My baby is five years old. This morning I woke up at 6:17am; the exact time that he was born. He was sleeping next to me as he does nearly every night–tip-toeing from his room down the hall and crawling in between Tyler and I.
This story should have been posted last year but in true “he’s the second kid fashion” I couldn’t remember where I saved it. Sorry, Sully. But also, you’re welcome. Happy birthday!
Wednesday, June 25
I had been having contractions, irregularly, for almost 24 hours as a result of my doctor stripping my membranes the day before. It was annoying. Am I in labor? Am I not in labor? It is such a test of an impatient person waiting for a baby. It was good for me but man, it was annoying. My mom had come the night before and stayed the night just in case. She hung out that day which was a great distraction. At 3:00 p.m. on the dot, I felt a little trickle. I hurried to the bathroom because whether it was my water breaking or I had lost control of my bladder completely, I figured the bathroom was the safe place to be. It turned out to be the former and the adrenaline immediately kicked in. I showered while Tyler put together our hospital bag (not last minute at alllll. Ha!). Tyler also went and got me my favorite tostada salad from the Mexican place down the street. Useless tidbit that has no effect on the story whatsoever.
We were admitted to Labor & Delivery. I was also given the bad news that my doctor was not on call that evening. I was upset and I am still bummed that he wasn’t the one to deliver Sullivan but obviously, I reminded myself that top priority was getting baby boy out safely and with minimal damage to my equipment, no matter who the catcher was. I still wasn’t in active labor so we walked the halls. And we walked some more. We walked so much we started naming the photos of babies that adorned the hospital walls.
At this point we got to meet our nurse who would be with me throughout labor and delivery then again in postpartum the next night. Her name was Carmen and she was so, so great. After another hour of walking, I was still only 2-3 cm dilated. Contractions were consistent but not super painful. I knew I was on the road to Pitocin so I decided to get the IV placed in preparation for an epidural. Carmen tried and failed twice to place it in my left hand. I forgave her but it made me feel so nauseous and my hand hurt so badly afterward. The Charge Nurse came in and placed it in my left hand in one try, thank goodness. At this point they started to monitor baby as well but were able to hook me up to the mobile machine so we could walk some more.
The decision was made to start Pitocin. I decided to get an epidural at the same time. Side note: are all anesthesiologists antisocial weirdos? Because the two I’ve had have been very strange. He was good at his job though and the epidural was placed with minimal pain. The epidural effected me very differently this time. It was only really effective on one side at a time and I could still move and feel my legs. About 20 minutes after it was placed I felt very nauseous and ended up barfing. My blood pressure had dropped dangerously low and I was given 2 doses of Ephedrine to help. After all of that drama, I tried to get some rest.
Thursday, June 26
I woke up suddenly knowing something had changed. A nurse rushed in, hurriedly introduced herself and while she remained calm, I could see the panic on her face. She asked me if I had moved at all (I hadn’t) and then started moving the baby’s heart rate monitor around. I realized then what had changed, the sound of the baby’s heart rate on the monitor had stopped. The nurse moved the monitor around searching for a heart rate but wasn’t able to find it. I have never felt such panic in my life. She called another nurse in and hurriedly got an internal heart rate monitor ready. As soon as it was attached to baby, we could hear the heartbeat and there was an audible sigh of relief. Probably mostly from me. My god it was stressful and so, so scary. At that point, I was checked again and although I had high hopes, I was still only 4 cm.
The Next Three Hours
These hours are a blur. I became increasingly uncomfortable. I was turned from side to side to accommodate baby moving lower. At about 5:30 a.m. I had progressed to 8 cm. It was so shortly after that—mere minutes—and I felt the urge to push. I had progressed to 10 cm so quickly. They called the doctor and so we waited. There is honestly nothing worse than feeling the urge to push your baby out and people are saying you can’t. Breathing through those contractions was almost worse pain than pushing. Almost. The doctor showed up after what seemed like years and I began pushing at 5:53 a.m. Sullivan Davis Garner entered the world at 6:17 a.m. I hate to just glaze over the dramatics of pushing because it is by far the hardest, most beautiful part of the entire experience but it’s so surreal, I wouldn’t be able to do it justice with my mediocre writing.
Tyler was by my side the entire time. He was the perfect partner. We cried together when Sullivan was placed on my chest. It’s an unbelievable experience bringing a child in to the world and to have done it twice now, I am so incredibly humbled and thankful.
Sullivan Davis was born June 26 at 6:17 a.m. 7 pounds, 12 ounces. 20 inches long. He is extraordinary.
This go ‘round I came out with a 2nd degree tear (which feels like a dream compared to the 4th degree tear of 2012. It’s ok, Harrison, I have forgiven you). Recovery overall has been ten times better. My only complaint is afterbirth cramps that apparently get worse with every kid you have. A small price to pay, I guess. 😉