It may have been clear from my last few posts that we were getting kind of anxious to meet our overdue baby. And 6 days after his due date, on what was actually his original (period math) due date, he finally made his grand entrance. Ironically, it was on the day we completely stopped trying to get him to come. This is so my kid.
On Thursday I decided that despite the potential traffic, we would go to my awards ceremony that afternoon. I’d had an NST earlier in the day and while I was having constant contractions (as usual), there were no other signs of impending labor and the nurse agreed that it was probably fine. I had been forbidden from attending my graduation ceremony on Friday because of more serious traffic concerns, so this awards ceremony was the closest I was going to get to celebrating finally getting my doctorate.
And so we went.
Throughout the ceremony and reception I was having regular contractions, but nothing terribly painful or alarming. They just sort of didn’t stop, even with water, sitting and relaxing. After the awards ceremony I went to dinner with my family, and the contractions continued, going on about 5 hours at that point. I didn’t tell anyone else because I didn’t want my parents on high alert for nothing and went to bed as usual at around 10.
At 11, the pain started. I hadn’t actually fallen asleep yet, but it surely would’ve woken me up if I had. Within 15 minutes it was clear that these contractions were different than the ones I’d been having for weeks on end. I couldn’t walk or talk through them and much to my great frustration, I could not stop my body from shaking. After an hour, we headed to labor and delivery, mostly because we knew I was already 3cm dilated and nearly fully effaced, so we didn’t want to procrastinate too long.
Turns out we could’ve. After laboring for 2+ hours at the hospital, I was still 3cm and 90% effaced, so we were sent home at around 3am and told that they expected us back later in the day. Within 10 minutes of getting home, the contractions went from unpleasant to unbelievable. Again, this kid and his timing.
After what felt like an eternity, but was really about 2 hours, of contractions every 2-3 minutes at home, we returned to the hospital where we learned that there were no available rooms. Because obviously. So for 2 hours I sat (and sometimes stood) in the hallway in active labor, mostly wanting to die. No one should have to labor publicly in a hallway, especially not for several hours. By the time we got into triage 2 hours later, I was already dilated to 6.5cm and fully effaced.
And in need of pain relief.
Our plan for no epidural went flying rapidly out the window around 7am. We had a long talk with the anesthesiologists about the safety of an epidural given my health history. They did some research and we all decided that if we proceeded with caution, it would be okay and that we could handle the complications better than I was able to handle the pain at that point. I had about 7 seconds of guilt about giving in, but I was reaching a point of just not being able to handle the pain any longer and I knew that we still had hours to go. And in hindsight, I do not regret the decision at all. The epidural gave me a chance to rest, relax and ultimately, I think helped me conserve energy necessary to get through the pushing. The hour it stopped working was not my favorite, but we were able to control the pain very successfully.
At about 2:45pm it was time to start pushing. Once the epidural wore off a little things got moving and at 4:01pm, my son made his grand entrance.
Elijah Edward was born at a whopping 6 pounds, 15 ounces and is 19.5 inches long. He has a head of dark brown hair and dark blue eyes and is just the snuggliest baby that there has ever been. We went home Saturday evening and despite the sleepless nights and breastfeeding woes, we are all doing extremely well.
He may have been a little late, but this baby is just the greatest blessing and our little family is happier than we have ever been. He was more than worth the wait. We want to thank all of you for following our journey here and we can’t wait to share more over at Baby’s First Year!
What would a birth story be without some pictures? I mean really.
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