I love looking back at both girls’ birth stories.. Here is the story of our little man.. (this will be long.. hope you have coffee or tea.. lol)
On Saturday, January 8th I started noticing that my contractions were a bit more frequent than they normally were, and also been much more crampy through my lower stomach & back. I decided to start timing them and tracking to see how many times they were happening per hour. Around 4pm, in an hour I’d had around 5, then the next hour a couple more, then the next a few more than the last hour. By 7-8pm, I had 17 separate contractions in one hour! I called the OB nurse hotline, and after getting all the details she said, “Yeah, this being your 3rd child, I’d go ahead and go in”.. Still not completely sold that this was the real deal, I thanked her, and decided to wait a little while longer before heading to the hospital. Kaylor was staying the night at a friend’s house, and after putting Ashlyn to bed, we sat down to watch a movie.. I thought that relaxing would really be our tell all. A friend of ours was here too, and he looked a little nervous when he’d glance over to see me cringe as another crampy contraction came & went.. (I have to admit, it was rather entertaining to see his reaction.. lol) Contractions weren’t coming as frequently, but I was still recording the times. Now they were happening around 10-12 times/hour, but were still happening. They did however feel like they were getting stronger, and a bit more uncomfortable, so this threw me. I texted my cousin who just graduated w/ her nursing degree (go, Kim!!) and she said it did sound like the beginnings of labor. We finally around 11:15pm decided to go ahead and make a trip to the hospital, as I felt I would feel more at ease if we at least just went, they confirmed I was still a 1cm dilated, but not effaced. Plus, I’d been having contractions every hour for the last 7 hours.. There had to be something to that.. I let my mom know, so she headed over to stay w/ sleeping Ashlyn. I added a couple items to my packed hospital bag, and off we went.
By the time we arrived, it was just a few minute after midnight. We headed up to labor & delivery, and waited in our room for about 45 mins before I disrobed and hopped into a bed. They’d had an emergency c-section, and were tied up. I got changed, and after checking, she said I was around a 2cm dilated but very effaced. This was definitely different news than how things were just Monday at my checkup. The monitors showed that Rowen’s heartrate was not stressed or getting too high or too low, so we waited it out for a bit. Since I wasn’t hooked up to anything else, the nurse allowed us to do some laps around the floor to help see if things would progress. It was definitely the scene from what you would picture as the norm for pregnant women in the hospital (at least what I always saw on tv). Erik & I walking laps, me in 2 hospital gowns (to cover any drafts in the back..lol) and lovely hospital slipper socks. The only part that was missing, was me having to stop and heave-ho breath through contractions. It didn’t get that crazy 🙂 This was around 2:30-3am. After awhile of walking.. er waddling, I was getting a little tired.. Heck, I wasn’t allowed to have been this active in the last almost 8 weeks! The nurse told us that the on-call doctor didn’t think that I was in active labor and to send us home. Which, obviously sort of what we expected to hear, so no big surprise. The nurse checked me again, and said I was now between a 2 and 3cm dilated.. So I WAS still progressing, regardless of the contractions getting more frequent or not. The monitors showed I was still having them (and I was feeling them), but sometimes 4-5 minutes apart, sometimes 7-10 minutes apart. The nurse said she wanted to keep us just awhile longer, because I was making progress, there was no need to go home, and possibly hours later have to turn around and come back. We tried to get some rest since it was wee hours of the morning.. Erik seemed uncomfortable, but I heard some snoring noises, so I think he was still achieving the goal of sleeping. I was a little tired, but just as soon as I started to drift to sleep, contractions would wake me, as well as the nagging dry cough I had been fighting off. The hospital having extremely dry air didn’t help w/ that. Another check around 5am showed that I was at 3cm, again, still making progress. Finally at 6:30am the nurse came in and said they were going to start in iv w/ fluids, and pitocin.. Wha?!? Um, I KNOW what that does! haha.. After still thinking we would be heading home, they were now saying they were going to get this really going! Whoo hoo! I woke Erik and we both just looked at each other like a deer in headlights.. We WERE going to stay and we ARE having this baby boy! Eeek! lol Of course we were super excited, but just had convinced ourselves otherwise, and didn’t expect that it was actually going to be time.
We started updating our family & friends to let them know of the news.. They got the drip going and I could definitely feel the increase in contractions.. Around 9:30 they went ahead w/ the epidural to make sure that it would take properly, since I’d had some issues in the past w/ it only working on one side or the other.. Thank goodness this time worked like a charm! My dr was out of town for the weekend 😦 so an on-call dr was going to be delivering.. I knew it would be fine, but just bummed that my dr, whom we absolutely love, would miss it. The dr came in around 10:30/11am and broke my water. My mom & Erik’s parents arrived at the hospital shortly after, and later Erik’s brother. My great friend Courtney headed to our house to stay w/ both of the girls. At 11:40am they checked my progress and I was at a 6cm and he was much lower. I was still feeling good w/ the epidural, but around 12:30 I started having a lot of really bad back cramping and pain. So bad that they brought me to tears! Erik was such a great support, and was right there soothing me, holding my hand, and rubbing my forehead. I’m so thankful for him! Upon checking again, the nurse says, “You’re there! You’re at 10cm”… Um, no wonder I could really feel it now! haha.. I didn’t recall at the time, but we later realized that the very similar also happened w/ Ashlyn when I got to 10 cm. Lots of back labor, even w/ the epidural. So, it was time to start pushing! At 12:50 they were setting up the bed, supplies, etc. W/ Erik on one side, and my awesome mom on the other, it was time.. After 3 big pushes and about 5 mins of pushing, he was here. I will always remember looking up at Erik and him saying to me, “You did it, I’m so proud of you”..
Wow.. What a whirlwind of emotions for the third time in my life. You always wonder what sequential pregnancies & deliveries will feel like emotionally, and the only way for me to describe it would be, priceless. First child, second child, and now my third child, and the flood of love that fills and overwhelms you at that immediate moment is like no other. I hope I never forget those feelings in that very moment. Truly what I would describe as God’s grace. They put Rowen up on my chest, and it was the moment I had been waiting 9 1/2 months of pregnancy for. It’s at that very moment that time stands still. Ten tiny fingers, ten tiny toes.. Full head of hair. He was absolutely perfect. Daddy cut the cord, and they moved him over to the baby cart for some heat & a rubdown to get his blood well circulated. I kept asking, “is he okay?” and the nurses reassured me that he was. They kept commenting on how thick the umbilical cord was, and how great it looked.. I’m assuming that meant he was eating well in there.. lol It was such a relief to know that he was able to breath on his own, and passed the vitals & tests they check. Erik was absolutely beaming while video taping & taking pictures of Rowen. To watch his love as a father grow & grow is priceless. Just when I think I couldn’t love my husband more, I find that I can, and do. Thank you for giving me the joy of experiencing not only life w/ you, but parenthood as well, Erik! I love you to infinity!
The girls came to the hospital shortly after, and after being curious for so long how it would go, it couldn’t have gone better. Kaylor wanted to hold him immediately, and Ashlyn was so sweet & gentle checking Rowen out. I think it’s fair to say that they both fell in love w/ this little man immediately too.
Motherhood couldn’t be more amazing, and I’ve been blessed to experience it for the third time in my life. Three miracles of life, that are my children. Two daughters, and now a son. Simply God’s grace.
Erik & I decided on the first name Rowen, shortly after Ashlyn was born.. We played around w/ a couple of other names, but this one stayed at the very top of our list. His middle name wasn’t set in stone, but after thinking about it some more, it couldn’t have been more fitting. Zane is a Biblical name, meaning “God is gracious”.. And that He is! We love how his name fits him already 🙂