Forrest turns 3 weeks old here in a couple of days! I can’t believe all that has happened over these 3 weeks… life has changed dramatically and there are lots of details I don’t want to forget. Forrest’s birth story was different than I ever could have imagined. It ended up being a little more dramatic than we would have preferred, but it got us our baby boy and all is well now. 🙂
It started at 12:30 AM on January 17th. I woke up because it felt like I had peed my pants. I didn’t have any gushing liquid, so I just went to the bathroom, changed, and got back in bed figuring I had peed. haha! #pregnancyproblems
Not long after falling asleep again I felt the same leaking liquid, but this time it was more and even trickled down my leg. I got up, changed, and this time let Brady know that I thought my water may have broken. I still wasn’t sure though because I didn’t have a huge gush.
A little while later it happened AGAIN and then I felt some light contractions start around 1:30. After feeling a few contractions I decided to start tracking them to see if this could be the real deal. Neither Brady nor I were still fully convinced and were honestly really confused. My contractions were all over the place, varying in length and in minutes apart. They weren’t terribly painful yet, but I started to get worried about Forrest knowing that my water had possibly broken. I called my friend Hannah, who is a 3 time mama and doula, and let her know what was going on and to get some confirmation on whether or not she thought my water had broken. She did think it had and told me we could go to the hospital and be admitted or we could stay home for awhile to labor before being put on monitors.
We ended up staying home until 7:00. By this time my contractions were pretty painful and I had high hopes that I had dilated at least a few centimeters throughout the night. We finished packing our bags, got in the car, and headed to the hospital with hopes that we would be meeting our baby boy soon!
Once we got checked in and in a room at the hospital they checked to see if my water had for sure broken (by this time I was leaking everywhere, haha. Labor is humbling.) It indeed had, but even with all of the laboring I had done I was only dilated to a 1. (enter discouragement.) They called my doctor to ask him what we should do. He suggested putting in a foley balloon to help labor progress naturally, and to also get started on a small dose of pitocin to help me dilate quicker.
To be very honest, the foley balloon was terrible! It was a new level of discomfort having that in there, but thankfully it was only in for an hour or so and it helped me dilate to a 4. The pitocin also kicked in and I was in quite a bit of pain by this point.
My childhood friend, Paige, ended up being my nurse which was such a blessing! She talked me through everything and I felt super comfortable to ask all my questions. It was such a cool experience having her there and getting to watch her do her nurse thing!
It was at about this time that I decided to go for an epidural. The actual injection wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it’d be and the relief it brought was wonderful. Labor from this point on was actually pretty peaceful, which I never expected! I think I even dozed off a couple of times. I could still feel the pressure of my contractions and I could move my legs, which is exactly what I was hoping for. And having that ability to relax made a huge difference! Within an hour I was dilated to a 9! We were all shocked, haha.
They called my doctor again and he wanted me to labor for another hour to get Forrest down lower and with hopes that he would turn his body and face down. Forrest’s heart rate kept slowing down, so Paige would have me switch from laying on one side to the other which always helped it go back up. It was a little alarming to hear it slow down so much, but he was being taken care of!
One Dr. Christman arrived, he tried to rotate Forrest a little more and then let me know it was time to start pushing. This is when a million doctors entered the room. I ended up having a mirror so I could watch Forrest enter the world which was kind of weird but also so awesome! It gave me more motivation while pushing since I could see his head emerging more with each effort. Paige was my counter and let me know when to push with each contraction. We ended up pushing for about 25 minutes, and then at 4:14 PM I saw Forrest’s tiny body slide out and enter the world! It was surreal and beautiful and such an amazing moment!
Brady and I were instantly in tears. It was the first time I had seen my husband cry and both of us were pretty emotional. They suctioned out Forrest’s lungs and wiped him down and then instantly laid him on my chest. I got to kiss his sweet head and snuggle his little body for the next hour or so. He latched and ate a little bit while Brady and I stared at all of his sweetness. During this time I also birthed my placenta and my 2nd degree tears got stitched up. That was a little uncomfortable, but hard to pay attention to with everything else that was going on.
After awhile everyone cleared the room besides Brady, Paige, and our new nurse. Once we had gotten in plenty of skin-to-skin time, our new nurse took Forrest to weigh him and do a few other things. Brady was eager to hold his son once she was done and got up to take some pictures of our baby boy. He let the excited grandparents know they could come back to see him as they weighed him.
This part is a total blur to me now. As the nurse was working on Forrest, she let us know that his temperature was pretty low and that she was going to test his blood sugar levels to see if that was the cause. She continued weighing him and Brady and I’s parents came in. Everyone was so excited. We found out he weighed 7 lbs. 4 oz and was 20 inches long. The nurse got the test results back and learned that Forrest’s blood sugar was at 24 and it needed to be at 40. I loved this nurse and hate that I can’t think of her name! She stayed pretty calm, let me know that they were going to need to put Forrest on a special floor so that he could get an IV, and continued to rush through the rest of the newborn procedures so that they could get him upstairs.
Brady and I didn’t really know what it meant that his blood sugar was low. We didn’t know if it was serious or if this was normal. Once again, this part seems like such a blur to me now. There were so many emotions happening. They ended up taking Forrest upstairs and Brady went with him, leaving me in the room alone. I remember being in a daze, and now looking back, I have realized that this moment was really traumatic for me. My mom and sister came in to see if I wanted people around me. Once I saw them I started crying and all of the emotions came crashing down. My mom-in-law and sister-in-law also came in to pray with me.
After that, my nurse was back and she helped me go to the bathroom, get changed, and sit in a wheelchair so I could head upstairs to Forrest and Brady. Forrest was a champ as he got his IV in his hand and got hooked up to liquids to help his levels go up. Brady finally got to hold his son for a few minutes. They put Forrest under heat lamps once we got into our new room. They gave us tons of info and tried to explain what was going on. They needed his blood sugars to go up and to see Forrest regulate his body temperature on his own before we would be released. It was an emotional night for Brady and I. It’s so hard to see your new baby hooked up to monitors and to have an IV coming from his hand! I have so much new love and appreciation for the strength parents show when their kiddos are hospitalized.
Forrest was able to regulate his body temperature after a day or two. After a couple of days they started to wean him off of his IV fluids (his line was now in his head which looks awful. He was a champ though!) They would test his blood sugar every 3 hours with a foot prick to draw blood. (He got pricked about 50 times in his first few days of life which is so sad!) The whole process was an emotional roller coaster. He would be doing great and would be able to be weaned a little more, and then his next test would go in the wrong direction and we’d have to up his fluid levels again. Thankfully we were able to hold our little man and I could feed him as normal throughout the process.
We ended up being in the hospital for 7 days. We were surrounded by awesome nurses and we were overwhelmed with the love and support shown to us from our family and friends. We were never short on food, coffee, prayers, or a person to talk to! Forrest amazed us with the way he handled all of the testing and disturbances, and finally by the last day he was regulating his blood sugars on his own and we were able to head home.
We’ve now been home almost 2 weeks and our time at the hospital feels so long ago! I’m so grateful for the care we received and for the knowledge that our boy is now healthy and ready to take on the world!
These pictures were taken by the wonderful Heather Kindall. Having a labor and delivery photographer was a last minute decision, but I’m so grateful we have these sweet moments captured! And Heather is awesome. If you need a photographer for any big life event you should contact her! 🙂
Thanks so much for reading this lengthy post about Forrest’s birthday! More baby updates to come. ❤