Well, Three finally decided to make an appearance last week. After having inconsistent contractions in the morning, I went to doctor on Thursday the 9th (4 days past my due date) for an appointment and told my doctor that I thought maybe I was leaking amniotic fluid. She checked it out and confirmed that I was, and that I needed to head to the hospital to get started on the pitocin. I may have mentioned before that after being induced with both Zach and Drew, I really did not want to be induced this time or to be on pitocin at all. So much for that plan. I called Mike as I left the doctor's office and told him to finish up with the patient he was seeing and meet me at home so we could head downtown. I then stopped at Panera for a bagel, as I knew it might be a while before I ate again.
We got checked into the hospital around 4:30, and the doctor examined me and confirmed that my water had broken and that since it had been that way for what we suspected was at least 24 hours, we needed to get the pitocin going. Late in this pregnancy I read a book called Pushed: The Painful Truth about Childbirth and Modern Maternity Care by Jennifer Block. It was a very informative book that opened my eyes and educated me about what is the optimal childbirthing experience. Based on what I had read in the book, I had decided that I did not want pitocin, I did not want to be hooked to a monitor continually, I wanted to be able to get up and walk around, I wanted to try to not have an epidural, and a few other things. Right away I had 3 strikes against my birth plan- 1. I had to be on pitocin because my water had been broken for a while and there was an increased risk of infection, 2. When on pitocin, you have to be hooked to a fetal monitor continuously, and 3. Being hooked to a fetal monitor continuously means you can't get up and walk around. So I was feeling kind of disappointed in how things were going. However, I knew going in that my birth plan was just that- a plan, and plans don't always go the way you want. So I adjusted and figured I'd just deal with what was going on.
After a terribly painful I.V. from my first nurse (who had to try 2 times and wiggled that darn needle around so much!) we started the pitocin around 6 p.m. and the contractions started small and got bigger and more frequent, but they weren't terrible. I was able to sleep from about 10:30-1:00, and then the nurse told me that though my contractions were frequent, they weren't strong enough, so we were going to cut the pitocin in half and start over, trying to sort of trick my body into making them more forceful. The new nurse (shift change at 9:00 p.m., thankfully), a sweet young gal named Danae, knew what she was doing, because once we did that, the sleeping was over. Soon the contractions started getting much more intense and they were still between 1 and 3 minutes apart. I breathed through them for as long as possible, and around 3:30/3:45 in the morning, when I was exhausted from not sleeping and from dealing with the constant barrage of contractions, I decided I'd go ahead and get the epidural. I didn't want to, but I figured that since I couldn't be up and moving around I might as well. I was worried that the epidural might slow things down, and it already felt like things were taking forever (much longer than I expected for my third delivery). So by the time the anesthesiologist got up there and got me the epidural, it was 4:00 a.m. It was a good epidural because I could still feel the contractions and some discomfort, but the drugs took the edge off. That was perfectly fine with me. It wasn't long after receiving the epidural that I quickly got to 10 cm. I started pushing around 4:45, I think, and Jake was finally born at 6:17 a.m. on Dec. 10.
Here is the first time I got to hold Jake. Even though the labor wasn't fun, looking at this picture reminds me that I'd do it all over again for a moment like this.
Jake was tuckered out from his long night, too.
The nurses got Jake cleaned up and weighed. They asked me to guess his weight, and I guessed 7 pounds 8 oz., because Zach was 7 pounds 10 ounces and Drew was 7 pounds 6 ounces. I was completely blown away when they told me he was 8 pounds 6 ounces!!! Later we found out he was 21 inches long, also, which is a couple of inches longer than Zach and Drew were.
Mike was happy to hold his newest son for the first time.
Jake was a good little baby and nursed right away before going down to the nursery for another check, a glucose screen, some ointment in his eyes, etc.
When he came back up to my room, we took a snooze together.
My friend/neighbor Molly was on bedrest down the hall, so she came down to meet Jake once she woke up for the day.
Once Zach was done with school for the day, Mike's mom brought the boys down to meet their new brother. Drew had already decided that he'd call Jake "Baby Red," after Red, the fire engine from the Cars movie. He was pretty interested in Jake right away, whereas Zach was less interested.
This was our first (and so far only) family photo as a new family of five.
After a bit Zach did decide he wanted to hold Jake.
Then Drew wanted to hold him, too.
Of course Grandma Linda wanted to hold her newest grandson as well.
Later Mike and Jake got a little nap in.
That night Grandpa Kevin and Grandma Cynthia came to meet Jake, and they brought us dinner, which was much appreciated. I could only eat so much hospital food.
Then my girlfriends came down to meet Jake. This picture shows Paige, Tyra, Sara (holding Jake), and Erin (Paige's mom).
Of course I had to get some other pictures of Jake.
In this one it looks like Jake has the same hairline as Drew.
On Saturday we had bad weather- blizzard-like conditions, icy roads, etc., but Grandpa Curt and Grandma Linda were still able to bring the boys by that afternoon for a bit. I was missing Zach and Drew a lot, so it was great to see them.
Then Brad, Molly, and their son Cooper came by. Cooper took one look at Jake and did the sign for baby, which was very cute.
Some more pictures from the hospital.
I love this one.
Finally we were ready to be discharged. I got Jake all cozy in his new hat and mittens from Grandma Cynthia and Grandpa Kevin, and I just had to take this picture.
We got home Sunday afternoon in time for the boys' naps. But first Zach wanted to hold Jake. He did not care that Jake was unhappy.
Mike left for his basketball game and I got to jump right in to making dinner and being in charge of 3 kids on my own. Not for long, though, because my mom arrived from Colorado just in time for dinner. She'd be driving all day.
The boys were excited to see Grandma Ruth and to get these super cool capes/masks she made them. I call them their Super Big Brother capes.
On Monday it was pretty much back to life as usual, only there was one more kid involved and Grandma was here. Mike went to work, Zach went to school, and my mom, Drew, Jake, and I did some other stuff.
So far the boys are doing well with Jake being here. Drew doesn't seem to have any issues with Jake himself, though he does seem to be having some control issues lately and maybe some extra whining. I think a big part of that is that he's having to deal with Grandma helping him and not always me, and Drew is a pretty big Mama's boy, so that's tough for him. Plus, he's 2 going on 3, so it's hard to tell what's because of the change in his life and what is a result of being an almost 3 year-old. Drew likes to "pet the baby" as he says, and he talks to him in a sweet voice now and then. Otherwise he's kind of indifferent toward him.
Zach has adjusted well. He had some sadness the first day, probably because I had a short temper because I was totally exhausted and feeling that guilt of not being able to give Zach and Drew the attention they were used to because of Jake. Zach and I had a talk, shared some tears, and since then things seem pretty good. At least once a day Zach wants to hold Jake, and he talks to him, rubs his head, and shows him lots of love. It is very sweet to watch.
Despite a couple of not great nights, for the most part Jake is a good little sleeper and a good baby overall. He's doing better at night than Zach and Drew did initially, but I keep reminding myself that he's only a week old, and anything can change! However, I've been saying since I found out I was pregnant that this baby was going to be a good sleeper (you know- if you believe it, you can achieve it, right?), so I think that's just coming true.
I have more pictures to upload but not much time to get blog posts done, so hopefully I'll get to it soon!