He's my Yankee Doodle Dandy! He's my Yankee Doodle Boy-oy-oy!
It all happened so quickly. Though I was almost 38 weeks, giving birth still seemed far off. I got ready for my doctor's appointment on July 3rd with the intention to take myself out to a movie and do some shopping after I was done. That night we planned to attend the first ever firework show hosted by our little town. A sort of "last hurrah" if you will. My free time was coming to a swift end.
Sitting pantless on the exam table and waiting for the doc, I made mental plans to go pick up some fireworks for Carter. He kept asking and was so excited to celebrate the holiday. Dr. Kumar walked in and shook my hand, like he always does. I think it is weird that he shakes my hand every time. Isn't hand shaking just for introductions? I am pretty sure he has so many patients that maybe he was reintroducing himself to me each time because he forgot who I was as soon as I left his office. He looked through my files and the notes sent over from Dr. BK's office. Dr. BK is the maternal fetal medicine specialist who I saw each week due to having gestational diabetes. I got an ultrasound every single week to measure the baby's growth. I had been to his office the day before, July 2nd (Josh's birthday). The notes showed Dr. Kumar that Cannon was measuring around 8lbs. 8 oz.
The doc looked up at me and said, "Well, I think we need to get this baby out. The truth is, he could be much bigger than the ultrasound shows and the risks associated with large birth weight will only be greater the longer we wait."
I told him I agreed. As every woman who has ever been pregnant knows that at 38 weeks you are more than ready to get the baby out! So of course it sounded good...it sounded great! I thought, sure, one week from now let's do this thing.
The doc said, "ok check into the hospital tonight at 8:00 pm and they will start your induction."
GULP. "TONIGHT?!?" I immediately started quivering and got nervous. I was kind of in shock. I was not ready for tonight! I still had my house to clean and finish organizing exactly how I wanted it. I had some movies to see and some shopping to do and some fireworks to watch! WHOA! So I said ok. He then checked me and told me I was dilated to a 2 but not very effaced.
I left the office kind of in a daze. I went out to my van and immediately called Josh. He was on board and very ready. He was surprisingly very un-surprised and calm. Then I tried calling my mom and sister and could not get anyone to answer their phone. After a million calls I found my mom at my sister's house. My sister, Casey, had just had a baby boy 3 weeks ago and my mom was there helping her. When my mom got on the phone I broke down in tears.
I said, "everything is ok, I am just going through a lot of emotions so my body is crying." haha. She told me to cry it out and that she was excited and to keep her posted. Unfortunately, she could not come to my rescue right away because she had to be in Ohio in a couple of days to finish up classes for her Master's degree. After her classes ended she would be flying into Memphis to spend 2 weeks with me.
When I got home I went through a whirlwind of last minute details and packing and getting Carter situated with our good friends, The Ivy's. Keith Ivy came and picked Carter up but before he left he assisted Josh with giving me a blessing. I don't think I have ever had a blessing as comforting and wonderful as that blessing right then and there. It was perfect and just what I needed. I am thankful for my husband and the Priesthood. Carter was excited but mostly wondered if he would get to still see fireworks. Luckily, his wish came true as he spent the holiday with the Ivy's.
Josh and I got our bags in the van and finished up a few things at home before heading to Southaven. Southaven is the town 10 miles north of us where all the big box stores and restaurants and the hospital are. We decided to have one last evening out together and went and saw Despicable Me 2. Afterward we went to Abbay's for a quick dinner before heading to Labor and Delivery.
We got to the hospital right on time. A big mistake. It would be hours before they were able to get to me. We could have stayed and watched 2 more movies. We sat in the waiting room for almost 2 hours before I went and asked a nurse if they even wanted me there anymore. The head nurse said they tried to send me home but my doctor would not allow it. I guess they had several emergency C-sections come in and there were no nurses available to start my induction. I then asked if they at least had a room for me so that my husband and I could get some rest. She checked to make sure the room was clean, it was, so we made our way back. I changed into my lovely gown and Josh changed into jammies and he immediately fell asleep. I, on the other hand could not sleep and absently watched TV. It was not until 1:00 in the morning on July 4th that a nurse finally entered my room.
At that time they did all their question asking, vitals, and then got me hooked up. After poking me painfully several times and blowing a couple veins they called the anesthesiologist to come start my IV. I swear the one nurse poking my arm hurt just as bad as contractions. I had two great big bruises on each arm for 2 weeks after I left the hospital. Ouch. They had to actually put the IV in my hand. I have small, roly veins.
Once the IV got going and the monitors on my belly the nurse asked me if I could feel my contractions. I told her I couldn't but once she asked I realized I actually was feeling them. I had been feeling them for some time but I actually thought it was just the baby grinding into me or moving funny. Once the nurse clued me in I realized what they were. I was actually in labor! I was contracting every 3-5 minutes. At that point she inserted the Cervidil. It is a tiny little strip of medicine that they stick to the cervix. It softens the cervix which causes it to thin and dilate. You have to lay down flat for an hour after it is inserted.
It seems as soon as the nurse was done and left the room I started to get uncomfortable. After the hour was up
I could no longer lay flat anymore and had to sit up. Because of my moving around I could not keep the baby's heartbeat on the monitor so they had to come and stick on an internal monitor. For a couple hours I just sat and breathed myself through contractions as Josh snored on the couch. At around 3:00 am I felt a gush and a puddle. My water broke!! I woke Josh up and told him my water broke and he asked me if I was sure I didn't just pee. ??? Um...yeah...pretty sure a huge gush and puddling of fluid is not me just relieving myself sweet husband of mine. And I would have taking myself the 5 steps to the toilet not just done my business all over my bed.
So I called the nurse. She came and tested the fluid which was indeed amniotic fluid and it was clear. Cannon did not poop in the womb like his big brother had. Already scoring points with his momma. ;)
I know I also got checked and I believe I was like 3-4 cm. She asked me if I wanted any IV drugs to take the edge off. Yes, please. So she gave me a half dose of Stadol which I felt flow through my body and make me all warm and extremely sleepy. I remember talking normally but as soon as the drugs hit I stopped mid sentence with my mouth hanging open and my arm in the arm. I remember I had no control over that and felt the nurse close my mouth and put my arm down. It is a weird drug because I could feel the contractions clearly but it just made me so sleepy that I was able to kind of sleep through them...but semi-conscious? After an hour I was fully alert again and in pain! I asked for more! The nurse told me this time she would give me a full dose but that it would be 2 hours before I could have anything else. I said ok and back to sleepy awakeness I went. That dose only lasted an hour before I was writhing. I mean...good, solid, horrible horrendous pain. I got desperate really fast.
I called the nurse in and told her that indeed my life was coming to an end and I needed to say my goodbyes, as there was no way I was going to pull through this. I asked for the epidural...I begged for the epidural. But she so kindly informed me that I still had 30 minutes to go before I could have any other drugs and that they also had to get 2 bags of fluid through me. I looked at the bags. They were huge! And they were just slowly dripping into my IV. AGONY! So I stared at the clock and died for 30 minutes. It was a loooooooooooong 30 minutes. I thought I did not need pitocin because I was laboring on my own but I later learned I actually was getting pitocin which explained my never ending contractions. Pitocin causes contractions that piggy back. They never END! Just as you feel like you might be declining they peak again. It is pure torture. I remember wondering why this round was so much more painful than Carter's contractions. Carter's contractions were by all means unpleasant but they always had an end even if the beginning followed shortly...these contraction NEVER ENDED! I kept yelling, "WHY WON'T THEY END!?!?!" I was in so much pain that I had to get my vocals involved. I would breath really loud through my teeth and squeeze the pulp out of Josh's hand and then at the decline I would growl/yell fairly loud so that if the nurse was in the hall she would know I meant business about that epidural. Then the extreme teeth breathing, growl, teeth breathing, growl...until 7:30 hit and I was like OKAY!! It has been 30 minutes! Put me out of my misery! One nurse came in and started frantically pumping the fluid in me as I growled at her.
Then the heavens opened and a highly paid angel rolled in pushing the epidural cart. She started to tell me the risks and I told her I did not care, that at this point I would prefer paralysis to what I was feeling and to please just stick the massive needle in my back STAT! So she did. But not before I had 5 more contractions. They made Josh leave the room so I was saying, "help me, help me." The nurse came over and let me squeeze the daylights out of her while I teeth breathed and growled in her face. She talked to me and told me to slow down and quietly calmed me. It actually worked. I went into myself for a bit and let the contractions ride until the anesthesiologist was finished. Then HALLELUJAH, relief. Sweet, glorious relief. I have heard people have horror stories of their epidurals not working and being painful but I have had 2 amazing experiences with epidurals and I truly love them with all of my hear. Amen.
The time was 7:45 am and I was 7 cm dilated and Josh walked back into the room to a huge smile on my face. He immediately relaxes and smiles back. Josh loves epidurals too. Feral Laura scares Josh.
I drifted off into the most peaceful slumber.
I sleepily opened my eyes about an hour later because I heard an employee talking. I saw her as she was leaving the room and told her I thought I could feel the baby's head. So she lifted the covers and checked and told me she did not see any crowning but that she would call in my nurse. The nurse came in and checked and I was complete and the baby's head was right there! It was time!
I was still really sleepy. It was all kind of dreamy and everything seemed to be happening around me rather than me actively participating. I just wanted to go back to sleep! I remember waking with the oxygen mask on my face and it really bugged me because it gets all steamy. So I took it off. I saw my doctor come in and get all ready. I am pretty sure after that talk we had in his office that Dr. Kumar expected this to be a long delivery. He was expecting to deliver Ginormica and that I would have to push for hours before having an emergency C-Section. If fact, he asked me if I wanted to just go ahead and have a C-Section to begin with and skip the whole laboring thing. I politely declined and told him that I knew I could do it.
Did I show him? Did I ever! He got all suited up and came and stood in the catching position. Josh got one leg and a nurse got the other. The doc told me when I felt ready to push them to go ahead and he turned and started talking to the nurses. As soon as he said that I said, "ok I am ready!" I could feel Cannon right there but I had ZERO pain! He was still talking...so I just bared down and pushed and he turned and was like oh! Ok! One more push, head was out! One more big push and I felt a pop and release and he was here!! 9:03 am. It was the coolest thing ever!!! With Carter I had asked for a 2nd dose of the epidural meds and I could not feel a thing. No pressure, No hype...just great prices. Wait? but seriously...I could not feel where to push with him and that led to an hour of pushing before having him vacuumed out(his size didn't help either)...but Cannon was a breeze! I loved feeling the pressure and feeling him come out and seeing his face for the first time and hearing his sweet cry. It was all just so amazing! I loved, loved, loved the whole experience even when I was close to death. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
When Cannon cried he sounded gurgle-y which earned him a ticket straight passed Mamma and into the hands of the nurses who suctioned him all out and made sure he was breathing ok. He got wiped up a bit and weighed. 8lbs 10 oz (exactly 1 lb lighter than his big brother and let me tell you that pound makes a HUGE difference! Cannon looked downright tiny to me). Everyone said, "oh big baby!" and I was wondering what they were talking about. He was so little and sweet. I was wondering where his massive cheeks were that the ultrasounds kept talking about. I was wondering where his mound of hair was? He had hair and it was red...but not the mounds the techs told me about either. But they did guess his weight pretty accurately so I have to give them credit there. He was 21 inches long.
They swaddled him up, gave him a hat and handed him to me. I was instantly enamoured. So in love. I was so happy to meet him and told him that I was glad it was him and nobody else.
Cannon Briggs Van Noy
July 4th, 2013
8lbs. 10 oz. 21 inches long
A bundle of pure joy