Sunday, June 11, 2017

Birth Story: Sawyer Edition

With my first baby, my water broke spontaneously at 4am.  Thirteen hours and 21 minutes later, she was here and I was suddenly a Mom.

With my second baby, I woke up at 1am to painful contractions that came steadily and grew stronger for 2 hours before I admitted it was time to go to the hospital.  Five hours and 27 minutes later, she was here and I was suddenly a Mom of two.

This is the story of my third and last baby, who was the only baby that came at a time when I was mostly sure I didn't want any more children.  He is the only baby I didn't cry and pray and agonize over for years.  He was the biggest surprise of our lives, and completes our family perfectly.

The last several weeks of my pregnancy with Sawyer were typically uncomfortable.  I was sleep deprived, had recurring bouts of nausea, and just generally over the miracle of pregnancy.  At what turned out to be my final prenatal checkup, my doctor, my hero, gave me the option of scheduling an induction and I don't think he even finished his sentence before I said yes.  Call it selfish, but I was ready and at 39 weeks and 1 day gestation and my pre-labor progress all but completely stalled, it was a no-brainer.  My Virgo side was ecstatic for the opportunity to prepare and plan.  There was literally no down side to induction that I could see.

Monday night, I couldn't sleep.  I knew it would be that way.  I'm far too anxious a person to know a life-changing moment is mere hours away without my brain running a million miles a minute.  I finally gave up on trying to sleep around 4am Tuesday morning.  I got up, ate a very small breakfast, showered, and then checked and re-checked my bags before loading everything into the car.  We dropped the oldest two kids off with our friend and made our way to the hospital.  Our spirits were high as we sailed into the birthing center at 6:30am and got settled.

We met our RN, Shannon, and got to spend a lot of time chatting and bonding with her before things kicked off.  The plan was simple: 1 round of antibiotics (I was GBS positive...just like I had been w/ my 2 previous pregnancies), low dose of pitocin, another round of antibiotics, increase pitocin, break water, have baby.  Sometime between 8:30 and 9am, the first round of antibiotics was finished so the pitocin was started at a low dose.  I don't recall when the contractions began, but I do recall them being easy to breathe through.  My labor music was playing softly in the background and I was still able to be my sarcastic self in the midst of everything.  At some point around 10:30 or 11, right before they were going to increase the pitocin, I felt a hard bump against my pelvis.  The pain radiated for a couple minutes before it eased, and then I felt the familiar gush of my water breaking.  After a quick check, followed by an ultrasound to verify, we discovered Sawyer decided to roll over and get into the sunnyside up position.  That's when things got real.

There was meconium in the water, so we knew he had pooped.  With the second round of antibiotics in, it was safe for him to come, so the pitocin was increased and labor went into full swing.  There was no panic or sense of urgency.  My body did was it built to do and unlike my previous labor, I felt like I had a handle on the pain, even when the contractions were on top of each other.  At some point I asked to stand for a bit and that really helped to ease the more intense pain in my back, but after awhile I felt like my knees were going to buckle so I got back in bed.  After another quick check, we found out I was dilated to 7cm and progressing quickly.  I had warned my doc and the nurses that this was the history with my previous babies, so they were ready for it and my body stayed true to it's pattern of fast labor.  It seemed like minutes and I was at 9.5 cm and then suddenly there was a frenzy of activity in the room and I heard my doc say I could push.

In all my preparation, I had created a playlist for labor and delivery. The labor music was more mellow and soothing, while the delivery playlist was intentionally upbeat and even a little silly.  Song number 1 on the delvery playlist was Push It by Salt N Pepa.  I vaguely recall hearing it come on and smiling.  I was somewhat aware of the nurse and our friend/photographer laughing about the song choice and feeling very proud that I gave them a laugh because that was my intention all along.  The delivery playlist had barely kicked into gear when Rock Your Body by Justin Timberlake came on and then I heard my doctor say "look down" and I saw my son.  There he was, after only 19 minutes of pushing, covered in his own poop, eyes wide open and staring at me. 

At 2:24pm on June 6th, Sawyer Lane Sams was born.  He was a healthy 7 lbs 1 oz and 19 in long.  Just as suddenly as he was created, he was born, and our family felt whole. He's the most beautiful little boy I've ever seen in my life (yes, I'm biased) and unbelievably mellow in comparison to his big sister Presley.  He reminds me a lot of his oldest sister Trinity, though not entirely.  She was a mellow baby, too, but Sawyer still has his own unique personality.  It will be interesting to see exactly what he's like as he develops more.  For now, he's mostly quiet and observant.  He has these gorgeous, steely blue eyes that just hit me like a ton of bricks.  I admit, I'm much more mushy Mama status this time around than with my first two kids.  I think that has a lot to do with age and experience because with Trinity I was like every new Mom and scared of everything.  With Presley, I was just trying to survive her wild mood swings and juggle two kids.  This time around, I feel like I'm getting my bearings much quicker as far as managing all my rugrats, but of course, I still have a ways to go before I'll call myself a pro. Watching my first two babies interact with my last baby hits me in the feels each and every time, too.

So that's the story.  There's not much to it.  Just like it was when he was conceived, the sense of our entire house is this surreal shock of adding another member while simultaneously feeling like this was just how it was meant to be.  

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