Max's due date was February 21st. He decided to wait it out a little bit and didn't join our family until the 25th. I'll be honest, being overdue was a bit hard. I would go to bed each night wondering if we would ever have our baby. The fact that I had been dilated to a 4 for a week didn't seem to make much difference. He was only going to come when he was good and ready. We were also extra excited to meet our baby because we decided not to find out he gender. We were VERY eager! Thankfully, he didn't make us wait too long.
At about 2 a.m. on the 25th I woke up to some contractions. I didn't get too excited at first because I had had quite a few contractions for the last month or so. However, it didn't take long to realize that these were the real deal. They were about two minutes apart, so I didn't waste any time waking Scott up and heading to the hospital.
We got to the hospital around 3 a.m. and settled in. I was dilated to about a 5. I told the nurse that my labors usually went fast and I would like an epidural, as per my doctors orders. My contractions were getting a little more intense each time I would have one. They asked me to sit on the bed so they could get a print out of 20 minutes of my contractions and baby's heart rate. Then they got me ready to get my IV.
This was probably one of the worst parts of the labor. It took three nurses four different attempts (including digging, jabbing and digging some more) to finally get and IV in me. I still have a bruised arm and hand from this. While they were doing all this, I was sitting on the bed having contractions at the same time... not my favorite part. Ironically the nurse I did not like from Gracie's birth was the one who stuck me twice and gave me the most bruises. What are the odds?
They rushed the blood work once they got me all good and poked so I could get my epidural. By now my contractions were getting more intense, but I was able to work through them. I would stand facing Scott, grabbing his jacket sleeves, burying my face in his chest and sway back and forth. He was awesome. He reminded me to take cleansing breaths and would slowly breath with me through each contraction. It really helped me stay calm. He is the best birth partner!
Then the epidural guy showed up at about 5 a.m. I told him my history of epidurals and how in the past they haven't really worked. He told me sometimes you just miss, but he would do his best to get mine in. He did awesome! After about 20 minutes after getting my epidural, I was pain free. I realized that when I'm in pain, I am totally anti-social and focus in on working through it. I don't even notice people around me. As soon as my pain was managed, I was a chatty Kathy. My nurse left the room to let us listen to our Enya soundtrack and get some rest.
It was probably on an hour later when I felt my water break. I called the nurse in and she noticed some meconium in the water. She informed me that the would have to call in the neonatal team just to be sure the babies lungs were clear. She checked me and said I was at an 8. So, she called my doctor.
Dr. Jones got there and we talked about all kinds of things, namely what his three daughters in college were studying, how since he had three in college he was working extra ER shifts, and how excited he was for one of his daughters to graduate. It was all sort of surreal to me. I had never been part of a labor that I wasn't frantic and frankly, a bit crazy. After a bit of chit chat, they checked me and said that I was fully dilated and could start pushing if I wanted to.
Again, no pain. I didn't think we'd get anywhere pushing because I just wasn't feeling like the baby was that close to coming out. Dr. Jones explained that he would be getting the baby out quickly to make sure his lungs were clear. We pushed a few times, and then I asked for a mirror so I could see the excitement. Also, I thought it would be helpful in knowing what kind of pushing was making progress. It was really cool to see the head crowning, and even cooler to not be in excruciating pain.
Once the baby's head was out, I could see something change in my doctor's face. Rather than the baby's shoulders quickly sliding out, it seemed the baby was stuck. The doctor pulled (very hard) on the head, and looked at me with urgency telling me to push. The nurse pushed on my stomach. I could see real concern in my doctor's eyes and I pushed as hard as I could. There was a "pop" and the baby came out screaming. I immediately saw that we had a baby boy! I was so happy and excited. Scott was terrified as he thought the doctor had broken the baby's neck.
We soon learned that his collarbone had been broken. And not long after that we learned why. We had a big baby on our hands. He weighed in at 9 pounds 15.3 ounces! He was 22.25 inches long! When his shoulder got stuck, it caused a lot of tearing for me, so the doctor spent the next hour or so stitching me up. Scott's first comment about our little boys was, "Wow, look how long his arms are!"
I finally got to hold him after they checked him all out and he nursed right away. He's been a pro eater ever since. We had gone to the hopsital with a few boy names, and when we saw him and how big he was, we both felt like he was a Max. He has been the most mellow baby I have ever seen, and we are so happy to have him in our family.
At his one week appointment, Max had already gained half a pound above his birth weight. I asked the doctor about him being stuck and wondered what would have happened if he hadn't come out when he did. Dr. Jones told me he had about five different procedures memorized on how to get him out, but if none of them had worked we would have had an emergency C-section. However, when the baby's head is already out, there is a low chance of the baby surviving. I was shocked, and humbled by this. I now understood the frantic look on his face during the delivery. I am so so very thankful our sweet Max is here safe and sound.
We love our sweet boy, and there's not much I enjoy more than sitting and holding my handsome man.