As your due date approached, me and "our" doctor (who delivered your brothers and has become a great friend over the last 6 years) started to discuss my "birth plan". I told her I wanted to have this amazingly fabulous birth. I wanted to feel the labor - painful contractions and all. I wanted to watch you be born. Yep! Pull out the mirrors, I wanted to see it all go down. I also wanted to "deliver you myself". Yep! I wanted to pull you out with my own two hands just as soon as I could. We both giggled about my "plans" and she said she'd do the best she could to make it all happen (we both knew that making "plans" about a delivery is NEVER a good idea).
Our doctor was also keeping a close eye on me during that last week or so. My blood pressures were creeping up and I was showing some signs of preeclampsia, per usual, so she decided to induce labor at 39 weeks after a routine check up. It was then that I realized it was really happening - I was going to meet you!
After my appointment, I went straight to the hospital (by myself) while your Daddy stayed home with your brothers and waited for Grandma and Grandpa. I checked myself in and met my FABULOUS nurses. I had a little supper and watched The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. It was a fabulous couple of hours alone, to be perfectly honest. My induction began around 7:45 with Cervidil, which is a medicine used to soften the cervix and start contractions. I was familiar with the process because your brothers' labors started the exact same way. The medicine would last about 4 hours and they'd check my progress around midnight. I was sure that my labor would just fly by! When the induction began, I was between 1-2 centimeters dilated and I joked that I'd have you before midnight. I was wrong!
I started to have contractions around 9pm. I decided to walk around the hospital to keep them going. That's another thing I realized with kid 3 - I knew what to expect! I also knew that the "contractions" that I was having were NOT going to cut it. I knew they were going to (and NEEDED to) get worse... much worse. Around 11pm, I was getting tired of walking around, so I tried to lay down for a bit. I also knew that I needed to try to get some rest because it was going to be a long night. However, I HATE those hospital beds and just could not get comfortable. So, I decided to get into the bath tub. I spent much of my labor with Wil in the tub and knew that it would provide me with some relief. The contractions were getting stronger, but were not at all consistent, which I knew needed to change.
I spent some time in the tub, but was eager to get out around midnight so the doctors could check me. Yeah! It was time! I was having contractions, surely I had made progress... I HADN'T. Ugh. None. No progress at all. Hadn't dilated at all!
I tried not to get discouraged. I knew what needed to happen - I needed to make enough progress so that my doctor could break my water. I knew that would do the trick. With my previous labors, once my water broke, my babies were born quickly. So, back to the tub I went.
At one point, my nurse (have I mentioned how FABULOUS she was) came to check on me in the bath tub. She was a little worried. Based on the inconsistency of my contractions and the fact that I wasn't making any progress, she was determined that you were in there a bit "kiddiewampus". She thought you were "sunny-side-up" and that I'd have to deliver you with your eyes looking to the ceiling rather than towards the ground. I knew that was not good and I knew that those kinds of deliveries were HARD. She encouraged me to move around as much as I could. She told me the water would help and that maybe I could encourage you to flip. So, I did! I moved around and tried my best to swim in a tiny bath tub.
Finally, around 2am, as my nurse watched me swim in the tub, she said, "Do you enjoy being in the there? Would you like to continue to labor in the bath tub? If so, we've got to get you into a bigger tub!!" And so, we did. Shortly after that, my giant, wet self walked across the hall and got hooked up in a new birthing suite and this one had a BIRTHING TUB. It was huge! It was fabulous! I could float around and I had plenty of room to work through my contractions and try to get you to flip around in there!
I'll never forget how I was feeling after I was put into the birthing tub. It was dark and quiet. I was calm and excited and nervous all at the same time. Around 3am, my nurse let me be for a while (I think the poor woman had to take a break) and your Daddy decided to take a walk. It was then, when I was all alone, that I had a conversation with myself. My contractions were coming, strong, but very far apart. I was getting worried and to be perfectly honest, I was getting a little frustrated and tired. I wanted you to come out, but I just knew my contractions were not working. They were not strong enough to get you out. I stopped moving for a bit. I laid back in the tub and I thought to myself... "My water needs to break! What am I going to do to make my water break? That's what needs to happen. That will make him come out!" And just as the moment of despair started to set in, I heard this pop and felt a strong gush! Yep. My water had broke right then and there. It was as if my body was listening to my thoughts. It was surreal!
I paged my nurse and was so, so excited to tell your Daddy that it would be happening soon. I just knew it!
It was around 3am.
By 3:15, I was in labor. Good, hard, HORRIBLE labor. Labor that makes a baby come. Labor that makes you feel like you're dying. That you are literally dying. But, no one is believing you; instead they keep telling you that you're doing great.
Remember how I had told my doctor that I wanted to feel the labor? Well, I did. I felt my labor and those awful contractions for about 45 minutes and that was perfect, thank~you~very~much.
I had my epidural around 4am and I was feeling really good just minutes later. At this point, my doctor was able to check my cervix for the first time since the dreaded midnight check. I was 5cm dilated and the doctor could feel your little head. About 30 minutes later, I started to feel my contractions again, but only on my left side. I asked the nurse why I was feeling them and she encouraged me to push my epidural button, to give myself a quick dose. It didn't work. Yuck. My contractions were getting bad again. It was then that I thought back to Jayce's delivery. I remember the same thing happening right before I had the sensation to push. I explained this to my nurses, who really didn't think that that was what was happening because I was just checked and was only 5cm. I knew I was right though. I knew you were coming.
With the next contraction, I told them it was time. Everyone was shocked! They checked me and sure enough, I was right. I was 10cm dilated and you were there. Literally. Right there. They quickly called my doctor, who was sleeping soundly at home. Did I mention that I had promised to not have you without her?!? Well, she had to get to the hospital... quick! I spent the next few contractions with my legs closed (literally) and breathing hard to stop from pushing you out before she arrived.
Our doctor arrived shortly before 5am.
Remember the mirror I had requested to watch you come into this world? Well, they have those. They come down from the ceiling. You can see everything! Everything. I asked them to get rid of those mirrors just about as soon as they put them down. We laughed about that.
We were all laughing a lot. Mostly about how quickly you had decided to come and about the mirror and about how I had to hold you in until Dr. Skladzien came. A few minutes later, my doctor asked me to push. "Just give it a try... Let's see how you do. Do you remember how?" she said.
So, I did. I gave a little push, but about 2 seconds in, everyone hollered. "Ok. Stop! Stop. Stop. Just wait!" And everyone went running. Supplies were brought in and scrubs were put on. They all determined that I did indeed remember how to push, which made us all laugh even more. With each laugh, out you came. Seriously. One of the nurses even said, "you're literally going to laugh your baby out!" With one slow, steady push, your head and shoulders were out. It was then that Dr. Skladzien told me to pick you up. So, I did. I found your little armpits and pulled you right on out of there. The entire time, your Daddy's only job was to get pictures. Nothing too yucky (although you're probably mortified by the picture to the right), but I definitely wanted to document your birth. It was something I didn't do with Wil or Jayce; it was something that I always regretted. I was so envious of those women who had amazing birth pictures of their babies entering the world.
Since we've brought you home, it's been a similar story. You're a very content, calm baby. You only cry when you're hungry and you're so alert. You eat all the time and I can barely keep up! You are sleeping about 4 hours at a time, even in the nights. But, when you do wake to eat in the night, you go right back to sleep. I can lay you down awake and you'll just close your eyes eventually and fall asleep. It amazes me!
Our transition to a family of five has went surprisingly well, thanks to you, mostly. Your big brother Wil absolutely adores you and the bond that he and I have has grown so much since you've joined us. I cannot get over how amazing he is with you. He wants to hold you and kiss you all them time. He talks to you and tells you stories and asks you questions. He enjoys being my special helper and for some reason, this makes him feel so old to me. It's been fun to watch my first baby interact with my last baby. I hardly remember Wil being that small. Your relationship with your middle brother, on the other hand, is yet to blossom. You see, Jayce is three, and well, three is tricky and he would prefer to pretend that you don't exist. He'll glance over at you from time to time and tell me if you're crying or tell you that you're too loud, but other than that, he won't go near you. I guess that's better than the alternative (at least he hasn't tried to hurt you:) I'm sure this phase will end as you begin to change and grow.
We just love you so much Charlie Kade! I am so lucky to have you... My last little man...
Until next time,