Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Welcome Ethan!

Ethan Jeffrey Hartman came into our world at 4:27AM on March 8th, 2014!!!  He was indeed a tiny Peanut, weighing 6lbs 11oz and 19 inches long.  He has strawberry blond hair, dark blue eyes, and long arms and legs.

He is so perfect and healthy.   Jeff and I are so happy, and I have never felt so touched by God's grace as I have this week.

Now, on to the birth story...(scroll to the bottom for more pics)...

I began having contractions on Thursday, March 6th, about one an hour apart and not super strong. We were hopeful it would lead to something more overnight as we had an appointment to check on Baby on Friday morning.

Well, Friday morning rolled around and they only picked up a little in frequency and intensity.  Luckily baby passed his BPP again, so we scheduled an induction for Monday morning in case we did not go into labor over the weekend.

After the appointment, we went to lunch at Partners Pizza buffet (I love it cuz I just eat the toppings, guilt free), and contractions continued about 45 minutes apart lasting 30 seconds.

OK - at this point I should let you know that I wanted to have a natural childbirth experience: no drugs, labor at home as long as possible, etc.  So the following story supports that idea...

After lunch, we went home and relaxed for a bit.  I laid down for a nap for almost 3 hours, until about 5:30PM.  I woke up occasionally to the discomfort, but fell back asleep once they passed.

Around 6PM, we heated up some leftovers (spaghetti for me), and I started timing the contractions in earnest.  By about 7PM, they were consistently 6-8 minutes apart for 45 seconds or so.  This lasted until about 9PM, when they began coming about 6 minutes apart, lasting a bit longer. 

Around 11:30PM we called the doctor's line and said we thought I was in labor, and told her the information.  I am CALM under pressure - and maybe sounded too calm because she recommended trying to rest and get some sleep if possible (it wasn't).  

I hopped in the tub after that and ran the jacuzzi on my legs and belly.  I couldn't lay back at all, and just sat upright as this whole time I was having what they call "BACK LABOR".  This is NOTHING like menstrual cramps.  Don't listen to those who tell you it is like a bad period.  They are liars.

BTW - dealing with back labor is best done standing or squatting, while leaning over a chair, countertop, husband, whatever, and then swaying the hips back and forth with occasional deep knee bends for support.  There.  That is my advice for getting through early labor back pain.  If you count early labor as contractions up to 5 minutes apart.

Now, after the tub, I wanted to rinse off so I got into the shower.  BOY that felt good.  First let the hot water hit the back side, then turned and let it hit the front.  The contractions were coming a bit faster (around 12:30PM) at about 4-5 minutes apart but occasionally longer, so I decided I still wasn't ready to go the hospital.  At this point Jeff had been ready to go the the hospital for hours.

I tried to lay down for about 10 minutes - bad idea, didn't work.  I was HUNGRY so I decided to go downstairs and made some oatmeal.  Instant oatmeal takes 2 minutes in the microwave.  So, at that point my contractions were 2-3 minutes apart.  I ate the oatmeal quickly and made my way back upstairs, where Jeff was looking at me wild eyed like, DUDE LET'S GO ALREADY!  He was right...I couldn't talk anymore and definitely couldn't get dressed on my own.

IT WAS ON (about 2AM).  Jeff helped me through like 3 contractions while helping me dress, and we made it downstairs, barely.  At the bottom of the stairs I had a DOOZY and couldn't go on.  It passed, then we made a few more steps forward.  I was convinced I had to go to the bathroom (which I'm told I should not have done because that is like pushing), so I made him stop 5 steps down the hallway and wait for a potty break and contraction.  We made it maybe 10 more steps into the kitchen and had to pause for another...then made it to the car in 20 more steps and had to pause for another...Half way into the car I had another contraction.  If Jeff had not yelled at me to get in the d@*m care, we may have had the baby in the garage.  I had 2 more contractions in the 10 minute drive to the hospital.

We pulled up just as I was having another one and the poor lady with the wheelchair looked at me wide eyed and hustled over to help.  Jeff parked, and was going to meet me inside in Labor & Delivery.  The ER receptionist then wheeled me to the WRONG AREA, so Jeff actually beat me to L&D and was like, "Where's my wife?"...we came in just a few minutes later but good thing we had taken the hospital tour because I had to redirect my wheelchair driver in between contractions.

We got into the triage area and they made me lay down in bed.  That is the worst thing for back labor.  I started breathing and groaning and probably scared the shit out of the other ladies in triage who were quiet with their calm "beep-beep-beep" and "whoosh-whoosh-whoosh"...the nurse came in quickly then and checked me, and hollered out "She's at 9 centimeters!".  Jeff and I looked at each other with mirrored 'oh shit' faces, and we immediately had like 4 nurses asking, can you walk to this room, what's your name, who's your doctor, sign this, what are you allergic to, etc etc etc.

Meanwhile, I had to lay down again while Jeff signed a ton of paperwork on my behalf.  At this point I think contractions were about 2 minutes apart.  Between contractions they inserted an IV and asked their standard questions.  Dr. Moore showed up not long after (THANK GOODNESS) and we worked through contractions in the L&D room for maybe 25 minutes while waiting for the cervix to finish dilating.  She had to break my water in 2 spots (Ethan has a couple scratches on his head) to try and help him move down as well.  There wasn't time for even discussing an epidural.  At one point a nurse asked Jeff to write my name and date of birth down on a black piece of paper so they could start admitting me.

I started pushing around 4:05AM and the contractions seemed like they were coming fast and furious.  (I had my eyes closed the whole time and didn't hear anyone except for Jeff and one of the nurses...everything else was totally blocked out / focused).  At 4:27 he finally emerged, with his arm and elbow by his face - so he FELT like a 10 lb baby I swear.  

They immediately put him skin-to-skin on my belly and I just kept saying, "He's here!  It's our baby!" over and over.  I also started shaking like crazy.  (Jeff thinks I was maybe in shock!)  

They waited until the cord was white and stopped pulsing, then Jeff cut the baby's cord.  After 5-10 minutes they took him to weigh and measure, and asked his name.  Jeff said, "Jessie, can we finally settle on the name Ethan?" and I thought it suited our baby perfectly.

Meanwhile, I delivered the placenta and got stitched up - that arm caused 2nd degree tears.

From hospital arrival to meeting our son, we were in L&D about an hour.  They took us down to our recovery room, and we began this crazy journey into parenthood.

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