I do however recall how every dip and bump in the road felt while having a contraction. Not good.
We got to the hospital and all checked in around 7:54 a.m. Please note the time. It's kind of significant.
I got all dressed in my lovely gown, and our nurse checked to see if my water had indeed broken earlier. She was getting both positive and negative signs, so she just decided to see if I was dilated. (And y'all, believe me, if they had sent me home at this point, I was going to lose my cool.) Surprise, 4.5 cm dilated! I had turned down my check at my appointment just three days earlier; now I'm wondering if that was a good idea.
I was asked if I wanted an epidural (heck, yes!) and so blood work needed to be done first. After blowing out a vein in my arm, my nurse finally got what she needed. In the meantime, I'm huffing and puffing through contractions that are definitely coming at least every one to two minutes. And I'm redlining on the machine with those things. Anyway, nurse walks out the door, says she'll be back in a minute, and if for some reason, I feel like I need to push, to call her back immediately.
It was like those words being announced made it ok that I needed to push. Because not thirty seconds after she left, I looked at Jeremy (panicked, I'm sure) and told him I needed to push. At that very minute, another nurse walked in bringing some equipment and she just knew. She was our savior that morning for sure. She checked me again (maybe it was 8:25ish at this point, again, time, it's important) and I was at 9 cm and Graham's head was right there.
At this point, there was pure craziness in our room. All sorts of equipment being wheeled in and out. Trying to find a doctor (mine was called: "Um, yeah, I'm in Tuscaloosa. You might want to get someone else in there!") to help deliver. And me? Oh, I'm apparently just going to push this baby on out without any drugs at all.
And that's just what I did. It is still all very surreal, and I have to laugh to myself when I think about it, because it was just so very awesome. I made sounds that I never knew would come out of my body, but at that point, my body had completely taken over and I was just going with it. The only words I said were, "I'm sorry," to Jeremy repeatedly. Mostly because I was afraid that I was scaring him and there was nothing either of us could do about it. But he was my rock and told me to stop worrying about it and that I was doing a great job. (Later I was asked if I used the "F" word. When stated that no, in fact there was no cussing going on, I was told that I did really, really good then!)
Delivering naturally was kind of, sort of on my list to try at some point, but it wasn't on my list for that day. But I wouldn't have it any other way. Not to gross anyone out, but being able to feel Graham exiting my body was one of the most amazing feelings ever. And delivering the placenta was almost as painful as the birthing part. But... being able to walk around immediately after his delivery was a huge bonus... and had me thinking that the next time (and most likely, final time) I have a baby, I might try this again.
Graham Isaac Allen arrived at 8:57 a.m. – barely an hour after we checked into the hospital. He weighed in at six pounds, ten ounces and was nineteen and a quarter inches long. Our smallest baby by a pound, but loved just as much. Oh, and big brothers Cayden and Sawyer? They adored him and asked to hold him within minutes upon meeting him. Y'all this mom of three boys thing? It's going to be incredible.