Throughout this pregnancy I knew I would delivery early and the question was just how early I would be. At one point one of the OB nurses had me a bit freaked out thinking I wouldn't even make it to 36 weeks. I knew once I hit 36 that we would be okay--SkyWalker was born at exactly 36 weeks, Chewie was 36 and a few days. We never needed any NICU time and they were both healthy. The idea of going before 36 weeks was scary. So was the idea of going to 40 weeks. Once we made it past 36 I breathed a sigh of relief. Once we made it past 37 weeks it was even better--but also more nerve wracking thinking that I would go into labor at any minute.
I went to my 37 week checkup and described my symptoms (in the take your blood pressure & weight waiting room) to my former OB who confirmed I was in labor and then saw my current OB who did an internal exam... and discovered I was not even close to being dilated. Told me he'd see me the next week. I was shocked. I thought for sure I was in labor and I was upset that I didn't know my own body as well as I thought. I had even had Vader bring me to the doc just in case we had to be sent to the hospital. It was disappointing.
Then we went home. I laid on the couch while the kids made a giant mess. I felt worse and worse. By 5 pm I finally got the nerve to call my OB who kindly (but with obvious doubt) told me to go to the hospital and get checked out. He happened to be the OB on duty that night anyway. When we got to the hospital I was 2-3 cm dilated. I felt vindicated. I think had I been before 37 weeks they would have admitted me right away, but because I was actually considered "full term" they were more willing to wait. So they put me in a temporary room to see if I progressed. I did not. But because this was my fourth they decided to admit me anyway thinking that there was a very real possibility that I could go home and then not have enough time to get back to the hospital. I got a room and waited. And waited. We decided to get the epidural (back pain) since that always relaxed me enough to get fully dilated and to also break my water. I say we because I suggested it and the docs agreed. So that's what we did. Waited some more. I got to a 4-5 and then that was it. We all, docs included, thought the dilation would go so fast and it didn't. So they had to give me some pitocin. I made it to 7 and then noticed that I was feeling things. Now, the entire time I had the epidural I was able to pee in a bed pain. Which was unusual and should have been a clue that maybe it wasn't as high as I needed it, but I didn't have the back pain anymore so I wasn't complaining. Even as I started to feel the contractions my back remained okay. I was fully dilated pretty damn quick after that point and definitely feeling things I hadn't felt with any of my previous deliveries. But it was too late to get a refill on the epidural and I just wanted to be done. It was roughly 12 hours since we had first arrived at the hospital. It was 7 minutes from the time I was fully dilated to when I delivered. I'm not sure if I pushed all 7 minutes. I remember taking a brief break. My OB had to run in because I had started pushing without him and it was all over really quickly. I had DEFINITELY never felt that before. I was aware of everything. The pain was unbelievable. I didn't curse or cry but there was definite vocalization. I felt everything--his little nose as I pushed him out. The pain really was indescribable and wonderful. Amazing. In the end I'm glad it worked out that way. This was my last pregnancy, my last baby, and I was able to feel him come out.
There was no tearing, no stitches, no major trauma, no big swelling because the delivery had been so quick. The hardest part of the recovery was just from laying in the hospital bed for so long. Once my legs recovered--and my bowels decided to move--everything was okay. There was definite soreness but no major pain like in the past. My OB apologized to me after saying that he should have trusted me right away--always trust the Mama, he said--and that he was just amazed. That was nice.
18.5 inches long, 6 pounds 7 ounces at birth (my 2nd biggest baby). And while it seems the entire world has to keep saying how little he is, he is NOT considered low birth weight, and after having TWO babies in the 5 pound range, he looks pretty damn normal to me. His nickname here will be Lightrunner and those of you who know how to use google and know what his first name is can search for both and you'll know why. No real names or pictures so you'll have to accept my word that he is adorable and looks like his big brother.
We've all adjusted to our new little guy. Haze licks him any chance she gets, but otherwise has been her normal good self. I dreamt that Isaac was here to greet him and it was both incredibly realistic and yet obviously a dream because his skin was in great condition, he wasn't scratching or licking or barking. Waking up was both tremendously sad and not. It was like he was cured of all his ails and he came back to give his approval.
The rest of the jedi are very happy to have him home and if there was ever any doubt as to how many kids we should have it has been totally eradicated. It might be hard, we might not have as much money, my kids might not be perfectly behaved because I'm too busy taking care of a younger sibling, but we are *complete*.