We are so excited and blessed to have another healthy baby boy! My labor and delivery this time around was kind of a whirlwind experience for both Ryan and me. Leo's labor and delivery was long and exhausting (click here) & I prepared myself for a similar experience. Thankfully, Axel's story is NOTHING like Leo's! God is so good! If you enjoy reading this kind of thing, keep scrolling. If not, feel free to look at the pictures & click out! I know I will appreciate having this in writing some day, so that's why it's going on the blog!
Anyways, Saturday, February 28th rolls around. I woke up at 6:47 with my first contraction. I was slightly concerned that if I did go into labor on my own, I wouldn't know what to do. Would I know if my contractions were real? I hoped I wouldn't go into the hospital thinking I was in labor only to be sent back home because it really wasn't the real thing! That happens you know! About 10 minutes later I had another contractions. Ten minutes after that the 3rd one came. At this point I decided to wake Ryan up. I told him that we should probably get ready just in case. By 8:00 AM my contractions started coming about every 5 minutes. We called the hospital at 8:45 and asked what their recommendation was on coming in or staying home for a while. After asking Ryan several questions about how I was handling the contractions, the nurse told us we probably shouldn't wait too long to come. At 9:15, Leo was still sleeping (what a blessing) so we called Ryan's mom to come over. We left our house at about 9:45. The contractions were still about 5 minutes apart but definitely stronger and getting longer.
The last picture of me pregnant!!
We got to the hospital a little after 10:15 and were checked into our room at 10:30. My doctor happened to be at the hospital and heard that we were there. She came into my room and told us that she would have probably passed us in the parking lot if she hadn't stopped to talk to someone. While she was there though she would just check me to see where I was at. A few minutes later she told me I was 8 cm dilated! I couldn't believe it! The pain I was feeling felt similar to ones I experienced with Leo when I was only 5 cm dilated. (I was informed later that the medicine they use to induce causes the contractions to come on fast & hard. So your early contractions can feel like hard labor contractions. This is the reason many women who get induced end up getting an epidural. I found this tidbit very interesting!)
Dr. Hippensteel then informed me that I would probably have a baby in about an hour. WHAT?!?! I had a tough time believing her but my hubby informed me that she had seen a lot of women in labor & she probably knew what she was talking about. Then Ryan asked the question that was rolling around in my head. Was it too late for an epidural? My doctor told me I could still get one but it would probably slow the process down. With an epidural, I'd have another 3 hours of labor. The decision was up to us, but she was confident I could do it naturally. She told me I was handling the contractions very well & I think her exact words to me where, "Jamy, you can do it!" She's a huge advocate for natural deliveries.
We decided to try it naturally! The thought of having it all over in an hour was very appealing. Dr. H. & the nurses seemed genuinely excited for me. She then asked me if I wanted her to break my water. She & the nurses highly recommended it. It would get things moving faster, but she warned me it would also make things a lot more intense & painful. I was pretty much a ball of nervousness because I was at the point of no return. I figured we might as well get this over with so whatever it took to do that was fine with me.
I remember watching the clock a lot while I was in labor with Leo. This time, I had no clue when things happened because all I could think about was getting through each contraction & regaining composure to go through the next one. Ryan, the nurses & my doctor were with me the whole time & were awesome coaches! It wasn't long and we were ready to push. This was probably the part I was most nervous for. I pushed for 2.5 hours with Leo & I thought that if I had to do that again, I might not make it through. It was exhausting, but that epidural kept me from feeling pain. The pain this time was more intense than anything I've ever felt & I didn't think I could handle even an hour of pushing. I really can't say enough good about my doctor. She knew what to do to get the job done as quickly as possible. Even though I yelled at her a lot for making the pain worse (seriously I don't think I've ever yelled at someone like that before!), I wouldn't have wanted her to do anything different. I didn't have to push long & her expertise was apparent. I didn't have any stitches when it was all over because she knew what to have me do to help prevent any tearing. It was 11:40 AM when Axel was born. Her prediction was pretty accurate!
I think Ryan & I were both in a state of shock. We kept looking at each other & saying I can't believe it's over. I can't believe we have a baby already. The whole experience almost felt like a dream. I didn't know it was possible to have such a good labor & delivery experience. Doctor Hippensteel said it right, "You have the perfect birth story." Amen to that! God is so good! One perk to not having an epidural was how good I felt right after delivery. I seriously didn't even feel like I just went through labor & delivery. Again, God is so good! The whole process took less than 5 hours. This was truly unbelievable to me! Did I mention God is so good?!
Ryan started calling the family to inform them of the news & I think they were just as shocked as we were about the whole thing! I guess my body really did know how to go into labor on it's own! It just needed a little practice.
See that look in my eyes? I'm pretty sure that was disbelief.
The harsh reality of living outside the womb!
We think he's a keeper!!