Benjamin Barnett Eldridge will be one week old tomorrow and already I feel like I don't want to forget these early moments with him... he is simply amazing! It was quite an adventure bringing him into this world. Here's how it went down.
(If you don't need the details, any you probably don't, just scroll down till you get to Wednesday, 4/14/2010, 6pm.)
Monday, 4/12/2010, 6am.
Exactly one week before my due date, I shift in bed and feel a bit of a smallish gush... I get out of bed and quickly race to the bathroom... the boxers I was wearing are all wet and a bit more on the floor. "Ahhh, Eric, I think my water broke." He was up in no time. We were both super excited (and a little freaked out.) He went to work to wrap things up and so did I. Everyone at Harloe thought I was crazy for being there... no contractions yet.
Monday, 4/12/2010, Noon.
Eric came home from work ready to go. We had lunch, went for a walk, baked cookies... still no contractions... dang. I finally called my doctor and heard what I knew I would... go to the hospital. We stopped at the Yeng Chang foot spa on the way to get foot massages in hopes of hitting a contraction inducing pressure point (thanks for the gift cards Tim). Still no contractions.
Monday, 4/12/2010, 6pm.
We arrived at the hospital, got our room (one with a labor tub and a gorgeous view tons of gently swaying trees and Madonna Mountain... yay!) and got settled in. We called and texted all of our friends and family. Everyone was now anxiously awaiting Ben's arrival. My water had now been broken for 12 hours. All the fetal monitoring said Ben was just fine and I didn't have a temperature so they let us sleep through the night.
Tuesday, 4/13/2010, 8am.
Dr. Kromhaut came in to see us and said that I was at the upper limit of waiting past water breaking, 24 hours. I knew we were having a baby that day (my text quote, "It's a beautiful day to have a baby." Little did I know.) but we were still hesitant to start pitocin (Noooo!) so we comprimised and tried cervadil, a slow release medicine (12 hours) that they put against your cervix. Although that started mild contractions that were 5-10 minutes apart, it never started active labor. I said, "I think it's working." The nurses said, "Ah, no, you can still talk to us and answer our questions, you're not in active labor." Dang.
Tuesday, 4/13/2010, 6pm.
Although we still had 3 or 4 hours until the cervadil ran out, Eric and I made the tough decision that things weren't moving along. (It had been 36 hours since my water broke, no other Doctor would have let me go that long, thank you Dr. K.) We told the nurses that we thought we should start pitocin. Once on any drug during labor you are stuck to the bed and few feet around the bed. You have to stay on the fetal monitor the whole time and have the IV tree to deal with. Going to the bathroom is a pain in the butt. Starting on 1 milliwhatever of pitocin, my contractions began getting more intense as the time went by. Every half hour they would bump it up 1...2...3...4...5 miliwhatevers. (Oh, side note. I forgot to mention that throughtout the day I was having some low back pain. Ah oh.) By 10 or 11pm I was in it deep. The pitocin had brought my intense contractions right up to two minutes apart. Great for active labor, except I would have a crazy back spasm in between each regular contraction. It was exhausting. Eric did great. He was right there with me the whole time and super supportive and helpful.
Tuesday, 4/13/2010, 11pm.
We called in reinforcement, our doula, Kathy Tuck. She was amazing and we couldn't have done it without her. Eric, her, and I battled it out all night. Crazy contractions, crazy back labor (Eric said you could see my back spasming through my tank top)... I don't recommend it. I nearly came to my breaking point many times during the night but somehow, I have no idea how (thank you Eric and Kathy), I made it to dawn without an epidural. I remember saying at one point, "I am in an emergency situation." I don't know what I was trying to convey. All night I wanted to go in the labor tub but couldn't because I was hooked up to all the equipment by the bed. To go in the tub you have to come off of pitcin. To come off pitocin you have to be far enough along (cervix dialated to 7 cm) so that your body will keep up the rythym of the contractions. So they checked me. I was 6 1/2 cm. They called it close enough and took me off the pitocin IV.
Wednesday, 4/14/2010, 6am.
Just as the sun was peeking over the mountains I got to finally get in the tub. Ahhhhhh. My back was screamin. Kathy fell asleep in the chair, Eric fell asleep draped over the side of the tub. I sat and dozed in the tub for an hour and a half. Although my contractions kept up they totally slowed down to 4-8 min apart. I didn't care. I needed a break.
Wednesday, 4/14/2010, 10am.
After my team got naps, they awoke and realized my contractions had slowed down. Dang. I had to get out of the tub and back on the pitocin. Dang Dang. My contractions came back but not quite as regular as we wanted. Sometimes they would be two or three right in a row and sometimes they would be 5-8 min apart. The back was back too. Ahhhhh! I labored for many more hours through the afternoon. We weren't sure what progress I was making becuase my crazy back was making so I didn't get the sensation to push. Any hint of pushing sent my back screamin.
Wednesday, 4/14/2010, 2pm.
We decided to go ahead and check where I was at even though I didn't "feel" like pushing. (I really didn't "feel" like being in labor anymore.) I was 9 1/2 cm. Close, but no cigar. Also, my nurse could feel Ben's head far up there and they were thinking he was sunnyside up (face up). Dr. K. came in a tried to manually turn his head to face in the right direction. That was CRAZY! I had to push while he was turning him. He said Ben's head was sideways, looking to the side, the hardest position to deal with. He made some progress in turning him. We decided I was close enough and started pushing. We tried all different positions but somehow, the only position we were making any headway in was me flat on my back. (Because of Ben's position this put my pelvis bone in the right alighnment for him to make his way out.) Well flat on my back was exactly what my back didn't want. Eric's hand was shoved under my torso onto my low back giving me pressure back for nearly four hours of pushing. Around 5:30 we started seeing hair. Eric got really excited at the sight of that, but after each push Ben would suck back up. Dr. K. came in to see our progress and was impressed. He said "You've come a looong way but you still have a ways to go." My options were to keep pushing for God knows how much longer, (chance of emergency C-section looming), get an epidural (hell no! If I was going to get one of those I would have gotten it 36 hours ago!), or have Dr. K help me with the vacuum extractor. Dr. K. was quick to tell us that if you have to use the vacuum, he is the best at it. I never thought I would do it, but I really needed to have this baby!
Wednesday, 4/14/2010, 6pm.
I pushed through one or two more contractions while the room quickly mobilized for delivery. Everyone was ready. Dr. K. got the vacuum on little Benny's head and here came a contraction. He pulled and I pushed. It was the craziest, wierdest pain/pressure I've ever experienced. We worked through three contractions and on the last push of the third contraction Ben's head was finally out, facing sideways. The shoulders and rest of the body came quickly with another push and he was up on my chest. Dr. K said bring him back we have a short cord, but that wasn't the problem. Ben had tied himself into knots in the womb. The cord was wrapped around his neck twice and around his arm. He was having such troubles coming down because he was on a short lease. They quickly untangled him (he was fine) and he was back with me. I seriously could not believe he was here. I was so relieved. It's hard to describe the feelings. He was so warm and wet. The nurses dried him off and his little cry rang out. His head was looking to the side, he opened his eyes and right in front of his face was his daddy. He looked right at Eric. The picture actually looks like he's smiling. We had our baby boy!
Benjamin Barnett Eldridge was born on April 14th, 2010 at 6:05pm. He weighed 6 pounds, 13 ounces, and was 19 inches long. He was perfect.
Baby Benjamin is Here!
Eric cut the umbilical cord, we got cleaned up, Ben stayed with Mommy. He nursed for the first time and took right to it. Eric got to hold his baby boy and give him his first bath. Benjamin got a visit from his Grandma and Grandpa Barnett and his Aunt Jeannie and Uncle Matt. He slept through the whole first night right by my bed in his little see through basinet. He woke up once and I tried to feed him but he wasn't really interested. I held him for a while and he fell back asleep. Mommy and Daddy finally got some much needed rest too. : )