Coleson James Gable
7lbs 11oz 20.5in
Born December 10, 2017 @ 5:57pm
Sorry I've been so MIA since my last post, but as you can imagine, things have been pretty busy! I've spent Coleson's nap times over the past few days recalling his birth and writing down the whole story so I don't forget one bit! Partly so I can share everything with you, partly because his birth was the culmination of such a long journey, and partly because I want to remember the pain so I never go through birth again... (HA! we'll see..)
Ok so here it goes...
Long story short, the week of dec 3 was the longest, hardest week of my life. Luckily, it had a pretty good ending ;)
I decided I couldn’t do another week at work and that I would take leave without pay the week of his due date in hopes he would come sometime that week. We had a doctors appointment on Monday morning (the 4th), and I was really hoping for some news of progress or at least the opportunity to schedule an induction date. Unfortunately, I left that appointment crying because I got neither. I was still “not yet 1cm” dilated and even after me begging, was told they will not schedule an induction until after 41 weeks. Ugh! I was so frustrated. It made it seem like my hope of him coming that week was not going to happen and I could not imagine being pregnant for two more weeks. But! I decided to make the best of my week off, rest, get a pedicure, check out a local daycare, and cross off some last minute to-dos.
I went Monday through Wednesday with zero signs of labor. Finally by the early morning hours of Thursday, I woke up at 2am with some bad period cramping. I’d had this the week prior, but it only ever lasted 2 hours and then would go away. This lasted all morning and was definitely stronger - I was so hopeful this meant labor was coming!!
I ended up laying around the house with cramps all day Thursday and Friday (with some minor brown discharge, which I thought was promising!) but still no definite contractions that I could time. We did our daycare tour Friday afternoon, visited our friends nearby for a few hours, and then came home to just hang out. Kyle ended up having some of the neighbors over to drink some beers in the garage and I randomly ended up on the phone with three of my past work guy friends chatting and laughing for 2 hours. I got off the phone and had Kyle come inside around 10pm and all of a sudden out of the blue I started having contractions. And they were timeable! And painful!
We sat around for an hour while I timed how far apart they were. They seemed 3-5 minutes apart which was exactly what we were told to look for, so we started packing up our hospital bags. I wasn’t in a ton of pain, but after cramping for two days and now having consistent contractions, I thought for sure I had dilated and that this was the start of labor (which, it was, but I was very wrong about how long my “early labor” would be). We got to the hospital and were led to the initial labor and delivery room - this is where you get checked out to see if you’re actually in labor before they admit you to the hospital. We had a super nice nurse and went through all the questions and testing. They hooked me up to monitor contractions and the baby’s heartbeat. Then the nurse did a cervix check - still barely 1cm dilated - YOU HAVE TO BE KIDDING ME! We were told that I was either in very early labor or “false labor” and that we would have to go home and come back when I was further along. Ugh!
We didn’t get home until 2am, and I was still having contractions, but luckily they weren’t super painful and I was able to fall asleep by 3am. I slept like crap though, and woke up by 7am from a much stronger contraction. I was still having them, but they were much stronger now and further apart - about 15-20 minutes apart.
I labored around the house all day waiting for them to get stronger and closer together, which they did slowly. By 9pm we decided to try and get some sleep again. At this point, they were about 7 minutes apart. Still not close enough to go to the hospital, but I was in a decent amount of pain. I went in and out of sleep - waking up with each really strong one. At this point they were hurting so bad I couldn’t talk through them. I could only hum and focus on getting through it. By 1am I had to get out of bed, they were hurting too bad to be laying down. I went to the bathroom and (warning, TMI) I had passed a huge amount of bloody mucous - a tell tale sign that your cervix has opened and labor has really started. I knew this had to be it! Just to be careful we waited around the house to time them and make sure this was really happening (while watching Moana on Netflix to distract me). Contractions were definitely 4 minutes apart and STRONG. So we packed up our stuff again for the second night in a row and headed back to the hospital to be checked.
By this point it was about 230am. The ride there was TERRIBLE. I was in so much pain and I was so scared to be sent home again. I had now gone almost 2 days with very little sleep and I just wanted the epidural so I could rest. Again we were sent to be checked. We luckily had the same nurse as the night before. She remembered us and said “ok NOW you look like you’re in labor.” She decided to check my cervix first this time before doing everything else to see how far I’d progressed. I was really hoping for 4cm because I knew if it was anything less they’d probably send me home.
“You’re about 2.5cm so you’ve definitely progressed” - cue the major breakdown. I started balling, begging her to let me stay, and telling her there’s no way I can go home again. I was in so much pain. She told us it’s up to the doctor on whether we can stay, but that she would “fight our case” - I loved her!! We waited around to see what our fate would be. In the meantime, some other pregnant lady came into the room in the curtain across from us. She was clearly in labor too and came to get checked. It was her second baby, and literally within 2 seconds they told her she was already 6cm and would be admitted and sent to her room. I remember laying there thinking KILL ME NOW! How is she already 6cm and getting a room and I’ve been having contractions for days and I’m fighting to stay here!!!
I think about an hour had passed before the nurse finally came in and said “I talked to the doctor and we are going to admit you!” I cried out of happiness and literally gave her a hug for helping us stay. I’ve never been more happy in my life.
We moved to our room - a nice big room! And I think by this point it was probably 430-5ish. My mom was on her way to the hospital and I was begging the nurse for my epidural. I had to wait to get my IV and a full bag of fluids before they could do it, and I was #3 on the epidural list. I was told it would be around 630am when I could get the epidural. I remember thinking, “ok that’s only 1.5 hours, I can do 1.5 hours of anything.” And then I heard the screams...
In the room next to us was a lady in labor at 7cm and SCREAMING. Literally it sounded like she was being murdered. I started crying to Kyle because it scared me! I didn’t want that to be me!!! Luckily the nurse realized I was freaked out by it and said, “don’t worry, she didn’t have the epidural” - whew ok. Crazy lady.
I labored in the room waiting for the epidural and tried to eat some jello (you can only have clear liquids/foods once admitted). My contractions were getting unbearable. I had to stand and lean over the bed with each one and the pain was starting to make me nauseous. By 6:15am I thought I was dying and I have this clear image in my head of my last few contractions before the epidural. My mom was rubbing my back, I was leaning over the bed practically falling on the floor and I started throwing up from the pain. This is when I said the famous labor line, “Kyle we are NEVER doing this again” LOL
Finally my best friend the anesthesiologist walked in our room, right on time at 630am. I was TERRIFIED of the epidural, but didn’t really care because I knew it would make me feel so much better. Kyle left to go take care of our dogs and my mom stayed with me during the epidural process. He prepped my back and we waited for a break between contractions. They talked me through each step and it honestly wasn’t as bad as I thought. It was uncomfortable, but didn’t hurt one bit. It was literally instant relief once it was in. I think I felt one contraction after he was done and then they were gone! What a miracle!!!!
Finally I could relax! I was nervous that having the epidural so early would cause my labor to slow down, but honestly it had the opposite effect for me. I think I had been so stressed out while in pain that I was preventing myself from progressing. As soon as I could relax, I progressed SO quickly. By 9am, I was already 5cm!! It was finally happening! I was too anxious/excited/terrified to sleep, but it was nice to relax while we waited.
We just laid around all day waiting for my cervix to dilate. By 12:30, I was 8cm! We thought he would arrive by 2-3! Then things slowed down a bunch... at 1:45pm, I was still 8cm and my contractions weren’t consistent enough. I would have a really strong one followed by a tiny one and they weren’t regular. The nurse said she would talk to the doctor and make a decision on what to do - either go ahead and break my water or start pitocin.
The doctor decided to break my water first, so we waited around for her to arrive. Once she broke my water, we waited an hour to see if it helped. It definitely made the contractions stronger, but they still weren’t consistent enough after an hour. I think by this point it was around 3? The times are already fuzzy to me! So we decided to start a small dose of pitocin to see how my body responded. Immediately it worked!! My contractions became really strong and perfectly timed. More waiting to get to 10cm...
About an hour later the nurse checked me and I was 9.5cm and almost ready to push! Even though I had the epidural, my contractions were so strong that I felt SO much pressure and again had to hum through them. It was like my body was naturally pushing even though I wasn’t trying - such a weird feeling. The nurse started prepping for delivery and we did a few practice pushes. I remember having a panic attack once my legs were in the stirrups. I was so scared to push and be in pain. Since his head was so low, the doctor came in pretty quickly once I started pushing because they thought I’d only push for 30 minutes. Well, that was wrong.
I remember the beginning of pushing being way better than I imagined. It didn’t really hurt - it actually felt better allowing myself to push through the contractions, but I got exhausted really quickly. Everything started to become a blur and I only remember portions of the 1.5 hours of pushing.
Once his head was starting to come out, his heart rate was dropping a lot on each contraction. I remember the doctor becoming really serious and saying “I need to get this baby out soon” - I got so scared thinking I wasn’t going to be able to do it, but it gave me more motivation to try and get him out quickly. It felt like it took forever to get his head out, but Kyle was such a good cheerleader for me. I was honestly shocked - after 9 months of him saying he would never watch, he was totally into it. He watched the whole time and coached me perfectly - I seriously couldn’t have done it without him and my mom cheering me on through it.
Once his head was out, we learned why his heart rate had been dropping - his cord was wrapped twice around his neck. It was so tight the doctor couldn’t pull it over his head, so she made the split decision to cut it even though he wasn’t fully out yet. This meant his connection to my placenta was broken and I had to get him out fast. I was screaming in pain by this point because it felt like I was being ripped in half (and my epidural had run out halfway through pushing). We still had to get his shoulders out, and quickly. I screamed and pushed with everything I had - it was seriously the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Finally he was born and I felt instant relief. They tried to place him on my chest, but he was completely blue and hadn’t taken his first breath yet. He was on my chest for a split second and then they had to take him to the warmer. I remember being terrified that he wasn’t ok, but within a few seconds he started crying and it was the best sound ever. Finally, he was here and he was ok.
What I didn't realize was that the pain was still not over for me. Although all I wanted was to hold my baby, I had to lay there and endure over an hour of more pain because I ended up with 3rd degree tears (down to the muscle) and the doctor had to stitch me up and stop all of my bleeding. Since the epidural had worn off, they could only do some local numbing and it was super painful feeling the doctor push hard on my stomach and pull and stitch everythingggg. I felt like I was being pulled apart and put back together again. And the amount of bloody towels laying around was pretty scary - there was A TON of blood. Apparently my uniquely shaped uterus (although it hadn't caused any issues through the birth) was not effectively contracting to get everything out and stop my bleeding. So, the doctor had to do a lot of reaching up there on her own and pressing down on my uterus... it was.. not fun. But I still just remember feeling so relieved that it was over and I actually did it.
Finally by 8pm we were led to the Mother/Baby unit and got checked into a room (with a much comfier bed!). And we were pumped that we were done everything just in time for the ravens game - only to find out that we were the only room on the whole floor with a TV that didn't GET the ravens game - ugh hahaha. But it didn't really matter because we were exhausted anyway.
We spent the next two nights at the hospital recovering. I had A LOT of pain and could barely get out of bed with my stitches. It was nice to finally not be in labor and rest, but the nurses literally come in the room every hour at night to take vitals, draw blood, check on the baby, etc etc so we still didn't get much sleep while there. By Tuesday morning we were definitely ready to get home!
And now? We are adjusting! I'm still sore and have issues walking around too much or doing too many stairs. Coleson is doing great and we couldn't be anymore in love with him! He's pretty consistently awake every 2-3 hours at night to eat, but we are managing! I'm nervous for when Kyle goes back to work in 1.5 weeks though. In the meantime, we've been happily having a bunch of visitors over and we are excited (and nervous!) for all of our trips outside the house this weekend for Christmas festivities! It will be good to have a bit of a change though and to get off the couch!
I still look at Coleson every day and cannot believe he was inside of me and that I actually made it through IVF, 9 months of pregnancy, and the birth process without any major complications and ended up with the most perfect baby boy - he is truly a miracle and I'm so thankful.
And I'm thankful for YOU - thank you to everyone who has followed along with my story here. I'm not sure my plans for this blog, but I do know that I'm saving all of my posts and turning them into a book for Coleson so that he can see how much he was wanted.
We made it!!!!