Family · Life

John’s Birth Story

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John is almost 18 months old, so this post is really more for me than anyone else. I feel like there isn’t much to the story, but I wanted to have record of it nonetheless.

My water broke at 1:00 in the morning on October 20th, and I had no indication that it was coming excluding my impending due date. I never felt any Braxton Hicks, real contractions, or any other sign leading up to that day. I was in bed at the time, and luckily had my “puppy pad” that my sister-in-law had given me.

I called the hospital to let them know, and that’s when I was first met with doubt. This was my first time with the whole pregnancy thing, so I had no idea what water breaking was supposed to feel like. Apparently I didn’t describe it with enough gusto, because the doctor was convinced that I had just peed myself. Since I wasn’t having any contractions, and they really thought it was just pee, they said I should wait to see what happened over the next six hours. I briefly woke up Steve to tell him, but I’m not sure how much registered. I tried to go back to bed, and I think I may have slept another hour or so. I never peed myself once during pregnancy, and I knew at this point that I still hadn’t. I showered, got ready, and finally woke up Steve for real.

We made the commute into Arlington on Tuesday morning, and oddly had almost no traffic. Once I was all checked in and had a room, the nurse still couldn’t confirm that my had water broken. At this point, that meant I would have been peeing myself for about seven hours straight. Eventually the doctor came in and actually examined me. Within seconds, she confirmed what I had known since 1:00 AM. Since I had no other signs of progression, I was started on pitocin by late morning.

The next few hours included lots of breathing, Italian ice, and watching Back to the Future. Besides the contractions getting worse, not much happened and I barely progressed. I opted for the epidural by mid-afternoon, and luckily mine completely worked unlike some horror stories I’ve heard. It worked so well, I actually took a nap afterwards. Exam after exam, nothing was changing. In fact, one time John actually retreated.

I knew in my mind that I was heading for a C-section given the time that I had passed since my water breaking. The doctor came in around 8:00 PM to tell me all of this, and I asked for another hour. I raised my bed as much as possible, in hopes of doing anything. An hour later I was still only about 3 cm. Despite knowing a C-section was coming, the doctor sharing the news in a matter of fact way did not make it any easier. Queue the tears. Luckily, there was a very nice nurse who gave us a few minutes to process the information and then answered all of our questions. Unfortunately, they weren’t really the answers I wanted. I never had a specific birth plan, but there were a few things I wanted. Turns out that skin to skin for both me and Steve was off the table, as well as the delayed cord clamping.

I was wheeled in to the OR and prepped before Steve was allowed in. I was relatively calm, but I was shaking like they warned me about. I was concerned that it was going to mess up the surgery, but I’m guessing it wasn’t as bad as I imagined. After some warm blankets to help with the shaking, the sterile sheet was too close for comfort and I was feeling claustrophobic.

At 10:02 though, everything changed. I didn’t even see his face, but the second I heard John’s cry my heart melted. I cried again, but at least for different reasons. Steve got to hold John after a few minutes of cleaning and measuring.

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When we made it back to the recovery room about an hour later, though I had no concept of time. I was still shaking so Steve did skin to skin first. I was still woozy and afraid I was going to drop him, but looking back I wish I had them place him on me much earlier. I’m not sure how I would have dropped him when I literally wasn’t moving, but it made sense to me at the time.

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We had two full names in mind, but the first night was a bit of a blur. We didn’t actually name him until late the next morning. Between the medication and alternating sleep, we didn’t have many chances to discuss it. John Timothy was born three days before his due date on Tuesday, October 20th at 10:02 PM.

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