Well, better late than never. I figured I better write all the details down of Colts birth before I forgot them so I could go back one day and share with him!
I had my 40 week OB appointment on Thursday, October 8th. October 8th was a day that was burned into my brain for 6-1/2 months (6-1/2 months because I didn't know I was pregnant for quite a while). I guess I had sort of been feeling "contractions" for a few days but I didn't really think anything of them because they did not hurt and they were very irregular. The night before my appointment, I had my bag all packed and ready to take with me in my car for when I went in for my appointment. I went to work that morning, we had our annual healthcare "skill set" training and I had planned to leave after lunchtime to make it to my 1:00pm appointment. After lunch, I told everyone goodbye and told them I would probably see them tomorrow. I had a strange feeling I wouldn’t but since I felt fine, there was no reason to believe I wouldn’t be back at work the next day.
I walked in to my appointment, they weighed me (I had gained 35lbs on the dot), took my blood pressure (which had been perfect throughout the entire pregnancy), measured my belly (measured 40 weeks), I was about 70% effaced (I had been 50% for several weeks) and I think about 3cm dilated (about the same as I had been for several weeks). I didn’t think much of it. As I was sitting in the doctor’s office I started to just feel sort of strange. Just a little nauseous/tired but nothing major. Dr. Stratdman asked if I felt ok and I said yes. She asked if I had been having contractions and I said that I thought so but wasn’t sure. She decided to hook me up to their monitor just to check. I went into a quite room, they hooked my belly up and said they would check back in about 15 minutes. About 15 minutes passed and a nurse came in to look at the print out, she didn’t really say anything and left. Dr. Stradtman came in about 2 minutes later and said that they were going to send me downstairs to labor and delivery for more monitoring but that I was definitely having regular contractions. She said she thought I was ready to have this baby. I thought she was crazy because I felt just fine.
I called Stan, who was on standby and also was working at the hospital (very convenient!). I told him what was happening and by the time I got downstairs to labor and delivery Stan was already there. They put me in LDR #1, introduced me to my nurse (Jonlynn, who I absolutely ADORED), hooked me up to the monitor and after about 20 minutes said I was having fairly strong contractions every 3 minutes! What!?!? Dr. Stradtman came down from her office at about 5:30pm and told us that we had 2 options: #1, go ahead and start pitocen (which gets labor moving) now and likely have the baby that night OR #2, stay in the hospital overnight while they monitored me and then they would get things rolling at 7am if they haven’t already started on their own. We decided to wait it out and to just hope things progressed on their own until morning.
We then called our parents and told them what was going on. My mom and sister rushed over to the hospital, we told Stan’s parents and my Dad that we would call them in the morning as we got started to give them an update on approximate time frames since they had to travel from out of town. Mom and Laura also stayed with me for a little bit while Stan went home and took the dogs to be boarded for a few days.
That night we ordered some food from the cafeteria (I had a chicken salad sandwich) and just hung out and watched TV in the LDR room. Nurses checked on us a few times but it was pretty uneventful. Both beds (mine and Stan's) were not very comfortable but we slept pretty decent.
My phone alarm went off at 6am. I was going to shower before we got this big day started. At 7am Dr. Stradtman, Nurse Jonlynn and an intern from Jacksonville State came in and checked all my stats. I hadn't really progressed too much overnight but they still felt that I was really ready to go. They started my pitocen drip through an IV which I absolutely HATED. I had never been in the hospital before and obviously never had an IV either. They put it in the back of my left hand and I hated that thing. I was so scared I was going to yank it out or bump it on something.
About 9am they came in and checked my stats again, by this time I was about 80% effaced and 5cm. Things were moving along very quickly. Some of the family was at the hospital by now and they came in to say hello but our nurse didn't let them stay too long because things were moving so quickly. About 9:30 they asked me if I was ready for my epidural. I told them I didn't think so because I was still feeling totally fine. You could see my contractions on the monitor getting pretty dang strong and they looked at me like I was crazy. They told me that if I was going to get one, why not go ahead so that I didn’t ever get uncomfortable. They talked me into it and about 9:45am Stan had to leave the room while they gave me the epidural. I sat up on my bed and leaned over in a hunched position. This was probably my biggest fear of the entire process but it went VERY smoothly. Jonlynn was there holding me and telling me what was going on while they fished the needle/tube into my spine! yikes! I felt a little sting as the medicine (I guess it was the meds?) traveled up my back. NOTHING like what I was expecting, not bad at all. Stan came back in and I laid back down. A few more hours passed and I was feeling good! I could still feel just a little tightness in my tummy every few minutes but nothing painful at all. Stradtman came in again about 11:45 (must have been her lunch break) and said I was READY. She hunted around for my nurse who had just left for 3 minutes to go eat lunch as well. She geared up, rounded up the troops and at 12:00 we started "pushing". I felt like a beached whale because it took Jonlynn on one leg and Stan on the other to hold my legs as I pushed. I could not feel one thing. You could have cut my leg off and I would not have felt it. Stan was right by my side the entire time and I have never seen him so excited. Pushing was kind of fun.......they would all look at the monitor and they could tell when a contraction was coming, they would ask if I felt it and usually I did feel a little tightening in my stomach, and then they would start counting while I pushed. The odd thing was that I mentally told myself I was pushing but I physically could not tell if I was pushing at all. It was quite funny. At some point they put an oxygen mask on me, I am not sure why. I think it was to just be sure the baby was getting enough oxygen. I kept asking the doctor and the nurses if I was pushing ok and they said, "Yes, you are doing GREAT!!!".
I pushed for 45 minutes but it didn’t seem that long at all. Because of the waiting in between and then the counting, I think I probably pushed 10-15 good times? Just a few moments before "Mr. Baby Lady" arrived (this is what we called Colt for 7-1/2 months because we did not find out his gender until 12:45pm that day), Jonlynn said "oh gosh, it looks like a little girls head!". We didn’t have much time to process that before Colt came all the way out and immediately peed all over Dr. Stradtman. Jonlynn said, "NOPE, not a girl at all, it’s definitely a BOY!!!!!!!!". Stan did a huge fist pump in the air and both of us couldn’t believe he was finally here. They laid him down on my chest as they wiped him off and he had the prettiest cone head I've ever seen! Colt lifted his head and looked at me and started inching towards my face. Stan immediately started taking photos and turned on our video camera to capture all of the first moments. Colt Malachi Stabler was born at 12:45pm, weighed 7lbs, 8oz and was 20" long. We had such a fun delivery experience and I never even broke a sweat! Crazy, I know!
Stan and I had about an hour to ourselves while they finished me up, gave Colt a bath and checked all his stats etc. Stan then took the video camera with him out into the hallway where everyone was nervously waiting to hear if everything was ok and if it was a boy or a girl!! Stan walked out and taped the whole thing as he told them "It’s a BOY!!". Everyone was so excited and I'm so glad we have that part on video.
Meanwhile, the nursing staff was trying to wait until I got feeling back in my legs to release me to go upstairs but it just wasn’t happening. They ended up wheeling me out of the LDR in my bed with Colt on my tummy into the elevator. I felt like a movie star on the red carpet with everyone taking pictures and yelling and cheering as I went down the hallway, it was one of the most exciting moments of my life, I will never forget it. I cried like a baby all the way down the hallway because I was so excited and happy that everyone was there to share that moment.
When we got upstairs everyone was waiting on us (not sure how they beat us, but they did) and no one could wait to get a good look at Colt. About 45 min after being upstairs I started to feel a little nauseous and threw up in the bed pan. I guess it was the medicine wearing off and the fact that I had not eaten since the night before. I felt fine after that but still no feeling in my legs. Late that afternoon I finally regained feeling in my legs and still had a room full of family and friends. It was so much fun. We had the best experience in the hospital the next few days, we enjoyed every single second of it. People bringing us food, gifts, pain meds, life was good and we had a brand new addition to our family. Life would never be the same.
See a few of the pictures below, and as always you can keep up with us and TONS more pictures on www.thestablers.net