Dominic's Birth Story Part 2

Thursday, April 17, 2014
See Part 1 HERE. 

About two hours went by, and I could feel the contractions were picking up but the monitor I was hooked up to wasn't registering them. I was fairly certain it was labor day, but started to doubt since the monitor wasn't reflecting anything. The determining factor would be to see if I had progressed, and sure enough, when the nurse checked, I was 5cm dilated. This was it! They admitted me for labor and I remember feeling so excited that the day I had dreamed about for 9 months was finally here. Even with baby number 3, I daydreamed about meeting him every day of my pregnancy. I know that's a bit sappy, but having a baby is a miraculously amazing experience. Life and death...they change you. 

Back to the story. At this time, the zofran had started to wear off and I could feel the nausea creeping back in. I threw up again which was followed by more dry-heaving. Coping with contractions was nearly impossible. I looked at Ryan and told him, "I can't labor and have this stomach flu at the same time, I need help." I went into this labor with an open mind about having an epidural and in that moment of fighting the flu, the decision was so clear and easy....get me that epidural! I was nervous about it because the idea of a needle going in my spine terrified me (and what if this leads to a c-section!!!!). 

The anesthesiologist came in and like the typical overthinker/worrier that I am, I communicated all my fears to him and he addressed them with the perfect answers. Getting the epidural went smoothly although my blood pressure spiked because I was so nervous during the process! The whole time the epidural was going into effect, I kept thinking things like, "what if it doesn't work and I am stuck in this bed?, What if it only works on half of my body? What if, What if, What if!" Thankfully, I have a Saint of a husband who was able to help me through all of my Crazy and within 10 minutes, I was completely numb, and VERY happy!

For the next hour and a half, Ryan and I talked, prayed, and just generally enjoyed hanging out! My previous two labors were such hard work, I could not believe I was actually in labor. The monitor still wasn't picking up my contractions, and since I couldn't feel them, I again doubted that I was progressing. The obgyn on call came in to check me and I was at 8cm dilated; she asked if I wanted her to break my water to speed things up, but I declined. I felt that if my water hadn't broken yet, it was for a reason (this ended up being a really good decision...I'll explain why below). 

Another uneventful 45 minutes went by and I started to feel a teeny tiny bit of pressure, and I started to get the shakes so I knew that it was about time to push. My nurse checked me and I was at 10cm and ready to push. My water was still in tact and I thought it was funny that all the nurses and the dr. put their special delivery glasses on because they were expecting the bag of water to spray everywhere (it didn't. Also, tmi? Sorry!). And, fun fact: in my labor with Luke, my water never broke either and he was actually born in his water in, the first time I saw his head, it was inside his water bag. It's called "being born in the caul."

The moment had come and I was minutes away from meeting our little boy! My dr. gave me the go-ahead to push and with one push, he came out. It was exactly 4pm. The dr. immediately said that there was maconium in the water so they had to double check that he didn't inhale it, but within seconds they determined that he was fine and he was brought up to my chest for some skin-to-skin bonding! Our boy was finally here and the moment couldn't have been more perfect. I remember watching the huge smile on Ryan's face as he watched Dominic be born. One of my first thoughts about him was that he felt so small!  Luke was 10lbs at birth so I was expecting another big boy, but my predictions were way off!  We didn't have him weighed for a few hours, but I was shocked to find out he was 7lbs 2 oz.

The first couple hours spent with him were blissful! He started nursing almost immediately and he stayed right next to me for the next hour and a half. The dr. later told me she was glad I had chosen not to have my water break because it ended up keeping him better protected from the maconium...she said it was probably my intuition (btw, I don't doubt that it was my intuition, but I don't think it's very revolutionary that I wanted my water to break naturally. The dr. only wanted to break my water so she could go home a little earlier, which she later admitted to me. I appreciated her humility). 

Ryan and I had a few names picked out for him, but we wanted to wait until we met him before officially naming him. Dominic was always at the top of our list and when we saw him, it was an easy decision that Dominic should be his name (Dominic means, "of the Lord").  We picked the middle name Ryan not only because we liked it, but because it was also Ryan's birthday! It was very fitting. 

I have a love/hate relationship with staying in the hospital after having a baby...mostly I just feel anxious and can't wait to get home to sleep in my own bed. It is pretty nice to be taken care of for a few days though! Thankfully, Luke was able to come visit and meet his new brother which was a moment I'll never forget. I was expecting Luke to possibly be jealous or not that excited, but I was very wrong (I posted a little snippet below)! He loved Dominic! Riley, on the other hand, was the next victim of the Awful Stomach Flu and wasn't able to meet Dominic for a few days. Praise be to God that Dominic was healthy and we were able to go home 24 hours later! 

I still look back at Dominic's birth and find myself in a bit of disbelief at how smooth and easy it was once I was treated for the Awful Stomach Flu. It's even strange to write the words "easy" and "birth" in the same sentence. But as I said in the beginning of this story, surrendering my fear over to God was a constant struggle throughout the pregnancy (well, let's be honest, it's a constant struggle all the time) but looking back at this story, I see, yet again, a story of God's unfailing Love. And when I look down at his big blue eyes, I see a boy who I prayed for for over a year, and  I can't believe he's here...he is the one who was chosen for us and I couldn't be more grateful.

Here's a few iPhone snaps from the first few days (except the last pic...that was taken with my camera).

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