By the end of that last week, I started trying more of the 'tricks' to induce labor. We took a very bumpy ride in Jared's hunting Jeep on Friday evening, then went for HOT wings and a walk before dark. Mae wasn't quite sure about the bumpy ride! Ha! I did have some contractions that evening, but they fizzled out pretty quickly.
Saturday morning, the 16th, all 3 kids went to Papaw and Mamaw's for the day. I took the opportunity to rest and to do something I said I'd never do....I took a half dose of castor oil, in hopes that it would get something started. Everything I read said that it would work, if your body was ready. Well, if it's not ready at 41+ weeks, it's never ready! I took a dose at 8:45 and another at 10:45. I had the GI side effects very mildly for about an hour, then nothing. Supposedly it takes 12-24 hours for labor to start after taking the castor oil, so I was hopeful!
Jared took me on another bumpy Jeep ride, then I rested a lot in the afternoon. I did start having some contractions mid-afternoon, but they didn't hurt and were very short. Jared picked up the kids and got home around 7, I think. We got them bathed and settled and I took another walk. I had some more contractions on the walk.....more frequent, but still short. After I showered and rested, they spaced back out a bit, but were actually a little painful. I finally had hope that he would be born before the induction!
Last baby belly picture (ever, I hope...ha!) at 41w3d.....I was pretty sure I was in early labor at this point.
I tried to keep moving around, in hopes to keep them going, and it worked! I finally got in bed around 11 pm and tried to sleep some. I dozed until 11:45ish, then had to get up because of the contractions (so, 45 minutes of sleep the whole night). They were lasting about 45 seconds, but only really painful for about 10 seconds while they peaked. They were still irregular....some would be less than 3 minutes apart and some 5 minutes.
This whole time, I've been worried about staying home too long and having the baby in the car or something. ha! So, I didn't want to wait too long, but I also didn't want to get there and have the contractions fade once they made me stay in the bed (for the most part). I have always HATED laying in the bed and laboring....really uncomfortable. I was hoping to get to the hospital around 5-6 cm.
I woke Jared up and called the sitter around 1:30, I think, and we headed over to the hospital. I had pre-registered for the induction, so my info was all there and check in was quick. The poor lady at the desk was in a panic when I told her it was the 4th baby and 11 days overdue. I think she thought I was going to have him right there at her desk. Ha!
Once I got upstairs and settled into the triage room, they said I was 4 cm and "congratulations, you're in labor! You get to stay!". I told her that there was no way I would have left the hospital no matter what she said. :p Apparently a lot of people come in before it's time.
I got to my room from there and, as I expected, the contractions slowed down some since I had to stay on the monitors. I finally convinced my nurse to let me get up and walk around some, but I was also sooooo sleepy (it was probably 4am at this point), so I wanted to rest too. I walked and rested for a bit and by 7 or so, I was 6.5 cm. The contractions were still spaced out several minutes and not hurting terribly bad, but the on-call Dr was coming soon and would break my water, which would make him drop down and the contractions pick up, so I went ahead and told them I'd take the epidural at any time.
The anesthesiologist came around 8, I think, and did the epidural. Tiny prick, no pain, and it took pretty well. They changed epidurals since I had Mae. It used to be a continuous dose and you couldn't bolus more (it always made me almost too numb anyway), but this time it's a smaller continuous dose and you have a button to push for more, if you need it. I really liked that because I could still move my legs some and feel the contractions, but it took the edge off.
Julee Brooke picked up Arabelle, Bo, and Mae from the house and brought them to the hospital for us. Jared brought Arabelle and Bo in (didn't want Mae to get upset and not want to leave the room) after the epidural. Arabelle was a bit hesitant and didn't stay long, but Bo was his usual self. :)
I slept off and on after that. At 10ish, I was 9 cm. At some point before that they started some pitocin to get the contractions moving a long.
Probably around 10:45, they started prepping the room and the nurse said I was 10 cm. At 11, Dr Diamond came in and the show began and 12 minutes later, there was Zeke!
With the way the epidural worked, I could feel the contractions and feel him being born, but it wasn't a painful thing (thankfully!), just pressure. With the other kids, once the head was delivered, the rest of them came on with very little effort, but with Z, it was different (and a bit scary for a brief moment). His head was delivered and I started pushing for the rest of him, but he didn't come on out. Dr. Diamond (who is not my regular Dr, but delivered Arabelle) always seems so laid back, but he had a bit of panic/urgency in his voice when he said, "Come on Katie, you've got to get this baby out", so one BIG push and out he came!
I can not even describe the immediate relief of having that big boy OUT of my body!
So happy to have him safely in my arms!
To me, he didn't look any bigger than the others did when they were born, but Dr D said right away that Zeke was a 10+ lb baby and all the nurses agreed. They cleaned him up and they took him to the nursery right quick to weigh him. I heard a nurse in the hall way say, "Wow!!!", then Jared came in and told me he weighed 10lb 13oz!! I couldn't believe it! I still can't really understand how that is physically possible. Ha! I also realized afterwards that he very well could have gotten stuck and we could have had a really awful situation. I am SO thankful God was taking care of us in that situation.
Part 2 is coming.....the kids and family meet Zeke!