What a crazy week this has been – but I won’t be complaining at all!!

On Tuesday morning, I was having a tiny bit of spotting but no cramping or anything to concern me otherwise. I went back and forth about calling my doctor while looking at Google to tell me if I really should or just wait it out. A few hours passed before I decided to call my doctor just to see if maybe she wanted to check on things or not. They asked if I was in labor. I said, “NO WAY, I don’t feel like that at all.” They did send me to L&D to get checked and monitor the baby and see what was going on. I gathered up Lucas and my mom to help with him and headed up there about 12:30. James was out of town and not due back until 3:30 or so. I totally went in there with accepting some minor cervical change and having to wait out the next 3-4 weeks. Believe me when I was totally dumfounded when they said I was 3cm!! Well, no wonder there was some bleeding. They did an ultrasound to make sure there wasn’t bleeding from anywhere else and to check on the baby to make sure he was still looking good. He was! They sent me home with the usual instructions and to wait it out.

I got home at 3:30, just as James (who was nervous because he hates NOT being there at times like that) was coming up the driveway too. We sat and chatted some and I had a few contractions but nothing major or consistent. Until about 5pm while I was fixing dinner. I was noticing them enough to break out the contraction counter app on my phone. I was shocked to see them actually coming about 4-7 but mostly about 5 minutes apart when I actually paid attention. I felt fine otherwise. We ate dinner, I laid down, I was sure things would just stop once I did that. At 8pm I called L&D to tell them I was in earlier in the day but contractions were regular at 4-7 minutes for the last 3 hours and I was only 36 weeks. They told me to wait for intensity and or closer together. James and I talked some more – we were TOTALLY unprepared (even moreso in hindsight) to have the baby that night so we needed to plan right then or to hope things stop and risk having to fly out of the house last minute in the middle of the night. We opted for now. I got my mom over and the kids prepared. I still hadn’t given my mom the rundown on things since we were sure we had more time, so I was doing that while packing bags and bouncing on the ball because intensity surely was building.

By 9pm, James was done getting the car seat installed and Lucas’ moved to my mom’s car and was doing a few other things and getting ready to shower. It was then that I felt I needed to rush him and we better go NOW. We were both getting to the panic point I think but trying not to freak out, except internally. We were backing out of the driveway at 9:30pm. It was a terrifying ride across town to the hospital. I have never felt such crazy pain, so fast and sudden. I’m sure people in other cars were freaking out at me freaking out! James was so worried about me but trying to drive fast without speeding and avoiding bumps and things. I know he was frantic, he’s just that way – but he was awesome at holding it all together. I even contemplated going to the ER since we could drive right in instead of parking ramp then walking to L&D but I felt dumb about the ER and leaving James to park and whatnot. So he dropped me at the entryway – of course all comedy would have it that he couldn’t get the wheelchair to open. He finally did, and then he parked, he ran back in with just the camera as I instructed, and we started to go. Me howling away, people looking at me like I’m crazy, me hoping my water doesn’t burst all over everything while I was certain I was transitioning because my body was seriously shaking. I was trying to be calm, James was wheeling as fast as he could, only to get stopped up by stupid elevators that don’t run properly! We finally made it up to L&D and they got me in a triage room right away. It was 9:50pm (thought felt hours later) and I was at 4cm and 100% effaced.

I was previously not planning on an epidural, they freak me out, but when I asked I said YES!! The pain was so crazy. I delivered 3 babies with no epidural and made it just fine. This was so different. They called my doc, got me to a room and an influx of 4+ nurses were in my room – filling out paperwork, getting vitals, starting an IV, calling for the epi, etc. James was so wide eyed and I was contracting so much. They checked me again at 10:20pm and I was 6cm! They did an intrathecal epidural – further into the space, faster acting but shorter duration. It worked SO FAST and I seriously felt NOTHING after that. My legs were so numb and heavy and I was definitely in nervous lala land. My doc arrived, just as shocked and surprised as I was, and was getting everything set for delivery. Serioulsy, it was only 10:50pm when she checked me again and I was at 8cm! My water still hadn’t broke. She waited a few more minutes to get things set up and ready and then broke my water. A few more minutes went by and she checked me again and I was 10cm and ready to push! What? Ready to push? I feel nothing, how can I push? How did all of this happen so fast? The first contraction, 2 ineffective pushes, I couldn’t feel anything. The next contraction – head out. What?! Head out?!! No crowning burn?! heck yeah that was awesome but how could I not feel the crowning?!! Next push, baby born – 11:11pm! No joke!! Another baby with a very short cord, they couldn’t even get him to my belly.

So at 36 weeks and 2 days, Levi James was born weighing in at 6 pounds 1 ounce and 18 inches long. He was checked for respiratory issues and was just fine, he was back in with me in no time.

We are uncertain why he came so early, all of my other babies were term. There were no signs of anything to pinpoint other than we think he was just wanting to get out of there! Ha! My doctor says that being the 5th baby, my body just knew what to do, even if it wasn’t the best timing. We’re just so thankful that he’s healthy and that we didn’t need a NICU stay. He’s so super small to me but so adorable!

Now, a week later, we have found out that he was Coombs+ so his billirubin spiked and we were back in the hospital overnight after being discharged 2 days after his birth. He got a day and a half of photo therapy which went so well, not all the heel poking and incompetent people, but the lights brought  his numbers down. yesterday he finished his at home therapy and we go for hopefully our final redraw this morning. He’s doing great! There were some nursing and latch issues but I suspect now that with the jaundice and his small size and early arrival, the colostrum was just too hard for him to suck. Now that he’s better and my milk is in, it’s all just fine!

This is probably the vaguest birth story ever, though I’m not sure I could detail it any more since everything happened so fast and it was so intense. I felt so lovely dovey and wonderfully blissful and happy – but even those immediate mommy feelings were shoved aside a little by the total shock and amazement that he was born a month early, and in such a crazy way. Leave it to our last baby to make such a stellar arrival.

More on the jaundice to come in another post.

Of course, there are pictures, courtesy of James!


Mama’s first look

oh tiny, tiny foot!

Two tiny, tiny feet!

Welcome to the world, son. While we weren’t quite ready to meet you yet, we are so glad you are here! We love you!