I was supposed to go in for my 37 week visit on Tuesday, but knowing that if I was more progressed they’d be sending me to the hospital, I called Monday morning to see who was on-call Monday and Tuesday. As it turned out, my doctor was on-call Monday, so I asked if I could switch my appointment to one day earlier- I could! So, I rushed to grab a shower and get my stuff together before heading over to the doctor’s office. Knowing I *may* be having a baby that day, it was so hard for me to say good-bye to Knox! I could barely give him a quick hug and kiss before I started to tear up, but luckily I made it outside before I really cried! Trevor had been planning on going to my Tuesday appointment with me, but since this was a last-minute change, he stayed behind with Knox, knowing I would call him with any news. All along, we had hoped Brody would be born on February 13th because it was Trevor’s Pop’s birthday. Brody’s middle name, Howell, comes from his grandparents, so we thought that would be so special. We were excited to know that it may be a very real possibility!
I got to the doctor’s office at about 10:30 and waited for almost an hour before being taken back because they were so busy. My doctor had to run next door to the hospital for a delivery, so their P.A. saw me. She knew the gist- I had been 4cm/ 80% effaced/ -2 station just one week prior, and if I had progressed, Dr. L was not comfortable with sending me home, seeing as how fast I was progressing with no real contractions to speak of and was worried I’d labor extremely fast. The P.A. checked me and said she’d call me a “loose 4, but could be easily stretched.” Knowing that everyone’s scale of dilation varies slightly, we still wanted to know what Dr. L thought, and it turned out, she had just gotten back and wanted to check me herself.
She explained that there was still a possibility for some respiratory issues for babies born between 37 and 38 weeks, so we needed to be sure I was really ready before just deciding to go ahead and deliver- we needed concrete proof of progression! Well, I started to have a contraction as she checked me, and she was surprised at how strong it was, especially considering that was a “normal” one that didn’t even phase me. She said that with the contraction, my bag of water was bulging and trying to funnel out through the dilated cervix. She said that I wouldn’t be able to last long at all without my water breaking on it’s own at that rate, that I was definitely 5cm and ready to have a baby! She called for a wheelchair, so I went ahead and called Trevor to let him know what was going on. They wouldn’t let me go back to the car for my hospital bag so I had to give Trevor instructions on where to find the car when he arrived.
A medical assistant wheeled me over to Labor and Delivery, we actually beat my nurse’s phone call over there, so they weren’t even expecting me yet- luckily she called as soon as we finished explaining the situation. By this time, it was around noon. They went ahead and got me set up in a L&D room, I put on the super sexy backless gown, they started my IV and I met my nurses. I had two at first, but I think I must have set a record for amount of nurses in the shortest period of time! They all kept getting called into surgeries and leaving me with someone new! Luckily, they were all very nice. Trevor arrived soon after I got set-up, probably around 12:30. My mom got there around 1 with lunch for Trevor since he rushed out the door without eating breakfast or lunch and hung out with us until my doctor arrived.
Dr. L arrived around 1:30 pm to break my water. She used the small point they attach to their finger instead of that crazy long crochet needle. It started a slow leak, then it gushed and gushed and gushed what felt like hot jucuzzi water all over the place. I soaked through so many pads and towels, it was ridiculous! When I was in labor with Knox, I was in instantaneous agony the second they broke my water because his head was so low, but Brody was higher up, so thankfully that wasn’t the case this time. However, knowing that it only took hours from the time my water was broken with Knox to delivery, they were already talking epidural. I felt odd ordering an epidural before I was in pain, but “luckily” for me, my contractions got painful as the anesthesiologist got there to administer the epi. Trevor had to leave for that part, but my sweet doula, Joan, who had arrived around 2:00 had me hug her and talked me through it. This was at 2:20 p.m. Epidurals definitely hurt, but I’d rather feel that than the baby coming out! I could feel the numbing shot, and I could feel the novocaine filling the space around my spine which was an extremely odd and off-putting sensation. Luckily, it numbed up after that. After the epidural was in, my doctor came back to check me at 2:47 (my doula wrote all this down!) and I had not changed at all. She then went to go to a c-section and said she’d check on me when she got finished.
At this point, my contractions were very regular and coming at every minute to minute and a half. I just closed my eyes and relaxed for this period of time. At first, I could feel all of my contractions in my lower abdomen, but they upped the dose on the epidural and had me roll around a bit and it evened out. I was so relaxed, it felt like I had spent the day at the spa or something (granted receiving an epidural isn’t as pleasant as a massage, but still). I could still move my legs around, my whole lower body just felt kind of foggy. I lay there with my eyes closed listening to Food Network and eating ice chips randomly. Not quite two hours passed and Dr. L came back in at 4:33 pm to check me again. She said “Well, my friend, you’re complete and baby is at +2 station. You’re ready!” Wow, that was fast! They got the room ready to deliver and Trevor went to go tell my mom and siblings what was going on (his parents were at our house with Knox). Dr. L was going to run to security for a new ID tag before delivery, but she came back in about one minute because she was scared I’d deliver before she got back! So, once everything was set-up, I waited for a contraction and started pushing. After two pushes, Brody’s head was visible and staying put- she said that he had a lot of hair and asked Trevor if he wanted to look. He did and said “Whoa!” I don’t know why, but they way he said it struck me as so funny, I bursted out laughing in the middle of my push. I couldn’t get it together and laughed through another push. Dr. L said “Well, this is a new one for me. I’ve never seen a baby laughed out before!” Just a couple more pushes and Brody’s head was out and I felt the doctor pull the rest of him along.
Brody Howell was born at 4:48 pm after four and a half hours of labor (from the time I arrived to the hospital… only three since my water was broken) and not even seven minutes of pushing!
The second I saw that wet little vernix-covered baby, I lost it. I just sobbed and wondered why cutting the cord was taking so long- I wanted my hands on this boy! Apparently my cord was “textbook” and beautiful-nice and long and very thick- it squirted when Trevor cut it, which he thought was quite disgusting, ha ha! Finally, they put Brody on my chest and I was immediately smitten with my newest boy.
He let out a short cry after birth, but then the nurse kept having to force him to cry by messing with his feet- he was so content! After cuddling with him for a few minutes, they carried him to the warmer to check his vitals and weigh him.
He weighed 7 pounds and 10 ounces and we later found out that he was 19.25 inches long.
They brought him back over to me and I was able to nurse him right away while the doctor repaired a small “not quite first degree repair.” This was much easier to deal with than the 2nd degree tear I sported after Knox! I think it only required one stitch. Brody did a great job breast feeding right away, and we got to keep him for about an hour to ourselves. Trevor held him, too, and was loving being the father of two boys immediately. My family came in for a few minutes to see him before he and Trevor went to the nursery for all of that typical newborn “stuff.” Brody didn’t even cry in the nursery, other than when they gave him the Vitamin K shot.
Some of the best news for us was that he needed ZERO NICU time! It was like a whole new world having our sweet boy be able to room-in with us in the hospital. I definitely didn’t get any sleep to speak of between constant feedings and the endless stream of nurses into our room at all hours to draw blood, mash on my stomach (my gosh, that is by far the worst and most painful part of the entire process!!), take vitals on Brody and I and to dole out fabulous pain medication. I think I got about two hours of sleep (maybe) the first day and four hours the second, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way!
We checked out today after a two-night stay, and are thrilled to be at home with both of our boys! I’ll update soon on Knox and Brody’s first meeting. Until then, I’m going to try to get some sleep and enjoy this sweet baby! I feel so incredibly blessed- God has done amazing things for us, and I am beyond grateful!
Here are some pictures of Brody’s birthday:
Trevor holding Brody for the first time:
My doula, Joan, and I (and Brody breast feeding)