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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Luke's Birth Story- Fast and Furious

I am so excited to announce that our son is here!

Luke James Galloway 
Born February 25th, 2015
9:30 pm
7 lbs 8 oz
21.25 cm

The 39 week mark came and went and I was STILL pregnant. I have to admit, I was shocked. I thought for sure he would be coming earlier than the girls did (went into labor with both on 38 weeks and 5 days and had them on 39 weeks and 0 days.) And, in addition to that, I thought the due date of March 1st was later by 4-5 days then it should have been because my cycle was short when we got pregnant.  

On Saturday, February 21st, I had timeable contractions at four minutes apart for sixty seconds for more than two hours. I thought it was the real deal but Ian convinced me to try and get some rest if they weren't painful yet. I got up off of the couch and the contractions immediately stopped. Boo. 

So, my mom arrived on Monday, February 23rd, and there was still no baby. 

We stayed home all day on Tuesday, February 24th, and still no baby. 

Wednesday, February 25th, the girls had school and my mom and I headed to a mall for breakfast and to get some walking in to try and walk him out! I had more irregular contractions all morning and was fairly uncomfortable but didn't think anything of it. 

We picked up the girls from school and got to hear from all the teachers "You are STILL pregnant?!" We came home, got the girls lunch and down for naptime and I laid in the guest bed/my mom's bed for a nap since Grace was napping in mine. Immediately contractions began. I timed them for the entire two hours but wasn't hopeful as they weren't at all painful. 

At 3:30 I got up, called Ian just to give him an update, and told him I would let him know if they continued after I walked around. They faltered briefly but carried on. My mom and I both set about cleaning and getting things done, just in case. By 4:30 I knew they were real as they were getting pinchy and were still regular. I let Ian know he should come home early. 

Ian walked in the door at 5:30 and by then the contractions were needing to be breathed through. They still weren't "painful," though and I don't know if that is because I was doing better with belly breathing this time or what. Ian asked if it was really labor and I think the look I gave him could have melted metal. Yes, this was the real thing. I stopped cooking dinner and let Ian take over.

 I took a long shower and got out and dressed just in time to see the girls being picked up by our good friends.  They were so excited about a sleepover!

I told Ian and my mom that I wanted to stay at home at least another hour or two. I turned on Friends and leaned on the tv cabinet through contractions while Ian showered. I decided to lay down and time them at 7 because I had no clue how quick they were coming. 

Laying down HURT and I just wanted to be on my feet. I got up at 7:30 and my contractions immediately changed. I started shaking and shivering and knew this was transitional labor. I said "It's time to go!" And we were in the car by 7:50. 

Sitting was the worst. I can't believe I chose to sit or lay back for the other two births because it made the contractions so much more unbearable and intense!

We arrived at the hospital ER at 8:15 and I had been having a contraction every minute and a half for close to sixty seconds each time. I knew I would be further along then I had been with the girls. It took about 15 minutes to get out of the ER ( where I was just sitting in an open triage room and a man with a broken/bloody nose was standing feet away,) and when I was taken up to the labor and delivery ward at about 8:30. 

I got up on a triage table to be checked and my mom and Ian sat right outside of the curtained area. Two nurses came in checked me and said I was at 7-8 cm! When they walked out of the curtain I leaned over and held up 7 fingers to tell Ian. I though his jaw would touch the ground!

I also told the nurses that I was GBS positive and that I was allergic to a medicine and they ran off to get my antibiotics ready. I knew this could be a problem: come in as early in labor as possible to get started on the antibiotics for group b strep but end up sitting for a long time in a bed or wait until later in labor and labor more comfortably at home and risk not getting on it fast enough. Only, when I finally realized I was in real labor it was only an hour and a half earlier!

They brought the wheelchair back in and wheeled me straight to a delivery room. I got changed into a gown and up on the bed while Ian got my mom set up in the waiting room (only one visitor per person at this hospital.) In that short minute he was gone the on call doctor came in to check me and she confirmed 7-8 cm. 

The nurse asked me if I wanted gas for the pain and I realized my plan for a third attempt at an epidural was out the window (boo.) I requested gas to be ready (happy gas, nitrous oxide, which you can breathe during a contraction to take the edge off,) but reminded Ian to not let me breathe it straight through like I did with Sophia's labor. 

I was given a skin test for the antibiotic to see if I was allergic and as told it would be twenty minutes until we could start the antibiotics. No big deal, I thought. My labors have not moved super quickly with either of the girls. 

About thirty minutes had passed since leaving the ER and so much had happened! The on call doctor took a phone call from my doctor, who was enroute. He asked for an update so she rechecked me. I was SHOCKED when she said "she's at a 9/10!" My doctor told the on call doctor that he wouldn't make it in time so she was to deliver the baby!

Right about then the gas tank was wheeled in and I was so happy to have a little relief! They got the room prepped and Ian ran out to give my mom an update. By the time he got back it was time to start pushing! My allergy test for the GBS medicine came back negative and they were able to start the antibiotics just seconds before it was time to push.

My doctor said something about the baby being out in just a few pushes and we got down to business. She told me to take the gas off so that I could focus and push and I reluctantly agreed. Then she checked me and (sorry if this is too much information, but I want to remember this part!) kept one hand inside doing a sweeping motion. I was miserable through each push! I begged her to stop and I didn't understand what she was doing and why. At the same time, a nurse was standing beside me and she would leverage herself up on the table and push on my belly with each contraction and push. It hurt!!

(What we figured out later was that the doctor was probably guiding Luke out and had realized the cord was around his neck and she was trying to get it off of his head before he came out?? We aren't really sure. But on my discharge papers it had "cord around neck at delivery," and we were never told that! Talk about a surprise!)

Luckily, only 6-8 pushes later and Luke was born! We were so relieved that it was a faster delivery than the girls' but were in a bit of shock that he was here so fast, all at the same time!



He was placed right on my chest for a few minutes then taken over to be cleaned up. Ian snapped a few pictures the room started emptying out. The NICU doctor came by to do an exam of him and we were told that the antibiotics for the Group B Strep weren't administered in time for him to be considered safe so we would have a minimum of 48 hour stay so they could observe him and then do some blood work.

Ian went to go get my mom and then I was able to nurse Luke right away. He wanted to feed for close to an hour! So special! And I am so grateful that we had those sweet moments!

(and because I've had alot of people ask about it- the bandaid on my forehead was covering up a site where the dermatologist had treated a Pyogenic Granuloma, or "pregnancy tumor." I was pretty bummed that all of my birth photos and Luke's early weeks had that in it but I'm glad I could get it treated!)

More to come on the girls meeting him, his first couple of weeks, and some medical complications he faced.