“So, should I not go to work today?” Alex asked at 4 a.m. as I started the shower and dug through my dresser drawers for clothes to throw on for the hospital.
Anyone else’s husband ask the most hilarious things when you’re in labor? To be fair, it was early and we were both a little caught off guard by my sudden labor. It was February 8, just two days shy of my scheduled induction.
The night before, I had worked an event with a colleague, where I told her that I wasn’t feeling like I was making any real progress toward labor on my own. I was looking forward to my OB appointment the following morning so we could get the ball rolling.
I was tired. And ready(ish) for the baby to arrive.
The last half of this pregnancy had me on #teamnosleep. Insomnia was a regular occurrence, and after I got home from the event, I was exhausted…but once again could NOT sleep.
By about 1:30 a.m., I had ventured out into the family room to watch TV and attempt to sleep on the couch. One hour passed. Another hour passed. And I was getting frustrated. I even took some Benadryl to help me doze off…and it did absolutely nothing.
By 4 a.m., I turned on the Pandora white noise channel, and set my phone on the coffee table next to me as I rolled over on the couch to close my eyes. At that moment, I felt something. It felt a little like a leak…but I thought, “no way.” Did I just pee my pants? (Pregnancy is glamorous, ok?)
I went to the bathroom and at one glance thought mayyyybeee my water was starting to break. It wasn’t a huge gush of water, but a trickle.
I knew that if I called the on-call doctor, they’d want me to come in to the hospital to at least check me. So, first things first: I knew I had to shower and wash my hair. Hey, you never know how many days you’ll go without washing your hair – or showering – after labor, right?
Once I turned the water on, my husband Alex woke up. “What’s going on?” he asked. Calmly, I said, “I think my water may have broken, so I’m going to take a shower,” I told him. To which he replied, “So, should I not go to work today?” Ha! For real.
“Nope. You’re not going to work today, babe,” I said as I laughed and shook my head.
I took my time getting showered and ready, packing up some last minute things, and called the doctor. Of course, they asked that I come in. And by that point, there was no denying my water had broken…especially when I walked to the laundry room to get clothes, and had to stop as a puddle of water pooled around my feet. It was baby time!
I was having somewhat uncomfortable contractions at this point, but they were tolerable. Alex was super confused because he remembered my crazy intense contractions when I went into labor with Roman (when I’d gotten to seven centimeters before going the hospital..I don’t recommend it!).
Alex’s parents live just a few minutes away, and they arrived shortly after 6 a.m. to stay with Roman, who was still asleep. Before Alex and I packed up the van and headed to the hospital, I snuck into Roman’s room and kissed his head while he slept. My heart hurt knowing that hospital flu restrictions meant that I wouldn’t see him for a couple of days…and when I saw him again, he wouldn’t be my only baby anymore.
We arrived at the hospital, where Alex and I laughed and joked with the nurses at check-in. They asked what my symptoms were and I said, “I feel like I’m continuously peeing my pants!” The nurses laughed and said, “Yeah, you’re not going home, girl. You’re in labor.”
The triage nurse initially checked me to confirm my water had broken. It had. And then she said, “It looks like the baby has had a bowel movement.” And my heart immediately sank. What could this mean? Would he be in danger?
But, she reassured me that it happens often, and that they’d take precautions in the delivery room to make sure he was safe. A respiratory therapist would be in the room when he arrived to help if he aspirated any meconium upon his first couple of breaths. I was quietly terrified.
So, we were moved to our delivery room, and it was time to wait. It was so strange to actually get to enjoy labor and take it easy. In fact, I was so comfortable, that when the doctor checked me, I hadn’t dilated more than two or three centimeters. So, they started me on Pitocin to induce labor further. And whoa – that worked fast! Before I knew it, my contractions had grown much more intense, and much closer together. Things were getting real!
My nurse offered an epidural, but it wasn’t until I got to seven centimeters again (not planned) that I decided it was time to take her up on that offer.
The epidural was smooth, easy, and before I knew it, the contractions were only detectable on the monitor next to my bed. Dr. Boyer came in, introduced herself, checked me, and said, “Yep, he’s low! We’re going to get your room setup for delivery.” Yowza, that escalated quickly!
Alex grabbed my hand as he said a quiet prayer between the two of us.
At 12:02, I was fully dilated to 10 cm, so it was go time. By 12:10, the doctor said, “It’s time to push.” She assumed the catching position, with a bright light behind her head. Alex held one leg, and the delivery nurse held another as I mentally prepared to push at the onset of the next contraction. “Here we go, Whitney. Take a deep breath in, and pussshhhhh.” The doctor coached me through that initial push, encouraging me that he was really close. Already!
“Alright, here comes another contraction. Deep breath in, and pusssshhhh,” she coached again. And then, suddenly she said, “Good job, Whitney! He’s here!” And I heard those sweet little cries I’d prayed for all along.
It was 12:12 p.m. Yes, TWO MINUTES after I started pushing. And Lennox was born! They say second babies come fast…and that was the truth!
A once-over from the respiratory therapist confirmed he was in the clear. And suddenly, this second little miracle was on my chest, as tears streamed down my face.
It hit me that this was it. This was the last time I’d greet new life of my own.
I looked at Alex and we both smiled as we clung to this 7 lb 2.5 oz, 20-in long peanut. As Lennox let out the healthiest of cries from my chest, Alex bent down and whispered, “It’s ok, daddy’s here,” into Lennox’s little ear. In an instant, his wails quieted. He recognized his daddy’s voice.
And my heart nearly exploded in that very moment.
After those years spent waiting for a baby of our own, I was suddenly a mama of two. To say I’m grateful doesn’t even scratch the surface. Welcome to the world, Lennox William. We are so in love with you!
Thank you all again for your thoughts, prayers, gifts, meals, texts and love as we welcomed this little guy and adjusted to life with a newborn. We are forever thankful.