Let me start by saying this blog might become known as the Everyday Henry blog, because I can’t stop taking pictures of this little guy! 🙂 Henry Harper Boggs is finally here! And this is his birth story… (and sorry, it ain’t short!)
We had our 39 week appointment on Thursday May 7. I was still showing 2cm dilation and about the same effacement as I’d been the previous 2 weeks. We had talked about stripping my membranes (although my mom was hesitant because my youngest sister graduated from college on Sunday May 10, and she was paranoid that we’d go into labor over the weekend). So on one hand I was hesitant to strip my membranes, but on the other hand I was so ready to meet our little boy soon. Well, it turned out, his head was too far down and posterior for our doctor to be able to strip our membranes. So we couldn’t do it anyways. We ended up setting an induction date for the following Friday (May 15). So unless Henry arrived on his own, he’d have to come on the 15th 🙂
Friday evening (May 8), we all had dinner with the Boggs’ family at Callen and Houston’s new house. We ordered pizza and sat out in their back yard all evening. The kids enjoyed a slip and slide and all our dogs ran around all night. It was the perfect Friday night to kickoff the summertime. They kept asking me how I felt and I would say “I feel great, too great!” Cause I did. I kept thinking this dude is just gonna take his sweet time.
Around 3am Saturday morning May 9th, I got up to pee, as per my usual routine. I crawled back in bed and started feeling some cramps. They were coming and going, which was new. I’ve never felt any Braxton Hick’s contractions during this pregnancy, so to be able to actually time something was new. With one contraction, I felt some fluid leak and jumped up to the bathroom. I wasn’t convinced though because it was a pretty small amount. I got back in bed and after a few more contractions, I felt another leak but this time I didn’t make it to the toilet. And as I wiped up the puddle I had just created on the floor, I turned on the light and hollered Greg’s name and told him I was pretty sure that was for real! The few contractions I had tracked on my phone had been ranging 7-10 mins apart. I called the hospital to see if I still needed to wait for them to be 2-3 mins apart (which is what they had told me a few weeks ago) or if I should come on in since I was pretty sure my water had broken. They advised me to come on in. I decided to shower first. Greg gathered our things and made us some scrambled eggs. By 4:30am we were walking out the door to the hospital. At this point my contractions were getting closer. I kept stopping in the hallway while I was getting ready or as we were gathering our things. Greg even noticed they were coming closer at this point.
We got to the hospital, and it wasn’t until then that I was convinced this was the real deal. My contractions were starting to get more and more uncomfortable, and I’d continued to leak water the more I moved. I got hooked up to the monitors and my contractions were 2-3 mins apart and I was 4cm dilated, so they admitted me and wheeled me down to the labor and delivery unit. Once in L&D, the pain of contractions was really starting to kick in. I asked if I could get the epidural yet and luckily I could. The anesthesiologist came and started my epidural around 0630. When he did it he told me it technically wasn’t in the epidural space but in the intrathecal space. Now I don’t know these specifics, but I do know it took forever for the epidural to kick in. I was in pretty awful pain with the contractions until about 0830. He kept coming back and giving me additional boluses of sedation until finally I was unable to feel the contractions. I just remember keeping my eyes closed, and not being able to control the moans and groans with each contraction. I kept gripping the side-rails and burying my head into the sheets and pillows. Greg just held my hand and stayed by my side. He was great.
Our family started arriving and Greg just made sure everyone waited until my pain was under control before they started coming into our room. Once I was comfortable, it was a totally different experience. I was able to sit up and talk and laugh and enjoy everyone’s conversations. I even asked the nurse if I was still having contractions just to make sure, and of course I was. Thank you for epidurals! My family and Greg’s family all came and hung out in our room for a bit. I think around 0830, when my epidural started working, the doctor checked me and I was about 5cm dilated. She didn’t check me again until 1100 and when she did, I was already 10cm and fully effaced. I was ready to push! But Henry’s head was still kinda high, so the doctor decided to let me hang out for another hour to see if he’d drop a little more before pushing. Speaking of our doctor…since it was the weekend, we didn’t end up delivering with our regular doctor (Dr. Hoover). During the week they can usually make it to all their own patient’s deliveries, but on weekends you just deliver with whoever is on-call. So Dr. Dunn was our OB for the day. And funny story, she is married to a fraternity brother of Greg’s AND she is a former Miss America. That’s right, Deidra (Downs) Dunn delivered our baby boy 🙂
We sent our family out to the waiting room so I could get a little rest before we started pushing. At noon, it was go time. I pushed for a good 1.5 hrs initially. The doctor said I was doing great but Henry wasn’t dropping much. The hardest part was I started having horrible straining pain in the muscles between my scapulae and in my neck. I got to where I couldn’t hold the pushes for the full 10 seconds because of my back pain. So she let me take about a 45 min rest/nap and then we tried again. I pushed for another 1.5 hours with still little progress and the word c-section was starting to come up. Henry just wouldn’t come out. I was getting tired, my back was killing me at this point, and after 3pm, it was decided to go ahead with the section. Greg was geared up and sent to the waiting room and I was rolled into the OR.
Once in the OR, it took a long time again to get my epidural working correctly. They kept poking my sides with a toothpick asking me what I could feel and it kept being too low. So just like that morning, the anesthesiologist kept giving me more and more boluses until it finally was numbing me high enough to begin the surgery. Poor Greg had to wait in the waiting room for a good 45 mins until they finally brought him back. I was so relieved once he was finally at my side again. The surgery itself went as expected. Having attended a lot of c-sections as a nurse practitioner student and stood on the procedure side of the drape, I tried not to think about what they were doing with each and every tug….but I knew. Luckily it was pretty quick. And then we heard that precious little cry! At 4:32pm, Henry Harper was finally here!! Greg and I started to cry and they came and got Greg and took him to the warmer with Henry. I remember wishing I could see them. But I could hear his little cry. I also remember the nurse saying “where did you hide this big boy!?” Apparently he was big 🙂 Greg was finally able to bring Henry over to see me and I just melted. Tears were streaming down both our faces (mine and Greg’s…Henry was chill as a cucumber!) He was so cute. I kissed his little cheeks and wished I could wrap my arms around him. After a few minutes, they took Greg and Henry out to the PACU while they finished my surgery. That was another long, LONG 45 mins. I just wanted it to be done so I could see my sweet baby. At one point, a nurse came back to tell me his weight. She told me he was 8 lbs. 11.9 oz. I couldn’t believe it! He WAS a big boy! I had no idea I was carrying such a big fella 🙂
Finally, I got to go to PACU and see Greg and Henry. I did skin-to-skin with him and just fell in love. I couldn’t stop looking at him. Greg started bringing our family back one by one to meet him. I wanted to make sure I got to see him and love on him before they all got to see him. Greg’s niece, Evey, was so excited she got to stay at the hospital with his parents and could come back and meet Henry.
So I guess in total, from when my water broke to his delivery, I labored for approx 13 hours. It was a long day, but it flew by at the same time. We’re so glad you’re finally here, Henry! Mommy and daddy love you to pieces!! 🙂
Henry Harper Boggs
Saturday, May 9, 2015 at 4:32pm
8 pounds 11.9 ounces