The day we've been waiting 9 months for finally came on Tuesday March 1st. For those who enjoy reading about the whole story (I know I do), I'll start from the beginning. (Beware: I don't spare many details)
Monday night (Feb. 28th) was just like any other normal night. I had gone to Target that afternoon to exchange a few things for the baby and pick up some odds and ends. We had dinner, watched one of our favorite shows "Castle", I was lining the inside of the dresser drawers with contact paper, etc. We decided to go to In N Out Burger at around 10 pm after I saw a commercial of a delicious looking cheeseburger. On the way home, we were even pulled over and given a speeding ticket for going 63 down Ironwood just north of Guadalupe, which is still Apache Junction and the speed limit is apparently 45. (Anyone who drives that road regularly knows that if you were actually driving 45, it would be a safety hazard since everyone drives at least 65 from the 60 south along Ironwood). Anyway, we got home, ate our late night snack, and went to bed about midnight.
I woke up around 2:45 with some cramps in my stomach, indigestion and not feeling too great; but I assumed it was just from the In N Out Burger I'd eaten right before bed. I got up, went to the bathroom and laid back down to go back to bed, like normal as my cramps had gone away in that short time. Just as I was about to fall into a deep sleep, the cramps came back again... I continued to lay in bed, still thinking my stomach was just a little upset from the food. But just the same, the cramps came and went 2 or 3 more times over about the same amount of time. I looked at the clock for the next one just out of curiosity, and realized that these slight cramps were coming every 10 minutes almost exactly. It wasn't anything really painful though and felt just like normal cramps at that point, so I decided to just lay there and see what, if anything, would come of them.
By about 4:30, after about an hour and a half of tossing and turning, wondering if I should get up and do the load of laundry I had planned on doing the next day with all the baby's clothes, sheets and blankets in it, Dan looked at me, wide awake, and asked how I was feeling. I told him about what I was feeling, and he said "yeah, I don't know why but I feel really anxious, like before something big happens, or before you give a talk in church." He got up, and went to watch some TV in the living room. I laid in bed a little longer before deciding it wouldn't hurt to do my load of laundry, since I wasn't sleeping anyway. Finally about 6 am I fell back into a light sleep after just getting used to the predictable discomfort every 10 minutes. Dan came back in around 7 and asked what I wanted him to do. If he should go to work and wait for me to call, or if he should just stay home. I told him to just go to work but to keep his phone close, because at this point, the what I knew by now to be contractions hadn't gotten any stronger or closer together for the previous 5 hours or so, and I didn't want him to miss a whole day of work if we wouldn't need to leave for the hospital until late that night or even the next day.
So Dan got ready and left for work around 7:30, and I continued to try to sleep a little until around 8:30. At that point I got up, tended to my laundry, and started making sure our hospital bag was pretty much completely packed with everything we had. I folded a few blankets and a couple outfits and got the diaper bag ready to go too. About 10 am, they started getting to be about every 7 minutes, and I'd even had one that was 5 minutes from the one before. I texted Dan, and told him to head home and get ready to leave for the hospital in the next couple of hours because they were getting closer together and gradually getting stronger and stronger.
I took a shower and tried to get a few more things together while I waited for Dan to get home. He did finally get home about 11:30, and by then I was in pain. I could no longer walk or talk through the contractions which were coming every 5 minutes, if not even quicker. He changed into some jeans, threw a few things into the hospital bag, and we left for Banner Ironwood around noon.
We got there, were checked in and up to triage by about 12:30. They hooked me up to the contraction monitor and saw that I was indeed having contractions, and that I was dilated to a 6 and fully effaced. The nurse agreed "yep, today will be a birthday party day!" as she prepared to transfer me up to a labor room. They wheeled me over to labor and immediately started my IV of fluids in preparation for the epidural. About 5 minutes or so later, the anesthesiologist came in and started talking with me about the epidural and preparing to give it. I received my epidural around 1:30 Tuesday afternoon, and then just laid and waited for a few hours. Around 3:30 the nurse asked if I was ready to start some preliminary pushing. We did a few pushes, and while he was already down low, he wasn't quite low enough yet for the full on pushing. After about 20 or 30 minutes of prelim pushing, the nurse checked and found that our little boy was upside down, with his face down instead of up. By this time, my epidural was not working hardly at all anymore. My legs were still numb, but the pain of my contractions was just as great as it was before I had the epidural. After deciding I couldn't just "push through it" anymore, the anesthesiologist came back to give me a 2nd dose, this time of something much stronger. Man, was I ever grateful for that. After laying for about 20 minutes with a large peanut shaped ball between my knees, the baby had rotated enough that they could turn him the rest of the way as he came out. My doctor then came to check on me, and after discovering I was dilated to a 9 broke my water and got the party started...
We began the real pushing then, around 5:30 pm. After about an hour of hard strong pushing, I could see in the mirror what everyone else could see, that his full head of hair was very close. At that point, I was pushing and pushing and seeming to get no where. His head seemed to be stuck between my pelvic bone and my skin which was not stretching anymore, and wasn't tearing on it's own. The doctor asked, after sensing my frustration and fatigue at this point, if I wanted her to cut a little bit to help him out a little easier. I declined at that point, not wanting to have an episiotomy if at all possible. I guess I still had some hope that with the next 1 or 2 pushes, he'd be out on his own with no cutting. But, after another 10-15 minutes of pushing unsuccessfully, my doctor made the decision (which looking back, I'm glad she did at that point) and said "ok, I'm going to cut just a little, only because the babies heart rate is dropping now". Knowing that my child was beginning to suffer made me not care anymore about what I wanted. Sure enough, after making a small cut, and 1 or 2 more pushes, at 6:52 pm he was out and laying on my chest. I instantly had forgotten about the excruciating pain I'd just been in for over an hour. Tears ran down both of our faces as the joy and love they say you never know until you have a child filled our hearts.
Dan was by my side, encouraging me and talking me through the whole thing. He cut the cord, and went to watch the nurses wash his newborn son off on the other side of the room, while I got stitched and cleaned up. They brought my little boy to me all wrapped and cleaned up and I couldn't help my just admire with awe the perfection of this infant that was sent to me from my Father in Heaven. I was overwhelmed with gratitude to Him for the blessing of giving me this little boy to nurture and care for here on earth. Never in my life had I seen anything more beautiful, or more perfect than the child I held in my arms that night.
We were greeted with many excited visitors over the next 2 days in the hospital before returning home on Thursday afternoon. Just as with my pregnancy, everything went and is continuing to go wonderfully and with no complications. Tyler was born healthy at 7 lbs. 12oz. and 21 inches long. My recovery has been probably about as good as I could have wanted, with minimal pain. All of Tyler's testing and monitoring came back normal and healthy. Dan and I have been blessed with a beautiful, healthy baby boy and could not be more grateful and overjoyed!