Thing #2: Caleb’s Birth Story

Caleb and me, about 2 days after his delivery.  I was 26.
Caleb:  9 lb 9oz, 21.5 inches.  He was my largest newborn, and he has remained the largest at each age ever since.  He can now share clothes with Joshua, who is 20 months older than Caleb.
  Do you know what a pregnant woman in the third trimester starts to think about?  Big surprise, the actual arrival of the baby.  All of a sudden, it’s not just about the pregnancy, you begin to realize a real baby is about to arrive.  We have only nine full weeks left to prepare here!!  That may sound sufficient, but to me it doesn’t sound like much, as busy as we are.
  Even after giving birth three different times, I won’t lie, it still scares me a little bit.  I know enough to know I’m not getting out of this pain free.  There is no easy method.  Even if I were hoping for a traditional delivery, which I’m not, those were always a hard road to recovery for me.  If you’re wondering why, please reference photo #2:  big, giant baby.  All three have been huge, though each birth story has been a little different.
   I want to type up each birth story on here, but I’m starting with Caleb because his was the journal that I found first.  Ha.  You know I’ve kept detailed journals of my whole life.  I whip them out when people get their facts mixed up about the past.  ; )
   Here’s Caleb’s delivery story.  He was a June baby, just as this one will be.  That pregnancy was so much like this one it’s uncanny.  His due date was July 6, but he was induced and delivered on June 27.
**Caleb’s Birth Story**

originally written:  Fri., June 29, 2007
Yay!  Caleb is here!
I checked into the hospital around 12:30am Wednesday for my scheduled pitocin induction of labor. It was a fairly painful night.  They did give me half a dose of ambien, so I did sleep some.  It was a fitful, painful sleep.
For a while, they actually turned down the drip because the nurse said the baby and I needed a little break.  The contractions were really strong, and the baby wasn’t handling it great.
After 7am, Dr. Collins came in and broke my water, but everything moved much more slowly than I thought it would.
By 1pm, I was only 7 cm.  I had a wonderful epidural.
By early afternoon, I felt like he was right there, and I should be pushing, but I just wasn’t thinned out all the way.  It was so hard to wait!  Finally they gave me a booster to ease the pressure.  Then my legs went dead.
At 5:30, I was at 10cm, and I finally got to start pushing.  They all said I did a great job pushing.  It was a very rough delivery for Caleb because they had a lot of trouble getting his shoulders out.  Meanwhile, the cord was wrapped around his neck, so he wasn’t getting enough air.  We saw his head almost come out, all purple-ish, but then he couldn’t come any further because his shoulders were so big.
At 6:07pm, with four nurses pushing on my belly, Dr. Collins pretty much ripped Caleb right out of there.
Caleb was very purple in the face and not crying.  That scared us, but once the doctor suctioned him out really well, he did start breathing and crying.
His crying sounds totally different than Joshua’s.  I’m just so thankful we all got through it, and everyone is fine.
Caleb is precious.  The reason we had a hard delivery is that my little baby is 9 lb 9oz and 21.5 inches long!  He’s a big baby!
At first, I could hardly get him to eat at all, his nose was so bruised from his shaky entrance into the world.  Dr. Collins actually apologized for “bruising him up” and for not listening to me when I warned him this wasn’t going to go well.  I had told him that this baby was going to be huge, and I would need the biggest episiotomy he could give me, but he didn’t give me the biggest episiotomy, and by the time he realized the baby was in danger, it was too late to do anything other than get Caleb out.
Last night Caleb suddenly started to eat– a lot.  He just can hardly get enough.  I’m worried about him, though.  We’d had that concern about his kidneys, and I haven’t seen a single wet or poopy diaper yet.  Alan changed one poopy diaper yesterday, and the nursery changed him out of one soaking wet outfit last night.
(That all turned out fine.)
My feet are swollen, and I am sore all over.  Emotionally, I feel okay.  I just feel a little stressed about not being able to pick up Joshua..  Thank the Lord for my healthy babies!

Lessons Learned from Caleb’s Delivery:

…..I did not do a good job of not picking up Joshua.  He was too heavy for me to lift for 6 weeks, due to all the stitches I needed after that rough delivery.  I didn’t listen, and I lifted him anyway within the first two weeks and busted my stitches.  I write that publicly only to warn all new mothers.  If you have stitches, and they tell you to take it easy for 6 weeks, you have to LISTEN to them!!!  That turned my recovery from 6 weeks to 12 weeks.

Newborns and Germs:
I am no longer the mother you will see parading out about town with a one-month-old.  During that first 6 weeks, if your baby spikes a fever, the medical community will fear the worse, and that usually means hospitalization and lots of invasive testing for your baby.  Caleb spiked a fever at 4 weeks, and was feverish with no symptoms for 3 or so days.
We were very fortunate.  Dr. Doggett was wonderful.  He said that since Caleb was otherwise healthy and growing well, I only had to bring him to his office every day for urine samples and such until the fever had been gone 24 hours. (By the way, watching them try to get a urine sample from a baby is hilarious.  Touch the walls at your pediatrician’s office with caution.  They could have been peed on…)  Dr. Doggett told me how they usually hospitalize those cases, but there had been no recent cases of meningitis (which is what they were primarily concerned about), and he felt like I was “a very capable mother,” so I could keep him at home with me.
I can’t tell you how happy it made me to have the trust of our pediatrician and to not be put through all the unnecessary tests we might’ve endured in a larger city.
From that experience I formed my current policy of camping out at home the first six weeks, and what a load off it is anyway, to not feel pressured to resume normal activities for six whole weeks.

One more thing!  Each postpartum phase has been different for me, but I remember feeling so happy after Caleb was born.  I had had a pretty depressed pregnancy, though, so I was backwards for Caleb from what you’d expect.

Caleb’s first Christmas:  5 months old and Joshua was 2 yrs and 1 month in this picture.  Also, that was the best Santa Clause ever!

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