I knew from the get go that my midwife and friend, Jessica Rowan, would not be there to deliver my son that Saturday. It was hard to wrap my mind around. She had been there for me since before Belle was born and not having her there to deliver my next child was painful. She is such a rock to me; calm, collected, informative, and encouraging. I did find out later that she seriously considered skipping the wedding she was going to just so she could be there for me. I’m glad she stuck to her plans because I know it was important for her and her husband, but I love that she loves me. In a nutshell, someone I didn’t know would be delivering my baby.
In the birthing room I decided to try a birthing ball. It was ok. I ended up standing and bending over the bed when I would have a contraction but sat on it in between which felt nice.
I was so tired. Giving birth is no joke. I met the midwife who was going to deliver my baby; Erika. I also had another midwife in there, Peggy, who was there to help Erika since she was new to their practice. They were both very kind. A bit civil and straightforward, though. They weren’t in the room a lot. They came in to check on me and then would leave.
Lisa asked me if I wanted to keep pacing the room but I was wearing out and wanted to lay down for a bit.
Lisa left to feed her son, Nathaniel, around 9:30am. I can’t stress enough how tired I was. Physically, emotionally, mentally. I really wanted to do this naturally again like I had with Belle (that was a surreal experience). However, I felt done. I started considering getting an epidural. I pulled Nick close in between a contraction and told him what I was thinking. His words? “I think you should do it. It will keep your mom and I from crying anymore while watching you in all this pain.” I don’t know why I felt ashamed to do this but I did. Eventually I felt brave enough and I asked the nurse how far was too far along to get an epidural. She said if I wanted it, it would be best to act on it quickly. I made the decision. I was done. I was tired. I got an epidural around 10/10:30am. I was almost 8cm dilated.
Now I was freezing. They piled heated blankets on top of me. My midwife asked me if I wanted to take a nap. Um. No. I was there to have a baby. Just because I had an epidural didn’t mean I was bowing out! It felt so weird to labor without feeling my labor. My midwife said I was having very regular contractions. The rest felt nice though. I got to talk to my support team and close my eyes to build back up my strength. Around 11ish (Lisa was back now), Nick called Alex Dunn and asked him to bring food for them all. Lisa asked me if I wanted water, to which I said yes, and she proceeded to pull out her phone and take pictures of me instead. Apparently I found this hilarious. Yes, that’s a laugh face not a contraction face. And look at my IV hand…oh my gosh I hate IVs.
I started missing my girls. Nick decided to FaceTime with them before the baby boy was born so we could explain what was going on and why we weren’t there. It was such a sweet time. Soon they were going to have a baby brother and it wouldn’t be just “the girls” anymore! Solace kept saying “the baby’s comin’!”
Around 11:30 or so my midwife came in to tell me that she and Peggy would be assisting a c-section soon. She said she was going to check me to see how far along I was. I was 10cm. She asked me if we could do a “test push” to determine how long it was going to take me to deliver. As I pushed she says, “oh wow ok yeah. This is probably gonna be a 2 pusher. Can you just hold on for a second? Yeah, we have to get ready.” Bizzare. That’s what I remember saying right after. Not only was I not feeling my contractions, but apparently I was far enough along in my labor that they had to stop me because they weren’t ready yet!
During that first push, my nurse said they noticed some meconium so they were going to have another nurse on hand when I birthed him just in case anything went wrong. I think my heart rate dropped. That made me really nervous. She was so comforting though and stopped, looked me in the face and told me to be calm and they were going to do everything in their power to make sure my baby was fine.
In the end, I pushed 13 times over the course of 7 minutes. He was born at 12:08pm. (9 hours of labor) When the laid him on my chest, he wasn’t crying and I wanted to cry. They cleaned out his mouth and nose and rubbed his back vigorously. I talked to him and told him I was there and would he please cry? When he did finally, there were huge cheers from everyone and I felt myself relax. My boy. My sweet boy was here. Nick cut the cord and I got to hold him closer to my face.
Remember that food everyone ordered for lunch? Immediately after Roman was born, there was a knock at the door. It was Alex with lunch! Haha. We all completely forgot about it. Nick got the door and food, thanked Alex and told him Roman had just been born so he couldn’t come in! Oh my…thanks Alex!
I held Roman under my clothes, on my skin, for the next 2 hours before we weighed him or anyone else held him. He slept so sweetly and smelled so good. They stitched me up during this time because of course I tore. However, they didn’t tell me how badly it was. (I found out 6 weeks postpartum from Jessica that I tore about a 2 on a scale of 1-4.) Then I nursed him. They said he would probably get in a good 10 minutes which would be great. He ended up nursing for half an hour! We were all shocked and so happy. They finally weighed him and measured his height and he came in at 8 lbs 10 oz, 19 1/4 in long (my shortest baby!). Nick finally got to hold his son then.
Some of the sweetest memories of Roman’s birth was that my mom got to be a part of the whole thing. She had always arrived a day or two after the girls were born. Also, my dad got to the hospital straight from the airport (thanks Andy Wambem! That’s the second time he has visited after one of our babies was born) only 3 hours after Roman was born. He was actually the 3rd person to hold Roman! I will always cherish the fact that they were there. He also brought me Chick-fil-a :).
We had kept the middle names a secret from our parents the entire pregnancy. You see, August is Nick’s dad’s middle name and Clark is my dad’s middle name. We wanted to honor our dads (with a twist) but didn’t want them to find out until he was born. It was so special to surprise them with that.
Everyone one had left (my parents went to take care of our girls) and it was just us with Roman. They moved me to my postpartum room and we rested and ate and stared at our son. We also FT’d with Nick’s family and introduced them to their new grandson and told them his full name as well!
The dazed “what just happened, why am I in pain” look:
We had some visitors later in the evening. First being our girls :) They were so, so, so excited to meet Roman, that they fought over holding him and Nick had to take Belle out to calm her down!
Dan, Emily, Abby, and Randy + Lisa came afterwards with Met Market pizza and treats. Then Randy prayed over Roman. It was beautiful. What an amazing day.
I love you Roman August Clark! I loved my experience with you.