hadanotherbabyitsaboy: part two, Climbing Mountains

Hey there everybody. This is one of those rare moments where you get to hear from me. Oh, who am I? I have a few names. I am "the one responsible". I have been called "this is all your fault", and also have been called Daddy. Mostly I am Chris or Daddy, because once the pain is over I am one of the good guys again.

I am here for part two. If you haven't read PART ONE, I suggest you stop what you're doing and read that now. When Erica asks me to help with the birth stories, it's always something along the lines of "I was out of my mind and don't know what happened" or "my eyes were closed, I didn't see anything." So here I am. I was mostly in my right mind, and also had my eyes open. But this part of the story, while the most exciting, almost ends up being the shortest.

Let's take a step back for a minute. Here's a little story from part one that amused us. We were watching the contractions while in triage, and talking to Doctor Beck about them. He was adjusting the monitor and it spiked all over the place. I commented on this and the Doctor said yeah, some people will try and fake contractions to get moved to labor and delivery, watch this. He pressed on it to cause a spike. "We can tell the difference".

So part one left off at about 1:30 PM, when the water was broken. There is a lot of waiting involved after the water breaks. Nurses come in and ask how mommy is feeling. The blood pressure cuff constantly activates to torment mommy who just wants everything to move along but baby is still too high, the cervix isn't fully effaced, you are still dilated at a 7.

During this waiting time, the anesthesiologist came to consult with us. Erica decided back before Camden's birth that epidurals weren't happening, so the decision with Leonard was an easy one. It's funny though, even after you tell everyone involved that mommy has done this before, they still don't believe she knows what she wants. She is dilated, water broken, you can see contractions coming and going, but she is smiling...why don't you believe us? She's got this. But they have to still offer. We explained that we were not interested, he ran through the usual questions about prior labor, and asked if there had been a natural birth before. After explaining there had been, he says something along the lines of "Good. Even though its my job to offer, I always find it refreshing to see a mother choose not to get the epidural. Your recovery will be faster and easier without it."

Here's where the mountains come in. One of my jobs in labor was to watch the monitor showing the contractions and talk Erica through them, let her know when they hit the peak and starting running downhill. When we first started watching, they were just hills. By the time Erica got to transition, they were mountains. We had settled into a pattern of 4 strong contractions a minute long with barely a minute between, then 3 minute break before the pattern repeated. It looked something like this:

At this point (3-ish) they were saying Leo was turned wrong, and he needed to turn a bit to drop further. They brought out some weird peanut shaped ball, and made Erica roll over and hold it between her legs. I kid you not, she yelled more during this than the rest. We were climbing Everest on the contractions during this whole time.

After a few minutes like this, Erica said she felt like she needed to push. Dr. Beck had come to check on another mother who wasn't as far along, so he was just in the next room. He came in, took a look and started getting into whatever they call the super scrubs he delivers the baby wearing. Erica kind of yelled that she needed to push, and he turned and looked and said "Do it." Leo was basically already crowning. Erica pushed through 2 contractions and Leo's head was out, then she pushed through another and his shoulders cleared and he was born!

He was in the birth canal for such a short period, he came out with a perfect little head, no conehead for Leo. The doctor caught me emotional and put the scissors in my hand to cut the cord. I was too grossed out about all of the...everything with the others and hadn't cut any cords. I kind of just grabbed and cut without thinking about it this time. I guess I was finally just ok with the process.

And so on March 22nd at 3:31 pm, 2.5 hours after arriving at the hospital, Leonard Christopher Jenkins was born weighing 9 lbs. 6 oz., measuring 21.5 inches. He joins Big sisters Evelyn and Amelia, but I think the most proud was Camden, because he'd never been a big brother before.

And he rode home in style. I went and traded the old van for a new one so that mommy, baby, brother and sisters could have a safer, more comfortable ride. My dad told me that his Grandpa did the same thing for my grandfather. A horse and buggy weren't good enough and so they bought the first family car. That was just short of 100 years ago, back in 1917.

We've named it the Silver Fox...

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