Its amazing how "tomorrow" turns into four days. :)
Picking up where we left off... 9:30 pm on Valentine's Day with the lovely gift of an epidural. The pitocin was started soon after. And let me tell you, the few contractions I felt after pitocin and before the second epidural kicked in definitely confirmed my decision to get the drugs!
Around that same time we decided to send our parents to the house. Both sets had made it into town earlier in the evening. Laura agreed with us that it would probably be a long, slow night waiting on progress and that the baby probably wouldn't arrive until morning. Our house is just about 10 minutes from the hospital and someone needed to let the dog out. So they left with our many promises to tell them ASAP if anything changed. At that point, Max and I turned the lights off and tried to get some sleep.
A bit later I woke up to Laura walking in and turning some lights on. As soon as I saw her face I knew we were in for bad news. She had been monitoring the baby from the nurses station and over the last two hours his heart rate continued to drop more drastically during contractions and was no longer recovering well between contractions. She had me move around some and change positions a few time to see if we could get his heart rate to spike up with no success. She called the doc and proceeded to check my progress. How many centimeters? You guessed it....3. So after at least 8 hours of active labor, 2.5 of those with very strong pitocin assisted contractions, I had made zero progress. The doctor came in and confirmed Laura's assessment.
If it was just an issue of slow/no progress they would have let me go for several hours. But the baby was not responding well to the stress of labor. It was c section time. Of course, I was disappointed. I went into this not wanting interventions. And here I was about to check them all off the list. Internal monitoring, epidural, pitocin, and to top it off...c section. But for whatever reason I felt totally at peace. We called our parents...who were not very happy with us for sending them home! The doctor assured us this was not an emergency but he was ready, the anesthesiologist was ready, and they weren't going to take their time. So before I knew it and definitely before my mom got back, they were wheeling me down the hall.
The next little bit was a blur. All I distinctly remember was the nurse anesthetist saying I was his favorite patient of the night because I was so relaxed. He was very impressed that I was joking with them and not freaking out. I will say that I was very thankful for him as well. He was so personable and comforting. He talked to me the whole time, telling me everything that was happening and making sure I was ok. It's always nice to see someone so perfectly suited to the nuances of their job.
I did lose a bit of my relaxation when they started cutting before Max was in the room. On the verge of freaking out, they assured me he was walking in the door any minute and before I knew it he was kissing my forehead and holding my hand. The sensation of the surgery was so weird. No pain, but I could feel everything that was happening. Very very weird.
Before long, the nurse anesthetist told Max that it was happening and he could look if he wanted. Without letting go of my hand, he stood up to peek over the screen. All of a sudden I felt a stillness in the room and then heard that glorious cry. They announced time of birth as 1:41 am as he continued to scream and Max leaned down to kiss me through tears. Almost immediately they brought him around for me to see. The first thing I said was, "He's so little!" Max followed the nurses and the baby and the doctors started the process of putting me back together. Weird.
Every few seconds Max would shout out some information for me. 7 lb 11 oz. 20.5 inches. Lots of hair. Big feet. My nose. Beautiful. And then they swaddled him up and Max carried him over to me. He held him down close so I could kiss him and one of the nurses took our first family picture. Then, Max and the baby went to meet the grandparents.
After they wheeled me to recovery, Laura brought the baby to me for some skin to skin time and an attempt at nursing. Feeling him lying on my chest and watching him explore his new world was amazing. Max and I were exhausted and kept looking at each other in disbelief. This was real life. We made it. We made him. We had a real life, honest to God son. Unbelievable.
I've decided that here I will call him Brambo. It's one of his nicknames.
Boy do we love him!