(warning, long post ahead)
Here I am on Thursday morning (Sept. 6th). I woke up that morning and was having contractions anywhere from five to fifteen minutes apart. So I took the picture thinking maybe it was the day Trio would be born. Nope :) Things tapered off by midday, but I was more motivated to pack my hospital bag, get things organized, run errands, etc. Our bedroom was a total mess still because the bathroom remodel was still in full swing and we had a bunch of junk from the bathroom storage closet in our room temporarily. Not so awesome.
I also had an OB appointment that day - I was measuring at 2 1/2 cm dilated and still 50% effaced. So progress, but not anything too exciting.
Afterward, Charlie and I went to Shape and Color Nails in Wilmette. I really love that place. When you walk in, all of the employees cheerfully greet you and make you feel super welcome. That's saying a lot, considering I usually bring one or both boys in with me (Eli and Charlie love it because I let them watch a show on my phone while I get a pedi. Don't judge :) On that day, my nail person was a guy, the only guy who works there. I had the best foot massage EVER from this guy. I keep meaning to stop by and tell them I totally attribute labor getting going again thanks to this fabulous foot massage. Here was my view at the beginning of the pedicure - hello, big belly.
Fast forward to the early evening on Thursday. We went to the ice cream social at Eli's elementary school, where everyone in the school is invited - kids and their families - and it was total mayhem (thank goodness it was nice weather and outside on the playground because it was craziness! We were worried about little Charlie getting lost in the shuffle because it was so nuts) Ben and I were standing around talking to other parents, and every five to eight minutes or so, I would have pretty bad contractions. But it's not like you want people seeing you having a contraction, so I kept gripping Ben's arm and trying not to make a face.
We went home around 8 p.m., put the kids to bed and my friend Lori from church came over so we could get the visiting teaching assignments figured out. Our ward has had 20 new families move in over the last few months, so there were a lot of changes and updates to the routes. It was kind of a headache. I continued to have contractions while we worked on things and I was tracking them with a contraction timer app on my phone. Around 10:30 p.m., contractions were closer together and more intense. I called my parents to let them know it seemed like things were progressing, so they headed down and Ben and I got more things together so we could head to the hospital soon.
We got to the hospital around 11:30 p.m. and were informed that the labor/delivery department was totally full - there weren't any available rooms, so they put me in the c-section recovery area that has beds with curtains in between. When they checked me, I was only at a 3. My choice was to walk the halls or go home and come back when contractions were even more intense. We opted to go home. Ben went to sleep for a few hours and my mom hung out with me while I continued to labor and things got worse and worse. By 2:30 a.m., I was in a great deal of pain and nonstop shaking, so we woke up Ben and headed back to the hospital. My mom was there with us this time, which was a first (with the other two it was just Ben there). I figured this is most likely my last baby and would be nice to invite her to be there for the birth.
Much to my dismay, there were still no available rooms and I was only 5 cm dilated. But they admitted me and I was back to the c-section recovery area temporarily until a real room opened up. I got the epidural back there and felt major relief after that. I can't believe there are some people who get to 5cm without feeling much pain, because for my body, it's almost excruciating and mostly all in my back. Not so fun. After a while, they moved me into a room and I tried to sleep - I was exhausted. I had tested positive for Strep B, but am allergic to penicillin, so my doctor had put a specific antibiotic on my chart that I should be given once admitted to the hospital. Well, no one consulted with my chart (even though I kept insisting that they check it), and I was given the wrong antibiotic at first. So two hours later, they gave me a second antibiotic and said they wouldn't do anything to make the labor progress for four hours so the antibiotic had time to be in my system.
Booooo. Of course the epidural slowed down the contractions, so they became more like every seven to ten minutes apart, and a few hours later, I was only at 7cm.
But by that point, no one had informed the OB that I was in labor and at the hospital. I started threatening to call the practice myself and ask her to come :) My nurse at that time (I was there over multiple shifts) finally took me seriously, called and let Dr. Ellman know and returned to let me know that my doctor would get there a little after 12:00 p.m. The nurse said because I hadn't used the word, "SPECIAL," they hadn't thought I was really supposed to have the specific doctor there with me and the default was the doctor there on call. So so silly!!
I should also mention that my neighbor Mary came for the very end - she has always wanted to see a birth and I was undecided about having another person there until almost the very end - I called her and she ran right over. It was a party :) Except I was totally exhausted by that point and mostly just wanted everyone to be quiet. I'm not a yeller when I'm in labor, especially post-epidural. But I felt dizzy and shaky, had thrown up a good 15 times toward the end, and just wanted it to be over and have this baby here!
Fast forward to Dr. Ellman arriving a little later - I was finally at 10cm and getting closer to being ready to push. I was given more epidural since it had been almost 12 hours since getting the first dose, and about an hour later, things got moving. I pushed for 15 minutes (much better than the two hours with Charlie!) and at 2:12 p.m., Andrew was born. He was 20 inches long and 7 lbs 1 oz. He had a good healthy cry from the beginning :)
Here we are with Dr. Ellman, who it turns out lives a few blocks away from us. So I bet I'll run into her in the neighborhood sometime!
My iPhone Instagram pic with Andrew:
My iPhone Instagram pic with Andrew:
My mom with Andrew:
Tiny little new baby:
Ben went home a little later and came back with my dad and the boys so they could meet Andrew for the first time. Eli and Charlie were a little tentative and silly at first.
Charlie had no interest in holding Andrew and kept saying, "He's too hot!"Eli was really sweet with the baby though and cautiously excited to hold him. My dad with Andrew:
Gram with Andrew the next day:
Gram brought Davey to meet his newest nephew too:The boys came back on Saturday too and Eli had fun holding Andrew again (but Charlie has yet to hold him, even two weeks after his birth - he is happy to get close to the baby and touch him, but has no interest in holding this little guy, which is fine!).
There were some other things that happened over my two days in the hospital that weren't so wonderful... the OB that I didn't like was on call all weekend, so she came on Saturday and Sunday morning and I think both times I ended up in tears because she was so weird. And plenty of other things that made me happy to go home on Sunday night. Oh the things we go through to have these wonderful babies!! I'm so grateful to have little Andrew here, healthy and strong. He definitely resembles Charlie as a baby. He has a piercingly loud scream and goes from being content to screaming in about five seconds. Does not like having his diaper changed and cries loudly every time. Was extremely sleepy in the first week and was basically only awake when he was eating. Now he's awake a little during the day and more randomly at night, often between the hours of 2 or 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. My wonderful mom stayed with us for the first week and was a huge huge help. The funniest pic I have of someone holding Andrew was from Monday after his birth - my friend Khania came over after flying home on an airplane the day before, so she wore a mask just in case she was carrying some bad germs from the plane :)