Sunday, October 23, 2016

Gavin's Birth Story

Gavin Hyrum Bennett was born August 29th, 2016.  Here is our story about the events leading up to his birth.

I went in for my 36 week appointment and was having some cramps, so my doctor checked me where I had dilated early with my last pregnancy.  Sure enough, I was just starting to dilate - being at 1 cm and about 50% effaced.  
Me on August 10th at 36 weeks pregnant for Steve and my anniversary date.

The next week I was officially on maternity leave and had hit 37 weeks, so we were ready for a baby any time at that point.  At my next appointment on the 15th I was at 3 cm and 80% effaced, so we had made good progress that week and the doctor said he would see me at my next appointment - if we made it till then.  

August 20th I woke up at 2:15 in the morning to contractions.  By about six or seven that morning I couldn't sleep through them any more, so we called Steve's parents to come in case we needed to go to the hospital where my last labor went fast and we were at a 3 already.  After walking around our block of townhouses for an hour or more, the contractions had completely stopped.  It was so strange to be positive we were having a baby that day - and not.

However, we went to our next appointment on the 22nd sure we would have made good progress, only to be told I was still at 3 cm dilated but was almost completely effaced.  The next week I had hardly any contractions and they were all irregular.  I was getting really impatient.  We had an induction date scheduled for August 29th since late July.  Our deductible reset in September, and Steve's work was changing providers and we weren't sure they would cover the preferred hospital where we live, which also happens to be the only hospital our doctor can deliver at.  Not wanting to pay our large deductible twice in six months, or worry about where we could deliver, we set an induction date for the 29th to give us as much time as possible to go into labor while still allowing us to be checked out of the hospital by the end of August if we made it that far.  We were sure we would never make it that far, and our doctor was too.  The furthest I had ever gotten into a pregnancy was exactly 39 weeks with Mckayla.  

That being said, August 29th found me 39 weeks and 2 days pregnant and found Steve calling the hospital at 5 AM to find out when they wanted us to check in for our induction.  Much to our surprise and delight, they asked us to be there at 6:15 AM, so we collected our things, grabbed fast food breakfast on the way, and drove the 15-20 minutes to the hospital.  Our girls had all gone to have a sleepover with Steve's parents the night before so we could go to the hospital whenever they called us in and Ellie could get to school.

We checked in at the front desk of labor and delivery at just about exactly 6:15 AM.  
By 7:20 they had us checked in, changed, and hooked up to low level pitocin per my request.  My last two VBAC's had both overridden my epidurals while on pitocin and we wanted to use as little as possible this time around.  The nurse was fine with that, and I started the pit and small contractions around 7:20 while at 3.5 cm.  The nurse said that the doctor would probably be in and break my water in about an hour.  At almost exactly 9:00 AM Doctor Fowers came in and checked me.  We were at a 4, so he broke my water and warned me that things would move quickly now and I could have my epidural any time.  I wanted to wait till the contractions got hard to get my epidural.  So I waited.  And at 9:14 I was breathing hard through much stronger contractions and asked them to call for the anesthesiologist knowing it would take some time to get my epidural.  

That epidural was awful.  Our anesthesiologist used older techniques, so the nurse warned me he would want me to lay in bed on my side to get my epidural rather than sitting like my previous two in Kennewick.  One problem, three letters, SPD.  My Symphesis Pubis Dysfunction had returned this pregnancy, and I hadn't been able to lay on my side without severe pain in just seconds since about month four of my pregnancy.  The nurse and Steve had to work together to get me on my side and move me to the edge of the bed.  Even with pillows between my legs for added support I was in terrible pain - on top of contractions - and cried through the whole process.  To top things off, my epidural was not comfortable and fairly painful going in the way the anesthesiologist did it.  However, at around 9:45 I had survived and was trying to get comfortable in bed with my epidural in place, and Steve assumed his waiting for a baby position.
They told me the signs that would mean it was working - lessening pain, heat and tingling in my legs, etc.  That came - on my left side only.  We started re-positioning and the anesthesiologist came back and slightly adjusted the placement of the epidural while I breathed through the contractions which were still easily felt on my right side.  The nurse told me I should not still be in that much pain and kept coming in every 15 minutes to keep hitting my pain medication button for added relief, but it never worked.  My contractions had taken off by that point and at 10:13 I was already at 7 cm.  Then the epidural seemed to fail almost completely as the contractions and pressure moved downward and the baby obviously was coming down.  The nurse checked me where I was so obviously in a lot of pain and having to breathe through very strong contractions with little to no relief.  

At 10:41 she called for Doctor Fowers to come deliver the baby, and we started pushing just a few minutes later.  I pushed three times each on 3 or 4 contractions, which I unfortunately felt the pain of the entire time.  The contractions were relentless and close together, but we got the baby's head out and then the rest of him, and at 10:51 AM, our baby boy came into the world.  (I saw the clock behind the nurse, and he actually came out at 10:50, but she didn't turn around to call out the time right away, and 10:51 is his official recorded time.)  Steve and I were both emotional as we considered all the worry that had accompanied this pregnancy.  
I love this picture of Steve and his son.  I just see the love and pride and joy in it.
Oh yeah, and Gavin was born with the LONGEST fingernails!

 The doctor commented that I must have had a bleed at some point, which I had - and apparently it was rather large and had left bruising type discoloration across much of the placenta.  I couldn't see anything, but Steve said it looked as if my bleed had been much worse than we ever thought, and we were grateful again that everything had healed - and that we hadn't known how bad things really had been in there.  Apparently our baby boy had also done some acrobatics in his second trimester because he had a true knot in his umbilical cord.  Our doctor wasn't concerned about it, and just pointed it out to Steve when Steve cut the cord.  Once again, I never saw it, but heard the discussion.

Steve and I had both felt strongly about a name for a few weeks before, and as soon as we saw our baby boy, we both agreed that he was indeed Gavin Hyrum Bennett.  Gavin was simply a name we had liked and felt good about.  Hyrum is his Great Grandfather's name, and Steve felt strongly about naming him after such a wonderful man.  

Gavin came into the world at 8 lbs. 15 oz and 21 inches long.  His head was 38 cm in circumference. 
He was a decently big baby, second only to Mckayla in our family who beat him on every statistic.

For the first time, I had no stitches or major recovering to do, so I got to hold and nurse Gavin right away.  
He followed all our previous babies by nursing well and then sleeping far too much.  He ignored everything we did to wake him up to eat though, so the nurses had to deal with it even though they wanted him eating more than he was.  Here we stripped him naked and everything, but he still wouldn't wake up to eat.

About 3 hours after Gavin was born they moved us up a floor to the recovery wing of labor and delivery.  
I finally got to eat and was pleasantly surprised by how good the hospital food was.  I mean, cheesecake, baked macaroni and cheese, Caesar salads, and much more - all fairly delicious.

That night Steve brought the girls and his parents to meet their new baby brother.  
 The big girls were so excited to see him, and Kassidy was so excited to see me.  She was running around the room meowing, crowing, and climbing on me repeatedly.  That girl is funny...  Then the girls went back to Grandma and Grandpa's so we could settle in with Gavin.
This picture cracks us up because if you look closely you can see writing on Steve's face from sleeping on a hospital pillow without a pillowcase.

Steve and I slept horribly in the hospital this time around though.  (Us trying to get naps the next day as a result.)

That night Gavin had to get his heel pricked several times for blood sugar tests where he was a big baby, and they were worried he would fail them where he wasn't eating regularly, but he thankfully passed them all.  They finally gave him his bath once he passed all his tests.  That morning he also was circumcised by our pediatrician and by that evening we were thankful that both Gavin and I had been given the all clear to check out and go home.  This was our little guy heading home on the 30th of August.

Before we left we had a photographer take pictures of us and Gavin after loving our photos of Kassidy in the hospital when she was born.  Here are a few of them.
This is one of my favorite pictures of the whole shoot - Steve with his boy.
 Another one of my favorites.

 We also spent our first night at home just the three of us, which was good because is was a ROUGH first night...  And then, we began our new life as a family of six.  It's still unbelievable to me that we have four children, and that we have a son.

Really we are just so grateful that after all the stress, limitations, and fears of the last several months, that Gavin is here with us safe and sound.
 (Sleeping in the bassinet that all the grandchildren have used as newborns.)

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