Birth Story || Grey Matthew
Since Turner's birth was a little traumatic for all involved, we decided around week 36 of my pregnancy to schedule an induction for Grey's birth. My doctor would be out of town the weekend before my due date, so it was scheduled for Monday, April 11th at 9 am.
That morning we received a call from the hospital that they would be pushing my induction back to 10:30. I was bummed at first, but it was nice to take it slow that morning getting ready, drop Turner of at Grammy's house, and pick up some breakfast before the main event.
We checked in at 10:30 and they escorted us to our delivery room, which happened to be the exact same room we delivered Turner in. I got into the hospital gown and they started to prep my IV for the penicillin. Two different nurses poked me a total of 5 times on my left arm resulting in stinging pain until finally they tried my right arm with no problems. By the time they started the antibiotics (for the Group B Strep), it was 11:30 am. That meant the earliest they would want me to have the baby was after it had been in for four hours, around 3:30 pm.
Shortly after they started my IV fluids, they added the Pitocin (Oxytocin) to induce my labor and start giving me contractions. The nurse told me to let her know when I was ready for the epidural, but she also told me that at 1 they had a scheduled C-section and I would have to wait until after it was finished if I didn't have the chance to get it before. Around 12:15 I asked when it would be possible to get the epidural, knowing I might want it in between then and when they would be done with the c-section. Unfortunately, they had been called to an emergency c-section so the anesthesiologist wouldn't be available until 1:30-2:00.
The pain was pretty manageable so I wasn't too concerned, but still a little nervous. My doctor came in several times throughout the day, which I wasn't expecting and absolutely loved. He came in around 1:30 to break my water and asked if I was ready for it. With fear in my voice I said, "But...I haven't had my epidural yet?!" He said it'd still be a while before he could make it in, but the sooner we got things moving, the sooner my baby would be here. That was all he needed to say to have me convinced.
After he broke my water I was glad I hadn't had the epidural yet, because I could feel the sensation that so many woman talk about. I never felt my waters break with Turner and so it was amazing to get to experience it this time around. With every contraction I could feel the warm water that had been surrounding and protecting my chid slowly gushing out of me. Many times I had to remind myself that it was my waters and not urine leaking out of me. Although when the anesthesiologist finally arrived to give me my epidural and I was bending over my belly, putting pressure on my bladder, I'm pretty sure it was a mixture of the two.
They told me to push the button for another dose every 10 minutes, and so I did. What I didn't hear them say was to stop after I stopped feeling pain. I don't know why I kept pushing it, but I kept pushing that button every 10 minutes for 2 whole hours. Just eating my lemonade flavored pebble ice and pushing that button like an addict. I was SO NUMB. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to be numb, but I couldn't even wiggle my toes!
Around 4 when the nurse came to check how I was progressing, I asked her how often I should be pushing that button. And she said, "Oh, you should only be pushing it if you are feeling pain." I was thinking, good to know, good...to...know. Coolcoolcool. HAHA! I felt like such a dork. So for the next two hours I didn't push the button again.
During that time I had progressed from being dilated to a 6 when he broke my water, to a 10 around 5 pm. That was when the nurse coached me through a few practice pushes. She helped me more in 2 minutes than the whole fleet of nurses and doctor did during my four hours of pushing with Turner.
When she saw my pushing was helping the baby progress further down into the birth canal, she called the doctor and they prepped me to have my baby boy! They removed my catheter, adjusted my bed, and got everything ready for my doctor.
At 5:30 my doctor walked in the door and said, "Are we ready to get this party started?" and we both shouted, "YES!" After the doctor had suited up, they set up the mirror for me to see Grey's decent. I looked around and it was just 5 people. My husband, my doctor, the nurse, the pediatric nurse, and myself. The room was quiet and calm. My husband was by my side and we were both at peace. At peace and yet so excited to finally meet our second little boy! It was the opposite of the mass chaos the ensued as Turner entered the world, and I was so grateful.
My doctor watched the monitor and waited for the signal of my next big contraction. They told me to take a big breath, hold, push, and repeat that three times through my contraction. After the first contraction and only three pushes, I could see Grey's head crowning in the mirror! I was in shock! The doctor told me to do that same thing one more time and my baby would be here! We waiting a minute or two for the next contraction and then I took a big breath, held, pushed, and repeated three more times.
At 6:09 pm, suddenly one by one his head, shoulders, torso, bum, and legs exited my body. They laid him on my belly and I cried tears of pure joy. He was perfect, an angel, everything I had dreamed he would be and more. He let out a few short cries as the suctioned his nose and mouth. They wrapped him in a towel and Matthew cut his cord. They laid him on my chest and I was in heaven. I live for that moment. Holding him so close to my heart and kissing his head after carrying him for so long. They let me keep him there until I was ready to know his specs. It didn't take long for us to be curious enough to have him put on the scale.
7 pounds 12 ounces, 20.5 inches of perfection. No dimple in his chin like his older brother and what seems to be mama's nose. They swaddled him up and put on a little hat before handing him to Matthew. He is the most tender father to our boys. Watching him hold them for the first time is high on my list of favorite moments of all time. I don't know what I'd do without him as their example. He is the most thoughtful, caring, and hardworking man I know.
Since the delivery seemed like a cake walk and I only received a first degree tear, I thought my baby was going to be in my room with me this time. I thought we were going to have a quick, normal, routine hospital stay. But we still got hit with a curveball.
That night my parents came to see him as well as my sister and brother in law. He sounded a little snorty, but perfectly healthy. He had latched on to breastfeed for 15 minutes on each side like a total champ. We passed him around and talked about his perfect little features. I ordered dinner just before room service closed. I couldn't believe how different my delivery was.
Around 10:30 we were ready to go to bed and Grey was asleep in the bassinet next to my bed. We were exhausted, and yet I couldn't seem to fall asleep. I just kept staring at Grey. Almost as if to read my mind, my husband says, "Maybe we should have them take Grey to the nursery tonight? To keep and eye on him while we get some rest." I wanted him by my side, but I felt that would be best for all of us.
I'm so glad he was prompted to suggest that, because who knows what would have happened if he had stayed in our room that night. Early the next morning they came in to have me feed him and told me he was having a little trouble breathing so they were going to move him to the TLC.
My heart sank. Not again, I thought. My heart couldn't take it. I held onto the hope that it wouldn't be as bad as what Turner went through.
However, the rest of the morning we asked question after question about how Grey was doing and they didn't give us any answers. We knew he was alive, but we didn't know to what extent his breathing was improving or if it had worsened. Finally around 10:30, the TLC nurse called us in to meet with her. She let us know he was struggling to breathe and keep his temperature up, so they would be moving him to the NICU.
Before I could do anything else, I was sobbing. I never saw Turner as fragile as Grey looked in that moment. His chest was convulsing as he struggled to capture his breath and with every wheeze my heart was breaking. I couldn't do this again. I wasn't strong enough to go through this again. For 20 minutes I sobbed as the nurse tried to comfort me, my husband put his arm around me, and I couldn't stop the tears from streaming or my chin from quivering.
That sweet nurse had no idea the emotions I was feeling in that moment. This reoccurring nightmare coming back from the past to taunt me. When I gained my composure I was able to explain to her how this was our second time watching our child struggle for breath, the most basic necessity of life. She felt so much sympathy for me. I could see it in her eyes. Yet there was nothing she could say to comfort me in that moment.
A few minutes later the NICU charge nurse arrived. We described to her in detail the nature of his situation, and what we learned from Turner's almost identical experience. She agreed that the bulb syringes had caused swelling and vowed to prevent further use of them. Then she assured us that she would start the same nasal steroid drops that had helped reduce Turner's nasal swelling. Her listening ear and trust in my words gave me my first wave of comfort. As she rolled him away in that incubator, I knew he was going to be in the best hands.
One of the hardest things about having a baby in the NICU is the nurse in charge of your child's care changes every 12 hours. And at every shift change you pray that the new nurse knows every detail of their situation. Bless the angel nurses who worked with my son. All of them were doing their very best to get my son back on track. They listened to our concerns, and patiently answered all of our questions.
Within 48 hours he was doing significantly better, and the morning after we were discharged they called us to say we could take him home! I know it was through the faith and prayers of us, family, and friends that he was able to recover as quickly as he did. Going to pick him up from the hospital to bring him home was one of the happiest moments of my life. I was so excited to have him home. All together. As a family. Like it was always meant to be.
Grey has been happy and healthy ever since. He is a complete angel. Breastfeeds like a champ, sleeps 3-4 hour stretches at night, and hardly ever cries. We love him. And we can't imagine our lives without him in it.