He’s here, he’s here! In case you missed it over on Instagram Camden Lewis made his world debut just over one week ago (Monday – 5/16/16 – two days past his due date) at 10:16 PM weighing 9.04 pounds and 21 inches long! To say that we are feeling blessed, over the moon, completely in love, and just generally obsessed with our little boy are all huge understatements.
So naturally, it’s time for his birth story to be blogged about. And hold on to your hats, it’s a long one. (Ps. I really tried to make it one post but, whew it was tooo much. Sorry, I really hate when people do that.)
I learned early on that once you become pregnant, most women are just dying to share the highlight reel of their birth story with you. But it’s never the “normal” births – they always want to share whatever type of scary drama or pain they overcame during labor and delivery. Honestly, this annoyed me to no end at first (What new mom wants to hear even more stories about how awful delivery is going to be? Answer, zero.) but does make sense if you think about. These woman are PROUD of what their body did to bring that child into the world and I do believe the majority of people share because they genuinely think it will be encouraging to you to know just how much our bodies can handle.
All that to say, I wouldn’t classify Camden’s birth as anything extraordinary. Long, yes. But not dramatic. I mean, I was probably being dramatic at some point but that’s just a regular day. AND I’m going to try not to give you TMI, but I do want to remember the details of this day!
I should probably start with what I wanted his birth to look like – The Birth Plan if you will. A lot of people thought it was ridiculous that I even had a plan for with what I wanted his birth to look like because “it’s never going to turn out like that” (which, spoiler alert, it didn’t) BUT I fully believe that women should educate themselves with their options for birth and go in to the hospital being comfortable and confident enough to articulate what they want! Before going to the hospital I decided:
– Not to be induced or have any Pitocin be used to quicken the process once it started naturally
– Have a vaginal birth
– No epidural or narcotic pain meds (during or after)
– Push only when I felt the urge
– Skin to skin immediately following birth
– Breastfeed when he starts showing cues
– Nathan to do skin to skin after his first feeding
– Bathe him after all of that
– No one in the room besides Nathan and I until after his bath
…so basically I wanted to have as close to a natural birth as I could. I won’t go into the specific whys of these choices in this post, but if you are interested you can email me and I’d love to chat about it! Again, educate yourself and decide what is important to YOU. But also, keep an open mind. Delivery is not an exact science and everyone’s bodies respond differently. Plus if this is your first birth (like me!) you really have zero clue what to expect, especially pain-wise. Because believe me, you haven’t felt pain like this before.
The day after my birthday and actual due date! I had been having some contractions sporadically for more than a week but nothing was sticking around or progressing. I had been to the doctor Thursday and was about 75% effaced but barely a centimeter dilated, so there were a few signs things were finally moving along, at least!
This day may seem like it really has nothing to do with this story, but to us it really, really does! Sunday night was basically our “get to” goal for months. Saturday was my birthday so we were able to get in an awesome celebration dinner at one of my favorite restaurants (where they gave all four of us free dessert for me being so pregnant!) then Sunday we had a huge, much hyped worship event at our church that we would have been so bummed to miss out on. It was totally part of God’s plan for us to be able to go to this with our church family. And man oh man, it did not disappoint! Everyone was impressed we made it and my belly was a huge topic of conversation, per usual 🙂 We definitely went to bed on Sunday night with full hearts! God is awesome.
Growth group girls at Because!
Monday morning at 4 AM I went to the bathroom then went right back to sleep like normal with no signs that anything exciting was about to happen. Nathan’s alarm went off at 6:00 so I got out of bed to let the dog out and noticed my pants were wet. Like, really wet but I didn’t feel any contractions yet. After a few initial moments of denial I told Nathan that I thought my water had broken and he started freaking out (in a good way) and wondering if he had time to take a shower. Priorities 😉 I called the after hours number for my doctor’s office, told them I thought my water was broken or leaking, then waited for the doctor on call to call me back with the green light to go to the hospital. While waiting I changed my under ware and by the time she called me back maybe 5 minutes later they were soaked through (TMI? Sorry) so she said it sounded like it was time to have a baby! We spent the next 45 minutes getting last minute stuff together, loadeding up the car with our nurses gifts, bags, and pillows, and I quickly got ready. Yes, I quickly did my hair and put on a little bit of make up 🙂 About 7:00 we said goodbye to the dog and headed out! During that hour at home and the 20ish minute drive I did start to get uncomfortable but wasn’t having regular contractions yet.
We had already pre-registered and done all of our paperwork several weeks prior so we got to a ER room quickly where they did a few tests to make sure it was amniotic fluid and once they confirmed it was, they started my IVs and got us to our labor and delivery room. They checked my progression and I hadn’t made any additional progress since my doctor appointment Thursday – 75% effaced and maybe just over a centimeter dilated. At that point I started to feel like we might be in this for the long haul – and boy was I right.
Super sexy hospital wear but I wanted one last picture of the bump!
Time gets a little blurry after that for a while. I was progressing about a centimeter every two hours (ow) my doctor came in, checked me, and saw that I still had a pocket of fluid that that not ruptured so she took care of that. Things certainly got more painful after that but I was still progressing very, very slowly. Around 4:00, when I was only 5 cm dilated after 8 hours of painful labor, I decided to get an epidural. I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that I was barely half way dilated 10 hours into this thing.
Getting an epidural was a fairly hard decision for me to make. Probably mostly because I’m stubborn and like to do the things I say I’m going to do and I sort of felt like a failure – but holy cow people, contractions are nooo joke. When I was able to be up, walking around and doing other things to work through them it was ok, but every hour or so they make you lay down to check the baby’s heartbeat and how your contractions are coming on. So those are the times that made it really unbearable. At 5:00 and 5 cm the anesthesiologist came in and saved me from that pain but I wouldn’t say it was all uphill from there…
Update: Read Part Two here!
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