First off, I apologize to everyone for my hiatus from blogging. Obviously, I had a baby, and I’ve taken a few weeks just to focus on her when I have quiet moments alone. It’s been eight weeks now, though, and I’ve been itching to write again. So I’m going to start off by simply telling Sutton’s birth story. I have each of my children’s birth story written down somewhere, and I love to be able to go back and remember the details that become fuzzy over time. Also, with each pregnancy, it was fun to look back and see how my doctor appointments went, how dilated I was (or wasn’t), and wonder if the current birth would go like the ones before. This, however, will be my last birth story…
Sutton’s birth began like Samantha’s and Matthew’s…early in the morning. But the greatest difference was that I was scheduled for induction. Sutton Faith was due on Friday, October 19th and, because of the issues with my placenta, my doctor didn’t want to let me go past my due date. As much as I wanted labor to start on its own, I could feel how ready my body was, so I agreed to be induced on the 19th. So I was awake at 5:45am that Friday, after sleeping terribly, which was the norm. I was told to call the doctor at 6am to find out whether I would be going in at seven. When I called, however, the maternity center was busy and I was told to call back at ten. I was a little disappointed, but four pregnancies have taught me a lot of patience. So I rested for a little while longer and then got up to get the other kids ready for school.
We were all home that morning. And by all of us, I mean me, Frankie, the kids, and Papa and Gigi. Gigi had taken off work since I was scheduled to be induced and Papa was staying home to watch the boys. So we were all a little sad that I wasn’t immediately going in, but such is birth. We dressed kids, made lunch, packed a book bag and sent Matthew off to school. Samantha was staying home that day so she could be at the birth of the little sister she prayed so hard for.
Somewhere in the midst of all of this, I realized I was having contractions. I had been having Braxton-Hicks, or false contractions, for weeks, but these were different. I’ll never be able to explain how you know, but you know. In the bathroom, I also noticed some signs that I won’t get into for fear of TMI, but I suddenly felt that Sutton might have decided to come in spite of the hospital’s induction schedule.
I let the family know how I felt, and decided to watch some TV and see how things progressed. I watched some Baby Story and timed contractions. Sure enough, they were about seven minutes apart. So I called my doctor. Now, I know all the ‘labor rules’. I’ve heard ‘wait until contractions are five minutes apart and very painful before you call’ a million times. However, I tried to do that with Matthew and he was almost born without a doctor. I know my body, and I knew not to wait. On the phone, I explained to my doctor what was going on and how fast Matthew and Maclane had come, and they asked me to come in to the office. So Frankie and I packed all of our hospital stuff into the car and headed to the doctor. When they saw me, the contractions were still about seven minutes apart, and I was about four centimeters dilated. For those who know nothing about birth, that’s four out of ten. Ten is the goal, the finished line, the point when the doc walks in and says ‘let’s have a baby!’. Anyhoo, I was definitely in labor, so they sent me to the hospital. So much for induction.
By the time we got to the hospital, it was about 10:30am. My mom (Gigi) planned to head over with Samantha once we got settled. The nurse took us back to room ten which, coincidentally, is the same room where Maclane was born. Our nurse got me into the flattering hospital gown and hooked me up to the monitors that some laboring women hate like leprous monkeys. Granted, they are kind of annoying. But having nearly bled to death doing this once, I’ll accept the inconvenience. I also got my IV and all that good stuff.
So, by this point, I’m starting to wonder why I’m not in more pain. I know, that sounds nuts. But labor is the one time in a woman’s life when she hopes for pain because pain means progress. By around noon or so, when the midwife from my doctor’s office came to check me, I still felt like I was just having annoying menstrual cramps every six minutes or so. And yet, I was a solid six centimeters dilated. Wow. By this point with Matthew, he was born 90 minutes later. With Maclane, I was doing serious breathing at six centimeters. And then I realized…my water had not yet broken. With Samantha it broke like something out of a movie. Huge flood. With Matthew and Maclane, no floods, but it was leaking. (Ew, I know) After having this realization, I asked for my epidural, because I felt certain that if my water broke, the pain level was going to skyrocket immediately and Sutton would come quickly. So Jan, the greatest midwife in the world, and whom Frankie calls Mary Poppins because of her fantastic accent, ordered up my epidural.
And oh, the epidural. The nice little anesthesiologist came in around 2pm. Now, my other three epidurals took one try and about ten minutes. In, out, done. I guess everything else about this birth was going too perfectly, with it being my due date and me not being in much pain and all. So the epidural took an hour. An hour. I was stuck five times in three different places. It went in a vein twice. It went everywhere accept where it was supposed to go. I was on the edge of just saying forget it. But the nice little man finally got it in there, and he was very kind about all of it. My back was swollen for days afterward, but that’s another story.
So I’m finally numb-ish. My sweet nurse tells me to rest for a little while, as though that’s possible when you’re about to have a baby. Still, I appreciated the thought. So I closed my eyes for a bit. Then, about 4pm, Jan came back and checked me again. She said she needed to go assist with a c-section, I recall, but she found me to be eight centimeters and my water about to break. Since I was numb and very far along, I let her break it. That’s always a very weird feeling, when what feels like a swimming pool worth of fluid comes of you. (Again, ew) And, like I thought, I could tell the contractions immediately got stronger and Sutton nearly crowned. So they prepped the bed and I pushed through about four contractions and…baby!
Sutton Faith weighed 7lbs 14oz and was born at 4:47pm on October 19th. She was 19inches long and looked a lot like Samantha. I remember saying, ‘oh…you are a girl!’. I think it was hard for me to really believe I was having a girl until I saw her. They put her on my chest naked and let her stay there for about an hour before they weighed her and did all the necessary stuff. That’s one of the things I really do love on the list of more ‘natural childbirth’. I firmly believe in having the safety net of being in the hospital, but when babies are healthy, just holding their warm little self against you for a while is a beautiful thing.
And so, Sutton Faith entered the world. Much has happened in eight weeks, but I have also spent a lot of time just holding her and enjoying her. Samantha also had the privilege of being in the room when her sister was born. She was prepared for what she would see, and stayed near my head with Gigi. That was an amazing thing, to have her there to see this little one she had prayed for. It was a beautiful day, unique to Sutton, and I thank God my last birth was so enjoyable. And, as Sutton’s little onesie says, “Praise God for Unexpected Blessings.”