Elliott Graham is 4 weeks old today, and I can hardly believe it. Time, please slow down!
The pregnancy with Elliott was my first and was very uneventful. I didn't have morning sickness; in fact my biggest complaint was probably just fatigue. I had trouble sleeping in the first and third trimesters but nothing too crazy. Heartburn popped here and there but it was nothing a few Tums couldn't handle.
Our official due date was August 2, 2016. Steven and I took bets on when "it" would actually happen - he said the 2nd and I said the 7th.
August 1 was a Monday. I had already been phasing out of work in the office in the weeks leading up, and since I was home we went for a walk at Furman just to get some exercise. (You know, try to walk the baby out...cause that's supposedly a thing.) I thought I felt a couple contractions while we were walking but wasn't totally sure. Monday was pretty uneventful until we settled in bed for the evening.
I woke up with contractions some time before midnight. (At that point I thought they were painful but that was clearly just my naiveté shinning through.) We sat up together while they progressed until eventually they were 5 minutes apart and 1 minute long - the classic go-to-the-hospital scenario. I called my sister, Kara, who confirmed that we should maybe start thinking about getting our bags together but to call the nurse on call first. Right before 2:00 am the nurse suggested we head in to OB Triage. So we loaded up the car and took off!
The hospital staff assessed my progress and disappointingly I had made none. NONE! They sent us home with a short of morphine to help with the pain and help me get some rest.
Tuesday, the 2nd, was pretty uneventful. Contractions off and on but nothing to warrant any excitement. During the night the contractions were still coming; not consistently but enough to wake me up every 7-10 minutes. And at this point the pain had started to shift to my lower back.
And this went on for the next 4 - FOUR - days.
Wednesday the 3rd was an already scheduled OB appointment and at that point I had dilated 0.5cm - some progress but of course I was hoping for much more! We went through the same routine that night with the contractions keeping me awake through most of the night. At this point I was getting pretty discouraged due in large part to the lack of sleep.
Thursday the 4th we were out running errands, trying to help me maintain some form of sanity. The contractions were still picking up intensity and speed so we called the OB and asked for them to do a labor check. I had only progressed another 0.5 cm so I was just about at 1.
Friday - just another day of pretty awful discomfort. Late that night the contractions picked up yet again so I decided to take a bath. When I got out of the bath they were once again 5 minutes apart and at least 1 minute long so we packed up again and headed to the hospital AGAIN! And guess what - they sent us home AGAIN!
I was so discouraged and spent most of Saturday morning feeling pretty down just wondering when the pain was going to end and when we were going to be able to meet our boy.
Steven went to lunch with his parents around 11 and then over to a friends house for a few hours after that. I was thankful because I just needed some alone time! I took another bath and dozed off a few times in the warm water. Once I got out I found a comfortable position sitting on a big exercise ball and watched some TV.
Around 3:15, I felt a pop and shifted a bit on the ball. And then I felt some moisture. Classic water breaking. Could it be?! So I stood up and..yep...that's what it was. Steven wasn't home yet but was on his way - thankfully very close by. We packed up our bags and headed to the hospital and I was SO glad I knew they couldn't turn us away this time!
OB Triage of course sent us to a room, but I still hadn't made hardly any progress. They hooked me up to all the machines (geez, that IV...OUCH!), and I got an epidural right away (after almost a week of pain I just wanted it to end - and it did!).
They started me on pitocin later that evening and the details are a little fuzzy from there. I labored all night and into the next day. Progress was slow but the pitocin kept it steady. My parents and Stevens were in and out bringing Steven food and keeping us company.
Around 3p I was just about 8cm so we figured it wouldn't be long. The nurses got out the famous peanut and situated my legs around it. (By the way - not being able to feel or move your legs is the strangest sensation. I remember at one point looking at my leg and asking the nurse, "Is that mine?!" LOL!) Boy did the peanut do its job!
Around 5p the nurse came in to check me again and decided it was time to get into the pushing position. After I was situated, she pulled back the sheet to check again and immediately picked up her phone to call the doctor - Elliott's head was starting to appear and she told the Doctor (Stephen Price) it didn't look like he had much time. I think her words to me were along the lines of "Don't move, don't breathe, don't laugh!"
And literally, just like that, Elliott made his grand entrance. Dr. Price appeared (barely) in time to catch him and I never had to push once! I think the little guy knew Mommy needed something easy after such a terrible week!
He had swallowed his meconium so they took him to the observation station in the delivery room. Steven was back and forth between him and me and I remember watching the nurses with him and wondering what was going on. I kept asking the doctor and my nurse if he was ok and they both kept assuring me it was just precautionary as it sounded like his breathing was a little labored.
After about 10 minutes of this my nurse grabbed my hand and said, "OK Momma - in about 30 seconds 6 people are going to walk into the room. They're from the NICU. We can't seem to clear Elliott's lungs so he just needs a little extra help." It was a whirlwind of activity. The NICU nurse wrapped him up and brought him to me so I could see and kiss him - and the tears started to flow. I was so in love and so scared all at the same time!
Steven went to the NICU with Elliott and in just a few moments the delivery room was totally empty except for my nurse and me. I wasn't quite ready to see my family in the waiting room, but I was ready to get on the phone with my Big Sis. I knew she would know just what to say to help me! We jumped on FaceTime for a few minutes all the while getting texts from Steven about what was going on.
Thankfully they didn't even have to admit Elliott to the NICU! After taking his temperature rectally, which he wasn't a fan of, he screamed the rest of the junk out of his lungs! They brought my baby back and I got to hold him for the first time!
We took him home on Tuesday around lunch time after awesome care from the nurses at GHS and visits from family and friends.
What an adventure we're on!