It is so surreal to be sitting down to write this story on a day that I thought we would be heading into the hospital to just get Caleb’s induction process started. This little boy has surprised me in so many ways already, and based on his arrival into the world, I have a feeling we are in for a lot more surprises to come! People always tell you that you never know your own capacity for love until you have your own child and it really takes experiencing it to understand it. I have been so humbled, grateful and over the moon happy these past few days and I am just amazed at the enormous shift of perspective that happens as soon as you see your first child. Without further ado, here is Caleb’s story…
Thursday, August 15th started out like any other morning. I had woken up, eaten breakfast and was working on editing photos for clients–desperately trying to finish things in that last few days I had to myself. Around 9:30am I felt a little gush of fluid–more than normal, but nothing to be concerned about I thought. I figured I better head upstairs and shower and get ready for the day, and once I stood up the little gush became a much BIGGER gush.
I started to panic a bit and called Jonathan’s cell phone. I had been reminding him that even though he was working, to keep it on with the volume on. I called. No answer. I called again–three times, five times, TEN times and nothing. And then the gush became a flood–the kind you see on movies. There was no question— my water had broken. I called my OB and spoke with the nurse who told me I needed to head to labor and delivery right away. I hung up, this time in FULL panic mode and dialed Jonathan again, and again, and again. With no answer, and fluid continuing to come out I started crying. I was NOT ready for this, and I didn’t even have my husband with me. I hadn’t even packed my bags. I called my mother-in-law hoping she could continue to try and call him while I drove to the hospital but as soon as I told her what was happening she said “I’ll be right there!”, and thank goodness for that because I was so flustered I probably would have gotten myself into a car accident! I gathered a few things, trying to calm myself down enough to think about what I needed and by the time I had gotten a random bag of stuff (pre-pregnancy workout shirt? neutral and gold flats? what was I thinking!?), my mother in law arrived.
On the car ride down to the hospital, I continued to try Jonathan’s cell. No answer, so I called his work home office to get his work cell phone. Finally, with that number, he answered and I let him know that he needed to come to the hospital and fast! He was about 45 minutes away seeing a patient at the time which made me even more nervous!
When we arrived at the hospital they placed me in the room I would deliver in, and started monitoring Caleb’s heartbeat and my contractions. I was still only dilated 1cm, and 80% effaced and my contractions were about five minutes apart. Things remained pretty steady like that for a while, Jonathan finally arrived, my parents arrived and the waiting game began. Around 1pm the nurse checked again and I was just 2cm dilated, but 100% effaced. We felt that although things were going slowly, I was progressing and heading in the right direction. The doctor said that we could begin a small amount of pitocin if I needed help speeding things up in a few hours. When four o’clock arrived I decided that I wanted to try and speed the process up and I began pitocin. My contractions were around 3-4 minutes apart and began getting painful.
|waiting and waiting– last picture with caleb in my tummy!|
|left: hanging out | right: experiencing a painful contraction|
We hadn’t really been paying much attention to Caleb’s heart rate, so when my doctor came in and told us that they were pretty concerned that Caleb’s heart rate was decreasing after each contraction we were pretty shocked. (By the way, this was the reason we were going to induce the labor, because many times babies with moms who have lupus can’t handle the labor and as a result are born stillborn.) I expected the doctor to say they were going to monitor him for a bit, but instead he said that we needed to move forward with a c-section within the next thirty minutes. Obviously, no one really ever goes into labor wanting a c-section, but for several weeks I had been preparing myself for whatever was to happen. I prayed that I could have an all around natural birth, but knew better than to get my heart set on any particular thing. Fortunately I had a really great group of doctors, and the day my water broke my favorite doctor was working and would deliver Caleb. I trusted him completely so when he told us we needed to have the c-section, I really wasn’t even scared or upset, I was just ready to meet my baby and wanted him to be okay no matter what. Things moved pretty quickly after that– our families came in and said a prayer over us while they drugged me up even further. Jonathan got into scrubs and we headed to the surgery room.
|Jonathan took this right as they pulled him out.|
|full head of hair!|
|Daddy and Caleb|