Silas's Birth Story
Oh sweet son. The day you were born was tiring and beautiful and filled with more love than your dad and I could contain. Let me tell you how it happened.
For weeks I kept saying I was going to make all these meals ahead of your birth so we wouldn't have to cook for a long, long time after you arrived. Well, I took my time. It was a tough job, okay? And you were making my body so achey and heavy, and standing in the kitchen did not sound appealing.
But I knew it would be such a nice thing to have on hand so that your dad and I could just focus on getting used to taking care of you and staring at you all day. So when I was 38 weeks pregnant, I started making meals and freezing them.
I was so tired. My back was achey, I was peeing every ten minutes, and my ankles were swollen. When I dropped something, I rarely bothered to pick it up because my belly was so big and cumbersome. And sleep. What sleep? It seemed to have vanished!
When I was 39 weeks and one day, on a Saturday, your dad was helping me make the very last meal (Michigan pasties) for the freezer. I was exhausted after making probably fifteen or so of these little meat pies, so while your dad cleaned up, I went to lay down for a short rest. After a while, he came back to our bedroom to check on me and talk for a minute.
"I'm so ready to be done, now. I want him out! Why can't he just get the hint and come a little early?" I said to dad.
He smiled at me, leaned down to my belly, right where your head was, and said to you, "Hey. Your momma is tired. It's time for you to come out now. Come out of your womb!"
I laughed, and he left to finish cleaning the kitchen.
Five minutes later, at about 5pm, I was still laying there in bed when I felt you kick, along with a strange pop.
Did my water just break?? I thought.
I stood up, and nothing happened.
I walked to the bathroom and pulled down my pants to see if my underwear were wet. Just as I pulled them down... SPLASH! I leapt onto the toilet and called your dad to come back there. Water was pouring out, and I shouted excitedly, "My water definitely just broke!"
Your dad, try as he might, was not very calm. I was shaking with excitement, and I think it took us both by surprise! We figured you'd stay in there for another week or two, so the fact that you listened to your old man already was a bit of a shock!
At the time, your Grandma and Grandpa Andreasen were on their way to the Carolina coast where they were going to stay until you were on the way. I called your grandma and told her to turn around and head back to Tennessee.
Then I called the doctor to ask for directions. They said I could stay home until my contractions got close, but I could go in now if I wanted. Since it wasn't a big rush, I decided to take a shower while your dad went out to get us some dinner and get the house picked up and Hondo's things ready for the neighbor.
After my shower, fluid was still pouring out, and my contractions started quickly and were about three minutes apart. I told your dad not to panic, but I thought he better hurry so we could leave. At the very least, I wanted to get checked. By the time we got to the hospital, I was having a harder time talking through my contractions. It happened so fast!
In the hospital
They admitted me into the hospital and checked me into my room. After laboring for about six hours, I asked for an epidural. I was only two centimeters dilated and 75% effaced, but you were sunny side up and every contraction was in my back... ONLY in my back and it hurt me sooooo much! I knew I'd never get any rest or relief while I continued to dilate if I had to feel all those contractions, so I was very grateful for the epidural.
Unfortunately, the epidural slowed down my contractions a bit, and I wasn't dilating very quickly. Not only that, but you didn't care for those contractions and with each one, your heart rate dipped too low, but came back up to pace when it ended. The doctors and nurses didn't like that (and neither did I), so all night long, every few minutes, a nurse came to my room to move me into different positions to see if it would make you more comfortable in there.
All the while, each contraction was pushing out lots and lots of fluid. From the very beginning I mentioned this to the staff because I thought it seemed like too much and by now you couldn't possibly have much fluid in there. After a long time, they finally agreed and they fed a line up to my uterus to pump more fluid in there for you to have a bit more of a cushion. Maybe that way you'd tolerate the contractions a little better.
All night I was moved around and we tried and tried to get you in a position to move things along a little more quickly while keeping you stable.
Early in the morning, my doctor came to check on me. It was Mother's Day! May 13, 2018. I was only about five centimeters at this point, no more effaced than I had been before, and your head was not engaged. We were all still worried about you, because your heart rate was still getting too low with each contraction.
We decided we'd try one more thing, and if it didn't work, I'd need to have a C-section to get you out of there. We had the anesthesiologist come in and turn my epidural way down, and they gave me the tiniest amount of pitocin. For another three hours, we waited. I felt all those horrible back contractions again. I hadn't eaten in over 24 hours and I hadn't slept hardly at all. I was exhausted and in so much pain. After those three hours, I dilated to seven, but you were getting more and more distressed. Since I hadn't reached ten centimeters by that point, I hadn't effaced further, and you still weren't engaged, my doctor advised that a C-section would now be the safest alternative for both of us. Silly boy! You didn't even give your momma a chance to push you out!
In minutes, new people entered my room, and we got ready for surgery. Your dad had to put on some scrubs, and I was wheeled to surgery.
The room was cold, but all the people were happy, calming, and kind. They covered me in warm blankets, and a man was counting out loud. What I realized later, is that it was a count of all the tools and gauze that would be available to my doctor, and after surgery, they counted it all again to make sure nothing got left inside of me! Ahh!
When surgery was about to begin, they let your dad come in and he sat next to me and held my hand. I was SO tired! I could barely stay awake, but I was excited to FINALLY meet you! It only took a few minutes, and when you came out, you immediately peed all over everyone! You were so big at 8lbs 4oz. and my doctor said she was quite sure you wouldn't have fit through the canal anyways. Your cord was around your neck, and that was probably getting squeezed even tighter with each contraction. Some babies aren't in danger with the cord around their necks, but some are, so it was good we got you out when we did.
You were so purple, and while they cleaned and weighed you, your dad stood by and watched. We both cried such tears of joy at finally meeting you, Silas. What an awesome first Mother's Day!
Shortly after they had you cleaned up and made sure you were breathing fine, they laid you on my chest, and we just stared at each other. You were the most beautiful baby I'd ever seen. I just soaked you in. Your nose, your eyes that slowly blinked open and closed, and your perfect little mouth. You had all this silky soft, fuzzy, dark hair that stood straight up. One of the nurses called you "hedgehog hair" and I loved that.
While I held you, they closed me up and my surgery was over! My doctor did such a wonderful job from beginning to end and I'm so grateful she got you here safely. For an hour, we were left alone in a recovery room and I nursed you for the first time. Your papa spent time holding you skin to skin, and that hour was so special and quiet. Just us, quietly talking and taking you in.
Oh my little boy. You changed our whole world that day. We waited so long to hold you, and God brought you into our life at just the right time. What a blessing you are, Silas Benedict - you made us parents!