Baby Buckner Arrives!
*This post was originally posted on my first blog Modern Day Southern Belle
Buckner’s due date was August 3rd. On August 4th, with no sign of Baby Buckner arriving, I dragged my heavy preggo body to work. I had to save as many days as possible for maternity leave because I wanted to make sure I had every moment reserved for Buckner. Needless to say, I got a lot of shocked looks as people realized I was still here. Most avoided me that day. I think they were afraid my water would break with them standing near me! My boss even had an emergency action plan. If I went into labor, she was going to send a calm person down to the second floor to calmly tell Ed to go get the car and then she with the help of a few others would calmly get me downstairs. The key word being calm. Maybe she was so nervous in my presence that she was using the word calm a lot to calm herself down!
My plan was to work until the day arrived but as that Monday dragged on, something felt different. I had reached the point that I was done. No more work until after Baby B came. I made the decision that afternoon that I was too tired, too big and way too pregnant to be sitting at a desk any longer. I was going home to have my baby.
And that was the first time I felt nervous. I had a peace all through my pregnancy but as every one in my sweet office gathered around me to say goodbye until after maternity leave, I realize that I was really going to have this baby before I was in this office again. I wasn’t scared of my sweet little boy. I was worried about what I was about to have to go through…the unknown of labor and delivery. Ed came up to get me and we picked up the last things from my office that I would need and went home.
I stayed in touch with my doctor those few days and we decided on Tuesday that if nothing happened before Wednesday evening, he would put me in the hospital to induce me. I could tell my body was changing but Wednesday morning nothing had started yet. I was tired and my back was sore as if I had pulled a muscle from carrying the gigantic beach ball that was now my stomach.
The morning of Wednesday, August 6th, Ed went to work and my mom came to be with me all day. I insisted we go on a walk. Yes, it was August and I was overdue but I had walked all through my pregnancy with the intention of walking until the baby was delivered. That was the hardest waddle I had ever done but I made it. Then mom and I sat all day and waited for some type of sign. A little after noon, Ed’s mother and grandmother started on the trip from Jackson to Oxford. And then around 4:00 everyone gathered at our house. I was strangely calm. The only time I ever really got nervous before labor and delivery was those last moments in my office. Once things started to happen I was fine…and very excited!
We all ate some left over pizza and birthday cake (from Ed’s 40th birthday the previous weekend). I didn’t want to eat but I am glad I did…I didn’t realize it would be 30 hours later before I would eat again! Ed loaded up our hospital bags that had been packed for a month. The ride to the hospital was not what we had anticipated “the big ride” to be. We always thought I would go into labor in the middle of the night and we would nervously rush to the hospital but instead we calmly drove to the ER where we would check me in.
The process was so easy. We walked..well Ed walked and I waddled to the check in desk and they of course immediately knew why I was there and gave me the check-in forms. Another girl came up at the same time to check in to be induced as well. She, however, only looked 8 days pregnant while I looked 8 years pregnant!
We then walked to labor and delivery. The whole process was serene as we walked through the delivery doors and to the nurses desk. Now looking back, I suppose the unknown just kept me in the moment because instead of thinking as I walked through those doors that I would not walk back out without our sweet baby, I was just thinking about what was immediately the next step. God kept me in the moment which helped me stay calm.
We got into our room and the nurse was one that we had met during our tour of the labor and delivery floor during birth class. She checked us in through a series of questions and then I got into my hospital gown. She then inserted the cervidel (spelling?) to begin the process of helping my cervix thin. Supposedly if I was close to going into labor then this medicine could throw me into labor. I don’t even remember being too concerned about that because the main thing that had me miserable at that time is that I was told I would not be able to go to the bathroom for several hours because the medicine had to stay put. Now whoever thought to tell a 9 month pregnant woman that she could not go to the bathroom? I think I needed to go about a minute after I was told I was to lay in the bed. I did not have a birth plan but laying in bed was really not what I thought I would be doing. I thought I would be one of those pregnant women that walked the halls until she gave birth stopping to lean against the wall during contractions. But I tried to stay humorous, in fact when she ask me what my birth plan was, I responded, “Get the baby out.” I also then proceeded to tell my hubby that I had full control over the tv that night and I would be watching Golden Girls episodes all night. He completely agreed.
Shortly after the nurse finished checking us in, mom, Ed’s mom and his grandmother came back. The nurse told me to tell them to go home to get some rest because nothing was going to happen tonight. Everyone was a little disappointed. We thought we were going to have a long night and that the baby would be born in the early hours of the morning. So we chatted for a little bit, took a few pictures and they left to get rest for a big day the following day.
My first epidural did not take. I thought that the epidural thing was overrated because I could still feel pain and cramps. I told Dr. Smith when he came to check on me that the epidural was false advertising. He quickly realized that I could feel more than I was suppose to be feeling. I thought that the pain was so bad the epidural was working but could not mask it all, it could just dampen the pain. But obviously I wasn’t suppose to feel anything so they put more medicine in to the epidural and still no luck but now I had one very numb right leg. However, I was not going to give birth out of my right leg! So another epidural was ordered and this one finally worked.The night nurse, Haley, was so sweet. She told me that I could have a sleeping pill to help me rest because I would need my sleep for the next day. I am not one to normally to take any medicine but I agreed that I would need rest so I took the two Ambien they offered but I really did not go into a deep sleep. I remember laying there with Ed trying to sleep on the couch beside me as I tried to watch my Golden Girls but I could not concentrate. I did fall asleep at one point to be awaken by Haley telling me I had to flip over because the medicine was making the baby’s heart rate slow which was concerning her. I guess the medicine had me very calm at that point because that comment would have sent me into a panic but I just flipped over trusting the medical staff to take care of my baby and me. The heart rate increased and I was left to sleep but that sleep was quickly interrupted by contractions. I did not realize it was contractions at that time but thought I was just having cramps because I really wanted to go to the bathroom. They finally let me go to the bathroom because it had been enough time. The contractions continued and really just felt like menstrual cramps.
Morning finally came. I guess it must have been right around 7:00am when Haley was switching shifts. Originally I thought I would not take the epidural for as long as I could stand it but she told me that I could get my epidural soon and I immediately agreed. I felt a peace about it. I don’t remember being scared at all just going with the flow of what was coming. She told me that she really didn’t want to give me any pain medication in my drip since his heart rate had dropped low with the Ambien the night before. I, of course, agreed to tough it out without pain medicine until the epidural came. The main thing I wanted to do was get my baby here.
Now looking back there are very clear parts to the day but for the most part it is a blur. I know we waited a long time because I was in labor for 18.5 hours but it didn’t feel like we were waiting too much.
Ed said that prior to the epidural the contractions would go around 50 and I was crawling out of the bed in pain. After the epidural I was talking to him and he was watching my contraction climb to above 100 and I was chatting happily away unaware of the pain I should have been feeling. I highly recommend the epidural. However, it took so well the second time that I could not move my legs at all which eventually scared me a little…okay a lot. Because I really wanted to move as much as possible and I had no choice to lay still for awhile. Even a couple of weeks after I returned home, my right leg was weak and I am guessing because it was the one that was originally numb.
The pitocin was started in the morning and I was dilating but dilating slowly. They decide to change the bed position to tilt me where my legs were down and my body was up so that the gravity could work on pulling Buckner down to the birth canal. I remember my water breaking on its own as I lay there. It felt like relief. And I was instructed to turn every few minutes from side to side to help him get down as well.
During all this, we joked and visited with our mothers and his grandmother who had all arrived early in the day and were there for the duration. Ed supplied me with lots of apple juice and popsicles. Ed was great through the entire labor and delivery. He was so encouraging to me. He kept telling me I was doing great and that he was so happy I was not mean like you hear wives often are in the state of delivery! Ha! I had to make him leave me to get some lunch. For dinner the whole crew would not leave the delivery room but sat in there eating snacks from the vending machine.
I really only got freaked out twice. Once when the epidural worked so well that I could not feel my legs or move them. I did not know that the epidural made your legs numb. And then very close to time to push, Buckner had dropped so low getting ready for his debut that the heart monitor did not pick up his heartbeat. The nurse did not seem worried but after she left I was not convinced he was okay so mom got the doctor who immediately appeared and after a few very tense seconds which felt like hours, we found our little sweetheart’s heartbeat. He had moved to a new location where the monitor could not detect in its current position.
Your body just knows what to do and when it was time to push, I went from relaxed to realizing it was time. Ed said it was a quick change and I just said it is time to push. They of course wanted me to wait until they could get everything set up and I thought I could wait but now I understand when you see women saying that can’t wait. The urge to push was so strong that it was so hard to focus and not push. When I was finally told I could push it was a huge sense of relief!
I allowed the whole crew to stay present. My usual modesty vanished. The birth of our child was something I wanted our mothers and his grandmother to be able to witness. I closed my eyes and focused. For some reason, I felt like if I opened my eyes and saw the time or anything that was going on that I would get discouraged so I just kept my eyes closed. Ed says that I looked at him a few times and smiled. My mother said I did the same thing but I don’t remember because I suppose I was in a zen type zone.
I kept telling myself positive affirmations because negative thoughts were trying to rush into my head. One funny thing I kept thinking as I pushed was I should have done more situps because I felt like my abs were weak every time I lifted myself to push. Labor definitely demands physical fitness! A fear I had that kept playing over in my mind was: what if I can’t push this baby out? However, I think the fear just made me focus more because after only an hour and fifteen minutes of pushing Buckner was ready to come out (record time of pushing for a first time mom was what they told me).
I pushed so quickly that they were not ready for my little one to make his way into the world. The doctor was down the hall delivering another little girl. The nurses told me they had the monitor on Buckner and that if anything seemed to be in distress they would deliver but I would need to hold him in until the doctor came if everything seemed okay. This was crazy to me! I had pushed so hard and labored for 18 and a half hours and they wanted me to hold him in? I told the nurse, Amber (who was amazing!), that she could be the doctor! She said she couldn’t deliver if the doctor was on the floor. Then I said well go find another doctor! They thought I was being funny but I was serious. Thankfully right around that time Dr. Smith rushed in with a crew. He stripped off his outfit from the last delivery and stepped in a fresh gown that a nurse was holding open for him. Ed said it looked like a NASCAR pit crew the way they were moving! Dr. Smith sat down and with one more push, Buckner James came into the world. Dr. Smith had delivered one baby down the hall at 8:21 and Buckner was born at 8:26pm weighing 8lbs 1oz and 20 inches long.
My mom came in about thirty minutes later to let us know they were headed out but our friends Ashley and Bradley were waiting outside. We were so surprised they had come to the hospital right after getting word that Buckner was here. Only family were really allowed in the delivery room but I begged the nurse to let them come back since they had made the effort to come out so late. It was around 10pm when Buckner first met our friends. And it was such a sweet moment to get to see them. They are precious friends and to be able to share such a sweet time with them really added to the moment.He was laid on my stomach as I cried out, “My baby!” Ed was not expecting to cry but he said when I cried, “my baby” he instantly teared up. I was, of course, crying too. They then took Buckner over to the bed beside me to clean him. Ed was surprised that after they weighed and cleaned him that they handed our little swaddled bundle of joy to him first. Ed stopped for a few pictures but then walked over to me so that I could see our little sweetheart. A few minutes later the bustle of the room turned quiet as the nurses finished up and started to leave and the lights were turned down. Everyone left the room and we were there in the peace of a family of three.
We did skin to skin and that instantly seemed to calm Buckner. He immediately seem to know how to feed and started to root around. It was amazing to see nature working just as we are told. He didn’t cry as he looked at us as if to say, “So you are my parents and the ones I have been hearing all this time.” We talked to him. I don’t remember everything but I remember Ed telling him all the things that he was going to teach him. That sweet time just the three of us was so serene. It was the perfect way to cap off the chaos of delivery. Twenty seven hours after arriving to the hospital we had our baby.
After every one left, they took Buckner to the nursery to continue doing the routine checks and took us to our room. It was around 11:30 before we finally got into a room. All day I had been talking about what my first meal after delivery would be – a Spuds Max from McAllisters because I had not ate one all during my pregnancy with deli meat being off limits. Of course, by midnight McAllisters was not open so my husband decided he would run to Wendy’s but by the time he got there they were closed. My first meal after delivery ended up being a hot dog and tater tots from Sonic. Something my usual nutrition nut self would never eat but it was the best hot dog I ever had. I wanted another one as soon as I was done! But instead we both fell asleep after being up for about 30 hours.
At 2:45 that morning, two nurses were standing in front of me holding my sweet, swaddled baby boy. I remember barely able to open my eyes because of the sleep deprivation and the pain medicine they had given me. I said, “Is that my baby?” And the two nurses just seemed to nod. I was so excited to see my little one but I also thought to myself that I thought they were going to keep him in the nursery tonight so we could sleep. They told me they were just going to leave him with me for about 15 minutes so I could nurse then they put him in my arms and left. I was so afraid that I was so sleepy that I would fall asleep and drop him. I tried to wake my sleeping husband up but he just laid on the couch beside me not budging. I was on my own. I can’t remember if I even tried to nurse him. I don’t think I did because I was afraid to move. I do remember staring at him and the clock as I waited until 3am so they would come back and get him. Not that I didn’t want to be with my baby, but I was afraid for his safety in my sleep deprived state. As soon as the clock hit 3pm, I called the nurses station and told them they could come get him now.
The next morning when they wheeled him in in his bassinet, we were rested and ready to go. Visitors starting pouring in and we began the journey of parents discovering every day we love him more and more.