Thursday, May 25, 2017

Manning's Birth Story

I've been meaning to get Manning's birth story written down. I thought I would be on the ball & get it posted right after he was born, but he's over 2 weeks old now.

Sweet Manning decided to be a little stubborn and show up 2 days after his due date. I know everyone says your due date is an estimate - which I know, but it's hard to not take that date to heart. Kess was 4 days early, so I thought for sure Manning would be at least that early if not earlier. Nope. I thought I was in labor multiple times leading up to his actual labor and delivery, so that only added to my anxiety. Plus, not having any family around & knowing that they were all two plus hours away made me nervous, too.

On April 25th I had my 38 week check up. I was dilated to 1.5cm. My doctor stripped my membranes; something I never had done with Kess so I was counting on him arriving any time.

On April 26th I woke up early in the morning with cramps & I was starting to lose my mucus plug. Exactly how Kess' labor started. Mild, but consistent cramps. They didn't regulate, so I figured if I got moving they would kick into gear. My mom and dad were in town working, so I was super happy that Manning chose to arrive then. Less stress for me. Kess & I went to breakfast with my parents, walked (& did squats; couldn't do lunges - couldn't get back up) around the hotels they were working on, I even rubbed Clary Sage on my ankles. (Clary Sage helps intensify contractions... it doesn't typically send you into labor, but I thought I was in early labor.) By that afternoon nothing had changed and the contractions had stopped. I was so dang bummed. My parent's went back home and I just knew my contractions would pick back up as soon as they got home. Nope.

I had multiple occasions when I felt like I was in early labor. On May 2nd, at my 39 week appointment showed progress, I was dilated to 2 cm. Yay! I had my membranes stripped again. I was so ready to have this baby. I felt overdue because Kess was early. My doctor was leaving for a week long trip on May 3rd & I really wanted my doctor to deliver Manning. I prayed and prayed that I would go into labor sometime during the night on May 2nd so I could have her deliver him real quick like before her trip. May 3rd came and went, along with May 4th & my due date May 5th. I might have cried. Ok, I cried. I was in so much pain. Manning constantly hit some nerve that would hurt so bad it would double me over or knock me to my knees. I just wanted him here so we could start our new normal & I could stop having anxiety about how quickly someone could be here to help with Kess. Thankfully I have a good friend here who promised to help with Kess day or night, so that offered some serious relief.

On May 6th we decided to go for a long hike/walk in Donnelly. We headed out that morning and took a 20 minute, very bumping ride... that definitely kicked my contractions in gear - only to have them stop once we got walking around. Kess had a blast on our hike & it was a nice distraction! It was a beautiful, cloudy day. Matt was in his element and that's always fun to see. We went out to eat that night. We opted for Mexican so I could eat something spicy. I ordered nachos with extra jalapeƱos. ;)

My aunt Jenn was in Cascade for the night with her family, so after dinner we took the 25 minute drive to see them & eat some ice cream. Again, I needed the distraction. It was so fun to see them & have a little bit of home in the mountains.

I was fully anticipating to be pregnant until 41 weeks. My doctor would be home on the 10th & she said I could be induced on Friday the 12th. I had accepted my fate considering that nothing had worked. All those labor tricks that everyone tells you about... eating pineapple, spicy food, going for walks, doing "homework" with your husband... nothing. nada. Manning was not budging.

May 7th at 1:30am I woke up to a sharp contraction. I got up to pee for the 5th time since going to bed at 10:30 & tried to fall back asleep. I knew this wasn't really labor anyways - I had been tricked before. Around 2:00am I decide to wise up and start timing my contractions. They were about 7-8 minutes apart. I tried to rest, but couldn't. I got up. I checked on my Kess. I gave her kisses & knew that these were my last minutes alone with her before her brother arrived. I accidentally woke her up & started to panic a little because she usually doesn't let me leave her room at bedtime. I just kissed her again and told her to go back to sleep. She rolled over and conked back out. Phew! ;)

Around 3:00-3:30 I was starting to really feel these contractions & they were definitely coming closer together. I was so nervous to wake Matt up & to call our parents because I was afraid I was having "fake labor" again. By 3:45 I kept telling myself, "I'm ok, this isn't that bad..." Then a contraction would hit & I would think, "Ok this hurts. I should wake up Matt & call my mom." I finally woke Matt up around 4:00. He was excited & asked how far apart my contractions were. I said, "About 5 minutes." "Uh, so we need to be going to the hospital like right now?!" "Eh, we have a little bit." He wasn't convinced, he immediately got up & told me to call my mom. I called my mom, he called his mom. They were both on their way. Matt took a quick shower & I brushed my teeth. He checked my phone and saw that my contractions were about 3-4 minutes apart. "Uh, babe! They're super close together. We gotta go." I thought maybe we could hold out until someone got there, but my contractions were too close together. I told Matt that I could call my friend Hailey to come stay with Kess, but then he reminded me that my aunt Jenn was in town so we opted to inconvenience family first ;) Jenn was at our house in about 15-20 minutes (thanks for driving so fast Jenn!) I was already in the car when Jenn arrived at our house, so we took off as soon as she arrived. Matt flew down the highway & even turned on his hazards. I begged him to do that for Kess, but nooo. ;) We made it onto town in record time & as we turned left into town we got pulled over. Seriously. I remember saying, "Oh come on!" As Matt pulled over he said, "Act like you're in pain!" I laughed because I was in pain, but in between contractions so I wasn't dying. He said, "I'm serious." The officer asked us why we were going so fast in the most nonchalant tone. Matt said, "We are having a baby." He sent us on our way.

We were taken back to the OB room. I'm pretty sure I was one of two patients that night. The on-call ER doctor checked me and told me I was at a 4. So I wasn't going home. Yay. I was bummed to not be very far along since I was in so much pain. I told him I was nervous to get an epidural early on because it slowed my labor with Kess. He suggested I labor in the tub for a while if I wanted & as soon as I was ready they would call the anesthesiologist ready for me, who would need about 30 minutes to arrive and set up. I labored in the tub for about 45 minutes. I loved it. It didn't take all the pain away, but it helped so much. The jets were a dream on my back. About 10 minutes before I got out of the tub I told my nurse I was ready for my epidural. I wanted to tell them a little early so I wasn't dying by the time the anesthesiologist was here, but they told me he was already getting ready for me. As I was getting out of the tub the nurse told us that my parents were here. After I got dressed they came back to see me. I was so glad they made it in time. Seriously they made it in record time... I don't want to know how fast they were going. ;)

I got my epidural a few minutes later & I will say... best epidural ever. He talked me through the whole thing. He let me stay lying down and he did everything in between contractions. The epidural I got with Kess was rough. I basically had to hold still during transition contractions and then when it didn't go in - I had to hold still for the entire process again. This was smooth and quick. I was so dang happy. Matt made me let go of his hand after the epidural was set because I was squeezing his hand so hard that his wedding ring was cutting into this fingers. Sorry, babe! :)

I was checked again & hadn't changed. I was bummed, but relieved that my epidural was kicking in. I figured I would be in labor all day because I was with Kess. My parents came back in & Matt told me that his mom had arrived at our house. About an hour or so later I was telling Matt that my epidural was making me feel funny. I was too numb. I was getting nauseated. They called the anesthesiologist in to turn it down. At one point I told him I was scared to turn it down too much, because I could feel pressure. He said, "We won't let you be in pain." Seriously, the best experience ever. I felt much better after the epidural was adjusted. A little while later I told Matt that I was pretty sure I could feel Manning's head. I felt it drop lower and lower. The on-call OB was on his way & arrived right after I told Matt I felt like I could push. The doctor arrived, introduced himself and chatted about the delivery. He checked me and said, "Ok, we are having a baby!" Even my nurse was like, "Really?!" Things got moving really fast. We asked my mom to stay in the room & I'm pretty sure there were about 7 other people in there as well. I'm not particularly shy about medical stuff so it didn't bother me. I could hear one of the nurses say something like, "I feel left out, it's a party in there." So we invited her in, too.

I pushed about 12 times and the doctor said that Manning was delivering himself in between contractions. Sure enough, he slid out during contractions. 10:23am & he was here. The tears were flowing & I remember saying "Hi, buddy" as they handed him to Matt & I.

I remember thinking that everything was truly perfect during Kess' labor. Manning's was just as perfect. And I was pretty happy to go from a 28 hour labor to a 9 hour labor. Much nicer. ;)

Nan & Kess arrived about 20 minutes later. Manning was being checked by the doctor and nurses on the other side of our room. As soon as Kess came in she said, "Hey, there's a baby!" I said, "That's our baby! That's brother!" She looked at me, my belly & back at Manning, "It's brother!" Seriously, it was so cute. She couldn't get enough of him. She kept looking at him while he was being checked over. When she finally got to hold him, she wouldn't let anyone else hold him. She was pretty devastated to leave the hospital for nap time and bed time. She was so sad that mommy, daddy and brother weren't going home with her. Which, of course made me cry.

We were discharged from the hospital the next morning. They were on their game and had us out before noon. The entire staff was awesome and made sure we were well taken care of. We were a 3 ring circus leaving the hospital which was half hilarious and half exhausting. At one point we lost our keys & all we could do was laugh... and be irritated. ;) BUT, we made it home. We are adjusting to life well. Kess wasn't so sure about Manning for a few days, but she loves him to death and always sticks her head by his hands. When he reaches out and "gets" her she just laughs & says, "Oh, he get me!" :)

Thank you for the well wishes & love. We couldn't appreciate it more!