This picture was taken 1 night before I went into labor (Saturday evening) right before I went to bed. I felt so large this time around, I was definitely uncomfortable. You know its time when you're so uncomfortable that you'd take the "recovery" state versus the "end of pregnancy" state.
I really could cut and paste Michael's birth story here as they were mirror images of each other with only a few variations, but just so its recorded as his own, this is the story of Dennis Jarom entering our world:
Sunday night started off with a 1 1/2 mile walk with the family. We loaded Penny and Michael into the stroller and headed out the door with Dominic on his bike. Dominic was kind enough to make a snack of trail mix for the kids before we left (marked off something for scouts). The kids had fun snacking on that while in the stroller and we got a good walk. Penny got out and ran for much of the walk. She commented that her side was starting to hurt and I got to explain cramps to her (which I would get to experience in a much stronger intensity later that night). Dominic would ride ahead and then stop and wait for us while he snacked. It was a beautiful night out!
Back at the house after our walk, Penny wanted to ride her bike for a few minutes so I walked with her while she rode up and down the street. I'm sure I walked about 2 miles total that evening. We then came inside and started a game of Monopoly with Dominic. After putting Penny and Michael to sleep, the three of us (Dominic, Dad and I) stayed up till almost 11 finishing our game. Dominic kicked our butts....Sean doesn't take losing very well and was starting to get annoyed that Dominic was winning until I pointed out that the sooner someone wins, the sooner the game ends. I got a couple contractions while playing the game, but nothing major and didn't even blink. Nothing to make me think that tonight was the night. Monopoly is such a long game (though electronic Monopoly is a lot less tedius).
With Dominic off to bed, Sean and I retired to bed as well only for my stomach to start growling after 10 minutes of hunger. I've learned to not fight the hunger because it doesn't go away (when I'm pregnant) but only keeps me awake. I woke up, came downstairs and decided on Pizza (I'd regret that later) when I normally eat a bowl of cheerios. I chatted with my sister Annie on Facebook while I waited for it to heat up. By this time it was just past midnight. I got a pretty strong contraction at 12:15. Hmmmm, this will be interesting. I finished eating and wrapped up my computer time as I headed to the couch to see if I could rest, or see if the contractions got stronger. I had a few more contractions, they were about 8 -11 minutes apart but in my experience if I get up and walk around they get closer together. So I got up and walked around a bit. Definitely got stronger. I went upstairs at 1:15 and asked Sean if he wanted to have a baby tonight. He jumped out of bed and started racing around the house getting everything ready to go. A few more contractions told me this was going to be a similar labor to Michael's and to call the babysitter over to be at the house with the kids so we could head over to the hospital. Meanwhile, Sean raced around the house gathering last minute items. At one point I had to tell him to calm down or he was going to make me laugh, which was going to give me a killer contraction. He was quite cute in his bout of excitement.
Sean woke up Dominic to tell him that we were headed over to the hospital. He came downstairs in his skivvy's to give me a hug and tell me how excited he was. He ran back up to bed and totally forgot about that exchange the next morning. He doesn't remember it. Mindy came over and I was waiting in the car already when she pulled up. She went into the house as we pulled out of the driveway. We arrived at the hospital a little after 2 and were checked into our room at 2:20. I look like a huge HUGE person with this gown on in the bed. Probably because under that gown, I AM huge.
When they checked me, I was only a 3.5. She told me that since I was almost a 4 and probably knew what real labor felt like, that she was going to admit me even though they usually don't admit until you're a 4. I told her good, because if they didn't admit me I'd only make it to the car to have to turn around and come back. She giggled, I think to humor me, but I don't think she believed me. Denise had written on my chart that I didn't want an IV or any anesthesia and to not bug me about it. Thank you Denise. It is so nice to be free of cords and things when in labor and knowing that they are so fast makes the pain bearable. Plus, who wants an IV line in (even if its not hooked up to the saline) if you don't need one? I am not sure I would feel the same about not using anesthesia if I had looooooooooong intense labors. I'm blessed with a body that has short, not so painful labors.
After hooking me up to monitors and checking the contractions and the baby's heartbeat, she told me that she'd like to see me walk around to see if I can get the contractions closer together and make some progress. I told her I'd rather get in the shower. She advised that I walk the halls for just 30 minutes and then take a shower. I conceded. Denise, my friend who is a nurse there, wasn't working that night but my nurse said she'd check me again and then depending on progress, call Denise if it looked like it was going to progress to labor soon. Denise is cool like that and wanted to be there whether she was on the clock or not. I think she's awesome and I wanted her there sooner than later so to the halls we went!
Before I had left the bed though, I had one contraction that was pretty strong ( I usually get one strong one and then 3 or 4 weaker ones....kinda like the waves at the ocean) and almost floored me because my back tightened along with it. I immediately looked at Sean and said, "I'm having back labor. This is not cool, it hurts." I have to admit, I was pretty shocked and rattled a bit. I've never had back labor before and it hurt pretty bad and we weren't even at the part that hurts yet! I hoped this was just one weird contraction and that it wouldn't return......but I knew it would.
So, anyways. We did as we promised and walked the halls for 30 minutes (until 4pm). I found that if I hung my arms around Sean and put no pressure on my back, but stuck my butt out and just hung there, that I could not feel the back labor. That was very helpful and I am grateful that we were walking the halls instead of sitting in the hospital bed. I could not get comfortable in the bed.
After 30 minutes of walking I could see the other nurses getting nervous. One of them told our nurse that she better check me before I get too far along and Denise isn't able to make it in in time. So, she sent me back to our room and when she checked me, I was at a 6. She called Denise in (yay!) and the doctor. Denise showed up around 4:45 and I was in the shower at that point. The doctor came in with her and told me that she really wanted me to get an IV line in so that if I did need one, we wouldn't be that much behind. My only risk factor was that it was my 4th pregnancy (each increased pregnancy increases the risk for hemorrhages) and so I declined the IV once again (plus they always have a horrible time giving me one anyways).
Denise told me that we could proceed with breaking the bag of waters at any time to get this baby here. Pretty much, when they break my water I have an intense 30 minutes of contractions and then the baby is here. I have to admit, I was too scared to jump at this offer this time because I was having back labor. I told her that. She had some suggestions on how to relieve the back labor and so after 15 more minutes of trying to get my head in the game, I told them I was ready. Back to the bed at 5:10 and they said I was dilated to 8cm. I had the quick thought to tell her not to break my water because it was almost done anyways......but I held my tongue (wish I hadn't). The Dr. broke my water at 5:15.
Back labor stinks.
I sat on the edge of the bed leaning my arms over another short table with a pillow. The most intense contractions ensued WITH back labor.
I think I repeated the same phrase over and over:
"I wish I could just throw up this pizza and get it over with."
But, I never did. Such a bad choice of food to eat before labor.
Sean pushed on my low back with the palm of his hands from behind me as two nurses vigorously wiped my face with wet washcloths. I get so hot during transition (one of the signs that you are truly in transition) that the washcloths keep me from wanting to barf and distract me from the pain a little. I think I had about 7 contractions, all about 3-4 minutes long and about 1 minute apart. So fun. So intense.
But, then I felt the urge to push.
I sat back as the bed was being taken apart in preparation for delivery as Sean took over the wet wash cloth regime on my face. At one point he took the washcloth off my face and gave me a kiss on the forehead and said, "you're almost there sweetie, I'm so proud of you." It really was sweet, but I could smell him AND he was hot. He didn't stink, he just had a smell and I didn't want to smell anything at that point. All I could get out to say was, "your breath stinks." Hows that for a comeback to his compliment? Everyone laughed and he got a breath mint from one of the nurses.
5 intense pushes (during 2 contractions) and Dennis Jarom entered the world at 5:51am on Monday morning May 7, 2012 (its an equation 5+7=12). Sean announced it was a boy as they passed him up and he was immediately placed on my chest to rest and be welcomed into the world. Nobody took him from me even though he didn't cry right away. I just held him close and rubbed his sweet little body as Denise tried to stimulate crying by rubbing his feet. He eventually cried and had great color immediately despite not crying. After the first few cries I tried to see if he would nurse and he latched right on. He was perfect in every way.
After the placenta was delivered, the doctor passed the scissors up to Sean, who reached his hand out only to realize what he was about to grab and then recoiled twice as quickly and said, "Oh, no no no no no no no. I'm good thanks." We all laughed again as the Dr. cut the cord. That has never interested Sean.
I got to hold him for almost an hour before Denise got his footprints and weight and APGAR score (9). We waited until the kids came to visit around 10am to bathe him.
Kids came around 10am after they had breakfast. Sean took 2 outfits with him to get the kids and asked the kids if they wanted to know now what outfit their sibling would wear, or if they wanted to see for themselves at the hospital. They decided they wanted to know right then and so Sean pulled out the boy outfit. Realizing what this meant, Penny began to look sad and started to cry.
"I just really thought it was a girl."
Sean scooped her up and fighting tears told her that Dennis was REALLY cute and showed her some pictures on his phone. He then told her she could hold him first and she snapped out of it and was happy as a clam from then on.
She smiled from ear to ear.
Penny had totally forgotten that babies nurse from mommy's boobs. When she asked where the baby would get its milk and Sean told her that Dennis would nurse from mommy's boobs she laughed and said, "No really dad."
Ha ha, so she watched and then remembered.
Michael was telling him to Ssshhhhhhhhh with his finger. He likes to hold him in about 30 second increments.
So, Dennis Jarom is happy, healthy and very loved. He is 1 week old today and doing very well sleeping 3-4 hour chunks at night and most of the day. He's awake for a good 45 minutes to an hour in between those time and is just such a joy in our home already. It still feels strange to be a family of 6 but feels so natural all at the same time. I feel great and am healing up nicely. Its so nice to not be pregnant that recovery feels great. I've had a few days where I did too much and felt like I was hit by a truck with soreness and aches at the end of the day. I'm learning my limits but overall feel really REALLY good.
So, there you have it.
So, there you have it.