It’s time. It’s only been nearly six months. 🙂
The birth story of Tate Anthony (T.A.A.). Born at 6:19pm Sunday, November 12, 2017 at Baptist East Hospital in Montgomery, AL. Weight: 6lbs, 15ozs / Length: 18 inches
Labors/ Deliveries Previously – 1st child – C-section / 2nd child – vaginal / 3rd child – vaginal (miscarriage) / 4th child – vaginal
(Warning: Long and boring. And perhaps the most non-eloquent thing you’ll ever read. Wink, wink.)
I woke at around 2:00am on Sunday morning November 12th to use the restroom (which happened almost every hour on the hour those nights of the ninth month). However, something about that night and the way I felt made me think I’m going to be having a baby sometime in the next couple of days. While trying my hardest to settle back into bed, I continued to have what I would say were mild menstrual-like cramps or now looking back, I think it was most likely early labor. They made it difficult to sleep, but I think I caught a wink here and there. After rising for the day at around 6:00am and using the restroom once again, I noticed a pinkish mucus-like discharge. This continued throughout the morning as did the cramps/ contractions. It was at this point that I had an inkling that you just might be arriving this day, November 12th. We set off for church at around 9:15am and it felt as if the contractions seemed to ease or subside for a bit that morning (except for when I was standing). During church and afterwards, the thought kept running through my head that I must call my Mom as soon as I get a chance and tell her that you just might be coming sooner rather than later.
After church (around 11:00am), we went home and ate some lunch. I had some leftover chicken noodle soup and some Halo ice cream. The day was cool and rainy. I remember Bryan telling me that I should probably try to lie down and relax a bit (hoping that the cramping would subside and that I would make it a couple more days so that Dr. Waller would be back from vacation and be able to deliver Mr. Tate). Sidenote – the day before I had been on my feet almost the entire day cleaning and doing some last minute nesting (like making a second crib sheet, etc). Making crib sheets, one of those tasks I just felt I had to do this time around. Crazy! Maggie and I also took our usual 2-3 short walks along the neighborhood street that Saturday.
Back to Sunday. Around 1:00pm, I called Dr. Sullivan (the doctor on call in Labor and Delivery at the hospital I would be delivering at) to ask what they recommend I do. She advised me to drink a lot of water and perhaps take a hot shower. I am assuming because I was about a week and a half early she was trying to recommend I do what I could to prevent myself from going into labor. I did both, but figured we were past the point of a hot shower and drinking lots of water. 🙂 Neither really helped and the contractions kept on and kept progressing.
After lunch, I continued to try and rest/ lay in bed. However, the contractions were so unpredictable. Sometimes they were worse when lying down and sometimes they were heavier when standing. It didn’t really seem to matter what I was doing. Bryan decided that time may be running out to do some of the last minute errands that needed to be done before baby. So that afternoon he ran out to try and accomplish one of these – getting new cell phones. I really wanted either a new cell phone or new camera so that I would have a nice way of taking photos of all of the new sweetness we were about to be introduced to. BOTH would’ve been great :), but we settled for new phones. The AT&T store was about 15 minutes away from the house and he had to make two trips. The first time, he took Maddox and the second time he took Isla (so that at least one of the kiddos would be at home to keep an eye on me at all times). The second time he went back with Isla it was taking a couple of hours for all of my data to be transferred from the old phone to the new so they ventured over to Target for a bit. Timewise, this was somewhere around 3:30pm. While they were gone browsing Target (one of my favorite things), I felt as if the contractions might be worsening, coming on stronger and more often (I was estimating them to be around 7 to 11 minutes apart at this point). However, they still weren’t real consistent.
After being up for a bit and then settling back into bed yet again, my water broke (everywhere!). No more postponing this thing now. I immediately called (it was around 4:50pm) Bryan and told him he needed to get home in a hurry. Remember, Maddox was left at home to keep checking on me. When I told him my water broke, that really threw him off. He kept thinking that I was referring to my water bottle breaking on the bed ( I didn’t even think that he would have no idea what I meant when I said my water broke). When I told him that I was going to have to go to the hospital he said “Oh because your side of the bed is wet (because of your water bottle breaking) and you need a place to sleep? 🙂
Before rushing home, Bryan had to go from Target back to the AT&T store to pick up my phone. My new phone wasn’t ready yet, but there was no time to wait. When he got home, we grabbed my stuff (I wasn’t entirely packed yet) and I didn’t have the kids ready to go at all. I really hadn’t even planned out what we would do with them. Excitedly, they each packed a bag for themself. (Later, I found out that Isla even packed a knife and a loaf of bread for her sandwich the next day.) We left them waiting in the garage for our good friends and neighbors to come pick them up to spend the night. We headed towards the hospital (about 25 minutes away). I wasn’t paying much attention to how long it took us to get there because my contractions seemed to be coming at about three minutes apart by this time and I was also trying to talk to my dear friend Melissa about the kiddos and the plan for the next 24 hours. I remember having a contraction while on the phone with her. I also remember Bryan FaceTiming the kids while they were waiting out in the garage for their ride to come. They looked so cute and excited! I called the hospital on the way as well. They told me to check in at the E.R. upon arrival.
While checking in (which seemed to take a lifetime, but really only took about 20 minutes), the contractions kept coming fast and strong. The woman checking me in kept telling me to breathe – I don’t think she had any idea how close I was to having this baby. She was definitely taking her own sweet time as they do a lot down here in the south. Once I finally got checked in, they sent a nurse down to get me. Again, as we get up to the second floor and wheel pass the nurse’s station they seemed to think that there was no time to hurry and I started to think that maybe they were right. (Later, they told me that I seemed to be too calm to be much past just the beginnings of labor.) However, once we got into my room (room #2), I told Bryan that I had to use the restroom (no nurses were in the room yet).
While using the restroom, I told him I really felt as if I needed to push. He rushed out of the room to get a nurse. A few came running into the room, changed me into a gown and got me into the bed to “check me”. I was dilated to a seven and entirely effaced! One of the nurses looked at me and said “you are going to have a baby in the next 20 to 30 minutes”. She was polite and asked me if I’d like an epidural full well knowing that there was probably no way this could happen or take effect in the amount of time we had available. This whole pregnancy my hope was that I could have a natural labor and birth, but now that the time was here I was still very scared about laboring and pushing with no pain meds and/ or epidural. I remember actually asking the nurse if she thought I could do it. She, of course, was very supportive and said most definitely you can do this and continued to be my biggest cheerleader throughout the rest of my labor and delivery. I trusted her and myself, but also saw the fear in Bryan’s eyes.
Quickly, they began asking me all sorts of questions while preparing me for pushing. Things that I would have normally answered right after checking in but before intense labor began. I hadn’t yet been tested for Strep B and I remember asking them if I could bypass the antibiotic. They said “no” because it could cause the baby to be sick. However, little did I know until after the fact that there was no time for this either. They didn’t get the antibiotic to the room and hooked up in time. I did do an I.V., but only for about an hour. They didn’t even have time to get the stirrups up on the bed. The Doctor still had not made it into the room yet and I wasn’t sure she was going to. I can’t quite recall how many times I pushed before she got there, but she did end up arriving with only a few minutes to spare. Once she arrived, I pushed 4 to 5 times more. It was definitely the most painful part! The nurses were fantastic and kept calling me a “rock star”. This encouragement helped me to stay focused and confident. I remember doing a bit of screaming and then apologizing. And squeezing Bryan’s hand off and then apologizing. Tears streamed down my face (it wasn’t until hours later that I noticed the mascara running down my cheeks). The three pushes I remember most were: 1) When the head crowned. The head staying there between contractions (perhaps the most painful of all). 2) The contraction in which the rest of the head showed itself. 3) The contraction/ push where the shoulders made there appearance. And then the rest seemed like a walk in the park.
The Doctor assumed he was at least an eight pounder by looks of his head, but compared to my others he was a little guy. Coming in at only 6lbs, 15ozs. I remember seeing 6:19pm on the clock when they stretched out the umbilical cord and laid him on my chest in all is goopy glory. Heavenly! They let him lay there for a little while- maybe 20 to 30 minutes. I’d waited for this moment for so very long! Things are a bit of a blare but I remember him crying a little, opening his eyes, and then feeding him. That lil champ knew exactly what to do – he ate away! They then took him over to the little bed/ incubator type thing and started wiping him off, getting his foot prints, and all of that good stuff. At this point, I remember Bryan talking to my Mom on the phone (with Tate crying in the background) and she stated “you got to be kidding me”. She never expected things to go that fast.
Once the nurses did what they could do in the room, they took him to the nursery to weigh and measure him, check his blood sugar, etc. He was gone for about an hour or two. It seemed like so much longer. I (and Bryan) couldn’t wait to see and hold him again! During this time before I moved into the post partum room, Melissa brought the kids up to see me and they got to peek in on lil’ Tate in the nursery. They finally got to come up and hold him the next day after school. We got moved to the new room while Melissa and the kids were still there. I remember being really hungry and feeling so high on adrenaline. I kept thinking – I can’t believe it is all over! After the longest, hardest pregnancy, it was the most tranquil labor and delivery experience I could’ve asked for. I felt so blessed! That night, the cafeteria and most restaurants were closed so I settled for a turkey sandwich and chips.
Tate stayed in the room with us all night. We didn’t get much sleep, but oh what a wonderful feeling you always have those first few nights with a new baby by your side. I was alive, my baby was doing well, my husband and best friend was by my side, and I had two healthy kiddos at home! Thank you God! You are so so good! We finally decided on a name the next morning. Tate Anthony it would be. And it seems fitting! He’s our little man and after a rough pregnancy he seems to be one heck of a trooper and splendidly happy baby. We got released from the hospital 48 hours later (Tuesday 11-14-17 at around 6:30pm). Off to start our newest adventure . . .
(Once again, my apologies for perhaps the most horribly written blog post ever.) 😉