Gaius is here!! Here is the full (very long, somewhat graphic) birth story, so grab a cup of tea and settle in.
On Tuesday (9/15) I had my 39 week appointment with the perinatologist. He told me I was dialated to 1 cm, 3 cm long, and at a negative 2 or negative 3 station. So basically exactly where I had been 2 weeks earlier. I had been hoping for a little more progress than that, so I was a little disappointed. After the appointment, we went grocery shopping and headed home.
That evening, I started having some cramping, which I attributed to having an internal exam done. They were not very regular, but just in case it was labor, we skipped our Lovenox injection that night. I woke up at 2:30 am on Wednesday and the cramps had gotten stronger. I tried timing them and they were 8 to 9 minutes apart. I was getting excited and couldn't sleep, so I kept timing them all morning and by around 9 or so, they were down to 6.5-7.5 minutes apart. I took a shower, drank some water, and laid down to see if they would stop or slow down (which would indicate false labor). I ended up dozing off around 10:30 or 11, and when I woke up a little later, the contractions had become very mild and very irregular - about 12-30 minutes apart.
The rest of the afternoon we spent wondering if this was real labor or not, but by late Wednesday evening, the contractions had become regular and strong again, about 8-9 minutes apart. I kept timing them all night (I dozed off between some contrax, but only for a few minutes at a time before the next one came and woke me up) and around 6am they had dropped to 6 min apart. The hospital told me to come in when contractions were 3-4 minutes apart, so I took a shower and we got the kids ready. During that time, the contractions became so strong I couldn't stand or sit through them and had given up timing them. We piled in the car and drove to the hospital while I made all sorts of crazy noises and couldn't sit still. The twins were SO AWESOME. They quieted down when we asked and they just kept asking me all morning if my tummy hurt and if I was all better. :)
We got to the maternity ward (after several lobby/hallway stops for contractions) a few minutes after 8am. They got me situated and checked my cervix....
...8 centimeters. Oops. I asked (panicked) if there would be time for an epidural and the nurse said there should be, and to let her know if I felt the need to push. She messed up giving me an IV, but I apparently didn't notice because I didn't realize it until later, lol, then they wheeled me to the delivery room. 10 feet out the door (Kyle and the kids trotting behind us) I started to feel a lot of pressure. I told the nurse and she said not to push yet (duh).
I looked around the delivery room when we got there - there was a rocking chair, a birthing ball, a stool, and I had been told down the hall was a jacuzzi tub for laboring mamas. I had wanted access to all of that, but wasn't going to be able to use it!
At this point, my contractions were so strong that I was almost writhing out of bed with each one, but I couldn't push yet because there was still some cervix not quite dialated and I could really get injured if I tried pushing too early. I can't believe poor Kyle's fingers were intact after the crushing I gave them while trying to breathe through what felt like my uterus trying to escape.
All of this occurred so quickly that none of my family had been able to make it to the hospital yet. The twins were in the room with us, sitting on the window seat and eating their cheerios and raisins, looking just like they were watching a movie! Kyle got between me and them and Giovanna said "Daddy, move! I can't see!" LOL! A nurse sat with them and tried to entertain them, but they were just fine anyway. They didn't get upset at all! They just seemed fascinated by the whole process.
I asked again for an epidural and the doctor said she could get me one, but I would have to hold still, sitting up and hunched over my belly for 15-20 minutes, breathing through many contractions. That just wasn't going to happen, so I said "f___ the epidural" followed by many repetitions of the phrase "I'm so scared!" and "I can't do it!" I also asked that they tilt my bed up further and dim the lights, which they did.
Finally, they checked my cervix and said I could push. I started and my water broke immediately and I could feel Gaius shift into position to come out. The nurses helped me pull my legs back and hunch forward and I started to push, apparently making some unholy exorcism-type noises. The few seconds reprieve I got between contractions I breathed.
After the 3rd pushing contraction, the nurse said "One more and he'll be out!" I said "Really?" and found some previously-unbeknownst cache of strength. He wasn't out on the 4th one though, and the doctor said "Ok, he'll be out on the next one!" I said, "You said that last time!" and the doctor said "I didn't say that!" and I said "I can't tell who is talking! My eyes are closed!" The doc assured me that if I pushed really hard he would indeed be out on the next contraction, and Kyle said "She's right! I can see his head already!" so when it started, I PUSHED.
Ouch. I felt his head crown and come out, followed by his shoulders and the rest of him slid right out. And suddenly, he was on my chest and that was all I could focus on. One of the big things I felt like I had missed out on with the twins being so premature was being able to hold them right away. The nurses quickly rubbed off most of the vernix and newborn goo and I just held him and looked at his face while I delivered the placenta and the doc cleaned and stitched me up. I think I said a bunch of things like "Oh my god, I can't believe you're here!" and "Look at you! You're so beautiful!" I held him for what felt like ages - it was so wonderful.
My sis, her hubby, my dad, and my stepmom all showed up within the half hour after the birth and cooed over the baby and entertained the twins (who thought that Uncle Matt bouncing them on the birthing ball was the coolest thing ever, lol).
The nurses finally measured and weighed Gaius (7 lbs 6 oz, 20.25 inches long, 14.5 inch head circimference) and gave him his first bath.
Roman and Giovanna's reactions to the new baby were much different than I expected. Roman, who hadn't previously showed much interest in babies at all (except to yell at my tummy to come out and play, lol) was fascinated with Gaius. He kept grinning and laughing and saying "that's my baby brother! He came out of Mommy's tummy! He came out her 'gina!" LMAO! Giovanna, who usually fawns over babies, dresses up her baby doll, and often rubbed my belly and asked if the baby was sleeping, was much more timid when Gaius was actually in front of her. She hesitated before touching him and kept mostly to playing with the grownups in the room. Then Grandpa and Gramma J took the kids to the park and then home to nap while Kyle and I stayed with Gaius and Kyle sent pictures and messages to everyone we'd ever known. ^_^
I was able to try breastfeeding as soon as I was fixed up and Gaius was weighed. So far, he does the same thing Giovanna did - he doesn't open his mouth wide enough so we have to re-latch a few times to get a connection that isn't terribly painful for me. Once we get a decent latch, he figures out how to drink pretty quickly. The nurse told me on Friday that I was making "a ton of colostrum" which was good because then Gaius wasn't super-hungry. My milk started coming in yesterday though it's hard to measure how much he is actually getting. He was making some good gulping sounds early this morning, which is a good sign!
The rest of the hospital stay was pretty uneventful - we just got checked on a lot by the nurses and talked to a lactation consultant. We came home midday on Saturday (yesterday).
And without further ado - pictures! http://family.webshots.com/album/574742881ZUXOPc
(all of my new pics are available at http://community.webshots.com/user/Brieshon)