I took this photo on February 16th, the day I turned 39 weeks. The day I was scheduled to be induced, but called in the night before to cancel. Despite my claim that I was done complaining, I fully intended to use this photo to complain some more about still being pregnant. And I was going to complain, despite having the opportunity to evict my comfy tenant. Even though I KNEW I was carrying a giant baby. And my OB knew I was carrying a giant baby. And she suggested we induce earlier than later, I just couldn't do it. It doesn't feel right to me; choosing the baby's birthday. And I don't want to interrupt any karmic pattern (if such a thing exists - better safe than sorry.)
And, trivial as it may be, I didn't want to pick the 16th, my nephew Xander's birthday. And I didn't want to pick the 18th, my brother Brennan's birthday. But if I was going to induce I might as well get it done, so I didn't want to wait until the 19th or later. What I really wanted, was the 17th - since the day I found my due date was February 23rd. I all but begged Dr. Martinez to induce me on her one and only day off that week, just because I liked the date. It was a Friday, perfect. It was between my family's birth dates, awesome. It was almost a whole week early, better yet.
So, as it were, Matt and I continued to deliberate about what day I would actually go in and have this baby. In the back of my mind, I just kept repeating, "come on baby, do this yourself, you can do it." Every single time I had a strong contraction, I would think, "please keep coming, let's have another one." In fact, on the 16th, as I sat at Xander's birthday dinner with my family, I exclaimed, "I just don't understand how one can walk around with this much pressure, and have contractions every hour for the past 5 days, and NOT be making any progress!"
I went home. Put the kiddos to bed (or, well, watched Matt put them to bed. Seriously, by 8pm, I was pretty much handicapped. I couldn't bend over. I couldn't lift my kids. I really didn't want to stand. Or sit. Matt has pretty much had 3 kids for the past few weeks.) And tried to relax and not get too disappointed that yet another day had passed without the arrival of Baby O #3. As I went to bed, and brushed my teeth, I was honestly startled when I looked in the mirror...I had labor lips! (For those who don't know, I am sure you can predict that a woman is going into labor in the next 24-48hrs by her lips. Long story.) I went to bed comforted by the idea that perhaps things would happen on their own. And did they ever...
...after falling asleep at 11pm, things got rolling. First, I woke up at midnight, to pee. Then again a bit before 1am, to pee. Then again before 2am, to pee. And at this point, I am thinking, do I really have to pee, or are these contractions waking me up, giving me the sensation that I have to pee? Oh well, back to bed. Up again at 2am, then 2:30, then 2:50, then 3:15. And at this point, I am certain I am having contractions, and they are getting painful, and there is no more falling back to sleep for me. Despite the pain, I kept thinking, please keep going. Please get closer together. Every 10-20 minutes is not going to get the job done. Finally, I wake Matt up around 4am, and tell him I am thinking we need to head to the hospital soonish, but I will try to put it off until 6am. I didn't want to wake anyone up too early, and I didn't want to get sent away since the contractions rarely were closer than 10 minutes together. I mean, how embarrassing would that be, I have triaged and delivered so many OB patients, and this is my 3rd, I should know when I am in labor, right? So, I get in the bath for 20 minutes or so, which honestly does help with contraction pain. But man, these baby's are getting painful. Finally, a bit before 5, the quality and quantity of pain suddenly changed and increased and I began to get concerned that I might deliver the baby at home if we don't get going. The contractions may have been spaced out, but they were doing their job.
We call Mimi. We pack our bag. We arrive at the hospital by 6am. And not a minute too soon. I am telling you, thank god those contractions were 10 minutes or greater apart. So, so, so, so painful. I have now switched from praying for the contractions to continue and get closer together, to praying and begging for them to space out and stop. At least until I get the epidural. I get check-in, settled, labs drawn and progress checked and found to be a good 6-7cm on my way...all the while, being told by everyone I was way too happy and comfortable to be in labor (it's not like you're in tons of pain between the contractions, so I was fine as long as I wasn't contracting, and, I was about to have a baby! Who isn't happy about that?)
Dr. Martinez came in, despite it being her day off, love her. And the epidural was placed by 8am, love it. And I napped, visited with my mom, enjoyed my alone time with Matt, and labored the rest of the way in peace. By about 11am, I decided there was enough pressure, I was ready to push. Baby's head was still up there a bit (not quite station +1), but I was assured that was normal for a third baby, and for a big baby. Four contractions, a knotted cord around the neck and baby facing sunny-side up later, at 11:17am, a huge, purple, bloated Baby O #3 arrived!
The first image I have of this baby, is it's profile. And I exclaim, "Whoa, now that's an O'Laughlin!" Seriously, it was kind of creepy, I felt like I looked down to see myself delivering Matt. My next thought? This better be a boy, because, well, if that huge, manly looking thing is a girl, then it's a bit unfortunate. And sure enough, on the verge of happy of happiest tears, Matt exclaims, "it's a boy!"
They lay him on my chest, I poke at his quadruple chin. And everyone in that delivery room, is saying, "let's get him on the scale! He is huge. How much does that baby weigh!?" I watch as the grams shoot straight to the 4000's, and keep climbing. I see 4700+ grams, and in my mind think, "holy s*$t, I just delivered a 10 pound baby! He is over 10 pounds." They convert to 10lbs 7ozs. Matt and I look at each other, and he comes over to my bedside, still a bit teary and says, "I think he's a George." I agree. Definitely a George. (Not the name we had settled on during the drive to the hospital.)
Soon, thereafter, the meet and greet begins. George meets his 2 older brothers, as well as a few aunts and uncles and grandparents. I am surprisingly content, and relaxed, and not overwhelmed by the chaos of 3 children in a tiny hospital room. And it felt so natural to have another little boy. I am sure I would be just as happy if I had a little girl right now, but now, having met George, I wouldn't want it any other way. He is the perfect #3. He has managed to outweigh his slightly older brother, yet has the chicken legs to contest with his oldest brother. He is sleepy, but so alert during those few moments he decides to stay awake. He is a bit distract-able when it comes to nursing, but sleeps through the madness. And he is mine. All mine. And I look forward to getting to know him more and more. Everyday. As Matt said, almost 9 months ago, when we found out about our wonderful little surprise, my love has just increased by 50%. Perhaps, even more.