abel cash | a birth story

It started as a typical Sunday. I was ready, but, then again, I had been for weeks.  We'd already had a false alarm. Heading an hour to the hospital in the middle of the night, only to have them send us home 5 hours later. I was NOT doing that again! There was nothing out of the ordinary. No crazy contractions, no water breaking.  I actually posted my 38 week baby bump to IG that morning.

I cleaned the top of the fridge. It was overflowing with old bills, paper, art work and just about everything else that didn't have its own space. This may not seem important, but it was. See, I made a list of things I wanted done before baby came. Things like: buying car seat, packing hospital bag, cleaning bathrooms, and among a dozen other things: clearing off the top of the fridge. I had everything checked off the list, besides the fridge... I had actually mentally crossed that off the list weeks prior... I just didn't want to do it, so I decided that it didn't have to be done. Then Craig grabbed something off the top, and down came a bunch of paper. I'd had it! So, out came the stool. 2 hours and 2 garbage bags full of nonsense later, it was done, organized and clean. Craig had left for work, the kids and I ate lunch and it was nap time. I ate some yummy dessert and then laid down. It started, as soon as my head hit the pillow.
(This is important, because so many people ask me what to do to get labor rolling. While most will say sex or spicy food, I say... make sure your list is complete. The same thing happened with Stone. Once the last thing on his list was finished, labor started... his was painting my nails. The yummy dessert might have had something to do with it too.)

The contractions weren't painful, but with each one, I would get the overwhelming feeling to push. I went into the bathroom with each one because I didn't want to pee myself (or God forbid the other thing!). After about a half hour the contraction's got more painful and closer together. I called labor and delivery and told them what was going on, and they highly suggested I come in, since I was feeling the need to push and contractions were close. I didn't time them, I don't know what they were, but I do know that they were close... I waited to call Craig. I wanted to make sure this was it. Then I had a contractions that brought tears and sobs and some sort of liquid. 
I called him at 1:45 PM, I could barely talk. He had an idea this call would be coming, I had text him after the first few contractions but told him I'd let him know for sure when I wanted to leave. I could hardly talk, he asked if he should call Mandalyn (our sitter) and I mumbled yes and hung up. He was home within 5 minutes, packing up the car and then rubbing my back.

After what seemed like an hour, Mandalyn pulled in. This ended up working out perfect, because the kids were both napping, which meant I didn't have to peel them away and listen to their sobs as I left. Thank goodness, because it would have broke my heart. 
We drove the hour drive. I turned the radio up trying to drown out the pain. We were half way there, it was 3 PM and I got a text from Mandalyn
"When she woke up she said Mann a Lyn, I see you here all the time. Then she giggled and she's fine"
Thank goodness! My biggest worry, how the kids would be taken care of, was no longer a worry. 

We arrived at the hospital around 3:30. My cervix was checked and dilated to 4 cm at 4:15 PM. Which is when I found out my OBGYN was out of town! GAH! The nurse didn't have high hopes of me staying, said they'd probably monitor me for a little bit and if there was no change I'd be going home, but she'd call Dr. Dash and see what he has to say. 20 mins later she came in and said they were admitting me. I'd be having a baby soon. 
Shit got REAL, real quick. hah.

She checked me around 5:30 and I was 5 cm. Craig went to the cafeteria to grab something to eat and as soon as he left, my little call remote dropped, I was having a contraction, had to pee and felt something liquid again. I was trying to get my remote, struggling, and the nurse came in. Thank goodness... I told her what happened and she said my water had broke. OK.
She checked my cervix  again at 6:30 I was at 6 cm. Progress. The doctor came in to check me and re-broke my water. My contractions went from every 2 minutes.. to notta. No contractions. So they wanted to start me on pitocin.

I didn't want to have my contractions induced. Pitocin is no joke. I had to have it with the other births and the contractions are just too intense and non stop, I wanted to do it natural with no epidural, yet I knew that if I had pitocin, I'd get the epi.

I was fine, my contractions were painful, I rated them about a 6 or 7 on the pain scale, but they were tolerable, breathable, workable! After the doctor left, and my nurse was getting things ready for the pitocin drip, my contractions started coming back on there own. I told her I was starting to feel them again and didn't think I needed the pitocin. She promised that she was going to put me on the lowest dose, that she would start me out with barely any to see if it helped at all. I agreed, hesitantly. (I know I can veto whatever I want, I have a voice in the delivery room, but if both doctor and nurse are saying yes, I'm easily swayed... they do this daily... I've done it twice... and to be honest.. I didn't want to be laboring all night, so if it was going to help get things going faster and at just a teensy does, I didn't think it was a big deal). I'm not sure how long it was after the drip started, maybe 20 mins, maybe 30... but I felt it. I had a contraction that I'd rate at about a 6 and the following contraction was rated a 10 on the pain scale. Holy SHIT! And it didn't stop. Normally there's a relief between contractions. Nope. The only relief I felt was going back down to a 6 for about 45 seconds and then right back to a 10. It was a constant non-stop contraction. I looked at Craig said FUCK this, get me the damn epidural STAT!

We called the nurse, who was SHOCKED that I wanted the epidural, but called it in. I was pissed. Pissed that it hurt so much, and even more pissed that I agreed to the pitocin! 

Craig was great. As usual. He knows the drill by now. Don't talk to me or even look at me while a contraction is in full force. I only think I yelled at him out of pain once.. which is way better than last time around!

The anesthesiologist came, and the nurse checked me again. Dilated to 8 cm around 8 PM. In went the epidural. But only the left side was numb. Better than nothing! She came back in to check and added another dose to help with the right side.

We Facetimed my mom on the computer. It was like I had my family with me in the room. My mom, dad and both my brothers! 

About 8:45 the nurse mentioned that the doctor called a time, he said that he bets the baby will be here by 9:15. Nurse seemed doubtful, but checked me and I was fully dilated. A call to the doctor was made, more nurses came in, set-up started....  Craig and I just chit-chatted with my mom the whole time. By this time the epidural was in full force and I couldn't feel a thing.

I'm not sure what time I started pushing exactly, the last time I looked at the clock was when the nurse called the timing. It felt like an eternity though. The other two were out in just a few pushes, Stone was basically out in one contractions! So to actually have to work and push... oh man.. that's some intense stuff!
I pushed and pushed and pushed. His heart rate started dropping, so they said that they were going to use the suction to help him move down the birth canal. And it did. His head was out. Crazy, I know I watched Stone being born, but it's just as sureeal the second time as the first. A little purple human not breathing but alive. Then out came this little goobery peanut.  It was all kind of fast, slow motion, but fast forwarded. So much happened. One second he was in me, the next he was out then on my chest. Craig was right there, at my side, documenting the whole thing. Keeping mom informed, texting pics to his family and listening to my orders on what and when to snap photo's.

He was put directly on my chest. And was perfect! So, so perfect. Love at first sight. Again. Heart tripling in size. Again. 

Abel Cash
Born October 21st @ 9:03PM
8 lbs 6 oz and 21"

It was all worth it, the horrible morning sickness, lack of energy, hormonal imbalances, body changes. In that moment, when your baby cries that first cry, you're at peace with it all. Every bottle of Tums was worth it, every moment when you cursed being pregnant, every moment you wished labor would just come and get on with it, ALL worth it. It's like the universe aligns, the world stops spinning, time stands still... for a brief second. Nothing else in the world matters, it's just momma and baby, lock eyed. Words weren't muttered, for a second it was just us... me and him. Mommy and Abel.

GAH! If pregnancy didn't suck so bad, I'd do this over and over! Just for that moment.

Craig grabbed the computer, showed my family... who yes... FaceTimed with us the whole time. Who also got to hear his first cry and see him within minutes of being born. How awesome is this technology?!

We nursed and changed diapers and slept most of that first night. He didn't catch on as fast as the other's when it came to nursing. He just didn't want to. Not necessarily nurse... but he just didn't want to wake up. Getting him to open his mouth was incredibly hard! But we  kept on. (and now he's a pro!)

That morning we decided that Craig would go home and spend some time with the kids and head to work. One income and a 2 week Disney vaca this summer, means that a day off is not really in our cards. So off he went, after dropping off my Pumpkin Spice Latte.

I was pretty adamant with my nurses, letting them know that I wanted to go home ASAP! I didn't want to spend another night away from my littles. And they were great with it! My doctor signed off on my release as soon as the nurse asked and Abel just had to wait till his 24 hour mark for testing and results. 

I FaceTimed with my mom and aunt. Updated people on facebook and via text. Signed paperwork and took pictures. Our hospital doesn't do the traditional photo's of baby. They have an actual photographer come in, free of charge and do a mini 10 minute photo shoot. I really wish they had this with the other two, because the pictures turned out amazing! I had brought the cocoon I made and a few special  hats to snap some cute hospital photo's myself, but pulled them out for the photographer too. And after she left we had a little mini shoot ourselves. If your hospital doesn't offer something like this, I highly suggest looking into local newborn photographers to see how much they'd charge to come in the day after baby to snap a few photos. You will cherish them, and be so glad you did! I promise.

Since it would have been pretty late by the time they released us, we decided to just have Craig put Stone to sleep and bring Adelyn.  She was just too excited to meet her brother to have to wait any longer. Mandalyn had shown the kids his pictures earlier in the day, and Adelyn asked if he had eyes, because they were closed in all the photos. 

Waiting for her to walk in was nervewracking... in a good way. I was so giddy and nervous. My heart was pounding counting down the seconds. I knew she would be so happy. I hadn't been away from her  for that amount of time ever. I couldn't wait to see the infectious smile and see her face when she met Abel.

And meet him she did. Her and daddy walked into my room around 9:30. She brought me a cake (fake of course) and asked if that was her brother.

She was so sweet and gentle with him. A bit nervous, but so loving. Her heart is so kind. When they came to take him for his tests, she was confused as to why they were taking her brother. We hung out and snuggled and talked on the bed, she told me all about her day and how she helped Mandalyn do the dishes and clean for me. She's the best kid ever! No joke. 

This picture melts my heart!

He opened his eyes to look at her for a brief second and her eyes lit up... "look.. he does have eyes". Oh, sweet sweet baby girl.

Abel was brought back and we got ready to go. His tests came back with great results so by 11:30 PM on October 22nd we were in the car heading home.

I was so excited to see Stone when he woke up that morning. To love on him. To see his reaction to his new brother. He didn't really know what to think. He was gentle and sweet. "awe. baby." but was easily sidetracked. He sat with me while I held Abel, and was pointing to all his features. We had to explain that he needed to be gentle around the baby, because as your typical boy, he was showing Abel toys and jumping and being a little too rough for a newborn... but he learned fast and has become extremely gentle around him only needing reminders here and there.

We're a happy family of 5.
Gosh 5. I have 3 kids. WHAT! It's so crazy to say.. and think. 3 kids?!
Yes. 3 perfect, beautiful and amazing kiddo's!

No more additions to this little family... unless we hit the lotto!
Craig said that if he was a millionaire, he wouldn't mind having a bunch more. HAH! If only it were his body taken over for 10 months at a time.

lately: embroidery

35 weeks | packing the hospital bag and nerves