Monday, April 25, 2016

Baby H: PRH Birth Story pt 1

Patrick Reece was born on April 16, 2016 at 9:16pm. His birth was not what I was expecting by any means and just like his big brother, my labor with him tested my strength, my patience, my heart. But the moment we laid eyes on him we were smitten.

There's a bunch of back story here that plays into his birth that I need to catch up on before we get to his actual birthday. The week before he was born I had two doctors appointments. The first ended up with me going on the monitors to watch his heart beat because his baseline was lower than what my doc wanted to see. Everything checked out great with him though and at the end of my appointment we discussed my crazy school schedule and ended up setting an induction date for one week before my due date, April 24th. It worked best with my schedule to be induced that day and technically he was "fully cooked" but there was part of me that didn't like the idea of an induction. We decided that we'd put it on the calendar but wait to decide 100% until after my next appointment which included my first cervical check. It made a big difference if I was making any progress on my own or not as to whether we'd go through with the induction. At my next appointment I was 3cm and 75% effaced and my doc said "goodness you have a great cervix" which is only something you appreciate at the end of a pregnancy, haha, so we kept the induction date assuming I didn't go into labor on my own before then. I felt good about the decision that we wouldn't be forcing my body into something it wasn't ready for and got excited knowing little brother's potential birth date.

The second part of this story involves J's birthday. My due date was May 1st and J's big 30th birthday is May 7th. Obviously I felt horrible that our little ones "newness" would come in the way of celebrating his big day so I decided to plan him a surprise party 3 weeks before his actual birthday. And I scheduled it on April 16th. Because Mark was early I wanted to make sure I gave us a big enough window before my due date so that the party didn't get ruined. Well party day came and I was woken up at 4:30am with my first real contraction. I knew something was up because it was strong enough to wake me and I had to concentrate through the next few that came in those early morning hours. I remember thinking to myself, "No way, I cannot go into labor today. Everyone is coming to the party and it'll be such a fun celebration for J. We can't not go!" Oh and I forgot to mention that it was also a blizzard outside that entire weekend. Yes, silly Colorado spring predicted 8-12 inches of snow the weekend of J's party.

I kept having irregular contractions throughout the day but nothing consistent. I'd have a few in a row and then nothing for an hour or so. I ended up having to tell J what was going on because some of them were strong enough for him to notice my reaction to them. I tried to downplay them at some points because I knew it would be impossible for me to convince J to get out of the house for his party already. A 4:30pm super early dinner at a very specific restaurant while it was pouring snow and I was having crazy contractions? Yeah, he would have thought I was crazy. Well we ended up at the restaurant at the right time without him suspecting anything and it was the perfect surprise! He had no idea it was coming which made me so happy. The party was so fun, all our family and friends were there despite the weather, we enjoyed lots of yummy snacks and drinks and some delicious cake. And I kept having contractions. I tried to sit as much as I could and drank lots of water while trying to hide what was going on because honestly, I wasn't convinced it was really anything serious.
We got in the car to head home around 6:30pm and on the 10 minute drive home I had a number of contractions that felt stronger than they had before. I even told J "I sure hope I didn't put myself into labor throwing you this party" and at the time, I was totally joking. We got home and I told J I was going to lay down with a big glass of water and try to relax to make things settle down while he put Mark to bed. All my efforts did nothing to calm things down though and I ended up texting him as he's reading to Mark that I thought this was the real deal. My contractions were 3-5min apart and were getting more and more painful as they progressed. He ended up rushing through Mark's bedtime routine and coming downstairs to check on me where he realized this was serious. To add an additional complication, our plan was to have my mom come stay at our house with Mark at night but because of the snow, she was staying with a friend on the other side of town closer to her work meaning she couldn't get to our house for a good 30-40 minutes. And we knew there wasn't time to wait. Thankfully one of J's really close friends lives just minutes from us and was able to come over to be with Mark while he slept so we could jump in the car. At this point it was 7:50pm.

After a slippery but quick drive to the hospital J pulled up at the main entrance where he dropped me off so I could start making my way to labor and delivery and avoid the snowstorm while he parked the car. Knowing how strong my contractions were already I tried to move as quick as I could to avoid having too many contractions in random public places. I ended up having to stop once in the lobby then booked it to the elevator and had another one just outside the elevator doors on the L & D floor once I made it upstairs. J met up with me at this point and we made it the last bit through the doors to check in.

Part two coming tomorrow...

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