Most of you have either never heard or have only heard an abbreviated version of Cayden’s birth story. I wanted to take this opportunity on my blog to share it with you and selfishly have it written down for myself so that I never forget the details of that special day. If you want to read, I recommend getting a warm drink and a cozy spot on the couch, it’s long!
My original due date was July 8th. Everything about the pregnancy medically went very well – no gestational diabetes, no problems with the baby on the ultrasounds, and I appeared to be progressing just as predicted. As for my comfort throughout my pregnancy, that was a different story. I was one of the lucky ones that had severe morning sickness throughout the entire length of the pregnancy, vomiting up to seven times a day. (Did my sarcasm come through on that?) Additionally, I had the typical headaches, fatigue, heartburn, and back pain. It came to the point where I was considering having an abortion because I couldn’t bear the pain. Thankfully, Pregnancy Resource Center in Portland helped me and my husband make the right decision through their free abortion education. Needless to say, I was ready to meet my sweet boy as soon as he was ready to come out!
As I went for each of my weekly checkups during the final month, they inched up the due date little by little, due to Cayden’s size and my progression. At my appointment on June 9th, I was a fingertip dilated and 70% effaced. At my appointment on June 16th, I was 1cm dilated and 80% effaced. And finally, on June 23rd I was 2cm dilated and 90% effaced. I was obviously making progression and my wonderful doctor, Dr. John Martin, felt as though I could be induced on July 1st, one week before my due date. He also mentioned that he had a feeling Cayden would be making an appearance on his own before my induction date. My sister, Carlee, was in town for that appointment and we tried to act calm and composed in the exam room, but when we got out to the car we did this spastic thing that we commonly do with our hands when we’re excited and screamed like two 12 year olds at a Justin Bieber concert! I could not believe that I would be meeting my son in a week or LESS!
Well, I got home and later that afternoon got a call from Summerlin Hospital letting me know that my induction was moved up to June 30th at 4am due to room availability. I was so excited that I didn’t even care about the horrendous hour she just told me that I would have to arrive at. Carlee, Drew, and I were determined to get this baby out on his own before the induction, so we walked almost every night (which was exhausting for me haha), I attempted to eat spicy foods, and I did a lot of bouncing on my exercise ball. Well, not one single contraction at home. Looked like I was being induced.
On the morning of June 30th, we arrived at the hospital at 4:00am as instructed. Needless to say, we were antsy to meet our baby boy and didn’t sleep much the night before. They got me right into a delivery room, dressed into a gown, and told me to take my last drink of water. Oh how in the moment I could not comprehend how much I would miss drinking water during my labor…
At 4:45am I was started on Pitocin to induce contractions. I still had not had one! At around 5am, they began. They eventually were super painful and I was so happy I was in the hospital to experience them and not at home attempting to time their duration! At about 8am I was only 3cm, but was having regular contractions. Luckily I still have a group text thread between Drew, our cousin Rebecca, and I where Drew is giving her my dilation updates, so I am able to record them here!
10:15am – 4cm
10:45am – Got my epidural
11:45am – They broke my water
1:15pm – 5cm
3:30pm – 6cm
5:45pm – 7cm
6:30pm – 8cm
As you can see, my progression was extremely slow. I had to get manual overrides on my epidural from the anesthesiologist twice because I was in so much pain. It felt like this baby was never coming out! I did not sleep at all, which was silly, and we had a lot of people in and out of the room. I have never eaten so many ice chips in my life – I was so thirsty! And when I got really hungry at one point, I made my sister Carlee come and eat Skittles near me and breath on me so I could smell them – HA!
Well, finally by about 11:30pm it was time to start pushing. I kicked out the men (except Drew) and let my mom, two sisters, mother-in-law, and aunt stay for the birth. Apparently these epidural things are supposed to make you only feel slight pressure and no pain during the pushing process. Well, I am one of the lucky ones (like with the morning sickness) that felt everything. They told me it was too late to get more medication in my epidural because I was 9.5cm dilated. The only thing I could do was push, cry, and hope Cayden decided to come out soon. I was so exhausted from not sleeping, eating, or drinking anything all day that pushing was really difficult. I had to have an oxygen mask and could barely hold my breath for the 10 seconds needed every push. At 12:10am or so on July 1st, I was crowning enough that my nurse decided to call my doctor to come in for the delivery. He lives 20 minutes away and was sleeping on his couch downstairs awaiting a phone call. I wish she would have called him in the middle of my pushing so that he was there sooner!!
Dr. Martin arrived at around 12:40am and got right to work. He let me push whenever I wanted (unlike the nurse who told me I only could when the monitors showed I was having a contraction – grr) and he attempted to keep me calm. I was screaming and crying (by this point I had absolutely no pain medication left) and he kept telling me what a great job I was doing. Within 20 minutes, Cayden made his debut!
They took him over to get cleaned off, measured, and assessed, while I got stitched up. It was so crazy to me to sit and have a calm, normal conversation with my doctor just minutes after I was in excruciating pain. Must have been those mommy hormones kicking in!
They let me hold him for a few more minutes before they had to take him to the nursery to be assessed some more. He didn’t cry immediately after he was born, so they were worried that he had some amniotic fluid in his lungs and just wanted to perform some more tests to ensure that he was okay. Drew went to the nursery with him for about 15 minutes before they had to kick him out. During that time, Drew was packing up our stuff to be moved to the Postpartum room and I was with my nurse preparing to be moved as well. She gave me water and a pudding and it was basically like handing me gold after the 20 hour labor I had just endured.
We got over to Postpartum at around 4am and needless to say were exhausted. They brought Cayden to us shortly after we arrived over there and it was amazing to have just us three together to enjoy our first real moments as a family of three. Drew and I were both so tired from not sleeping in over 24 hours, but how could we take our eyes off this perfect little guy?
At 6am they brought us a glorious breakfast which we basically inhaled. Throughout the day we slept, Cayden got a few of the typical newborn screenings, and we had an ongoing flow of visitors.
At around 1pm on July 2nd, we got to take our precious boy home, 57 hours after arriving. Overall, our experience at Summerlin Hospital was good and that is where we will plan on delivering our second baby after I have my pelvic physiotherapy (no, I’m not pregnant again – haha).
As all mothers know, the pain of the pregnancy, labor, and delivery amount to nothing compared to the joy of having a child, and that’s why learning about young adults and pregnancy is so important. As I sit here finishing up this post, I am blessed to look down at the healthy four-month-old boy in my arms sleeping and say, “We did it, son.”