Monday, February 27, 2017

Jonathan: A Birth Story

Jonathan surprised us all by being born on his due date.  In fact, I was convinced that of all the days he wouldn't come, he surely wouldn't come on February 8th.  After all, that was the day that John and Roslyn were getting on a plane and leaving town (in the morning), and my mom and sister were arriving at the airport (in the late afternoon).  There was a good chunk of time when no grandparents would be available to help with Ezra and Maren.  Any other day was less busy, so surely he would come on some other day, right?   

The morning of 8 February started with a little surprise.  I found a quantity of bodily fluids in the toilet after my first trip to the bathroom.  Did my water break?  I called my mid-wife and she suggested that I do some squats or take a walk to determine if my water had broken or if I was noticing a "bloody show", which simply signaled that labor could happen sometime in the future.  If my water had indeed broken, I needed to come into the hospital that morning, as soon as possible (as I tested positive for GBS).  If it was just the "bloody show", there was no urgency, and no need to come in.  Any movement on a broken water bag would cause more leaking; I was advised to watch for more leaking fluid.

Around 9 am I took a walk.  The morning was warmish, but very windy.  I went walking for about 25 minutes, and during that brisk walk, I started to get intense abdominal cramping.  I thought that it was likely some very intense Braxton-Hicks contractions because it was only in front.  But, they were so intense I had to pause and breathe through them.  I remember thinking how odd that was, since, of course, I couldn't be in labor.  I probably had seven or eight contractions during my walk, but they only lasted 10 seconds, so I didn't think much of them.  My walk clearly showed that my water had not broken, as I had no more leaking fluid.  My mid-wife called during my walk, and I gave her the news.  The urgency in the situation was gone.  "You will probably go into labor sometime this week," she guessed.  "We will probably see you sometime soon.  Keep us posted," she said.

Dallin was at home with Ezra and Maren, waiting to know the news from my walk too.  When I got home, I told Dallin he could probably go to work since my water had not broken.  Sometime before 10 am, he drove to work.  I took a shower, thinking the warm water might calm down the Braxton-Hicks cramping; I was probably just walking too fast I thought.  But, the cramping did not go away, even with a warm shower, and around 10:30 they stepped up in intensity.  At that point, I realized that I was in fact having contractions, and I started timing them.  They were intense, but sporadic, so I figured I had plenty of time before I might need to call Dallin home again.  The contractions lasted sometimes 10-15 seconds, sometimes 45 seconds; sometimes the contractions were 20 minutes apart, sometimes 5 minutes apart.  While I was still able, I packed my hospital bag.

By 11:15, I started to realize that this was indeed true labor, and things were progressing very rapidly.  My contractions had intensified again, and they were starting to come every 5 minutes, lasting for a full minute.  I called Dallin around 11:30 and told him to come home fast, it was time to get to the hospital.  As best as I was able, in between contractions, I also messaged my neigbor/friend/visiting teacher Jenn, and asked if we could drop off our kids around 12:30 when Dallin got home.  Thankfully, mercifully, and miraculously, she was home and available.  Her house is just five minutes from our house, and as it turned out, 5 minutes was all the more time we could spare.

I turned on a little show for the kids so I could have space and quiet time to process the contractions before Dallin got home.  When he came in the door around 12:20, I could hardly walk or talk.  We dropped off the kids at 12:30, and raced to the hospital.  Sometime in the 25-minute drive to the hospital, the contractions kicked up another notch, and they started coming at 2-minute intervals.  Dallin had a white knuckle drive over, and I started to wonder if we would make it in time.  As we pulled up to the curb at the hospital (around 12:55 pm), a nurse was wheeling a discharged patient to her car, he came over directly after unloading her and picked me up in his wheelchair.  I needed it!  I could barely take three steps before a new contraction started.  

I was wheeled up to a triage room and asked to dress into a hospital gown.  After I was changed, the triage nurse checked my cervix.  I was dilated to a very healthy seven, and in transition with contractions every 90 seconds, a few seconds of break, and then right into another one.  Quickly, I was wheeled to a delivery room.  And a mad scramble ensued: Call the midwife, bring in a baby warmer, set up her IV, attach the fetal monitor, etc.  The midwife walked in joking, "Just bloody show, huh?  This baby likes to be dramatic.  Let's meet this little guy!"  With seven or eight more contractions, and ten pushes, Jonathan made his fast, unexpected, beautiful arrival.  He was born at 1:17 pm.  Dallin cut the cord, and he was placed on my chest.  And, then, the four-hour wild ride slowed down, and I enjoyed that precious first snuggle time with my little baby boy .  There is nothing so sweet in all the world!  He is healthy, he is beautiful, he has arrived!  I am so grateful we had him in the hospital!              


Anonymous said...

Great travel log! Super exciting! Very impressed how calm & level-headed you are in fast-paced, hectic situations. Bravo to you...and Dallin on a job well done.

Jane said...

Wow. That is one story to tell later on when he gives you a hard time about being unfair!
Congratulations on a successful delivery and so glad you live relatively close to everything and everyone!
Good job!