Jaxon's birth was quick and painful. This story is from my perspective with Paul's commentary in red. Enjoy!
July 1, 2014
The morning started as most did. Paul and I woke up at 6am, read scriptures together and worked out. I wasn’t feeling like doing anything too ambitious, so I did an arm workout and called it good. I was greeted at work once again with a lot of “No baby yet?” and “Why are you still here?” each time reminding me that my due date was the next day and this kid was showing no signs of making an entrance. I had a doctor’s appointment scheduled for the next day – a three hour appointment with a non-stress test, ultrasound and doctor’s visit that I really didn’t want to go to. I may or may have not said a little prayer asking that I would be in labor before having to go to my appointment.
Work was busy – we had a review session to finalize our company’s semiannual publication and I was working to finish up what I could for maternity leave, again hoping I wouldn’t be there the next day. At 3:00 everyone checked out to watch the USA play in the World Cup. It was an intense game and jokes kept being made that it was going to put me into labor. Unfortunately we lost and everyone headed home. That evening, Paul and I went on a walk with my cousin, Andrew and his wife Mattie. It wasn’t a super long walk, but we went a few miles and had a good time. Again, more jokes about how this was what was going to put me into labor. I wasn’t hopeful – we had already tried everything. (Except castor oil – I never got quite that desperate.) But spicy food, exercise, walking, jumping, bouncing on a yoga ball…we tried a lot of things.
We got home around 9:00 and Paul sat down to watch the soccer game – he hadn’t had a chance to watch it earlier. I was getting tired and decided I was ready for bed and said goodnight. I had read this thing about how you can trick your body that it’s having contractions by rubbing your stomach in a clockwise motion for a minute and then bouncing or squatting for five minutes, and repeating. I tried it for a little bit but didn’t think it would actually do anything. Then at 10:00 on the dot, I felt a sudden rush of water and I jumped up and ran into the bathroom. I was trying to figure out if I had just lost all control of myself or if this was really happening. I called for Paul to come into the bathroom. He came in and asked what was wrong and I told him I thought my water broke, but I wasn’t sure. As water continued to flow he just laughed and said, “yeah, you need to call your doctor.”
Paul: I was indeed watching the US game, and I didn’t even get to the good parts where Tim Howard made incredible saves. She called my name from the bathroom, which was very unusual, and my heart stopped. I was wondering if it was another “cry wolf” moment, but she was nothing but serious. All I could hear was water dripping and it seemed like it lasted for a few minutes. I was a little nervous to check the bed because I didn’t want to clean up a mess, but somehow Lindsay kept it clean. I then thought about our hospital bag, trying to prepare ourselves for a long night and day ahead of us.
Around 10:15 I called the doctor and told her what had happened. She told me it was definitely time to head to the hospital. We figured we had plenty of time – the average labor time for a first child is about 15 hours. I took a quick shower, Paul finished packing the hospital bag and we took one last baby bump picture.
On our way out the door I stopped and Paul and I had a little moment where we just looked at each other, realizing that this was the last time we would be just us. I got a little choked up and then felt my first contraction that was actually slightly painful. I tried to laugh it off a little as I made my way to the car. On the way to the hospital there was a lot more laughing as we relived the last hour, narrating what had happened when my water broke. I had two more contractions in the car, each getting slightly more painful and harder to talk through. To distract myself I was saying stupid things – probably making up a rhyme about how I was hurting.
The car ride consisted of jokes, made-up songs, and Lindsay realizing the contractions were coming. Many times the phrase “this is it” was used. Because we joked so much during our birthing class earlier in the month, we thought that the same thing would occur in the delivery room. After one of our classes, I said to Lindsay, “You are going to be in so much pain” and that thought again crossed my mind on the way to the hospital.
We parked at the hospital and made our way to the emergency room. At this point it was almost 11:00 PM. As we said earlier, we definitely weren’t in a hurry. I told the receptionist my water had broke and she looked at me like I was crazy. “You don’t look like you’re ready to have that baby.” I assured her my due date was just a few hours away. Apparently they had had a lot of women check into the labor and delivery unit that evening and it was very busy. But if anyone should have been there it was me – I was going to have that baby on my due date. They put me in a wheelchair and took me upstairs to a delivery room. I could tell the contractions were getting harder and closer together. Paul tried to time them with an app but that didn’t last long – we were both pretty distracted by the pain I was in. We got into the room and I changed into my lovely designer hospital gown and the nurse came in to see where we were at. I was dilated to a 5 and I let her know I was planning on getting an epidural.
Side note: People who get epidurals are not wimps and it’s not any less of a special experience or less of a birth story if you get one. I can’t stand it when people hate on those who decide to get epidurals. They are a wonderful thing. Moving on.
The contractions were getting worse, longer and closer together. I hoped every time the door opened that the anesthesiologist was there to give me the drugs. It felt like forever waiting. Paul was great, just sitting there helping me remember to breathe and making me laugh in between. I'm not the kind of person who likes people to try and make me feel better when I'm in pain, so his few comments and mostly silence was perfect. I didn’t say much at all. I was worried that the nurses thought I was a horrible husband and not a good support person for her. The nurses were good coaches for Lindsay and I sat back in total shock, wondering how pregnancy and delivery is possible. She was in so much pain, saying “I can’t do this. I can’t do this.” By the time the anesthesiologist came in each contraction brought out of me crazy animal noises I had no idea I was capable of making. Labor pains are the real deal.
July 2, 2014
I had to sit up and very still while they got the epidural in. At that point, each contraction brought on more pain than I could ever imagine feeling. I was thinking to myself through each one, “how does anyone ever have a child naturally if the pain gets worse than this!?” And because they were injecting into my spine, I had to sit there, hunched over, and not move at all. There is nothing worse than being in that much pain and not being able to move to try and provide some relief or distraction from the pain. The epidural took a long time to get in. They had to do it twice, mostly because I was in a slightly bent position that wasn’t allowing it to go in but I really had no control. Poor Paul had to sit there in front of me and hold me while I yelled in his face because there was nowhere else for me to look. I thought everyone in the hospital could hear her. They finally got it in and the nurse went to put in the catheter. She had a hard time getting it in but after she did went to check me and sure enough, I was dilated to a 10. So what I was feeling while they put in the epidural, not able to move, was the transition period going from an 8 to a 10. The baby was already ready to come out. Ooops.
Now I know why she was screaming so loud. I am not sure how she went through transition without being able to move. I remember in our labor class, all of the women were getting massaged and doing anything just to get comfortable during that period, that is supposed to be the most painful part of childbirth. She had to sit on her butt and couldn’t move to get any relief. She is Super Woman!
After hearing that, I was kind of disappointed she hadn’t checked me right before they put in the epidural because I ended up having to feel the worst of it – they got the epidural just in time for me to push. If they had checked they probably wouldn’t have given me the epidural since I had progressed so far and he would probably have been born already. Oh well. They called for the doctor and I called my mom at 1:04 to let her know that grandson #2 was about to make an entrance. The doctor came in and it was time to push. Once I figured out how I was supposed to push he came right out – about 10 minutes after I got off of the phone with my mom. Water breaking to baby was 3 hours and 19 minutes – contractions only starting about 2 hours before he was born.
I know Lindsay didn’t want me to watch anything when Jaxon came out, but I saw more than expected. And at this point I was freaking out in my head, but I wasn’t going to do anything to show I was freaking out.
Jaxon Paul Knight was born at 1:19a.m. on July 2, 2014 – his exact due date. They wiped him off and I held him close. He was very alert and had quite the cry. He was crying so hard he would stop breathing in between wails. Paul did amazing helping me through (and not passing out) and even cut the cord despite the blood that had already splattered all over his clothes. It took me 3 times to cut the cord all the way…not sure what happened there. But none of it mattered because the three of us were there together – healthy and happy. Paul went with the nurse to get the measurements for baby and I got stitched up. I think they do that on purpose to get the husbands away from everything going on.
He scratched himself pretty bad on day 1 - thanks to the Hills for the mittens to protect his little face :)
I was just in a daze thinking about that I’d just been through. I fed him and we just sat there together – amazed at what had just happened and how fast we had gotten to that point. A couple hours later we were taken to the new family unit and no one really slept too much. I was experiencing the lovely side effects of childbirth and couldn’t stop shaking, but everything was quiet and peaceful and pretty close to perfect.
We went home the next day with our perfect little boy.
While I didn’t get my epidural when I would’ve liked and didn’t really have a chance to prepare myself for the amount of pain I would feel having planned on the epidural, I really wouldn’t change my experience. It went quickly and there were no complications with our sweet Jaxon.