We were planning our third homebirth with Callen. We’ve had two very beautiful homebirths and there was no reason for us to not have a third one. I was a low risk pregnancy, and ultrasounds revealed a healthy baby growing inside of me. As the late fall rolled around, we were a little unsure if our midwife would be able to attend for personal reasons of her own. After Thanksgiving, there were a lot of uncertainties about our midwife coming, and I kid you not, our plans must have changed about 8 different times between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The final plan was for me to have the baby at home though, with our midwife that was at both Elijah’s and Asher’s births.
When 38 weeks rolled around, I woke up and noticed that he had dropped. By that afternoon, I was actually pretty convinced I would be going into labor within the next few days so we prepared everything that needed to be done that evening “just in case”. I was actually a little disappointed when a week passed and nothing more had changed that would lead me to believe I was going into labor, but it was still good. I started to get impatient as week 39 came and was nearing an end, and I still wasn’t having any more signs that labor was near. Friday evening (1/16/15), Lance called me on his way home from work and said he wanted to go on a date to get sushi since my due date was the next day, and we knew we’d be meeting our son any day now. Funny story: the last date Lance and I went on before I went into labor with Elijah was a date at the same restaurant for sushi, and I wore the same exact outfit that night that I wore this time. Coincidence?! 😉
It was a great night! We both ate way too much sushi, and enjoyed a nice evening as just Lance and Denae. We left the restaurant to go get our boys, and hung out at the babysitter’s house for a while since they are like family to us. On the way home, my stomach was rumblin’ and tumblin’ and out of nowhere I got very nauseated. I told Lance, “This isn’t going to be good, but hopefully it will pass quickly.”
As soon as we got home I was in the bathroom feeling pretty sick. Not even an hour later, Elijah was throwing up in his bed. Lance got him up and bathed him while I changed his sheets. We put him back to bed, and less than 10 minutes later he was throwing up again. It was then that I knew he and I both had a stomach virus. Every 30 minutes to an hour I was headed to the bathroom and had to listen to Lance taking care of Elijah as he cried and had his moments of sickness. This lasted until 6:00 in the morning for both of us. Needless to say, the three of us didn’t get any sleep that night.
It was sometime around 4:00am that I thought I was having contractions, but at the same time, it felt more like my stomach just knotting up from the virus. Plus I was starting to feel dehydrated by this point, and that can also cause contractions. It wasn’t anything that I felt needed attention, but I casually mentioned it to Lance and then blew them off.
At 7:00am, I couldn’t ignore the contractions. I called my midwife to see what she was thinking. I explained that I had been up all night with a stomach virus and was wondering if she thought dehydration could be the cause. They were very short, and sharp, so she said she thought that I may be right, but if I thought it was labor, we would put our birth plan into action. I told her hold off and I was going to try to push some fluids through my system to see if they would stop.
Over the next hour, a lot changed. I climbed on our bed and told Lance to come see me. We talked about the contractions and I told him I wanted to go to the hospital to get an IV for fluids. He was shocked, and honestly didn’t say much, if anything. I told him to come back in a few minutes and we’d talk some more. I decided to time my contractions to see just how they were coming. At this point, they were now a little longer than a minute, and coming every 7 minutes or so, but what threw me off was that I could still talk through them. By 8:00am, they were picking up in frequency and length and I knew I needed to make a decision. Lance came back and I told him I definitely wanted to go to the hospital, that I knew this was labor, and I needed fluids in me as quickly as I could get them. [The virus left me feeling so weak, and every time I turned my head I thought I would pass out… this had been how I felt since about 5:00am.] I called Labor and Delivery and they told me to come in through the ER. I called Mrs.Tonja to come watch our boys because Elijah had finally stopped throwing up and was now asleep. I text my midwife to let her know I had changed our plans, and she agreed that it was a good idea, and encouraged me to trust my body. By 8:30am, labor seemed to have doubled in speed. I called Mrs.Tonja to see if she was close, and she said she was. As she walked in the door, I told her “pray for me” and just kept going. I climbed in the car and waited for my chauffeur to the hospital.
The ride wasn’t as unbearable as I thought it would be. I counted as we hit our first red light and mentally pictured where we were. I thought, “Ok, we’re getting into town now. Good.” We kept driving, and I knew when we made it to the bridge. My next thought, “Good. We’re on the bridge. Contraction-oh my, I think I just felt the urge to push. This isn’t good.” We rounded the curve by the hospital, and I thought, “Phew, we ARE going to at least make it into the hospital before I have this baby.”
We walk into the ER and I was so relieved that there was nobody there. We walked in the office and as I handed the lady my insurance card and ID I told her, “I’m in very active labor and resisting the urge to push right now.” She immediately called L&D and told them to come get me while she typed away on her computer to get me checked in. I wish I would have looked at Lance’s face when I told her that, because up until this point, I had never told him how fast labor was progressing and he had no idea that I was feeling like I needed to push. I apologized to the check-in lady for just springing this on her-she probably thought I was crazy.
The nurses arrived with the wheelchair and we were off, and time to play a thousand questions. I later realized that my OBs office hadn’t sent any of my paperwork over to them since I was planning a homebirth so these ladies had no clue who I was or why I was off their radar. I was just Sally Sue walking in off the street to have a baby! Ha! Anyways, Lance says that we walked into the L&D room at 9:12am. I got the robe on they handed me and laid down in the bed, happy to be on my side again and off my feet. The nurse got the IV started and I was relieved. I asked her, “Please tell me your the anesthesiologist?” and she replied, “No, I’m sorry, I’m not.” Man. I knew I wouldn’t have actually been able to get an epi because labor was almost over at this point [and honestly, I didn’t really want one, I was just exhausted and was letting that do the talking], but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to ask. 😉
It’s amazing how very different every labor has been for me. My first labor, I felt most “comfortable” sitting on my knees and leaning over on something. My second labor, I was most “comfortable” standing up and gently swaying through contractions. This labor, I was most comfortable laying on my side and really focusing on breathing through the contractions. With each contraction, I would tell the nurses I was trying my hardest not to push. Right about that time, my water broke, and I asked if the doctor on call was close because we were going to have a baby very soon. They said he was on his way. I flipped over to my back, and heard the announcement that the baby had crowned. The nurses told me they would deliver for me, but they’d rather not, and as if on cue, I heard the doctor in the hallway! He came in, put on his robe, and said, “Ok, let’s push!” They stopped me for a just a second to slip the cord from around Callen’s neck, and then told me to keep going. Next thing I know, there’s a very long baby right in front of me! As I looked in amazement at him, I noticed just how long his cord was… I have never seen an umbilical cord that long, AND it had a knot in it from where he had apparently done a lot of flipping around in my belly. [He WAS a very active baby in utero!] Lance got to cut the cord and immediately my baby boy was in my arms! I was able to snuggle him tight on my chest and look him all up and down, studying his little features. The official time of birth was 9:40am. WHAT?! We had been in the room 28 minutes and had a baby. How crazy?!
So my sweet little Callen Peter was born ON his due date, January 17, at 9:40am weighing 8 pounds 5 ounces (my biggest baby so far), and he was 21 inches long.