Jasper Wilco Stretch made his way into the world April 3, 2015 11:24pm weighing 9 pounds 1 oz.
This post has taken me so long to write for many reasons but mostly because it is 100 pages long. I have loved reflecting on the whole experience over the past month and a half as I sat down to write it in intervals. I have sat at my computer and laughed and cried as I reflected. It is crazy how such as short time can take so long to unpack but I am thankful that I have had the chance to do that in this simple blog post.
You know how everyone tells you are warns you that each baby is different? Each labour is different? Well I told myself that about one million times but it proved itself to be very true.
This is the story of Jasper coming into the world. It is very long and full of emotions as well as the actual details, just to warn you. I am not even going to apologize because it is mostly for me to remember and only a little bit to share with people.
It is hard to know how far back to begin to create a clear picture of what I was thinking and how I was feeling during the time of his birth. Selah came before her due date (2 weeks before the latest due date) so we didn’t have the same sense of anticipation as we experienced this time around. I told myself over and over to prepare to go overdue but I think deep down I thought it was impossible that I would go past my due date. My belly tends to get fairly large when I am pregnant so that in combination with having an early first baby led many people to think I may go early.
When my due date came and went I started to get a little more anxious. Although I felt fine almost 100% physically all the way until Jasper was born I was starting to become mentally drained near the end with each day that passed. We have SO many people that care about us but every time I had to say “nope, no baby on the outside” it got harder and harder (if you are one of those people I am very thankful for how much you care for me and would have done the exact same thing in your situation so don’t feel bad)!
Through praying about it, talking to our doctors, and talking with each other, Blair and I decided to book our induction date for Friday April 3 and trust that was going to be what was best for us. At the appointment on the Tuesday my doctor swept my membranes and said she hoped to see me at the hospital that night. While I again tried not to get my hopes up I imagined holding our baby in our arms before the next morning.
Nothing. Not a single contraction.
I felt a bit more anxious with an impending end date in sight and began to walk, drink raspberry tea, and try to get this baby out of me with my own strength (not literally of course but I was doing what I could). I prayed selfish prayers that I would have contractions and feel the pain needed to have this baby. I was nervous to be induced and see what that might mean. Sometimes I felt peace about what we had decided but then other moments I would doubt. Blair was an AMAZING support throughout the whole process and helped me mentally prepare. We discussed how we often think giving God control would look like a birth coming about naturally but maybe in this case giving God control was to trust that he would take care of us in any situation, including being induced. Blair can explain it better than I can so ask him if you don’t get it 🙂
Friday morning we headed to the hospital bright and early to ‘be induced’. We left Selah at home with family, packed the last minute things in our bag and drove the to hospital full of anticipation. I was set up in the fetal assessment room to be monitored and make sure baby was doing alright. A nurse then came and told us that the delivery suite was extremely full and that I would not be able to be induced until some time that afternoon. Once we found made sure the baby was still doing well we headed home, still with no baby on the outside.
It was a weird and surreal experience but I was secretly happy with hopes that I could help this baby along on my own strength (silly I know). We kept our phones close waiting for a call from the hospital while we wandered around downtown then headed home so I could have a nap. Blair woke me up from my nap around 4:00 and said they were expecting us at 4:30. I felt less nervous heading to the hospital this time as it didn’t feel very real. It felt like we were literally never going to have this baby. Dramatic I know, but it was truly how it felt.
Now begins the ACTUAL birth story.
I am a little unsure about times as time seems to be non existent in the hospital.
Upon arriving at the hospital we checked in and I was set up to be monitored but this time in the induction room. After some time my doctor met with us and broke my water in hopes to get things moving. I was 4 cm dilated and she said she thought that braking my water may put me into labour. After being monitored (again) for a while I was free to clean up and walk around the hospital. It felt weird just walking around the hospital, 41+ weeks pregnant, waiting for something to happen. Blair walked with me and we just walked and talked trying to stay positive and again, I felt like this baby was never going to come. A few hours passed and…
Nothing. Not a single contraction.
We headed back to the induction room and I felt sad and nervous about not feeling anything. The whole time we tried to keep our hopes up but I was starting to feel a bit defeated.
My doctor met me again and I told her nothing was happening and surprised she said something like “well we may have to start the oxytocin, are you okay with that?” I believe my exact reply was “I don’t know”. I think I had heard horror stories of how being on oxytocin made the contractions stronger and unbearable and that was something I was always glad to have avoided with Selah. They inserted the IV, which I don’t think I have ever experienced before and it hurt way more than I was expecting. I felt like I couldn’t move my arm without it hurting so that sucked pretty bad. They assured me that they start with a very low level and then slowly increase it. At this point I believe I had a bit of a melt down and had a good little cry. I think that even though I said (and knew) I had to rely on God I still thought I could do it on my own strength. I had a hard time letting go of the ‘power’ and trusting that what we were doing was right for myself, our baby, and our whole family. Every 20 minutes the nurse would come to the machine, click some buttons, ask how I was doing, and check my charts. Fairly soon after being hooked up she checked the charts and said I was starting to have contractions (although I didn’t feel much) and that it looked like my body was reacting to the medicine. I felt instantly relieved and ready to keep going. The Delivery Suite was still very occupied so I waited in the induction room while they got a delivery room ready.
The hardest part of being in the induction room was listening to the person behind the curtain next to me. From the time we arrived till the time I was taken to an actual delivery room the person behind the curtain was having a really hard time with contractions. Sitting and awaiting my own pain while listening to someone else have a hard time made me a bit anxious. Sitting listening to other mothers in labour down the hall as well as other babies being born helped my levels of anticipation grow as well. It was all very surreal feeling.
Once I was ACTUALLY moved into the labour room I noticed that is was dark outside. I was feeling contractions but they were still manageable and not extremely frequent. I came into the room wide eyed and ready to go. Of course as time went on my contractions became more frequent and more intense. I felt uncomfortable and like I didn’t know whether I wanted to stand or sit or some of both. I did walk around back and forth though as I enjoyed the comfort of not having someone in behind a thin curtain next to us. I remember telling Blair that I can understand a little bit more why people do not like having their babies at the hospital after going through a situation like we were currently in. Selah was so quick that we didn’t really get the whole ‘hospital’ experience even though she was very much born in the hospital. Again, it was just different.
After a while I asked the nurse when they would check to see how far I was dilated (again, I was a BIT anxious). She said that once they reached the max level of oxytocin they would wait one hour and then check. Of course this felt like an eternity to me, not necessarily because of the pain, more because of the whole wanting the baby to get here situation! Although I had succumbed to this idea the next time the nurse came back into the room I told her I felt like I needed to start pushing. She checked me and informed us that I was in fact 8 cm dilated and she would call my doctor to come. I am sure a smile of relief and disbelief spread across my face as we were moving forward. From here everything moved very quickly and went more how I may have imagined it haha.
Dr. Watke came and the nurse kicked it into high gear. The nurse that accompanied us during this last leg (from the crying to the birth) was a pretty down to business kinda woman. She was still caring and very good at her job and I was thankful to have her strong presence when it was time to start the pushing. She asked if I remembered how to push and with an exasperated look I replied with “I don’t know”. She coached me through the motions and was extremely encouraging. Although I wasn’t exactly watching the clock I think I pushed for 20 minutes or less before Jasper came. It was hard and painful but I was thankful that the most painful part was a short time (and on the bright side I wasn’t too worried about the pain of my IV any longer).
At 11:54 pm he was finally here. The doctors looked at Blair and told him to tell me what it was. I looked at him and he told me with great joy (and watery eyes) that it was a boy. We had a little boy. I knew as soon as I saw his face that we had a boy and I was so happy. Jasper was placed right onto my chest which is something that we didn’t get to experience with Selah as she had to quickly be examined as there was meconium when my water had broken. He looked absolutely perfect from the second he was born and I was so so so in love.
While it felt like the end of a journey I know it is just the beginning.
PS I have been restraining myself to post the birth story before posting more on the blog so now I may have to overload you with pictures. You have been warned.