So here it is: Gentry’s birth story... Considering everything that has happened since he was born I am not kicking myself for it taking 3 months to get this posted.
When we first found out we were pregnant last Spring, we checked our due date and were shocked to learn it was Christmas Day. I had a good laugh about that and then started emotionally preparing for the reality that my “No December/Christmas babies” plan literally went down the drain. However, when I had my first ultrasound at 8 weeks, the baby was measuring small, so they changed my due date to a week later - New Years Eve! I was pretty happy about this change because I figured a New Years birthday would be less challenging to celebrate than a Christmas birthday. And remembering that Gavin was born 9 days past his due date gave me a little hope that I may end up with a New Years baby instead of Christmas baby. Fingers were crossed!
Of course, I also knew that having a Christmas Day due date was pretty special. If he was going to end up having a December birthday - having a Christmas DAY Birthday was extra special, in my opinion. But I still was hoping for a January baby... But as Christmas approached, I could tell we weren’t going to make it to New Years Eve. I even wondered if we were going to make it to Christmas! I felt soooooo uncomfortable and the baby was sitting very, very low. So as Christmas approached I decided to honor both of my due dates and started counting my weekly progress based on the original Christmas due date instead of NYE. I just knew that when Christmas Day came around I was actually 40 weeks instead of only 39. I could just tell that baby was coming any day.
So Christmas Eve rolls around... I felt pretty proud that I had “made it to Christmas” without going into labor. I had our Christmas day all planned out and couldn’t wait for Christmas morning! Eric left for work at 6PM Christmas Eve (he was working an OB night shift at Banner Ironwood that night), and I put Gavin to bed shortly after he left. Once Gavin was in bed, I started getting ready for Christmas. I was so excited to play Santa Clause! I stuffed our stockings, finished wrapping some gifts, brought out Santa gifts for Gavin, drank hot chocolate, ate a candy cane, and watched my favorite a Christmas movie, “Elf”. I was so buzzed with Christmas Eve excitement that I was wide awake and had NO desire to go to bed by my usual 10pm bedtime. Instead, I decided to do a little “40 week” maternity photoshoot in front of the Christmas tree. I had been wanting to do one and figured now was the time if I wanted to post them on Christmas Day. I was really happy with how the photos turned out and was really glad I took a “40 week” photo in front of the Christmas tree. I was so excited to post it the next day and celebrate. That night, before going to sleep, I even started to draft up an Instagram post saying “Yay I made it to 40 weeks / Christmas Day! I guess the countdown to NYE begins!” But decided “I’ll post it in the morning...” instead of the middle of the night. So at 1AM Christmas morning, I put my phone down and finally went to sleep.
I called my mom who was on standby to come and stay at our house to watch Gavin for us. While I waited for both Eric and my mom to arrive I started grabbing last minute things I needed for the hospital, and when they both arrived, Eric loaded up the car and put away all the Santa gifts that were out for Gavin and then we headed to the hospital. By this point I was having regular contractions every 3 minutes and they were growing strong in intensity.
We arrived at the hospital at 3:10AM. Once in triage, they checked me and I was at 3cm dilated. My labors are extremely unbearable to me so I had decided I was ready to get an Epidural as soon as I could get one. I had tried to go natural with Gavin’s labor and my body just would NOT progress until I got my epidural and I felt like I was literally going to die - even at only 3cm - so I knew it would be the same way this time and I was right! Epidurals are my best friend!
The nurses informed me that before they can give me the epidural they have to give me an IV so they get started on placing an IV for me. I was so NOT looking forward to getting the IV. I have always had bad experiences with them (they hurt!) and I HATE needles. You would think I would be more afraid of the epidural but I hate the IV much more. Anyway... the nurse goes to place the IV, and ruptures my vein! *ouch!* (If you haven’t experienced this before, be grateful - it hurts SO bad and the pain doesn’t go away for a LONG time). So of course I am not thrilled but it’s not the first time in my life it has happened so I take a deep breath and get ready for the 2nd attempt. So she goes in a second time, and ruptures it again! *insert sobbing face emoji* I am devastated and miserable at this point and my arms are on fire now - and my contractions are starting to kill me. She knows she needs to hury so she immediately calls in another nurse to take over who might have better luck.
So this new nurse shows up to give it a try. She goes in another spot, and fail! Ruptures it again! I am literally dying inside. Is this really happening right now?? Eric is getting pissed too. He is ready to take over and do it himself but decides to let her try again. So she tries again... and AGAIN it’s a failure! *insert skull emoji because now I am dead* - both my arms are on fire. It’s miserable. I just want it all to end. They decide to call in “SWAT” and have someone insert the IV via ultrasound to ensure it goes in successfully. Literally 4 failed attempts at an IV. My arms are bruised, swollen, and in so much pain. (Throw in the killer contractions and yeah, I’m having a great time! Ha!)
Finally the ultrasound guy shows up and gets it in. It hurst like hell but at least it’s finally over. The whole ordeal kept me in triage about 45 minutes longer than I should have had to. It also delayed my epidural - which of course is the worst part of it all. They finally cart me in a wheelchair to my delivery room and I am crying the whole way there because I am just so stressed and in so much pain. From the failed IV attempts to the contractions, it’s all just killing me. I am over it and so ready for relief!
They bring me into delivery room #5, the same room Gavin was born in, which is pretty special. Eric immediately gowns up and grabs an epidural kit and tray. We had decided we wanted him to place the epidural because 1.) He’s allowed to; 2.) He’s really good at them and super fast; 3.) How often does your husband/father to your child get to place the epidural for you? It was really neat experiencing first hand my husband at work - doing what he does best.
At 5:09AM Eric places my epidural. It was fast and worked perfectly (unlike the last time when Gavin was born and only the right side of my body responded to it initially). At this point I am SO stoked to finally be getting some relief from the contractions! I decide to close my eyes and try to rest (easier said than done though).
I pushed through one contraction but held back a little because I didn’t want to tear. Before the second contraction started Dr Newman told me not to hold back and to just give it my all - so I did and just like that his head made its way out. We were all shocked to hear the doctor counting the number of times the umbilical cord was wrapped around his neck and revealed it was wrapped THREE times! According to Eric it’s very rare that a situation like that happens without going to an emergency c-section. He is literally our miracle Christmas baby! Had it taken any longer for him to come out who knows what could have happened? I am so relieved to know we were being watched over by our angels above and all went well regardless of these dangerous circumstances!
Overall it was a good labor and experience once again. I am so grateful and blessed and we love our sweet Christmas baby so very much. Now I just need to come up with ways to make sure his Birthday doesn’t get too overshadowed by Christmas! I am taking suggestions! But really though... I am actually really excited that his Birthday is on Christmas. It’s seriously such a special day - what better day to be born? I will make sure he always knows how grateful I am that he has officially made Christmas Day even more special to me now than it ever was before.
Thanks for reading. ❤️