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Welcome to the world, Carter: Part 1

By on Oct 29, 2009 in Birth | 3 comments

Carter Glenn McKay was born on Monday, October 19th at 6:15 pm.  He was 7lbs, 12 oz, 21″ long with a 14″ noggin.  While I admit some bias, I have to say that he is the most perfect, amazing, intelligent, adorable baby ever!

You may have noticed that my pregnancy blog has gotten a makeover, and this will now be Carter’s website!  I’ll continue blogging, and I’m going to be posting pictures here as well.  Things are still partially under construction (and will stay that way for a few days since I accidentally spilled bottled water on my laptop this morning and it’s currently not working!) but I wanted to get this post up for those of you who want to hear about Carter’s birth. 

Disclaimer: I’ve tried not to be too graphic here with anything, but there are a few of the not-so-pleasant details if you want to stop here!

Labor and delivery were completely different than what I expected them to be.  I started having contractions at 5:15am, very sporadically, watched some TV until 8 (Eastwick and 2 episodes of Melrose Place on the DVR) and went back to sleep since I didn’t think they would turn into anything (I’d had a few contractions here and there for a few days, but until they develop a rhythm, they don’t count!).  The contractions woke me up again at 9:12am and went from 32 minutes to 16 to 10 to 5-8 minutes apart within about an hour, over which time we both showered, got up, did a bit of work and got things ready to go.  Glenn was thankfully working from home that week since it was 2 days before my due date and I was really worried about him getting me to the hospital on time when he was an hour away from home plus another 40 minutes to the hospital.  Turns out this was a good idea!  While he was on a conference call for work, I called the doctor to see if I should go to the hospital, and they said yes! 

They had me swing by their office on the way there since it was on the way so I could skip triage at the hospital, so Glenn had to tell everyone on the conference call that he had to get off to take his wife to have a baby!  By the
time I got to the doctor’s office to be checked at 11:30, I was already 4cm dilated and completely effaced with his head at +1/+2 station.  I got my customary, “Wow, his head is low!” comment from the nurse practitioner which I’d gotten every time I’d been checked for the past 3 weeks. 🙂

So off to the hospital we went!  The drive there was absolutely miserable because my contractions were so strong by that point and of course the road going to the hospital was a bumpy one. 😛  By the time I got to the hospital and all checked in at 1 (after waiting in the waiting room in borderline excruciating pain for about 20 minutes, then
they lost my pre-registration and I had to sit in admissions on a hard chair going through the whole registration process, then they assigned me the same patient number as someone else who’d already delivered so they couldn’t do anything until that was fixed…yeah, not so happy with that part!) I was up to 7cm and in active labor, which
yes, hurts, but not unbearably so, and I debated whether or not to get the epidural until I imagined what 10 cm would feel like.  I thankfully got my epidural soon thereafter, which is the most magical invention EVER.

Getting the epidural was much less scary than I expected it to be.  I had a great anesthesiologist who explained exactly what he was doing and what I would be feeling to a T, and once he was done, I was pain free within 10 minutes.  I could still feel the contractions (which basically feel like a ton of pressure like you have to poo really
bad, pardon the analogy), so I knew they were happening (and when it was time to push), but the pain was completely erased and I could relax.  This allowed me to dilate the remaining 3 cm in under 2 hours, which I think really surprised everyone because first-time mommies usually have much longer labors.  I really thought I would be there
for hours and hours…had my computer and a book to read to pass the time, but it went SO quickly!  My parents arrived at the hospital and came in for a visit, then headed over to the cafeteria to have something to eat.  In the meantime I started feeling tons and tons of pressure, so I asked the nurse when my doctor would be back…he’d checked me 2 hours before and was supposed to check me again in an hour or an hour and half, but hadn’t been back yet.  The nurse offered to check me, and wouldn’t you know it, I was 10 cm, and it was time to push.  They had to page my doctor since he’d left the hospital to go back to his office!

I was pushing over the course of 1 hour and 15 minutes, but it wasn’t constant, miserable pushing like you see in the movies. With each contraction (which I could feel and we could see on the monitor), the nurse would grab one leg, Glenn would grab the other and I would push for 3 sets of 10 seconds.  Then my legs went back down and we sat
around and chatted for a few minutes until the next one, about totally random stuff…like the nurse lived in Gainesville during the Gainesville murders, and I vividly remember talking about them and thinking how weird it was to be talking about the Gainesville murders while I was in labor!  They gave me oxygen after each contraction to help me get my breath back, but it really wasn’t nearly as intense as I expected it to be!  The doctor was there at the beginning for the first few pushes, then he left for about 45 minutes and came back once I’d reached a certain point, along with an entourage of people to help with delivery and take care of the baby once he was out.  15 minutes of pretty intense pushing later and I had a baby boy! 

When they placed him on my chest for the first time, screaming bloody murder of course, it was one of the most incredible moments of my life and I was bawling because it was so emotional.  After all of that anticipation, I finally got to meet my baby and there are no words to describe it. 🙂   (On a side note, I thought I would be grossed
out by all of the “goo” when they first gave him to me to hold, and all of my friends told me you don’t care at that point…they were totally right!)

Labor was hard, but honestly because I had the epidural, it was so much easier and more comfortable than I expected it to be.  It turns out that Carter has a huge noggin though (14”), and while I had a small episiotomy, I also had a huge old 3rd degree tear from his delivery, which I didn’t realize (THANKFULLY!) at the time.   There are 4 degrees of tears, from small surface ones, to deeper tissue ones, to deeper muscular ones, to complete ones, and mine was the third.  It took about 20 minutes to stitch me back up again, which again, I thankfully couldn’t feel because of the magic epidural, nor did I realize the severity at the time.  I just got to sit there watching them clean up Carter
while the doc did his job, and once he was done, Glenn brought my little Carter over to me to hold.  Magic.  Pure magic.  I knew I would love him, but until he was physically there looking at me, I had no idea just how much I would love him or how intensely. 

After a visit from my parents to meet their grandson and breastfeeding for the first time, we hung out in the labor & delivery room just staring at him until it was time to go up to our room, marveling that we had really made this perfect little person from scratch and that he was really here and OURS to keep!

This concludes part one of Jenni’s dissertation on having a baby!  To come in the thrilling conclusion (once I have time to write it!): pain, pain and more pain from the recovery process; learning to be parents; getting completely overwhelmed and emotional; and finally, figuring it all out. 🙂  I will also post some pictures here too, but they are all on my wet laptop at the moment!  In the meantime, you can look at some of the best pictures on my Facebook profile here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=40289&id=1186287283&l=8ca60c7665

Or you can look at all of our pictures on our flickr account, where I’m uploading everything.  If you’d like access, email me at JMcKay@PerceptivityStudio.com and I will send you an invite!

Love, Mommy and Carter