I texted this quick selfie to my sister as we were walking into the women's wing of the hospital. The time stamp on the text says 8:15pm
Grayson was born at 8:36pm
The plan for this birth was that I would go in to the hospital to be induced shortly after my due date. We went ahead and scheduld my induction date for Tuesday the 8th (my due date was the 5th). The last four out of five births have all had to be induced and with Eli I waited and waited and waited and waited. I felt like if any baby was going to come on his own it would have been Eli - and since even he needed to be induced my doctor and I figured it was pretty unlikely that I'd be go into labor with this one.
You would not believe how many times I said "It is so unlikely that I'll go into labor. I have not gone into labor in nearly fourteen years. I doubt I'll go into labor now." I said it over and over and over to everyone who asked. Plus my body was not looking like it was getting ready to go into labor any time soon. I wasn't dilating as much as I had with the others and my Braxton hicks were pretty mild.
My mom was planning on coming from Atlanta on Monday to spend the night and be here when we left for the hospital on Tuesday morning, but on Monday morning, Labor Day, I sent an email to my mom saying "please go ahead and come early. I think I might be in labor."
I started having big painful contractions around 2:30 in the morning, but they were only about an hour apart, so I was able to get some sleep between contractions. We all got up, Daniel & I played the game Captials on his iPad, and we just hung out.
My contractions started coming about a half an hour apart but I could talk through them easily and they were pretty inconsistent. I texted my sister "it's nice to see my body at least trying to go into labor, even if I'm not really making any progress." They stayed around a half an hour apart and were really mild from 10am to 4pm when they started picking up a bit but were still inconsistent. It was frustrating because I wasn't sure if I was actually in labor or if these were just going to go away.
By 6pm the contractions were getting more painful and I realized that we were definitely not going to make it to the next day. We called my doctor's office and let them know we were coming and by the time we got to the van I was having to breathe through the contractions.
Thankfully it wasn't too bad though. The girls got to see me breathe through a few contractions but then saw that I could go back to smiling and talking about painting their nails. We made it to the hospital in great time and as we walked in the nurses were ready for us.
As soon as I got hooked up to the monitors two things happened: one was that my contractions started coming so fast that I could scarcely catch my breath between them. I have had intense pitocin induced labor but this was in a category all it's own. The second thing that happened was that Geayson's heart rate dropped with each contraction. I could hear it on the monitor and it freaked me out a little. Then the nurses gave me an oxygen mask (BTW: it is super hard to breathe through contractions with an oxygen mask on) and they had me roll on my side to try to get a better read on Grayson's heart rate.
As they were messing with monitors the contractions were coming fast and hard and I was saying it's almost time to push when our doctor walked into the room. He was wonderful. I met him for the first time when he walked into the delivery room but he was calm and gentle and have me confidence that we were going to get through this.
It only took maybe two pushes to see Grayson's head and then the doctor said very firmly "do NOT push again. The chord is around it's neck." It was a really scary, intense moment. The intensity on my doctor's face as he worked quickly to get the cord off was unlike anything I've ever seen. It only took a minute but it was one of the longest minutes of my life. During that minute there was a little "m" miracle that I didn't feel the urge to push at all. I just waited as the doctor untangled Grayson. After her was free it only took one more push and Grayson was out.
Seeing Grayson out was such a moment of victory. They took him right to the nurses station at the other side of the room while I delivered the after-birth, which I asked to see. It was very cool to see the veins and arteries of my placenta. I'd never seen one before and it was equal parts gross and amazing.
Grayson didn't require and emergency intervention and they put him on my chest in just a few minutes. His hands were gray and he was a bit floppy but he started nursing like a champ.
I really could not believe how good I felt after Grayson was born. I didn't feel as shakey or as weak as I have in the past. I felt on cloud nine and soaked up the sweet newborn snuggles.
The big kids and my mom came to visit us the afternoon of the next day. They were all so excited to meet their new baby brother!!
Beth said "I hope he's the kind of baby who likes to be held a lot."
Emma said "he's so hairy! He's like a werewolf."
Josiah was very eager to hold his brother.
Eli kept saying "Grayson, I love you! You're so cute."
I'll share more pictures from his first week in another post :)