Luke's Birth Story

Some of the 'mom' blogs I follow share birth stories.  Now that Luke is 5 weeks old, I feel like I finally have some time to sit down, think about, and share Luke's birth story.  As he cuddles beside me, sleeping like the baby he is, I just can't believe he's 5 weeks old already, but then again, I can't believe he's been in our lives for only 5 weeks.  It seems like he has been a part of our family forever.  Okay...on to Luke's birth story.

As I reflect back on Kevin and I's pregnancy with Luke, we were so very blessed.  I felt great almost the entire 9 months and there were no major problems.  I didn't really feel any 'pregnancy symptoms' until the last trimester, when I started to get slight back pains and had trouble sleeping.  The last two weeks of my pregnancy my blood pressure was slightly elevated, so our doctor monitored Luke.  I was also ordered to count kicks three times a day after each meal.  If the amount of kicks was under 10 in a half an hour, I needed to call our doctor.  Luke tended to be sleepy in the morning and then move like crazy at night.  He would kick anywhere from 15-20 times in the morning and upwards of 150 times in the afternoon and at night.
After setting an induction date for Sunday, November 4 at 7 a.m. at our Friday appointment (which was our due date), we went into the weekend excited to have a baby in just a few short days.  That night we went out to our 'last supper' at our favorite restaurant, M's Pub in Omaha.  At 40 weeks pregnant, it was amazing to have someone else cook dinner and enjoy some of my favorite dishes...the shrimp baked dish and lavosh.  Our waitress even gave us both an extra roll, I don't know how she knew that bread and butter was a favorite during my pregnancy.
After enjoying a night out, we woke up Saturday morning with the plan of watching college football after Kevin finished helping his dad with the grain bins.  While Kevin was cleaning grain bins, I was counting kicks.  I only counted 8 little kicks, so I made a call into the the doctor's office.  Our doctor promptly called me back and stated she wanted me to come in so they could monitor Luke.  Kevin quickly showered to wash all the dirt off and we gathered our bags that had been packed for months and headed to west Omaha.  On our drive in, Kevin and I discussed if we would want to be induced or not that day instead of Sunday.  Kevin was extremely excited and I was very anxious.  I was so ready to meet Luke, but nervous about going through something I had never experienced before.
As we pulled up to the hospital we knew exactly where to go, thanks to our childbirth class we took just four weeks prior.  We got checked in and our nurse monitored Luke for a short time and realized he was doing just fine.  Our doctor came in and decided that despite Luke's steady movement, we should go ahead and be induced that afternoon instead of waiting until the following day; after all, they were picking up minor contractions which likely meant escalating labor symptoms would not be too far away.  Kevin and I were ecstatic, we were going to meet Luke in less than 24 hours!
Shortly after I was all checked in and in my beautiful hospital gown they started me on Pitocin and broke my water.  I had very mild contractions at first and wanted to stay mobile as long as possible.  Kevin and I walked the halls as I carted my bags of liquids beside me.  I became tired of walking so Kevin and I started playing Phase 10 in our room while I sat on the birthing ball.  At this point I was feeling my contractions in my back and lower abdomen.  Kevin and I came up with a signal for when I was having a contraction because I was unable to verbalize anything during them.  I would tap the table and Kevin would massage my lower back.  This ensued for awhile and finally I wanted something to take the edge off.  The contractions were intense at this point and I opted for an IV drug.  I was able to sleep on and off for about 45 minutes in bed, or so I'm told.  As I felt some relief with the IV drug, the nurse was upping my Pitocin about every 60-90 minutes and my contractions worsened again.  I was dilated to 4 centimeters at this point and it seemed like I was going to be waiting days to meet Luke.  I was also having the 'shakes'.  My teeth were chattering and I couldn't control my body from shaking.  My original plan was to wait until I was dilated to 5 or 6 centimeters before getting the epidural, but at 4 centimeters I felt like I needed to change that plan and go with a new plan.  I asked Kevin to ask the nurse for the epidural.  It was all downhill from there.  The epidural was administered, which I didn't really feel, and I was a happy camper almost instantly.  
Everything happened so fast the next few hours.  I slept on and off while Kevin watched college football. I was dilated 8 centimeters from 4 in just a short hour.  My family arrived and I was able to see my mom, dad, brother, and his girlfriend for a little bit.  The nurse had me on oxygen, which is pretty common with an epidural.  I was feeling the best I had felt in a few hours, but I didn't look it.  I could tell by looking at my family's faces that they were a little concerned about how I was doing.  We told them to go grab some dinner, it was still going to be a few hours until Luke made his arrival.  I was ready to push an hour later and Kevin and my nurse talked me through it.  I was worried with the epidural I wouldn't be able to feel to push, but happily I was able to push just fine.  The nurse and Kevin made me feel great about how I was doing and although I was a bit tired, I knew the end was just around the corner...and that meant meeting Luke.  Luke's heart rate was dropping while I was pushing, so they moved me onto my side and he seemed to do better.  At 10:39 p.m. we greeted Luke and unfortunately I can't put into words how I felt at that moment when I saw him for the first time.  I remember I kept saying 'baby, my baby'.  Our doctor put him on my chest and we did skin to skin for about 30 minutes and they cleaned Luke up right on me.  I don't remember him crying at all, but Kevin said he was wailing. The skin to skin was one of my most favorite memories from Luke's birth. After reading to him every night for the last 14 weeks of the pregnancy, Luke recognized Kevin's voice and looked his way to see Daddy when Kevin would talk to him. It was an amazing experience to witness how the beginning of our lives together was truly a continuation of the bonds that were created when he was in the womb. That sacred, special time when Kevin, Luke, and I were a family for the first time...it brings tears to my eyes as I write this.  After the 30 minutes, which seemed like 5, they took Luke to give him his first round of shots, and weigh and measure him. It was hard on Kevin seeing his baby boy get poked and prodded, he wanted to bring Luke back to Mom! While it seemed like forever for Kevin, before I knew it, he was back in my arms and Kevin went to tell my family and call his family.  They made their way in to meet Luke, but had to wait to hold him until we moved rooms;  I didn't want to let him go just yet.  I still couldn't wrap my mind around the fact that I was now a Mommy and Kevin was a Daddy, we had a son, we were a family.  Luke's birth was a defining moment in my life and one that I will forever remember and cherish.


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