Last night before we went to bed, Christopher asked me if “tonight was the night.” No, I replied, all was calm. I went to bed around 11.
At 11:30, Megan climbed in bed with me. At 12:30, Gavin climbed in bed with me. (Christopher had gone to sleep in the guest bed). At 5:30 I got up to use the restroom, and the kids had taken over the bed so I climbed into Gavin’s twin bed and went back to sleep. I took my phone with me, with the alarm set for 7:00 so I could get the kids ready for school.
At 6:30, I woke up with a contraction. I had another one at 6:33, and another at 6:36. I woke up Christopher, saying that we would probably have to go to the hospital. I hopped in the shower, and the kids woke up. At 6:50, I called my neighbor. She said she’d be there in 10-15 minutes and I got dressed. The contractions were getting painful. At 7:10, the kids were at the breakfast table and I got in the car. I honked the horn at Christopher and called Labor and Delivery to let them know I was on my way.
The 4.5 mile, 12 minute drive to the hospital was intense. Every stoplight seemed to take forever, and every driver in front of us was annoyingly driving the speed limit.
We pulled up to the front of the hospital and Christopher ran to get a wheelchair. An attendant helped me into the wheelchair, but they told Christopher he would have to park the car himself.
I was starting to moan and yell quite a bit. The attendant claimed an elevator just for us, an express to the 8th floor. People obligingly got out of the way.
The attendant wheeled me to the desk. I moaned and yelled again and 5 or 6 residents and nurses stood up and got into action. I told them I needed oxygen because I was hyperventilating.
They took me to a small, private triage room. A nurse grabbed a gown and I told everyone I was stripping, not to mind me. I pulled my tops off and threw them in the corner, kicked off my shoes, and yanked off my socks. As I was stepping out of my jeans, my water broke in a huge, explosive gush.
I practically fell down on the bed and told them I needed to push. The resident doctor who delivered Benjamin, Dr. Prettyman (I kid you not), said, You are fully dilated, and yes, you are ready to push.
The OB-GYN, Vanessa Gregg, came in and said, You are going to have a natural childbirth, but luckily it will go fast.
I said something clever here, and in my mind everyone in the room laughed but Christopher says that wasn’t the case.
I started pushing. I told them to put an oxygen mask on me. I tried to breathe. I could feel his head moving down. It hurt. A lot. I pushed probably 10 times, gasping for air in between. It was intense.
Benjamin Thomas Richins arrived at 7:40 a.m., about 15 minutes after we arrived at the hospital. 7 pounds, 3 ounces. Incredibly beautiful little boy.
I laid back, still in shock and hurting quite a bit. They gave me a shot of Pitocin because I didn’t have an IV. Benjamin was crying fine. I asked for pain meds.
The doctors finished up everything and congratulated me. I gave them a little nod.
The nurse brought me some warm blankets and Percoset. An hour later, I started feeling pretty decent.
Benjamin started grunting. He coughed up some fluid but still seemed to be struggling, so they took him to the nursery for observation. He was still quite pink.
A few hours later, I moved to my post-partum room. I actually walked, very slowly. I was pretty amazed at how little I hurt, but that’s what Percoset, Ibuprofen, and no stitches will do for you.
Benjamin wasn’t improving enough in the nursery, so they took him down to the NICU for monitoring and probably a C-Pap and some oxygen. They brought him into my room for a minute before taking him downstairs. He was looking a little dusky, so I gave him some kisses and told them to go fix him up. The quick delivery was a little traumatic for him. His head is pretty bruised and he didn’t get squeezed enough coming through the birth canal, to get the fluid out of his lungs. This morning was a rude awakening for the little guy.
I signed the birth certificate, so Benjamin Thomas it is!
I ate some lunch and Christopher went down to the cafeteria to grab a bite. I’m going to pump (been there, done that) and then we’ll head down to the NICU to see our son.
More updates to come…