Saturday, July 19th.
Ryan and I spent Saturday morning at Panera on a fun date. We talked about our budget (which we actually really do enjoy working on together) and talked about Flynn. I started having painful contractions while there. I say painful… Really they were more noticeable than before, slightly crampy. I didn’t start timing, but did notice they were quite frequent. We headed home after finishing our coffee.
Once at the apartment I started timing the contractions on my handy phone app. They were 3-5 min apart and still feeling crampy. I had been told by my doc to go into Labor and Delivery once my contractions were 5 min apart for one hour. We started making sure we completed the checklist I had for when it was time to go. I had our bags packed, but of course we added more.
I lamented over the fact I didn’t have time to make the nurses cookies so they would like me. Haha
We arrived at the hospital between 10:30/11am Saturday July 19th. As we walked in I said “can you believe we won’t be leaving here without a baby?!” 🙂
I was checked, and had dilated to 5cm. The previous Thursday I was at 4cm. Within the next couple hours I had dilated to 6cm, so they went ahead and admitted me. I was moved into a spacious L&D room. The nurses have been fabulous. Ryan and I had decided to go through labor and delivery without medical intervention unless it became necessary for Flynn’s safety or mine. Thankfully the contractions kept coming- but most of the time I hardly felt them. I was allowed to get up and walk, sit on the birthing ball, or just stand. Then I’d be in bed for a little while so they could monitor Flynn and my contractions. We did this all day. I finally went to sleep late that night. The nurse woke me up at 3:30am to check me, and found that I was 7cm! I had been sleeping through some good, working contractions.
Unfortunately the progress stopped there.That was 3:30am Sunday morning. All day Sunday there was no change. Contractions could come in great patterns at times, sometimes accompanied by some pain, but mostly I didn’t feel them.
By Sunday afternoon I was getting frustrated and tired. Had not eaten in 28 hours, and didn’t have labor pain to distract me from that fact. I was given permission for one meal! So Ryan went out and got me pizza and cheese sticks (healthy I know). The most delicious food ever!
I did not progress any more that evening. Ryan and I agreed we’d keep walking, squatting, using the birthing ball… We tried whatever we could. But when 10pm hit I was ready for bed. There was no more progress made.
Monday, July 21st. (This is the “graphic” part, but truly nothing inappropriate. Only read if your interested in the actual birth story.) If you want to skip the birth story, scroll until the next picture!
Dr. Kelley, my OB, made the call to start up a low dose of Pitocin because I had been stalled for so long at 7cm. I had wanted to avoid any form of induction, unless it became medically necessary. I was at risk for infection, and so we went ahead. They started me off on a very small amount and very gradually increased it until my uterus decided to take charge and work on it’s own again. The Dr. also came in at 8am and broke my water, to help things get going.
Now, up until this point I had not experienced pain. Some discomfort once in awhile, but no pain like what I was about to. Because I was attempting a natural childbirth I also did not take any pain medicine and opted out of an epidural. As the contractions became strong and very frequent it was everything I could do to make it through each one. It was the most intense sensation I have ever felt. And what was so bizarre was that my body was made to be able to handle that kind of intense pain. I was able to breathe well through each contraction and really attempted to relax any part of my body that became tense. Ryan was a rock. He was on his toes the whole time. I would yell out instructions, or “is it almost over?” and he was there with an answer, a cold wash cloth, a pillow, whatever that moment demanded. I lay on my side for awhile, then decided to switch positions and try something else. Ryan was great at recalling what we learned in birth class! Once I leaned over the side of the bed I suddenly and very intensely realized what they mean when the nurses told me to tell them if I felt any pressure or the urge to push. Terrified, I started yelling for Ryan to call the nurse because I needed to push. He encouraged me to blow through the urge, which I did. I was so scared a baby was just going to pop out! The nurse came in and checked me- in just over two hours I had dilated completely to 10cm. The nurse went to call the Doctor. With each contraction the urge to push got stronger and stronger. So did my demands to my poor, sweet hubby. There weren’t enough pillows, they were too hot, rub my back, don’t massage, don’t touch me, take this pillow… Thankfully the nurse came back in and said I could start pushing. It was a relief to be able to give into the impulses.
I tried the squatting bar for awhile, but didn’t make as much progress as the nurse would have liked, so she had me try to traditional position, laying back, with herself and Ryan supporting my legs. The whole birth team came in… 6 people total. Everyone cheered me on with each push. There were times where I had bursts of energy and pushed 3 times during the contraction, and sometimes I could barely push twice without exhausting myself. We didn’t time it, but guesstimating I pushed for 45 min- 1 hour. The time flew by. Ryan finally told me Flynn had crowned… and then all in ONE push Flynn had arrived! The doctor almost didn’t catch him, he flew out so fast! (Instant relief and indescribable joy!). Flynn’s loud, precious cry was music to our ears! They brought him up and laid him on my chest as Ryan cut the umbilical cord. Love at first sight. Ryan and I were both choked up with tears of joy!!!
The nurse took Flynn to weigh him and make sure everything was alright. He was 6 lbs 7 oz and 19 in long. Born at 36 wks, 5 days he was a good sized baby! She brought him back wrapped up and cleaned off… but I only had time to cuddle and snap a quick picture before they had to take him out to the baby nursery to help with his breathing. The phrase we’ve heard multiple times is that he’s the typical “wimpy white boy”… apparently white boys have the most trouble with their lungs when they arrive early.
So to speed up this post, here we are one week later (from when I came into the hospital) and we’re still here. I was discharged two days after his birth and am doing well! Sore, yes. Tired, of course. But doing good. Flynn was taken to the NICU and had to have help using a C-Pap to breath. The day after his birth he was doing so well breathing that they took him off of oxygen, only to have to put him back on Comfort Flow shortly after, when he couldn’t eat and breathe correctly at the same time. He was also on an IV for his fluids and sugar levels. We were able to feed him formula a couple times, as my breast milk hadn’t come in yet. Ryan and I are so thankful that in the NICU they allow you to visit whenever you want. All of the nurses have been wonderful and explaining things to us, offering advice, and showing us how to take care of our baby.
This has been the longest week ever, and all of the days have run together. Yesterday Flynn finally came off of all IV’s and oxygen! The only wires connected to him now are the monitors to make sure his heart rate and breathing stay good. It’s been so fun to see his little face without any wires, and to be able to hold him without tangling oneself up!
Just today (Saturday) Flynn was discharged from the NICU! We are still at the hospital, as his bilirubin numbers jumped up. So he’s under the bili-light until his numbers come down. We were so disappointed this popped up at the end… because it’s the only thing holding us back from taking him home. But we are thankful for a private room where we finally have the opportunity to parent without several pairs of eyes watching us the entire time. We will stay here with him until he’s released. We were hoping it would be Sunday… but there is a strong possibility we will be here until Monday or Tuesday. Praying to a God who can heal, for a quick little miracle for us. 🙂
He is breastfeeding really well, which is such a precious bonding experience. Both Ryan and I are so much more confident in our ability to take care of the little guy. We have definitely gleaned a lot of knowledge from the staff here at the hospital!
Monday, July 28th
I’m writing this blog as I go… we came back into the hospital to room-in with Flynn Saturday. Saturday night he let us know what it’s like for new parents! He was NOT happy not being held, however we were only supposed to hold him for about 30 min at a time (including feeding)… since he really needed his bilirubin treatment. After trying everything to calm him Ryan finally asked the nurse if he could lay under the light with Flynn. She said yes, and so Ryan cuddled the little guy while still allowing him to receive his treatment. What a wonderful daddy ❤
We were released to come home after Flynn’s bilirubin count was sufficiently down, and happily drove home with our little man on Monday afternoon. He was one week old!
Since then we’ve been settling in to parenthood. My parents arrived Tuesday to spend a few days with us. It’s been fun seeing the joy little Flynnigan brings to them. They are soaking up all the baby time!
Flynn had his first checkup and looked great! I love his pediatrician, she was super sweet. He was only 1oz from his birth weight and had grown 1/2 inch! His breathing was great, and she didn’t have any concerns.
Thank you again to all of you who prayed for Flynn and us during his stay in the NICU. We were very blessed to have him able to be released to us so quickly. My heart hurts for those who have to still drive to see their babies in the NICU every day… I now understand how draining and emotionally trying it is!
Much more to come, I’m sure…