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Monday, February 17, 2014

Craft's Birth Story

I decided this morning that I better go ahead and write this post while everything is still semi-fresh or I will never get around to it, much like the Christmas and Halloween posts that I still need to compose and backdate (oops).  I tried to keep a "labor log," if you will, on my phone this time documenting all of the happenings during labor to aid my memory, but it cuts off right before all of the good stuff happens because I am a lucky bia and was blessed with yet another quick labor.  Buckle up because it's another long one...

We were told that the hospital would call sometime between 6:00 and 10:00 am on February 5.  My doctor said she'd never heard of them calling anyone as early as 6am, but when I was induced with Lilly they called shortly after 6am so I was bound and determined to be prepared this time around.  Much like last time around, I did not sleep a wink the night before.  I actually think I was more nervous about this birth, which surprised me.  Maybe it's because I knew what I was in for, or perhaps it's because I knew this baby was gonna be whale-sized - probably it was a little of both.  Anyway, I digress.  I wanted to be ready to go when the hospital called so I got up at 5:00 (I wasn't sleeping anyway) and hopped in the shower.  That way, not only would I be ready to go but I had brushed my teeth, etc. so that my hospital bag was now completely ready to go (more on what I took this time around in another post).  I was ready by 5:30 and wasn't sure what to do with myself, and honestly getting ready exhausted me so I hopped back in bed, ha!  Sure enough, the hospital called at 6:30 and asked us to arrive at 7:30.  Due to morning commute traffic, etc. we needed to leave around 7:00 so I woke Dan up to tell him to get ready.  He got out of bed, went to the bathroom, and back in bed.  Was he serious?!?!  Needless to say, we ran a little late, but luckily no one seemed to care.

We arrived at the hospital at 7:45 and things started moving.  I checked in, had some bloodwork done and had started pitocin by 8:30 am, increasing it every 30 minutes.  My doctor came in around 9:30 to check things out and say hello.  At that time, contractions were 3-5 minutes apart.  We discussed the fact that I knew this baby was big and I therefore definitely wanted an epidural, but I didn't have to have it right that second.  The doctor wanted me to wait until contractions were consistently a little closer together and then break my water prior to the epidural in order to keep things moving.  Contractions were uncomfortable but not unbearable, so I was okay with that plan as long as I was able to get one prior to pushing, ha!

Somewhere in this time frame, I am not sure exactly when, we were talking to our nurse and telling her about what a wonderful experience we had the last time around when I was in labor with Lilly.  We mentioned that we had a nurse that we loved, Rachel, and I said I wasn't sure whether she'd remember us but I would love to say hello.  As it turns out, Rachel had seen our file pulled that morning and mentioned to my nurse that she remembered us and couldn't believe we were already back (us either, sister).  My nurse said she had checked with Rachel and they were both at a good stopping point with their respective patients so Rachel was coming in.  I did not put two and two together at that time that they were switching patients so that I could labor with Rachel again.  The even crazier thing about this situation is that Rachel has taken a job as a Nurse Practitioner at a local OB, and will only be working at the hospital for around another month, so the fact that she was even there that day was a huge coincidence.  I cried and took it as a sign from God that everything was going to be just fine.  From that moment on we referred to Dr. T and Rachel as "The A Team" - they had delivered Lilly and everything was perfect so Dan and I both felt comfortable that this time would be no different.  I cannot even begin to express how much calmer and more comfortable I felt about everything at this point.  I knew from experience that I was in excellent hands!

Fast forward to 10:00 am: contractions were 2 minutes apart and pitocin had been increased to 7.  Ish was getting real here, people.  

As another aside, you may remember from my last labor experience that I had low platelets, which determines whether I can get an epidural.  If your platelets are 100,000 or lower, an epidural is out of the question (something about the blood being too thin, and the fact that they were pumping me with IV fluids meant it had already thinned out substantially even since I'd arrived at 7:45).  2 weeks before, my platelets were on the low side at 140k, but I was still in the clear.  The morning of Craft's birth when my blood was taken around 8am, my platelets had dropped to 102k.  I was still in the clear - barely.  Rachel decided to call the anaesthesiologist to check in.  She explained that typically, patients have (at least) 6 hours to decide whether they want an epidural before bloodwork has to be re-done, so that meant that I should have had until around 2pm to decide.  Dr. T happened to be in the room when Rachel came back in at 10:30 and said that the anaesthesiologist told her I'd have to get my blood re-drawn at 11:00 am.  He was furious and had a few choice words for the anaesthesiologist, which I found to be hilarious (mainly because I was thinking the exact same thing).  He checked me and said that I was around 2.5 cm dilated (he said that Dr. G had "cheated" when she told me 3cm the day before, ha!).  He told Rachel to go ahead and call for my epidural and he broke my water.  At this point he estimated a birth time of somewhere around 4pm (4:37 to be exact).  

After my water was broken (around 10:30 am), things really started to fly and it turns into kind of a blur.  The anaesthesiologist took her sweet time getting to my room, and by the time she arrived my contractions were 30 seconds apart and so painful, I was ready to commit a murder.  Rachel actually had to stop the pitocin for a few minutes to give me a break while I was getting the epidural.  Poor Dan left the room because he hates needles and Rachel was stuck with my blubbering self, I was a mess.  When all of that was over, Rachel checked me again around 11:30 and I was up to 5cm.  Halfway there!  The pitocin was turned back on, and I was able to take a short glorious epidural-induced rest.  About an hour later, I started to feel a lot of pressure.  I didn't feel like I had to push quite yet but I could tell it was getting close.  Rachel checked me again and at 12:40pm I was 9 cm dilated!!!  Almost go time.

I feel like after that I blinked and we had a baby.  I started pushing just after 1pm and after 35 short minutes, Craft was born at 1:38pm.  It was decidedly not a walk in the park and by no means "easy," but the labor itself (read: evacuating the whalephant) was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be.  His shoulders did get stuck so I needed a little bit of help there, but overall the destruction of the lady parts was (thankfully) very minimal - not really any worse than it was with L, which I find to be incredible.  I guess I'm built to carry and birth whalephants?  Even my nurses said that they knew it had not been easy but that I got out really easy on the destruction front, and they'd seen much, much worse with 9+ lbs babies.  

We did have a slight scare in the form of the umbilical cord being wrapped pretty tightly around Craft's neck.  When he came out he wasn't making any noise, and I got a glimpse of him and noticed that from the neck up he was blue and the rest of his body was normal in color.  Right as I was putting everything together a huge team of doctors and nurses raced in to start working on him, so I knew something was wrong because Lilly didn't have that many people in the room and she was delivered a lot earlier than he was.  I kept asking why he wasn't breathing and everyone assured me that he was fine.  My heart dropped into my stomach and I was in a panic, but after what seemed like an eternity (which was really just 2 minutes), he was breathing and all was right in my world again.  Even more weird was the fact that I had a dream that the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck.  Maybe I'm psychic?!

Anyway, so that's that!  Not too awfully much to it.  Quick labor, painless (for the most part), and baby boy was beautiful and A-OK despite the umbilical cord incident (except for a small issue where he couldn't regulate his blood sugar which luckily resolved itself by late afternoon).  Craft has brought us so much joy already in his short almost two weeks of life, and it's hard to remember what life was like before he was here.  We love this little guy so much, and his big sister is enamored with him and they are so sweet together.  My husband, as usual, was wonderful during labor and has been wonderful ever since, and I am just so mushy in love with our sweet family of four and this beautiful life we've built together.  

The first time I got to hold my baby after they had to help him breathe.  Dan snapped this pic and I love it.

The recovery this time around has been a lot faster.  I think that is partially because I haven't had a choice - Lilly has not slowed down one bit, and I wouldn't have expected her to.  When she was born, she was my only child and so it was okay to sit around all day and hold her and love on her and sleep and recover.  This time around, I did not have that luxury, and as a result I was up and moving a lot more quickly.

If you're even still reading at this point, I'll write more on how we finally agreed on a name (four hours after birth, literally) in another post, because this post is already so long. 

Happy Monday!



  1. What a beautiful family and lovely story! Congrats to you all..............

    Becky Berryhill

  2. Sarah he is just perfect! Enjoy!

    1. Ahhhh thank you! I think so, too, but of course I'm biased. :-) Hope you all are doing well!


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