On Friday (Nov. 5th), Nick and I both worked as usual. As part of Nick's job as chaplain, he does a lot of hospital visits around northwest Arkansas and sometimes even goes to Tulsa or Joplin. He spent the majority of the day in Tulsa. We decided we should go on one more hot date before little Caleb came since we were scheduled to go in to be induced on Sunday (plus, we had a gift card to Red Lobster - and who can resist those tasty little biscuits??!). So I got home around 5 pm and Nick at about 6 pm.
We left for Rogers (the town Red Lobster is in, about 30 min or so from our house) a little after 6:30. Well, on the ride there, I started to feel my lower ab area getting tight (kinda like monthly cramps). After that happened twice, I turned to Nick and said, "Hey Nick, just so you know, I'm starting to feel things getting tight. Something's starting to happen, but I'm not exactly sure if this is the real deal or not..." (you know, I'd never done this before). So Nick started timing these contractions (because that's what they were!) and they were about 4 1/2 to 6 1/2 minutes apart. Once we realized how close they were together we were kinda like, "That's pretty fast....aren't they supposed to start out real slow and take awhile to get to this point?" We got to Red Lobster and Nick's asked me what I wanted to do. I was really torn, because I had my heart set on those dang biscuits...hehe...but then I had another contraction in the parking lot and we decided to grab some Steak 'n Shake drive thru (it was right next door) and head home, just in case. So, the whole way back, contractions are like 4 1/2-5 min apart, but not too intense.
We get home and eat our meal really fast, but during it - I stood up to get something and thought I felt my water break (like I said, new experience for me, so I wasn't completely sure). After that, contractions started getting a little closer and more intense. Nick went to shave and grab a few more things and I grabbed just a couple of things. We called our parents just to let them know things were starting to happen (this was at about 9:15 pm - and they were all planning on coming down the next morning anyway because we were going to get induced Sunday). At about 9:30, I said, "Nick we need to go to the hospital." Contractions were about 3 1/2 - 4 min apart. So we head to Siloam Springs and get there about 10 pm (and our parents leave Wichita to start their 4 hour drive --- and on the way there, contractions are at about 2 1/2-3 min apart).
When we got to the hospital, all of their beds were full in the maternity wing (lots of babies that weekend), so they put us in a temporary bed to make sure it was the real deal. I was dilated about 3 cm and they said my water had definitely broken (which is a good thing we didn't go to Red Lobster, because if we had, my water definitely would have broken there). yikes...
About 2 hours later I was at 6 cm and the contractions were super intense and painful. I was asking for my epidural, and they said they were about to move us into a real room (they had to kick someone out of their room - sorry to whoever that was!) and then we got moved in and I had to have a bag of fluids run through me before I could get the epidural (which they said would take 20 min - that's a long time when the contractions are so so intense!!). Once we got moved into the room, I was at 7 cm and then Dr. Crownover (my OB doc - he's the best...seriously!) came in about 20 min later and checked and said I was at a 9!! Whoa, that was fast! And still no epidural! owwie! He said the anesthesiologist was right outside the door but they were going to do a spinal tap instead because I was moving so fast. Dr. Cooper was the anesthesiologist (he is super great as well!) came in and gave me the spinal tap and after that it was like no pain. Ahhhh....sweet relief. :) Then the nurses said it was about time to start pushing (it was about 2 am at this point) and our moms walked in the door - perfect timing!
So, about 20 minutes or so later, they had everything ready and it was time to start pushing. And let me tell you, that was the hardest 2 hours of my life. And most painful. While the spinal tap numbed everything, I could still feel the pressure in my pelvis and it hurt so bad, but the only way to get through it was to push. So, 2 hours later (seriously, I think I only made it 2 hours by the grace of God and the help and encouragement of my husband and mom and mother-in-law), Caleb Nicholas Braschler entered the world at 5:14 am.
What an incredible feeling to have that experience. One of a kind. The emotions I experienced in that moment were unbelievable. It's amazing how much little Caleb has already changed in just 10 or so days. I'm pretty biased, but I think he's a cutie. :) hehe....
Anyway, that's the short and long version of our birth story. We're so grateful for our families that came down and for all the visits from friends and extended family and the delicious meals! Thank you everyone for the well wishes and all your help and support!
Now for some pictures...
Our new and improved family!
A proud daddy.
My doctor - Dr. Crownover. He's the best!
My parents with their first grandson.
Nick's parents with their first grandson.
Nick's brother and his wife with little Caleb.
Nick's brother Jake with Caleb.
4 generations of Braschler men.
My sister, Julie, with Caleb.
Our little cutie pie.