Our baby's due date was May 8th. Several people (without degrees in medicine) guaranteed me that he would come early because my belly was that big and they "just had a feeling." Well I had a feeling he would be late, so while I didn't dismiss the possibility of an early arrival, I expected his due date would uneventfully come and go. May 8th indeed came and went without a birth, so we scheduled an induction for Monday, May 14th.
The evening before the induction (Mother's Day), I started feeling this weird pressure that I hadn't felt before. I didn't think much of it because it wasn't a contraction, and you feel a lot of weird things when pregnant. Before going to bed that night, I felt the pressure again but stronger. I thought I just really had to go to the bathroom. When I felt like I had emptied my bladder, more liquid gushed out. At first I just thought it was more pee cuz even though I was super prego I did have a pretty decent teacher bladder and could hold in a lot.* But when I stood up, but more liquid came gushing out - into the toilet, thankfully. I knew my bladder wasn't that big, so at that moment I knew my water had broken! I told Kelvin and camped out on the toilet while he very excitedly ran around the house saying things like, "This is so exciting!" and "I'm sorry I didn't finish packing my hospital bag!" and "Hehehe, I can't believe this is happening!" Fortunately, my water breaking wasn't an emergency situation, especially because I wasn't having any contractions at that point, but we did hurry out the door.
Around 12:45am, we arrived at the hospital, and I waddled my way up to the front door while holding a bunch of towels between my legs. It felt like my water was turning into Niagara Falls, I kid you not. I was admitted to triage for a few hours while we waited for my cervix to dilate. I finally started feeling contractions, too. They brought me to labor and delivery where the real work began. As soon as I was about 3 or 4 cm dilated, I got an epidural. I know my body and knew that my body would probably take a very long time to fully dilate and get through the birthing process, so I decided ahead of time to get the epidural so I wouldn't decide while in labor and it end up being too late. The epidural felt amazing! The contractions started to get really intense, and then the pain from them was instantly gone. My dilation was progressing pretty slowly, so my nurse had me lie on one side for a few minutes then switch to the other. When I lay on my right side, baby's heart rate would go down, so the nurse made me stay on my left side.
Unfortunately, epidurals work with gravity, so all of the pain killing power went down to my left side, and my right side was KILLING me (not literally.) It was definitely the worst pain I had ever felt. When I complained about the pain, the nurse wouldn't let me lie flat or switch sides to even out the medication because of baby's heart rate dropping on my right side. Instead, she called the anesthesiologist back in to give me more pain medication. I was writhing in pain, so I just remember saying, "OKAY!!" when she asked if she should bring him back in the room. It was still so hard to breathe deeply and stay ahead of the contractions, but Kelvin and my parents helped tremendously (thanks, guys!)
After a few hours, that nurse's shift ended, and I got a new nurse. She helped me lie on my back safely, which helped the medication even out to both sides without compromising baby's well being. The pain was a little better, but the labor was pretty long. After a few hours of trying to breathe through the worst menstrual-like cramps I've ever felt times like 12 million, the doctor came in and said I was 9.5cm dilated! I knew that pushing this babe out would come next and was dreading it, but at least the end was in sight. After a few more dilation checks, the doctor and nurse realized that my cervix was starting to swell in some areas. They said the swelling was my cervix's way of saying, "This baby isn't gonna fit through here, so I quit." A c-section was looking like our only viable option for getting him out. Yes, a c-section, after 23 hours of labor and 40+ hours of virtually no sleep! I actually wasn't too mad about the c-section; I was just ready to meet this baby!
They brought me into the operating room, and Kelvin also came adorned with scrubs. All I really remember was feeling SUPER nervous and lying on this extremely flat and narrow surgery table. It felt like there was a ton of pressure on my chest and face. I could breathe just fine, but it felt like I couldn't. My mouth was 100% dry. The room smelled weird. I could feel the back-and-forth sawing down there but didn't feel any pain from it. That one Evanescence song (the only one everyone knows) was playing VERY loudly. Kelvin accidentally took a picture of my uterus and showed it to me. WHY?! So many weird sensations. Before I knew it, at 1:11am I saw and heard this dangly red object and realized that that was our son! I immediately started sobbing because I thought I was supposed to and definitely felt like I needed to. I gave Kelvin the okay to go over to him while the nurses and doctors sucked fluid out of his nose, weighed him, and other newborn things.
The next few days were such a blur. All I remember are little isolated highlights from our hospital stay:
- A few hours after moving to the recovery room, I threw up all over my hospital bed and on the floor from drinking too much water after the c-section.
- Corinthian and I started this crazy journey called breastfeeding.
- Kelvin and I couldn't keep track of what day or time it was. Neither could Corinthian.
- We just stared at him and said, "Did this really happen?"
- We maybe slept 8 hours over the span of 3 days.
- We worried over weird little things, but the pediatrician assured us that he was perfectly fine.
- Corinthian got a bath!
- I took a shower.
- I ordered aaaalllllllllllll the food from the hospital cafeteria. Food was free for patients, so I just ordered a bunch and gave some to Kelvin, too. Yay!
- I rang the little chime that's heard throughout the hospital when a baby is born. Made me tear up for sure; hormones are crazy after having a baby.
It's now been over two months since Corinthian was born. We're navigating all things baby, and just when we feel used to life with baby, he throws in another variable, like a growth spurt during which he barely sleeps at night. Ah! We sure do love him and are trying to soak up every moment while he speeds ahead in his development and shows off his fun personality. We can't wait to see more of the amazing person God designed you to be, Corinthian!
Corinthian Kaison Wong / born on May 15, 2018 at 1:11am / 19.5 inches long / 7 pounds, 8 ounces
*It's not safe to hold your bladder for extended periods of time while pregnant because it can cause a bladder infection, so if you're prego and reading this, go find a bathroom right now!