Yesterday was my youngest's birthday. Asher turned two. With all the bustle of Christmas and moving it was not much of a birthday, but he's two and easily pleased. I love reading birth stories, and while his occurred two years ago yesterday, being 4 months pregnant is making me nostalgic and I thought I'd share.
When I was around 36 weeks pregnant (I can't really remember) I started having contractions. I vividly remember sitting on the floor eating lunch after church with my husband and our good friends Jonathan and Lissa while Owen slept and we watched a football game. I noticed contractions during church that morning but they were just the tightening, Braxton Hicks kind, nothing to be too concerned about. While we ate, I noticed they were getting pretty regular so I started writing the time down every time one occurred. They were 5 minutes apart. We called the doctor and she told us to head to labor and delivery. I remember being so excited because it was early and unexpected...then they sent me home. I was given a shot and perscription of terbutaline to keep the contractions away and told to take it until I was 38 weeks exactly. Bummer. Because I was carrying a boy, the doctor and nurses were concerned about his lung development and told me that the longer he stayed in, the better.
The meds made my heart race and my body shaky. I eventually got used to it and didn't notice anymore but those first few days made me feel extra nervous because of the side effects. I was also still having contractions. I think I went to the hospital once or twice during those few weeks because the contractions became regular again but they were never painful and always ended up subsiding. Boo.
Christmas was coming, Jonathan and Lissa's wedding the day after that (in which my husband was a groomsman) and then the new year. Taxes and insurance deductibles made it necessary for us to have the baby before the year's end. Also, the doctor had gone on Christmas vacation. She hugged me before she left and gave me over into the care of her trusted colleague. His concern was that the baby was getting too big. I'd heard that before. My first son was 8 lbs 16 oz. Not incredibly huge, but they can't tell exactly how big the baby is when they do those final ultrasounds. I remember the doctor telling us a few days before Christmas, "he's gaining a half a pound a week at this point, and you're not very big" (he meant in stature, because I'd gained plenty of weight!). He scheduled an induction in around a week and a half, gave me his home number and wished us a Merry Christmas.
At this point I had been off of the medication for 2 weeks and the baby still hadn't come. I had been sure that with all the break-through contractions, he'd come as soon as I got off of that darn medicine! Nope. Christmas came and went, the wedding was perfect and beautiful, and the 27th of December found our little family walking around the zoo in hopes of getting labor started. All that resulted was a very sore back and a limp. When we got back to the car I had a voice mail from the doctor. I think It might have been one of the most exciting messages of all time. "I was sure I'd hear from you over Christmas but when doctor Eastman (my beloved doctor who was on vacation) heard that you still hadn't had your baby, she said she'd come in to induce you tomorrow. Call me back and let me know if that sounds good to you." Ummm. YES. My doctor would be delivering my baby TOMORROW! She'd been out with knee surgery when I'd gone into labor with Owen (my first) so I was really excited to have her be the one to deliver Asher.
The morning of the 28th, I sat and talked to a 16 month old Owen as he ate his breakfast. I told him he was going to have a brother today and we enjoyed one last morning with an only child. As ready as I was to have this baby, it was a little unsettling to be induced. I remember being slightly afraid as we drove to the hospital. I needn't have been. It was the easiest labor ever. My labor began easily and quickly. I went in at 8 am and had the baby at 5 pm. It was so fast compared to my first which took 23 hours including 2 hours of pushing. It was not painless because they never quite got my epidural working properly. I remember telling the nurses my pain level was at a 7 and I needed the anesthesiologist to come back in right as they were readying the room for Asher's delivery. He hadn't gotten far, so he came back and shot something into the line that was attached to my spine but it didn't help. It was time to push. The doctor came in and sat down in front of me. I sat up and told her, "okay, I'm doing this in two pushes." She laughed and I went for it. "Whoa!" she was wide-eyed, "You weren't kidding!" she said, "Do that again." I pushed again and Asher Andrew was born, all pink and blue-eyed. I couldn't believe it. The nurses laughed and wrote down what time I had started pushing and what time he was born, it had only been about a minute! He was 8 lbs 15 oz and 21 1/2 inches long and just perfect.
He is a happy, sweet boy and we just couldn't love him more. Happy birthday to our favorite little redhead!