Baby James’ Birth Story

I have found myself with a few free minutes as James is getting his newborn glamour shots. Since these moments are a rarity these days, I thought I would take advantage of the opportunity to share his birth story.

As you are all aware, my “estimated” due date was Monday, June 5th. That day had come and gone and I was STILL pregnant. Yay. (Please note the sarcasm, ha!) I am thankful I wasn’t uncomfortable or experiencing any issues with my pregnancy at the end, but it is HOT in Naples this time of year, so my doctor, Kyle and I agreed on an inducement date of June 8th if the little guy hadn’t yet made his appearance.

Fast forward to 5am on June 8th. Whomp, whomp. No baby yet. So at 6am I called the hospital to hold my room, our friend who graciously decided to watch Dean arrived, and we were ready to go! But we had a problem… there was no room at the hospital. We were put on their “hold” list and were told to wait for their call to arrive at the birth center. So we waited and waited and waited some more… Talk about an emotional day! Finally, around 3pm, the hospital called and they were ready for us. We thought we’d already have our baby by that point but were just happy to finally be called in after being a bit anxious throughout the day.

Our friend came back over (we decided she should go back home around 10am as we were all anxious and just waiting around watching the clock tic), we packed up the car and we were off.

I don’t think it hit me that we were going to HAVE A BABY until our L&D nurse was walking us back to our room and she asked me how I felt. I cried. It was a different experience than I had with Dean, I was nervous and I knew what to expect during labor this go round… All cause for an anxious mama!

After completing the initial forms, paperwork and basic medical prep like my IV, I was FINALLY hooked up to pitocin around 5pm. After a few hours, the plan was to have my doctor come in and break my water to speed things up. There was no turning back then!

Per my nurse, my contractions started right away. I could feel them but they weren’t painful in the least so she continued to monitor both myself and baby for any signs of distress and we played the waiting game. I knew I wanted to wait until I was at least 4cm dilated before receiving my epidural – I didn’t want my labor to slow down or to pump too many medications into my body at once. After about an hour, she told me I must have a super high pain tolerance as I still wasn’t overly uncomfortable. Shortly there after however, the pain arrived so I knew something must be happening. I was checked and was 4cm (I arrived at around 1cm). WOOHOO, time for pain meds! I wasn’t about to tough it out last time even though my epidural didn’t full take with Dean. I figure some pain relief is better than zero.

Oh the epidural. I have come to the conclusion that I just don’t have good luck with them! When a student anesthesiologist arrived to administer my epidural and she asked me if we were going to try for a girl in the future (Don’t ask a pregnant woman in labor if she is going to have another baby… she will feel the urge to strangle you in between contractions!), I should have assumed things would no go as planned, ha… She couldn’t get the needle or catheter (not sure which, I tried to block out the conversation so I didn’t faint) in correctly, so after a few tries, her trainer took over and finally got everything administered correctly. I was NOT nice to them, but when you’re shoving a needle into my spinal area multiple times while I’m having painful contractions, they shouldn’t have expected nice ;-)

This time, the epidural DID work so that is a bonus! I was numb basically right away (almost too numb I think because I couldn’t move my legs) which I appreciated after going through the experience. It did give me some nasty shakes and I felt super jittery/uncomfortable, but I didn’t feel pain and my stats were fine. Baby’s heart rate did drop a bit after the epidural was administered so the nurses flipped me to my side and turned off the pitocin for him to adjust. I was mentally panicking and worried we would be sent in for an emergency c-section, but a minute or two later, my water broke and his heart rate returned to normal. PHEW! My nurse told me he probably dropped quickly (causing my water to break) and his heart needed a few minutes to catch up.

It was around 8:30pm at that point and I was now at 5cm. I was told things would probably move quickly at this point based on how I progressed with Dean, so it was a good thing I received my pain meds when I did.

They weren’t kidding!

Around 9:45pm, I felt some pressure so the nurse checked my progress and I was 9cm dilated! Eep – things were getting real. All of the medical staff started prepping for delivery, my doctor was paged, and I was trying not to panic. For some reason, I was very anxious this time around… I am not sure if it was the pitocin (I had it with Dean too though), the epidural experience/shakes, having to wait all day to head to the hospital, or being induced versus going into labor naturally, but I was nervous something would go wrong the entire time. So, although I was anxious, I was happy we were nearing the end.

My doctor arrived a little after 10pm and after a quick exam, told me I could do this in ONE push. I laughed and thought to myself, We will see… I am not a good pusher. Kyle and my nurse had to help a lot with my legs as I couldn’t move/feel them, and although it wasn’t one push, it only took 5 minutes and Baby James arrived at 10:27pm! It took me 45 minutes of pushing for Dean to arrive so I was pleasantly surprised at the shortened time.

James was placed on my chest and screamed nice and loud. He weighed in at 7 pounds, 2 ounces and was 19 1/2 inches long.

James did have a bit of meconium at birth so I am very grateful we decided to induce. Everything happens for a reason, right? Thankfully, he had no negative side effects (he didn’t breathe it in) and was given an Apgar score of 9 by the pediatric nurse that examined him. He was placed on my chest after his initial evaluation and latched on almost immediately… and continued to nurse basically all night ;-)

I was in labor for just about 5 1/2 hours and even though I was induced and felt icky from the epidural, I would say I had a positive experience. The nurses were incredible, I love my doctor, and Kyle was a great partner and checked my readings to calm me down whenever I heard an odd beeping sound.

I still attest that the worst parts of birth (for me) are the IV, the dang blood pressure cuff that NEVER STOPS, and the epidural. While I am thankful for all three of them, I hate them the most! I didn’t rip the BP cuff off this labor though, so I would say my tolerance is improving ;-)

I must say that I am much happier with James Reilly on the outside than the inside. I am also happy that I had a great birth experience… and that the whole birthing process is over, ha. I am recovering quite quickly this time and am thrilled to have two sons to love!

In case you’re curious, you can find Dean’s birth story here.

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