October 21st 2014 - 7:51 pm our lives were changed forever.
I've been wanting to write about this day for the past month, but I have not been able to put into words the euphoric joy that this day brought, and all of the incredible feelings that I felt.
My labor went perfectly, It went almost exactly as I had envisioned it. That's another reason why I haven't known how to write about this day, because I know so many women have really, really hard and stressful labors, and part of me felt guilty for sharing my labor story. I think that the Lord allowed my labor to go so well, because he knows what we all can handle, and I'm kind of a big baby. I admire you sweet girls out there who have gone into labor wanting a blissful experience, and were handed a tiring, hard, and painful many hours. You were strong. But it occurred to me, that we all are strong. No matter how wonderful, or terrible your labor goes, the most important thing is that your baby comes into this world, and is healthy. So here is my story of the day that I met my first born son, Carter David Christensen.
The end of my pregnancy, like most womens, was very painful, and long. My belly looked small, but I was carrying this baby in my back, and was in a lot of pain those last few weeks. There was pressure, nerve pinches, aches, and lots and lots of Braxton Hicks. When I went in for my 37 week appointment I was 1 cm dilated, and 75% effaced. My doctor told me that if I didn't have my baby soon, he would induce me on October 21st, because I was progressing well enough. That news was music to my ears. I was so ready to get this baby out of me, At my 38 weeks appointment we officially scheduled my induction date. The rest of that week was extremely long, and painful. I spent most days laying in bed, taking probably 3 baths a day, watching Greys Anatomy, and breathing through Braxton Hick contractions.
On October 21st I woke up around 8:00am. I woke up smiling and remember thinking, I'm going to meet my son today. It was the weirdest, and coolest feeling. The morning was calm and peaceful as I made sure the house was spotless, our hospital bags were packed, and everything was ready to go. I showered and got ready, ate a small breakfast (which I would later regret because I was starving the rest of the day) and sat in my rocking chair, praying over and over again, and watched the clock. I then sat down on the bed next to David and said, "Hey baby, you're gonna be a Daddy today." He got ready, and gave me a beautiful Priesthood Blessing, where I was told that I was going to deliver a healthy baby boy today, and that I needed to remember to listen to my Doctors and nurses.
The drive to the hospital was a fun moment I won't forget. It was a beautiful day, the leaves were bright yellow and the sky was perfectly clear and blue. As we got in the car I said "It looks like a great day to have a baby." The 15 minute drive there, we held hands and had the biggest smiles on our faces as we listened to some of our favorite pump up happy songs. My husband gave me a little pep talk during all of this as well. When we arrived at the hospital, David dropped me off at the entrance to start getting checked in while he found a parking spot, and bring in our stuff. As I was registering, one of the ladies at the counter looked at me nervously as I was sitting there by myself and asked, "You're not doing this labor thing by yourself, are you?" I laughed out loud and said "OH HEAVENS NO."
We got up to labor and delivery around 11:30am. I met my nurse Marie. She was in her 50's, very knowledgeable, relatable, and hilarious. We instantly hit it off and I was so grateful I had a nice nurse. She checked me into our room, had me change into my sexy blue hospital gown, and hooked me up to the fetal monitors. There was a girl next door who was in labor at that moment, that was on the verge of having to go in for an emergency C-section, so most of the nurses were busy attending to her. So while we waited for things to get started, I sat in my bed listening to my baby boys heart beat. I kept looking at the screen and thinking how I will soon feel that little heartbeat on my chest. I still couldn't believe this was real life, and that I was actually having a baby today! I was so excited.
Finally around 1:00 pm, they hooked me up to IV's and started me on Pitocin. The nurse told me that I would have to wait until after 4 for the Doctor to come break my water, so it was probably going to be a long day. Once the pitocin started, I was still feeling great. I kept having mild braxton hicks, like always, but nothing was too painful at all. At around 2:40 my nurse came in and told me that Dr. Nance was coming in 5 minutes to break my water. I was so pumped, this was happening faster than planned! My Doctor came in, put on his gloves to check me, and while checking my cervix he inserted the "hook" and moved it around a bit until I started to feel like I was wetting my bed. I couldnt stop laughing because it was just awkward and hilarious at the same time.
Breaking my water didn't hurt at all, but within about ten minutes I started to get real contractions, and oh boy those sure did hurt. It felt like someone REALLY strong was taking my uterus in their hands and just squeezing it as hard as they possibly could, like they were wringing it out. It was very painful, but cool at the same time to be feeling this pain I had never felt before in my life. I breathed through the contractions as best as I could, and was able to manage pretty well for about an hour. My nurse came in around 4:20 and asked me if I wanted my epidural. I was shocked that I was allowed to have it because I was only at a 3. I debated in my mind if I wanted to tough it out and experience the pain for longer, until I got hit with the hardest contraction yet, and I eagerly asked for that sweet, precious epidural. Within 20 minutes the Nurse Anesthesiologist came in. His name was Jason, and when he walked in I said "Oh Jason buddy I'm sure happy to see you." He probably thought I was a weirdo, but oh well, haha. Getting the epidural was pretty easy. I held on to my husbands hands, as i sat in the bed and got poked, (stabbed). The only thing that hurt really bad, was when he was inserting the catheter part, it grazed some nerves in my spine and gave me the craziest "zingy" feeling. It was like someone was snapping a rubber band on my spinal nerves. It was crazy! Within minutes I started to go numb from below my chest on down. It was happening slowly so it made me a little nervous. My right side was feeling more numb than my left side, so they positioned me better to even it out. Jason gave me the perfect epidural. It numbed the excruciating pain, but I was still able to feel the pressure of my contractions, and I was grateful for that. I gave Jason a high-five before he left, thanked him a hundred times, and told him he was my new best friend.
By this time it was about 5:30, and I was so hungry, and so tired. My nurse got me an orange popsicle, and orange jello which turned my mouth orange, but i didn't care because my hunger pains were outweighing any other pain at that moment, haha! For the next hour David and I just tried to rest a little bit. My nurse came in at 6:30pm to check me, and said I was at 7 cm and 90% effaced. She said that based on my baby's station, it would probably still be another 3-4 hours before I would need to start pushing. I had David call my mom and sister, and tell them that they should probably come in around 8 pm. David and I dimmed the lights, and planned on taking a nap for the next few hours. Within about 30 minutes I woke up to the feeling of really strong pressure in my pelvic area. It felt like I had to go to the bathroom really really bad. I told David to go tell my nurse, just in case. She came in at 7:05 pm, checked me, and said "Holy sh*t how the heck did you do that!?" (She later apologized for this reaction. I thought it was hilarious though. I loved her, seriously the best nurse ever.) I was cracking up at her reaction, while trying to ask what she meant by that. She looked at me and said "Girl you are complete, you're at a 10." My eyes widened, and I looked over at David who had the same look on his face as I did. We started laughing as we realized that our nap was being cut short. All of a sudden 3 different nurses started flooding the room, and started setting things up. I was like "Wait, what, this is really happening, I'm about to have this baby." The nurses just laughed and nodded their heads. I frantically told david to "CALL MY MOM AND SISTER NOW, I NEED THEM!" By this time it was about 7:20, and my Doctor walked into the room and started getting gowned for labor. I was feeling so giddy, but also so terrified that my Mom wasn't there to hold my other hand, and that my sister wasn't there to keep me calm and take the pictures. Before I knew it they pulled out the stirrups and whipped my legs up on there. My legs felt like they were 100 pounds each from the epidural. My Doctor was down there getting things ready and I suddenly started shaking so hard. I didn't understand why because I wasn't that scared, but I was just giddy. They said that it was totally normal, and that it was an epidural side effect that occurred when my adrenaline started to kick in. My doctor was watching the contraction monitor, when he suddenly goes "Okay Loriel, give me a big push." I was still in shock that this was actually happening, but gave him the best push I could. My nurses were on my right side telling me not to clench my teeth, and telling me when to breathe. My husband was on my left side holding my thigh back, as I clenched his wrist with every push. Between pushes I kept looking up at David as he was telling me how good I was doing. Just after my first pushes my sister walked in. I was so glad she was there. After about 5 sets of contractions, or about 10 minutes, things had changed and my Dr. said "Loriel you need to push even harder this time." I broke down in tears and said "But Dr. Nance my mom isn't here yet I can't push." Then David just said "Don't worry honey, your mom will make it, don't worry." Almost out of a movie, right as I was crying looking at him as he said that, I heard my mom walk through the door, and open the curtain. I broke down crying and said "You're here mom, you're here!" She was crying as well, as she stood next to me and stroked my head.
The next 5 minutes seemed to go in slow motion as I looked around me. The lights above me were hot and blaring in my face. My sweet husband was standing there, my mom and sister, my nurses, and my amazing doctor were all looking at me, believing in me, and telling me when to push. It seriously felt like an out of body experience. I remember looking over at the incubator across the room thinking "Oh my gosh I'm about to meet my son, and he is going to be in that bed." I remember locking eyes with my doctor as he told me to push again. Oh he was such a good doctor. That look in his eyes spoke to me. They motivated me. I trusted this man. I squeezed my eyes tight and pushed as hard as I possibly could. I was giving birth. I was bringing my son into the world RIGHT now. Suddenly I opened my eyes and could see a tiny head coming out. The tears wouldn't stop coming. THAT was my baby. My doctor told me to stop pushing. He positioned Carters tiny body, and said "Ok Loriel, one last push." Time seemed to stand still as I gave one final push. I squeezed my husbands hand as hard as I could, closed my eyes, and pushed. I looked down to see my sweet boy's body completely emerging from my body. The time was 7:51 PM. He was here.
This moment was a moment I will never forget. The spirit in the room was incredibly strong. That tiny body that just took his first breath, came straight here from the Pre-Mortal life and you could feel it. You could feel the innocence, and pure presence of his new little soul in the room. I remember hearing his little cry. It was like a tiny whimper and it was the cutest sound I had ever heard. Immediately after he was born, my doctor suctioned out his mouth, and placed him on my chest. I couldn't contain my emotions, and I just let it all out. I remember sobbing, while saying "Oh my sweet boy, oh my goodness you're here, you're really here!" His tiny body was warm and slippery. He was bloody and fresh from the womb but I didn't care, this was my son. It was so surreal to put a face to the baby I had talked to for 9 months, and had dreamed about my whole life. I remember looking into his swollen little eyes and saying, "Hi baby, I'm your momma, I am YOUR mommy." I remember looking at David and just soaking this incredible moment in. I was still in disbelief. That is my husband. He made me a mommy, and this is our son. He is our baby. TO KEEP. FOREVER. I felt so much love from my Heavenly Father at that moment as well. It was like he was hugging me, as I held my baby. It was like he was quietly telling me that he trusts me to take care of this baby boy. It was such a beautiful, sacred, and unforgettable moment that I will forever cherish.