Friday, April 29, 2011


If I turn myself inside out to have this baby, so be it.

That's what I was thinking around 0445 on the morning of October 29th, 2010. Because that's when I was finally able to push.

I haven't told my "labor story" here because, well.......hearing every detail of a labor and delivery feels like........being at work.

But it IS my - our - labor story. I was induced. Because I was a gestational diabetic. Turns out it was probably a very good thing that I was induced because Levi was at least a pound bigger than we anticipated. I didn't really WANT to be induced, but my take on it is it's not about me.

So I picked my room (a perk to working on the unit) and showed up at 0700 on Thursday, October 28th fully ready to have a baby, by, oh........late that evening. That was my highest hope. Fully hoping to NOT have a c-section, oh.....the next morning. I so wanted to go into labor before then, but evidently Levi didn't.

Don't I work with the greatest people??

You always start OUT looking cute...!!!!

Must still have been feeling good...

Some decent contractions...(the black "hills" on the bottom of the screen)

I started with a pill to get things "going." We walked. We played Scrabble. We watched the screen. I peed like every half hour and Matt learned quickly how to unhook the monitor, wrap the straps around my neck, and then hook it back up when I was done. We walked some more. I started to feel "something."

And then I started to feel more. We stopped playing Scrabble.

Somewhere in there Pitocin was added to the mix. I felt more.

Then one of my fave docs came and broke my water. I felt more.

It was a cold, blustery October day outside. A huge tree was across the street, having just lost its leaves, and i's bare, black branches touched a sad gray sky. To me it looked like upside-down lungs...and so I laid on my side and fixed my eyes on that tree during the worsening contractions, imagining that those "lungs" were my own, opening and reaching for oxygen, anything to breathe life to my little one and push him or her closer to life outside.

It hurt. Oh yes, it hurt. I knew it would, obviously. I was afraid I'd be the freaked-out crazy lady, standing on my bed screaming horrid words at my poor husband and coworkers (think for a minute: how many of YOU have the opportunity to have a child with your coworkers present???). But oddly, that wasn't the case. I stayed calm and kept my sense of humor. I breathed just like they told me to during our childbirth class. Matt did everything he was told during our class. He was amazing. Absolutely amazing.

When we pulled into the parking lot that morning, as Matt put the car in park I told him the one thing I needed from him, if nothing else: stay calm. No matter WHAT happens, please, stay calm...because I can't calm myself AND him if something goes down.

It's a good thing we had that brief discussion. Because we had our scary moments. The baby's heart rate took a dive a few times...and more than just a brief dive. The details are boring, but I'll suffice to say that A) my nurse (it was night shift by now) - I found out - responds exactly the same way that I do to an oh-crap-oh-crap-oh-crap moment: with deathly calm. No change in her voice, no inflection, nothing. Simple, quiet, gentle commands that may as well be screamed, but can't be. Not in front of the patient. No one else would have ever picked up on her voice that way...but sure enough, suddenly the charge nurse and anyone else who had a free hand was in my room, an oxygen mask was on my face, and I was *determined* to keep it together. I knew I was in good hands. And I also thought to myself (based on the heart rate that I could see on the monitor) - well, if this baby were my patient, I wouldn't be doing chest compressions yet, so I can't freak out too much.

And I also thought, we are SO having a girl. No wimpy white boy would tolerate these drops in heart rate.

We tried to nap and take it easy for several hours. My hope for an evening baby turned to a hope for a just-after-midnight baby...which turned into a 3am baby? Oh please don't let me have a c-section at shift change!!!!!

And then at 0445, I was ready to push.

And push I did. OH my goodness. Yes, I had an epidural. Yes, I was glad!!!!!

I pushed for nearly three hours. I was absolutely, utterly exhausted. So exhausted I fell asleep between contractions and pushes (never did a minute feel so fast nor so sweet). But I was NOT going to have a c-section. Not because I'm opposed to c-sections, I just knew that I would NEVER get a nap that day if I had a doggone section, and I was SO TIRED.

Matt. Was. Amazing. That man coached me through this labor like he had done it hundreds of times. He buried his fist in my back when I needed counter-pressure. He counted and encouraged and cheered me through each push. He did everything - everything! - better than right.

And then it happened!!!!! One final push at 0733, twenty-four hours after this all started, and sweet mercy and hallelujah, my OB turned the baby over so Matt and I could be the first to see and call out,

It's a.........BOY?!?!?

(We were SO SURE he was girl!!)

And with that, a stunned, angry, blinking little Levi began to cry. The most beautiful song any new parent has ever heard - lungs filling with life and promise and dreams.

And now my sweet baby is six months!!!!! I've been quietly celebrating his six-month "birthday" all day today, rejoicing in the Lord for this dear son that He's given us to parent. Oh, how we love this little boy!!

He just discovered the baby in the exersaucer mirror!!

Watching the royal wedding with me this morning!!!! hahahahaha!!!

Sitting on his own for more than three seconds!


Wolters said...

I love him he is so cute. Happy Birthday Levi.

CA Mommy said...

What a wonderful birth story. And what a sweet and presious little boy. Happy Half Birthday to Levi..and to the mom and dad that produced such a special child. Looking forward to holding him in just one week. Love, CA Mommy

Kevin Erinn said...

I can't believe he is HALF A YEAR!! WOW! What a sweet boy! Happy Half Birthday!!

Kelly said...

Jenny....thanks for sharing the story of his did an AWESOME job! I can't get over how much he has grown! Even since the last time I saw him a few weeks ago! He is absolutely a very handsome boy!!! I just want to kiss those cheeks!!! He seems so happy all the and Matt are truely blessed!! Happy half birfday, Levi!!! I love you all!

Rachael Neal said...

Jenny, he is getting so big! 6 months already? Wow. Cute little man there. And thanks for the birth story. Really, its so nice hearing it come from a nurse.

WA Lisa said...

Matt and Jenny, He looks just like a mini me Matthew....I am sorry that I am going to miss the visist this time. Tell that little Levi that his big sister Molly's Lady loves him as much as she loves Molly. Hugs and Kisses all the way around.

Becky said...

Jenny your son is adorable! What a great birth story :) I had a different blog awhile ago that I never wrote on - and I started a new one that I'm being more consistent at. Anyway, I was always encouraged by your posts so I've added you again. Hope you're doing well!