Monday, April 11, 2016

Grayer's Birth Story

Grayer William Hankin
1/28/16 - 1:58am - 8lbs 5oz - 19in 
When I went to the doctor on Tuesday, January 26th, I was not surprised that I was not at all dilated. Annoyed? Yes. Surprised? No. With Wells, I did not dilate at all until the day he was born. So, here we were, six days before my due date, and no progress. My doctor scheduled my 40-week appointment for the following week but seemed hopeful that I would deliver in the next couple of days.

The following day was a normal Wednesday. I took Wells to my mom and worked my regular half-day. Since Eric was working night-shift that week, he picked Wells up around 11am and took him home to feed him lunch and lay him down for his nap. I got home around 1:15, and Eric and I spent some time together before he went in to work for the afternoon.

Like usual, Wells and I headed to my parents’ church for Wednesday night supper and for Wells to play in the nursery during the service. I felt a few contractions while we were at church, but it didn’t totally register that they were contractions because they felt a little bit different than they had with Wells. They felt lower and more intense. But I assumed that they were just pregnancy pains. After church, Wells and I headed to Eric’s work and dropped off his dinner. On the way home from there, I started to notice the “pains” becoming more regular. Like, every seven minutes. It became clear that these were real contractions, and I was pretty sure that labor was coming soon. I had had Braxton Hicks contractions for more than a week, but I just knew with the increasing regularity that this was the real deal. We got home, and I got Wells ready for bed, read him a book, and laid him down. I started packing my bag (no, it wasn’t ready yet. Haha) and making sure that the baby’s bag and Wells’ overnight bag were both not missing anything. I called Eric and told him that the contractions were getting closer together and more painful. I told him that I would continue to work through them and that when I needed him to come home I would let him know. I truly didn’t know how long labor was going to last and when Eric would really need to come home. I didn’t want to go to the hospital and be sent back home. With Wells, I had a 30+ hour labor (click here for Wells' birth story). We got to the hospital with him with my contractions at 2 minutes apart, and when I was checked, I was still not dilated even a full centimeter. So, I assumed that the same thing could happen this time around, too.

The contractions continued to get closer together and stronger.  I took a short bath to ease the pain and then tried to get ready and make sure all my stuff was together. I called Eric again and told him to leave work. When he got home, he quickly packed his bag (can you tell we were not well-prepared this time around?!) We got Wells loaded into the car and headed to my mom’s house to drop him off. We had to stop and get gas (more unpreparedness!), and I was really feeling bad. The contractions were so intense. Eric took Wells in to my mom when we got to her house at about 12:15am. My mom planned to come to the hospital once we gave her an update after check-in and leave Wells sleeping with my sister (my dad was out of town for work). On the way to the hospital, my contractions were about 2-3 minutes apart and steadily increasing in intensity. 

We got to the emergency room, and it was pretty obvious why I was there. The check-in lady asked if I was about to have a baby, to which I replied, “I hope so!” They got me a wheelchair, and Eric and I waited for about 10 minutes (felt like an eternity) for L&D to come get me. We checked in to L&D at 1:10am. I was checked and was at 4-5 centimeters. We let my mom and my friend Tiffany (who was supposed to take pictures/video) know so that they could head to the hospital. I was happy that I was progressing better/quicker than I had with Wells, but I had no idea how fast I was actually progressing! Each contraction was stronger than the last and took every ounce of strength to get through. I told the nurse I wanted an epidural, and they wheeled me to the delivery room. While laying on the bed, with the contractions coming closer and closer together, I felt a pop and a gush of fluid. I let the nurse know that my water had broken, and she checked me again (just a few minutes after the last exam). I was now at 7-8 centimeters. It was now that I was really grasping how fast this was all happening and progressing!

At this point, the pain was unlike anything I had ever experienced. I had an epidural with Wells at around 4 centimeters since I had had contractions with him for so many hours. This time around, I was at 8 centimeters with no medication…quite a different experience to say the very least! When the anesthesiologist arrived a couple of minutes later, they sat me up to administer the epidural. The nurse was trying to coach me through a contraction and was letting me know the importance of being still for the shot (sit still through a contraction? yeah right!). But before I knew it, I felt the baby drop and the INTENSE pressure to push…which I yelled (not in a mean way, but more in a “Holy Cow!” kind of way) to the nurse! She said later that she knew by my face and voice that I was ready. Sure enough, she checked me and I was at 10 centimeters. No time for an epidural. It was time to push!

They hurriedly called the doctor in, and I asked (okay, screamed) if it was okay to push. The nurse said yes, but I don’t think they were expecting that I was really ready to get that baby out! Because when I pushed, the baby started to crown, and the doctor said, “Whoa, I don’t have my gloves on yet!” The pain was unreal; again, nothing like delivering with an epidural. I could see the fear and sympathy in Eric’s face with each contraction. He had never seen me in such pain (or heard me scream so loudly!!). I only pushed 3 or 4 times overall, and Grayer William Hankin was born at 1:58am, about 45 minutes after checking in at the Labor & Delivery floor. Crazy!

So tired but so happy!
Immediately we heard his little cry and saw his pudgy face and thought he looked and sounded just like Wells had a year and a half earlier. We were in love right away and were completely in shock that he was here so fast! They laid Grayer on my chest, and he nursed for about 45 minutes. He had lots of dark hair and was so handsome. They let my mom and Tiffany in a few minutes later (it all happened so fast that they didn't make it for the birth but arrived a few minutes after he was born), and Grayer was weighed and measured and examined. He weighed 8lbs 5 oz and was 19” long. Even though he was a good size baby, he seemed so tiny! You really do forget how small newborns are until you have another one!

When we got settled in the recovery room that morning and ready to go to sleep at about 5am, Eric prayed over Grayer, something that he did with Wells that I have always held close to my heart. We went to sleep with our hearts full, thankful that God blessed us with another sweet, healthy boy to love.  

Family of four!

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