Like any respectable mom who has a blog, I need/want to share the story about Wyatt being born. So, if you’re into that sort of thing, great! If not, that’s fine too and we’ll catch ya later. Mostly, I want to remember it and I can already tell that some parts of it are slipping from memory. So here goes- get comfy, this is not a quick read!
Naturally, Wyatt’s story begins several days before he actually arrived. And several days past his due date as well (8 to be exact, not that due dates are…). We were supposed to deliver at Durham Regional and were all prepared for that, took the tour and knew all the logistics. The week before Wyatt’s due date there was a fire at Durham Reg and the L&D floor was flooded/water damaged, so pretty much, if you were having a baby in Durham in those few weeks, you were headed to Duke. No complaints here. Durham Reg is a great place, but to us, Duke certainly had some perks.
I had been about 1cm dilated for a week or two before his due date. I was pumped about making some progress, but then was bummed when his due date came and went and I was still only 1cm. At my 41 week appt I had a non-stress test (to measure Wyatt’s activity level and my contractions) and an ultrasound. He did great on the non-stress test and his ultrasound revealed that he might be a little bigger than average and that his head was nowhere close to where it needed to be. My doctor suggested that he might be getting too big to come out the natural way, especially because his head was already not seeming to fit and consequently not dropping. He suggested we induce sooner than later. Duke was pretty booked so originally they couldn’t fit us in for another week. Not ok with the doctor. Or me. Or my mom, who was dyyyyying to meet this baby. 🙂
My mom, who had accompanied me to the appt, and I left the office feeling rather defeated & frustrated (at least I did), went and got some frozen yogurt, and while I was drowning my sorrows and back pain in strawberry yogurt & sprinkles, the doctors office called and told me to be at Duke the following day. He worked some scheduling magic and gave us out appt at 8pm on Friday, Nov. 9 at Duke! Sad fro-yo turned into celebratory fro-yo! Kyle was pumped and we went out for dinner with my folks to celebrate & enjoy a fun dinner out!
Kyle took Friday off from work, we cleaned and watched tv, hugged Dug, and went out for lunch. I got a mani/pedi. It should be noted that for about a week before this, I had come very close to becoming a recluse…it hurt too much to get up and out of the house so I mostly sat on the couch with Dug and stared at my swollen ankles and willed my contractions to pick up. I had been having contractions (Braxton-Hicks and some real ones) for about 6 weeks at that point, but to no avail.
We packed up and headed out for my parents’ house, where Dug would be vacationing. I was advised not to come in with a full stomach, so we had a big, late lunch. It was a very surreal, exciting evening, driving through Durham looking forward to getting things started. We left my mom & dad’s and headed the 4 minutes away to Duke…stopping for gas and a sprite along the way.
We carried our bags & body pillows across the parking deck and through the lobby to the elevators. We got in an elevator to the 5th floor with another man who looked at me and said, in a scared/uncomfortable manner “Um, are you in labor?”. I looked at him and laughed and said no, like it was the dumbest question I’d ever heard, didn’t he know that I had NOT BEEN IN LABOR for like, weeks now?! Then I remembered my giant belly. Aha, he was just putting together the context clues.
We gave our names to the receptionist at the L&D waiting room and took a seat. We had been sitting & waiting for about an hour at this point and I was getting suuuuper uncomfortable and antsy. I got up to ask the receptionist when we could expect our room to be ready and while I was talking to her my water broke. At the time, I didn’t know if it was my water breaking or if I was peeing. So I told her that my water was breaking and I hoped that might expedite our check-in. I told Kyle, and it was becoming pretty obvious, and the other folks in the waiting room got really excited for us, it was cute. We texted our families and told them that this boy was finalllllly getting ready to make his appearance. Kyle joked that I just needed a deadline to go into labor. I’m just that punctual. Oh, you want to induce me at 9pm Friday night…how about I just break my water at 8:55pm? I still wasn’t having any major contractions, just tightening and slightly painful. So we did get back to our room then, met our nurse, talked to my doctor and got changed and had the usual bloodwork, blood pressure checks and whatnot.
So then we sat and hung out, watched some TV and some netflix. We got up and went for a walk around the floor, did a few laps. I remember a few contractions being bad enough that I had to stop walking and lean again the wall. After some walking, we were getting tired, it was nearing 11pm. Plus it was getting really inconvenient for my water to continue leaking every time I took a step. So I settled into bed, Kyle settled into the “couch” and we watched some basketball. Kyle got to sleep for a while, I was awake but able to rest and the contractions were bearable (turns out they were tolerable because they weren’t actually doing anything).
Around 2am, the contractions became less and less enjoyable and I wasn’t able to get comfortable or get up and move around (again, water leaking makes this option a no-go). I went ahead and asked for my epidural, I wasn’t desperate for it but asked for it just in case it took a little while. And I really just wanted to go to sleep. Around that time we saw the doctor again and I was still only about 2cm dilated and Wyatt’s giant head was at about a -3 (basically, up at my collarbone, nowhere near dropping on his own).
We had known and discussed that a c-section might be a good option for me since Wyatt was now over a week late and not even close to coming out and now my labor was pretty much going nowhere fast. We’ll get back to that fact.
The team assembled for my epidural. No joke, there were about 5 people present. Duke is a teaching hospital, so each doctor is usually accompanied by about 7 other people. It makes for crowded rooms but isn’t a problem. That epidural hurt like crap going in, I yelled more during that than during any contraction. But it was in and took effect quickly, I could nap a little and that felt good. I was having some pretty serious contractions, as evidenced by my heart rate monitor beeping every time my heart rate got above 100 beats per minute. Every couple minutes it would beep beep beep and wake me up. Sleeping through them seems to be an optimal way to deal with contractions. 🙂
Best of all, I no longer had to feel my water leaking. (No one tells you that’s one of the most annoying parts of labor.)
We saw my doctor around 6am and I still had made no progress past about 2cm. He suggested pitocin if I wanted to try to get to 10cm dilated and he also brought up the csection. We talked about the pros and cons of pitoin (pro- I could to 10cm and push, con- I could get to 10 cm, push and end up with an emergency csection, be exhausted and miserable and not recover as well). He left Kyle and I to talk about it, we prayed about our decision and went ahead with the csection. I felt like the chances were good that Wyatt would need assistance getting out based on all the evidence presented and I never have been all that opposed to csections. My mom delivered all 3 of us that way. Plus, I was happy to avoid pitocin if possible. I never really had a birth plan, my goal was just to get him out safely and with minimal discomfort. So csection it was.
We made that decision around 6:30am, and my mom was there in our room to wait with us within about 15 minutes. She was a huge help and encouragement to us both. Kyle got to rest and know that I was taken care of and I had someone to talk to!
We were told we’d wait an hour or two before the operating room was free, but that turned into about 7 hours. We watched tv and I tried not to think about how I couldn’t eat or drink until it was over. I had some popsicles overnight and water and sprite, but my about 7am I was parched. It was quite a challenge not to drink anything all day, but I made it. I made them promise to give me the biggest sprite (there’s nothing like an icy, fizzy sprite!) with a ton of ice as soon as humanly possible.
We also had the sweeeetest nurse that day. She was really talkative and encouraging and just a bright spot in our day. We still talk about what a gift she was to us!
We were finally given the green light around 2:30pm and Wyatt was born at 3:31pm!
The csection wasn’t bad or scary- people were chatting, Kyle sat with me, I think they gave me some anti-anxiety meds, it was just exciting! When they pulled that baby out, I can’t even tell you how great it felt- like a 9 pound weight just lifted off my chest! And then I threw up, just to bring things full circle from my nausea-filled first two trimesters. 🙂
Kyle stayed with me until I told him to go see Wyatt and report back. They cleaned him up and handed him over, so he and Kyle sat with me until we were done. The first thing the doctor said when Wyatt was out was “this kid has some CHEEKS!” He also had pretty long fingernails, a sure sign of being overdue.
My blood pressure was a little low, so my head had to stay tilted lower than my body while they closed up- that’s a strange feeling. I had to lay down while I moved into recovery, but I was able to hold Wyatt as they wheeled us out and then I was able to nurse him as soon as we got into a recovery room, with some help, I was really shaky and things were pretty foggy due to the low blood pressure. I also had to get a spinal block for the surgery because my epidural had worn off, so I had to stay in recovery for about 2 hours and I had to be able to lift my knees before I could go.
Wyatt nursed, I drank my sprite (hallelujah) and Kyle and my mom took turns sitting with me and Wyatt. We sent out some pictures. Wyatt was doing great- nursing and adjusting really well. We got to have lots of good skin-to-skin time.
Once we got moved to our room, Wyatt and Kyle got to snuggle while I had something to drink and a snack. I was slowly regaining feeling after the spinal block, it really took hours for it to totally wear off. We saw several nurses and doctors to check on me and Wyatt, we got to order some food from the special menu for new moms. Mostly I just wanted jello. Kyle got instructions to keep records of all Wyatt’s diapers and time his feedings, we had nurses come in with medicine and water and and to help me feed Wyatt every few hours. We got some sleep that night and I woke up Sunday morning and realized that I wasn’t going to get to go to sleep to make up for the long night we just had. That was quite a realization, this was it, we are parents now…and all the time. Whew. Sometime around 4am, a nurse came and took Wyatt for his first bath. Looking back, I might have asked to go and be there for it, but as you can imagine, I was so out of it. He got bathed and cleaned up and they brought him back to me and told me how much he loved his bath and being placed in a warming bed afterwards, the nurse told me he was kicking his little legs, he loved it.
Sunday brought my family to visit, Kyle’s family from Maryland, my aunt and one or two friends. I was able to get up and walk to the bathroom Sunday morning so I could get changed and wash my face. They encouraged me to walk around the halls a bit, with help. Wyatt continued to nurse great and we had another suuuper helpful nurse. She actually gave us the “star parents” on the hall award, me & Wyatt for nursing and Kyle for helping and swaddling and changing diapers. It doesn’t come with any prize money, just a little piece of paper she pinned on us.
Monday was even better, I felt a little better and took a shower. My mom was working at Duke, so she came to “work” but really just came to our room, brought Starbucks tea and oatmeal for me, helped me get around and held Wyatt. I watched the clock so I didn’t miss a feeding or a dose of medicine- trust me, you don’t want to get behind on the painkillers. Wyatt ended up being 9 lbs and 1 ounce and was therefore considered abnormally big or something like that, so he had to have a heel prick blood test every time he ate to test his blood sugar. Hated seeing that happen, but it was only for 24 hours and he was of course totally fine, just big.
Wyatt had soooo many visitors and well-wishes his first few days. So many folks were just so happy to have him, he was a very welcome child. 🙂
Kyle became the swaddle-master, he could wrap that baby up like a little burrito.
And then on Tuesday, we got to take this little buddy home! We had meals from family, our small group and Booster & Young Life friends for weeks, we had family around to help a ton. He was a pretty easy guy to have at home, he ate well once my milk came in. He got back up to his birth weight (and then some) almost overnight and hasn’t slowed down since. I had some ups and downs for the first few weeks. I’d be lying if I said Kyle never found me crying in the bathroom around 7pm each night for fear of what sleeplessness was ahead of me, but I had a glass of wine and got over it. I know that’s totally normal to experience, everyone I’ve talked to has their story about that, just joining the ranks of motherhood.
We are just to happy and blessed to be this little guy’s parents! We love him to pieces!