I am sitting here in the wee hours of the morning listening to almost 24-hour old grunts and whimpers. With two toddlers at home, I have determined in the next few weeks I will be much too weary to write this, let alone pour through my memories of how my delivery with little Vinnie went.
To be fair, my labor started March 19th. Regular contractions and increasing pain, we were on the way to Tripler to find a sweet angel face, Captain Swift! The very same midwife to catch my Maebel. After four hours of walking and no progress, she sent us home without admitting us. The beauty of midwives who care for you and your birth is that they never rush you, no matter how much it looks like labor.
I spent the next ten days in and out of the hospital with various regular contractions and other routine checks. I had gathered by Sunday that something was up with baby’s positioning, but I wasn’t dilated enough for the midwife on call that day, Dana, to tell me for certain. She assured my it wasn’t early or false labor and encouraged me further to not be discouraged. It was only a matter of time after all.
I spent the week in various yoga poses, swimming, and every trick in the book to align my third musketeer, but to no avail. The active contractions never lasted longer than 3 hours, and never increased in pain past the same point.
Finally, March 28. My due date. My husband had duty and planned to be home Sunday morning. I went to the store and picked up castor oil and orange juice. Saturday was the last day Captain Swift worked nights and I wanted her and nobody else!
After 4 hours of bathroom visits , I passed out on my bed with napping Salem. Thirty minutes later a mean contraction pulled me from my sleep.
I had planned for the castor oil to relieve me of the last ten days of a different kind of build up caused by my mal-aligned baby. I had hoped labor would be a side effect later that evening. Mixing the long drive to the hospital with a husband on duty, I planned to get there early rather than too late.
The contractions were increasing in strength much more quickly this time and I arrived at 7 PM. Much to my dismay, still a solid 3 CM and 70%!!! Swift had me walk for 2 hours around the hospital while sebastian went back to work to finish up some of his duties. Thank heavens for the helpful men in his division.
He returned and we marched back in for an exam. 3 CM 70%. This was the first of many discouraging exams. I progressed, but never as steadily or as much as we all hoped and thought. With mine and my husbands consent, Kristen manually dilated me to a 4 and sent us walking another hour. The hope was that I would dilate more on my own and she could admit me in an hour and break my water and I could hold a baby in a few hours.
This took convincing. With Salem, my water broke at 5 CM and so much pain and a long labor followed. Maebel, my water remained in tact until 9 CM and Kristen manually broke it. The only 15 minutes of pain I had in her labor happened after the bag was broken. I most certainly did not want a long and painful labor (which is exactly what happened). I have chalked this up to being the result of birthing our boys. So two more girls, four years from now is fine by me.
I was admitted and we walked for thirty minutes. At this point it was around midnight and I was feeling the fatigue and praying for the signs of transition. None to be found and I had only progressed to a 5. More walking. And rocking. And birthing stools and squats and lamenting in my bed when 5:00 AM rolled around and I was 6-7. Kristen was leaving at 6:00 AM. She assured me that it could still happen, but we’d have to work for it. More walking, some puking, and 6:00 AM came with a farewell to my favorite midwife, incredible back labor, and a completely discouraged Candace.
Luckily, Dana was the replacement and she was well liked and trusted by my husband and me.
Around 7:20 am I was working hard on 7-8 cm and the pressure was making me so panicked over pushing. And there was back labor.
You guys, all I wanted was my mom. There is something about labor that makes a girl want her mom. Dana was on board and pushed us to call her. So we did. I got very overwhelmed by having the phone near my head, so sebastian put her on speaker. And every person in the room was crying. Every person. Literally. She’s exactly what the doctor ordered for this laboring lady. I love my mom. For real.
The back labor made everything impossible. The fire is nothing to be compared. It’s real. It feels like death. And somehow makes contractions worse… Which I never knew was possible.
Dana recommended saline shots to relieve the back pain. She told me its “uncomfortable” and this is the understatement of a lifetime. Worse than contractions with back labor. Something else i didn’t know was possible. It felt like someone put kerosene on my lower back and lit it on fire. The catch about this back labor relief? She had to feel where the labor was during a contraction. THEN INSERTED THE SOLUTION DURING THE NEXT CONTRACTION.
Dana was a pro though. She managed flawlessly even though I was screaming and swearing at her to get off. She proudly proclaimed after that that was the best she’d ever done! Which had I been myself I would have been so supportive. Instead I shot daggers from my eyes (I think).
The solution did so much for me though. I could finally focus mentally on getting through the contractions and coach my body to listen and feel the baby. The back labor could no longer win. She measured me, I was 8 and 90% and baby was “all sorts of crooked.” She was pleading with me to get on my hands and knees or lean over the back of the bed, but I couldn’t make myself.
I sat reclined in the bed, miserable, and pleading with God to make each contraction the one for me to push. Dana didn’t want to do any more exams because my water hadn’t been intact for 7 hours so I had to blindly trust my body to tell me when.
I bargained with God. I told him, “listen. If I sit up and lean forward and rock through this next contraction, you will let the following one be the push.”
I wrestled through the agony, and leaned back again. The next contraction i could push. And I felt the baby turtle. I told Dana I was going to push next time. I could feel the pressure. She casually started putting on her gloves, remarkably similar to watching Kristen for Maebel. His tiny little head surprised her and she hurried the glove on, urging me to slow down and holding the baby’s head in.
She asked if sebastian if he wanted to help, which he quickly declined, as per usual, but Kayla happily volunteered. He came a little too quickly and a bit slippery for Kayla to quite help as much as shed hoped, but the intent was there!
Daddy announced “boy!!” At 8:49 AM on March 29, 2015. Our sweet little Marvin Kent Jesse Whiting was born and worth every cried tear and pain. He weighed 7 pounds 5.5 oz and was 19.5 inches long. He was my first baby to immediately be placed on me, as Salem had rapid breathing and Maebel passed meconium. Those first few minutes were incredibly special, though and I’m sad in retrospect that I didn’t have them with my other babes.
Marvin is Sebastian’s grampa’s middle name. A truly spectacular man that touched my life the moment I met him. He is the most generous man I have ever had the pleasure of meeting and by far the most incredible stories and sense of humor. I hope a little bit of his personality comes with the name.
Kent is my father’s middle name. In case you don’t know him, you’re missing out. He knows exactly what to say in every moment and has the best worst jokes you’ve ever heard. He also knows the most about everything that the world doesn’t seem to care about. His love for his family can’t ever be explained, but if you’re around us, you’ll see it. He has the biggest heart and the greatest mind.
Jesse is the name of Sebastian’s older brother. We didn’t know him, we’ve only heard about him and Michael, which is who Salem is named after. We certainly feel his life and know that had he been around, we would have loved him dearly. I’m thankful for another little boy to fill up this name with a wonderful life to show for it.
Marvin means: sea fortress and mariner. We didn’t know that he would be in our lives before daddy left to be our sea fortress submariner, but God did and he knew he should join us as soon as our submariner came home.
Kent means: white, pure, clean. The third child is rumored to be the peacemaker and love bringer. We can definitely pray for this to be truth about him.
Jesse means: One who is a gift. Gifts aren’t always easy, but there is always something to be learned and gained from them. I do know that he is always going to be a gift that I am so thankful for having been given and I hope that he’s an easy gift, but that’s just my selfish desire.
Our family feels very complete. Our hope and prayer is to have 3 years to enjoy the three we have before we start to discuss growing again, but Vinnie will hopefully not be our last little bundle.