Hi friends! We welcomed Benjamin Lee Bartlett into the world on August 11th, 2017. He was 7 pounds, 6 ounces and 19 inches long. I wanted to share a little bit about his birth here for friends and family that want to hear about it! Sorry if there are parts that are TMI for you, but pregnancy and birth is weird.
For weeks we’ve been saying that we hoped I would go into labor on the 10th and deliver on the 11th because (1) I would mostly be finished with the most important part of my current work project, which would leave my coworkers in a good place, (2) having him on a Friday would allow Brad to have maximum time off while taking minimum time off work, and (3) I wanted to have him before his due date, but not too much earlier.
On the morning of the 11th I had my 39 week appointment and the doctor said he didn’t think I would go into labor in the next couple of days, but hopefully the next week. He wasn’t even that optimistic about the next week – he said that if I hadn’t had him within the week then I would be induced the next weekend. That would be almost a week past my due date! We were bummed to say the least but still hoped he’d come early the next week. So I went to work and planned for my last day in the office to be the next day. At the end of the day I said “see ya tomorrow!” to all my coworkers.
That evening I started having contractions at about 8:00pm. They were 10-15 minutes apart, but weren’t hurting. I’d had contractions before, but they usually went away quickly. These continued to persist until I went to bed, but I told myself they would stop while I was sleeping. Then I woke up at 3:20am and felt a little squirt of liquid. I had a feeling it was my water breaking, so I ran to the bathroom and sure enough, it came rushing out as soon as I got to the toilet (TMI moment). I woke Brad up by flipping on the light as I ran to the bathroom. Luckily, I wasn’t having contractions, so we had some time to get our things together without rushing. Brad took a shower, I ate part of a granola bar, we let Libby outside, we packed up our things, then headed to the hospital.
People usually go into labor rather than have their water break first. As we drove to the hospital, it was weirdly calm. We arrived at the hospital by 4:00am, got checked in, and they checked my progress. Unfortunately, I was still only dilated to 2cm, which was where I was the day before at my appointment. They had me walk the halls until 7:30 to try to get my contractions going. They increased, but I should have progressed more since my water had broken 4 hours before.
By 8:00am they started me on the lowest dose of pitocin to get labor going. That did the trick because I was having regular and more painful contractions right away. By 10:00 they asked if I wanted the epidural and I said yes but it wasn’t until 11:00 that I actually got it. That was a very long hour! The epidural went smoothly and I felt relief pretty soon after. I was able to still feel everything without being in a lot of pain.
At that point I was dilated to 4cm, so it was just a waiting game. They checked me and repositioned me every 45 minutes, so Brad and I had time to chat and I even took two short naps! I got progressively more nervous and scared throughout the day, so when I got to 9cm, Brad and I prayed and by 4:00 I was dilated to a 10 and ready to push!
I pushed for an hour and 45 minutes. It was so much different than I imagined… I pushed with the contractions, so we just chatted with the nurse and the doctor between pushes. It was much less dramatic than you see on TV, but that’s probably due to the epidural. The nurse that took care of me all day was great and I really liked the doctor that was on call that day.
He came out grayish/purplish, screaming, and with a full head of hair. The nurses quickly wiped him off and put him on my chest. I’d heard and read that you experience a lot of emotions right after giving birth and I had wondered what my reaction would be. I immediately began to ugly cry but I forced myself to recover quickly because I wanted to see him! I couldn’t see my baby while ugly crying! It was surreal to have the little human that I’d been carrying around for 9 months be on the outside! Most everything was a blur after that.
We weren’t able to move to the recovery room for a few hours because my epidural hadn’t worn off enough for me to walk yet. Once we were in the recovery room, our families got to come back and meet Ben! It was late and had been a long day, so we went to bed (for a couple of hours) and started our first night as parents of a newborn!
He was born on Friday and we went home on Sunday morning. Before we left the pediatrician declared him nearly perfect! We’re so thankful to have such a healthy little boy.
Some random thoughts on labor and delivery…
- Labor and delivery were actually a lot easier than I expected. I was so nervous and it ended up being totally fine. Nine months of pregnancy was way worse than labor and delivery!
- I threw up a lot. I knew that this would probably happen, since I vomit easily, but I threw up more than I expected. I warned my nurse of this in the morning and about halfway through the day she said, “Wow you weren’t kidding when you said you throw up easily.” I’m not sure if it was the nerves or the epidural or the pain or the hormones or a combination of all of those things. However, it ended up being a good thing because the heaving motion of vomiting helped progress my dilation during labor and helped push him out during delivery.
- Brad was a champ. I think every wife wonders how their husband is going to react to their wife delivering a baby. He was calm and encouraging and didn’t get freaked out by the grossness of it all.
- I labored for about 8 hours, but it actually went by really quickly. Something happened about every hour, so the day went by fast and before I knew it, it was time to push!
It’s seems crazy to think back on that day and realize that I really pushed a baby out of my body that had been growing in there for 9 months! Two weeks later, we’re tired but our hearts are full. Some things have been so hard, while some things have come surprisingly natural. So thankful for the miracle of Ben, the support of family and friends, and my amazing husband. I’m looking forward to sharing more about our journey here on the blog!