Brooks Cooper is here!
He came punctually on his due date. His grandparents got here Saturday night, and I went into labor the following morning. I woke up around 4:30 with some uncomfortable cramping, but it wasn’t enough to alarm me. It was the first night I had slept in my bed in at least two weeks. I had been sleeping on the couch because it was the only way I could a few hours’ stretch of sleep without waking up with pain in my legs, hips, sides, etc. So I just assumed the cramping was due to the bed. Around 5:30, after not being able to get back to sleep, I decided to get up, thinking that would help the cramping go away. But the contractions persisted. I started to time them thinking they would die off quickly, but they were coming every 3-4 minutes and lasting about 30 seconds each time. I thought maybe I needed to have a bm, so I went to the bathroom, and that’s when I lost my mucous plug. At that point, I started to get excited, though very calmly. I noticed that when I sat down, the contractions weakened, so I decided to stay busy folding a load of laundry standing up, walking around, unloading the dishwasher…
Ellis came downstairs around 6:30. She’s normally not allowed to come out of her room until 7, but I thought if I went to the hospital that day, it would be a while before I might see her, so I let her stay up and hang out with me. The rest of the household started stirring around 7, and I was going to make breakfast for everyone, but thought it might be smarter to take a shower and get cleaned up for the day. As I was getting ready to head up the stairs, I told Travase, “I’m gonna go upstairs and take a shower. By the way, you may want to do the same because I think I’m in labor.”
I waited until after I had showered and gotten dressed before I called the Ob. While I waited for the nurse on duty to call me back, I ran around packing the last bit of things and making sure the kids were set with their grandparents. We left the house a little after 8 and stopped at Starbucks for breakfast since I knew it could be awhile before I was able to eat again.
After getting to the hospital and getting checked, I was only 4 cm dilated. Sitting in the car and lying in the hospital bed slowed down my contractions so the doctor ordered me to walk around the hospital for an hour and then come back to be checked. When I came back I had only progressed to about 6 cm, but the doctor decided to go ahead and admit me. They started my IV, and I was told as soon as I finished the bag they could order my epidural.
At this point, I should mention that even though I had delivered two babies previously, they were both fairly easy deliveries. My water broke first with each of them, and I had epidurals administered before the contractions ever got too painful. That was not the case this time around. I had been laboring since 4:30 in the morning. The pain and intensity getting more and more severe as the morning went on. Now my contractions started to pick up just before they decided to give me Pitocin, so my contractions went into overdrive. On top of that, I was having back labor which hurts even more than regular contractions, and I still didn’t have an epidural.
By the time it was ordered and the anesthesiologist got there to administer it, I was about a 7 on the pain scale. Having to move and getting a needle stuck into your spine while you’re having contractions 1 minute apart is not a fun experience. Worse than that? It didn’t work. Well, it was working somewhat on the right side but not at all on the left. If it was possible, the pain was even worse. The nurse said to give it 5-10 minutes, but I had already given it more than 10 minutes and the pain was unbearable. There were more nurses in the room at that point, not sure why. I had no idea what was happening other than the pain of my contractions. (Oh, thinking back, my water bag popped during a contraction, and it made me scream. I think that’s what sent all the staff into the room.) They were trying to reposition me thinking that that would help the . I had to beg them not to touch me and to call the anesthesiologist back. Finally, my nurse did, and after contracting through another epidural insertion, I started to feel some relief. I remember realizing I was sweaty and thinking about all the movies and shows where the women looked like a sweaty mess. This labor was turning out more and more like the stereotypical labor you see on TV.
Once the epidural took effect, Trav and I were both able to relax a little again. I think I looked at Facebook, posted a Snapchat, sent some text messages, booked my newborn photographer… But it wasn’t for long. Brooks was ready to arrive. They checked me and could already see him crowning, so it was push time. We weren’t allowed to video tape the birth, so I had Trav take pictures. They didn’t offer a mirror, so I told Trav to watch. He had no desire to, but I said I couldn’t see, so he had to look for me. He instead used the phone as a mirror so I could watch while he looked away. It took 3 or 4 pushes, and he was out. He came quietly into the world at 3:29 weighing 7 lbs 12 oz and 21 inches long.
Read about Asher’s birth here.