On the day of what should have been my little guy’s third birthday, I thought it only appropriate to share his birth story. You may remember three years ago, when we suffered through a killer heatwave… that was exactly the same time I was due with my Jakey. That was exactly the same time he decided to be two weeks late. It only gets better from there. It was also just four days before Kate Middletown had prince George so everyone was gaga over babies. I had hope. So much hope.
I originally wrote this three years ago although it’s been slightly edited as I was slightly delusional at the time.
I honestly thought I’d get to have a normal birth story this time around.
I’ve tried as hard as I could to block most of this experience from my memory because it was so drawn out and (physically) painful but in the 7 days it’s taken me to write it (note: I took 6 days off from writing it) I think I’ve clobbered together enough pertinent snippits of information to string this into a story that makes sense without making you want to wretch.
So once my June birthday (that I share with my daughter) came and went, I just knew this kid was going to wait until the last possible second. THE LAST POSSIBLE SECOND. Although it happens rarely, when I “just know” things, I am usually right.
During these weeks, everyone and their mom (except my mom, god bless her) called, sent me texts and emails and FB messages about still being pregnant. I ignored 98 percent of them, hoping anyone would get the hint. Fail. My favorite ones was from a pregnant colleague: “Wow, I hope my doctor doesn’t let me go as long as you!” implying that I was a prisoner in my own body. OH, BECAUSE I WAS.
Hello, world? Here’s a tip: Just don’t talk to overdue pregnant women. Making it to the 42nd week of pregnancy comes with a very special kind of hormonal rage.
I mean, come on.
Absolute last pregnancy selfie – 41 weeks, 5 days on Tuesday, July 16. Jesus lordy. Look how I’d done my hair, thinking I’d have a (relatively) normal-sized baby and come out looking like (a non-pregnant) Kate Middleton.
This image photoshopped to keep you crazy blog stalkers from traveling back in time, finding me and setting up paparazzi outside the hospital.
So the rage ended the morning of the 16th when the finish line was in sight. I brought Abby to therapy, then to daycare, then brought myself to Starbucks for some last overly sweet breakfast treats. Matty came home, we had lunch, played some Candy Crush… this happened:
and then we went on our merry way to have a kid.
Once we got to the hospital, I knew at some point I wasn’t going to be allowed to eat anymore so I shoved as many granola bars into my face as physically possible. And made that lovely face for my husband hoping to help ensure we never end up back in L&D again.
MEH! DON’T TAKE MY PICTURE! GIVE ME FOOD.
So anyway, they hook me all up to all sorts of machines and find out I’m already in labor! And can’t even feel it! WOOHOO this must be what having a second baby is like! This kid’s gonna fall right out! HAVING BABIES IS AWESOME JUST LIKE I REMEMBERED!
My mom came by thinking I’d have a baby on Tuesday. She made us take that picture above. Check out how my hair’s already done for.
All 400 doctors that rotated in and out of their shifts while I was in labor were fantastic. I think the only one from my practice that I didn’t see while in labor was (of course) the one that I had seen throughout my entire pregnancy. Which is good, cause if he had been there – especially while this kid was coming out – I would’ve punched him right in the pickle.
(Oh, and the one that delivered this baby? The only one I’d never seen before. Figures.)
The top line is baby’s heart beat… if I remember correctly, the middle line is mine (was I dead when this picture was taken?)… and the bottom measured contractions. this was very early, when everything was puppies and roses and having babies was still fun.
sometime around here, one of the doctors predicted that little man would be here before her shift ended at midnight. I had hope for a minute… you know, cause she’s a doctor.
Here’s that monitor in the middle of the night, just before the puppies ran away and the roses died.
Note: Cameras did not make another appearance for 17 hours.
They gave me some drugs to help me progress. It was an overnight thing so they said hey go to sleep and we’ll see how things are in the morning. We watched the All-Star game on the little room tv and then Louis CK on the iPad. Then I made my husband turn it off so the nurses didn’t think we were dirty. Ironic seeing how I was stripped of every last ounce of my dignity pushing out my man-baby anyway.
After 10ish hours (1:30 a.m.), I gave in and woke him up. He was really sleeping – it took me saying/squawking his name like 6 times before he woke up. One more time and he would’ve gotten a granola bar to the head.
“Find me drugs.”
The nurse came right in and set all the stuff up including the baby bed warmer. She said something like “we take you second time mamas seriously – this kid’s coming soon.”
Hahahahaaa……. ahhhhh yes.
So the epidural guy comes in around 2 a.m. and makes me sign my life away. Sweet – whatever you need, dude. Let’s roll. BEEP BEEP – phone. Drug guy has to go for an emergency c-section. “I’m so sorry,” he says. “I will be back as soon as I can!” What’s that? Like a half hour? “OK no prob. I got this.”
Two hours later…. hold, pls. TWO HOURS LATER!!!! (2016 edit: I still remember those god awful two hours three years later!!) He comes back and administers sweet relief. Good thing, too, cause I was about to pop the yoga ball I was rolling around on and Matty’s hands were losing steam rubbing my back. Note: While I was in labor with Abby, they made me wait for the epi until right after a contraction so they didn’t wreck my spine or something by sticking me wrong if I moved. This guy, though, he just went right for it. If I remember correctly, I’d had a contraction right while he was putting it in. Story of my life.
Then I slept from 4:30ish until 6 or 7. My mom showed up for awhile. I sent her to the Hobby Lobby. (For real. Nothing fun’s happening here. Go buy some crafty things for yourself.) Some doctors showed up. I was progressing pretty well and the doctor said “I think we’ll see this kid before noon.” I believed her that time.
So I texted some peeps back that hey, baby by lunch and good cause i’m starving. I’d already had several cups of ice chips… you know how much energy ice chips give you? yeah.
At some point after that, I got stuck at 8cm for awhile. And something or other was still way up high and back which meant we still had awhile to go. So they broke my water. Did you know they induce babies a lot this late in pregnancy because they don’t have enough fluid? Yeah this kid could’ve lasted in there another month. He was doing back strokes in there. No, really.
Timing gets fuzzy around here. At some point around lunchtime, the pain gradually comes back. With pitocin now being pumped into my veins, the pain is back at full force before long. The epi people come back and give me more. It doesn’t help. They basically tell me to suck it up and give me some bullshit about the pain actually being pressure (uh who cares what it technically is – it hurts bad!!) and, while they could completely numb my entire bottom half, that would make it harder to push the baby out. (Did I mention all the epi people were men? Just sayin.)
I concede. Because I’m an idiot. I’VE HAD A BABY BEFORE AND I KNOW MY BODY – THIS KID IS TOO BIG. I’d been saying it for two weeks. I’d asked my doctor about it at my last appointment. He was all like, “nah you should be fine – he’s maybe 9lbs.”
Maybe 9 pounds.
Did I mention my dr is a man? With all due respect… Just sayin.
So in case I have not been clear my entire life, I had no intention of feeling any part of this kid actually coming out. I didn’t with Abby (probably why I didn’t mind having another go at it) and I didn’t think it would be any different this time. That was before I found out I was giving birth to a 3-month old.
After pushing for nearly FOUR hours (we did have a break at the beginning so it was really more like 3 and a half hours) I felt every last ounce of his 10lb, 11.3oz man-child body coming out. Jacob Robert, born 7.17.13 at 6:40 p.m., 10lbs, 11oz, 22″
I said I would leave out the wretch-worthy aspects of this kid’s birth so I’ll just tell you the pathetic part.
I tried everything to get them to let me give up. Around the 3.5 hour mark, I did the pathetic cry. And the pathetic scream. I begged the doctor to “just reach in and pull him out, will you?” They just kinda sat and looked at me. “Nope, you’re doing this.” I cried more. I should’ve known better than to switch to this freaking practice that believes in only using medical intervention when absolutely necessary. That does not line up with my birthing ideals.
Anywho, I have to say this afternoon was not at all among the finest moments of my life, despite all the props people keep giving me for pushing this kid out. I fully recognized this as it was happening and in between crying/screaming/begging, I was either laughing at myself or apologizing for how ridiculous I was acting.
Nobody ever said anything when I was apologizing pre-delivery which makes me think either a) I was hallucinating or b) they were totally bitching at me at the nurse’s desk outside. Probably b. That is, until they finally pulled him out and all 12 people on the business side of the room literally gasped. “WO!!!!!!” and made bets on how big he was. They were so incredulous over how freakishly huge he was. Which scares me because this is a big hospital and they deliver lots of babies every day. SEE I TOLD YOU!!! My screaming was redeemed by his hugeness.
They swept him away so fast that I couldn’t see him and then they surrounded the baby warmer trying to get him to breathe. (Sparing more wretch-worthy details here.) It was a long few minutes… I’d heard one tiny cry and felt better for a second that he was OK… and then more quiet… and then FINALLY he started making some noise.
They worked on fixing both him and me up for quite awhile before finally handing him over. Here’s that precious moment captured. Big Jake is beautiful, looking just like his sister did… my hair has deteriorated to be more of a nest than Sigourney Weaver’s in Ghostbusters and Matt is uhhh… I don’t really know.
Despite all of this… despite my body still hurting from this ordeal a week and a half later (for real) I think it’s safe to say we’ve fallen pretty hard for this kid. He is 100 parts awesome. Just like his sister, he’s been a great sleeper and just like his sister, he’s been a great projectile vomiter. Hey, you win some, you lose some.
And there you have it. The birth of my lil man. May he never be a middle child. 🙂
Happy third birthday, little buddy.