I can't believe our little Zeke is already 8 weeks old! Before any more time flies by I need to write out his labor story! Be forewarned, this is going to be very long with a lot of details! I don't want to forget all the little things which is why I'm writing everything out!
Towards the end of my pregnancy, I was so desperate to have him! Once I hit 37 weeks I was ready to do whatever I could to induce labor! I don't love being pregnant so I was beyond ready to push this baby out and stop waddling around! More importantly, I was having low amniotic fluid towards the end of his pregnancy and had to go twice a week to get it checked. At every appointment there was the potential for the doctor to tell me I needed to be induced immediately (this is what happened with Clay). Plus I had a little bit of high blood pressure, nothing serious, but high enough for them to want to watch me really well. So, needless to say, the end of my pregnancy was extremely stressful and I felt like I was living at the doctors office! I felt like the race was on for me to go into labor on my own before they wanted to induce me! Since I was induced with Clay, I really wanted the experience of just going into labor naturally plus, I just feel like it's just better for things to progress naturally rather than forcing the baby to come before he's ready! (Don't get me wrong, there definitely are good reasons to be induce, like I said, I was induced with Clay and I feel like it was the right decision.) Anyway, like I said I was doing everything in my power to induce labor. I went for walks often, drove in Rob's bumpy truck, sat on a labor ball, etc!
I had been having a TON of braxton hicks that were really painful and were pretty consistent but they would always stop. I was really worried I wouldn't know when I was actually in labor because I would just think it was braxton hicks.
On August 1, 2011 I was having contractions in the morning but they stopped and then would have a few all day long, but really far apart, like 30 min or so. I felt like I was getting really close but had no clue that he was going to be born in only a few hours. I took a nice warm bath that night, trying to relax as much as possible, thinking that it would help me go into labor. Went to bed, but never slept. At midnight I noticed that the contractions were starting to be really strong and coming every 8 to 10 min. I was hoping this was real labor but wasn't really convinced since I had had plenty of braxton hicks that close together but they always stopped. At about 1 am, I'm still in the bed at this point, they were getting really painful and I began to think about the day before and how I was having contractions but they were really far apart and how all day and night they were getting stronger and closer together. I was really thinking this could be it. By 2 am I woke Rob and called my mom and Crystal (my sister in law). I told both my mom and Crystal on the phone that I was so sorry if this is just a false alarm but that I really thought this was it! So, I began to finish packing but could hardly think... It all felt so surreal! Could I really have just gone into labor naturally? Was I about to meet our baby boy?! Because of all that was going on in my body in the past 2 months I had just come to the conclusion that I was going to have to be induced again that that I needed to give up the dream of going into labor on my own. So, it was hard for me to believe that I was really going into labor naturally!
Well, my mom and Crystal arrived at about 2:30 am and I just kept telling them I am sorry if this is a false alarm, but at this point they were coming about every 3 to 5 mins and I couldn't talk while I was having them. They both looked at me and said, "Christina, we don't think this is any false alarm. You look like you're in labor!" So, we called the hospital and they told me to drink a glass of water and wait an hour. So for about half an hour we were all just standing in the kitchen (don't know why the kitchen? all I knew was that it was better for me to stand!) talking in between contractions. At about 3 am they were about every 2 to 3 min apart and were really strong. We all decided it was time to leave. We said good bye to Crystal who was staying with Clay, and my mom, Rob and I left.
We got to labor and delivery at about 3:30 am and they checked me. I was 5 to 6 cm and about 50 % effaced! I was definitely in labor! woohoo! While we were waiting for them to bring me to a room, I was overwhelmed with exhaustion. I hadn't really slept in 2 days (was up the night before with braxton hicks in the middle of the night) and I just remember laying there thinking I was so tired! At about 4:30 am or so they finally got me to the room. As soon as they are trying to hook me up to the machines to watch the baby's heart beat, they were having problems, so more people, doctors, etc. came in the room and I started to get concerned. I thought he was going into distress (this happened with clay and they started preparing me for an emergency c-section. thankfully his heart rate went back up and I was able to have him vaginally.) Well, the doc told me she had to break my water because they had to put internal monitors on the baby and they gave me oxygen. I was getting really concerned, but once they put the monitor on him, he was fine. I think they were freaking out because they couldn't pick up his heart rate with the external monitor. Anyway, I told them I wanted and epidural so I could sleep until it was time! The contractions didn't seem like they were that close together and from what I remember from Clay's labor it felt like one big contraction for a couple hours before I was 10 cm, so I thought for sure I still had hours and hours to go. I just kept thinking it would be nice to sleep for at least 2 to 3 hours! So, they gave me an IV and after about half an hour called for the epidural. The guys came around 5:45 am or so. (I was about 6 to 7 cm at this point) My mom and Rob had to leave while they did the epidural. Well, I don't know who the guy was that was doing my epidural but he was taking FOREVER! He got it in and then had to take it out and do it again. I don't know what was going on but it was making me nervous. I kept asking the guy, is this normal?? Is something wrong? Everyone kept reassuring me everything was fine (all the while I was having to tell them when I was having really bad, had to moan and pray through them kind of contractions, but it still felt like I was having good breaks in between?) My doctor came in and asked what was going on I told her I was exhausted and wanted an epidural so I could sleep. The guy finally gets it in me and tells me it will start to work in the next 5 to 10 mins. My doc says, we really need to check you! She checked and told me "this baby is going to be out in less than 10 mins!" I couldn't believe it! I told the doc to get my mom and husband in here right away! (Mind you, the epidural guy was still in the room waiting for my epidural to start working, that's how fast everything happened) They come in. My doctor tells me to push, and just like that, with one horrible burning push, I was 10 cm. So, here I am with an epidural that hasn't started working yet about to push this baby out. I remember asking my mom and sister in law what it felt like to push without pain killers and they said "oh it feels good to push." I was so surprised because of what I had heard, they said something about a ring of fire, and well, it sounded horrible. Anyway, so with the next contraction my doc had me push twice and out he came! First of all, as I'm about to push, all I remember saying was " It hurts. it really hurts!" I was saying that for a couple of reasons. One I was told it feels good to push (yeah, so not true, at least for me) and remember i had that epidural? Yeah, it didn't start working until my doctor was stitching me up! Glad I got an epidural for 2 stitches!
I couldn't believe that he came so fast! It was only 6 hours of labor and here he was! I was only in the labor room for like an hour and a half! Plus I only had to push twice and out he came! I had to push for an hour before Clay came out! I remember asking my doc at one of my appointments if labor was harder when you are induced compared to going into labor naturally and she said "labor is labor!" OK SO NOT TRUE! Going into labor naturally was WAY BETTER than being induced. That's part of the reason I wanted an epidural, I thought the contractions were going to get horrible with no breaks at all for hours before he came. I couldn't believe that they were still further apart and I was ready to push! Crazy!
One of the things I really didn't like about Clay's delivery is that they took him to the nursery before I really got the chance to nurse him. I had told my doctor about this and she was really apologetic about it (she didn't deliver Clay, the on call doctor did) and said that this experience would be very different! And sure enough she handed Zeke to me right away and told the nurses not to take him until I had the chance to hold him for at least and hour and was able to nurse him! It was great! Zeke took to nursing like a champ and my mom, Rob and I got some quality time with him before he had to go to the nursery. Funny thing, Rob and I had two names picked out but we never decided on which one we wanted to use. Mom had to leave the room while we discussed which name to pick since we might use the other one if we are blessed with another boy. Funny thing is I thought we were going to use the other name, but somehow when we saw him, he looked like an Ezekiel instead! Ezekiel means "strengthened by God" which is one of the reasons we loved the name so much! And that was that. He was Ezekiel Scott Johnson!
We didn't get to the room I would be staying at til about 8 or 8:30 and at about 10 am Clay arrived to meet his baby brother! I couldn't believe how fast everything happened! Clay of course wanted to hold Zeke right away! There was one point when we asked him where his baby brother was and he pointed to my tummy. So I think it took him a little bit to understand that Zeke was his baby brother! The rest of our hospital stay was full of family and friends coming to meet our little Zeke!
Another nice surprise was how great I felt after having Zeke! What a difference from the recovery from Clay's labor! So, I only stayed in the hospital one night and was able to come home the next day!
Zeke we are so thankful that you are a part of our family! You are an adorable baby who we love dearly! We can't wait to get to know you and love you more in the years to come!