My labor story technically begins the morning of July 10th. We were scheduled to have last-minute maternity photos with a close friend of mine. I had felt ‘off’ most of the morning and when we arrived for the photos, I felt really dehydrated and weak. I mentioned to my friend that ‘maybe I was in early labor’. I laughed it off, took the photos with Charlotte and Marty and afterwards chugged a big portion of water. From the park (where we shot the photos) I decided to go get a thirty minute workout in at the gym. I took it easy (just light movement on the elliptical) – I was feeling better now that I had been moving.
After putting Charlotte down for her afternoon nap (around one or so), I began to experience some cramping. It wasn’t anything severe but I figured it was something (as I was already two and a half days overdue.) Marty was going to take Charlotte to his grandparents house for dinner that night so I told him to keep his phone on him ‘just in case’. Around six the cramping got worse. I had planned on going to bed early but realized that I had zero diapers in the house for Charlotte. I headed to Target around seven to grab some diapers (and I also wanted a snack.) I stood in the chip/pretzel aisle for thirty minutes trying to contemplate what I wanted. Oh fickle pregnant woman.
It was during that time that my cramps started getting even worse and I just knew that they weren’t cramps I was feeling but baby contractions. I walked around a bit longer and then headed home (with a bag of Ranch Veggie Sticks – note to self: never eat anything ranch before labor. So sick.)
I hung out around home, helped put Charlotte to bed and around 10PM, contractions began every six minutes. Around 11PM they increased to every five minutes and I ended up losing my mucus plug. I knew things were starting to get serious but I had hoped to make it through the night without having to deliver.
I attempted to go back to bed but the pain began to increase. Unfortunately, around the time they became more intense, there was a bad storm (which worried me because I knew Charlotte would most likely wake up with the thunder.) Of course, she did. She came into our room around midnight for about fifteen minutes. I tried to be as quiet as possible in bed next to her as I labored but I was beginning to be in so much pain.
I carried her back to her room and decided to get in touch with Grace. We needed to head to the hospital. As I waited for her to arrive, I shaved my legs and wept in the bathtub. I was so sad to see Charlotte go from being the only child. I was fearful that my love for another wouldn’t match my love for her. I couldn’t help but worry about how the shift from one to two would be…and I was going to find out very soon!
Grace arrived around 130AM and we got to the hospital around 2AM. I was checked by the nurse and was at 3.5cm dilated. They ADMITTED me (whoo-hoo) and said I need to get fluids in my system for about an hour until the epidural. AH. An hour?? The pain continued to increase and I made it to 7cm before my epidural at 315AM.
Afterwards I continued to feel a lot of pain in my right side. The nurse said the epidural wouldn’t take all the pain away and that I’d still feel pressure, but I know pain when I feel it. As the nurses shifted me around in bed to try to help the pain subside, I felt my water break on my right side. It was honestly like a balloon popping. So bizarre. The pain continued (and was starting to get worse) so they finally called the anesthesiologist to come back and apply the epidural again.
By 530AM I had reached ten centimeters! Whoo-hoo.
I called my mom and told her to venture over – it was time to start pushing!
She arrived around 617AM. The doctor came in and honestly, from here on out it was super easy. I pushed THREE times and baby boy arrived at 633AM.
We laid skin to skin for an hour. Such perfection. I was in awe of having a baby boy. I was super freaked out the moment they delivered the news that he was a boy but within five minutes, I felt an overwhelming sense of protection for him.
About an hour or so after Martin V arrived, Marty III arrived and the three “Martys” enjoyed a special moment.
It took me awhile to gain function back in my legs (I think from the second dose of epidural.) I felt like a weeble wobble. I was transferred down to my room and slowly but surely I was able to stand and walk myself around the room without help.
Charlotte arrived at some point that afternoon to meet her baby brother. She was pleased with the doctors kit gift he ‘brought’ her. I’d say she wasn’t overly thrilled to meet him (she said, “Let’s put him in there” and pointed to his little case) but I do think she was excited to become a big sister. She just seemed to miss mommy (and was probably overwhelmed by everyone that was in the room as she met Martin.)
I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about having a son but I am just completely enamored with my sweet boy. He’s a mellow, loving little guy. I am so happy it was him in there all along.