Yesterday we welcomed our baby BOY into the world and in true Sara Jaeger fashion I plan to share his birth story with you. I'm writing from the quiet of my hospital room. Newborn sleeping soundly next to me. Bravo TV is playing nonstop Top Chef and LIFE IS GOOD. This girl can't complain.
First, meet Mr. Bennett Brand
His story begins at 3:30 am Tuesday morning. I woke up with some minimal cramping and started to notice that the sensation was coming about every 5 minutes. The past couple of weeks I'd been having contractions, sometimes semi-regular, never very painful, and I wondered was this similar? Was it the product of the Culver's custard I'd had the night before? But after an hour of regular pain I figured I'd get up, take a shower and see if things died down from there.
Around 5am I decided to wake Chris and told him I thought we might be in labor. We debated calling Miss Cathy to come stay with Lakin for fear that this was just a false alarm but our fear of not making it to the hospital took over and Cathy was delighted at the prospect that this was baby's birthday. She made it over and we headed to the hospital to check things out.
I arrived at 6am and was 3 cm dilated. I was told that in order to stay I had to progress so I had an hour to walk the halls in hopes that labor would continue. We walked around and my pain was progressing but was still very manageable. I was really hoping I wouldn't have to go home though since I was now pretty uncomfortable and dreaded the thought of taking care of Lakin while managing these regular contractions.
At 7:30 am they checked me again and I had progressed to 5 cm. I was staying! The emergency med residents said I was the happiest pregnant woman they'd seen in a while. Who happy dances at 5 cm? When I'm in pain or anxious I tend to cope with humor. I was cracking jokes left and right and sharing way too much information. Chris says I get giggly and chatter non-stop. Needless to say, my smile seemed too big for someone this far into labor.
In addition to staying and earning myself a delivery room I also was able to get an epidural. My epidural was placed by 10:00 am and I was really excited to experience a medicated birth. Despite the epidural, I continued to feel contractions growing with intensity. The anesthesia team reminded me that epidurals can numb at varying levels and assured me that it takes time for the effects to set in. At 11:00 am they checked my epidural connection and discovered that it was not fully connected. I hadn't been receiving any meds which was why I could still wiggle my toes and feel my contractions. After we switched out the tubing I began to feel tingling and warmth and some of the positive effects from the epidural. At 11:20 am I was checked again and fully dilated and they broke my water, which was the final barrier preventing me from labor. The OB resident told me she'd check back in 20 minutes but to let my nurse know if I felt the urge to push. She didn't even get out the door before I told her I need to push and I need to do it quick.
Nurses were getting their gowns on and the doctor still pulling her surgical gloves on when I began pushing. After 3 solid pushes, at 11:30 am, we heard the sweet cries of baby boy. He came out so fast that he needed a little help clearing his lungs and gave us a bit of a scare while the pediatric team worked on him to make sure he was breathing well before we got to hold him. Apparently when babies "shoot out of a cannon" (the doctor's words, not mine) so quickly they often don't work the amniotic fluid out of their lungs and can sometimes need a little assistance right after birth.
He is so chill, sleeps often, eats like a champ and poops like it's his job. He's already had lots of visitors and we're headed home from the hospital later today. All my fears about delivery were for nothing.
As for big sister, she's still a bit uncertain about this Bennett business. She loved all the big sister attention though and special visitors. She got a sticker at the check in desk and Dora snacks from my parents. Maybe this baby brother business will be tolerable after all?
Thanks for the many who called, emailed, visited and texted. It was a big day for our growing family.