Monday, August 26, 2013

Mom, Dad, and Mister Max

Time to blog is harder to come by these days, so while Max is taking an afternoon nap I thought I'd start writing a little bit about his birth.  Max Urban Allred came into our world on July 26, 2013 at 11:17 pm, weighing in at a whopping (for me) 8 pounds 4 ounces and measuring 20 inches long.  Johnny and I cannot believe how much this baby boy has changed our lives for the better in the one month he's been here.

I'm not going to lie, getting Max to this earth was pretty much a nightmare that I did not think I would live through.  I'm not exaggerating here.  I can't count the number of times I screamed (louder than I even knew I was capable of screaming) "I'm gonna die!!!!!" during the last part of labor.  But we'll get to that later.

On Thursday the 25th, I went in to my doctor for my 39 week appointment.  With my due date just one week away, my belly stretched to capacity, and every ultrasound indicating that my baby was easily an 8 pounder, I was more than ready to start labor and hold my son in my arms instead of in my belly.  I was dilated to a two and having consistent contractions for well over a week, but even after my doctor examined me, we just thought we'd have to play the waiting game a little longer.  I begrudgingly set my next appointment for August 1st, my official due date, and went on home.  

Before I got pregnant, I used to think it was funny that pregnant women got so impatient to deliver their babies before their due date even came along.  I thought it was silly that a woman could have a major meltdown if she went even just one day past her due date.  I thought, what's one more day when you've already gone nine months?  I thought wrong.  Here I was an entire week before my due date, having a full on meltdown because I was not sure I could make it one more day carrying my big ol' belly around, not sleeping at night, going to the bathroom every 10 minutes, and having those darn contractions with seemingly no progression taking place.  Luckily for me and for anyone around me, I didn't have to make it one more day because things started happening that night.

That evening, my contractions were coming so close together and getting more painful but we figured we should wait to go to the hospital until I was clearly in labor.  I thought that time came at 4:00 the next morning so we grabbed our bags and got ready to go, but then the pain subsided and we fell back asleep.  When we woke up again at 8:00 I felt so sick and decided we needed to go right then.  We got to the hospital around 9:00 and waited to be admitted.

My mom was scheduled to fly out to Utah on August 3rd because originally, I was convinced I'd go over my due date and because it is very difficult to schedule flights based on unscheduled birth.  I really wanted her there for my labor and she really wanted to be there, too.  On the 25th, she was in Denver with my dad for work.  When she found out that I thought my baby was coming sooner than expected, she changed her flight so she could leave Denver a day early and fly straight to Salt Lake.  She made it to Utah around 9 am on the 26th, when David picked her up and brought her straight to the hospital to meet us.

The nurse checked me and I was still dilated to a two with very regular contractions.  Unfortunately, the hospital was so busy that day with women having babies that they were turning away scheduled inductions.  They told me they absolutely could not admit me unless I was in active labor, meaning that I had to progress further than a two.  The nurse told me to walk around the hallways for 45 minutes and that she would check me again after that.  If I had progressed, they would let me stay and move me into a labor and delivery room.  Mom, Johnny, and I walked and walked and hoped for good news.  I had hardly dilated any more when the nurse checked me again, but my contractions were coming closer together so they took pity on me and admitted me at noon.

My doctor came in and broke my water, the nurse started an IV, and things got real.  I finally started to dilate and I didn't even need any pitocin because my contractions were so close together already.  At this point the contractions were definitely painful so they gave me some pain medicine through my IV.  It made me feel awesome.  When I was dilated to a 4 or so, they gave me an epidural.  After that, I felt relaxed and ready to do this.  At 7 pm, I had dilated to a 7 and that's when things went downhill.  I could tell that my epidural was wearing off and suddenly the contractions were very intense.  I had a pump to control the flow of the epidural medicine, so I pushed it as often as I could.  It would help for maybe ten minutes and then wear off.  The pain was so intense that the anesthesiologist had to come back and give me another dose of medicine.  This helped for about 20 minutes but then it wore off, too.  The nurses told me there was nothing else they could do to help with the pain so I just had to deal with it.  At 9:00 I was dilated to a 9 and so ready to push the baby out.  It felt like forever getting to a 10.  The nurse kept checking me but I just could not dilate all the way.  She finally told me to start pushing through the contractions.  I pushed for over an hour before Max finally made it out.  The contractions were so close together that I couldn't rest between them and I thought I would die from exhaustion.  I wasn't getting relief from the epidural or any pain medicines, and my baby's head did not want to come out.  The nurses got the vacuum ready to pull Max out and there were whispers of having to do a C-section.  When a C-section was brought up, I freaked out because I had already been in labor for 11 hours and I did not want to end it with a C-section.  At this point, the nurses left us in the room alone without saying anything to us.  I didn't know what to do but my mom told me to just keep pushing because that was the only way to get through the contractions.  When the nurse came back in, Max must have been crowning because she told me to stop pushing.  She made me so nervous like she wouldn't know what to do if he came out.  She said to wait for my doctor, which is really hard to do.  My doctor finally made it to the hospital ready to catch my baby.  I felt like he was going to fall out and hit the floor.  I was yelling at everyone and begging the doctor to please hurry and catch my son!

With a few more pushes, Max was here.  I was out of it and felt completely unaware of everything going on around me.  Johnny and Mom were ecstatic to see Max, and I felt like I was going to die.  But when they finally put him in my arms, I fell in love.  I could not believe that he was my baby and that he was in my arms and out of my body.  I thought he was the cutest baby I'd ever seen (I still think that) and that it was a miracle that we made it through labor and delivery.

My first time holding him.  He was so alert when he was born and he just quietly stared right at us with his eyes wide open.

My cute boys.

Nanny helped us make it through this difficult day.

My doctor and Max.

It was a very difficult day but it all worked out perfectly.  Max and I were healthy and he was finally here!

Max didn't get a name until the next day because we wanted to make sure it felt right before we made it official.  During labor, Johnny made a joke that the baby was pushing me to the max so that's what we should name him.  Early on in the pregnancy we thought of the name Max just long enough to decide it was cute and then never consider it again.  We had a list of our top three baby names going into the hospital (Max was not on it) and we figured we'd leave with one of them as our son's name.  After we saw our little guy we thought Max just fit him and so it stuck.  Johnny's great grandpa's name was J. Urban Allred, so that's where the middle name came from.

Margo, Daren, and Scott were in the waiting room when Max was born so they came in as soon as we were cleaned up.

We also had some family visit the next day.

We left the hospital on Sunday afternoon and came home to a clean house, fresh flowers on our table, and a refrigerator full of food that my mom bought us.  We are so lucky to have had Mom and David here to help us out during my recovery.  We also had a lot of visitors on Sunday but unfortunately we didn't get pictures of everyone.

We are so thankful that everything turned out so well and that we have tons of love and support as we try to figure out this new parenting thing.  Stay tuned for lots more cute pictures of baby Max!