After 10 months of waiting, we finally got to meet the little person that has been growing inside of me. It was a whirlwind of a labor but the end result was an absolutely perfect and beautiful…
So now it is official that I will remain the queen of this castle and I will be forever surrounded by boys. I guess it is my calling in life to raise 3 little men to be polite, kind, and to treat women right.
But enough of the future…let’s get on with the present! I’m sure you've all been on edge waiting to hear how little Benny entered this world. I’ll warn you now…there isn't much to this story (and yet I bet I will still manage to make this a long post). But, I guess that’s just par for the course when your labor is only 1.5 hrs long.
Benjamin Gabriel McLaughlin joined us at 3:30 am on Monday, October 14, 2013. Sunday was a completely normal day. We had beautiful weather, the boys and I walked to the park. On our way home, a neighbor passing by commented on how my pumpkin was (I was wearing an orange shirt that day). No signs of imminent labor, no signs that McTrois was going to be budging anytime soon! Sunday night, Max and I enjoyed a movie, lounged around and went to bed around our normal time. Again, nothing was amiss or awry, and certainly no indications that labor (and delivery) were only mere hours away. Braxton Hicks were regular occurrences at this point in the pregnancy, but absolutely nothing happened to me on Sunday or Sunday night that would have hinted to me that this baby was going to come…
I woke up around 2 am Monday morning to use the bathroom – a common occurrence for me (and most pregnant ladies). I am not entirely sure if it was the sensation of needing to use the bathroom or if it was a contraction that actually woke me up. In any case, I went to the bathroom and felt a little ‘crampy’ afterwards, but I commonly felt like that after emptying a full bladder as things settled back into place down there. I didn't think it was actual labor contractions, so I went back to lay down in bed. After about a minute or two of laying there, I had a feeling that they were actually contractions so I went back to the bathroom with my cell phone to see if I could get a sense for how quickly they were coming and how long they were lasting. After about 10 mins of trying to time them, I decided to wake Max up because the contractions appeared to be coming already 2-2.5 mins apart and they were getting more and more intense. Honestly, they were hard to time because they felt like they were coming one on top of the other (in retrospect they really were) and the intensity seriously went from a mild crampy feeling to a doubled-over stop your breathing type of contraction in a matter of 10 minutes. I honestly don’t know why I insist on being in denial that I am in labor for every single pregnancy, but AGAIN – despite all that was going on, I still remember telling Max I was uncertain.
Since my parents were part of the plan (Mom to meet us at the hospital and Dad to watch the boys), I called my parents to let them know that things were happening and to get moving. This was at about 2:26 am. I also managed somehow, in between contractions, to call my OB office and text my BFF as well as my birth photographer that we were heading to the hospital. I am still amazed that my friend and my photographer were woken by my texts.
In fact, the text conversation with my friend Kelly still has me laughing:
Me – Heading to hospital
Kelly – Aaah! Keep me posted.
Me – OK they are pretty close together already. I think it’s going to be fast.
Kelly – I hope so! XOXOXO good luck. Wish I could have been with you but know you will do amazing.
Me – Wait, you’re not coming? OK
Kelly – Not unless I can be home by 6. Think so? If so I’ll head out…
Me – I can try J
Kelly – OK I’m coming. Text me room number.
As it turns out, Kelly was home WAY before her curfew of 6 am. So happy I could oblige, Kel. J
We quickly raced around the house throwing my hospital bag into the car, making a quick list for my dad on the kid’s school schedules and drop off instructions, etc. I didn't even have time to pop my head into the boys’ room to sneak one last peek at them before leaving… No ‘before’ pictures like we did with Sam’s birth…it was definitely more of the feelings we had with Max’s labor – GET TO THE HOSPITAL, QUICK!
We got into the car (me somewhat reluctantly because the contractions felt so much worse sitting down) and made our way to the hospital. My dad was pulling into the driveway as we were pulling out (perfect timing)! The ride to the hospital is all a blur to me. I remember one part of the drive where some guy clearly didn't remember the meaning of the word ‘merge’ (and what are the chances at 2:45 am that you’d have to merge with someone anyways?? The roads were basically empty!). We got to the hospital and Max asked me if he should drop me off or if he should park. I told him to just park that I could make it – HA. Still in denial, LOL. So, I got out and immediately hunched over – toughing out a contraction. Once I was able to stand up and walk, I made my way around the car, only to double-over again on the back bumper! Slowly, we made our way into the hospital…pausing a few times to get through a few contractions on our way to the ER doors. Once we got into the Emergency Room lobby, I pretty much stayed in my hunched over position until they brought the wheelchair over. I’m not sure what was worse – laboring in the middle of the lobby, or laboring in a wheelchair. Seriously, sitting was NOT comfortable at ALL!
I was wheeled up to labor and delivery and when I got up there, all the forms I had to sign were laid out on the counter. I think it took a few minutes for me to sign them all – seriously why do hospitals have you sign things in labor? I don’t think I would even recognize my signature! Max got his visitor’s pass – the time read 3:07 am. I met my nurse, Rosemary, who showed me to my room. Rosemary’s name sounded familiar – I remembered that I had had a nurse with that name for either Max or Sam’s labor (couldn't remember which) but I thought, no – it couldn't be the same person… Well it was! Turns out, Rosemary was also present for Max’s delivery. So, she must think I am a crazy fast laboring person because she was present for my two fastest labors, LOL. (Oh and I remembered her name because I kept thinking ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ – how’s that for morbid?)
We went directly into a labor and delivery room – to this day, I still don’t know what a triage room at the hospital looks like – I've always been brought straight into a delivery room! Once in the room, Rosemary told me I could stay in my dress if I wanted to, I didn't have to don the typical hospital gown! I was thrilled! So I just hiked up my dress and got onto the hospital bed.
|I love that my Mom is holding my hand in this photos.|
Rosemary checked me, and lo and behold, I was already dilated to 8 cm! Holy cow! I was probably transitioning in the hospital parking lot or lobby, LOL.
They had told me on the way into my room that the OB on call was about to go into a c-section, so they ran to get him into my room before going into the operating room. By this point, I was having some majorly intense contractions, but everything was just happening so quickly I couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that this was actually happening right now!
|That handrail was my friend!|
The OB came into the room, checked me, told me I was at a 10 and that they were going to break my water and that I was going to have to start pushing. I remember asking him (somewhat jokingly, somewhat seriously) if I could deliver en caul, but with the need for him to get into the c-section (that was already prepped and he had been about to go into) the need for me to deliver right now was greater. (It would have been cool to try this, but in retrospect with everything going on, it just wasn't in the cards and I am okay with that).
They didn't even turn on the overhead lights, and I hardly remember them converting the bed to a delivery bed. I don’t remember them breaking my water. All I remember is the OB telling me it was time to push , and I said “No, I’m not ready.” He told me I “didn't have a choice.” LOL
Pushing this time was NOTHING like with Sam. (I'll spare you from pictures of that). There was no mellow/zen/silent birthing moments happening. I am somewhat embarrassed to say that I screamed like a banshee. In fact, people may have even thought I was possessed or that there was an exorcism going on...After the first push, I told them I didn't want to push any more, I needed to take a break. The OB informed me that the baby’s heart-rate had gone down, so I didn't really have a choice in the matter – I had to push NOW. So, I reached deep down inside me, took a deep breath, and let it out in one long and LOUD ear-piercing screech. You think I’m kidding…I’m not. My throat was seriously hoarse afterwards. The OB told me he could see the head at this point, so I reached down and felt my baby's head! It was the coolest thing ever! It was in my birth plan, and I would've loved to catch my own baby, but that’s kind of hard to do in a laying down position pushing from a bed. So, while it was on my ‘wish list’ for this labor, I had to forgo it and do the job I was there to do instead. One more push - 3 pushes total, and baby Ben joined our family (though he wasn't technically named for almost 12 hours after his birth), 1.5 hours after I first woke to use the bathroom and 23 minutes after we checked into the hospital.
They immediately put him on my chest – I had asked them to delay clamping the cord for a few minutes and they respected that wish. Max cut the cord. I was able to snuggle and spend some time with Ben before they weighed and measured and did all the other things that they like to do to newborns.
By that time, the OB had finished up his work and started to leave for his c-section. I thanked him and informed him that I expected his bill to only be for the 15 mins of his time I used. He had a nice chuckle over that one.
It was right about this time that my wonderful photographer came racing into the room – 3 minutes too late J. We knew that it was going to be tricky to capture photographs of the birth – between anticipating the timing of the labor and the possibility that I would have a fast labor, we weren't counting on anything. I’m just amazed that she made it there as quickly as she did! And, even if she wasn't able to capture photos of the actual labor and delivery, I’m hoping she captured some pretty great shots of our first moments with Benjamin.
I’m still in shock that things happened as quickly as they did. In the past few weeks there have been stories on the news about people delivering their babies at home, or in their cars on the way to the hospital because they've had such precipitous labors. That totally could have been me! I am thankful that it wasn't, but it’s just crazy to think that it could have happened. I’ll admit that sometimes I hear those stories and think that those people just waited too long to head to the hospital or something…but after experiencing not one, but TWO crazy fast labors…I can see how it could happen to someone!
Overall I am just completely overjoyed that I have another beautiful and healthy baby boy to cherish and love. He really is perfect in every way. I am amazingly lucky and blessed.