February 7, 2013

Introducing Hunter

 Hunter Gregory Harding
January 20, 2013
4:02 am
7 lbs 10 oz, 18 inches 


Here's how it happened...

At our last doctors appointment on Tuesday, January 15 the doctor said he was fairly certain this baby would come on its own before Sunday. I was 4cm dilated and my cervix was thin. We cleaned up our house and waited. and waited. and waited. We tried all the tricks we read about- spicy food, sex, nipple stimulation, the famous lemon cupcakes, lots of walking, squats, I even broke out the breast pump. We really wanted baby to come before school started, January 21. 

My mom came to visit that Thursday because of a predicted winter snowstorm coming. We all sat around and did some more waiting. Every now and then I would feel contractions but then they would stop. Each night I would go to sleep expecting it to be 'the night" and then wake up in the morning, in my own bed, still pregnant. 

Finally on Saturday the 19th i started feeling some contractions at fairly consistent increments. I tried not to get too excited. John and I went out walking hoping to get things moving. After feeling contractions 5 minutes apart for about 2 hours we decided to give the doc a call. I wasn't feeling any pain, but we were crossing our fingers he might just want to see us. We thought he might decide to be kind and help move things a long a little! Dr. Levit he said yes, he wanted us to come in. We grabbed our bags and headed into the hospital around 11:45 pm. I still thought there was a big chance they would send us home since I was talking and walking around just fine. I even asked John if he thought I should fake some painful contractions just to make sure they would let us in the door. When I finally got hooked in to all the monitors they saw that my contractions were actually about 1-3 minutes apart and confirmed that we would definitely be staying. We finally started getting excited! 

Since the anesthesiologist was just next door, they let me get my epidural right away-- making this virtually a pain-free labor! Although my body didn't give us any problems, John couldn't let us get away with a drama free delivery. While I was receiving my numbing shot in preparation for my epidural John let me squeeze his hands. When the nurse suggested he sit down, John let her know that blood and needles were no problem for him. She responded, "That's what they all say, right before they hit the floor!." We all laughed a bit. A few seconds later I felt John's hands go limp. Talk about power of suggestion! The nurse tried to catch him as he began to fall, but his dead weight was simply too heavy and he came down with a loud thud, whacking his head on the hard wood floor of the delivery room. As he fell, our sweet little old lady nurse let out a nasty four letter word.  

I couldn't do anything but watch, since there was a needle in my back! As soon as the doc had finished, he ran over by the nurse's side the check on John. John had lost consciousness and was out for about a minute. As he began to open his eyes, the doctor let him know where he was and that he had passed out. John tried to insist that he had fallen asleep. The nurse gave John a pillow to lay on for a few minutes as he recovered. I couldn't help but giggle at my man. Although it was a little scary at first, the situation was pretty funny.

When John thought he was strong enough to sit up, he lifted his upper body and then immediately began to throw up. At this point the nurses became very worried and said that he would have to go to the ER immediately. John kept saying he was fine (even though it was quite apparent that he was not) because he wanted to stay for the delivery. The nurses decided that they would press the CRASH button so that John could get rushed to the front of the ER line instead of waiting for hours. Once pressed, 7 or 8 different doctors and nurses ran to my door (including my OB!). I said a quick goodbye to John and they whisked him away in a wheelchair. As they took him out, one of the nurses suggested that I could "at least face time the birth with him" on my phone. That's when I realized he might not make it back for the delivery. All of the sudden this wasn't so funny anymore. 

The nurses asked if I had another support person. At first I said no, but then teary eyed, I decided to call my mom who was at our place with a sleeping Addie. After calling a few of our Charlottesville friends, I was finally able to wake up a friend of ours who sent her husband to sleep on our couch so that my mom could be with me. My labor and delivery nurse was so sweet. She saw that I was upset and waited in my room with me until my mom arrived, about 2 a.m. The nurse also did me kind favor by shooing the doctor out every time he wanted to check on me. She knew that as soon as he did, it would get my body going and she wanted to postpone the delivery as long as she could giving John time to get back. 

A groggy John finally did make it back to the room around 3:45 am. The nurse made him sit down facing my head, as to prevent any future mishaps. 5 minutes later the doctor broke my water. In about 3 easy pushes, our sweet Hunter Gregory Harding was born at 4:02 am Sunday morning, January 20 (that's the day before school started!) Since John was not allowed, my mom got to cut the cord. We were excited to finally meet our little man, but also pretty wiped out, not to mention one of us had a huge headache!

meeting our little guy

the boys

Addie meets Hunter