Let’s go back to Friday, February 23rd…
I was pregnant. Like really pregnant. At this point, about 95% of the people I encountered felt the need to comment on just how pregnant I looked. As if I hadn’t seen a mirror in 8 months, thanks for the heads up! Like I said, really pregnant. Anyhow, in the past week or so, I had started developing signs of pre-eclampsia (rapid weight gain, swelling everywhere (which caused pregnancy carpal tunnel – I didn’t even know that was a thing), constant headaches, protein in my urine—everything except high blood pressure), so the doctors were seeing me twice a week to keep a close eye on me. I had an OB appointment that morning and we talked about inducing, if necessary, if my blood pressure spiked. I was 36 weeks and 5 days pregnant, 1-2cm dilated and 50% effaced. The goal was to keep the baby in me as long as possible, but the doctor told us to keep our hospital bags in the car, keep an eye on my symptoms and be ready, because the baby was most likely coming “soon” one way or another. The doctor we saw that day was the one who was with us when we lost the twins and has been a little protective of us during our prenatal care, which we’ve greatly appreciated! She called me her “special unicorn” and we planned to go back to see her on Monday.
After my appointment, Nick and I both had a surge of energy and a couple of “OMG this might be happening soon” moments. We emailed every single customer a “baby prep” email to let them know the baby might be coming sooner than we thought and here’s who to contact while we’re in the hospital/adjusting to life with a newborn. By noon, I had lost my mucus plug. Eek! I googled “mucus plug photos” just to make sure that was it. Bad idea, don’t do that! We tried not to get too excited about it, since some women can go weeks after they lose their mucus plug, but nonetheless, it was one step closer! So, I cleaned the house, again, double checked the hospital bags and paced. By 7pm, I started having contractions, mild contractions, that I assumed were Braxton Hicks, but they were starting to get more consistent. Hmm…
I had been wanting to post something on social media of Tucker’s nautical nursery, so at 9pm I posted a picture. It was a good distraction. Many of you have asked where different things are from, so I thought I’d break it down for you. There are SO many overwhelming options when it comes to picking newborn items, click here to see all the details.
I really didn’t expect to go into full blown labor that night, but I thought I might as well shower and shave my legs, just in case. I didn’t want to get our families all excited yet if it wasn’t time, so I texted one of my girlfriends and told her I was starting to have contractions. I needed to tell someone! I told her I was contemplating curling my hair before I went to bed and she immediately texted, “CURL IT!” Good thing I listened to her because by midnight my contractions were 5 minutes apart and we called the birthing center! Our OB office consists of 3 doctors and 3 midwives. The majority of our prenatal care has been with the 3 doctors; we’d only briefly met 2 of the midwives. We knew any of the 6 could be on-call for delivery, with a doctor as backup if a midwife was on-call. Ironically, when we called in that night the one midwife we had never met was the one that was on-call. I wanted to tell her to read my entire chart and my blog before coming into the delivery room, but there wasn’t time for that. Things were progressing quickly and let’s just say we got to know each other pretty quick in the next few hours. By 4am, I was 5cm dilated and 90% effaced. It was time to call my momma. This is happening!! I called and woke up my family and said, “It’s time, start driving!”
I hadn’t made a definite decision about pain medications. I wanted to see how much I could handle. I wasn’t opposed to an epidural, but I at least wanted to try to manage the pain on my own before giving in. By 6am, I was 7cm dilated and 100% effaced and the midwife gave me my requested “last call” for an epidural and told me the whole process would take about an hour. At our birthing class, we had practiced all sorts of different labor positions and there was a big poster on the wall of the hospital room with different positions, but for whatever reason, holding on to the edge of the bed and doing squats the entire time is what helped me get through labor. I had probably done 1,000 squats at that point and could no longer talk or keep my eyes open. The temptation of some pain relief sounded too good to be true, so I caved. “Yes, please give me the epidural!” At 8cm dilated, the anesthesiologist started the epidural, but I was having non-stop contractions and holding still for a needle in my spine was the hardest part of the whole labor process. I remember learning in the birthing class the point in labor where some women feel like they can’t do it anymore and just want to go home. Yep, it’s true and I remember the exact moment that it hit me. It was right when I was curled up in a ball having nonstop contractions, a needle in my spine and several sets of hands on me trying to keep me still. The midwife, who I had only met a few hours earlier, said, “You can do this Abby, you’re so strong.” I shook my head “no” at her. Like quitting at that point was even an option! Ha! My eyes were closed, but I could hear all the commotion around me as the nurses helped Nick sit down so he didn’t pass out. In that moment, the midwife suddenly became the most comforting and encouraging voice in the room and I couldn’t imagine going through labor without her.
The epidural didn’t work. Are you kidding me?!! The anesthesiologist said he could try again or he could try a spinal block that would basically give my body up to a 2-hour break from labor. Again, a relief from pain at that moment seemed too good to be true, so I quickly agreed to the spinal block. Immediately, it made my whole body go numb and I basically took a drug-induced nap. While I was out, there was a shift change and when I woke up there were all new nurses and doctors there. Talk about messing with someone on drugs! I woke up wanting to hug the anesthesiologist, who an hour earlier, I wished I could punch him in the face. Ha ha, kidding, kind of! In retrospect, I wish I hadn’t taken any of the pain meds and just pushed through the last bit of labor on my own. I waited way too late in the game to take anything and all it did was delay labor; the baby could have been out sooner if I had powered through it, but oh well.
Anyway, the drugs were wearing off and it was time to push! I reminded Nick to please take a picture the moment they put the baby on my chest. The nurses asked if I wanted a mirror to watch the baby come out. I hadn’t thought about that, but why not? At first glance, it was the most horrifying site I had ever seen, and I blurted, “OMG that looks so awful!” Everyone laughed, but then the doctor said, “Abby, that’s your son’s head right there, see it?” And that’s all the pushing motivation I needed… 12 minutes later and my baby boy entered the world! As soon as the baby was completely out of me, he wiggled, and I took a huge sigh of relief knowing, HE’S ALIVE! And then it happened, the moment I had been waiting for, HE CRIED!
OH THANK YOU JESUS.
Immediately, the baby was thrown onto my chest and my heart exploded with a love that I didn’t even know was possible. All of the pain was gone and there was so much love, joy and peace in my heart. I couldn’t even speak, I was just in awe of the miracle of life and so incredible thankful for my baby.
“For this child I have prayed.” 1 Samuel 1:27
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” Luke 1:45
GOD IS GOOD. Our prayers have been answered and we are sooo in love with our little Tucker Nash!