Friday, October 14, 2016

Carson's Birth Story

It's long, but I love reading other people's birth stories. (Is that weird?) There is a cliff notes version and pictures at the end if you want to skip to that. :) 

        Since Sophia was born at 37 weeks and Grace was at 38 weeks, I was sure Carson would be early also. My mom arrived on Thursday, which was 38 weeks. On Sunday morning as I got ready for church and I was a little disappointed to have to go to church and tell everyone I STILL hadn’t had the baby. Before church, Sophia came up to my tummy and asked Carson to come out and play with her. Maybe that’s what started everything. :)

         We were at church, and I hadn’t had any regular contractions or anything out of the ordinary (which is consistent with the girls). During Relief Society, I had a really big contraction during the opening prayer. A minute later, I felt a big, deep *pop*. I recognized that from Sophia as my water breaking, but there wasn’t a gush of fluid, so I wasn’t sure it was real. I looked over at my friend and said, “I….think my water just broke.” I didn’t leave right away since I wasn’t sure, but Mom said we should go and at least get it checked out at the hospital. We picked up Sophia, Russ, and Grace from their
respective classes and headed home. Russ and I finished packing the hospital bags and left right around 2pm. My water broke at about 1:15.

         We went into the hospital and they asked what I was coming in for (uhhh what do big pregnant women usually come in for?). By that time I had had a few small “leaks” and had definitely started having contractions about every 2-5 minutes, but I still wasn’t 100% sure this was the real thing and was okay to walk in calmly. I don’t think the nurses believed me, based on how slowly they were having me look at paperwork. I got into a gown and they put the contraction and heart rate monitors on. It was around 2:30 they confirmed my water broke and I was admitted officially. I was not dilated at all (just a fingertip), so I thought it may still be a while. I think around 3:00 we moved to the actual labor and delivery room. I was able to walk myself into the room. The nurse was working on the computer and my chart and got an IV started in my arm to get ready for the epidural. I told her my contractions were hurting more, but overall on the pain scale, they were about a 4-5. I originally told her they were a 7 but later on I learned exactly what a 7 and beyond felt like!!!!! But I won’t jump ahead :)

         I told Russ I was a little nervous I wouldn’t get an epidural in time, but I also didn't ask for it because I wasn't in that much pain yet. The nurse left and very soon after, the contractions started picking up in speed and intensity. It was right then that Russ had decided to get the camera out. I think we got a few smiling pictures before that first big contraction hit. In case I ever forget the discomfort…Russ was snapping pictures through the whole thing. He said, “Smile! Smile for Carson!” but I couldn’t. The pain had jumped WAY up all the sudden. After the second really painful one, I told Russ I needed to call the nurse to tell them I was ready for the epidural. I was also feeling a lot more leaking all the sudden. A few people rushed in and started prepping. At 3:56 I had called my mom, still feeling okay. She hadn’t answered, but when she called back at 4:08, the nurses were already in the room, I was at 5cm, and the anesthesiologist was en route. 

         Then the contractions were awful and coming about every 30 seconds. Well, that’s what it felt like, but I don’t know for sure. These contractions were much worse than any I’d experienced with the girls, probably because I’d always had the epidural by the time it got to that level. I also was feeling a lot of pressure, like I remember feeling before I pushed with Grace. The contraction pain probably got to about a 9 (I think 10 was “passed out” so I couldn’t say 10) and stayed that way. It. HUUURT. I remember saying, “I don’t want to do this anymore. I am so, so tired. I don’t know why I’m so tired.” So maybe my body was getting close to just passing out, and that’s the tired feeling? All I know is I was sooooo uncomfortable.

         The next 30 minutes are kind of a daze, but I perked right up when the doctor came in and someone said, “It’s time to push your baby out.” I remember saying, “I always planned to have an epidural” and them saying there was no time. I was fully dilated so I said, “Can you give me ANYTHING!?” but they said it’d make the baby too groggy and the only way to make it stop hurting was to get the baby out. To be honest, it wouldn’t have mattered anyway. It was all happening too fast. I remember being directed to hold my legs, but said, "I don't know what that means right now." I felt like I was paralyzed from pain and the shock of realizing I was about to give birth without any painkillers and how much I never wanted to do that! 

        Sooooo I screamed a lot. It somehow made me feel more powerful and like it was the ONLY thing to do. I don’t know how else to explain it. It was not a conscious choice. Russ was holding my hand and stroking my hair, and that helped calm me down. Between two of the contractions, I got my breathing steady and he started making a joke or asking me a question or something, and then another contraction started and I said, “I don’t want to talk right now.”  I remember feeling like I just wanted to shut everything out. Other things I remember are telling the nurses and doctor over and over that I was so sorry and that I was normally calm and that I was really sorry if I pooped. Pooping during delivery has always been one of my very biggest fears, but I’m 3/3 for not doing it!  I had my eyes closed a lot, so I don’t even know how many people were in there, but I remember one nurse saying, “She walked in, smiling, and saying ‘ I think I’m in labor’ just a few hours ago.” I also remember them telling me to get ready because they had a feeling my next contraction was going to be a bad one (not what I wanted to hear) and reminding me to breathe, not hyperventilate, and not hold my breath (because that’s what I was doing).

         I think I only pushed through two contractions before he was born. Maybe three. I believe after the first one they told me they could see Carson’s head. After that, I pushed for all I was worth. I told the doctor I hadn’t ever torn and I didn’t want to, and she told me she wouldn’t let me tear. That was really comforting. To be completely honest, it felt like pooping. As weird and awful as it was to think that, I remember thinking it was a familiar feeling or at least familiar muscles to use, and I knew that once I got him out, I would have relief so I just needed to push. At some point I could hear Carson crying. They told me to stop pushing for a second, but I couldn’t! I told them no and just kept pushing and screaming!! Then I could tell it was over and he was born, but I just still kept screaming. I don’t really know how I’d classify the scream. Probably like what you hear on the movies – not quite a cry or a yell, but definitely a desperate sound.  They had to say, “Open your eyes and look at your baby!” after he was born because I was still closing my eyes and crying out. Russ got to cut the cord and they put Carson on me right away. I was still completely in shock. I just laid there, shaking. Someone said, “She just needs to catch up. She’s still 5 minutes ago” and it was so true. I couldn’t believe I had just had a baby. (I notice I keep saying “they”….because the truth is that it all happened so fast and my eyes were closed so much, I have no idea who was talking to me). 

         To be honest, even right when it was over, I remember reading or hearing other people’s experiences with natural childbirth and thinking, “That really wasn’t as bad as I expected.” I am sure part of that – a BIG part of that  - is that the awful, painful part lasted 30 minutes for me, and it’s usually much longer. I also didn’t tear. I can’t even imagine what it would feel like to tear or be cut and be able to feel everything. 

        Carson weighed in at 7lbs 15oz and 21 inches long (but at the pediatrician a few days later he measured 20 inches so I don't know which is accurate). 

         At about 7pm we were still in the delivery room and my mom brought the girls in to see their little brother. Sophia was really excited and wanted to hold him and kiss him a lot. Grace was a little hesitant. They didn't stay too long because it was bedtime, and we moved to our Mother-Baby room soon after. In the days since we've been home, Sophia has continued to love Carson and want to see him, be with me when I feed him or change him, hold his hand, and even reminded me tonight to support his head when I picked him up. :) Grace has warmed up to him also. She asks about him as soon as she wakes up and various times throughout the day. She loves to bring him toys, his binky, and rub his head and sing "Go seeep. Go seeep." I just have to be careful about her giving him a little too much love. Tonight I heard her say, "I be right back, Baby Cah-sin. I go get your bane-kit. Okay? Be riiiight back." I'm very pleased that they're both happy he's here. I hope it stays that way after grandma leaves and daddy goes back to work. Sophia has been throwing a lot of tantrums and testing her boundaries, though (which is her typical response to big changes). Ironically, I feel like it's her life that'll change the least. Getting her ready for school and out the door and home from school are basically going to trump every other feeding, diaper change, or nap that either Grace or Carson need. And obviously Carson's needs are going to keep me very busy, so really, it's poor Grace whose life is probably going to change the most. 

         Apparently you only stay at the hospital for 24 hours here, which is different than with the girls. The time went by quickly. Carson and I spent a lot of the night snuggled up together. I just tucked him into my hospital gown. I love newborn snuggles!!  In the morning we had the usual visits from the pediatrician, hearing screening, birth certificate people, lactation consultant (Carson latches with his gums instead of tongue, like Grace did, which is really, really painful for me), jaundice tests, etc. Mom brought the girls over for a visit again, and it was especially nice to see them because it was Sophia's birthday! I have to say that the cramping really does get worse with every baby. I hardly remember it with Sophia, definitely remember it with Grace, and this time it was so awful for the first couple days. One time the cramping hurt so bad  while I was feeding him that my body started shaking violently and I had to get under a blanket and I couldn't stop myself from falling asleep because my body wouldn't do anything else. That was pretty scary. I half wonder if that happened because my body was still freaked out about the pain from the day before and didn't want it to hurt like that again. We drove home at about 6:00 on Monday and surprised mom and the girls just as they were about to open Sophia's birthday presents. I'm glad I decided to do her birthday party early, and luckily she doesn't seem bothered that mom and dad weren't around on her birthday.

          Right now Carson has dark hair, but based on his eyebrows, I think he'll end up blonde like his sisters. He has about the same amount of hair as Sophia had. He has quite the chin, but maybe once his cheeks aren't so chubby, the chin will be less pronounced. ;) He has long fingers and fingernails, a cute button nose, and I love the adorable dark newborn eyes.

         Other than that cramping and the whole pain and bleeding during nursing, which I think is mostly behind us, my recovery has been great. We even held cub scouts at our house on Wednesday! haha I am super tired but have been able to take at least a small nap each day with both Russ and my mom home. I remember my stomach being so sore with Grace that I couldn't hold Sophia, but I don't have that pain this time. It's definitely nice to have experience from the girls to rely on (although changing a boy's diaper is a new world), and Carson is great at burping and exceptional at getting his poop out :D, so that's a blessing. The nights seem to be getting progressively worse, but he sleeps nice stretches during the day. He is also spending a little more time being alert each day, which the girls especially love. Basically, we're pretty thrilled with our little guy, and we're so happy he's here!

The cliff notes version of the delivery…
No contractions or indication I was going to have a baby. Sitting in Relief Society. Water broke at 1:15pm. Arrived at hospital 2:10 and admitted at 2:30 – but not even dilated 1cm. Heavy contractions began around 4:00. Dilated to 5cm at 4:05, and baby born at 4:36. Pushed for 5 minutes. No stitches.

Dilated from fingertip to 5cm in an hour. From 5cm to having a baby in my arms in 31 more minutes. 2 hours and 26 minutes in the hospital before baby was born and a total labor time of right about 3 hours and 15 minutes. I better watch out next time and make sure we live close to the hospital!

We got one last picture as a family of 4 as Russ and I headed to the hospital (I didn't notice before that both girls were holding their baby dolls :D)

At 4:00ish as the contractions started getting suddenly worse

30 minutes later!  


I love this selfie of my two favorite guys :)

I asked Grace to give Carson a kiss, but she gave me one instead 

That's one proud sister!!! (and a mommy in the background spotting baby brother's head)

3 generation picture. I feel like I look just like my mom in this picture. 

Matchy matchy with Mom to go home!

Not a fan of getting in the car seat, but fell asleep pretty quick

 Homeward bound! We drove home under a beautiful sunset!

 On the blanket Great Grandma Christensen and Grandma Carson made for him

Notice that all 3 outfits he wore in this post were striped!? All of the clothes I bought for him (including almost all his newborn stuff) had stripes! I guess I have a subconscious, never-before-realized love of stripes! (Actually, now that I think about it, that's not true. In high school I always said I liked it when guys wore striped polo shirts. I guess I need to buy some for Russ!)


Steven and Brittany said...

Awww congrats Lee family!! He is just the sweetest. I love reading birth stories too!! Im glad all is well. Those boy diaper changes are a lot harder huh ;)

Carson said...

I'm just so pleased Carson was born on the day he was so I was still able to have eight days with your family afterwards. It really couldn't have been much better timing. It's a blessing for me that I'm able to be with you kids and your families as new children are born. One of my favorite memories is of you and Russ singing to Sophia on your bed when she was just a few weeks old. You're awesome parents! Love, Mom

Lissa said...

He's so sweet! I'm excited to meet him in a couple months! :)

Kadi Abel said...

You go mama! He's perfect!