November 14, 2007

The birth of Alexander Gage

It all started at 4:00 am on Friday, November 9th. I woke up with a contraction. I had been worried all along that I would not recognize real labor until too late since I had experienced so many Braxton-Hicks contractions daily starting at 20 weeks. Boy was I wrong! I knew immediately that these were real. After a couple of contractions I just knew that that day was going to be the day I was finally going to meet my baby. By then I was too excited to attempt to go back to sleep so I sat up in bed with a heating pad to my back (this is where the pain would start) and timed the contractions. They seemed to be coming every 6 mins or so. I finally decided to go ahead and get up since I was hungry and eat a snack (a banana and some vanilla pudding) and drink a cup of rasberry leaf tea. I got on the computer and goofed around a bit while timing my contractions with the help of an online site. They were coming pretty regular at every 6-7 mins apart lasting 30-45 seconds. Finally at around 6:45 I decided I was tired and would try laying down for a bit. I fell asleep on the couch until Ben woke up at 8:00.

When I got up I realized that the contractions had spaced out and were no longer coming in a regular pattern. I already had an appt scheduled with my midwife at noon that day and was anxious to get there and find out if any progress had been made. Tim and I decided it was best to go ahead and alert his parents of what was going on and make plans on meeting so they could pick up Ben. We loaded all of our bags into the car and headed to my appt. Susie informed me that I was 2-3 cm dilated, 70% effaced and Alex was very low at -1 station. She said that we should not bother going home that we were going to have a baby today! We decided to go to Perimeter Mall to eat and walk around since it is right next to the hospital. Tim's parents met us there and picked up Ben. I was really sad to let him go. It was the last time we would ever spend time as a family of three.

Tim and I stayed behind and walked the mall, inside and out. By then my contractions had regulated into a pattern again at every 1-2 mins apart while walking lasting about 30-45 seconds. They were getting more painful, but still very manageable. At 3:30 pm we decided to go ahead and go to the hospital before traffic got bad. Not to mention I was getting really irritated by the noise level in the mall and all of the stares from people. We called into the hospital and headed over, arriving about at 4:oo. The car ride over was challenging. The bumps made the contractions hurt worse and they were still starting in my back.

We got checked into the hospital and assigned a room. I got hooked up to the monitors and sat in the rocking chair since it seemed most comfortable. By now my back was hurting pretty badly. The contractions were still regular and building in intensity. I tried sitting in a hot bath to help through the contractions, but it really didn't do much for me. At around 6:30-7 Laurie, my midwife, came in to check me. I was dilated to 4 cm, 80% effaced and still at -1 station. I got really discouraged at what little progress had been made since leaving the dr's office. Laurie tried to reassure me that this was good and to hang in there. At 7:30 the pain started getting really intense and I started doubting myself making it through labor naturally. It was all back labor and let me tell you, I would not wish back labor on my worst enemy. It has the be the most painful thing I have EVER endured! Tim said to hang in there until 8 and see what happens. By 8 o'clock I was getting frantic and asking for the epidural. Tim and the nurse talked me into trying the Fentanyl first to see if that would help. It did take the edge of for about 20-25 mins and then the contractions became more intense. By this time I had decided that I absolutely wanted the epidural. I was not able to relax at all during the contractions or even between them because I got a severe case of the shivers from the IV. It's pretty strange to be shivering so severly, but sweating at the same time. At 9 o'clock the nurse told me the anesthesiologist was next door and would be over as soon as she was done with that patient. In the meantime Laurie checked me again and informed me I was 6-7 cm dilated. I remember thinking I still had hours to go and stayed firm in my decision for the epidural. I asked for a second dose of the Fentanyl so that I would be able to hopefully sit still for the epidural. Of course by then the pain was so bad it really did nothing. While waiting I got up to use the restroom. One the way back to bed the contractions became so unbearable. I was a screamer and moaner trying to get through them. Pretty funny since I am not normally a very vocal person. My nurse joked later that she thinks I scraed her patient next door who was there to be induced. At 9:25 they started the epidural. I heard the doctor say she got the meds in but had a problem with the needle hitting a vein and would have to try again. All of a sudden I broke out in a sweat and felt the most intense pressure in my life. I needed to push! I started screaming at the nurse "I have to push, I have to push". She had the nerve to tell me not to, lol. As soon as the moment passed I remember asking what the hell happened? Why did I feel that pressure? Before I got an answer it hit again. Believe me when I tell you that not pushing was the hardest part about this whole labor! The nurse started calling for Laurie and the NICU team to get in there right now! (the reason the NICU team was called in was for standby since I had just had that dose of narcotic). At 9:30 everyone was in place and they had me lay on my back. At the next contraction I was finally going to get to push! So, 2 contractions and 2 pushes later Alexander Gage entered the world. Interesting tidbit: my water finally broke as he made his entrance. I remember my 1st thought when they layed him on my chest was look at how tiny he is! He was a perfect, pink, wailing baby and I was already in love! And approx 1 minute later my epidural kicked in, go figure! So it seems I got my natural delivery after all and at least I didn't have to feel them stitch me up (I had a 1 degree tear). Had I known that it was possible to progress from 6-7 cm dilated to fully dilated and ready to push in 25 minutes I wouldn't have bothered with the epidural. Laurie believes that when I got up to use the bathroom it rotated Alex into position and that's why it happened so fast. It simply amazes me how the human body works. Overall I am very pleased with the whole experience.....but I'm sure not ready to repeat it anytime soon! lol!! I am recovering nicely. It's been much easier this go around and haven't had to take anything stronger than Tylenol for the pain. Alex is a champion nurser and I couldn't be more pleased with how breast feeding is going.

I haven't had much time for pictures. We are too busy cuddling, nursing, sleeping, or changing diapers, but here's a few.....







Ben checking out Alex's feet


Ben has had a harder time accepting Alex than I expected. He is normally so layed back and indifferent to things. He says he is scared and at first wouldn't even go near Alex. He is slowly coming around and touching him and tried to give him his paci, but he still is not comepletely warmed up to the idea yet. It is breaking my heart right now because I can't really shower him with attention like I want. He is really attached to Tim right now and I dread the day Tim has to go back to work. I know we will get through it, but it doesn't make it any easier.

7 thanks for stopping by, i love comments!:

Melissa November 14, 2007 at 5:01 PM  

Oh wow, that was quite a birth story! I remember them telling me not to push when I was having Nevin...not easy!

Congrats! He is sooo beautiful and I'm so darn happy for you!

Hope Ben comes around soon.

(((HUGS!)))

Amy Callahan November 14, 2007 at 5:54 PM  

What an awesome birth story!!! I am so happy for you. Ben will come around. It's only been a few days. I can't beleive they told you not to push! I so would have pushed anyway!!! LOL

ellen November 14, 2007 at 8:14 PM  

what an amazing story! I am sure Ben will be fine, he just needs some time. I love how they tell you NOT to push????? ARGH! he is beautiful!

TanishaRenee November 14, 2007 at 8:16 PM  

Thanks for sharing your story, I can't believe how closely it parallels Donovan's birth. I know Ben will come around and soon they wil be inseparable! Alex is so cute...oh those sweet baby eyes.

Now I really can't wait for my little guy to arrive!

Nichol-ie-o November 14, 2007 at 9:27 PM  

awww... I love love love the pics, he is just so sweet! I am so happy for you guys! He has cute lil slanty eyes ♥ I hope you know it's killing me not to be able to take thousands of photographs of him....you just say he word and I'm there~ afterall I'm only a hop skip and jump away! ♥

Christy November 14, 2007 at 10:46 PM  

Tabitha -- what a great birth story. I know Ben will come around -- just give him time. :)

Those pictures are fantastic -- he is such a sweety.

Going For Greatness November 23, 2007 at 9:16 AM  

Wow! INCREDIBLE!! If only I had thought to write down the stories of my girls births!!! (Mine were C-Sections due to failure to progress)
I guess I do remember some... and more as I sit here to think about it! LOL
You're a fantastic mother and your sons will grow to be bonded in a way that you'll never even know!! Hang in there and get as much rest and cuddle time in as possible! As you well know, they grow SOOOO FAST it's unreal!!!
Happy Birthday little Alex!!
~!Gabi from Scrap Garden

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I'm a mom with a camera that loves exploring the world around me through my macro lens...and of course showing off my handsome little men.
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