Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Fitzgerald Dean Ruesch: A Birth Story

I have really been struggling to write this post. For a really long time. I've thought about it almost daily and for some reason I haven't been able to bring myself to do it. Why? I don't know. So, I'm just going to get started and see how this goes.

I set my induction date for September 18th with my NMW and I was so excited! I had a plan! I knew when he was coming! My house would be perfectly clean before he came! I would be packed! I would have lots of Ellie time! It would be perfect! Now, I'm sure you're laughing and waiting to hear about what went wrong. But, you know what? Nothing went wrong. He came on September 18th. My house was clean. I was packed (even though it wasn't until the 17th). I did have lots of Ellie time. However, that doesn't make for a very good story, does it?

In reality, I was an absolute nut job before he came. I can't decide whether it's less stressful to wait for them to come or knowing when they are coming down to the minute that you are scheduled to enter the hospital. I think it might be the latter. With a definite deadline came endless to-do lists, procrastination, and the race for perfection, while all the while hoping he wouldn't deviate from my carefully laid plan. After all is said and done though, I'd do it again. And again.

On the night of the 17th, we packed up what felt like 76% of our house and traveled up to Ogden to stay at my mom's house that night. I would be delivering at McKay-Dee hospital in Ogden and Ellie & J.rue would be sleeping at my mom's during those few days so it was perfect. After we unloaded the 40 million bags (I'm a notorious over-packer!) we got Ellie down to sleep and J.rue went to relax with my brothers. I couldn't sit still so I showered and asked my mom to paint my toes. I couldn't reach at that point, not even a chance. She painted my toes red and we talked babies. How fast Ellie's almost first 2 years had gone, how fast I had grown up, how I was terrified of 2, and how excited I was to have 2. I think we were all up until about 1 a.m.

Ellie has always been my rockstar sleeper. This is only important right now because the night before Fitz was born, she was not. I think she was up every 2 hours or so. I was up with her around 5:30 when my mom came and got her. Bless her for that. We were supposed to leave for the hospital around 6:45 to check in at 7, but they called me around 5:45, said they were full, and would have to push back my induction. They were hoping to still get me in that day! I was sad and mad, and mostly tired. So, I went back to bed while my angel mother slept with Ellie on the couch. Not long after, at about 8:30, the hospital called me and said they were ready for me. Now. I begged for 30 minutes. After I got off the phone I frantically started getting ready and throwing things in the car. Also, notice my swollen face, that means game time -- for the next 72 hours. WHY?!

Then it hit me, I was actually leaving my first baby. There were tears, but I knew the next time I saw her, I'd be introducing her to her brother. So, we took off and checked in. It was totally different than Ellie because I wasn't having big stupid contractions as I was walking in. They got me checked in, in my gown, and in the bed. So far, so good! The next few hours were pretty uneventful, again so nice! and so unlike last time!

I started feeling contractions around 1 or 2 and didn't wait very long to get the epidural. I was honestly terrified of this part. With Ellie I had a resident who poked me 3 times. I was bent over for 30 minutes and it hurt. Plus, it worked too well. I couldn't feel a thing. The nicest old anethesiologist walked in, well I don't know how nice he was, but his voice and presence were calming. He was amazing. Through all of my crying and shaking he managed to get it in and it hardly hurt. J.rue was so supportive through everything, but he was the sweetest and best to have right then. He held my hand and told me how tough and brave he was, how lucky the 3 of them were to have me. He's a good egg and I'm so thankful that he's mine.

After the epidural things started to get a bit more interesting. The nurses were having a hard time keeping track of his heartbeat with the monitor. My heart sank. It was happening again. So once again, I was turned onto my left side with an oxygen mask and told we would just have to watch closely and wait. Every time that line dropped, my heart sunk and the nurses came running in to evaluate. My NMW was in and out a few time and seemed calm and not too worried, but she also said all we could do was watch and wait.

At one point they totally took me off of the Pitocin, which seemed to help, but then I wasn't progressing quickly at all. They upped it to about a quarter of the lowest dose and his heart rate dropped again. At this point, my sweet nurse came in, stopped my Pitocin and told me to start preparing for the possibility of a c-section...just like last time. I don't know why being told that made me so upset, maybe just because of the stress, that this was that serious, I still don't know. Maybe I just wanted it to be better than last time. J.rue was grabbing some food and I called him in tears. He was back in a second and talked me through everything, and as long as we finished with a healthy baby, it didn't matter how he got here.

My NMW came in a few minutes later and I asked her what she was thinking. Luckily, she was not thinking C-section. I had a catheter put in with some kind of liquid. This took pressure off of Fitz and allowed his heart rate to come up. Within 30 minutes I went from a 6 to a 10 and we were ready to rock and roll. The delivery was amazing. I could feel just enough to know where to push and he was out with 3 sets of pushes. We found out immediately that the reason his heart rate kept dropping, was because his cord was wrapped around his shoulder twice and his neck twice, so kind of stressful on that tiny body.

Fitz came out at 7:15 pm, weighing 6 lbs. 13 oz. and 20.5 inches long. I was SO hoping for an 8 lb. baby, but as we know now, that didn't happen for a little bit. I did skin to skin with him immediately and was able to feed him for a minute. My mom brought Ellie in right after he was born and watching them meet was the best. The BEST! After we snuggled for a minute the weighed him and it was just surreal. Oh, and Cale was in there for the whole delivery. We've vowed to never talk about what he saw that day.

I was starving after delivery and my wonderful mother had a large pepperoni pizza waiting for me in my room when we got there. I'll never divulge how much I ate that night. It was pretty late at that point so Jeremy took Ellie back to my mom's and it was just Fitz and I. This time was so much different than with Ellie. With her, I was so overwhelmed and unsure of myself. When it got dark on her first night I begged my mom to sleep in the hospital with Jeremy and I and couldn't imagine the thought of having Ellie in the room with me all night. This time I took my time enjoying having Fitz to myself, still sent him off to the nursery, and slept as well as you can the first night after having a baby.

I just remember looking at him that first night, even looking at these pictures now, and getting butterflies. I brought a human being into this world. It's amazing and I'll never get over the wonder that it is. Looking into his eyes for the first time, holding his tiny hands, putting socks on his tiny feet. I love it all so much.

Saturday and Sunday were a dream. I love the hospital bubble. My nurses were all wonderful. I had a few visitors on Saturday, but mostly it was just Fitz and I. My recover was unreal. I was up and moving around the first night. I showered (and peed) on my own and was able to get ready every day. It was amazing, and made for a much less stressful transition to a mother of 2.


Fitz was circumcised on Sunday and then we got the heck out of there, because he was sad and so was I. We went back to my mom's for dinner and then we headed home as a family of 4.

Fitzy baby, I'm so glad you chose to come to us. We love you.

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