Nixon joined our family on January 26, 2016. His original due date was January 28th and since both Molly and Sophie came 5 and 4 days after their due dates I thought he would probably come late too. Rob was scheduled to go out of town for 2 days (the 25th-26th) and originally I thought that would be okay since I guessed Nixon most likely wouldn't come before his due date. My parents were busy watching my brother's kids during that time so I'd asked my sister Tiffany if she could come stay with me during those days... just in case something happened.
On the day that Rob was to leave and Tiffany was to come (the 25th) I'd noticed I'd been having some sporadic contractions. About 3 hours before Rob's flight I asked him to cancel his trip. I just didn't feel right about him going. (I'd prayed that nothing would happen with him gone and the feeling I was getting was that he shouldn't go). So he canceled. I felt a little guilty asking him not to go since I had no idea if baby would come during that time or 10 days later. I just didn't know, but I definitely didn't want him to miss the birth of our baby and I sure didn't want to give birth alone! So Tiffany came with her littlest, Crew. That afternoon me, her, and Crew went out for a pedicure. We did a bit of shopping and then picked everyone else up and all went out for dinner that night.
On the 26th, I woke up early and went to the gym, like usual, and then later that morning we took the kids to the library. After, we decided to head to the mall where we could kill some time and walk around. Like the previous day, I was having a few sporadic contractions. We walked around the mall for a bit and that's when I noticed more contractions and they were starting to get a bit uncomfortable. At about 1:30 we went to Smashburger for lunch. It was here that I started having more consistent contractions. We had thought about going to the Bean Museum or the MOA after lunch, but I decided we'd better drive home so I could gather my things together for the hospital.
We got home about 2:30 and I'd found that I'd lost my mucus plug and was having the 'bloody show'. So I was pretty convinced labor was starting. The thought of labor made me feel really anxious and I literally wanted to cry. I was excited, nervous, and curious to know the gender of our baby!
We gathered my things and I decided to take a hot shower before we left. I had Rob timing my contractions and while blow-drying my hair they were about 5 minutes apart. I was hoping to go natural with this birth and had done the Hypnobabies home study course so I was stopping every 5 minutes to do my hypno techniques. We decided at 5 minutes apart it was time to head to the hospital. I finished my blow drying, we took a quick photo, and left for the hospital (3:50pm). I was so glad to have my sister there so that leaving the girls was super easy and convenient..
Once on our way, my contractions slowed down. I didn't have one for 15 minutes and it made me worry that we'd show up at the hospital and get sent home. We went in anyway and I could tell that they'd slowed down quite a bit. At the hospital they hooked me up to a monitor around 4:20 to see if I could be admitted. They checked me and I was dilated to 3+. They told me that in order to get admitted I'd need to dilate 1 cm in the next hour. I was pretty sure my contractions were not coming fast enough for that. At about 5:30 they check me again and I hadn't changed much. I asked if I could walk around a bit and see if my contractions would pick up again. They check with my doctor, who was delivering a baby just down the hall, and she said I could have another hour to walk and see how I progressed (6 pm).
At 7 pm the nurse checked me and I had changed to a 4+. So they admitted me. We went over my birth plan and I continued to do my Hypnobabies techniques. When the nurses switched they checked me again and I was dilated to a 5. The contraction pains were getting really painful especially in my back. The Hypnobabies techniques were not working like I'd anticipated. I wasn't getting much pain relief by putting myself in hypnosis. And I was feeling like the baby was posterior. It was feeling a lot like Sophie's labor and she was delivered posterior. It was such a painful experience I knew that if this baby was posterior I would not be able to do it naturally. In fact, I didn't want to do it naturally with a posterior baby. Plus, I wanted this to be a positive experience, not a I-want-to-die experience.
I asked my nurse if there was someone who could check to see what position the baby was in. They had a doctor come check and wasn't able to tell. I asked if they could do an ultrasound to see and they still were not able to tell. By this time my pain was getting worse and I just needed to decide what I wanted to do. I decided that I was pretty confident that this baby was posterior and I should go ahead and get an epidural (9:15 pm).
The anesthesiologist came in and I got an epidural 20 minutes from the time I'd decided I wanted one. The medicine kicked in after a few contractions and then my labor was very pleasant. I could still feel some of the contractions, but not all the pain. My doctor then broke my water (10 pm) and contractions started coming quicker. Rob and I chatted with the nurse and dr. before they left for a bit.
I'd noticed that just before I got an epidural that my legs started feeling wobbly when I was walking and I needed to sit down. Then I started getting really shaky all over my body. I literally felt like I was at the north pole without a coat, I was shivering and shaking so much. I'd never experienced the shakes with either Molly or Sophie's births so I was worried something was wrong. My doctor told me it was perfectly normal. Some people get them and some don't, but it's not unusual.
At about 11 pm the doctor and nurse returned and it was time to start pushing. They got everything set up and at 11:07 pm I started. A couple pushes in, the doctor let me know the baby was posterior and she was able to turn baby face down. It was nice to know that I was right about the way baby was positioned and I was glad I got that epidural. It would have been a rough delivery without any medication.
In total I pushed 5 sets of 3; (15 pushes) when Nixon's head started to crown. I wasn't aware that he was crowning at that point even with a mirror because the nurse had her arm in my line of vision. So I didn't notice until the doctor pointed it out to me. I was super surprised. I didn't think Nixon would come that quick. I had only been pushing for 12 minutes.
The doctor let the head set there for about a minute so that I could stretch and hopefully not tear. She put some pressure on my perineum and his head just slipped out. The cord was wrapped around his neck and she slipped it off. I then gave two quick pushes for his shoulder and he was out. They excitedly announced that he was a boy, quickly suctioned his nose and mouth, and he was placed on my tummy. We decided to delay cutting the cord so he could get as much blood from it as he could and they spent a lot of that time wiping him down. When it was time Rob cut the cord and they took the baby over to be checked. He was 7 lbs 5 ounces, 19 inches long, and arrived at 11:20 pm.
The doctor delivered my placenta and said I didn't have any tears and didn't need any stitches. It's amazing how much better recovery has been with no tears and stitches!Honestly, I was a bit shocked to have a baby boy. I'd kind of decided I thought it'd be a girl (which we would have named Claire). Even though he was not what I was expecting, it didn't take long to fall in love with him. I remember thinking he looked just like Rob, only in baby version.
After he was all checked out I tried to nurse him and he wasn't really getting it. He was a bit pail and they took him again to check out his breathing. When he was good, they brought him back to me to nurse again. This time he latched on and nursed.
They then brought me a sandwich, chips, grapes, and cookies to eat. I'd only had a couple snacks since lunch that day and I was hungry. I was still shaking like a leaf which didn't go away until midnight-1 am.
I was then moved down to my recovery room. We went with Nixon to the nursery to watch them bathe him, get his foot prints, and check him over again. It was 3 am by the time we got back into our room to rest. By that time the epidural had worn off and I was able to stand and get in bed. We all rested for the next few hours.
Read about Nixon's hospital stay here.