Around 9:00am, my midwife, Jeri, arrived. She was on call for deliveries that day - she rotates delivery call shifts with the two OB doctors in the practice B and I had chosen - and let me know that she would be delivering baby Caleb. Both of the doctors would also be available in the event that more complex medical procedures were needed during the birth. She had me get up and walk around, use the restroom (which are both things that doctors don't typically allow after Pitocin drips have been administered, but which I was so thankful for after laying in a bed all night), got me settled for a short time in the rocking chair in our room in order to give my lower back a break, and had ginger ale ordered for me. A beverage had never tasted so good. While she was there, Jeri explained that she was going to go ahead and break my water to keep the contractions coming and encourage the labor process. Although the water breaking didn't hurt, the intensity of the contractions immediately became stronger and started coming faster. It wasn't long before I was asking about the epidural.
Around 10:30am, the anesthesiologist arrived to administer my epidural. Though I'd heard horror stories about epidurals and was a little afraid, mine was done smoothly and took immediate effect. Pain relief had never been so sweet. I was able to weather the contractions for the next couple of hours with no notice before I began to feel them again. At that point, Jeri ordered a dose of Demerol to help manage the pain, and checked me again. I had dilated to about 4cm at this point. By 2pm, the pain medication had begun to wear off once again, and I started feeling a lot of pressure along with contractions. Jeri warned me that at this point in the labor process, she would not advise any further pain medication because of the effects it could have on the baby during the birth. The nurse checked my progress once again, and to everyone's surprise, announced that I was 'complete.' I had gone from 4 cm dilated to complete and ready to push in about an hour. Baby Caleb was ready to go.
Around 3:00pm, I began to feel the need to push, and after about 20 minutes, Caleb Monroe arrived. B was by my side the entire time, encouraging me, rubbing my shoulder, kissing my forehead and crying with me when his son arrived. He videoed Caleb's arrival (focusing on my face and the baby after the arrival - no 'money' shots allowed), and a nurse in the delivery room was able to get some precious shots on our camera as Caleb made his debut. These pictures and the video are precious to me, though I remember each moment vividly.
|Welcome to the world, baby Caleb|
|The new family of three|
|Sweet little boy|
|Sleeping with Dad on the pull-out in our room|
|Caleb's 'Going Home' outfit - a classic Feltman Brothers bubble that his daddy wore 26 years ago on his own trip home from the hospital|
|Caleb and his Daddy|
|Caleb and Mommy|