Calvin's Birth Story

So, Calvin is totally getting the typical "second child" treatment. Baby book? Ha! And I'm just now getting around to writing his birth story 3 months later. Never mind that Anderson's was written 9 days later. But seriously, he is SUCH a sweet baby! He eats & sleeps great and he's overall just a sweet boy. We are totally in love!

I went unmedicated with Anderson and it was HARD. Very hard. I also had a very difficult & long recovery. Anderson was around 12 weeks old before I began to physically feel normal again. Needless to say, I had A LOT of anxiety about labor, delivery & postpartum healing this time around. In fact, I was anxious about it from the moment I found out I was pregnant & it was something that I prayed about throughout my entire pregnancy and lots of friends & family were also praying. 

I remained undecided about whether to go unmedicated or not the whole time. At my 36 week appointment I was dilated 2cm and of course got excited. But my due date (Monday 07/21) came & went. On my due date I decided I wanted to be induced. My doctor was very surprised since I was so adamant about not being induced with Anderson. But I had eventually ended up on pitocin with Anderson so I knew I could handle it. 

I really wanted to be admitted the next day since my doctor was on call but the hospital was already full for that day so we scheduled it for Wednesday (07/23). My doctor wasn't on call but another doctor that I really liked was on call for that day so I was ok with it.

I was super anxious the night before. Ignorance had been bliss the first time around but this time I knew what was coming...or so I thought. We spent the night with my parents since we had to be at the hospital so early & we didn't want to have to wake Anderson up. 

We arrived at the hospital & I wasn't in labor. It was kind of weird. It was like we were checking into a hotel. They took us to our room & I changed into the ever-glamorous hospital gown. The doctor on call came in & talked about the game plan for the day & prayed with us. He wanted to check me & then break my water & get the pit started. I asked if we could wait on breaking my water & he wanted to know why. I told him I wanted it to act as a natural pain barrier to which he replied, "That's false. No pain no gain. But you're driving the boat so I won't do it but I really think we should." I said I would be open to it but for now I just wanted to wait on breaking it. 

He checked me & said I was barely dilated. I was shocked because on my EDD my doctor had said I was 2cm/70% effaced & a great candidate for an induction. I was really discouraged. 

When the doctor left I asked our wonderful L&D nurse about it & she said this doctor was usually pretty conservative on his measurements & I would do great. So we settled in. The pit was started & we were just hanging out. I was having little contractions but nothing significant at all. We were watching TV & chatting. The doctor came by an hour & a half later, re-checked & there wasn't really any change. I was bummed but not surprised since I wasn't feeling anything.

More than anything, at this point, I was really hungry. That was my biggest concern at the moment. I hadn't been able to eat or drink anything & kept talking about how hungry I was. Our nurse did negotitate a lime popsicle for me so that was really nice & helped pep me up a little.

They were upping the dosage of the pit & I did eventually notice the contractions. It started to get to a point that I was needing to focus through the contractions. Andrew was awesome. He got my essential oils for me & held them under my nose while I breathed them in & focused through the contraction. One thing that really helped me work through contractions with Anderson was to picture myself going up a mountain & then walking back down the other side so this is what I did while breathing in my oils. I started out with lavender which was great but as the contractions became more intense I requested Valor. It really helped me to focus, kept my anxiety in check & was really pleasant. Andrew would rub my feet or hand or lower back through contractions as well as talk me through it. Seriously, he was wonderful.

Our nurse was so sweet. And she was super laid back & let us do our thing, She was good at encouraging Andrew which I thought was really sweet since he needed encouragement too!

The doctor came back around 10:00 to check me & could tell that they had picked up in intensity just by looking at my face but they weren't crazy or anything. I was able to relax between contractions & enjoy conversation. {Very unlike my first L&D experience}.

When he came in he reminded me that we would need to break my water to get things "really going". He checked me & was shocked because I was 5cm. He said he was fine with waiting to break it if I still wanted to wait. He was really pleasantly surprised at how well I was progressing. I asked him about the epidural & if he thought I should or shouldn't get it. Of course he said it was totally up to me but he thought I was a great candidate for going unmedicated & I was already doing great. Then he hit me with, "Just remember transition is coming up & that's when you lose it." 

Oh, I remember transition. And that pretty much sealed the deal for the epidural. I had already gone unmedicated & I knew I could do it. I was doing it now & it was fine but honestly I did not enjoy my last L&D at all. It was so hard, painful & long & I felt totally out of it. I don't even remember if Anderson was crying when he first came out & I don't think I really cried at first either. I was just so stinking tired & so very, very glad that it was all over with.

Things started getting more intense pretty quickly. The nurse called for the epidural & they put it in no problem. Seriously, it was no big deal at all. It didn't hurt & everything went quickly & smoothly. I worked through a few more contractions while waiting for it to take effect but I didn't feel like it was doing much. I started to get a little panicky which made it difficult to stay focused through the contractions but Andrew was a great help. Staying on top of my anxiety was definitely the hardest part. Way harder than the physical side of it. 

She checked me (this was around 10:30/10:45) & I was at a 7. Transition. She called the anesthesiologist back & he immediately came in & gave me a "boost". He said I was progressing so quickly I just needed a little more. After the boost I felt GREAT! In fact, I couldn't feel anything. It was awesome. I had no idea when I was having a contraction. I was just watching TLC & chatting. I was definitely still nervous though because I knew delivery was coming soon. The doctor came back in around 11:00 & checked me & I was fully dilated! 10cm!!! He jokingly asked if it would be ok to break my water now :-)

He broke it & they began to tell me when I was having a contraction so I would know when to push. This was TOTALLY different than last time since last time I knew exactly when to push & wanted to keep pushing. This time I had no idea when I needed to do it & I promise the only reason I could do it is because I had done it before. I really couldn't feel anything so I kept asking if I was doing it & if I was doing it correctly. They were all so encouraging & said I was doing great. Well, they were right. 30 minutes later at 11:39 a.m. our sweet James Calvin was born! He was crying & I was crying & Andrew was crying. It was such a sweet, precious moment. One I will always cherish & remember. It was wonderful. I felt so aware & relaxed & "in the moment". I immediately thought he looked like Anderson but as time has gone on he looks less & less like him.

He immediately nursed well & has continued to do so and other than his random sickness at 3 weeks old that included a lengthy hospital stay he has been great! He goes with the flow, sleeps wonderfully, eats a lot & has lots of sweet smiles to share. I healed wonderfully this time & have been SO GRATEFUL for all who prayed for us. It was definitely an answer to pray & I continually thank Jesus for his grace.