I was hyperventilating. I was tearing the house apart. I was pulling my hair out. And, yes. I was crying.
I emailed a few friends who shared my pain.
And then, THEN, on a whim...I checked my Google Reader, where I still 'subscribe' to the old blog even though if I clicked through to the website nothing would happen. And there, nestled nicely underneath the blog post was all the text and pictures I had posted. Of course, I immediately copy and pasted everything to a WORD doc. Disaster averted. Breathing returned to normal (but head still hurting from crying...am I the only one who gets a headache from crying?)
And so that it is not lost in purgatory forever, in memory of that awesome and chaotic 2 hrs and 38 mins of my life, I am re-posting his birth story here. Enjoy! :)
Max's official 'due date' was Nov 11, 2007. My doctor was SURE I'd go before or on my due date -- I had been 2cm dilated and 50% effaced since Oct 24th, and by Nov 7th, I was up to 3 cm and 50% effaced. When he still hadn't come by the 14th, I was sent to the hospital for a non-stress test -- an ultrasound where they look at levels of amniotic fluid, heartrate, etc. The technician said that everything looked fine -- and baby just really wanted to hang out for a little bit longer... As each day passed by, I kept getting more and more bummed out -- my doctor had made me schedule an induction for the 18th - and I really REALLY wanted to go naturally. So, I kept praying that the baby would make its own way into the world.
For the entire week leading up to his actual birth, I did EVERYTHING to try to get things moving. I ate spicy foods, pineapple, eggplant, went on a 3 mile walk every day, foot massages, back massages, etc. Nothing seemed to be working. I would have irregular contractions (or what I supposed were contractions -- they really felt more like gas pains) for a couple of days leading up to his birth -- but they'd always stop when I switched position.
When Saturday rolled around, (the 17th) I had already given in to the likelihood that I would NOT be going into labor on my own. I was really sad about it, I really didn't want to be medicated -- I wanted to try to do everything naturally.
Saturday night, we joined up with a group of our friends at the Wentz's for tacos and movies. I ate my fill, and we left early to try to get some sleep before the busy day we had ahead of us. I remember thinking how weird it was that in less than a day, our little family would be going from 2 to 3! Somehow, I managed to fall asleep, but I kept waking up with irregular contractions -- 'gas pains'. They weren't real close together, or regular, or even painful, so I never even mentioned them to Max. I kept trying to time them, but I kept falling asleep in between! I guess I wasn't too worried. At 1:44 am, I rolled over and 'POP' I felt my water break. I leapt out of bed -- as nimbly as a pregnant woman can -- and ran to the bathroom where I proceeded to yell to Max that it 'was time'. He rolled over in bed and joked "you couldn't wait until 7 am (when we were scheduled to be induced)?" He called the doctor while I attempted to shower -- unfortunately, I had barely gotten damp when the contractions started coming one on top of the other -- and I freaked out. I yelled to Max that we had to go, NOW.
We rushed to the hospital -- easy to do at 2am when no one is on the road. We began timing the contractions on the way there -- and they were already 2-3 mins apart. That should've been our first indication about how quickly things were about to happen.
The rest seemed like a whirlwind to me. Checking in, going straight to a birthing suite. We had brought my Ipod along to have music during the labor and I remember Max turning it on and hitting play without selecting the playlist and "Doin It" by LL Cool J came on -- highly inappropriate!! :)
Then everything really was a blur. There was no time to remember all the techniques we had learned in class. As soon as I was hooked up to the monitors, there was a bit of worry because the baby's heartrate was low. So, they had to insert an internal fetal monitor. I had always intended to deliver without medication, if possible. At one point I told Max that maybe I would go with the epidural. The nurse informed me it was too late -- I was going to need to push already!! I'm glad I was prepared to go au natural! Otherwise, I think that would've come as quite a shock to me. The pushing was actually a relief compared to the contractions. I remember so MANY people standing around the foot of the delivery bed, and people talking/worrying about the low heart rate. At that point, rather than worry about those things, I closed my eyes and talked to the baby and willed him/her to come safely. I shut out the rest of the world and resigned to do the job I was there to do. Max stood at the head of the bed, holding my hand, stroking my head. My mom stood right next to me and at one point I remember her saying to me during the middle of a push "pretend like you are at Bally's (the gym)" I swiftly told her to be quiet -- I don't think pushing a baby out is QUITE like being at the gym!! :) Baby was having a little bit of difficulty and because of the low heartrate they decided to use a vacuum to help during the last push.
Less than 2 hours after arriving at the hospital, Maxwell Louis McLaughlin entered the world. My eyes had been squeezed shut during all the pushing, but I opened them when he came out and saw this beautiful purple/pink wrinkled body and screaming mouth! I couldn't see if the baby was a boy or a girl, and my mom turned to Max and squealed -- do you see what the baby is? He proudly proclaimed...its a BOY!! It felt like we were in a movie.
I didn't get to hold my baby boy right away like I had wanted. He was whisked over to the warming lamps to have his vitals checked -- his heart rate had been very low -- they suspected that the cord had been partly wrapped around his neck. Luckily, he was completly healthy and fine -- he scored a 9 on the APGAR. And, shortly thereafter he was in my arms -- and I couldn't remember what it felt like for him to NOT be there anymore. I felt complete.
Our perfect, beautiful baby boy. Named Maxwell after his daddy, and Louis after his uncle, grandpa and Great-grandpa. My little Prince.
Maxwell Louis McLaughlin
Nov 18, 2007, 4:22 am
7 lbs 2 oz.
2 hrs 38 mins of labor (as one friend joked afterwards: "I've had longer waits in the drive-through!")
The nurses and doctors at the hospital told me that for my next baby -- I should book a room at the hospital ahead of time!! We're lucky we made it on time to the hospital!!!