I never wrote a birth story for Hunter because I was so new to blogging. I feel regretful about that because it's only been (almost) 6 years, and I have already forgotten so much of that day. So, here's my best shot at a recap of one of the top 3 best days of my life up to now...
Hunter's due date was March 21, 2007, but at 37 weeks I was already dilated to 2 cm and effaced 70%. At 38 weeks, it increased to 3 cm dilated and 80% effaced, and at 39 weeks, 3 cm dilated and 90% effaced. So at my 39 week appointment, my OB told me that my cervix was "very favorable" and he could induce me that Saturday (the 17th) since he was on call...if I wanted him to. If I was the woman I am now, I wouldn't have done it, but I was so anxious to meet him that of course I couldn't resist the offer.
So on Saturday March 17, 2007, James and I set our alarm for around 6:30 am and got ready to head to the hospital. We were told to be there at 8 am to get things going. I remember it feeling so surreal that I was going to have a baby by the end of the day. I definitely didn't feel like I was old enough or mature enough or ready enough to be a parent. At the same time, I was so anxious to meet him (and ready to not be pregnant anymore!). I think all of the excitement of meeting him took away any fear I had about giving birth.
We met our nurse pretty quickly after checking in and she was great right from the start. We were so blessed by her...she really was a perfect fit for me. I'm not sure what we did for the first two hours, but it was 10 am before they really did anything to intervene with starting labor. We had a ton of people that waited the entire day at the hospital for Hunter to arrive - my mom, dad, Katie and her kids, and grandparents all sat up there all day.
At 10 am they gave me an IV, and it took several nurses to find a vein...torture for me! After it was finally in, they started me on pitocin. I hadn't decided if I was going to get an epidural or not. I wanted to try to do it without one, but no one really took me seriously. I don't handle pain well, so they all assumed I'd end up getting one beore it was over. Two hours later, at noon, Dr Hunt came in and broke my water to help progress me a little more.
Sometime after that I had a talk with my nurse about an epidural. I remember telling her that I could take more pain than what I was feeling then, but I didn't know how much more. She felt my abdomen and said she'd classify the contractions as moderate. I somehow forgot this part, but James says I was in tears at this point, which is why he was trying to convince me to get the epidural then. I ended up asking for the epidural and got it soon after.
I don't remember the progression of my dilation, but I do remember feeling disappointed each time they checked me because I felt like it wasn't progressing quickly enough. I also remember trying to read the printout from my monitor that measured the contractions, and the nurse (jokingly) getting on to me about it because she said there was no way I could read it. She kept reassuring me that she was watching it closely and that I didn't need to worry about it. I wasn't worried, I just wanted to be reassured that he was going to come quickly!
Around 5:00 pm, my mom came in to tell me that my grandparents were about to leave, but the nurse checked me right after and said I was ready to push, so they all waited in the waiting room. We did some practice pushes first since it was my first time. Then we started pushing, and I remember feeling like by the time we got to 8 (James would count to 10 and then I could break), all of the blood vessels in my face were going to bust open.
After a while the nurse told me that she really thought the mirror would be helpful to me for pushing. James and I had commented on the mirror when we first got there that morning, jokingly asking each other who would ever use that?! My horror must have shown on my face because she told me that I was pushing great every contraction, but that by the time James got to 8, I gave up and Hunter's little head would get sucked back in:). That was all I needed to hear to become one of those people that use the mirror. And she was right. I did give up around the 8 count (when the blood vessels in my face felt like they were about to explode). The mirror definitely helped me push through to 10. I remember feeling so weird just sitting there in between contractions waiting to push and suprised at how quickly I learned what it felt like when I needed to push. Initially, she had to look at the monitor to tell me when to push, but after I got the feel of it, I knew it was time even through the epidural. It was also so surreal to see Hunter's little blue head everytime I would push. (Sorry if that's a little TMI!)
Dr. Hunt came in to deliver after I'd been pushing for around 35-40 minutes. After around 45 minutes of pushing, he was born at 5:59 pm on March 17, 2007 (St. Patrick's Day!), weighing 8 lbs, 0.5 oz (the rounded up to 1 oz). He had a serious cone head, but was still the most beautiful baby I'd ever seen. James cut the cord and we held him and loved him instantly!
After a short time together with just the 3 of us, the family came in to meet him. We were so thankful for our beautiful, healthy baby. It really is shocking how quickly that tiny little nugget has turned into my tall, lanky (almost) 6 year old. He's going to be such a good big brother to his little brother, Greyson. I so look forward to seeing the bond that they have.