Well…he’s finally here.
Though this post took 4 months to write (life as I’ve found out gets a little bit busier with a little one around), I really wanted to capture our birth story…and quite the story it is.
The “before” pregnancy wasn’t much of a story. In fact, our doctor kept saying “textbook” at every visit. Of course, it’s really easy for me to say that…I wasn’t carrying our child and dealing with the emotions of having something living growing inside me. I’m not so sure my wife would say the same thing…in fact I’m sure she would not.
But this is a tale through my eyes, and as we quickly found out, the fun was just beginning.
We found out around 36-weeks that Peyton hadn’t turned yet, so we should start thinking about a C-section. That certainly wasn’t in the plans and I think it caught Rebecca off-guard a bit. It took Rebecca a few days to adjust but, thankfully we had a ton of support from our family, friends, and church community.
Morning of March 26
We both woke up around 3am so we could shower and head to the hospital for a 5:30am appointment. We both commented how we were a little sad that morning because we were just going to the hospital for a scheduled C-section – not that special “Oh..my water broke” moment.
At this point, it may be important to note that we were both running on adrenaline. We had had about four hours of sleep that night, and maybe four the night before.
When we arrived, Rebecca’s parents and MooMaw were waiting there. It was a funny moment rounding the corner because we actually scared Rebecca’s dad. He wasn’t expecting us at that moment.
From there, we went up to the 5th floor for Labor and Delivery at St. Paul. We checked in at the nurse’s station and were shown to room 11. We were told that they were completely crammed packed and room 11 was rarely used. This turned out to be a good thing (very quiet) and a bad thing (maintenance forgot we were there).
6AM: He Turned
Approximately two days before our scheduled delivery, Rebecca had a really hard time sleeping. She couldn’t sleep because Peyton was moving around the whole time. We both commented how it looked like his head wasn’t where it normally was but didn’t think much more of it. We’d been told it would be rare if he turned this late in the game, but it was still a remote possibility.
As they were prepping Rebecca for the C-section, they decided to do one final sonogram just to look at the position. Since we had been doing these for awhile, I started being able to read the sonograms with amateurish accuracy. As soon as the Resident put the device on Rebecca’s tummy, I said, “Oh my goodness…” Sure enough…we were looking at the top of his head. The mood of the room turned instantly and everyone in the room started laughing and celebrating.
Because of this latest development, no more C-section. We’d wait for the doctor to arrive (because it was about 6AM) to discuss our options.
The doctor showed up around 7:45am. During the time we were waiting, Rebecca got fitted with all of her IV’s and had several blood draws, so she was ready to go. Our doctor kindly laid out our options for us:
- Try for a regular delivery by inducing today
- Call it a day and come back later
She gave us a few minutes to think about, while she was going to look at the test results and get back with us.
When the doctor returned, she mentioned how Rebecca’s platelet count was very low (her was around 58,000 and normal is 150,000). Because of this single fact, she didn’t want to send us home. So, we were inducing!
When people used to tell me they were inducing their baby, I really didn’t have a concept for what that meant. At least in our situation that meant taking a pill and waiting…
12PM: More waiting.
They told us it’d be a long wait, and since it didn’t look like Peyton was coming anytime soon, we ordered lunch. Then, they told us to sleep.
It was very hard to sleep. Since we had no idea when he’d come, we were extremely anxious. But alas, we had to wait some more.
4PM: 2 CM
7PM: 4 CM
This is when things start to get a little hazy. Not only had we been at the hospital since 5:30am, we were running very low on sleep.
11:30PM: Scary Time
Our first real scary moment – as I learned from one of the nurses, during a contraction, it’s normal for the baby’s heart beat to see some fluctuation, however, fluctuation after a contraction is very bad. Well, Peyton started to show signs of duress…and the nurses and doctor, to their credit, noticed immediately. At one time, the nurse ran in followed closely by the doctor attempting to get a read of the situation. Apparently, his heart rate had gone down to a dangerous level. However, after some repositioning of Rebecca, they were able to settle Peyton down and all returned to normal.
1:30AM: More Scary Time
Finally, I had to sleep.
I was startled to wake by several nurses running into the room along with the Charge Nurse, which is apparently a bigger deal than I realized. I looked on the monitor and Peyton’s heartbeat had fallen and wasn’t going back up.
The doctor ran in and immediately went to work while the nurses were focused on the monitors.
Then, some frightening happened.
About the time Peyton’s heartbeat went down to about 40 (which I’ve since learned sometime’s constitutes a stoppage), the doctor yelled, “STAT!”.
Everyone went into “focus-mode” and Rebecca was out of the room in less than 30 seconds, which was quite a feat because she was hooked up to about 10 different monitors (probably exaggerating a little).
Then they were gone. With me and my wonderful mother-in-law sitting the in room.
I’d assumed they’d come back and get me so I started to get ready, but they didn’t come. That was extremely frightening.
About three minutes later, a nurse finally came to fetch me. I quickly put on the gown and followed her down the hall. She said they forgot about me, which is understandable. Of the three of us, I was by far the least important.
1:52AM: Peyton’s Here!
Then something amazing happened. As I’m rushing down the hall, I hear a baby crying. The nurse said, “Do you hear that? It’s your son.” Words cannot describe that feeling. Hearing your child’s voice, even before you see them, loving them unconditionally.
Once in the operating room, I ran to Rebecca’s side as they were working on Peyton (typical “Welcome to the world” stuff). She was very scared, which she had every right to be. Apparently, from the time the Doctor called STAT, he was out three minutes later. (I’ve since learned that when the Doctor calls STAT, the baby has to be out in 5 minutes.)
I turned around trying to get a peak at Peyton and the nurse said, “Would you like to hold him?” Having never held a baby before, I was quite scared, but said, “Sure!”
Absolutely amazing feeling. I don’t think I’ve ever been so scared and so happy at one moment in my life. Rebecca was still in the “danger zone” as she was still being worked on. Peyton, on the other hand, was screaming his lungs out as hungry as could be.
A funny thing happens when you return back to room with a newborn. You get time to simply be together. For experienced parents, this is probably great. As new parents, we were completely freaked out. We had no idea how to take care of this little one.
Thankfully, we made it through. The Lord had mercy and helped us to learn to be parents. It’s my prayer that we become good parents.
It’s been quite a journey since that night. Plenty of highs and plenty of lows. I can imagine this is only the beginning of parenthood. We have since learned that Peyton’s umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck…twice. I’ve also come to learn that as horrific as that sounds, it’s fairly common. Thankfully, we had excellent nurses and doctors there ready to assist.
As of this writing, he is four months old. It’s amazing to see how big he’s gotten. He’s nearly doubled in weight and full of smiles.
Being a parent is amazing…and downright scary.