Wednesday, May 31, 2017

William's Birth Story

Will's birth story actually started about a month before he was born, because Will's birth was really tied up in the story of our first deployment and since Matt just got back I figured it was time to write it all down. 

Friday, Feb 10
Matt was finishing up working nights so he went to check back into work before the weekend at around 2:00. I was surprised to see him home again about an hour later with some totally out of the blue news. He said 'Well, we have a choice to make' (almost never a good sign in the Military-usually the two choices are awful) 'I can deploy in a week for three months, or I can leave the first part of May for five months.' 

We spent April-July of last year thinking Matt was going to deploy any day. He was off cycle now, so we thought we were in the clear. I was three weeks out from my due date at this point. We talked it out, said a quick prayer and Matt headed back to work to tell them he would be ready to go next week. My thoughts over the next few days bounced between 'Nah, it won't end up happening' to 'OHMYGOSHWHATWILLIDO??' 

President's Day Weekend
My parents and my brother and sister in law had already been planning to come out for the long weekend, so it was fun to have them around to distract me, since it appeared that this deployment was actually going to happen. We spent Saturday playing around in Garden of the Gods and driving to the top of Pikes Peak. 

Sunday, Feb 19
Matt was set to leave the next day.

John poked me in the eye during the first hour of church.

Matt used to work as an ophthalmic tech, and he 'diagnosed' me with a scratched cornea. A call to his dad (an Optometrist) confirmed I need to go get it checked out in case of infection. I needed to get singing time taken care of(I teach children's hymns during their Sunday School at my church) and while I was in there a friend of mine offered to take the lesson so I could go sit with Matt since he was leaving. That proved to be the breaking point, I was so touched she would think of me, my eye hurt, I was 38 week pregnant and had apparently been repressing some serious emotions because I started just ugly sobbing. After I escaped to the bathroom to collect myself(and talk it out with a sweet friend who came in to check on me) Matt and I went to the ER where we spent the afternoon waiting for a prescription of antibiotics for my eye. Not how I pictured our last afternoon together, but hey, that's life. While we were at the ER, my family cleaned my house. 

Monday, Feb 20
My family left in the morning, and we dropped Matt off that night. I think I cried the whole way home. I was not ready for this. 

First week alone
I would be lying if I said I spent this week feeling alone and depressed(which I totally anticipated). I was flooded with calls, emails, texts and offers of support. The day after Matt left a lady from church brought over a weeks worth of freezer meals (a weeks worth for a normal family, my little babies and I ate those for like three weeks) and some chocolate and flowers. My friend Becky threw me a baby shower for the ladies at church and offered to watch my kids when I went into labor. Another friend, Megan, watched my kids for my 39 week doctors appointment and after fed me peach cobbler and talked with me for a few hours before sending me home with some lasagna. More people that I can possibly name reached out to me, and I truly appreciated each and every one. 

My sister, mom and mother in law worked out a schedule taking turns 'babysitting' me so that there would always be someone there with me when I had the baby. Annie and my mom decided to overlap by a few days on my due date so that I could go in and be induced and have one person with me and one at home. Unfortunately, I found out at my 39 week apt that the Army hospital won't let you be induced until you are 41 weeks. Thanks a lot for that Army. So I was just going to have to rely on the hospitality of my friends to watch my three active kiddos when I went into labor. 

Annie's Shift
Annie got there about a week after Matt left, and she was pregnant too, so it was kind of fun to share that 'sisterly' time of both being pregnant together, even if she was barely pregnant and I was bursting pregnant.

 Annie celebrated her 26th birthday with us, we threw her a Moana party, my due date came and went, and my mom started her shift.  

Mom's shift
By now I was really pregnant and tired. I hadn't had much contact with Matt, I didn't know where he was, and I went to bed each night hoping that the baby wouldn't come until morning. I really didn't want to drag one of my poor friends out of their beds at 2 AM to come watch my kids. 

Sunday, March 12
I was going to be 41 weeks the next day, and I had an induction scheduled. With my other babies I was very anti being induced because pitocin is terrible. But this time around I just needed to be able to know when I could have the baby to coordinate all the help I would need. At church I talked to my friend Becky and she offered to just have the kids sleep at her house that night so I wouldn't have to wake them up before heading to the hospital. My mom and I dropped them off that night and went home to sleep. 

Monday, March 13(It's go time)
The hospital called around 5 am to confirm they had a bed for me. We got packed up and headed out, with the hopes that the baby would come quickly and my mom would be able to pick up the kids and take them home that afternoon. We got to the hospital at 7, pitocin started at 9 and then we waited.

And waited. 

I was feeling some regular, but weak contractions, and since with my other kids my contractions hadn't been bad until transition I just assumed the pitocin was doing it's job. Matt was able to call a few times so it was good to talk to him. I had always heard of people getting induced, getting their epidural, taking a nap and waking up to deliver their baby before lunch, so that is what I planned on(minus the epidural. Because I'm terrified of needles in my back). At 2:00 they checked me for the first time since I came in. Still at a four, babies head was high so they couldn't break my water. I was shocked, to be honest. This wasn't how it was supposed to work. I had been induced! He was supposed to be here by now and my mom was supposed to go get my kids so my poor pregnant friend didn't have to deal with my three kids plus hers all day. I felt totally defeated. I'd been having contractions all day, and nothing had happened?? I got up and started walking the halls. Around and around in circles, feeling anxious and depressed and wishing Matt was there to hold my hand. 

I asked to be checked again. Nothing. No progress. I started Googling (I know, I know) and found out that inductions fail sometimes. WHAT?! What was I going to do if I hadn't had this baby and my mom had to leave and my mother in law wasn't there yet? What about my kids? I couldn't leave them with my friend forever! I was so stressed about things that felt so out of my control. Nurses changed out and I got a little Asian nurse with a heavy accent and a lot of energy assigned to me. "We get this baby out! What you want to try??" She had me bounce on a yoga ball, take a nap on my side with some sort of birthing wedge between my legs, walk some more, and everything else I was up for trying. She was the perfect person to be with me while I was feeling so disheartened and like this baby might not come. She told me we would do whatever we could to help, but to be patient. He would come when he was ready. 

The midwives (a midwife and a student) that were on call were getting ready to head out, so they came in to check me one more time. I was still at only a four, but the baby had dropped enough they could break my water. They busted out that crochet hook thing, broke my water and it sounded like a waterfall there was so much fluid in there! (TMI? #sorrynotsorry) I got another new nurse that I really liked(I liked them all) and finally things started to pick up. Contractions started getting strong and close and I had my mom come over and hold my hand while I tried to relax through them and let my body do it's thing (it's almost a shame I think I'm done having kids because I think I'm getting better at it). 

I met my new midwife when she came in to check my progress. She said I was at a 7-8. Huzzah! I had made so much progress! I told her if I was already almost an 8, then this boy was coming soon. She gave me a patronizing smile and said she would stick around. I internally rolled my eyes at her. They never believe me when I'm ready to push. I wish I had the last nurse sign some sort of medical history 'This lady sprints right through transition and she REALLY IS READY TO PUSH WHEN SHE SAYS.' I asked if everything was ready to go, and she said it was and then I said the magic words: "I'm feeling pushy!" So glad I was still coherent enough to talk at this point, because my midwife reluctantly agreed to let me try. Five minutes later I was surrounded by my mom, four or five nurses and my midwife while they said things like 'Don't push yet!', and 'Push!' and I growled things like 'I CAN'T!' (seriously, have you ever tried to stop a baby from coming? Not comfortable). I do remember laying there on my back and realizing that ALL the people in the room were women, and thinking it was pretty cool. Just like with John, I wasn't going to be part of their system and push when I didn't feel like it. I just let my body do it's thing and then he was there. Don't get me wrong, it still hurts, but soo much less than when I was pushing until I thought my head would explode with my girls. You don't have to listen when they say push. They can't make you. 

William Perry Carter was born weighing in at 10 lbs 5 oz. They put him right on my chest, but when he didn't cry and start pinking up they took him over to put him on oxygen(his inital Apgar score was 1 on color). They said since he had come so fast, the fluids didn't get pushed out of his lungs in the birth canal like they normally would. They worked on him and I called Matt. Last he had heard I wasn't progressing, then when I finally was everything happened so fast we just didn't get a chance to call(I went from 7-8 to delivered in half an hour). It was middle of the night on the other side of the world, but I was glad we could talk. 

Will ended up needing to stay in the nursery overnight so they could monitor his O2 levels(they kept dropping when he would fall too deeply asleep). I went in whenever he woke up to feed him and snuggle my new little guy. He was(and still is) so chubby and rolly! I love it. 

Notice the Maui inspired arm tattoos
My mother in law came in to town while I was still in the hospital and sat with me through the hospital required videos. Making a mother of four watch a movie about how to change a diaper seems like a pretty great example of government efficiency. (realizing as I looked through my pictures I have none of my mom! Sorry momma!)

And that was it! I feel like Will's birth story really ended with this though, meeting his dad for the first time at two months old. This was amazing.

Matt's connection from Dallas was delayed, so I had some exhausted kiddos at the airport. It was really cool to be there though with what felt like his whole squadron waiting for this team to come home. 
Kate had fallen asleep on the way (it was 10:00 pm) and was NOT HAPPY about all the strangers talking to her.
The plane had landed! John didn't share my enthusiasm.
He spent the last ten minutes before they came out pouting on the floor.
Best. Day. Ever

Trying to (awkwardly) kiss with all four kids between us.

Some celebratory Red Vines.
This deployment was hard for us, but not nearly as hard as I would have thought. We had so many family and friends that really carried me through it. I never felt like I was doing it on my own. I could write pages more on how thankful I am for all the help I received. It was amazing to see.They say it takes a village to raise a child, and I'm glad mine is awesome.  At a time that I anticipated being the hardest of my life, I really didn't feel that way. I was constantly reminded that there is always good to be found, and you can always choose joy.

But I'm super glad it's over. 


Amber Goodman said...

That brought to my eyes. Oh man, that sounds super tough not having your husband through all of that. I had no idea he was deployed during the birth. You are one tough woman! Wow. Thanks for sharing your story!

Janine said...

Wow Krystal!! I am glad you shared this story. I knew your mom had been out there but did not know that Matt missed the whole thing. What a great hard beautiful birth story. Very pioneerish! You must come from great heratage!

Robin said...

I'm seriously crying my eyes out over here. Kristal you are amazing. Your strength knows no bounds. I wish was there to help you and be with you. Love you guys all so much! (And that picture of Matt meeting will for the first time??����)