Fletcher Ridge joined our family on his due date, September 5th at 2:26 pm. He weighed 8 pounds 4 ounces and was 20.5 inches long.
Hawk and I decided to go ahead and move forward with elective induction on my due date. I started progressing at 37 weeks and my body was ready, we were just missing the contractions. We enjoyed our long weekend together, the last one where it was just the two of us.
On Labor Day, we went on our last date night and I called the hospital as we left the restaurant to see if everything was still a go. We were to report at 8:30 pm on September 4th to the Labor and Delivery Unit. We went home and grabbed our bags and started the 30 minute drive to the hospital. To help with my nerves, I started working on the letter-board that we were going to use to announce his birth stats.
I was excited but also extremely nervous. As we walked in, I took a deep breath, grabbed Hawk’s hand and said “Let’s go have a baby!” Check in went smooth and we were shown our room. I changed into the hospital gown and we prayed together before the doctor came in.
I was already two centimeters dilated and 80% effaced when we arrived at the hospital.
Our doctor came in and said that we’d officially start the induction process in the morning and that I should try to get as much rest as possible before the big day. It was a long night. Not only were we anxious, but I was hooked up to monitors that I had to disconnect every time I needed to get up to use the restroom (which at nine months pregnant was frequently). I also had a blood pressure cuff on one arm that went off every hour and an IV in the other arm – needless to say we were wide awake at 7am when the doctor came in to check on us.
By morning I was 3cm dilated and it was time to start pitocin. I was able to eat a really good breakfast before they started since I wouldn’t be able to eat anything until after his birth. Around 8am, our nurse Jaime came in and hung the pitocin bag. I was only experiencing some minor cramping type contractions, so Hawk and I watched TV and talked and waited for my mom to arrive. Jaime came in the room and increased the pitocin about every 30 minutes. My mom arrived around 9:30 am and I still wasn’t feeling anything other than some minor discomfort. When Jaime came in to up the dose she noticed that I was smiling and laughing and said “You’re too happy – I want to see you in pain because then that means the baby is coming!” We laughed and she turned up the pitocin again.
Our doctor came in to check me again at 10 am and I had progressed to 4 cm. At that time she broke my water. Right after my water broke the contractions picked up. I was still talking but they were definitely more intense than the cramping ones before. I decided I was going to go ahead and get the epidural before they intensified further (which was my dream plan to begin with). The anesthesiologist came in and performed the epidural. I was a little nervous about it because I’m not a huge fan of needles, but I hardly felt a thing and it was over before I knew it.
Afterwards I felt so relaxed. We had more family visit and the next two hours flew by. When the doctor came back at noon to check me again I was already at 8 cm. I was shocked! I had always heard that the epidural tends to slow the entire labor process down so I figured it would be a long day/night but Jaime said that sometimes it speeds the process up because you are so relaxed.
By 1 pm, I was 10 cm dilated and started to feel pressure. The doctor said “I’m thinking he’ll be here by 3pm!” I kept feeling pressure and a little after 1:15 pm I called Jaime in and she said we could do some practice pushes. Since everything had been pretty much effortless so far, pushing was a little more challenging than I anticipated. It was an entire body work out. I switched positions a couple different times until I found one that I seemed to feel was working. I practiced pushed for about 30 minutes until they could see the top of his head and then it was time for the doctor to suit up.
There was so much pressure but I couldn’t feel the contractions (thankfully) so I just pushed when they told me to. I remember saying at one point after pushing and feeling like we weren’t getting anywhere “Are you sure his head isn’t out?!” The doctor laughed.
After a total of one hour pushing, I felt really strong pressure and mom say “He’s coming! He’s coming!” and Hawk telling me “You’ve got this baby! Push! Push! Push!” And suddenly after the next push he was out and on my chest and Hawk was cutting the cord as mom ran to the camera to start taking pictures.
The nurse checked his vitals and then put him back on my chest. He lifted his head up and his eyes were wide open. We laid there while Hawk leaned over the both of us. He whispered “You did it, babe!” I was in utter shock – this baby was mine! He was inside me kicking and now he’s on my chest looking up at me! It was surreal. No moment in time could ever compare to that moment of awe. Hawk kept saying “Hi Baby Boy! Hi.” I laughed and told him we could call him by his name now.
Fletcher Ridge – my little perfect beautiful baby boy.
We stayed in our moment of bliss oblivious to the rest of the world while the placenta was delivered and I recovered a bit before they moved us to the Mother/Baby Unit.
All in all, they started pitocin at 8 am and he was born at 2:26 pm (beating even the doctor’s predictions). I was only in labor for 6 1/2 hours. I had mixed emotions about being induced, especially considering it was an elective one, because I had heard so many horror stories about things going wrong – but honestly, it was such a great experience for me. If my body is that progressed for future children I would pick elective induction every single time hands down!
We got settled into the mother/baby unit and Hawk prayed and thanked God for His faithfulness. He truly is a Good Good Father.