It's been over two weeks since Finley arrived, and although life has been nothing short of chaotic and sleep deprived, I've been itching type this story out. I'm currently watching "The Wolfman" with mom and Rob and Fin, but although gory and fabulously entertaining, I'm determined to get bloggy with it.
Quite frankly, I'm convinced I was in early labor with this guy since Wednesday June 9th. There was lots of cramping, "obvious" clues in my undies, false alarms, lost sleep, and overall bitchiness. Sounds like the perfect recipe for early labor a la Lilah to me.
Saturday evening, June 12th, things changed. I started having what must have been back labor and was really uncomfortable all night. Of course, being the thoughtful and considerate wife that I am, I insisted Rob go sleep in the guest room so he would be fully rested in the event we were about to embark onto the actual labor trail. Really, I just knew that if any sleep was to be had, it would not be accomplished by Rob snoring peacefully next to me.
Cramping, successfully uncomfortable, and exhausted, I spent most of the evening rocking around on a yoga/birthing ball and waddling my pregnant self all around the Navy base. Not so restful sleep happened between the hours of 1:00 and 4:00a.m. By the time I awoke again I was determined to get out of my house and within a decent range of an epidural before my sweet tantrum-tastic two-year-old daughter woke up. Rousing Rob from sleep, he interrogated me about the timing and duration of my contractions. Having little to no patience by this time, I intended to answer him with, "None of your damn business!" Instead I "politely" requested he call our neighbor pal Christina over to watch Grace and put our already packed bags in the car. Believe me, he instantly got the message.
We arrived to the hospital around 6ish but really weren't checked in until around 7 that morning. I was praying that all the discomfort was not in vain and that there had been some serious dilating action going on my with my cervix and my uterus would proudly register an active contraction pattern via the handy dandy Tocco monitor. When I noticed not all of my contractions were registering, I began to sweat. Thankfully I was over 3cm dilated, but not quite 4cm and good ol' Dr. Elder was willing to get the show on the road.
My epidural arrived literally within forty minutes (administered by the ever trustworthy Dr. Lavelle, same miracle worker that gave me Grace's epidural. Huge win). Pitocin began flowing and it was game on! At this time I would like to credit Evening Primrose Oil for it's fabulous cervical ripening capabilities. For both my babies, I took 1,350 mg three times a day for exactly 14 days before birth. An amazing alternative therapy, this stuff works, my friends.
Dr. Elder predicted it would take a good bit of time to get to 5cm and then it would all go pretty fast after that. It made for a long boring morning filled with Facebooking on my iphone, Kardashian on TV, and texting to pals. I attempted to accomplish some knitting, but there were too many bracelets, IV lines, and pulse/ox monitor attached to me. By noon I had finally reached 5cm and was quite bored. My pal Sarah of Early Girl Photography was making her way over to us to record the blessed event, but I had informed her to take her time, bring along her knitting, and have no need to rush.
By 1:00p.m. the nurse checked me again and predicted we'd be having a baby within thirty minutes. Rapid dilating, batman! Rob called Sarah again and thankfully she was minutes away. It was lovely to have a friend around for the event and really nice for Rob to just participate and be part of the birth without having to also be camera-man. If you are at all interested in labor photography, I give it two definite thumbs up.
I had received a bolus dose of epidural shortly before pushing, so unfortunately I had no sensation of pressure, pain, or any physical feeling related to pushing. One of the negative aspects of getting an epidural, but totally worth it if a pain free labor is what you're after.
They asked if I wanted a mirror to be able to see Fin crowning and I was daring enough to accept. However, watching my lady parts in all their birthing glory was WAY TOO distracting and I couldn't concentrate on pushing. Before ditching the mirror I was able to comment on how well I had done mom-scaping my area down there. Having to haphazardly take blind stabs with my Lady Remington, I expected everything to be all patchy and uneven. Much to the entertainment of everyone in the room, I was thrilled it was quite an even trim I had accomplished mere days before. Win.
Everyone involved was awesome. The labor nurse, Rob, Sarah, and Dr. Elder were so encouraging and supportive whilst I was blindly trying to squeeze life out of myself. Sarah double checked to see if I would like action shots of Fin crowing, but I was determined to make the documentation of Finley's arrived G-rated and requested all photos be "snatch-free." She was fabulous and snapped away not just as a photographer, but as a true friend and active member of my birth. It was an amazing gift and I cannot thank her enough. I'd also like to give her another shout out for being at the right place at the wrong time and catching my apple juice on it's return trip, post-birth. Candidly speaking, labor isn't labor until somebody vomits.
I pushed for 30 minutes, and my baby boy Finley arrived at 1:57p.m. (June 13th). He was and still is perfect. With a crown of strawberry blond hair and light dusting of soft blond fuzz all over, he truly looks like a little Georgia peach. He was the sweetest, cutest baby boy ever born.
It was a fabulous labor and recovery. As much as I don't enjoy pregnancy, I'm convinced I was made for birthing babies. I rocked Fin's birth and am proud of every moment. I will remember his birth as amazing and wonderful because it was my own. At the end of the day we had a beautiful, healthy little boy and life will never be the same.
Finley Peter Kalloch, June 13th, 2010 1:57pm 8lbs.12oz. 20.5 in.