We arrived at the hospital around 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 23. While Mr. Lindquist was in full "bring on the baby" mode, I feared being sent home. Again. If you recall from Gabby's birth story, we experienced a false alarm in the a.m. hours only to have my water break that very night.
With this pregnancy, I experienced more and more contractions in the weeks leading up to the 23rd, though intermittent. On Easter Sunday I had several in a row before they fizzled out. So the next Sunday, when they started waking me out of sleep at 4:30 a.m., I thought they would eventually go away as well. 10 hours later, the contractions were still 10 ish minutes apart. Some were more intense than others, but we were instructed to go in only if they were 5 minutes apart. To keep my mind occupied, we played t-ball in the front yard, and lounged in our "new" hammock (that's been stored at my mom's house since approximately 2004).
We all decided to grab lunch at a sandwich shop a couple miles from our house. On our way there, I had a few bad contractions, and while leaving the patio of the restaurant (no way I was going inside and having my water break in the dining room) I had to stop and grab a table to brace for another contraction. Since they still weren't 5 minutes apart I decided to go home and rest. We sent the girls with grandma and papa and said we'd see them at dinnertime.
2:30 rolled around and I decided to finally pause a Netflix episode and call the nurse line. Since this wasn't my first, or second for that matter, birthing rodeo, she advised I go in and get checked. Up to this point I'd avoided the ole check-a-roo because OW! While that saved Rob a few brutal hand squeezes during my checkups, it also meant I had no baseline to see if my contractions were making anything progress.
Therefore, 4 cm dilated at 4 o'clock on Sunday coupled with intermittent contractions meant nothing to the doctor in labor & delivery. We were given the option to return home or walk around for a couple hours. This sounded all too familiar. I gave Rob "the look" which meant I could be home watching Netflix, but noooo, he made me come here only to most likely be sent home. I slipped back into my clothes and away we regrettably went. For two hours we strolled the UNMC campus, and my inner tour guide came out again, most likely with the same verbiage from when I was in false labor with Gabby.
Fast forward to about 6 p.m., when I was checked again. No change. Before they sent us home though, she wanted to check the fluid around the baby after noticing some heart decelerations following contractions. While this worried me a bit, I was happy to stay put. Also, the labor & delivery nurse eased my mind when she told me she thought the decelerations could be chalked up to variability since the majority of the other contractions did not show them.
After confirming the fluid around baby was fine, the doctor offered to let me labor a bit more until 8 p.m,. to see if there was any change, as between getting back from the walk and the quick ultrasound, my contractions started to worsen. Before the clock struck 8, I knew there was no turning back. These contractions were the real deal and they were going to have to wheel me to my car in protest if they wanted me to leave. Thankfully, at 8 p.m. I had dilated to a 6. I received "admitted" status, which Rob noticed meant I got my official hospital mug rather than a disposable cup of ice water.
I'm not sure the nurse had finished the word "admitted" when I shouted DRUGS! NOW! (possible exaggeration). The nurse immediately administered Fentanyl, but not before informing me that's what Prince overdosed and died from. #themoreyouknow She explained to us that the dosage was equivalent to 4 shots of Patrón Tequila. I may have been experiencing a contraction while she said this as a minute after she administered it, I had no idea why I started feeling as though I'd lost control of my appendages. Because things were progressing so quickly, anesthesia was quickly summoned. (insert heavenly "ahhhh" noises). Unfortunately she missed a few times inserting the world's longest needle into my spine. NBD. Soon enough the drugs were flowing and at about 8:30ish, we were finally left alone for a bit. I couldn't feel the pain from the contractions, so I had no idea how intense they were. Rob and the nurses were taking bets as to whether the baby would be born before midnight or after. Since Gabs was born on the 23rd and Faith on the 24th, I was hoping baby would come on the 22nd or 25th and have his own day, but here we were. At some point I took this video:
I was leaning toward the 24th when the nurse came in at about 10 and asked how I was doing. I said I felt a little pressure and she offered to check me again. While checking, she said, "yeah, I don't feel the cervix at all." Oh, did it take a vacation, I wondered. Maybe it moved somewhere and forgot to fill out a forwarding address form. It didn't dawn on me that it meant I was "complete" aka ready to push until she told me, "you are ready to push."
OH! The 23rd it is.
So, in summary, at 6 p.m. they were ready to send us home and at 10 p.m. I was ready to push. This was all on my own, no pitocin involved, just a few "checks" and of course the IV cocktail. At no point did they break my water, and I asked when that would happen. I didn't realize you could deliver with it in tact. This might be TMI but the doctor sat down for the practice push and said, "masks on, ladies!"
I'll spare you the pushing details other than to say this was the first birth my husband watched without looking away at all. Apparently the third time is a charm to rid someone of their squeamishness. They asked me if I wanted to touch baby's head as he was crowning, and after initially being afraid I did it and it made me realize how close I was to holding my son in my arms. (Good motivation technique!) A few minutes later, Calvin Robert Lindquist came screaming into the world, and I full on sobbed.
As I pulled his tiny body to my chest, I told him I loved him over and over again. I couldn't see his face because he was so high up on my chest, yet I knew immediately that I would do literally anything for him. Soon I got to cradle him in my arms and study his face. I saw baby Faith right away. With the red hair Gabby was born with before it turned blonde.
Originally, I wasn't sure about having a baby boy. After two girls who have been fairly easy as far as kids go, I worried how different it would be. It's taken his arrival for me to feel thrilled that he is a boy and my little man. And I don't know if it's because of that or because he's most likely our last baby (despite Faith pointing out we don't know that for sure) but I am smitten and already wrapped around his tiny finger, same for his dad and sisters.
But back to the delivery room. When I finally took my eyes off of baby to look at my husband, I saw a man who was in awe of what he just witnessed. The love I felt for him in that moment was no less awesome than it was the first or second time we brought babies into this world. With this pregnancy, we didn't have a definite first name picked out heading to the hospital. We thought we'd give him a once over and go with one of our top 3. But as the labor progressed, his name kept ringing louder in my head and when the nurses finally asked what his name was, I said, "I think we are going to call him Calvin." They swooned. And all was right with the world.
Before I sign off, I just want to say thank you to the most supportive, loving partner a girl could have. Thank you for letting me squeeze the feeling out of your hand, cry uncontrollably for no reason, worry too much about the circumcision, all while waiting on me hand and foot. Can I have some water? A mint? That blanket. No, not that one. A pillow, my pills, a granola bar, the iPad, my phone, a million dollars. Just kidding. But he'd probably try if that's what I asked for. Thank you, dear, for all you've done and continue to do. I've noticed. I love you. And you have unlimited Starbucks privileges from here on out! ;)