My last post was announcing that my lovely wife was pregnant. I am honestly not very good at keeping this blog up to date. I had an excessively long post partly written about how pregnancy sucks, but never got around to completing it. Life tends to get in the way more often than not.
I won’t say that Ashley enjoyed being pregnant. She hated it for the most part. When we watched What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Ashley found herself relating to the woman who most wanted a baby but hated the pregnancy the most. We both wanted the baby. We had planned on it since we were engaged. We didn’t want to wait. But we sure as heck did not know what we were getting into!
The first trimester was a series of aches, pains, nausea, and mood swings. We knew that it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park. But Ashley and I felt like it was the right choice and if we could suffer through nine months of Hell, we’d be able to handle a baby. Lucky for me I didn’t have to deal with the pains of gestation or childbirth. I just had to suffer the pains in my wallet (babies are EXPENSIVE! Pro tip: save at least $3000 before even starting to try having a baby, you’ll thank me later).
Trimester two was rather uneventful, which was good. Most of the third was easy as well, except for a good bit of soreness. Then in March we were walking in the snow and Ashley fell on the ice. We didn’t think much of it, but Ashley’s mom suggested we should call the midwives to make sure the baby was okay. This started an avalanche of pain.
The midwives sent Ash to the hospital for observation. Four hours later she was home and fine. But she was still feeling pain and had complained about it to the midwives for weeks with no extra tests or anything. Finally, Ash decided to go to her sister-in-law’s OB/Gyn. After the first visit we had a new doctor and a diagnosis of the cause of pains: a UTI. Who knows how long this infection was going on. The incompetent midwives never even checked. They just chalked everything up to “normal pregnancy pains”. Two rounds of antibiotics and 4 weeks later and the UTI was cleared. Ash could finally sleep a little better.
Fast forward to the middle of April. Ash is still rather uncomfortable, but this actually IS pregnancy pains. Little Mason is a growing boy and needs his room. When Ashley went in for her weekly checkup her blood pressure was a little high. The next day we were at the hospital again checking for pre-eclampsia. If she tested positive we would deliver the next day (almost a month early). Luckily, the tests came back negative and we were sent home. We had a relaxing rest of the week with me working every day and Ashley nesting. The apartment looked great and everything was set up for the baby. We even had the car seat set up.
Tuesday of the next week started the roughest week of the pregnancy. Around 1:30 while at work I got a text from Ashley asking me to call her. She felt a trickle and a wetspot, but didn’t think anything of it. And she was sure it wasn’t pee. So I hop in the car and meet at the hospital to see if the water was broken. It wasn’t, but she was in labor. So we got to wait. And wait and wait and wait. They eventually sent us home because she wasn’t dilated enough.
The next day, around 10 pm the labor pains were starting again. So we ran back to the hospital and did some tests again. She dilated from a 3 to a 4 and the contractions were 6 minutes apart. They sent us home again.
Thursday, more labor. Same with Friday and Saturday. Still no baby. We were both frustrated and exhausted at this point. We decided that we were just going to wait it out and hope the baby came sooner rather than later. The Dr on Thursday morning told us that if Ash hadn’t had the baby by the next appointment he would induce. We walked and walked and walked every day trying to get her dilated enough and the baby effaced enough. All to no avail. On Monday it was back to business as usual. Me going back to work every day and Ash resting at the apartment. We were on pins and needles all week expecting a baby literally any time. On Tuesday Ash almost had me take her back to the hospital, but decided against it.
Eventually the next Dr’s appointment arrived. Ash had high blood pressure again, so the doctor set up for an induction the next day for pre-eclampsia (39 weeks along, not bad). Friday, we waited. We waited all day long. No calls from the hospital telling us to come in. So we waited for Saturday. And called the hospital first thing in the morning. I think Ashley and I had a total of 4 hours of sleep that night. The hospital told us that they were slammed with a lot of emergencies and we just had to wait for the call. Frustrated, angry, and a little dejected, we just sat tight. Around 2 pm we went for another walk. Our last walk without kids.
When we got home, Ashley’s parents stopped by to talk. Quite coincidentally, we were talking about when or even if the hospital was going to call when the hospital called. I have never packed a bag so fast in my life. It was near impossible for me to not break the sound barrier on the way to the hospital. I was going to be a dad!
The nurses started a petosin drop at around 4 pm. This was supposed to get the contractions started. And tarted they were! Ash wasn’t feeling too much pain, but as the hours ticked by she started to progress more and the contractions were getting stronger. Two more emergency labors came in during this time so we had to wait for the water to be broken. At 7 pm, the doctor burst the water and contractions started in earnest.
I told Ashley while we were on our walk earlier to prepare for the worst pain she’s ever experienced. Everyone warned that the Petosin would make the labor pains even stronger, but Ashley insisted on going all natural, with no epidural. A little more than an hour after the water broke, we had the anesthesiologist in there giving her a shot while I held her in my arms to help her through the pains. My hands were both nearly dead at this point from all the squeezing. But the pains subsided for a little while, at least.
At about 10:30 pm it was time to start pushing. I’ll admit right here and now, I had no intention of viewing the birth. We watched a video when I was in middle school of a woman having a baby. That is not something a young adolescent male wants to see. Those memories stuck with me. I did not want that image associated with my wife and child. As I stood there, holding Ashley’s hand as she pushed for an hour and a half, and as the baby got close and closer to coming out, my mind changed. I not only wanted to see, I wanted to catch my son as he was born. I wanted to cut the cord. I wanted to be a bigger part of this miracle of birth. I wanted to be more connected.
The doctor arrived shortly before midnight and quickly donned his hospital garb. It felt to me like he had just enough time to sit down before Mason was born. Mason practically fell into Dr Haskett’s hands at 12:03 am on Sunday April 28, 2013. He weighed 7 pounds 11 oz and measured 18.6 inches long.
The delivery wasn’t the end of our adventures in baby birthing. Apparently there was a significant amount of tearing during the birth. The doctor spent nearly 45 minutes stitching up the tears and cuts that came from the delivery. When all was said and done, Ashley lost nearly a liter of blood. The following morning she had to get a blood transfusion. We finally got to take baby Mason home on Tuesday around 10 am.
Mason is a joy. He is the cutest baby ever. He is mild mannered and rarely cries. He gets fussy when he’s just waking up, but is very well behaved. I couldn’t have asked for a better baby for my first son. I now understand what people mean when they say you develop unconditional love immediately upon seeing your child born. I would do anything for this little angel that has been sent to my home. As for now, both Ashley and Mason are doing just fine. We couldn’t be happier.