So, when we went in for our 37 week visit, Dr. N thought that we'd probably have to induce if Jonah hadn't arrived by about 39 weeks. This was based solely on the size his head was measuring compared to the size of...well, me. I was pretty excited about this news because I was starting to feel miserable--and it was nice to think we might have a specific date!
We went along for the next week and at 38 weeks, it was confirmed that he was measuring big enough that we needed to set a date for induction! Dr. N called over to the hospital and it was decided that Wednesday, May 11th would be the day! I liked this day for a couple of reasons- First, it was exactly one week before he was due so he'd officially be 39 full weeks, and it falls exactly between my brother and sister's birthdays (MK-May 4th, Kelly-May 18th). So, they would all have their birthdays on the same day of the week, 3 weeks in a row! Secretly, I was holding out hope that he would decide to make his arrival before that date came.
I would like to say we spent the last weekend before his induction date relaxing and hanging out, but we didn't! I was still running around like a chicken with my head cut-off trying to get things organized, somewhat picked up and cleaned, and get bags packed for the hospital! The weekend flew by, and on Monday I went to work like usual. The contract PT who was going to cover some of my maternity leave started that Monday, so Monday was a crazy day-trying to treat the few kids who came that day, organize my stuff so I could leave for 12 weeks, show her around (she's great, by the way), etc etc. I also had to go back to Dr. N's office Monday afternoon to decide if I needed to come in Tuesday night for *males might want to skip this next part* cervical "ripening" or if I could just come in Wednesday morning.
I went to his office at 3:00 Monday afternoon, and basically had made little to NO progress on my own (I was dilated to a finger-tip) and from his tone of voice, I think he was being generous. He decided I needed to come in Tuesday night at 9:00pm. I took Tuesday off, and was still busy all day getting things ready and we went to eat at Applebee's with my parents before we went to the hospital. (I chose Applebee's because I wanted something a little "lighter" and easily digestable just in case--you know what I mean?? We arrived at the hospital a few minutes before 9:00 in the middle of a crazy lightning storm with heavy rain! I kind of liked having that kind of weather the night before-I've always been a fan of thunder storms!
Once we were shown to our “Labor and Delivery” room, the nurse wasted no time in getting us checked in and ready to go. Within an hour we had filled out paperwork, answered a million questions, had the IV in place (though it wouldn’t be hooked up to anything until the next morning), and external monitors in place! That night we started *males might want to skip to the next sentence* Cytotec to help “prep” my cervix. They had to come in every 3 hours overnight to administer the next dose of Cytotec. Needless to say, we didn’t sleep much that night due to the 3 hour cycle AND my OCD-self not wanting to come off of the monitors! I do have to admit that it was kind of neat to hear the sound of Jonah’s sweet little heartbeat filling up the room all night!!
The next morning, Dr. New broke my water a little after 7:00. I started having mild contractions, no big deal and definitely not regular, over the next hour-ish. Then they started the Pitocin. That definitely helped get my contractions going and they started to become pretty regular and stronger over the next couple of hours! The nurse asked me where I felt the contractions and she seemed mildly concerned that I only felt them in my lower back and posterior pelvis. She thought it would be best for me to put off the epidural as long as possible and try to stay on my feet or the ball for as long as possible to make sure Jonah got into the best position. I did the best I could and put off the epidural as long as I possibly could!! I lasted until sometime between 12-1 with what I considered very strong and very regular contractions. And then Dr. Fox came in and the world was good again—epidurals are awesome!!
I felt a lot better after the epidural and Dr. New came in throughout the afternoon to monitor my progress. Despite the fact that I was contracting regularly and with good, strong contractions, I wasn’t making much progress. At 5:00 that afternoon, Dr. New came in and said I was still at a 4 and his head was still pretty high up in the pelvis. Dr. New was very aware of the fact that I wanted to give this little one as long as he needed to come out, but I could tell by what he was/wasn’t saying that we were kind of hitting a wall. He said he would come back at 7:00 and see what was going on. He also said he was concerned that Jonah was in an OP (Occiput Posterior) position, or “sunny-side up”. Over the next 2 hours, my sweet nurse had me lie in random positions to try and flip Jonah over. I was exhausted and so was my uterus apparently. Despite increasing the Pitocin levels, my contractions started slowing down and decreasing in intensity. Jonah also started having decelerations in his heart-rate, so they put me on oxygen.
Dr. New came in at 7:00 and basically said nothing had changed. He said he could feel the cone where Jonah’s head was trying to come through, but it just wasn’t going to fit. He was also very sure at this point that he was not facing the “ideal” direction. So, it was decided that the only way he was coming out, was a C-Section. That was exactly what I had hoped and prayed against. I remember silent tears rolling down my cheeks as Dr. New explained what was going to happen. I wasn’t scared or worried about having a C-Section, it just wasn’t what I had envisioned Jonah’s birth to be like. I wouldn’t get to push, or see my sweet boy right as he entered the world, and he wouldn’t be placed up on my chest for me to cuddle, kiss and admire immediately. It was sad to have that image I had in my head taken away from me with one sentence. But Dr. New was EXTREMELY kind and sympathetic toward my feelings, telling me “You did everything you could do, he just isn’t going to fit!”. I didn’t really “DO” anything, but at the time, it was very comforting and I am so appreciative of Dr. New’s kindness in that moment.
So, there it was, I was having a C-Section. Once it was decided, everything happened EXTREMELY quickly!! They sent David to go tell family and friends, while Dr. Fox and the nurse started prepping everything for surgery! I had one person putting a hair net over my head, someone “boosting” my epidural, someone else hooking up 2 “bolus” bags of fluid to be administered BEFORE surgery could happen, and all sorts of other things. Within less than 10 minutes, I was on my way out the door to the Operating Room. They took David somewhere where he could get “dressed” to be in the OR.
Once in the OR, things continued to move quickly!! At one point, Dr. New peeked over the drape and asked me “Are you doing ok??”. He seemed a little concerned, so I responded with, “Yeah, I think so—why?”. He then told me that he had just pinched my stomach with a huge clamp to make sure that I was definitely numb! I laughed and told him that I guessed it was a good thing I actually was numb then, huh?? It was nice to laugh. Then David came into the room, and I remember telling him within a minute or two that “I could smell it”. He asked me what I smelled and I told him, “Burning flesh”.
It’s a very very weird thing to be on the other side of a drape, unable to feel anything, when you know that they are cutting you open and pulling the precious life you have been carrying for 9 months out of your body. I could feel tugging and pulling, but no one was saying anything! I’m sure there were machines and tools and equipment running, but to me, the room was silent. The only thing I remember is Dr. Fox saying, “Wow, he really was stuck in the belly of the whale, wasn’t he?”-to which I acted offended, but really wasn’t! And then he said, “Oh, I see a head…with the cord wrapped around it” and after a LOT of pressure on my stomach, I heard him!! Just 3 or 4 little cries—and silent tears rolled down my face for the 2nd time that day! They briefly showed him to me before taking him and David over to the table to clean the little man up. I remember it being really quiet and asking Dr. Fox, who was still standing by my head, where everyone went. He said they were on the other side of the room, we just had a really quiet baby!
Then they announced his stats: Jonah Porter Forbess born on Wednesday, May 11, at 7:40 pm (remember, it wasn’t decided I was even having a C-Section until after 7!) weighing 8 pounds, 1 ounce—20.75 inches long!! Then David pointed out he still had a clamp on his umbilical cord, so they re-weighed him and he officially weighed 7 pounds, 15 ounces! David brought him over to me, all bundled up, while they finished returning my organs to their rightful place and closing me up! I had a hard time turning my head to look at him, because it made me incredibly sick to my stomach to look sideways. But I definitely remember thinking he was the most beautiful thing in the world!!
The three of us had to spend close to an hour in the Recovery room, making sure everyone’s vitals looked ok, and discussing pain management, etc, etc before we could go out and introduce everyone! What a sweet moment: being rolled toward the waiting room, holding our beautiful and perfect son (who was still just looking around with huge, clear blue eyes not crying a bit), and showing him to our families and friends, Jess and Clay. We were definitely a proud set of parents!!
We had a relatively uneventful stay, despite having to stay until Saturday (Tuesday night-Saturday is a long time to be in the hospital). All of the nurses, with the exception of one, were incredibly sweet and encouraging! We had lots of visitors who came to meet our little boy, and felt extremely blessed by all of the love and support. Dr. Benzick performed his circumcision on Friday and gave us an excellent report Saturday morning! Jonah lost 7 ounces in the hospital, which was less than the expected amount, and showed no signs of jaundice at all! Dr. Benzick though he did so well, that he gave his blessing to skip his 1 week check-up/weighing and asked us to make an appointment for 2 weeks! We were discharged that morning, and were happy to head home!
Before I can end this post, I have to take a second to brag on our little boy! He was a champ from the beginning! Looking back, his poor little head had been crammed into my pelvic bone with every contraction on Wednesday. In surgery, Dr. New said he could really see how small my pelvic outlet was and there was no way he was going to make it through no matter how perfectly positioned he was! Jonah’s poor little head had a huge cone coming off of one side! Despite it all, he barely cried when he came out—or over the next few days really! People kept telling us what a quiet, alert baby we had. His sweet eyes would open and he would just look around, taking it all in. He hardly whimpered when they pricked his heel, and he only cried for a few minutes after his circumcision (and that’s TRAUMATIC!!). He was definitely the BEST and most preciously perfect newborn ever! We feel more blessed than we could ever explain and we fell completely in love with our little boy immediately!Here is Jonah in his carseat for the first time, getting ready to go home!!
This is just a precious picture of our beautiful little boy:
Here we are leaving the hospital as a family of 3!!!