I really don't know where to begin.
How do I put in to words the feelings I felt and the things I experienced while bringing Kameron to earth?
I will try my best, even though I know there really are no words in the dictionary to describe this story.
First, my doctor (Dr. Lamb) was retiring ON my due date of August 1. After that date, he can no longer practice and would not be able to deliver my baby. As the time was winding down I started to panic a little bit. I REALLY wanted Dr. Lamb to deliver.
Dr. Lamb is quite an amazing man. He's kind, gentle, funny, considerate, and made us feel so at ease with this pregnancy. To top it off, he and Alex are like 5th cousins...or something like that. We figured that out at our first appointment and we've had a special connection ever since. He helped me through placenta previa and I just knew I wanted him to be the first hands that touched our little man. Dr. Lamb really wanted to deliver him too and told us he would be sad if he had to pass us on to another doctor when we were so close.
The only way to guarantee him delivering would be to induce me. Weeks in advance, Dr. Lamb scheduled an induction for July 30 just in case. However, since Dr. Lamb is so amazing...he doesn't mess with nature too much. He is very much against inducing when the woman's body is totally NOT ready. The only way he would allow us to induce was if my cervix was starting some sort of action. So for the appointments leading up to my due date, he would check my cervix. But nothing was really going on down there. I was starting to get nervous. I would pray all the time that either I would go in to labor on my own or that my cervix would do enough so that we could induce. We had one last shot on Monday, July 29. Alex and I went in to the office and Dr. Lamb checked my cervix. His eyes lit up a little bit and said, "Well...there's been some change. Get changed and we'll talk when I come back." So the 3 of us discussed being induced, what that would mean, the different risks, etc. Dr. Lamb told us to go home, talk about it more, and call him back.
So Alex and I started talking and praying about it. We really took everything in to consideration and took it to the Lord. We felt like inducing was the right thing for us to do and once we made the decision, it felt even better. So I called Dr. Lamb back and confirmed. Once it settled in, the rest of July 29 felt a little odd. I couldn't believe this was the last day of it just being me and Alex. Too bad he had to work...haha. I spent the day with my mama. We went and got mani/pedis, went to lunch, and I went by work to say goodbye to my girls. When I got home I went up to Primary Children's Medical Center to visit my bestie, Brittany, since she's up there with her baby boy while he's recovering. Then the night was drawing to a close and I knew I needed to go to sleep.
It's quite difficult to fall asleep when you KNOW what's going to happen in a few hours.
But I finally fell asleep. I called Labor & Delivery in the morning and they told me to get there at 8:30. So with all of our bags in tow, off we went to St. Mark's Hospital. After signing a few things, I was led to my labor and delivery room. The nurse got everything all set up and the pitocin started flowing at 9:30. The monitor was showing immediately that my uterus was already contracting, but I just wasn't feeling it. That made me so happy that my body was cooperating before the pitocin even started.
Alex and Mama were there with me and Krista dropped off a big basket of goodies before she headed to work. Granted I couldn't eat it...but you better believe I enjoyed it once my baby was out! :) The first 3-4 hours were pretty breezy. My mama went and got some things for us, Alex took his online final, and I watched TV/walked around. The nurse kept coming in and asking my pain level on a scale of 1-10. She thought it was so funny I kept saying a .5 but I really wasn't feeling too much. So they upped my pitocin and we watched "17 Again." Dr. Lamb came in to check me twice during that first bit, but I wasn't progressing past a 1. So he came in and broke my water. He said, "I need you to feel some pain...but only because I like you." Having your water break is quite the odd feeling. Like you know you didn't pee your pants...but you're not too sure...all I know is that it was funny. And every time I'd contract, more water would come flowin' on out. I got to wear these awesome diapers. Be jealous.
My pain finally went up to a 1.5-2ish. I just felt like I was having some serious period cramping...nothing more. This went on for another hour or two. Up the pitocin. Around 4pm, things started to pick up a bit. I was still walking around or sitting in the rocking chair. Krista came back from work and I remember my pain level was at a 4 when she arrived. We popped in "Never Been Kissed." (it's an awesome labor movie by the way...nice and funny. :) Up the pitocin. During that two hours, my contractions really started to get more painful. I got a birthing ball to bounce/sit on and I had to start using my breathing techniques to get through the contractions. I was also having back labor...which, well...sucks.
6:30pm ish-11:30pm ish kind of feels like a blur. Well, maybe blur isn't the correct word. It feels like a blur more in the way that I can't believe I felt pain like that. They needed my contractions to get stronger and stay consistently that strong. Boy, that pitocin sure does its job. I could NOT have done it without my amazing family support!! They took turns pushing on my back, making me drink fluids, and Krista gave me quite the awesome leg/foot rub.
10:30-11:30 was an hour I will never forget, yet still feels like a dream. I couldn't handle anything but being on the bed and on my side. My contractions were coming about every 90 seconds and extremely strong so I had very little rest in between. My nurse, Jody (who was awesome!), gave me a little pain killer in my IV to take the edge off. It worked for maybe 2 contractions...haha. I remember Krista rubbing my head, Alex stroking my legs, and then my mom playing with my hair. I don't remember the order per say...but I remember those things. I also remember Alex coming up by my face and the expression he had was one I'd never seen him have. Maybe it was fear? Helplessness? With every contraction my breathing techniques were working less and less and less. I never knew pain like that was possible. I remember thinking to myself that this was how I was going to die. No one could possibly survive pain like this. I couldn't think straight any more. I was succumbing to the contractions. Then Krista said these glorious words, "Are you sure you don't want an epidural, Kayc?" I literally had been in so much pain I had forgotten there was such a thing. I immediately said yes and Mama went to go find Jody. When they told me the anesthesiologist would be 5 minutes I didn't think I was even going to make it to then. Krista then pulled me out of bed to stand for those last minutes before I wasn't allowed to. I literally put all of my weight on her shoulders and she just held me. I remember crying and telling her I couldn't do it. Alex's face was even worse than earlier. Krista told me I could do this, how strong I was, and how amazing I had been doing. I think Mama gave me some fluids?
Then that glorious woman walked in the room with her epidural materials. Krista and Alex went out in the hall and Mama held my hands. Jody was in there assisting too. I seriously barely felt anything the whole time she was putting it in because I was focusing so hard on breathing through the contractions. When she was done I remember laying on my back and having Kris and Alex walk back in. Then with every contraction, the pain got less and less. Within 30 minutes I couldn't feel them anymore. And thank goodness because I was so spent at this point. Once I started falling asleep, my family dispersed to some areas to rest. Alex slept in the recliner, Krista went down to her car, and my poor Mama got stuck with the rocking chair. I'm not sure how much sleep she got. I was in and out of sleep from 12:30am-4am. Jody and Mama would move me every so often so help keep my body doing something and not just laying there. Jody would check my cervix every so often and from 12:30-3:00 my cervix had only gone to a 4. Then from 3:00-4:00am I went from a 4 to a 10! I couldn't even believe it when Jody said I was at a 10. She said she'd let Dr. Lamb know and that I'd probably start pushing in an hour.
When it was almost 5:00am Jody said we'd probably wait a little longer so my contractions could keep pushing the baby down so I wouldn't have to push as long. Right then I started to feel nauseous and asked for a barf bag. These barf bags are pretty high tech. None of that wimpy paper stuff they put in the airplane seat pockets. And thank goodness, because I threw up everything that was in me...which was mostly fluid. Jody and Mama were so kind to help me in that very nasty time. Haha. I went through 2 and a half barf bags and felt a lot better. A few minutes later Jody came in and said we were going to start pushing. There was no need to wait any longer because me throwing up forced the baby down further. She said one hurl is equal to about ten pushes so she was actually really happy for me that I got sick...ha.
So Krista and Mama stepped out in the hallway. Alex had my right leg, Jody had my left leg, and I started pushing around 5:15am. Dr. Lamb came in after a few pushes to see how everything was going. After about ten minutes we could start to see the head. I had them pull the mirror down from the ceiling so I could see. Some people might think that's gross...but I loved it! It was SO motivational. With every push I could see his little head get a fraction closer. Jody told me I was a good pusher! Now maybe she tells that to everyone, but it made me feel good and want to keep doing well! With every push I felt like my brain was going to explode! Pushing was really taking it out of my already exhausted body.
Finally his head was crowning and Dr. Lamb came back in. Jody, Alex, and Dr. Lamb were amazing at helping me get this baby out! I really did feel that with every push I was one step closer. Dr. Lamb was still being his gentle, funny self. He also had a surreal look on his face. You could tell Dr. Lamb was taking everything in. I was the last woman he would take care of. Our baby was the last he would deliver in his 35 years of being an OB. He had the most peaceful look on his face and you could just tell he was reflecting on his career as an amazing caregiver. It made the feel of the room and the moment even better. It also made me feel super grateful to be his patient...even more so than I already was.
Then we really started to get close and the pushing more intense. His head was almost out! Even as I was witnessing it, I couldn't believe my body was doing this!! Then at 6:21am I watched in the mirror as Dr. Lamb ever so carefully helped my baby's head, then shoulders, then body and legs emerge from my body. The relief in pressure and the surge of endorphins was indescribable. There was nothing left to do but cry.
He was here!
Alex cut the cord and then my baby's little, tiny cries started to come. They set him on my chest and wiped him off for a minute or so. He had swallowed some fluid so they took him over to suction some of that out. Alex went over there to talk to him and tell him he was ok. Then they finished cleaning him up, weighed him, etc. while Dr. Lamb stitched me up. I got to talk to Dr. Lamb just one on one while Alex was with the baby. I really treasure that time. He's such an amazing man. I know...it's weird to think that you can bond with someone as they're sewing up your woman parts, but it wasn't odd at all.
He weighed 8 lbs 1 ounce and was 20.5 inches long. 10 fingers, 10 toes...just a perfect, little bundle. Dr. Lamb asked us his name. So we revealed his name as Kameron Mark Foster. (Mark is my daddy's name) Once he was all cleaned up, I sent Alex out to get my family. He also called his family to share the news. Then we got a lot of pictures with Dr. Lamb and Jody before they headed out. I am so grateful Kameron was his last baby to deliver in his amazing career of 5,300+ babies delivered. But also sad that none of my other children can be delivered by him. Then it was time to head on up to my room. I couldn't believe that after 21 hours, I finally had my sweet baby in my arms.
And ohh is he sweet. Everything that is surgary goodness is Kameron.
(We're still working on him not keeping me up all night, but it's ok...we're figuring it out.)
I really did love my whole labor and delivery process. It was the hardest thing I've ever done physically and mentally. But I wouldn't change one thing. It was the perfect experience for me and I'm so grateful Heavenly Father let me have that experience. I think back on that time with fondness. It's also pretty hard to not have a great experience when you get a little baby as your prize.
Time to go kiss those cheeks on Kam's face.
(P.S. If you're having a baby GET a "Pretty Pusher" and make sure your nails/toes are always done. I got SO many compliments from the nurses that it really does make you feel better! :)