Graham’s Birth Story – Part 1

Please excuse any typos – I’ve got a newborn and spelling and grammar are the last things on my mind!

I can’t believe my little guy is a month old. The time has flown by!

It all started on Friday, August 31st. I got up at work to go ask someone a question and I felt this stabbing pain in my right side. I normally wouldn’t even remember this as significant, but I was talking to a friend who was standing at my desk and the pain made me stop talking for a second. I joked with her that “Every time I feel something, I always wonder, is this it? Am I in labor?” We laughed and I went on into my coworkers office to ask whatever question it was that I was going to ask.

Later that evening, I lost my mucus plug. (Gross.) I got all excited because I thought that meant I’d be going into labor in the next few weeks. (Little did I know it would be the next day!)

The next morning was Saturday morning of labor day weekend. We had a bunch of stuff on the to-do list for the weekend to get ready for the baby. We ran a bunch of errands – got our cars washed, went to Target, went to Babies-R-Us, went to the grocery store. We did take a break at one point to watch the UGA game and eat some KFC.

The whole day I had to pee, like every 5 minutes. I swear I went to the bathroom about 60 times that day. Each time I thought something was off. It was a lot more…damp down there. I remember joking with Josh, “I’m probably just peeing on myself, but what if my water is breaking?”

When we were at Babies-R-Us, I asked the lady who was checking us out if any one’s water had ever broken in the store while she’s worked there. She said not yet. (Well now it has!) πŸ™‚

For dinner, I was craving a salad. I bought all the yummy ingredients at the grocery to make an awesome salad. Good lettuce, dried cranberries, pecans and some honey vinaigrette. We got home and were about to start making dinner when Josh said I should probably call my doctor. I spoke with the midwife who was on call and she said I should go on into the hospital, just for them to check me out. I asked her if we needed to pack up a bag or eat before we came and she said, “Nah, just come on in. It’s probably nothing.” So on over to Northside we went.

We parked in the parking deck – no need to pull up to the labor and delivery drop off. I wasn’t in labor, I was probably just peeing on myself. πŸ™‚ I kept telling Josh how stupid I was going to feel if this was nothing.

We were at the check in table and this poor girl came up in line behind us with her husband. She was in a wheel chair and was in so much pain that she was crying. I felt so bad, I wanted to let her go ahead of us, but the nurse checking us in asked for them to step back and wait. I’m glad I wasn’t like that!

We were told to go back to a hospital room across from the labor and delivery area. A nurse came in and asked me a million questions, got me to change into a hospital gown and then swabbed me to see if it was my water breaking. The test was inconclusive. So she swabbed again with a test that was supposed to take 30 minutes and was more sensitive. Well, 30 minutes turned into almost 2 hours.

Josh and I just waited around in the room, watching Zombie Land on tv.

*Side note – we were about 99% sure we were naming Baby D Graham, but while we were in the room waiting to see if my water had broken, Billy Graham came on tv. And the nurse said there was a pantry with some free snacks, and since we hadn’t had dinner and it was almost 10pm, Josh went to see what they had. He came back with graham crackers! πŸ™‚ Totally meant to be!

After waiting forever, the midwife that I had spoken to on the phone came in to tell me that, yes, my water had broken and that they were going to induce labor and we’d have a baby sometime in the next 24 hours. An overwhelming sense of calm came over me now that I knew I wasn’t going to have a 10 pound baby. πŸ™‚ But I was worried about him being too small since we were just at 36 weeks. The midwife felt on my stomach and said she thought the baby was about 5.5lbs and that she thought he’d be fine, but might have to have steroids to help his breathing if his lungs weren’t fully developed. She also checked me and I was already 1cm dilated.

I called my mom and told her what was gong on. My dad had already gotten out of bed and started getting dressed. I told them to hang on because it wouldn’t be until the next day. It cracked me up that my dad was in such a hurry though!

Then Josh called his parents. His brother, Jordan, was coming home from his deployment in Afghanistan on Wednesday. So Josh played it cool and said, “Hey. Sorry to be calling y’all so late. What day did you say Jordan was coming home? Wednesday? Well guess who’s coming tomorrow?” He explained what was happening and all of a sudden I heard Josh’s mom say to his dad, “No Gene. You don’t need to get dressed – we don’t need to go until tomorrow.” BOTH Grandpas were so excited they were already up and ready to go! πŸ™‚ When we hung up the phone with Josh’s mom, we heard her screaming with excitement in the background!

The nurse came back in and got me ready to go to the labor and delivery room. They had to wheel me down there in a wheel chair and I remember thinking that the nurse was so tiny (she probably didn’t weigh 90lbs) and how the heck was she going to wheel my huge pregnant self down the hall.

It was almost 11pm when we got to my labor and delivery room. We still hadn’t eaten anything, so Josh ran down to the McDonald’s that’s in the hospital to get us some food. I got a salad but it wasn’t anywhere near as good as the one I had planned on having that night. Then Josh ran home to grab some stuff that we’d need. Neither of us had a hospital bag packed, so I emailed him a list of what we needed. While he was gone, I got up to pee and my water really broke all over the floor of the bathroom.

Also while Josh was out, the nurse came in to put a cervical ripener in. The plan was to put that in and then start the pitocin around 7am. I watched Friends on the tv in the room. It was the episode where Ross’s lesbian wife had her baby. A fitting episode for what was going on!

Josh got back and I started having contractions. I asked for some pain relief and they gave me a shot of morphine. I wish I hadn’t bothered with that because it didn’t help at all. I was in and out of sleep for a few hours.

The contractions were getting terrible. I was scared to asked for an epidural because I thought it was too soon. I had super bad contractions for around 2 hours. I finally broke down and asked for the epidural when my contractions were a minute apart.

The guy who put my epidural in did an awesome job. God bless that man. His phone rang like 5 times during the procedure too and he had the nurse answer it for him and dictate back what he needed to say. Talk about multi-tasking!

This is how awesome an epidural is. I felt so good, I decided to put on some makeup! πŸ™‚

 After I got my epidural, they checked me and I was already at 3cm! They decided to start the pitocin earlier. I’m not sure about the time, but I think it was sometime between 3am and 5am.

We called our parents to let them know what was happening. They decided to come on to the hospital. My sister also came and Josh’s sister and her boyfriend came too. We all sat around in the hospital room just chatting.

Around 9:30am, they checked me again and said I was at 9cm. I was shocked! Everything was working perfectly like it was supposed to. We kept talking to our family for a few more minutes. I remember saying at one point that it felt like the baby was coming out of my butt. πŸ™‚

The pressure was getting bad at this point so I asked Josh to tell everyone to leave. The nurses started setting up right away, the midwife came in and I started pushing. The midwife said “I see his head. And he’s got hair!” I asked, “Is it red?” πŸ™‚ I really wanted red headed babies. (I had red hair when I was little – it runs on my dad’s side of the family.) I told the midwife I wanted to see the head and she brought a mirror. I was always very against the mirror (gross!) but it’s different when you’re in the moment. Josh could see my baby, the nurses and midwife could see him, so I wanted to see him too! It was so surreal. I saw his little head! Couldn’t tell what color hair he had though…

I found out later that the nurse had lied to me when she told me I was at 9cm – I was really at 10cm!! She wanted the baby to move down on his own for a while so I wouldn’t have to push as long. And she was so awesome for doing that because I only pushed for about 20 minutes and Baby Graham arrived – crying loudly! The midwife held him in front of me – I think I was in shock because I just said “Oh my god!” and I didn’t start crying until I heard Josh crying.

Baby Graham!

 I wasn’t able to hold him right away because he was so early. That was more than a little disappointing. They worked on him for about 5 minutes and then finally let me hold him.

It’s crazy holding your baby for the first time. He and I had been together the past 8 months but he was still a stranger. I stared at his little face. I was just in awe of him. He was so cute!! (Despite his cone head) πŸ™‚ I touched his face and talked to him. Then Josh held him for the first time.

So sweet!

First family photo!

 But after about 5 minutes, they took him away and rushed him to the NICU.

The family getting to see Graham on his way to the NICU.


To be continued…

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