On Tuesday, June 15, at 8:46 a.m., Mr. James Thomas Lecaque arrived in the world. He weighed 8 lbs, 10 oz and is 22 inches long. He is absolutely adorable, and we love him to pieces!
Jamie was due June 1st, but he decided to be fashionably late. I really, really did not want to be induced, and while my doctor didn't insist that I had to be if we got to 42 weeks, he was definitely concerned about letting the pregnancy progress any farther than that, mainly because of the age of the placenta. Waiting and waiting for the baby got harder every day that he didn't show up and we got closer to 42 weeks. Last Monday morning, when I was 41 weeks and 6 days, we had a stressful doctor's appointment. I was only dilated 1 cm, which I had been for the previous 2 weeks, and the baby still hadn't dropped, so it didn't look like he'd be arriving any time soon, making induction more likely.
After the appointment, we had a non-stress test and biophysical profile done, and the baby was doing perfectly fine. During the non-stress test, I had one contraction that I thought felt different than all the Braxton Hicks I'd been having for the past several weeks, but I wasn't really sure. In the afternoon, I started to feel some cramps, but they were sporadic and I really didn't want to get my hopes up in case it wasn't true labor. Thomas and I went on a long walk in the evening and by the time we were home, the contractions were stronger and getting more frequent. It looked like we might be having a baby that night. We ate dinner, cleaned up the apartment a little, and finished packing for the hospital. The contractions continued to get stronger and more frequent. At about 10:30, when they had been about 4-5 minutes apart for an hour or so, we left for the hospital.
When I got checked at the hospital, I was dilated 3 cm, 90% effaced, and the baby had finally dropped. I was so relieved that things were finally moving along! I was really glad we went to the hospital when we did because about 20 minutes after we got there, my water broke. Thomas called my mom and she arrived around midnight. Soon afterwards, the nurse put the baby on the monitor and discovered that when I had a contraction while sitting or standing, the baby's heart rate was dropping significantly, probably due to his cord getting squished somewhere. I consequently had to spend the rest of labor lying down. Because I had been planning on trying to have the baby naturally, this was disappointing because it meant that all kinds of pain relief/relaxation techniques I'd been planning on using--walking, birth ball, rocking chair, hot shower, etc--were no longer available. Also, lying down is the worst position to labor in and it made the contractions more painful. By about 1 I knew there was no way I could get through it without some pain relief and decided to get an epidural. Because it was the middle of the night and I hadn't been planning on having one, they had to wake up an anesthesiologist to come in, so I didn't get the epidural until about 2:15. They checked me immediately afterwards and I was dilated 8 cm, so I made it that far without anything, but I sure wouldn't recommend it if you have to lie down the whole time!
After the epidural, I was able to calm down and relax. Labor progressed somewhat more slowly at that point. Around 5 I started practicing pushing with my nurse, and I started pushing in earnest at about 5:30. Thomas, who had been a great coach and support for me the whole time, counted for me. Unfortunately, the baby's head was hitting my pelvic bone and not moving at all. At 6 the nursing shifts switched, and my super fantastic nurse was replaced by one who was less encouraging. I continued trying to push til about 7:30 with no progress at all. By that point, due to the lack of progress combined with the epidural having worn off significantly and the fact that I had been awake for over 24 hours, I really didn't think I could keep going and a c-section was looking more and more likely. But then I got a boost on the epidural and my initial nurse came back in and encouraged me to keep trying. The doctor came in around then as well and, with the use of some instruments and manipulations, managed to get the baby past the bone and finally moving. They realized the baby was sunny side up, which likely added to the difficulty of pushing him out in the first place, but the doctor was also able to get him to turn. I pushed for about an hour after the doctor came in, and at 8:46 Jamie was born!
While labor didn't go exactly as I had planned, I was thrilled with the end result--no induction, no c-section, no tearing, and, best of all, a beautiful, healthy baby boy! Thomas and I just couldn't be happier with him.