Monday, June 3, 2013

Hunter's Birth Story

He's finally here!
 After a what seemed at times to be the longest 39 weeks and 4 days of my life, our little Hunter David Arnold joined the world on May 30th 2013 at 10:29 pm, weighing in at 9 lbs even and 21" long.

I have a lot I want to remember about his birth so this is gonna be long, so if your not into birth stories here is the short and sweet version:

Arrived at the hospital at 3:45 pm
Broke my water at 7:30 pm
Requested an epidural at 8:00 pm and was hooked up by 8:45 pm
Checked at 10:15 pm and was 10 cm dilated
Started pushing at 10:26 pm and Hunter arrived at 10:29 pm

At my 38 week appointment I was measuring 4 cm and about 60% effaced. My doctor told me she thought it could be any day that Hunter would join us. With this grain of hope in mind, I spent most of my days walking and walking and walking, eating pineapple (to ripen the cervix of course!), and bouncing on my birth ball, all with no success.
Claire liked to bounce on her "birth ball" with mommy too!

Wednesday the 29th came along and I had an appointment with a midwife at my doctors office at 8:15 am. She did a cervical check and I was still sitting at 4 cm and 60% effaced, so I asked if she would strip my membranes since I was close to my due date. She agreed and warned me that she had pretty good luck putting people into labor by doing this; I hoped she was right. We were in and out of the doctors office in about 15 minutes, so Claire and I made a quick run to Winco afterwards and by 9:15 we were on our way home. I was feeling a little crampy, so I called my mom and told her to keep her phone close, just in case. Well it was only about a half hour later that I was in some serious contraction pain. I called my mom again and asked her to come and get Claire, then called Drew and told him he needed to come home! Drew and I walked the neighborhood a few times during the day, and I was having consistent contractions about 7 minutes apart for a while, when they just stopped.
Here we are being Oregonians and walking in the rain, trying to get Hunter out! You can tell by my face I'm having a great time. Ha!

Labor with Claire was the same way, so my mom and dad kept Claire overnight just in case things started up again.

I was so discouraged from stalled labor that I planned to have brunch with my friends Kristin and Aleah the next morning, so that I would have something fun to look forward to the next day, instead of moping around and being sad that I was still pregnant.

My mom dropped Claire off on her way to work the next morning (Thursday) and Kristin, Aleah, and little Max came over and we all ate waffles and watched the kids play until it was nap time. I had a few contractions on and off while they were there, but they weren't too painful and were still about 10 minutes apart. After everyone left and Claire was napping I started to get more uncomfortable so I called to let Drew know, and we agreed that I should keep timing them and he should stay at work for a while longer. When the contractions were about 6 minutes apart I called labor and delivery to get advice as to when I should come in. I felt a little silly calling since I had technically done this before, but my contractions just didn't seem painful enough to go in yet. The nurse said that since it was my second and I was already dilated to 4, that I could at least come in and get checked. Drew came home from work and we loaded Claire into the car and dropped her off at my mom's work around 3:00pm (which is about 5 minutes from the hospital). I got pretty emotional about leaving Claire again. This was the 3rd time that we thought I may be in labor and had sent Claire to stay with my parents, and I didn't want to spend my last few days with her always sending her away and then not actually going into labor. I told my mom "I bet they'll send us home, so we can just come and get Claire from your house afterwards".

We got to the hospital at 3:45 pm, I had a contraction in the parking lot so we stopped, then Drew prayed for us, and we headed inside. After turning in our registration forms we went to  triage room and waited for a midwife to come and check me. I was hooked up to a monitor for my contractions and one for Hunter's heart rate as well. The midwife came in at 4:00 pm and checked me. I was guessing I would be maybe 5 cm, so I was shocked when she said "Yep, you'll be staying. You're 7 cm and 100% effaced". Drew and I were both in shock since I had gotten my epidural with Claire at 6 cm. We were moved to our labor room (room 7) and got checked in the rest of the way. We called my mom to let her know that were actually staying and even further along than we had thought, so she made her way to the hospital. When she got there, she actually thought I had already gotten my epidural since I was just chatting away with my nurse and Drew. This was one of the weirdest parts for me; being so far dilated but having such manageable contractions.
Last picture as a puffy pregnant lady! 


 I think I knew in the back of my mind that I was going to need to get my water broken to keep progressing, but we kept laboring for a while. Not long after my mom got there, the nurse filled the big tub for me and I sat in there and watched food network with Drew. I joked about how I felt like I was just at the spa watching TV and not actually in labor. Since I felt like my contractions were slowing down I asked to get out of the tub to see it would help speed things back up. I bounced on the birth ball for a while, and then around 7 we met our new midwife that had come on with the shift change. I asked her to check me since things had slowed a bit, and sure enough I was still sitting at 7 cm, so we both agreed it was time to break my water to help things along.

I knew that in my labor with Claire that breaking my water had been a huge turning point in my progression but also in my pain level, so I wasn't looking forward to it. At 7:30pm she broke my water. Apparently I had a very strong bag of waters and the midwife had a hard time getting my water to break. Hunters head was so low that while she thought she had gotten through the bag, she wasn't seeing a lot of fluid coming out. She said to labor for a while and see if it did anything, and if not she would possibly try to break it again if it hadn't broken all the way. Well, it broke alright, and my contractions went from very manageable to off the charts. I felt like such a baby, but I only lasted through about 30 minutes of those contractions before I told my nurse that I wanted the epidural!

The anesthesiologist came in and got my epidural set up and about 45 minutes later I was feeling better. I could still feel the left side of my stomach so they had me roll to my left side and see if it would help the medicine take. When that didn't seem to be working they up'd my dose. This made my epidural crazy strong! With Claire I had still been able to lift my legs and feel pressure from my contractions, but this time I was so numb I couldn't even begin to lift my legs. I was so nervous about not being able to feel anything! Around 10:00pm our midwife came in to check and see if I had made any progress after the epidural had been placed. She got a very surprised look on her face and said "Well your 10 and his head is right there". By 'right there' I figured she meant that he was 0 station, but when I said that she said "No, I mean I can see his head, he's at a +2 station". I was shocked! She said there were two other people ready to push right now as well and asked if I could wait a few minutes. Still being in denial I said "sure, I can labor down for a while" to which she laughed and said "I don't think you can labor down, there isn't anywhere else for him to go!".
 I asked if they could turn off my epidural since I didn't think there was any way I would be able to push since I couldn't feel anything. The doctor came in about the same time the epidural got turned off to take over for the midwife since she was still delivering someone else. She said "Why don't you just try to push and see what happen?". I told her I would try but was pretty skeptical. I pushed through the first contraction and figured nothing happened, but out came his head (and his hand haha), and three minutes and two contractions later he was here!




He came out screaming and didn't let up much until about 2 hours later. He has quite the set of lungs on him!


Other than some slightly scary postpartum hemorrhaging, labor and delivery went faster and smoother than either Drew or I could have expected.
 We are so thankful and feeling very blessed to be home with our little family!

Claire meeting her baby brother for the first time!

Getting ready to head home from the hospital. 

First time home with Hunter!


  1. Such an adventure! And it's just beginning. I'm so happy for all four of the Arnolds!

  2. Congratulations! She is going to be a great big sis! Shari

  3. So glad everything went smoothly! Enjoy all those baby snuggles!!