Well, the story starts at my 40 week appointment. The one I didn't ever think I would even get to. I had been having so many contractions throughout this pregnancy (I literally started having Braxton Hicks around week 8 and they just increased in frequency and strength as the weeks went on) I thought for sure I'd go at least a few days early. A couple of my midwives both said having a lot of Braxton Hicks doesn't mean you'll go early but I just had a hard time believing them. Lesson learned. The professionals know what they're talking about. So at 40 weeks when they finally checked my cervix, I was only dilated to 1cm. Second surprise. With my first pregnancy, I was dilated to 3cm three weeks before Bennett was even born so I thought for sure I'd be at 2 or 3cm. Wrong again. They stripped my membranes at that appointment but it didn't kick start labor. Seriously folks, I was shocked. I literally thought I should bring my hospital bag to my appointment because as soon as they strip my membranes, I'll go into labor. Didn't happen.
Finally, 5 days later on February 28th, around 4am I started having contractions that I thought were the real deal. I started timing them and they were about 7min apart. At about 4:45 I got out of bed. When I started labor with Dawson, they were 15 min. apart but as soon as I got out of bed, they immediately turned into 5 min. apart and very quickly down to 3 and were drop-me-to-the-floor painful. Well, this time walking around the house didn't increase their frequency and although they were painful, it was still very bearable. I could still walk and talk through them (signs you don't need to go to the hospital yet). So around 6am and after making some tea and toast, I woke Jon up and told him that I was pretty sure they were real and he should probably get up. Again, I wasn't in immense pain yet at all and they still weren't any closer together. I called the midwife around 6:30 to tell her what was going on and she said I could either come to the hospital or wait until 8am and go to the office to get checked first. I told her I didn't want to miss my window for an epidural and would probably go straight to the hospital. Judie came to our house to watch the boys around 7ish. She walked in the front door to find all 4 of us on the living room couch, all relaxed, watching Despicable Me. I was totally unsure as to what to do. I know the rules. You don't go to the hospital until they're 5 minutes apart and you can't walk or talk through them. Well, after 3 hours of what I was pretty sure was labor, I still didn't qualify. I really didn't want to show up at the hospital and get sent back home. We left the house anyway, around 7:30, stopped at Sonic for a little breakfast and since it was getting close to 8am I told Jon to just go to the Midwife Office instead and I would have them check me there. I was about 95% sure they were going to tell us to go back home and wait.
So the midwife there came in, checked me, and lo and behold, I was at 5cm and about 75% effaced! Half way there! I can't even explain to you how surprised I was. And overjoyed! Half way there and I was barely having any pain. I would have started jumping up and down if I wasn't carrying a 20lb bowling ball in my belly. We headed next door to the hospital and it was the most surreal experience. I casually walked in, went up to the 6th floor and calmly said, "I need to check in. I'm in labor". It felt like I was in a dream. When it comes to babies and deliveries, its so hard to imagine anything but what you've been through before and last time, I was in a wheel chair, feeling like I was going to die from the pain and wanted to punch the nurse at the desk who asked me why I was there. Um...do I seriously need to answer that question?? So to be standing there in zero pain was just utterly baffling. Jon and I were just joking around and laughing with each other. So. Weird.
Once the midwife got there and checked me, she said I had two choices: get an epidural right away and then she'd break my water or vice versa. I told her it seemed way too weird to ask for an epidural when my pain was at about a 2 on the pain scale so I said, go ahead and break my water. That was 9:15am. Well, needless to say, things picked up very quickly after that. My pain shot up from a 2 to a 10 and by the time the anesthesiologist came in, I was more than ready for that epidural. I'm generally a no-meds, kinda girl. I think in 4 years of parenting, I've filled a prescription for my kids about 4 times. My theory is chiropractor first, then google "homeopathic remedy for..." then doctor. But when it comes to pushing a baby out, I say bring on the drugs! Some may call me a wimp. But anyone who's had an epidural (that worked in time) would call me smart. They don't call it the "ring of fire" for nothing.
The epidural kicked in right away. Aaaahhhh. Huge sigh of relief. I literally had about an hour of labor pain. That's it! I felt like the luckiest girl alive. When I had Dawson, the epidural took away all my contraction pain but I felt almost everything when I had to push him out, so I didn't know what to expect this time. When I had to start pushing, I felt zero. Nada. Zilch. It was glorious. I wasn't sure if I was pushing so great, but 20 minutes later he popped right out, so obviously I did ok :) We were going to delay the cord cutting but when his head emerged, it was wrapped really tightly around his neck so they snipped it immediately. But I got to hold him on my chest immediately and just soak in the newest member of the human race. It was amazing, watching him slowly pink up and just to fall in love with my third son in that moment. I didn't get that experience with my other two. Bennett didn't breathe for a minute and a half when he came out so they whisked him away to resuscitate him. Dawson was fine but I was in so much pain at that point, I just wasn't ready to hold him for more than a second. So that was it! 9:15 to 11:36am. My sister Claire got there right when he came out and Judie got there about 10 minutes later. Here she is when we told her his name, Channing Jude:
My last surprise of the day--7lb 7oz. Bennett and Dawson were both 8lb 4oz so I couldn't believe he was so much smaller! (Sure didn't feel like it those last several weeks!)
The boys came after Bennett finished preschool that day. They were both soooo excited and were exclaiming over his tiny toes and fingers.
The biggest brother:
Seth and Bethany came with Quinn, along with all the other Colyer Aunts & Uncles and cousins. My parents made a very last minute decision to drive up right away for a very quick visit. They got here super late the night he was born, hung out the whole next day, stayed one more night and left after another quick visit to the hospital the next morning. Some people might call them crazy for driving 20 hours total for a one day visit, but do you think they regretted it for a second? Nope. My mom will be back up in a few more days to stay for a whole week.
And that was the story of the day that Channing Jude Colyer decided to finally grace this world with his adorableness.