Maybe on Neil’s 2 month birthday I should actually get around to posting this story that I wrote up weeks ago! Whoops!
Neil Patrick Stephenson
Born 7/11/13 at 3:42 PM weighing 6 lbs 7 oz and 20 inches long
I was scheduled to be induced at 8 PM on 7/10, at 39 weeks, because I was scheduled to have my gallbladder removed a week later. We called in at 7 PM and found out that they didn’t have a room for me and they said to call back at 10 PM. I was happy to have the chance to get Addie tucked into bed before going in. But when we called in again they were still full and said they’d call when there was room. Eventually we decided to just go in the morning instead of waiting around all night. I was worried I wouldn’t be able to sleep but I’d been so nervous and stressed the night before that I’d barely slept and so I slept surprisingly well the night before the induction. I woke up around 5 AM and Jacob called the hospital to make sure they had room. He said they did have room, we just needed to be there by 7:30.
So we got ready and headed to Salt Lake. We arrived at L&D around 6:30 and they said they wouldn’t have a room for me UNTIL 7:30. (I may have turned to Jacob and said, “I’m going to kill you.” But he insists the nurse on the phone said BY 7:30, not AT 7:30.) So we had an hour to kill and went down to Starbucks for some breakfast. I didn’t have much of an appetite and was just dying to get in a room and get the induction started.
We headed back up at 7:30 and got put into a room. The first couple hours were several attempts at getting an IV in and getting blood drawn. I learned from my hospital experience in May that I’m a hard stick and that was reconfirmed that day. The nurse we started out with was able to get an IV in my hand finally and someone from the lab came to do the blood draw after the MA struggled multiple times with both things. A resident came in and wanted to check me. Someone had said she was an OB resident and we were under the impression she was a 2nd or 3rd year but turns out she was a Family Practice INTERN (meaning she’d had 2 weeks on the job….the hazards of having hospital procedures in July.) Well I was only about a 1 at that point and posterior and she absolutely manhandled me trying to check me. I’m not even kidding, this was the most painful part of my whole labor experience. I was crying out and finally told her to just stop. The nurse asked if she could check me and was able to do it with barely any pain. She told me later that she gave the resident a talking-to about being so rough.
My nurse’s other patient went into labor about this time and we got a new nurse, Sandy, that we LOVED. She was so sweet and attentive and protective. The resident came back maybe an hour later and wanted to check me again and the nurse (who had heard about the earlier experience) shoo-ed her off and told her I didn’t need to be checked again. My doctor came around 10 I think to check me and I was still only a 1 but had progressed in effacement.
It was so busy in L&D that day and they had a c-section needing to start soon so they got me my epidural pretty early in the game at 10:30 AM (such a different story than with Addie’s birth!) A 3rd year resident did it and she was awesome. It was nice to get the epidural before I was dying from the pain. They gave me the kind of epidural that I could control with a button, also different than what I’d had with Addie. I loved this. I could move my legs (with effort) pretty much the whole time and I could feel what was going on without being in too much pain.
My doctor came back at 11:45 to check me (it’s handy that her office is just downstairs!) and broke my water. I was only a 2 at this point so I was expecting a very long day.
Around 12:15 Jacob left to get some lunch. Not long after he left I suddenly started having hot flashes and felt nauseated. I texted him but because of the bad reception in the hospital he didn’t get it. I was about to page the nurse when she came in because she could see the baby’s heart decelerations on the monitor. My heart rate had dropped as well. She had me turn on my side and put on an oxygen mask and I started feeling better right away. She decided to check me and I’d gone from a 2-4 in less than an hour so that was probably why I had started feeling sick. When Jacob got back from lunch at 1:00 he felt terrible to come in and see me with an oxygen mask on but by then I was feeling a ton better.
The lab came back for another blood draw around then. My dr. came at 2:00 PM and I was still a 4. Again, I was settled in for a long day ahead at this rate. And I was starting to feel the contractions pretty strongly in one part of my right side (which was not nearly as numb as the left.) Even though I was hitting my button to “up” the epidural, I wasn’t getting any relief. So they called the anesthesia resident and she gave me a new dose that helped a lot with the pain.
My dr. came back again at 3:00 PM and I was thinking, “I’m sure I haven’t done much in an hour!” but then she said, “Well, it looks like you’re pretty much complete.” I was absolutely dumbfounded. That explained all the pain I’d had in the last hour. I had just texted my sister that I was only a 4 and it was going to be a long day. A few minutes later I texted again, “Just kidding, guess it’s time to push.” My dr. left again for a little while and Sandy was heading off shift (SAD) and introduced us to the new nurse. I was really disappointed to have to do the delivery with someone new. They got the room set up.
At 3:22 I started pushing. I was amazed at how quiet and calm this experience was compared to Addie’s loud, chaotic and stressful delivery with a room FULL of people. This time it was just my nurse, my doctor and Jacob (and at some point the resident came in.) My contractions had a couple minutes gap between them so I got a chance to rest while thy other 3 quietly watched the monitors. My nurse was the one calling the shots for pushing and she would just calmly say, “Let’s see what you’ve got.” and I would try to do 3 pushes per contraction. Over the 20 minutes of pushing I only had about 6 contractions probably. I don’t know how much of the baby’s head was already out in the last contraction but when they encouraged me to push really hard, his whole body slipped right out. I remember my doctor exclaiming in surprise at how fast he came out. Everybody commented on his dark hair, which was especially thick at the crown of his head.
They brought him up on my chest and he wasn’t crying very much at first. He had a lot of gunk he was trying to get out before he started hollering pretty loud. I remember thinking the whole thing felt really surreal. I couldn’t believe my labor had suddenly progressed so fast and that he was born so quickly. And now we had TWO KIDS! I was just awestruck by him. They let me hold him for probably 20 minutes before they cleaned him off and weighed him. Then we had another hour in the delivery room with him. It took awhile before he was at all interested in nursing and only nursed for a little while. But before long he was nursing great.
We got settled in recovery and Heidi came to visit. I was feeling pretty good so it was nice to have a visit and get to share our sweet baby. It was so close to Addie’s bedtime by the time we were in the room that we decided to have her come visit the next day (will share in another post.)
* A little note about his name: We had such a hard time agreeing on a name for baby boy. I was pretty set on the middle name Patrick (which is Jacob’s middle name) but we struggled to find a first name that we both liked that sounded ok with both Patrick and our last name. I had a list of names I liked and at the top of that list was Neil. Of course I realized pretty quickly that Neil Patrick was also the name of a celebrity so I told myself I couldn’t use it and tried to find another name I liked as much. The weekend before he was born, Jacob and I were out on a date and I said we should really try to decide on a name. I pulled out my phone and showed him the list of names that I had compiled (over hours and hours of looking at baby name lists). He read through the list and said, “Hmm…One name jumped right out at me and I’m surprised. Neil.” I immediately felt it was the right name for baby boy. I felt like we’d have to choose a different middle name then but Jacob didn’t think the celebrity name connection was a big deal at all and didn’t want to give up the family name connection that I had been so adamant about. Even after he was born I wasn’t fully committed to the name because I didn’t want to hear any NPH jokes when we announced his name. But eventually I listened to my heart and knew that was supposed to be his name. I’ve been completely happy with his name ever since, even when a few people have made their “oh so witty” NPH jokes.