NOPE, THAT'S A LIE.
I'm just trying my best to remember every little detail. I have great hope that one day Amos will read this and think,
A special thanks to Hanna for the beautiful photos - they mean so much to me, and so do you.
Without further ado....
I figured I would go past my due date again, so I tried to hold loosely to any and all expectations of when everything would happen. I also told Bryan that we should have talked about his family history of giant stubborn babies that struggle with punctuality more when we were dating - you know, to prepare me more. The thing is, even when you mentally prepare to go past your due date, it's still really hard not to lose your mind - mostly because getting out of bed by that point requires a crane. It's all tiring but joking aside, I don't take pregnancy for granted and I'm unbelievably thankful to experience it.
So, my due date came and went! AGAIN! NINE DAYS! (It was eleven with Elsa, so this was an improvement). My blood pressure was great along with everything else (an issue for me last time), so I went to my weekly appointments and we didn't discuss induction. I had my membranes swept twice (so dreamy! Google that!), but I was still holding strong with little to no progress. At about 8 days past I was finally dilated to 3cm - nothing crazy, but welcome nonetheless - so all the membrane sweeping wasn't in total vain.
Bryan kept praying I would soon go into labor so I would stop going to Target and HomeGoods and channeling all of my frustrated pregnant energy into buying more baskets and candles. (Can you really ever have too many candles and baskets, though? No).
I started contracting on Sunday morning. I called my OB, because I was pretty sure my water had maybe broken at the top and was slowly leaking. Since there was no confirming without a test and it was so inconsistent and the contractions stopped - we didn't bother going to the hospital. MORALE WAS LOW. Total despair set in and I felt so foolish for texting our parents and telling them that something was happening. I sat bouncing on a giant exercise ball whilst also pumping to try and induce labor. I looked like a giant sad gorilla with cones on her boobs.
We went to sleep that night - me, totally convinced I'd be forever pregnant. My despair was thankfully in vain - as my contractions started again at 3:30am. They came out of nowhere - fast and strong. I woke up and started walking around the house and used an app to time them. They were strong and lasted about a minute each and were about 3-5 minutes apart. I timed about six of them before my app very nonchalantly popped up with a notification in all caps that said, "GO TO HOSPITAL IMMEDIATELY." So I folded laundry instead (????) and then woke Bryan up and told him we needed to leave. I called my mom so she could meet us at the hospital, and my mother-in-law came to stay with Elsa. I informed everyone that if we made it to the hospital and they did not admit me, I had plans of throwing myself on the ground and refusing to leave because I knew I would be too heavy to lift. I felt really good about the idea.
We made it to the hospital and while checking in I swayed to and fro like I was dancing to a ballad you might hear on a soft rock radio station. Journey? Phil Collins? You get it.
I went to triage, praying "Please let this be real," and "So help me Jesus if I am still only 3 centimeters still I will break someone."
The nurse checked me and informed me I was 5cm (YAY!) and that yes, my water HAD actually broken 24 hours prior (YIKES!) - I had no signs of infection, but I was also positive for group B strep so I had to be treated with antibiotics right away anyway. So I WAS ADMITTED. I WENT INTO LABOR ON MY OWN! NO PITOCIN!
|So thankful for how flattering hospital gowns are, and for how dainty I look when pregnant|
|Look closely and you'll see my swollen alien feet|
The whole time I was contracting, I felt so happy. I realize that sounds kind of insane, but the whole thing felt so peaceful and I felt so relieved. Since I needed antibiotics, there was no rush to move things along, progress-wise - so I was able to move around the room freely and however I needed to in order to stay comfortable. When I was laboring with Elsa, my blood pressure was uncooperative and I had to lay down earlier than I had wanted.
|Facetiming with Baby Girl|
|Discussing her last few hours as an only child|
When it was time to monitor me occasionally, I'd have to lay down and be still through the contractions. At the peak of each one I didn't feel as much pain as I did a strong urge to loudly express all of my feelings and desires to everyone in the room. All of my feelings and desires at that point were:
"I REALLY HAVE TO PEE AGAIN. I WANT A SANDWICH SO BAD WHERE IS A SANDWICH."
I wish I could say it was more varied than that throughout my laboring - but truly, all I could think about was how hungry I was and how sad I was about the truly lame breakfast I had as we were rushing out the door.
I understand the whole "you can't eat anything because if you have to end up with a c-section you could choke and die" thing, but really - telling a laboring woman she can't have food or drink during the most physically exhausting thing her body might ever do SEEMS KIND OF DUMB. Sorry, that was my hunger talking again.
I labored for several more hours through some strong contractions before I decided I wanted the epidural. Nothing felt out of control or too painful, but I was tired and wanted to rest while I could - because, you know, I was pretty sure it wasn't going to be much longer (do you feel where this is going?)
The anesthesiologist came in and asked if anyone wanted to stay in the room, and Bryan thought better of his experience from last time and sprinted out of the room in terror. My mom stayed in to hold my hands and keep me steady.
EPIDURALS, YOU GUYS. GOD BLESS THEM.
THIS IS ME WHEN I GET THE EPIDURAL - (be sure to click that)
WHY HASN'T ANYONE WRITTEN A SONG ABOUT EPIDURALS? WHY DON'T OVER THE COUNTER EPIDURALS EXIST? ON A REALLY BAD DAY, I JUST WANT AN EPIDURAL.
They're like a warm hug of drugs for your legs and as soon as you get one it's like you're at a birthday party (A BIRTHDAY PARTY WITHOUT FOOD).
|Facetiming with Camille|
|Working hard |
|Also doing sudoku|
|Sometimes Hanna would walk by and just say "There's no way that's a real foot." So glad we have this to remember its formless shape forever.|
They didn't check my progress before getting the epidural - my nurse figured it would be more comfortable to do so once the goods had kicked in (how thoughtful!) and I was certain that when they did there would be great news of my dilation.
From checking in to my room at 7am (5cm!) until 1:30pm when I asked for my epidural, I had progressed to....6cm. JUST ONE. ONE CENTIMETER.
Though no one had officially declared it, each time someone had checked me (even the week prior at my OB appointments), the doctor or nurse would get a faraway look in their eye as they shoved their hand up into my goods (if you're picturing Laura Dern in Jurassic Park with the sick triceratops, please stop) and say, "You know....I'm not sure...but...I think....he might be sunny side up." A posterior baby was not something I had really planned for.
I never felt any painful back labor, so I didn't think much of it. But now we were sure - because he just wasn't in the right position and things weren't moving along like they should.
The next thing I knew, I was begging them for pitocin. File that under: "Things I Never Thought I'd Say," and "Things that would astonish Ricki Lake."
I just wanted the boy to come out. I wanted to hold him and nurse him and love on him and eat Jimmy Johns. I was over it.
|Rip Van Winkle. Here, I slept for about eight years, waiting for my cervix to dilate.|
|"I'm so sorry I didn't stop at McDonald's for you to eat breakfast this morning" - probably what Bryan is saying|
|One of my sweet nurses visiting me and saying, "WHY ARE YOU STILL HERE?" She was just finishing up her shift when I was admitted and then came back to work 12 hours later and I had still not had the baby because I was FORT FETUS.|
Sure enough, by a miracle of the Lord, I was fully dilated and IT WAS FINALLY TIME. I was tired and felt like vomiting up all of delicious ice chips I'd been eating for ninety hours.
We waited for my doctor to arrive and the pressure to push was overwhelming. I started to panic a little bit - thinking about posterior babies and how hard it is and if they'd need to get him out with a vacuum or if he would just completely destroy me on the way out.
When it was time to push I just kept praying it wouldn't take hours. I just didn't have hours left in me. The pressure was amazing and I felt so much stronger than I did the first time pushing Elsa out - I knew what the pushing felt like and I was determined.
I was strong and determined, and then I pushed twice and gave up. I started crying. I said I didn't want to do it and wanted to just lay there like a sunning walrus. Apparently they don't let you do that, though - and everyone started saying they could see him. The nurses and my mom and Bryan and Hanna and my doctor were cheering for me.
I kept saying, "Can you see his head? Does he have a lot of hair?" and no one could answer because he was coming out with his forehead first.
His giant Dorsey head (to be fair, my side of the family has big heads, too) did not want to come out.
I will spare you the gory details (unless you want pictures??? KIDDING), but there was a slight incision involved and a big push and Hanna maintains that with that final push he "SHOT OUT OF ME LIKE A ROCKET."
And just like that, I had a son.
Amos Paul Dorsey.
Nine pounds and twenty-two and a half inches. Messy and warm and vibrant and gorgeous with a bruised little forehead.
My heart recognized him right away and I started sobbing. My happiest tears I've ever had are the ones reserved for my children's births.
They immediately laid him on my chest and I got to snuggle with my boy - one of those treasured glimpses of heaven.
I told Bryan, "Oh man I cannot believe I had to push that long. I thought I was going to die."
And he laughed at me and said, "Um...that was twenty minutes." I guess it didn't take as long as I anticipated! And maybe I am a little dramatic? No?
So, my dear Amos. On the night you were born, I ate the
grossest hospital-quality most delicious cheeseburger of my life and drank cranberry juice cocktail from a small plastic dish. I held you on my chest and smelled your perfect head and beheld your squishy face and all of my worries of whether I could love another baby as much as my first melted away as I thought of how much I already loved your soft hair feathers and eye lashes and soul.
You and your sister are evidence of the mystery of God's grace and mercy - an ever-present reminder to me that He is the giver of all good gifts. I pray you know the magic of how loved you are, every day. I pray it spills out of you and you can't help but share that joy with others. We are so thankful for you.
Welcome, my sweet boy.
Hello, I've been waiting for you
I didn't know if you'd recognize my voice
Cause I've been whispering your name again and again
I've been imagining this day and I'll never be the same
It's so good to see your face
We dance and sometimes only fall
We sing even when there are no words
And I hope love lifts you up again and again
And if you ever lose your way, let me be the first to say
It's so good to see your face
Come inside from the cold and rest your weary soul
You belong, you are loved, you are wanted
You're not alone
I've missed you so