Beyond thrilled to announce that Max Donovan Arentson couldn't wait any longer and decided to join us about 2 weeks early!
21 ½ inches long
7 pounds and 15 ounces
38 weeks and 4 days
I was pleasantly surprised that he arrived early...as I'm sure most moms are at that point haha. It was my hope that my body would go into labor naturally and that I could experience what that was like since I was induced with my firstborn, Will.
Not only was I surprised that he arrived early, but I was surprised that I was even in labor to begin with!
Looking back, I could maybe see potential symptoms but really, anything feels like it could be it when you're looking for something. Around the evening of March 20th, I started feeling off. I was having hot flashes, stomach cramping, and I was beginning to feel nauseated. I remember that my appetite went away and I barely ate anything for dinner that night...which I later came to regret.
I wasn't (seriously) thinking labor was soon at this point. When you get to the final weeks, every ache and pain makes you "hopeful", but I had many things for weeks that I thought could be it and never were, so I didn't think much of this.
That night I took a bath, watched some tv, and went to bed around 8:30 pm. I had stomach cramping off and on, which again, was nothing new. I had many nights leading up to this where I had cramping and thought I'd wake up to labor and never did.
Around 11:00 pm is when I couldn't sleep through the cramps. They were very strong and intense and lasted for a long time. I tried to time them to see if they were contractions but there was no real pattern or frequency.
I'd have a cramp (contraction) in 2 minutes, then 9, then 5, then 7, then 3...it was all over the place. They weren't getting any closer. The only thing that was consistent is that the cramping lasted a very long time, about 2 minutes, which seemed odd to me.
I started googling, because what else do you do at 12:00 in the morning? The internet was telling me that your uterus shouldn't be contracting for 2 minutes and that could be putting too much strain on the baby. After I read that, I started to feel very anxious, as I was thinking that I haven't actually felt the baby move much since I started feeling off.
Titus was still sleeping at this point and I tried drinking water, getting up, and walking around the house to see if they would stop. That wasn't making them go away, so I thought it couldn't hurt to call the after-hours nurse. I tried to explain to her what was going on and she said it sounded very vague (haha), but I should go into the hospital to get checked out.
At this point, I woke up Titus to tell him what was going on and we debated for a while if I should actually go in or not. None of this seemed like textbook labor to me, so I really didn't want to go in and have it be nothing.
I also didn't want to go alone, but I didn't want to call family at 1 in the morning to have them come watch Will for something that wasn't real.
But I also didn't want to not go and have something bad happen that could have been prevented.
I eventually decided to just go in by myself. I figured I wasn't going to sleep either way and at least I could hear the baby's heartbeat and have peace of mind that everything was okay.
The nurse I spoke to on the phone called ahead and let them know I was coming. When I got to the hospital around 1 am I thought I was just going to get a nonstress test. But when they brought out the gown and admitted me, I started to feel really silly. What if I was just dehydrated or something? I was torn between wishing it was actually something and just wanting to go home and be back in bed haha.
Once they got me hooked up to monitors, my suspicions were confirmed. A 2-minute contraction was too long and the baby's heartbeat was dipping through some of them. Because the contractions were strong, the nurse did a cervix check and I was 3 ½ centimeters dilated. Just a day and a half ago at my doctor's appointment, I was at a 2. This is when I started to think I may not be leaving the hospital after all.
They ran some blood and urine tests to figure out why the contractions were so irregular and long. While I was waiting for results, I started frantically texting Titus the rest of my hospital bag list haha.
The results all came back normal and they checked my cervix again. I was dilated to a 4. This is when the doctor let me know that though my contractions were weird, they were dilating me and they weren't going to send me home and I was going to have a baby today!!
The next several hours brought a lot of walking and changing positions. I dilated to 6 centimeters around 8 am. This is when my doctor broke my water with hopes that it would regulate my contractions more.
Though the contractions never did end up in a pattern, they got intense (fast!) after getting my water broken. I kept walking to get things going and soon, I couldn't stand the super long contractions anymore. I asked for an epidural, but as luck has it, I waited too long.
The anesthesiologist got it in place, but before the medicine even started to drip, I had an overwhelming desire to push and knew it was time. I could feel him "right there" and needed him out. I had Titus call and tell the nurse because at this point I felt like I couldn't talk to anyone. She did a quick check, said, "Oh, hi baby!" and called some people. The room quickly sprang to delivery action.
After feeling the pain of the first push that I did with the nurse before the doctor arrived, I remember asking her, "This isn't going to take long, is it? Because I don't think I can do a lot." (This is when I really wished I ate something for dinner the night before and got an epidural sooner haha.)
So sweet and reassuring, she said, "Don't worry. This isn't going to take long. He'll be out fast."
At this point, I was really wishing my contractions were faster and sooner. When it came to pushing with my first, it was all very back to back. Breathe. Push. Rest. And Go.
Since mine were still so far apart with Max, there was a very awkward waiting time in between haha. The room was all prepped and ready to go. Titus and the nurse were holding my legs. The doctor was crouched down and ready to catch the baby but....nope, nothing was happening haha.
They were all staring at me waiting for something to happen. I turned my head towards the ceiling and squeezed my eyes shut, willing and praying for a contraction to come on as I'm sure everyone had more important things to do than stare around the room in silence for 5 minutes. The nurse tried to crack a joke. In my head, I was wondering if they had epidurals for my embarrassment. Eh, probably wouldn't have worked anyway. 😉
Thank goodness one came eventually came and thankfully, the nurse was right. It didn't take long...pushing that is. 😉 Minutes later and with just a few more pushes, he was out and placed on my chest.
We are so thankful to God for our sweet and perfectly healthy little blessing. There were no real birth complications and we left the hospital 24 hours later. We are overjoyed to be a family of 4!
Welcome to the world, Max!