Matthew's Birth--in First Person

So, I hope this post doesn't disappoint. Cole already gave most of the details about Matthew's birth, so I'm not sure what I can bring to the party. Mildy funny commentary, maybe? Well, here goes.

The night before (Tuesday night) the hospital called around 10:30. The nurse told me I was tentatively scheduled to come in at 8:15 the next morning...but that I was also 5th of 5 on the induction list and there were two scheduled c-sections that day, so I should call at 6:30 am to see what was happening. Once you consider that the hospital only has 9 labor/delivery suites and I'm known to have the worst luck ever, I just knew I was going to be bumped to another day. Cole tried to convince me that everything was going to go as planned and we were still going to have a baby the next day, but I guess I was setting myself up for the worst. After all, if I DID get bumped, who would be the most disappointed? ME.

Anyway, we went to bed and I actually slept pretty well. After all, I had talked myself out of believing that I was having a baby the next day, so my anxiety level was pretty low. Cole forgot to turn off the alerts on his cell phone, so one of them woke me up at 6:20, giving me 10 minutes to stare at the clock and worry about what was going to happen. Too bad the clock seems to move backwards when you're watching it. I waited a few minutes past 6:30 (I didn't want to seem TOO eager to the charge nurse) then made the fateful call. They told me...to call back in an hour. ARGH. They DID say that I would almost certainly be coming in, so that boosted my spirits. Cole dragged himself out of bed and put himself together while I packed a hospital bag (again--why be prepared if I wasn't going to the hospital?). This sufficiently ate up an hour. When I called the hospital again, they told me to be there at 9. WAHOO! We finished up our preparations, ate a leisurely breakfast (no milk or meat products for me), and pulled out of our driveway at 8:15. That might seem a bit early, but considering that it can take half an hour to get to Riverton Hospital from our house on a GOOD traffic day, we figured we'd better be safe and leave early rather than late (which is standard procedure for us). And, I guess you could say we were a little excited. Maybe.

Since we weren't in a hurry, we hit all the lights green and got to the hospital 15 minutes early. After parking and waddling up to labor and delivery, we had 10 minutes for me to fill out last-minute paperwork and change into my stylin' hospital gown and no-slip socks. I was ready to go at 9 on the dot. But, because L&D was busy that day, we did a lot of waiting. My nurse came in and poked the CRAP out of my left arm trying to get an IV started. It bled so bad that I started to get light-headed, which isn't usually a problem for me. "Crap," I thought. "If I can't even stand getting an IV put in, these nurses are going to laugh themselves silly if I tell them I'm planning on doing this epidural-free." Fortunately for me, the IV took way better in my right arm and they started pumping me full of saline. My doctor called to check on my progress at 9:30 and asked the on-call doctor to break my water and get pitocin going (his office is at a nearby hospital so he couldn't be there to start my labor himself). At 10:15, the on-call doctor checked my progress (3 cm, 70% effaced), broke my water, and we were off!

I was prepared for this labor to progress a lot like my labor with Lucas. After all, I had the same doctor with both births and so far everything had started about the same. My contractions started out relatively painless, like they did with Lucas, but they were much closer together--more like every 2.5 minutes rather than every 4. But, I didn't want to psych myself out and assume this labor was going to progress more quickly, because that would make it 10 times harder if it WASN'T shorter. Cole had brought his laptop with us so we could catch up on our Hulu queue, but we only made it through one episode of Castle before I couldn't really focus much. My mom was coming over to the hospital after my sister relieved her of kid-watching duties around 1:30 and Cole started to worry that she wasn't going to make it in time. I, of course, knew that this baby wasn't coming until at least 6 or 7 so I didn't stress about it. She ended up getting there around 2:30, which was actually just in time for the good stuff to start happening.

I think things might have started moving faster because I wanted to eat. To this point I had been pretty hungry. After all, I'd only eaten some toast and a granola bar before coming to the hospital. Plus, I had just finished filling out my menu for my next three meals, and even though I didn't expect to be finished laboring before dinner time I had "ordered" a steak and potatoes for that meal. To top it all off, my mom brought Cole a ginormous Carl's Jr. burger and fries, and the smell was overpowering. Whatever the reason, my contractions started increasing in intensity just after my mom got there. They weren't unbearable, but I certainly had to focus a little more during each one. "Man, if these contractions are starting to hurt now, I don't think I'll make it until 6 or 7 tonight. I might have to get an epidural," I thought.

Between 3:45 and 4:00 I was starting to vocalize with contractions, and I started to wonder if I was really on the homestretch--with Lucas' labor, it wasn't more than an hour and a half between this point and delivery. I was at about a 6, and I started getting concerned about whether or not my doctor was going to make it to deliver the baby. I didn't want the nurses to wait too long to call him because he had to come quite a ways from his office. If I was ready to push and the nurses told me, "don't push until your doctor gets here" I MIGHT have killed someone. Lucky for me, another one of his patients was about ready to deliver so he was already at the hospital. I swear I heard choirs of angels singing when he peeked his head in my room to check on me (looking back, it might have actually been my ears ringing from a particularly difficult contraction).

As soon as I knew my doctor was there I was feeling pressure to push during contractions. Unfortunately for me, I had to wait until his other patient delivered before I got my turn. I still think I should have had my turn first because SHE had an epidural and could wait 10 minutes. I, on the other hand, was going to die if I had to wait much longer. The nurses prepped the room for delivery, and after what seemed like a million years my doctor came running in, still in his gown and gloves from the other delivery. He stripped them off, re-dressed in a clean gown and gloves, and it was go time.

When it finally came time to push I was surprised at how painful it was. I don't remember feeling the "ring of fire" when I pushed with Lucas, but it was definitely there this time! I was a little hesitant to push at first because of the pain, but then my desire to get the baby out overcame my fear and 3 solid pushes later Matthew made his debut.

I love this picture. The expression on my face perfectly expresses exactly what I was feeling at this moment
He cried almost the instant he was born, and my first thought was, "He sounds just like Lucas!" They placed him on my belly and cleaned him up a little, then Cole cut the umbilical cord. Then came the best part: SKIN-TO-SKIN. They stuck Matthew right inside my hospital gown while I delivered the placenta and the doctor assessed the damage. I was pretty sure I'd need some heavy reconstructive work because of how raw everything felt, so I was surprised when he said I didn't need any stitching. Then, he and the nurses had to run back over to the other delivery to finish up so I got at least 30 minutes of uninterrupted snuggle time with my new little man.

We had just enough time to snap a picture with my doctor
The nurses came back to get the stats on Matthew--8 lb., 3 oz., 20.5 in. long--and got him wrapped up tight. While they were gone, my much-awaited dinner arrived! Turns out they start serving dinner at 5 pm, so I delivered just in time. You can bet I ate every single bite of THAT meal with relish!

My nurse was a little bit concerned about my bleeding, so she had to start ANOTHER IV (because she had taken mine out already) to continue pitocin to help out. I was not super pleased about that. After getting poked again, I was ready to be moved to the mom & baby unit. As we passed through the doors from L&D we were serenaded by Brahm's Lullaby over the hospital speakers. We got all settled in our new room just in time for my sister and the big brothers to arrive. They were so darling with the baby! My mom swears that Lucas said, "Hi, brother" when he first saw Matthew.

Kyle kept pulling faces in all of the pictures

(This pic is from Thursday) Lucas was so proud to hold Matthew!
My experience at Riverton Hospital was excellent. All of the nurses were really helpful and conscientious without being invasive. I was allowed to labor without a lot of interruption from the staff. They never took Matthew away from us--they even gave him his first bath in our room so I could see! I almost felt bad leaving a day early because everything had been so wonderful, but I was READY to go home. We left late Thursday afternoon to start our lives as a family of 5.


Matthew Tanner Christensen

So for blogger land, here we go!

Matthew Tanner Christensen was born today March 21, 2012. Let me give the stats and a quick overview of how it played out. Stay tuned for Jessica's more in depth.

Time of Birth: 4:41pm
Weight: 8lbs. 3oz.
Height: 20.5 inches

So, we got to the hospital at 9am for our scheduled induction. Water was broken at 10:15 and we expected to wait a while for anything to happen. Jessica started having contractions before the started the pitocin. She progressed pretty steadily until about 2:30pm when the contractions picked up until 3:30pm when she was ready to push. The nurse came in and agreed and called Jessica's doctor. He was already arriving at the hospital for another patient that was ready tp push as well, who happened to be right across the hallway from us. He checked Jessica and said that he was going to deliver the other baby and be right back to deliver ours. So, he did, Jessica did amazing, but was done and wanted to push. He came back in still covered from the last birth 5 seconds before. had Jessica push 3 times and Matthew was here. He then ran out to finish up with the other baby then returned back to us. The delivery nurse had to do the same, she left Matthew on Jessica's chest for 30 minutes while she went and did all of the stats for the other baby, then came back and did Matthew. They never took the baby out of eye sight and were just amazing. We then were moved to our room less than an hour after the birth.

All in all a great experience, amazing doctor, nurses, Momma Kenner and no complications. So start to finish, 6 hours 30 minutes. Jessica said it was a ton faster but harder then Lucas.

Baby is great, and Jessica is even better. No stitches or anything, recovery should be quick!


Friday Letters

Dear Blog-Land,
I'm sorry I've been an absentee blogger of late. Unfortunately, it won't get a lot better, since my next 2 weeks are chock-full of busy-ness. However, all the excitement should give me lots of material for blogs once everything is over and done with. But, I make no guarantees.

Much love,
The most boring person on the internet right now

Dear KitchenAid,
Thank you thank you THANK YOU for making my life so much easier. I can't believe I let myself think you were too bulky to be functional. I'll never break up with you again, as long as you keep making my rolls and cookies full of awesome.

An ardent admirer of your greatness

Dear Lucas-man,
You are such a super trooper! I can't believe how happy you've been the last few days, despite having croup AND bronchitis at the same time. Also, thank you for all of the snuggles and loves you've given me. You're one of the best cuddlers I know.


Dear Dr. So-and-So,
Thank you for being an awesome pediatrician. Also, thank you for not judging me when I bring my sick child in and you tell me that he's EXTREMELY sick and I didn't even know it. Oh, and thanks for diagnosing my sinus infection even though you're not my doctor--I promise I'm taking care of that.

A tired mom who only SEEMS clueless (I promise)

P.S. I'm sorry my kid cries every time he looks at you. It's not personal, really.

Dear Kyle,
I can't believe how grown up you're getting! I love how helpful you are--thanks for grabbing a diaper for me when I asked you to and not even talking back. Any more time wasted and Lucas would have peed on me. Also, I love how great you are at telling stories. You definitely keep us entertained. It's enough to overlook the times when you tell me, "Daddy's going to KILL you!" or "You're really bugging me right now!"


Dear Utah Weather,
I hate you.

Someone who gets a sinus infection every time the weather abruptly changes...which is at least once a week in Utah

Dear Daylight Savings Time,
Even though I enjoy having one more hour of daylight, you couldn't have come at a more inconvenient time. Losing an hour of sleep when I have ward council at 7:30 AM is not what I call ideal. You should think about that next time.

A less-than-eager "Spring Forward" follower

Dear Cole,
Thank you for being bossy this week. I know I tend to overdo it and these next two weeks are going to be killer, so thank you for reminding me to slow down and take care of myself first before I worry about everything else. Also, thank you for making me take medicine for my sinus infection. I feel a million times better today. Mostly, thanks for being exactly who I need you to be, even if I don't always know who that is. I love you.

Your sick-but-getting-better wife

Dear bloated, swollen, pregnant, exhausted body,
We only have two and a half weeks left. We can do this. Please don't give up on me now.


Dear Primary,
I sure wish you could run yourself right now. I think my counselors and I need a break.

Your overwhelmed and not-so-fearless leader

Dear baby-in-my-belly Matthew,
I'm glad you're such a good mover, but could you PLEASE stop abusing my internal organs? I'm not sure they can take much more abuse. Plus, I'm kind of tired of almost peeing my pants. Also, if you could hurry up and make your appearance it would be much appreciated. I don't think I've ever been more anxious to meet someone than I am to meet you.

Your mommy, who loves you so much even though she hasn't met you yet

P.S. If you're going to choose to come early, could you not choose next Thursday? It would be a little embarrassing to have my water break during Uncle Nathan's wedding or reception.

Dear God,
Even though you keep throwing me curveballs at the most inopportune times, I'm pretty certain there's no one who is more blessed than I am. Thanks for giving me those reminders when I need them.

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