Friday, January 7, 2011

the day you were born

On Friday evening December 17th, Kevin dropped the kids off at my parents while I finished the final packing preparations for our departure early the next morning. We were scheduled to be induced at 7:30 am on December 18th 2010. I had such a mixture of emotions that evening. Excited beyond measure to finally meet and hold my newborn son, sad that this was my last day to be pregnant and nervous and scared for the unknown of how the next day would unfold. I tossed and turned that night and slept until around 3 am. Kevin awakened at that time as well...most likely from all the tossing and turning I was doing. We got out of bed around 4am, took showers, loaded the car, placed the car seat in the backseat, and pulled out of the driveway at 6:45am.
We arrived at the hospital and I was escorted by wheelchair to the room where I would deliver my son 10 1/2 hours later.
I was given a medication to soften the cervix and start contractions going...and let me tell you, those contractions kicked in right away. It was quickly evident that I was having back labor. My wonderful coach stayed by my side the entire time the whole day...not even taking a break to eat. I felt the most relief when using the stability ball, but baby didn't like it as much as I did...his heart rate dropped a I had to stop using the ball and lie down for fifteen minutes. I decided I wanted to get up and walk the halls, but as I was heading for the door the contractions increased in intensity and were excruciating. We decided it was a good time to get the epidural. So back into bed I climbed.
My coach gives the best foot massages.
The epidural immediately gave me relief from the intensity of the contractions and I was feeling so much better....thinking to myself, now I can relax and enjoy the rest of my labor.

Forty minutes later, six nurses came rushing into our room and began moving me into different positions. I asked what was happening and they said very little to me...only that baby's heart rate was too low. They gave me an oxygen mask to wear and told me to take deep breaths. It was a very scary few minutes. Finally his heart rate returned to normal after five minutes...being on my hands and knees is what they felt took the pressure off his umbilical cord. Contractions were coming right on top of another. I didn't feel them much at this point because of the epidural, but the doctor said that also may have been what caused the baby to be under stress. If his heart rate would have stayed down for three more minutes, an emergency C-section would have needed to be done. His heart rate dropped three more times after that, I was sure that I would have to have a C-section. I really didn't want to go that route, but obviously would do whatever needed to be done to make sure our little guy arrived safely.

The nurses felt lying on my back would be the best position for me and would keep pressure off the cord. I was miserable though. I felt like I couldn't breathe very well. I just wanted to sit up. Finally I asked one of the nurses if I could sit up and I did. I felt like I could breathe again and just felt so much better. It was from that point on that baby's heart rate stayed strong and normal. I was feeling renewed and refreshed again at this point in the day...enjoying this stage of my labor.
Here's Kevin updating his status on Facebook once again.
Contractions continued and I started feeling them more again...breathing through each one.
I started dilating quickly going from 4cm to 7cm to 9.5cm.

It's almost time.
It was time to start pushing. I was feeling rested, excited and ready. After a few practice pushes I felt the adrenaline kicking in.
Half an hour passed and pushing started to intensify.

An hour and a half passed and still pushing...not giving it every ounce of energy I had.
Feeling exhausted at this point, I didn't know if I could do this. Kevin was an amazing support and encourager. I couldn't have done it without him. Love that man! And after two excruciating hours of pushing and pain...
...our miracle son, Deacon Liam Bontrager, came into this world weighing 7 pounds 3 ounces and measuring 21 1/2 inches.

They placed him on my chest and Kevin cut the cord. Notice the nurse with the stethoscope isn't smiling, but very serious. Deacon was not crying or breathing at this point. They also were not finding a heart beat. About as quickly as they placed him on my chest, they whisked him away to several NICU nurses that were waiting in our room just in case because of his low heart rate earlier.
Another very scary time for us. I kept asking the nurse why he wasn't crying and she just squeezed and held my hand. Finally we heard his first cry after what seemed like forever...sweet music to our ears.

Deacon: Servant, Messenger Liam: Protector

Kevin held him first and brought him over to me.
And I felt an overwhelming instant sense of joy and love for this little guy...the exact same feeling I felt three other times in my life.Here is our awesome family waiting so patiently in the waiting area to celebrate our baby's arrival.
Here is Kevin sharing the news with BIG brother Caedmon.He's finally telling them the name of their new baby brother. They've been waiting and anticipating this day for a long time.
And sweet little Luca Bella, only 16 months old, has no idea what's going on....she just likes the extra attention she's been getting from grandma.

Finally meeting their baby brother for the first time.

Caedmon has a brother.

BIG sister, Kaiya is going to be a big help. The last couple of weeks, she was getting a little impatient and kept saying she couldn't wait to hold her baby brother. She finally gets to now.
First family a family of six.