He’s here! He’s here! Our precious baby boy has finally joined our family. If you’re interested in all the gory details of his arrival, I’ve laid it all out in the longest version I’ve got time for right now…Towards the end of my pregnancy I started having some pains and was just so ready to be done. I was ten days overdue with Em and my Dr. made us induce, believing the baby could be 9 pounds! With Tucker I was only allowed to go to 41 weeks since they used the vacuum on Emmy and didn’t want to risk that again. My induction with Tucker went seamlessly and I have the best memories of that delivery. While an induction wasn’t what I’d hoped for this time around, I resigned it was the best thing for our family. My body doesn’t seem to go into labor on its own even when I’m overdue anyway.
So, we scheduled an induction at Hillcrest. My midwife, Kim, suggested we come in Sunday night at 10 pm to start a round of cytotec. It starts labor and helps the cervix to thin out. It’s a four hour medication and she said we could do up to four rounds of that to let my body progress. I was already a 1 and 50% going in and the cytotec worked really well with my last birth so we were hoping it would once again. We celebrated Father’s Day with my family on Sunday night until around 8 pm. We left our kids over there and headed out for one last date. In the car I was starting to feel nervous. Emmy had suddenly developed a runny nose and was just “out of it”. I was worried about her and how it would go with a new baby and her not feeling well. I was getting anxious about being induced and if we were “doing the right thing”. We were delivering at a different hospital without the Dr. who had delivered Emmy and Tuck. He is a family friend that I trust implicitly with my healthcare. Everything that should have been familiar the third time around was feeling brand new to me.
We decided on Mondo’s for some last minute carbo-loading (pregnancy is when we let both our diets go). Before we got out of the car, Matt pulled out a gift for me to open. His card was about the sweetest thing and was exactly what I needed to calm my nerves and get excited about this new adventure we were about to go on. It reminded me we were about to fall in love with our son, Crosby. Matt had gone to Anthro (a true sacrifice and act of love for him) and picked out a “birthing headband” for me. I am just so blessed that he loves me so well. He knows the way to my heart and gets me completely.
I’m finally on snapchat thanks to a friend that helped this grandma figure it out. We used it as our entertainment throughout the delivery process. Here’s a little bit of “my story” from the birth…
Mondo’s was so amazing. The food was beyond and the time alone to laugh and hang was wonderful. We caught the tail end of the finals game and then headed off to the hospital. We got all checked in and were soon assigned a room. My jitters picked back up when the nurse putting my IV in had a rough time and kept missing my vein. Blek!
After finally getting all checked in, I was given the first round of cytotec at 12 am. We slept as much as we could until it was time for them to check my cervix. I was a 1+ and still 50%. Wawa! The nurse kept pushing me to start Pitocin per the doctor on calls orders. I didn’t have Pitocin with Tucker and the process seemed to go way more naturally and less painfully than Emmy’s. So, we refused and instead started another round of cytotec. At the next check time I was a 2 and 50%. C’mon! I was frustrated my body wasn’t kicking into gear like I expected. Kim came up to check on me and suggested we do one more round of cytotec and then break my water. We happily agreed since breaking my water caused Tuck’s delivery to speed way up. She checked me again at 12pm and I was a 3 so she broke my water. Water breaking is the weirdest feeling. I was just continuously leaking with every movement and felt like I kept wetting myself. Haha They got me some pads so I would be able to get up and walk around.
Kim came to check on me again. She found me a medicine ball and showed me different positions I could labor in. She even went on the hunt for a hand pump and filled mine more for my height. She was just so kind and I felt very safe in her hands. Matt and I tried playing card games while I awkwardly bounced and rolled around. My contractions finally started to pick up, resembling mild menstrual cramps. We rang the nurses desk to see if we could walk the halls or if I needed to stay hooked up to the monitors. After no reply for 20 minutes we decided to be rebels and hit the road anyway. 🙂
The halls ended up being a small circle of rooms I wasn’t allowed to leave. We must have done 25 laps of the same old scene, throwing in some lunges and squats to keep things interesting. We eventually got caught by our nurse and had to head back to the room. We continued with more medicine ball bouncing and getting my butt whooped in Rummy.
My friend, Mine’, showed up just as the contractions were starting to get more painful. The nurse said we could unplug now for a walk so Mine’ took a shift walking the circle with me. We did several laps and timed my contractions which were pretty consistently two minutes apart. After we got bored we headed back to the room where I was checked again. The nurse swiped my membranes (ouch) and tried stretching me out. I was still just a a 3 1/2. The three of us took off for more hall walking and the contractions suddenly started picking up. I was having to stop and breathe through each one and was getting hopeful things were really progressing. Kim also suggested I get in the shower to labor and that sounded so good to me. Anytime I’m cramping a hot bath does wonders. The nurse gave me the go ahead and unhooked me to give it a try. I knew I wanted an epidural but I’d always been under the impression it could seriously slow the process down if given too soon. I wanted to at least be at a 5 before we did that. The shower felt so good on my belly during contractions. Matt just stood in the curtain talking me through each one. Even Mine’ was in the bathroom helping take my mind off the pain. After a long while of showering, (my skin was so red from the hot water beating on it) I decided we should have them start prepping my IV fluids for the epidural. I sat on the medicine ball as my fluids were given.
Norah, Jonah, Angie, and my mom came by to say hi and were just so sweet. Norah kept telling me how brave I was and that I could do it. She’d say, “C’mon Jodi! Let’s have this baby. You can do it!” Jonah was such a sweet cheerleader too! It felt good to lean against the bed during contractions as Matt and Mine’ took turns massaging my back. The contractions were starting to get seriously painful to the point of not being able to stay silent and breathe. I’d finally had enough fluid to be given the epidural so I said goodbye to Angie, Mine’, and my Mom. The nurse explained that Matt would also need to leave the room per a new hospital policy. Each time I’d been given an epidural before they’d had me lean against him while it was being inserted (a 1 minute process). I was scared to be without him but figured it would be over quickly and I’d be on cloud nine in no time. They checked my cervix and I was so disappointed to find I was still just a four after all that. Kim thought we should start Pitocin as soon as my epidural was in to intensify my contractions and cause more dilation. We agreed that was a good plan and it was finally time for some relief.
My family left the room and I said goodbye to Matt who stood just outside in the hallway. In came a young guy who had given us the scoop on epidural risks earlier that day. When he had visited earlier in the day we’d asked if he was the anethesiologist to which he replied, “No, I’m one of the CRNA’s”. I assumed that meant he wasn’t the one doing the procedure and was kind of surprised to see him start prepping me. Another young girl came in with him and the process began. I tried my best to hold still and lean against the nurse as they administered a local anesthetic (usually the most painful part). I winced at the sting and gripped on tight through a very painful contraction. As he attempted to drop the medicine into my epidural space, I felt a shove in my spine and cried out. Suddenly my ears started ringing to the point of no longer being able to hear what anyone was saying. I was very hot and the room was spinning. I kept hanging on as tight as I could telling them in sheer panic that I was going to pass out. I was afraid of falling with a giant needle in my back and causing some kind of the terrible side effects you hear of.
Honestly, the next hour and ten minutes were the worst of my life. I never imagined an epidural would be the hardest part of the whole thing. They kept trying and trying, shoving into my back over and over again. I couldn’t hold still and just began sobbing and pleading with them to tell me what was going on. They wouldn’t tell me much other than that this was completely normal and to just hang on and it would be over soon. They laid me on my side to avoid me passing out and I clung to the side of the bed hyperventilating as the same resident tried repeatedly to find my epidural space. I’d bet about 25 attempts were made at administering the medicine. Different needle holes in my back show that he started completely over three different times. I was given local a few more times as well. I was panicking to say the least. Based on my last two experiences this was NOT normal and I was so afraid. Thirty minutes into this craziness, someone came in to check on me saying my husband was very concerned listening to me scream from the halls. My nurse decided to allow him to come in probably in an effort to get my anxiety under control. Thank God!! He gripped me tightly and I just kept sobbing and begging to know when this would be over. FINALLY, the girl took over and got it in in the first try. I felt exhausted! I had had all my make up on and hair curled from our date the night before and you should have seen me. It was a sweaty mess of mascara and tears. I just kept crying, so upset with the trauma I was put through. I felt like they used me as some kind of guinea pig and my trust for the hospital and my care was completely lost. This scary experience would now cast a cloud on the joy of delivering my baby.
Kim checked on me shortly after and encouraged me to talk with the director. The next day we shared our story with her and hope that it helps other girls avoid the same experience. We found out the hard way that most of the staff at this hospital are pretty inexperienced unless you request otherwise.
After this hack job and drama I finally started feeling the effects. They started low levels of Pitocin and the next check I got showed I was at a 6. Hooray! A few minutes later I was trying to sleep but kept feeling pressure. Kim checked it out and I was an 8! Kim told me she didn’t think it would be long at all before I was ready to push. Matt had run to the cafeteria and my family was all shopping at Utica. My phone wasn’t within reach and I was about to go! Matt walked in the door two minutes later and I told him the news and to pass me my make up for goodness sake! I cleaned off my mess, threw on some concealer and the “urge to push” was starting in strong. Kim came back in to check me and I was a TEN- go time! I could not believe how quickly I flew from a 4 to 10.
Kim was amazing! Just as I was getting in position to push, she asks, “Oh- where’s your camera? Let’s open these blinds and get some natural light. Here, someone will be willing to photograph this!” haha She asked Matt if he wanted to catch the baby and he did but was feeling woozy and decided to stay by my side instead. She said I could grab him when he came out and I was so excited. I literally pushed through two contractions. That’s it! The first push he was crowning and I reached down and felt his head. The second push he was out and I pulled him to my chest as Matt cradled his head. The tears of emotion were flowing and the miracle of new life was just beautiful to witness. We held Crosby close and thanked Jesus for him. When he first came out he was PURPLE! I guess the cord had been around his neck and it took a while for his color to normalize.
It was such a different experience with the after care than we were used to. They allowed him to lay on my chest for about an hour. Kim did delayed cord-clamping and they weren’t concerned with stats and clean-up just yet. It was really peaceful and definitely the best part of the experience. I was happy to hear no real damage was done and my recovery was going to be easier than past ones. Kim took over the camera and snapped some pictures for us, even adjusting the settings until the girl next door was ready to push and she had to head off. We just loved her- highly recommend if anyone’s wanting a “midwife in a hospital setting experience”. Here he is. Our Crosby King Smith. 8.2 pounds, 20 1/2 inches long, and absolute sweetness. He is lovingly named after our favorite character, Crosby, on our favorite show, Parenthood. 🙂 It means “dwells at the foot of the cross” and has some pretty great musical connotations as well. His middle name is my maiden name and my family rules so why not? My dad also promised a double inheritance if we went this direction so it was a “no-brainer”. 😉Going through this experience left me feeling overwhelmed by thankfulness. Labor and deliver was both brutally painful and epic in its beauty and I am forever grateful to those who carried me through it. I am thankful to the Lord for this new life. His greatness is made so clear through this miracle of child-birth. I am thankful to my husband, who loves me so well and is just my hero. I could NOT have survived the experience without him as my rock. I am thankful for my amazing midwife who gave me such an unforgettable birth experience and was so kind and serving the whole way through. I’ll always remember “catching” our own baby. I am thankful to my friend, Mine’, for all the hall-walking, back massaging, and even helping me into the shower through contractions. She is such a true friend to me. I am thankful to Matt and I’s family for being my cheerleaders and making their love for me strongly felt in so many ways. My heart is full! We were thrilled to finally introduce him to our kids the next day. Crosby even had special little presents for his new siblings. Em is in love with her new “big sister” necklace, a keepsake from J Spencer. My friend made the cutest shirts for Tuck’s gift, a batman and robin set for him and his new baby bro. 🙂