Well, he is finally here and already one week old! Marshall Howard Hansen was born on Sunday, May 4th at 11:26 a.m. Let me back up though and tell the birth story. . .
After my 39 week appointment, I started to feel contractions for the first time. Before that I felt like this little guy was going to be late enough that I would need to have an induction because I had not felt any real signs of labor. That whole week leading up to his birth was MISERABLE. Every day my contractions got worse, his head was putting tons of pressure on my pelvic bone where it hurt to walk, and I had really bad menstrual-like cramping. Everyday I would think, today will be the day, but nothing was ever consistent enough to warrant a trip to labor and delivery.
Friday, May 2nd (Marshall's due date), we went to the doctor to see how I was progressing. The week before I was 70% effaced, but only a fingertip dilated. The doctor said I was now 1 1/2 cm dilated and 90% effaced. I was so grateful that I had some improvement, but still wished it was a little bit more. I had him strip my membranes and soon after that is when the fun started. I went back to work after my appointment and was having horrible cramping. I knew that that would probably be my last day, and luckily I was right.
Saturday morning about 4:00 a.m. I started having consistent contractions about five minutes apart. It was amazing how they came like clockwork every five minutes. I tried to go back to sleep, but the contractions kept me awake. They gradually got worse and worse and at about 9:00 a.m. we headed to the hospital. The nurse checked me to see how dilated I was, and I was still the same as the day before. They monitored me for an hour, and still no improvement. She called my doctor and he wanted me to walk around for an hour to see if I would progress at all. It was fun (sort of!) to walk back and forth in the halls of the hospital with the nurses encouraging me to have my baby that day because all of the other women were getting discharged and so they would not have anyone to watch over. They even told me that I could pick my own room. They were really sweet lady's. After walking, the nurse checked to see if I had progressed at all, still nothing.
The doctor sent me home until I was in more active labor, though he said he was expecting me back later that same day. He encouraged me to do a lot of walking to help move things along. The contractions definitely got worse at home, but it was hard to know when to go back to the hospital as they still were coming like clockwork. The doctor even called me later that day to see how I was progressing and how I felt. I told him that I did not know when I should go back to the hospital as they were just getting worse, but I did not want to come in too early again. He said that usually he says that when contractions are coming every 5 minutes that thats when he suggests to come in, but my situation was different because they had been coming like that all day. So I waited for a few hours and then came back in at about 8:30 p.m. when I honestly could not take the pain anymore.
The nurse checked to see my progress and I was about 3 cm dilated at that point. Again, I was happy that I had progressed some, but I was hoping it would be a little more than that. She monitored me for an hour, and I was still 3 cm dilated. I was crushed, thinking that I would be sent home again while in a lot of pain. She stepped out to call my doctor, and when she came back she said that the doctor wanted to keep me! At that point, everything seemed to go super fast. A little before midnight, the doctor came in to break my water, and then the anesthesiologist came in to give me my epidural. I was so grateful for the epidural! I honestly think it's great that there are women out there who can go all natural, but I am not one of those women. As soon as I was all numb, I was able to relax and enjoy my labor more.
Then at that point there was a lot of waiting. The nurse would come in every hour to check my progress, and at about 6 a.m. I was almost to 10 cm. This is when the shift changed and I got a different nurse, who I loved! She came in to check me at about 7 a.m. and I was ready to go. I asked my mom what the longest was she ever pushed and she said 10 minutes. I was shocked because I have heard of women pushing for hours, but I was also encouraged that the pushing was not going to take as long as I thought.
I started pushing at 8 a.m. and the nurse was very encouraging each time I would push and would say that I was doing well and that things were progressing downwards. In between contractions, we would talk about the things that were going on in our lives, and she even googled Marshall's name to see what it meant and how popular it was. She was such a sweet girl! Every now and again my doctor would come in to see how things were moving along and then he would leave. I always thought that maybe it was time when he came in, but then would get discouraged when he left.
Jake was the cutest! He helped me pull my legs back each time I pushed, and actually enjoyed seeing the progression and Marshall's head once it finally started to poke out. I thought he would not like to watch, but he said it was actually pretty neat.
At about 11 a.m. they started bringing in all of the labor tools and I knew that meant that things were getting close. The last few pushes were incredible as I knew that within minutes, he would be here. At 11:26 a.m. Marshall made his debut. About 3 1/2 hours of pushing later! I could not help but get teary eyed as they set him on my chest. He was a big boy and I was curious to see how much he weighed. 8 lbs 13 oz! He was the same size that I was when I was born. How in the world did I carry and deliver a baby that size? It still blows my mind every time I look at him. The doctor said that next time we may want to consider delivering early, especially if I always carry big babies.
He is now a week old, and I am so in love with him and his cute little cheeks! He is such a good tempered little boy, and only cries if there is something wrong. He is learning to eat and also sleep better. Last night he only woke up once to be fed, I was so amazed and would like to think of it as a little mothers day present from him to me. I am learning patience and selflessness, but I would not have things any other way. It is hard to imagine life without him.