Luke Mason is here!

November 28th 2011 we received the miracle of our 2nd son, baby boy Luke Mason. He came into this world  at 3:10 PM weighing 7 pounds 9 ounces and 20 inches long, all purple and screaming his little lungs out. Sweetest sound for a mommy to hear I can tell you that first hand.

I have wanted to document his little birth as I didn't really do that very well after Seth at least not right away and not when it was fresh in my memory.  So although I am tired and sleepy I am going to take this time to take a record of the labor and delivery.

It all started really a couple of weeks ago when I found out I was already 2 cm dilated and having lots of BH contractions. A week later I was at a 3 cm and my OB decided to do the membrane stripping to hopefully bring on labor contractions. It had worked so well with Seth so I was very hopeful that by the next day (which was over a week ago now) I would be meeting mr. Luke. I spent all day after the procedure running around after my 1.5 year old and helping my mom cook dinner all the while having lots of contractions. At midnight that night I joined a few of my siblings to go see Breaking Dawn episode 1. I had contractions every 6 minutes regularly for 3 hours through the movie :). We were all joking that I would go into labor when Bella was delivering her baby.

However that was not to be, I went home and went to sleep thinking for sure I would wake up with really intense contractions later on in the morning hours. However as my body was falling into rest so did my contractions, they all pretty much dissapeared. I was bummed to say the least so I waited till the following Monday which was to be my next appointment, my nurse  checked me again and this time I was 4 cm and she repeated the stripping procedure at which point she very confidently announced that I would not see the next day without being in labor.

Well I guess my body just didn't want to respond that way, I again started contracting but after 3-4 hours of regular non-painful contractions they just went away. The day before Thanksgiving I was called by my OB's office to go in, they really wanted to ck my progress. I was between 4-5 cm dilated and having regular mild contractions. The doc chose not to break the water as I had thought he would (I know now he was going to be in Seattle for the holidays) he said that if nothing happens on it's own over the weekend he would break my water today Monday the 28th. Of course nothing happened over the holidays at least nothing new with the pregnancy but I did get to spend the holidays with both sets of families which was fun for all of us.

Finally today arrived I spent all weekend with regular contractions but none painful enough to make me think I was in active labor. If you've gone through it you know those contractions  -  they are knee buckling, steal your breath, make you want to pray the END is near, kind of pain… vivid enough??? I came in they put me on a monitor for baby and the contractions, and although I had been contracting regularly up until then the momment I laid down the contractions slowed down considerably, I had like 3 in half an hour. It was miserable, I had this horrible feeling that this fact would make my doctor decided not to break my water. I was right! He checked me saw that I was still  4-5 cm dilated and said ok let's see you again on Friday. I could not have been more bummed out. But I made up my mind, I knew that after the exam I would start contracting pretty regularly and I talked to my main nurse Trish. I told her to call the hospital and tell them I'm going in and that I'm having regular contractions, "she said good for you". I knew that if they checked me and saw that I was dilated so far and having regular contractions they would admit me and then my doctor would be able to break the water. I ran up 3 flights of stairs and walked as fast as I could to get to the hospital, I was experiancing contractions every 2 min. Once they checked me and got me in a room I started doing jumping jacks, (my baby sister had jokingly said on Thanksgiving that I should do them and maybe I'd bounce the baby out ;)) It was hillarious my husband was laughing at me and so I had to ask him to step out if he couldn't keep it together. ;)

Finally I get hooked up  to the monitors and my contractions are steady they in fact stay really close like 3 min appart and are moderately uncomfortable. I am on the bed just constantly begging God to make today the day I meet Luke.  My doc comes down to my room cks things out and he's like ok. let's break your water. I was like are you serious and yes of course he was even though he is such a jokester and often times I am not sure if he's teasing me or being serious. Well he was serious, I think he saw that I was determined to meet my Luke today.

The breaking of the water was a piece of cake, although I had wanted it to take place for a week now I got a bit nervous right before the doctor actually did the procedure, but there was no reason for it. Once the water was broken, I was informed that I had light meconium  in the amniotic fluid, that's when the baby has his first bowel movement inside and if it happens a lot and they swallow it there could be complications. I was informed that it was so light that they were not concerned at all so that eased my mind. Only after birth did I realize that I had another reason why I was relieved to have had the water broken now and not wait any longer which could have caused him to have more meconium buildup.

About 10 minutes after my water was broken the contractions I had been waiting for arrived and boy did they ever. I started contracting for 60 to 90 second long contractions and they kept repeating every 20 seconds,  the pain was so intenese words could not begin to describe. There was no rest in between and I thought; oh my God this is not something I have every experienced before. After about 1.5  hours of pain like that I called in the nurse and asked for some help. With Seth the contractions would come every minute but not back to back without rest and by the time they were as intense as the ones I had today I had already had the epidural in place and was not aware of how bad it could be. It didn't help that I was all alone as Chris had decided to go get himself some food, we both thought we had probably a good 10 hours before any baby would be making his presence.

Once I asked for help the nurse put in the call for the anesthesiologist and also gave me some pain medication through my IV fluid because she said that at the rate I was going I would not be able to stand still enough for the Epidural. Within 20 min after that the anesthesiologist was there and placing my Epidural which went so amazing and easy.  I did have contractions through the procedure but I forced myself to be as still as possible and with the help of the pain meds which cut about 25 % of the pain I did well. No pain or issues before, during or after the epidural all seems to be well.  Once I had the epidural the nurse came back and decided to check my progress… she checks and she looks at me and is like umm… you are there. I said, what? I was astonished. That was the fastest and most active, active labor I could have imagined for myself. I guess those back to back to back contractions did what they were supposed to do, I went from a 5 to a 10 in a matter of 2 hours. So she said let's try pushing with your next contraction (by the way Chris had gotten back right after my epidural got started, he missed all of those crazy labor contractions, lucky bum).

One thing I'll say about the epidural is that it makes it hard to really know when you need to push because you feel very little of the contraction as well as when you do push you don't really feel like you are doing anything at all. I pushed through 3 contractions which were still coming back to back, and my nurse was like ok stop I'm gonna call the doc because this baby wants to come now. Within 5-10 min the doctor had arrived and he's like "well it looks like we will be meeting a new baby today after all"… I said, looks that way, with a big grin on my face.

All of a sudden I hear a beeping noise and all these nurses rush in, we're in high alert now the baby's heart rate totally dropped off the grid, they were trying to readjust the monitor and such and still nothing. They had me turn on one side because they wanted to make sure baby wasn't laying on the cord or pinching it or something. The side laying did help because they started getting a fain pulse and my doctor said ok it's really time to push hard now. So between tears of fear and prayers for God's hand to be on my little Luke's life and restore his blood flow I pushed as if both our lives depended on it.

3 total pushes later he made his way out and was crying his little heart out. They placed my little guy on my chest and he was so dear to me, the bond and love was instantaneous and so strong that I couldn't help myself as gooey as he was I was kissing his sweet little face all over. At 1 minute post delivery they did his Apgar test which was 8 and at 5 min they tested again and the test was a 9, I was informed that very rarely do babies get a 10 or perfect score ( I don't remember what Seth got). After talking with the nurses and the doc. and then after the pediatrician came in and checked him out. I am so grateful to say that the few minutes where his heart rate was not registering or very faint did not have a lasting or damaging affect and they assured me that hi's good responses immediately after birth were proof that he was well.

After I delivered the placenta and the doc checked me out I was informed that I had no tearing  so no stitching was needed, that news was so surprising to me as I thought for sure that with the intense pushing I would have had at least a handful of stitches to receive. I can't say how much easier the recovery is without the awful pain and stinging of stitches. So happy about that fact. After they did all the tests on Luke and gave him his meds and Hep B shot I got my swaddled bundle back and he started nursing.
 I have been afraid like nobodies business about this part. I had a terrible time with Seth and made it throgh 3 months but never ever did I enjoy it or feel that we bonded, it was painful the whole time and I cringed every time I knew it was time for him to eat.  Well after the first 10 hours I can say that this time around it is so much easier than it was the first time around if things proceed this way I have good hopes for nursing Luke and enjoying it not cringing throgh it. ;) 

The last thing I want to write about is that I was nervous before hand whether my love for my 2nd baby would be anywhere near that which I have for Seth… I couldn't wrap my brain around that because I love my first born with such a strong love that I didn't think there would be room enough in my heart for the same kind of love for the 2nd child. That may sound weird to people but it is the honest truth. Well the fact is that I absolutely love this little miracle with all my heart just like I love Seth. I would do anything to make him happy, grow strong and stay healthy. I am so grateful to God for this experiance and every moment was so worth it now that I get to hold my little one.

Today Chris and I remembered the loss of our true first born Zach who was actually stillborn prematurely at 20 weeks gestation. I delivered him one cold and rainy January day in 2008.  We got to hold him and in the same day say goodbye to him. He is in heaven with the angels and we will some day meet him, but that one loss has made me much stronger and I won't take for granted any one of the days my God bestows upon me and my family. I want to say that I am a believer in God and his son Jesus Christ and without his intervention today things could have gone very differently for our little family and our son Luke. But  the God I worship is a God who answers prayers, he upholds us with his right hand and when we call on Him we can have faith that He will deliver us from danger. Thanks be to God for all that He does on our behalf even though I know that I have done nothing to deserve his mercies which he renews towards us every morning. 

I hope that this story was not overwhelming  however I felt the need to document it  so that  someday I can look back and recall exactly what happened today. I know that as time passes we loose a lot of the little details. This way I will remember and give thanks again and again to God for his provision in our lives.

Luke Mason Day One already all swaddled up and a happy camper:
Such a happy daddy to be holding his 2nd tennis player in the making:

Luke Mason Day 2: early in the morning after a 45 minute feeding, he is wide awake and spending some time in his daddy's arms:

Look at Luke Yawn… say that three times fast ;)