We welcomed our newest addition – Landon Arlo – Wednesday, June 28 at 1:30 a.m. He weighed a whopping 9 pounds 7 ounces and measured 20.5 inches.
I was lucky to have two healthy and easy pregnancies so I really have nothing to complain about, but the last month of pregnancy is no joke! I felt horrible, much worse than I feel now recovering from childbirth. Anything and everything I ate gave me excruciating heartburn. I couldn’t sleep. My sciatic nerve pain prevented me from doing anything even somewhat strenuous. The skin on my belly felt so tight I thought it would burst. When L dropped about a week before he was born, my pelvis hurt so bad I didn’t know what to do.
But enough complaining about the pregnancy and let’s move on to the good part – the birth. I had been slowly and steadily dilating through the last few weeks. At my 39-week checkup, on Monday, I was four centimeters dilated and my doctor decided I should come in Wednesday morning to get my water broken and get labor started.
Tuesday evening, after AJ was sound asleep, I settled into my own bed and turned on an episode of my favorite show, Downton Abbey. Almost immediately after the episode ended, a couple minutes after 10 p.m., I felt my first contraction.
I knew from the first contraction that this was it, but of course I told Chris I wanted to wait a few minutes to be sure. I couldn’t quite believe I was going into labor the night before I was scheduled to go into the hospital, but by the third or fourth contraction, there was no doubt this baby was coming, and coming fast.
We called my parents and told them to meet us at the hospital, woke AJ up, and grabbed our bags. We left for the hospital about 10 minutes before 11 p.m. The contractions were coming every two to three minutes and were painful enough that I needed a wheelchair. My parents took AJ back to their house and Chris and I were escorted to our labor and delivery room.
My first question was, “When can I get the epidural?!” I had progressed so quickly with AJ that I didn’t get one until I was seven centimeters dilated and throwing up from the pain. I did not want to go through that again. Ha. Ha. Ha. Little did I know…
The nurse told me that I would have to get a whole bag of fluid in me through an IV, get blood work done and the results back before I would be able to get one. I do not have a high tolerance for pain and all I could think about was getting some relief from the horrible feeling pulsating through my body.
There comes a point in every labor where you want to inflict pain on others; maybe if you squeeze your partner’s hand hard enough or pull out his hair, it will take away a smidgen of your pain. It kind of works. Poor Chris suffered through this, at one point I legitimately tried to pull his hair out, and I was using his neck as a brace for almost the whole time. When we finally got to sleep, he woke up unable to move his neck for almost two days. Sorry babe, love you!
The contractions kept coming and the anesthesiologist kept not coming. I started throwing up during my contractions and I’d say that was the height of my pain. “They” tell you that lying down is the worst position for labor – it’s best to get up and move around. That’s nice advice and all, but my pain was so bad I couldn’t move, much less find the best position to get through a contraction.
Finally, around midnight, the anesthesiologist came. My doctor arrived around the same time. At this point, I was almost eight centimeters dilated. Could I have made it the rest of the way without the epidural (or even so much as an Advil)? Probably. Did I want to? Hell no.
After the magic juice kicked in, I was able to focus more on what was happening and before I knew it, my doctor told me I could start pushing. I went through a few rounds of pain-free pushing and just like that, at 1:30 a.m. baby L was born. The whole process, from the first contraction to the birth, lasted three and a half hours. Thank goodness we went to the hospital when we did!
Chris cut the umbilical cord, they immediately put him on my chest and there he stayed for about an hour – an hour full of happiness and peace.