38 weeks and Arrivals

38 Weeks was a big one for us so this post is going to be long. Sorry!

Christmas came this week (sorry no pictures). It was so fun to be around friends and family. This Christmas I spent a lot of time thinking about Mary. I understood a little more about what she must have felt carrying our Lord and Savior. Not that I really know, but I was terrified to think that Heavenly Father was sending me one of his children to care for and raise. I imagine Mary had similar feelings, or at least I would have had an even harder time thinking about carrying and protecting the Messiah. I’ve felt a love for the Savior that I’ve never felt before. I am so grateful to have been “great with child” at the time we celebrate the birth of our Savior. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas season.

This week also brought us the most wonderful gift, the birth of our first child and son, Levi. Words cannot express how amazing it is to have your life changed in such a way. So here is Levi’s birth story.

I would say it all started on Wednesday night. I started getting really bad pressure in my lower back and hips. It would come and go sporadically so I didn’t think much about it. Besides the baby was sitting really low and I knew it was probably just shifting lower. At my doctor appointment on Thursday I was still dilated to just past a 1. The Dr. Davis said that the baby would come this year so he would see me next week. I asked him about the pains and he said “the last few weeks of pregnancy just aren’t comfortable.”

So yeah, to say the least I was pretty disappointed. Thursday night the pains got really bad. I couldn’t sleep. Walking around wasn’t comfortable. Sleeping wasn’t comfortable. Taking a bath sort of helped but after a while it wasn’t comfortable. I mostly described my pains to John as intense pressure, because that’s what it felt like. I woke John up at around 3 and asked for a blessing. He gave me one and I was able to sleep the rest of the night.

Friday I went to work at noon and by the end of my shift I was feeling pretty tired and miserable. One of the ladies I work with told me that I was about to have the baby, she could see it in my face. I told her I hoped she was right because I couldn’t think of living that way for two more weeks. I got home around 7 and by 10 I was pretty miserable once again. I was able to take a bath and get to sleep, but by 2 I was up and pacing the house once again. I tried to really focus on what this pressure really felt like. It was like someone pushing really hard against my hips and tail bone for a few seconds (or 30 or 40) and then it would go away. My muscles would tighten, but not just in my stomach. My back, my legs, and my stomach all hurt, so I didn’t think they were contractions. It just didn’t feel like that, more like my body was doubling over in pain because of the intensity of the pressure.

I started texting my sister Heidi on Saturday (Dec 29) morning asking her for some pain management advice. She said I should call the doctor and ask him about my pains. His office was closed so I called the hospital. The nurse couldn’t quite figure out from my description of the pressure what was going on so she told me to come in and be observed. John was in the middle of painting the first coat of paint in the nursery (I know we were late getting it done but it looks so good!). He asked if we needed to leave then, and I said, no when your done with the first coat and you can do the second when we get home.

So about a half hour later we left for the hospital. We got there and I got to the observation room by about 1. The nurse and I were just talking and she didn’t think I was really in labor because I was so relaxed. When she checked me she sort of laughed and said “well we’re keeping you, your at a six. Your baby is coming today”. She went to get John and he came in expecting me to say it was time to go home. When I told him we were having a baby that day he had to sit down. Neither one of us expected me to be in labor so it was a shock to both of us.

The nurses came back in to take me to the labor and delivery room. By the time they got my IV hooked up (about 20 min later) I was at a seven. The doctor came in to check on me. My doctor was out of town so Dr. Houpe stepped in. I was a little nervous about that at first but she turned out great. She decided to break my water since I was so far a long and my contractions (I guess that’s what I had been experiencing the whole time) kicked up in intensity. I wasn’t going to get an epidural, but by that point I was so tired that I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to push (I hadn’t really slept in 24 hours), so I decided to get the epidural. In the half hour it took for the epidural to take affect I was at a 10.

The nurses asked if I felt the urge to push yet and I said no, so they said to get some rest and they would come check on me, this was just after 3. At around 4:30 they came in and asked how I was. I said I was good for now just waiting for the cue to push. They said I could push starting at 5 when the shift change occurred so that I would have the same nurses for the entire duration of the delivery. Besides the doctor had gone to another delivery at the other hospital and should be back by then.

By 5 the doctor was still gone and they couldn’t get a hold of her. They kept monitoring the baby and asked if I wanted to push yet, and if so they would call a doctor who wasn’t on call to come in a deliver the baby. I guess having a baby on a holiday weekend isn’t a good idea. I said that as long as the baby was fine, I would let my body slowly push him lower and lower until i felt the urge to push. So pretty much we were waiting on the doctor or my body to be ready to deliver the baby.

Well we waited and waited. The nurses told me not to cough or sneeze or even laugh too hard in case I accidentally pushed the baby out. At this point they kept my epidural “on high” so that I couldn’t feel my contractions at all and wouldn’t feel the urge to push. But the baby was doing good and I felt nice and rested. Finally they got the word that the doctor was on her way.

They prepared the room for the arrival of the baby, but they wouldn’t let me move yet. I wasn’t even allowed to put my legs in the stirrups in case that motion pushed the baby out on its own. According to my parents the doctor ran out of the elevator and threw off her coat and rushed into my room. It was 9.

They put my legs up and they had to tell me when to push because the meds were strong enough that I couldn’t feel my contractions. Two practice contraction pushes and I finally could figure out what muscles to use. Three contractions later he was born at 9:49.

My labor was long, but not hard (since during the hard part I didn’t think I was in labor). But it doesn’t matter how it went, since in the end I got the most precious gift ever, Levi David Reynolds. He weighed 7 lbs 3 oz and was 19 inches long. And he was perfect. I’ve put some pictures up of the whole ordeal, I’m not a cover girl in most of them, so just look past that. I’ll explain each picture:

Picture 1: I had to wear an oxygen mask most of the time because the epidural made me so nauseous.

Picture 2: The very cute delivery gown my mom made for my sister who never used it so I got to wear it. All the nurses loved it.

Picture 3: I just love the look on John’s face here. It’s a mixture of pure joy and unbelief. I love it.

Picture 4: Levi started screaming when they took him away from me (already a mamma’s boy) to get cleaned.

Picture 5: Daddy putting on the first diaper.

Picture 6: Man that was rough.

Picture 7: Thanks Dr. Houpe for rushing to “catch” my baby. You did great!

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