The title of this post is exactly what it sounds like. This is the story of our son’s birth. If you don’t want all the details, stop reading now.
I went into active labor on Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, in the evening. Note: I had a horrible cold at the time. It was around Amber’s bedtime, 7:30 p.m., and I started to feel crampy and uncomfortable. I’d been saying for weeks that I was sure he – our baby boy – was going to arrive early. Little did I know it would be 8 days before his Oct. 29 due date. My husband Scott was busy trying to put Amber to bed in her “big girl bed,” also known as a twin mattress on the floor in her room, which had become increasingly difficult for me to do, getting up and down out of her bed with my rather large tummy. I’d put on 10 additional pounds that I hadn’t had with Amber.
I called to Scott and told him I thought we should call my parents, option #1, to come get Amber for a “practice sleepover.” I was worried that by the time and if I actually went into labor, Amber would already be asleep and they’d have to wake her up. They arrived about 45 minutes later to pick her up – her bags were packed. My parents both called it, and said I’d be having the baby that night. It wasn’t 30 minutes later that the contractions came on fast and furious. I tried the birthing ball, laboring in bed and scrambling to put together everything we needed to take with us to the hospital between contractions. Scott was tired because he’d been up for work early that morning.
By about 10:30-11 p.m., even though my contractions hadn’t reached 5-1-1 status, the contractions were only 30-35 seconds long, they were wicked intense and painful and Scott called it that we’d better leave for the hospital. My mucus plug hadn’t come out and my water hadn’t broken yet either. Our little guy timed it right because there wasn’t any traffic driving to Stanford ValleyCare Hospital in Pleasanton, Calif., in the middle of the night, though we did see quite a bit of traffic in the opposite direction in 580.
We arrived at the hospital by 11:30 p.m. or so and I remember Scott saying he was going to drop me off and park the truck. I responded, “No, you’re not leaving me.” So he parked in the emergency drop-off area and we walked into the hospital, contractions happening along the way including one very painful one at the hospital emergency room entrance. While we started filling out admittance paperwork, Scott said he had to go to the bathroom. While he was still in the bathroom, a nurse with a wheelchair arrived and whisked me off to labor and delivery. I wanted her to stop pushing the wheelchair when I felt a contraction coming on, but there was no stopping her, or waiting for Scott. I swear she thought I was going to have the baby right then and there.
I was checked into a hospital delivery room and Scott caught up to me. They had a rather difficult time finding my vein to insert an IV for fluids, and after two nurses trying and poking and prodding me (resulting in major post-delivery bruising), they brought in the anesthesiologist to put the IV in through my right hand, and nurse Edie checked me and I was already 5-6 centimeters dilated. She was optimistic and upbeat and cheerful and thought the labor would progress quickly. Somewhere after that my mucus plug came out and my water broke on the hospital bed.
Then, somewhere between 6 centimeters and 8, I was screaming for the epidural and getting additional oxygen through a mask to help me breath, given my cold. I pooped at some point on the hospital birthing table too. Gross!
By the time the anesthesiologist (male) arrived and administered the epidural (me bear hugging nurse Edie during three contractions, while she had Scott sit down — apparently some husbands pass out watching), I was fully dilated and it was time to push. Dr. Stone (female) was called in to catch the baby and 23 minutes after the epidural was administered Tilden was born. I kept saying, “Hurry, hurry,” as in make the epidural kick in, but there was no time for that. I felt everything.
No tearing, or not enough to need stitches. Tilden came out just perfectly at 3:23 AM on Oct. 21, 2018, 7 pounds, 12 ounces, 20 inches long, with a few very painful/intense pushes, and Tilden and I immediately did skin to skin. He took to nursing right away and passed his newborn hearing test. He also got his first bath about 8 hours after being born (just in water).
After our celebratory dinner the second night, I sent Scott home to get some rest and take care of Marlowe, and the next morning we were released to go home.
The LC said I was her best patient of the day (Auntie Chris would be proud!). We are so glad that Tilden has joined our family.
Unfortunately, because Amber had a cold at the time she couldn’t come to the hospital to meet Tilden, so my parents brought her to our house once we were released. She looked so cute with her little mask on holding her baby brother for the first time. Such a proud big sister!
Welcome to the world, Tilden Alan Amstutz. We love you so much.