Jessica started going into labor a little after midnight on Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. Things progressed through the night, her contractions were getting stronger and closer together, which is exactly what you would expect. By about 6am they were about 4 1/2 min apart. It seemed like things were progressing pretty quickly. We call the doctor and he told us to come on into the hospital. Jess hopped (maybe hopped isn’t the right word?) into the shower. I just lay in bed thinking about what all was going to be happening that day. To me it seemed like everything was moving like clockwork..
A few minutes later Collin wakes up and comes downstairs. Jessica told him that the baby was coming and he’s says, “In a couple of days?”. “No, soon. Today. We’re going to the hospital this morning, as soon as we’re all ready.” Collin was more excited than anybody else. He ran upstairs to his bedroom and comes down a few minutes later all dressed in a polo shirt and kakis… That may have been the fastest he’s ever gotten dressed and certainly the fastest he’s ever gotten dressed wearing clothes that made any sense at all…He told me later that he wanted to look good when his brother came.
Walking through the hospital lobby carrying our bags and Starbucks (Yes, we did stopped on the way to the hospital and Yes, I know I have a problem) Jessica had her biggest contraction yet. We all stopped and Collin and I stood there for a minute watching Jess grimace. We get checked in and into our room. Jessica gets attached to various monitors and the nurse comes in to check her dilation. Two. We were surprised. Things had been going on for 7 hours now. It was starting to get fairly uncomfortable for Jess but she was only dilated to two. The nurse decides just to have us sit for a while so she can monitor the contractions (or “transactions” as I kept calling them. Too much business on my mind, Jessica told me).
A while later, it seems to me that the birth isn’t imminent and I decide to take collin to school. He was pissed. He hasn’t been real excited about school this year anyway and with (in his mind at least) so much going on he felt like he was going to miss out on everything.
I get back to the hospital just in time to hear that Jessica has decided to go home. The contractions (transactions) all night seemed to be progressing well but now were all over the place. Waiting it out at home turned out to be a very good thing.
I’m ashamed to say, but we stopped at McDonald’s on the way home. I had two cheeseburgers. Jessica had a Big Mac. Filled with nasty food, we went home and passed out. Jessica slept for about 2.5 hours in between contractions. The sleep was good and really made the rest of the night a lot easier.
When we left the hospital they told us that we should head back in when her contractions were 3-4min apart for 2hours. By about 5:00 things were getting pretty intense. We were still at home but Jessica’s contractions were starting to look very painful… But far from 3-4 min apart. They were averaging about 7min. Still, the contractions were becoming pretty painful and to me at least it looked like she was in active labor. We called the Doctor, went to the hospital and went through the whole monitor drill again. Now, at about 6:30pm she was finally dilated to 4.
Things started moving pretty quickly from there. An hour later she was at 5 and contractions were becoming pretty intense. Another hour later she was at 8 and really feeling the pain. She’d been totally drug free to that point. I know she has a high pain tolerance, but she really didn’t even look frazzled until the “transaction” right before the Doctor checked her again. That one looked pretty rough and made Jessica puke. Mmmmm. McDonald’s. She was holding up well though and I was impressed, but It seemed like it could go bad from there.
She opted for the epidural which, I’m told, pretty much numbs you from the navel down. We called our parents let them know that it was getting close. The epidural slowed things down a bit, but they were still moving forward well. My mom came in first. Jessica’s mom brought collin in a while later and Buzz came in when he got off work (about 11:15).
Because of the prior c-section, the doctors were monitoring her very closely. When it came time to push they really slowed down the process by having her push only every other contraction. She pushed for a long time…
I don’t want to get into the actual birth. I’ve seen the videos (they gross me out), this was different. Maybe because it was my baby, maybe because it was my wife, maybe because I was totally exhausted that I felt kinda drunk…whatever the reason I watched the whole thing and thought it was surprisingly very cool…freaky as hell, but very cool.
Jessica did awesome. He was born at 2:16am on Aug 18th. He was 8.2lbs and 20.5inches long. Totally fine and healthy. We named him Maxim Benjamin Smith. They plan to keep Jessica and Max in the hospital until Saturday morning.
All is good.