05 October 2013

And then there were FOUR

Craig Timothy Rasmussen has arrived! Are you ready for the birth story?

First off, do we remember Calista's birth story? For those that don't... it was long. And hard. And did I mention long? I've been having some anxiety about giving birth again ever since I found out I was pregnant again (and, to be honest, even before). I did not want to have the same experience, except for the ending, where I get to hold a beautiful baby in my arms and fall in love. So, this long and difficult and exhausting experience is my only frame of reference for Craig's birth, which I will now tell you!

September 23, 10 PM: I start having contractions, but they're early labor, so I don't tell Kyler so hopefully he can sleep. I also take a couple of tylenol, hoping I can sleep... no dice. Tossing, turning, and a little dozing ensues.
September 24, 2:30 AM: Still hoping to make the contractions relax (though, they are still not bad), I take a bath. The bath feels nice but does nothing to lessen the contractions, so I finally give in to the idea that I really am in labor.
4:30 AM: I wake up Kyler, because I want to hold his hand. We decide that although it's clear I am in labor, it's early still and we won't call the midwives yet.
8:30 AM: Mom calls from the road on the way here, and I tell her I'm in labor and she shouldn't dawdle. Good thing!
10:00 AM: Kyler, Calista and I go buy Iron Man 3 and return some books to the library. Then we come home and begin to watch Iron Man 3. Calista and Kyler and thoroughly enjoying themselves... I'm slightly distracted.
11:00 AM: Contractions are getting really intense. I start trying to be in different positions during them, in a effort to deal with them better. Sitting down is the most uncomfortable position; I much prefer standing.
11:30 AM: I call the midwives to let them know I'm in labor. We decide to give it a little more time, and they tell me to call back in a half hour or if I decide I need to head to the hospital.
11:45 AM: Mom gets here, and I call the midwives and tell them we should go to the hospital.
12:00 PM: Mom braids my hair while we wait for the midwives to let us know which hospital (there are 2 pretty much equidistant) has open beds for me.
12:15 PM: Kyler puts Calista down for a nap.
12:25 PM: Midwives tell us where to meet them and we leave Mom with Calista and go. (The midwives were rather annoyed it took so long to get information from the hospitals. "Apparently me saying I have a woman in labor means nothing to them!")
The way to the hospital is kind of tortuous. Contractions hurt quite a bit, and I have to sit down, which is the worst position for me to be in to deal with the pain. I keep shifting in my seat back and forth, trying to be comfortable (yeah, right!). While we drive, I tell Kyler, "This is hard. I'm not sure I can handle this. This is hard." Remember, I'm thinking of Calista's birth, I'm thinking I still have hours to sit at the hospital with this much intensity. I am not very hopeful at this point, and I can't even hold Kyler's hand through every contraction because he sometimes has to, you know, drive.
12:45 PM: My water breaks while we are in the left turn lane for the hospital complex. Contractions get even more intense, and I begin to feel some pressure. I'm afraid to even think it, but I'm starting to wonder if I'm close to pushing. Maybe I am close to being done? Maybe I won't have to do this for hours and hours more? I don't want to get my hopes up too much, though.
12:50 PM: Kyler circles the parking garage for a spot, we finally find one, and we head towards the hospital main entrance. While circling trying to find a spot, I'm telling Kyler we need to park now, and he's feeling like a failure as a father and a husband: "This kid's not even born, and I'm already failing him! I can't even find a parking spot!"
12:55 PM: We (Kyler, the midwives, and me) are getting checked into labor and delivery, and waiting for the room to be 100% ready. The midwives can tell that I'm definitely in labor, and they think this kid is coming soon. I'm starting to agree with them. Since they don't want to deliver a baby in a hallway, they are talking me through the contractions, helping me breath and relax.
1:00 PM: In the room! Off comes the wet jeans, and the midwives get the room and their things ready. At one point while I'm changing into a hospital gown, I have a contraction that makes me call out for Kyler. He rushes into the bathroom, and I have him hold my hand and hold me. I am so grateful he was there with me and able to support me.
1:15/1:20 PM: The midwives tell me I can push when I feel the urge. I do not argue with them, because I am definitely feeling the urge! At one point while I am pushing, they tell me his head is right there and I just need to do a couple more pushes. In my head I'm thinking, "Yeah right! They told me that with Calista, too, and then I pushed for a couple more hours and she came out head and hand together!" But this time, there is no hand next to the face, and the midwives are right. I push a few more times, and they tell me (and I can feel) that his head is out. They have me pause as they check his umbilical cord, and then give me the go-ahead to push out his shoulders. Another push or two and they are free and he comes slithering out.
1:30 PM: Craig Timothy Rasmussen is born, 8 lbs 1 oz, 19.75 inches long.
I hold him on my stomach until his cord stops pulsing and Kyler cuts it, and then I hold him on my chest for nearly an hour before they do the measurements.
Kyler holds him after they finish.
It's kind of amazing how different I felt after Craig than after Calista. Last time, 3.5 hours of pushing and 3 second degree tears, one of which was internal. This time, it was 10 minutes of pushing and a single first degree tear so small I didn't even need stitches. I feel amazing in comparison.
4:00 PM: We are discharged. Yes, that's right, the same day.
4:30 PM: We are all back home, and Calista (and Grammie May) get to meet Craig for the first time.
I am so grateful for this little boy, and also for this whole experience. I spent the last nine months trying to deal with my fear and anxieties towards giving birth by turning to the Lord, and this time the worst part of my labor and delivery was trying not to push while searching for a parking spot. The Lord blessed me with peace concerning what was to happen, and also a knowledge that regardless, he (Craig) would be worth it. And he is.
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