I'm writing this birth story with a sleeping Jack on my chest and my ipad 2 and zagg keyboard on a pillow in my lap. I'm so thankful for new technology that allows me to do both at the same time. This is the best type of multitasking.
Saturday April 11th started like any ordinary day. We hadn't made any plans for the weekend since I was due on Sunday so when we were given a 75 degree, beautiful day we decided to spend some time outside playing with Georgia. Around 3-4 pm I started having faint contractions. Nothing alarming or painful but I could tell I felt different. I told Marcus that I felt like we would have a baby in the next 24 hours. Things got exciting then!
Since I had a feeling our night could be eventful, I decided to take a shower and get things squared away in case we were headed to the hospital. Georgia Grace had been invited to a birthday party that night so I called my mom who came over to give her a bath and get her party ready. I still felt ok but I had been too big to give her a tub bath for a couple weeks so my mom graciously came to help. What did Marcus do? He mowed :) Our yard needed it and since we could be gone for a few days and then be coming home with a newborn he thought he better squeeze it in.
My mother-in-law came and took Georgia Grace to the party for us. My contractions were about 10 minutes apart at this point so partying didn't seem like a wise choice. I'm so glad she filled in for me so GGH didn't have to miss her friend's birthday!
When Georgia got home around 8 pm, my contractions were closer together and I felt even stronger that this was the real thing. Our tentative plan if I were to go into labor was for GGH to stay with Grandmomma so we decided to go ahead and take her so we didn't have to wake her up in the middle of the night. This turned out to be a wise choice.
We came back home around 9 pm and my contractions were 6-7 minutes apart. We were told to head to the hospital when they were 4-5 minutes apart. At this point I was ready to get things moving so I started trying to induce labor on my own. I ate watermelon and pineapple, climbed our stairs several times, cleaned up the entire playroom and Marcus and I were walking our 1/10th mile long driveway at 2am :) By 3:30 am my contractions were 5 minutes apart so we gathered our things and headed to the hospital.
When we arrived at the hospital, I registered in ER, was taken to the OB unit and hooked up to the monitors. I was already 5 cm and 80% upon arrival! They commended me for laboring as long as I did at home and I hoped that meant it would speed up the process.
The next few hours were pretty uneventful which included a lot of Q&As, needle sticks and such. Around 6-7 am I requested an epidural and shortly after that they broke my water. I had been progressing steadily all morning and was 7-8 cm at this point. Everything continued to go smoothly except I had one small bout of hypotension. Granted my normal BP is about 90/60 it still dropped lower than they were comfortable with to 80/45. At this point they increased my IV fluids and pulled out an O2 mask just in case. They said usually just having the mask readily available does the trick and sure enough my BP came back up in a few minutes.
Getting from 8 to 10 cm seemed to take the longest of the whole process and at this point my doctor said, "He's acting like he's going to be big" ha! He just wasn't descending very fast because it was such a tight squeeze for him. Around noon I was at 9 cm and my doctor encouraged me to lay and sit up in different positions to help move the baby myself to save me pushing time. So I gladly did it if meant potentially less pushing!
After about an hour of laying on my sides, sitting up like a frog, and bouncing I was at 10 cm and ready to push. I won't sugar coat it, the pushing part became pretty intense, much more so than my delivery of Georgia. But I had the best group of nurses (two of them were with me with I delivered Georgia and will aways be dear friends!) and support team encouraging me and pushing with me every step of the way. After 22 minutes of exhausting pushes at 1:28 pm Jack Porter Harrison entered the world!
They placed him on my chest and the tears of joy started falling. Another miracle was safely in the world and in my arms! The ten month wait was over and I was finally meeting my son. I don't think there's another moment in the whole world that compares to seeing your child for the first time.
We immediately commented on his large size, how he had a ton of blonde hair and that he resembled his sister. He weighed in at 8 pounds and 15 ounces, measured 20 1/2 inches long with a 14 1/4 inch head and 14 inch chest. Supposedly those last two measurements are very large and explained his slow progress.
After they took his measurements they placed him back on my chest for skin-to-skin and to nurse for the first time. He immediately latched on and has been a champ eater ever since. This was another answered prayer.
Once all of that was complete family and friends that came to meet him on his birthday were allowed to come back and see him. The very first visitor of course was big sister Georgia Grace. She had waited patiently after hearing the lullaby that he was here and she was ready to meet him! I'll save those pictures and comments for another post. It was another moment that no other will ever compare to.
We were moved from our L&D room to our suite and began getting adjusted to our new surroundings and new person. Our whole stay at the hospital from start to finish was such a wonderful experience. Having worked there for three years I knew most of the nurses and doctors on a personal level and they really went above and beyond to make us as comfortable as possible. I was almost sad to go home because they had been so good to us and it was great seeing them all again.
Jack is now ten days old and he is a thriving little boy. He decided his due date was the perfect day to enter the world. He is our Masters Sunday baby :) (I've already thought what a cute birthday party theme that would be!) We are all doing well, especially big sister who loves her brother very much and has transitioned beautifully so far. I have recovered well and am feeling good despite being a little sleep deprived. Even though I had a bigger baby, the second time has been easier on me. We are just enjoying these newborn days and are so thankful God chose us to be Jack's parents!