“Your stats are booming!” came across my phone the day after I gave birth to William. Given that I haven’t been the best blogger lately and kept ya’ll informed (like I did the past two pregnancies), I can imagine how people were waiting and expecting my typical birth story to follow.
This pregnancy has been anything but easy. It has been one thing after another and one scare after another. If it was a symptom, I had it. I was not exempt from anything. To sum it up in one word it was HELL. And I knew from week 12 that I was never, ever having anymore children again. I was truly miserable for 95% of my pregnancy. Even the huge, powerful kicks and movements had me so ready for it to be over. William was and is strong!
Insanely crazy how different each pregnancy was for me. Just like how each child is so different and unique in their own way. This one, by far, is incredibly interesting and shocking how it all turned out and in a way it sat heavy on my heart. But no one knew why…
I’m not even sure where to begin. Let’s just start by how I was feeling both physically and emotionally the past 9 months. COVID-19 pandemic officially kicked in and the world was closing down. My anxiety was through the roof! I was terrified of all the things. The hospital. Leaving my home. The birth. Who could I bring with me, would Bobby be able to come? Who would watch our girls for us? Would I have an allergic reaction to the epidural? Would I make it in time to get an epidural? Would Bobby be home? My mind was all over the place for 9 months and I was questioning things that I don’t even care to ramble on about on this post simply because…it’s all okay now. God took care of me.
He eased my fears. He prepared me for a HUGE surprise (are ya’ll ready for this one?). He gave me strength I never knew was there and neither did my husband. He, again, made me a fighter.
Let’s back track for a minute: William gave us a scare when I was 28 weeks pregnant. I was at H-E-B getting a few things and started to feel a “panic attack” come on completely out of no where. Hot flashes, nausea, dizziness…I rushed out of there so fast and drove the 1 mile home. The garage door was locked and I was banging on the door, fumbling for my keys in my purse to no avail. Bobby finally opened it, I tossed everything onto the floor and said: “I’m having a panic attack!”. Of course his first response was “why?” But that’s always the big mystery. Why was I having a panic attack when I was completely fine 5 minutes ago? There wasn’t any specific thought that was driving my panic (that I was aware of). I wasn’t stressed, upset or worried. It just happened. And sadly that is how my panic attacks have always came on (since the birth of Juliette). Yet this one was different. I was pregnant…
Within seconds of walking into the door, I ran into our room and into the bathroom and started throwing up. It hurt. My abdomen felt like it was bursting. Josie was still at school and this was one of the days Juliette didn’t have school. It was about an hour before Josie would arrive home on the bus. At first I told Bobby: “I think I need to go to the ER”. And we started planning who would take the girls and how we’d do it. Then I got much worse within minutes. More vomiting, another shower, more vomiting, yet again another shower. My heart was racing. I took my vitals and my blood pressure was in the 170’s and my HR was pushing 160’s. I felt that feeling of “doom”. There’s really no other way to describe it. I couldn’t wait for Josie to get home from school and off the bus, I needed to go to the ER now! The contractions kicked in and I was crying. I was so scared. I looked at Bobby and I said: “call 911. I won’t make it if we drive.” And normally I would not request such if I really knew I could make it. But I knew if we waited until Josie got off the bus and arranged help to watch the girls, I wouldn’t make it. Don’t worry, this part of my pregnancy has a good ending. I ended up being admitted after my contractions picked up much heavily and they had to give me terbutaline three times as my contractions were not letting up and William was non-stop moving and kicking in my belly. He was not resting at all! I spent the night, things calmed down and I was discharged in the morning. Things were good.
I wanted his birth story to be a positive and happy post. Yet it’s taken me nearly two months to write it simply because of what’s been going on inside my head…
April 16th isn’t just some random day to me. Anyone except my family wouldn’t know that…
William was born on the three year anniversary of my grandmas death. It’s been heavy on my heart. And these past (almost) two months I’ve been trying to find a moment to reflect and write without crying my eyes out.
Since her death, I always feel her “talking to me”. It’s daily. Something in my mind or something I see. And I always know it’s her. In my mind I give her a “Hi Gram, I hear you”. I smile and go on in my normal day to day routine. But when William was born on the anniversary of her death, I felt a part of her was born again (at least in my life). I know that may sound crazy. William is amazing. She’d adore him. After all, she was a “boy mom” with two sons; but treated my sister and I like her own daughters. She had so much love to give. And making memories was important to her. And I’ve always carried on that tradition as time went on in my life and with my children. Not one single day goes by that I do not think about her. Things may not have ended well with my entire family three years ago, but ultimately I know that she knew I loved her so much. And I was and would be forever grateful for the life lessons she taught me since I was just a little girl. (Although my wiping down on counters constantly can irritate a lot of people, especially my husband, but thanks Gram, I got that from you! Haha.) I remember watching her so closely as a little girl in that small kitchen cooking and baking like crazy. Making the best of what she had. And in my eyes, seemed like she had it all.
I felt her presence in that hospital room as I stayed there with William for several days after his birth. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it or determine what exactly it was but now that I look back, it was her. I hope I never stop seeing things that let me know that she’s speaking to me. Because although it’s a reminder that she’s no longer here in flesh, she is always here in my heart. And I hope she continues to speak to me in ways maybe I sometimes don’t understand right away.
William was born April 16, 2020…
I was in my kitchen getting all the things ready to drink, eat, take in order to get this boy out! I FaceTimed my mom while I drank my nasty drink and within about two hours or less I was calling my aunt to come watch the girls because I knew the contractions were real and I knew I was about 6cm already. We made it to the hospital and I got hooked up to monitors and my cervix was checked. Ironically the doctor taking care of me and would deliver William was the doctor who took care of me when I was in preterm labor at 28 weeks. He was a great doctor.
I have such a high pain tolerance that I think because I didn’t come in claiming to be “dying in pain”, they didn’t move as quickly as they should have to put in an IV, start fluids, etc. to get me to the requirements of even qualifying for an epidural. They admitted me to the floor after about 35 minutes in triage. Dr. Petty came in and said “you’re having a baby today, I’m sending you up to labor and delivery!” It was truly exciting. We were about to meet about little man. But in my mind I thought it would all go differently. Of course, right? That’s what we do as pregnant moms. We make birth plans and have all these expectations and items packed that go unused. That’s just the luck of the draw.
I got up to the floor within an hour of getting to the hospital. They attempted to put in an IV about 6 times with all failed attempts. It was crazy to me because I have had bulging painful veins this entire pregnancy and I certainly was not dehydrated. They hooked me up to the monitor to track my contractions and at about 15 minutes of being up there on the floor, my water broke. I felt it break, I told the nurse, she said “let me check”. She checked me and then said “nope, it didn’t”. I continued on and said “yes, it did!”. Finally when I did open my legs all that water came pouring out and within seconds Williams head was right there. I immediately screamed “I’M PUSHING!” and my husband looks over at the nurse and says “what about the epidural?” and by then they were calling stat this and stat that and I was just screaming and pushing with each contraction. Within a matter of seconds there were about 15 people in the room all in their designated spots like a code blue. The doctor gowned up all sterile and William was already halfway out. If you know one thing about my labors…I don’t wait for doctors. I’m pushing when I gotta push. There’s enough staff, someone will catch him. By the time he was ready to help assist, he had to do an episiotomy in order to help me because otherwise I may make more damage myself vs. him making a clean cut because I was not waiting any longer. The cut took all but a few seconds and I pushed two more times and William was out. And just like that, I had myself another all natural childbirth I swore I’d never have again. It was fast, it was crazy and it was beautiful. Meeting him and feeling him on my chest and hearing his cry and feeling his breath was so amazing. I’d do it over and over and over again. Because after spending two months with my little man, I’ve never felt more needed and wanted and complete. He was the missing piece to our family.
It was a quick birth. It was exactly what I wanted. Because of this virus I wanted to be in and out quick. I wanted to go at the last minute but just enough to get that epidural but not too early to be around COVID-19. Well, either way, it didn’t work out in my favor. Because I was GBS positive this pregnancy, the requirements are a bolus of fluid, and two doses of penicillin IV prior to birth. Well, as you know it, I never even had a chance to get an IV put in. So afterwards they told me because of this, they need to monitor him for an additional 48 hours to make sure he does not show signs of infection. They were still not wanting to put in an IV but I asked for one just for hydration and also asked for Pitocin because even though that drug sucks, it really does help move the healing along faster by contracting the uterus and getting all fragments and blood out, as does breast feeding. William and I spent three nights there. It was nice to have that bonding time with him but I missed my girls. And they were so excited to meet their baby brother. By the end of the night after his birth my uterus had already gone down in size as if I was two weeks postpartum. My belly was completely gone and it was insane to me how little I felt. He was my “all belly” baby. Even during delivery there was so much fluid that doctor let out a huge loud “WOW!” as it all came out with William and splashed all over my husband and his face who was behind me rubbing my hair. How’s that for payback?
So there you have it. There’s my birth story of William. Short and sweet and certainly interesting. Isn’t everything in my life interesting? It is always something. So as I sit here, right now and finish typing this post, I’m fighting my first case of mastitis. It hasn’t been a fun road of breastfeeding. It’s very much the same as the girls. My sweet boy is still determined to remind me who’s in charge now. I’m doing much better but I won’t lie when I say that natural childbirth is much LESS painful than mastitis. But that is just my opinion.
William Robert-Thomas Sock, 7lbs. 4oz, 19 inches long, born at 7:35pm, only 10 minutes after my water broke…
I miss you dearly. I love you Gram. (RIP-April 16, 2017)