In the midst of newborn life, I am still in awe of the way my little man made his way into the world.
Shane is a youth pastor, so we have a few running jokes on birthing babies, one of them being my going into labor on a Sunday, and another my fear of my water breaking in the middle of a church service. The not-so-funny thing is, this came close to happening!
As I mentioned, at my 39 week checkup, I was dilated to a 2/3… a new thing for me. I have never been early with any of my children, save Meleah, and that is because her induction was scheduled early. What I didn’t mention is I had hard-core contractions for TEN hours after that visit. So much so that I considered going back to the hospital. The contractions stopped completely at 1 am on Friday morning, and I had only a few on Friday and Saturday. They were nothing major, and I figured I was losing my mind and only imagined those ten hours worth of contractions.
I woke up at 3 am on Sunday morning, and could not go back to sleep. The contractions began at 7 am, and I casually mentioned them to Shane. I figured they were nothing, but he nicely asked me to call the hospital before we went to Sunday school. (Actually, he stood over me until I called them, and only after I spoke to the nurse, did he stop saying, “I think we just need to leave.”) He might have been a teeny bit afraid that my earlier teasing of him delivering the baby on the side of the road could actually come true (we live almost an hour and a half from the hospital). I guess I shouldn’t have teased him so much…
The contractions were about three to five minutes apart, but were not very bad, so I decided to go on to Sunday school. Shane thought I was crazy, but I really could not tell if I was in active labor or not. I figured with the distraction of church, the contractions would go away. I was wrong.
The contractions only got stronger, so after Sunday school, we left. I had neglected to pack the girls’ overnight bag, so we stopped at the house to change clothes and pack their bags. Then, we dropped the girls off at Shane’s parent’s house. Shane thought I had taken entirely too long to pack and drop the girls off (again, he was picturing delivering on the side of the road), and told me to get in the car, now. I told him we had plenty of time.
Well, the ride to the hospital was interesting. Shane kept trying to speed and I kept asking him to slow down. And then I made him pull over to the side of the road, to… ahem… well, let’s just say I had to go really really badly and there was nowhere else, so the side of the road it was. See? Some of my jesting did come to fruition Shane was just happy when I got back into the truck to keep going.
We arrived at the hospital a little before 1 pm, and I could barely stand. Since it was a Sunday, the nice men who run the valet were off, so we had to park. Shane offered to drop me off at the front, but I really didn’t want to be alone for even a few minutes, (plus I don’t like any extra attention drawn to me), so I declined. Surely I could make it to the door, right?
I could barely stand up, let alone walk. I honestly have no idea how long it took me to walk to the door of the hospital, but it was awhile. Every few steps, I was overcome with a contraction. After we had crossed from the parking lot to the sidewalk, a nice lady came out with a wheelchair. She was watching the desk, and actually wasn’t supposed to move from her position, but she saw me and knew I needed help. Bless her heart. And here was Shane, trying to be nice, but at the same time thinking I was going to deliver on the sidewalk. We really are a funny pair, because in between contractions, I’m still giving him a hard time.
We get on the elevator to go to the second floor. Outside of the OB wing, Shane breathes a sigh of relief. We are here and you can have the baby now, he tells me. I make him stop pushing me because I am not going through those doors in a wheelchair. He looks at me like I’ve grown a second head. I will walk, thankyouverymuch. Prideful much? I stand outside those double doors doubled over for five minutes before my contractions subside enough to walk through them. And this is after it takes a few tries for me to even get out of the chair.
We finally make it in, and they began monitoring me. Of course, my contractions decided to stop right then and there. I just knew they were going to send me home and I was going to have a breakdown. After about twenty minutes, they checked me. I was a 5, and they began the process of moving me to a room. Hallelujah! And that’s when the contractions began again. It took awhile to walk to the room, as I had had several contractions that forced me to stop along the way.
By the time I got in the bed, I had progressed to a 6/7, and became very nauseated. I regretted eating the donuts at Sunday school (hey… 39+ weeks pregnant, I thought I deserved a little sugar!).
I had planned on a medication-free birth, and it was a good thing I did. Even if I had wanted it, there was no time for an epidural, and there wasn’t really any time for IV medications either. (Although, I confess to asking for IV meds at the last minute… but it was too late, and I’m glad now that it was!). Seriously though, this was the worst pain I have ever felt in my life. I have a very high pain tolerance, and this really hurt. I honestly think it was more painful because my water did not break until right before he was born. That is the first bit of relief I had felt since I had gotten into the room, because my contractions were constant; there was no break in between them. Shane nicely refrained from taking a picture of me during labor, because I’m sure the image of me on my side, practically face-down, hanging onto the bed rails was not a pretty sight. (My nurses and midwife were great and very supportive, and let me labor how I needed too, which isn’t always typical in a hospital setting.) Oh, and those moans you hear coming from laboring mothers on tv? Yeah, I thought those were not real. I found out differently, but I prefer to call them “guttural noises.” After Cam was born, Shane teased me about making, “those sounds like pregnant women on tv.” Don’t worry, I forgave him for saying that.
I am SO glad that I did this medication-free, because it was quite possibly the most amazing experience of my life. Yes, Cam’s birth topped his sisters’ births because it was real. Not to say that their births were not real, but if you have ever had a medicated birth and then an un-medicated birth, you know the difference. I felt everything. And while it was incredibly painful (the actual birth was not painful, just the contractions!), it was SO worth it.
Campbell Shane was born at 2:13 pm, on Sunday September 23, less than 40 minutes after I was officially admitted, and after only 7 hours of labor (I’m amazingly lucky, I know!). He weighed 8 lbs, 8 oz, and was 20 inches long. Immediately after birth, he was placed on my chest, and after they looked him over (very quickly, I might add), he was returned to me and I was able to feed him (I’m pretty sure that’s why eating is his very favorite activity!). After feeding him, I was up and walking around. I honestly felt great!
As of today, Cam is 2 and a half weeks old, and weighs 9 lbs, 5 oz, and is 22 1/2 inches long. I told you he likes to eat! His preferred sleeping arrangements are being held in momma’s arms, although sometimes he will sleep in his Moses basket beside our bed. That lasts maybe an hour and a half at a time. Maybe.
The story behind the name
For those of you wondering, Campbell is a family name. My mother-n-law’s maiden name is Campbell, and I think using family names is something pretty special. Shane was not sold on the name, but liked the nickname “Cam,” so he wasn’t completely against it.
Back in May, when I mentioned the name to my mother-in-law, I received an unexpected surprise: she told me that she wanted to name her Shane (aka, Robert Shane) Campbell Shane, and call him Cam, but the name was vetoed by my father-in-law because he thought it sounded too much like “camera.” I had never heard that story, but I just knew this was the name for our little man. Shane, who had not heard the story either, questioned his dad, who just laughed and asked him, “Who told you that?” Cam’s name was set in stone that day, and we’ve decided it suits him well. I love that he will carry on both his father’s and grandmother’s family names.