When we arrived at the hospital, it seemed there was a whirlwind of activity around me. Since the doctor apparently didn’t get the earlier page, the hospital was not prepared for my arrival. The nurses were quick though, and set into action immediately. They got me into a room, dressed in a gown, and strapped into the monitors in just a few short minutes. After running through the prerequisite questions, my nurse had an IV going in my hand and was ordering blood tests.
The contractions were getting quite painful by this time and I asked the nurse when I could get an epidural. She said they had to wait for my blood test results, but she had already notified the anesthesiologist and they would get it as soon as my results were back. I was anxious to get it because I knew that once I had the epidural I would be able to relax and rest for a bit. I was hoping that my mom and the kids would be able to come in the room and visit for a bit before it was time to push.
Contractions were getting even stronger, and coming closer and closer together – close enough that I was struggling to make it through each one without screaming. My body also started shaking uncontrollably just before and through each contraction. I must have looked pretty bad, because my nurse came back in said that they were going to go ahead and administer the epidural even though they didn’t have my blood test results back yet.
I’ve had an epidural with all three deliveries and this one was by far the most painful. I’m not sure whether it was the fault of the anesthesiologist or if it was because my contractions were coming so close together that she couldn’t get it done in between them, but I had really bad pain down my left side before it finally went completely numb. It took a while for it to work on my right side, but eventually that side went mostly numb too.
I still wanted to see the kids, but Hubby vetoed that. I figured at that point he was in a much better place to make a judgement call, so I went along with it.
Once the epidural had fully kicked in, I was finally able to relax and actually fell asleep for a few minutes.
Thanks to the epidural, my left leg felt like it weighed a ton. I kept wanting to move it to get comfortable, but no matter how hard I tried I couldn’t move it. I could move the right side a little, but I just could not get comfortable. Hubby and the nurse tried to help me reposition myself, but it just wasn’t working.
I’m not sure if the epidural was wearing off a little or if the contractions were getting that much harder, but it didn’t seem like very long before it started getting painful again. My whole body was shaking almost non-stop at that point. The nurse did another check and decided it was almost time to push. My water had not broken yet, so the nurse decided to help it along.
My head was pretty fuzzy through all of this, but I remember thinking at some point how glad I was that it was the last time I ever had to do this.
I think I spent about an hour pushing, though I was so out of it that I’m not really sure about that either. At some point the on-call doctor showed up and at 11:52 p.m., on Sunday, February 19th, 2012, my beautiful son, Caleb Joshua, was born.
I was still shaking when they placed him on my chest, but I was instantly in love. That little face, nearly identical to his big brother’s, made every minute of pain completely worth it.
While the doctor finished up with me, Hubby took photos of Caleb. I remember hearing Hubby laugh because Caleb was peeing all over the place. The nurses cleaned him up, then placed him on the scale – 10 pounds, 0.4 ounces, 21 inches long.
It seemed like forever before they brought him back to me, but finally, I had my sweet boy in my arms again. The doctor and nurses finally cleared out and Hubby and I were alone with our baby. I tried nursing him, but he had no interest at all so I wrapped him back up and enjoyed just snuggling with him. My nurse came back in and snapped a few photos of the three of us.
Since he was born at nearly midnight, Caleb didn’t have quite the welcoming committee that the other kids did when they were born. He did have a very excited big sister, big brother, Grandma, and Aunt waiting to meet him though. We got them back to the room as soon as we could and our first photos as a family of five were taken.
After everyone had gotten sufficient snuggles and kisses, Hubby took two very tired big kids home to get some sleep. Aunt Tanya headed home as well, and Grandma stayed with me at the hospital for the night.
The nurse came back to help me change and clean up a bit, I tried to nurse Caleb again (though he still wasn’t interested), and finally we got to settle in and sleep.