My sweet baby Asher Cole was born on November 5, 2011 at 6:25am. We weighed 7lbs 8oz and was 20 inches long. As with all my kids, he did it his way and in his time. Nothing is ever text book with my pregnancies or births! We wouldn't even know what to do with that!
Many of you know that I experience gestational high blood pressures with my pregnancies. This one was no different. On November 1, Dave had me call the clinic to report that my pressures were staying up in the 160/100 range. The doctors sent me to the hospital where we spent a good part of the day. All my labs came back normal and baby was looking happy on the monitors so they sent me home on bed rest. Yuck! A mom of 3 doesn't do bed rest well! I had another appointment on Friday. My pressures continued to be pretty unpredictable. They were spiking at any given time for no apparent reason. My doctor sent me back over to labor and delivery to be monitored, run more labs, and do an amniocentesis to check lung maturity. This was around 12:00. They weren't going to be able to do the amnio until around 4:00. As I was resting in bed, I started to feel contractions around 2:00. They just kept coming and getting more and more regular. I've had this happen before and they usually quit so I didn't think much of it at the time. At about 4:15 they did the amnio. I was still contracting quite a bit. Not too painful, but definitely couldn't ignore them. They let me walk around a bit because my back was getting so sore just lying in the bed. This did not help the contractions. Well, the amnio came back in about an hour and it surprised as all by showing that the babies lungs were not mature. The doctor did not want me to have the baby quite yet, but the contractions were still coming. Earlier that morning I was 2 centimeters dilated. He checked me and I was now 3 1/2 centimeters dilated. Because my previous birth was a c-section and my ultimate goal was to have a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) he was a little nervous about sending me home with regular contractions and dilating, even though it was slow. He decided to watch me for another hour or so and check again. The contractions continued and I was dilated at that point to 4 1/2 centimeters. I was staying. We were going to have a baby!! I walked more and a couple hours later they decided to break my water. I had gone into this delivery thinking I wanted to have a "natural" child birth. I made it to 6 centimeters and just couldn't do it any more. It was going so slow and it was so painful so we opted for an epidural. I've had troubles with epidurals in the past and had had back surgery a year ago so I was kind of freaking out about it, but this one went in like nothing and worked perfectly! I love that epidural lady!! :) I don't even know what time it was, maybe 10:00pm when it was all done. We were expecting those last 4 centimeters to go quickly, but again, why do anything the way it's supposed to be done? I am so thankful that my OB was eager and willing to do everything possible to help me have a successful VBAC. With the complications with my other c-section he really didn't want to go that route either! He very slowly started some pitocin (most doctors won't use this on a VBAC). It helped, but it was still slow going. My mom was there so she went home for a couple hours and my sister was there and she went and slept in the call room. (My sister is a physician and she actually delivered my baby!) Dave got a few hours or sleep as well. Me and my nurse just kind of hung out and waited....and waited....and waited. Finally at about 5 am I started to feel more pressure. I was now 9 cm. I called my mom back and woke up Dave (we let my sister keep sleeping for awhile). At 6:15am it was time to start pushing. I warned them that this part won't take me long! My doctor had me do a "practice push" while my sister was getting ready. I fake pushed. I really wanted my sister to deliver not him (nothing against him, I really like him, but how cool is it to have your sister deliver your baby!?!) She was ready to catch. One push for the head and one more for the shoulders and I was holding my sweet baby Asher! Being a month early he was having a little trouble breathing. Any touch or stimulation sent his respiration rate to over 100 per minute. We opted to just watch him closely for about an hour to see if he could transition on his own. But, after about an hour or hour and a half our doctor made the call to NICU. They came in and immediately took him to the NICU. They could see he was starting to tucker out from working so hard. He was hooked up to CPAP to help him breath and they ran some tests. His white cells came back elevated indicating a probable infection. They started him on some antibiotics and would watch carefully. This was all very hard on momma! I cried a lot and it broke my heart to not be able to hold him. Our wonderful family doctor just hugged me as I cried when the took him away, Dave was such a rock for me, and the NICU staff would quietly just lay a reassuring hand on my back as I sat next to his incubator. I had held him for 36 weeks and now could only rest my hands on him. We are so thankful that Asher improved rapidly and was able to leave the hospital with me! What an experience. It all seems like a blur to me. As we spent time in the NICU we were struck with how fortunate we have been to have such healthy babies. Some of those babies had been there or would be there for months! We truly have been blessed! And, we were so grateful for such a wonderful NICU staff! They were amazing! We are all adjusting wonderfully and Asher has fit right into our crazy mix! God is so good to us!!