It's about time, right? I mean, now that he is three weeks old.
Let's just dive right in...
My due date was April 12th but because of being on blood thinners my OB wanted to induce me early so that he could monitor when I went into labor. The date was set for April 9th at midnight.
On the 8th we prepared all day, and made sure everything was set in place. My mom came that evening and spent the night at our house so that she could be with the girls the next day. We left at 11:00pm to drive into the hospital. They nurses got me hooked up to the monitors and all set by 1:00am. I'm going to majorly jump ahead to 5:00pm. After forcing pitocin all day long and not advancing whatsoever my doctor gave me two options. Have a c-section and be done with it or go home and wait another week to be induced again. You guys...that was not an easy decision. Hindsight I don't know why I made it so hard but both options where NOT what I wanted. Thankfully, we did not opt for a c-section. I knew that the only reason I would have chosen that route was out of impatience.
We packed up and went home.
Our little man was still sitting extremely high and not showing my ANY signs of doing otherwise so I spent the next several days bouncing on the excersize ball, going on long (painful) walks, and I even jumped on the trampoline with my girls. (At least until I wasn't sure whether my water had broke or....yeah. It wasn't that). I had maybe 3 contractions in 5 days.
This next part I tell you because it is something I don't want to forget and such a reminder of God sovereignty to me.
On the 8th I never felt excited. My heart was in a weird place and things were off. Ryan and I were off. The anticipation of bringing our son into the world that should have been there, wasn't. I was sad about that.
But God gave us a week to sort things through and get our priorities straight. So when we were driving into the hospital for a second time at 11:00pm on the 14th, it was fun. We were both giddy and on the same page. I am SO grateful for that because that NEEDED to be the case with what were going to have to face ahead. He is really, really good to us.
We did the same song and dance at the hospital as the week before. At 8am my OB came in and checked me. I was almost at 4cm and Bridger had dropped a little. He waited to break my water though because he had a couple of scheduled c-sections that morning and didn't want them to overlap.
He came back at noon and checked me. Bridger was no longer in position so he opted not to break my water again. I was frustrated. My nurse upped the pitocin and wished me luck. By 2:00pm my contractions actually turned into something and I was very uncomfortable. The nurse called my doctor and told him to come check me again. When he came in at 2:30 my sweet nurse, bless her heart, STRONGLY encouraged him to break my water to get things moving. He did and then left the room. I was not yet 5cm.
My first contraction after that was intense. I wanted my epidural. Now. I felt ridiculous asking for it so soon but knew from my previous labors that I couldn't go long with that kind of pain. They called the anesthesiologist.
At this point let me give you a little background. I'm super sweet during my labors. I never screamed, was way calm and kind to my husband. With both of the girls my nurses kept saying what a great team we made. Yes, I thought we were pretty cool.
Bridger was a different story. With each contraction I was writhing, moaning, and when Ryan asked what he could do to help I forcefully would say, "Just SIT down." I honestly felt like I was going to die. The nurse nonchalantly would say at the peak of each contraction, "Well I paged the anesthesiologist, I wonder where he could be?"
After 25 minutes of completely unacceptable behavior and noise making on my part (I still can't believe that I threw all dignity out the door) my nurse said, "Let's just check and see how things are going down here...Oh my, honey, give me one push. Yep, you are a 10. Let's just have this baby right now."
25 minutes to get from a "a good 4 1/2, almost 5cm" to a 10. At this point no one could tell me when to push or take a break. It was just going to happen. 3 pushes later and my 8lb 6oz Bridger Wesley was placed on my chest at 3:05pm. I opened my eyes for the first time in 20 minutes, looked up at Ryan and started crying/laughing and said, "What the hell just happened?!"
It was the most surreal thing I have every experienced. It took a while for me to process what had just happened and that it was all over.
My mom drove into town with the girls and brought them to see us and meet their brother. I loved that moment...
They gave me about an hour and half to breathe before moving us from labor and delivery to another room where we would stay the night.
Ryan took the girls and got teriyaki take-out that we all shared together before he took the them home around 9pm that night.
After a routine blood sugar test the nurses did on Bridger they said his levels were pretty low so they were going to put him in the NICU overnight for some observation. I took a hot shower and slept for a couple hours before they called me to come over and feed him. At this point they informed me that they were admitting him for 48-72 hours because his protein levels were a little off which could be an indicator of a possible infection.
Ryan brought the girls back into town and I was discharged. We checked into a hotel that night so that Ryan could pick his parents up from the airport and I could go back and forth for feedings. That next day we were told that our boy was going to need to stay in the NICU for 10 days, instead. That was rough. We live about an hour from the hospital and so it wasn't possible for me to be there for every feeding. I bought a breast pump and drove home that night. For the next week I set alarms to wake up and pump, call the NICU to see when he ate last, go in for the early morning feeding, stay in town and kill time between feedings and shift changes, and then drive home to be with my family in the evenings.
Ryan was just beyond amazing. He cared for the girls, spent time with his parents who had come to visit, let me drive back and forth everyday and cry at night when I missed our boy, and so selflessly put his own desire to hold our son on the back burner. That was hard for him but he never put himself first. When he was able to come in and visit, his parents were a life saver in helping run the house and entertain the girls while we were gone. I'm so grateful for them and the timing of their trip.
Our 10 days in the NICU gave me a lot of perspective. I am grateful we had a healthy "sick baby" and I often felt ridiculous and guilty having a chunky, over due baby next to so many babies that were too small to hold. My exhaustion felt unjustified compared to the parents that had spent months in there. And NICU nurses are saints. The kindest women I've ever met. I miss seeing them.
We are home now, though, and life is pretty great.
And we have three kids...we feel so complete.