Just what I asked for: A birth story
My linear, self-serving mind says to start this thing off with a bang: Truman's birth story. For a few reasons. I tend to process things through images and about 6-8 months after it happens, so it's about that time. I need to check it off my 'needs to be blogged' list. It is quite a testament to our God who gives good gifts, in so many ways, but more importantly a lesson in my own life that God works in prayer. He responds. He hears. And he brought us to one of the best, most gracious and kind ladies I've ever met. She was the first person to hold our little Truman. As I've discussed and aluded to in the past, Truman wasn't exactly in our newlywed plan for life, so when we learned of his coming, the first person to know was my too-great-for-words doctor. At around 5 weeks pregnant, she was a great comfort to us, she spoke truth over the situation and stuck with me when I was less than kind and basically silent for most of my doctors appointments. Towards the end of my weekly visits, she reminded me to text her if I was thinking of heading to the hospital and she'd meet us there to deliver Baby S whether she was working or not. Hello giant gift of undeserved love and kindess towards me that I DID NOT DESERVE. The whole time I was pregnant, I had a difficult time praying for Baby S. I prayed, but certainly not with a whole heart and not in the way I would hope to do for any future kiddos, birthed or otherwise. But lets be real. I managed to get out the healthy baby prayer, a selfish plea for a good nurser (yeaaa.....) and solely out of fear: my hopes and wishes for delivery. But God. He delivered.
Using Val Marie's prayer journal was my favorite and still is - I highly suggest you run to get yourself one of these sweet prayer holders. It was in those pages that I wrote out wishes for the least stressful and most normal birth possible. I wanted to head to the doctor for a normal appointment, learn quietly that I needed to pack up and head stress-free to the hospital. I wanted to have Baby S as naturally as possible - whatever that looked like for me was fine - experience natural labor, drugs or no drugs, whatever - just stress free and no puking. Yea. Cause you need to know how I feel about that - I AM WAY AGAINST ANYTHING that has to do with puke. Cause duh. It's terrible. I wanted my doctor to get to deliver Baby S and hoped to spend the least amount of time at the hospital. My hope was to be as mentally present as I could be for meeting babe, for my husband to be the one who told me the sex of little Truman and for Baby S to be healthy as a horse and on the small side. All of that: check, check, check. So here we go.
After heading to the doc for my standard, weekly appointment - and on my due date, no less - I was still dilated between a 3 and 4 as I had been for a couple weeks, 75% effaced and loosing amniotic fluid slowly. A quick ultrasound confirmed I was about half out of fluid, so Dr.B asked if we were ready to have a baby today and if I had questions. I asked for a brief rundown of what would happen at the hosptial once I got there and if we had time to run home and she said yes! Run home and grab your things, don't be slow, but don't rush. It was all quite calm. We got our bags, stopped for Jimmy Johns on the way and started getting giddy. Honestly, I wasn't afraid, concerned or worried at this point. Just doing the things. I had an apple and some water, ate my sandwich and we were soon at the hospital.
They admitted me, hooked me up, had me change into...nothing. Hah. Got me all question and answered, IV in (I've always had a terrible time with my veins being found, but it was cake!) and after seeing I was having random contractions that I couldn't feel, started me on pitocin. This was around 1pm. I spent the next 2-3 hours standing in my room, reading a book on my kindle. To be honest, the first two hours, I was having contractions, but feeling nothing besides tightness. That last hour they started to hurt, which the nurse seemed glad about because they kept adding pitocin but my body was just chilling.
Around 5 or 6, contractions started being more painful and were hard for me to stand through so I tried laying down on my side which was a help. I hung out for about an hour like that - with 2-3 minute contractions about 30 seconds to a minute apart. Around 6 I decided I needed an epidural. Truman was still sunny side up, Dr. B appeared and talked me through a few contractions and I asked how much worse they would be. The nurse and B confirmed that it would continue to get stronger and stronger, though they were backing way off on the pitocin. Doing so because the contractions made a quick jump in speed and intensity, but they would still keep coming. Obviously. I decided I was down for an epidural and asked for it quickly. Ha.
Though the epidural came, it wasn't quickly enough in my book. They checked me when I asked for it and I was at 7cm. While waiting for the anesthesiologist to come sweet Luke read me scripture I had prepared, Dr. B filled the in betweens with scripture from her brain (listen....she's the best) and I kept working through contractions with Truman still turned the wrong way. Also. Back labor is no joke. Finally they came to give me the good stuff. Getting an epidural honestly was cake. I was so glad for it, but the pain of transition (which we later figured out was happening during my epidural) was more than I could handle, so any pain I should have felt I didn't notice. Hardest part was sitting still for the actual insertion while having contractions. Oh my! Once it started to work, I basically felt nothing but some movement and tightening in my stomach. They checked me again and I was at 10cm. Boom. 10cm but still sunny side up, so they turned me on my side and let me rest for 30 minutes, then turned me to the other side and did the same. My Mom and sister, Abby, came back to say hello and brought me some beautiful tulips to stare at. This was the only time I felt uneasy. The epidural was working perfectly but had given me the chills (that and the arctic room I'd ordered up) so there was a lot of shaking and chattering of teeth. All the turning worked though and best I could tell, Truman had turned. Dr. B appeared again and announced that it was time to start pushing.
Our sweet friend Deanna made most of these pictures from here on. Like I said I really hate tossing my cookies, so smelling this kept the nausea at bay. I think the only complaint I had during labor (I'm not a big talker during pain, y'all) was the nausea. Sweet Dr. B ordered up a dose of those nausea meds women who are really struggling with morning sickness take, it worked like a charm. Pretty sure they put it in my IV - I still have no clue. Those IV's were pumping me up all day, which maybe hindsight wasn't a highlight because I looked way puffy at the end of delivery, but oh well. The next day I was back to not having 3 chins, just 2.
So I'll spare you the really personal (too-naked) photos of me pushing. But push, I did, for a bit more than an hour. I ended up hitting the oxygen pretty hard at the end. Just felt a little faint during pushing. I also felt like I was pushing so much and not getting lots of rest time in, so that really helped me. Blue oil and oxygen kept me up and working.
And then little Truman was born! Dr. B was the first one to hold that little fellah, see her there on the right? So glad about that. She was great. She was the perfect, prayerful, quiet encourager during my whole delivery and was such a comfort to have a doctor who is also a believer. I know Luke will agree with me when I say we are SO THANKFUL for her quiet, confident bedside manner and just the genuine woman of God that she is. She was informative, but never once over-informed me and made me frightful. She was constantly reminding me of scripture that spoke to my ability in Christ to birth a baby and being made to do so. Can't say enough good about her. Really. Total gift from the Lord that we did not deserve. As was Truman, his little self.
Just the bitty baby I prayed for. 6 pounds, 7.8 ounces.
This is Truman. Everyday. All day. Hands up on his chest, looking around.
Our dear besties, Will and Ashley, drove all the way over and hung in the waiting room. Love them. So thankful for their preggo friendship and their sweet son, Grant, who will get to grow with little T. Neither of us knew what sex of babe we'd be having, so two boys was quite a treat.
5 Months later and looking at this photo and all I can think is we look like babies. 5 months ago! So glad these images exist and can't wait to look at them in a year, 5, 10, 20...crazy.
Pretty much everything post-delivery was cake. They cut my drugs, my shakes and chills stopped pretty soon. My feeling came back to my legs within the hour. I moved myself from the delivery bed to another and they wheeled us past the nursery where we dropped T off and headed to our room to rest a minute. It was around 1:30am at this point. Only time I felt an ounce less than perfect after delivery was when the elevator took off to move us between floors. I wasn't quite ready for the sensation and though it only lasted a minute, it was a queasy, disorienting minute. But Truman was with me as well as our fab nurse and I forgot it as soon as it happened.
So that's it folks. It really was cake. My experience was 1000x less worse than I thought and I absolutely attribute that to a good God who gave a sweet gift to his kiddos. The gift of an easy and calm delivery and the blessing of a sweet son who has already been such a little joyful light in our lives, to our families and to all the women he flirts with in Kroger.