Thursday, June 20, 2013

The Birth Story of Jonah Michael Laney (with photos now!)

Sweet Jonah,

How are you 2 weeks old already? I find myself reliving the night you were born so often because it was so beautiful. You were so beautiful. God's grace was just everywhere and His hand was on so many things and there was a peace afterwards that was simply divine. Here is your birth story:

You were born at 38 weeks, 4 days, but several weeks prior to that my body started preparing for your arrival. I had pregnancy cravings or compulsions with Drew and Hannah, but none that compared to yours! My absolute favorite things in the world toward the end of my pregnancy with you had to do with citrusy or minty smells, cleanliness, and textures. For example, brushing my teeth was incredible because it 1. cleaned my teeth 2. used minty toothpaste and 3. had the bristled texture of the brush. Washing my face was something I did AT LEAST twice a day. I had a citrusy facewash with exfoliating beads. I would inhale the smell until I thought it might kill brain cells. I think my very favorite thing however was...(get ready for it) a SPONGE! Prepregnancy I thought sponges were disgusting. They harbor bacteria, ya know? But oh. my. stars. No one dared to try to take away scrubbing the pots and pans from me because I was looking forward to washing them with Dial foaming soap on a sponge. I scrubbed everything with a sponge during my nesting phase: the baseboards, furniture, cabinets, countertops, doors, appliances--you name it! To make me REALLY weird I'll tell you that once I ate Extra Polar Ice gum (yuuuuuum!!!) in the shower while washing my face and stepping on a sponge with my toes. Yes. Crazy weird. It was fantastic. Okay, moving on!

Around 36 weeks I was really tired of being pregnant. I was hoping you'd come right at 37 weeks. By 37 weeks, I was done. Stick a fork in me! You were living in my ribs and they were honestly bruised. It was quite painful. I went to the doctor at 37 weeks, 2 or 3 days (can't remember) and I was pretty surprised when she told me I was 2-3 cm and 50% effaced. I knew it didn't guarantee anything, but, hey- it was progress! Over the next few days, I did everything I could think of to get you OUT. I was miserable! I was having crazy contractions that came and went all day long. They never really got longer, stronger, and closer together and I could talk and breathe through them (couldn't walk through them though--too uncomfortable). I went on long walks at night, did squats in the bathroom, carried heavy stuff, hardly sat down so the contractions would continue, ate spicy food, etc. On Tuesday, Aunt Kacie and Uncle Judd were in town and Grammy came to town. We asked her to come on in since I just had a feeling it wouldn't be too long before you were here. That night, Grammy kept Hannah and Drew while Daddy and I went to dinner with Kacie and Judd. Throughout the meal I had contractions that were pretty uncomfortable, to say the least. In the end, the contractions lasted about 6 1/2 hours that evening/night.

The next morning I sent Grammy off with Drew & Hannah to Chuck E Cheese while I headed out for my doctor's appointment. I won't forget Daddy told me on the phone not to worry about getting dressed up and fancied up for the doctor's office, that I would be back home to relax for the rest of the day. So....I didn't curl my hair or spend a ton of time on my make-up. I headed to the clinic, and said I might have to punch someone in the face if Dr. Mestemacher told me I hadn't progressed any from the previous week. She asked me how I was when she entered the room and I kinda smiled and just said, "I'm done. Pretty miserable!" I told her about the random contractions that didn't progress to anything that seemed like actual labor. I told her to strip my membranes--whatever she could do in that office to get things moving.  Imagine my surprise when she checked me and exclaimed, "Giiiiirl, you're 5-6 centimeters! Still 50%. You've been in labor!"  Then she very calmly said with her sweet smile, "Lets go to the hospital." Oh wow. I had not expected that! I was a little fretful that 1. I had not eaten anything but a poptart at 8:30am and 2. I'd left all my bags at home and 3. I had only effaced 50% and I didn't want pitocin. I asked for clarification, "So I'm going to the hospital to stay?" "Uh huh," she said smiling. "Let's have a baby!" She proceeded to strip my membranes before I left, in hopes it would speed things along. It hurt, but was about what I expected. I'll say it was nothing compared to real contractions and back labor! She asked me if I wanted Pit or not and I told her I really wanted to avoid it at all costs. She was so understanding about it and really let me decide what I wanted as far as interventions. She asked if I'd be okay with her breaking my water. I assured her if that would speed things up, I was good with that!

Andrew and I headed over to the hospital in our separate vehicles, got thoroughly lost thanks to some terrible directions, and I waddled all over the parking lot having contractions. But I was determined to walk and get that baby out! One doctor or resident was certain she needed to stay with me while Andrew got the car. I assured her I was fine and I was going to walk in that sweltering parking lot to get you moving down! I convinced Andrew to go home and get all of our bags and your stuff and then return to the hospital. I went to the waiting room and made a few phone calls to family. Dr. Mestemacher had forgotten to send over my orders so I then had to hang out in triage for a while. The nurses thought it was a hoot that I was waddling around, contracting at 5-6 centimenters and wanting to go home. "Honey, nobody walking around like that is gonna be going home from here!" one doctor told me. So I settled in, got my IV, and played on my phone until Andrew returned. Not long after he arrived, our room was ready in L&D, and we headed up!

They got me hooked up to the monitor around 2, I guess. By this time, I'm pretty hungry and a smidge grouchy.Thankfully, the lactated ringers they gave me helped stabilize my sugar and my mood! (Unfortunately, after 3 bags of it, I look like a water retaining whale in most photos!) Proof:

Judd and Kacie got there soon after and we sat and chatted. Mom and Dad arrived a little after 4, I guess, and by 5 I was really feeling like not much had changed. My random contractions still didn't hurt much at all, and I was feeling like we were burning daylight!
 Dr. Mestemacher came by at 5:15 and broke my water. That got the ball rolling! Not long after that, my contractions picked up in intensity and got much closer together. At times they were just 30 seconds to a minute apart. They were bearable at first, albeit very painful.
Then it happened--it moved into my back. I was having back labor again. All of my thoughts about possibly having a natural birth flew out the window when I started feeling like I had 1000 charlie horses in my back muscles. I was gripping the siderails and getting quite vocal and demanding Andrew press into my back with all his might. The pressure was the only thing that gave me some relief.

 They checked me and said I was "not fully dilated" (and later said I was about 7-8cm). They had to hunt down the anesthesiologist (he was in surgery), and he was patient with me through the contractions to get the catheter in. The spinal was nothing compared to the contractions, and it was all I could do to breathe and cry through them. A little while later, I was feeling sweet relief. The hours ticked by, and it took longer than I thought, but pretty soon I was feeling INTENSE pressure. Dr. Mestemacher came by around 10 (?) and was so kind. She sat and laughed with us and cut up and acted like she was a best family friend who came to visit. She never asked to start Pit, waited patiently for my next ctx (which was quite spaced out by then) and kept assuring me that baby was face down. (I was paranoid that he was "sunny side up" like Hannah). I'm not sure how long I pushed, but it was a good while. My epidural didn't make me quite as numb as I was with Hannah, and I felt a LOT more this time around. The "ring of fire" they talk about--felt it! I was definitely in some decent pain and remember saying with gusto, "I want him out of me! Get him out of me!" Of course Dr. M stayed cool the whole time and was cracking jokes. She kept taunting me with the idea of a hamburger when I got him out! ;) Kacie and Andrew helped me through it, and finally they laid your beautiful little body up on my chest at 11:06pm! It was the greatest sense of physical relief!
You started whimpering, but as soon as I got my arms around you, you quieted. You were beautiful and had hair! I got to hold you for quite a while before they moved you right next to me to clean you up. Your apgars were 8 and 9. We were all quite shocked when they announced you weighed 9lbs 2.4 ounces! Big boy!!! You were 21" long just like Drew and Hannah.

One of the highlights of that night was when they laid you in my arms, all swaddled up. Your tongue was thrusting and you had that mouth open, completely alert. As you were lying in the crook of my arm, you started inching yourself up on me, trying to get to your food! It was amazing!!! I nursed you very soon after that and you ate like a champ! You stayed awake for at least 2 hours, taking in all your surroundings.

About midnight, I got to eat a Wendy's hamburger and finally drink something! They moved us to a room around 1:30am and we got enough sleep to tide us over. :) I just couldn't quit staring at you. I was so glad you were on the outside and that I could kiss your chubby, precious cheeks!

The next day Jaja & Grammy brought Drew & Hannah to visit. They were SO impressed with you. All the talk about baby Jonah being born was finally real for them. They both wanted to hold you, but Drew especially wanted to give you lots of attention. They just ate you up!

Hilarious. This is how Hannah felt about a group picture!
Deda, Pop, and Mamaw Betty came up soon after and got to hold you and meet you. They were immediately smitten as well!

We headed home the next morning about 11 and were SO thankful to be home as a family of 5!


Luke & Amanda said...

What a sweet story dear friend!!! I am so thankful everything went smoothly and that he is here! Makes me excited for October!
Hope everything is going well as a family of five!

Brittany said...

Love birth stories! He is beautiful!

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