Now let’s jump to the good part!
May 29, 2014–It’s three days past Little Brother’s due date. We really thought he would come early, so going past the due date with nothing happening was disappointing to say the least. It had been a hard pregnancy physically, mentally, and spiritually. I wasn’t a crier, but it became more and more common for me. There were some rough days. One day early on in the kidney issues, I called my mom and was crying so hysterically that when she answered the phone she couldn’t understand me at all. When Big Brother wasn’t around, I’d cry on Jeremy’s shoulder. If Big Brother was around, I’d try to put on a strong face until I could get some time alone. Showers are good for that. I’d get in the shower and just let it all out. I’d cry out to God in my frustration and pain. In the days leading up to May 29th I had been feeling particularly beat down. I was incredibly uncomfortable and in pain due to the kidney issues and being 9 months pregnant. I was trying to stay positive, but I won’t lie, I was breaking down and crying on a regular basis.
Then at about 9:30 pm I felt my first real contraction. I moved around thinking it was a false alarm/Braxton Hicks and that more wouldn’t come (that had happened a couple times before). They kept coming. It was close to 10 when my cousin started texting me. Having had four babies herself, she had so many words of encouragement and hope and great advice. Looking back at the timing, I truly believe it was a God thing that she texted me that night. Her words were echoing in my mind in the hours to come.
The contractions kept coming and got closer and closer. Around 2 am I decided we should call the doctor. We had one of those “wake up your husband in the middle of the night and tell him ‘it’s time’ moments” which was kind of funny. The doctor gave us the okay to head to the hospital, so we called my sister to come watch Big Brother. There was a bit of a panic moment when she didn’t answer and then our back up baby sitter didn’t answer either. I guess people are little hard to reach in the middle of the night! We were close to deciding to take him with us and hope someone could come get him when we were able to get a hold of my sister. She rushed right over, thankfully.
We arrived at the hospital around 3 am and my labor continued to progress. With Big Brother I had an epidural early on but it worked a little too well. So well in fact that I couldn’t even tell when I was contracting or when I should push. I didn’t want that to be the case this time, so I was determined not to have any pain medication. All seemed to being going well for several hours, and I was handling the pain just fine.
Then labor wasn’t progressing quite as it should. Little Brother wasn’t descending, and I still wasn’t dilated enough to push. We made the decision to let the doctor break my waters. This would help labor along, but most importantly, it would enable her to place a monitor directly on his head that would be more accurate than the monitors they’re able to use before the waters break. There is a bit of a delay when the monitor isn’t directly on the baby. We soon were very thankful to have that monitor in place.
To say that labor progressed would be putting it mildly. The pain, intensity and frequency of the contractions increased significantly. However, I wasn’t dilating any further and the baby still wasn’t descending. Then there was trouble with his vital signs. He wasn’t handling labor well. The doctor didn’t want to wait. If he didn’t improve and very quickly, we needed to do an emergency c-section. The next contraction came and that was that. We had to go to the operating room right away.
Once that decision was made they gave me something to calm the contractions. You know those scenes in a movie when they jab a shot in someone’s arm? Yeah. It was one of those moments. My arm was sore for days. I’m not complaining, though, because it was what Little Brother needed to stay safe.
The next part was all too familiar, since we had to have an emergency c-section with Big Brother as well. The difference here was that with Big Brother I already had an epidural in place. This time they had to place the spinal with me being in full blown labor and having no pain medication. If you’ve ever had an epidural or spinal, then you know that you have to be very still and stay in a certain position. Thankfully, that earlier shot had calmed the contractions so that I was able to stay still.
The minutes felt like hours from the time after the spinal to the time we first heard Little Brother. The doctors kept asking who had done my previous c-section, and we could hear them talking, but weren’t sure what was going on. They were still calm and the baby’s vitals were still good, but we could tell something was different than when Big Brother was born. It turns out that there was significant scar tissue from my previous c-section that had caused quite a mess internally, so they were having some difficulty navigating what was what. There was also another strange complication called a contraction band. Basically, instead of my contractions moving from the top of my uterus down to push the baby down, I was contracting in the middle of my uterus. Think about the way a peanut is shaped, and that’s how the contractions were. The big problem with that is that Little Brother’s head was below the contraction band while the rest of his body was above it. The contractions were actually preventing him from descending.
Thankfully, the doctors were able to work through all of the strange issues with my body, and Little Brother was born May 30th at 1:27 pm. His first noises were little squeaks that still make me laugh to think about. With all the chaos leading up to that moment, we forgot to bring a camera or even a phone into the operating room! Thankfully, the anesthesiologist had his phone on him and snapped this photo for us.