By now, it seems many have heard of Nathan’s amazing entrance into this world. Indulge me as I put the story in more detail here mostly for my own sake. Photos are below for any readers who want to skip the story.
So, I had lots of contractions all day Sunday but didn't think much of it since they were really far apart. By 11, I was pretty sure I was in labor. Contractions were 6 minutes apart and starting to get painful. I decide to go ahead and call my parents so that they could get a fullish night's sleep at our house rather than have to wake them in the middle of the night. Mom ended up coming as Dad had a work appointment this morning. While we wait for her to get there, I shower and then head to my sewing room to finish his going home outfit hat. If you know me, you know nothing is off limits during labor. Mowing lawns....sewing.....
So, at this point the contractions are seriously 3-4 minutes apart. I've never really had them that close together at home before, so I knew we'd better go ahead and get to the hospital. We do, and they hook me up and I'm only at 3 cm. This hospital supports VBACs but only if the OB is in house for the entire labor. I get the risk, but it turned out to be a frustrating rule to me. I explain to the nurse that even though I'm just a 3, my history is to stay at a low number and then jump up pretty quickly later. They said they'd monitor me for 2 hours and that if my cervix didn't change they'd send me home. They only gave me an hour to an hour and a half, and naturally I hadn't changed. I get that the on call doc doesn't know me and has no investment in me. Of course he didn't want to get up at 2am and babysit my VBAC for hours. But the crazy part was that the nurse is telling me to go home and walk one minute and then offers me the Ambien the next. Huh? I hesitated on the Ambien, but she said it wouldn't impede labor and that labor would "trump" the Ambien in time. At this point, a bit of sleep sounded good, so I took it. We go home, and since Mom is in our bed, I crash in the guest bedroom and James crashes in Nathan's room. I wake up about an hour later at 4am with some really tough contractions. I'm trying to relax through them, but it's really tough. I think the Ambien clouded my judgment a bit at this point, because I could have immediately gone to the hospital, but I was too focused on surviving those contractions for a bit. After 20 or 30 minutes of that, I felt the inkling of an urge to push. I knew I was in trouble at that point. I got up to go to the restroom with every intent to wake James and go to the hospital as soon as I was done.
Nathan had other ideas. When I went to use the restroom, a legit pushing contraction came on, and I couldn't stop myself. I pushed for 30 minutes with Emma, so I'm still thinking I might be able to get through the contraction and get to the hospital. I check to see if I can feel his head, and it's RIGHT THERE. At this point, I finally realize that this is going to happen. I was struggling with the pushing contraction pain enough, though, that calling James still wasn't a priority. I push again and stand up to grab his head to keep it from hitting anything, and then I push one more time and the rest of him slides right out. I catch him no problem and am cradling him in my arms when I start calling for James.
James comes in, and I don't even have the light on. (Remember I just thought I was peeing...) I say, "Well, we have a baby!" he says, "Huh?" thinking it was just time to go back to the hospital. I say, "You need to turn on the light." He does, and of course is shocked to see me holding our baby!! We can't remember exactly what he said, but something in the "Holy crap" range.
At this point, he starts to freak a bit. I just tell him to get us some towels. The placenta isn't out, so we just leave the cord attached as it was. We wrap some towels around him and one around my lower half. He tells my mom what's going on, and since Nathan was crying and breathing fine, we just got in the car and drove to the hospital. No sense waiting on an ambulance to get to us.....
James calls the hospital on the way to let them know what happened. They meet us at the ER entrance, we go up to L&D, the on call doc delivers the placenta and stitches me up. They take Nathan to get checked out, and he's all fine. From there, it was really like a normal birth!
James went home to help my mom get the girls ready, and they came up to meet their brother and watch his first bath before going to school late. The rest of the day went fine. I'm feeling pretty good - just exhausted. Nathan is eating great, and we've had quite a few visitors. We head home in a couple of hours.
As for how I feel about it all, surreal is the best word. I'm SO happy it was a VBAC. I'm glad the labor went quicker. I'm sad I missed my doctor, but not distraught over it... And I'm stunned, still, that I caught my own baby. Mostly, I'm thrilled to be holding my healthy little guy.
His first photo (at the hospital at this point – you don’t want photos of before that…)