Friday, October 14, 2011

Atta Boy!!

I know it's been three weeks, but our little guy hasn't been formally introduced! Meet Jonathan Richard Gill, Jr! He was born Friday, September 23, at 11:10 pm, weighing 9 lbs 3 oz, and measuring 22 inches long. (For those of you unfamiliar with baby lengths, that's pretty long!) He was officially "early" if you can count 50 minutes before his due date as "early."

Here's the layout of the labor story for all you collectors of birth stories (i.e. every mom in America):

Wednesday, September 21: I had my 39-week appointment at my clinic. I was seeing the midwives who are on call at our hospital (Fairview - UofM). And although I had been having contractions on and off for the past 3 months, I was only between 1 and 2 centimeters at my check-up. Not that that's bad; I was just hoping that with all the contractions I'd been having that I'd be at 3. I chuckled with the receptionist when I scheduled my 40-week appointment. We both hoped I would not have to show up for that.

3:30 pm, Friday, September 23:
A set of contractions were starting again. They were similar to the sets I'd had the week prior: short, weak, and sporadic. They would be anywhere from 2-5 minutes apart, but not strong enough to be worried about. I called my clinic and the midwife on-call called me back and told me to wait it out a bit, but not to underestimate how quickly things can progress. Well I did wait it out for a while at home. I called Jon to start wrapping things up at work and head home. I also called my friend Karen to come over and take care of my girls while I labored (I didn't realize how difficult it would be to keep my girls occupied and fed while having progressive contractions!!!) And I called my beautiful mother-in-law to come over to my house after she got off work to watch the girls that night.

6:30 pm: My contractions finally started to regulate and were strong enough that I was confident they weren't going to disappear upon arriving at the hospital. So Karen and my girls prayed for me, and Jon and I left for the hospital! On the way, I was preparing to be disappointed. I knew I wasn't very far along. I had been laboring all afternoon, but I could just tell. Sure enough, they measured me and I was at 4 cm. Then Kris (my midwife) stated cheerfully, "You're having this baby tonight!" My disappointment melted into excitement! Yeah I was! I might have 6 cm to go, but this was it! It might be tonight, it might be tomorrow, but I was going to meet my son very soon. So I spent the next 3 hours bouncing on the exercise ball, sitting in the tub, and roaming the halls. All the while, my coach & hubby rubbed my lower back with a tennis ball, brought me juice & ice water, sprayed my tummy in the tub, held my hand in the hall, and was the quiet support I needed so much.

While walking the hall, Jon turned his head to a room we had just passed. "I hear a baby crying!" he whispered to me. Moments later a charming "Twinkle, Twinkle" melody chimed softly throughout the wing, sweetly announcing the arrival of new, beautiful child. We both teared up. "We're going to have a little baby tonight, too!" I clutched Jon's hand.

10:00 pm:
I was at 6 cm. Yes, I was progressing, but it was slow. I had already been laboring for 7 hours which put me at less than a centimeter per hour. At this rate it would be the wee hours of the morning before we got anywhere, and no one knew when my water would break. I was still in good spirits, smiling and cheery. "I wish I could just fast-forward to the end!" I joked with Kris. We discussed what to do next. She said I could either continue along at this rate, which was fine, or they could break my water. Well, I knew that would speed things along, but it would also increase the intensity. Since I was still upbeat and feeling pretty strong, we decided to break my water.

"Whoa," I whispered to Jon after my next contraction. A dozen thoughts crowded my head: that's more like it, now we're getting somewhere, I almost forgot how painful this was. Fear tried to creep in, but God was there with me. And Jon was holding my hand. The nurse came in and Jon whispered to her, "I think she's turned the corner. Tell the midwife," I considered an epidural at this point. I knew I could handle this for a while, but what if this lasted for hours and hours?

11:00 pm: "You are almost there! You're almost at 10!" Kris announced. I looked at the clock. One hour had passed since they broke my water. Are you serious?! Already?! You mean I progressed 4 cm in ONE HOUR?! I couldn't believe I was there already! I had prepared my heart to wait all night. Jon had even told his mom not to wait up, that the baby would be born tomorrow. 5 minutes later Kris was cheerfully exclaiming, "Push already, Brenda! Push that little guy out!" My reaction: "Are you serious? Already?!"

11:10 pm: I pushed for 2 1/2 hours with Abigail. I pushed for 11 minutes with Lucie. Jonathan was born with three pushes! And suddenly, there he was! All tiny and warm and perfect! And boy could he cry! I couldn't believe it; this amazing child in my arms had been kicking me like crazy the day before. Jon cut the cord and announced the birth of his son! He was beaming with pride. After they stitched me up, my new little baby and I nursed for as long as he would stay awake. This was the part I had been looking forward to for so long. Welcome to our family, little Jonathan!

So what are we calling him? Not Jon, Jonny, or Junior. But almost anything else is fair game. Jonathan, J.R., J.J., Little Jon, etc. Great-Grandpa Richard (for whom Jonathan's middle name is christened) might call him "Ricky," though that does give us a Ricky and a Lucie in our got some 'splainin to do! Lucie calls him, "Jommajinsh," and I'm sure that will morph into some neat nickname! We'll see what sticks!

Thank you to everyone who has helped us in this transition! Three is definitely a handful - but I'll write about that in another post! We are so happy to have our little boy! He's already Abi and Lucie's favorite little "toy." I'm so excited to watch my family grow! Thank you Lord, for your blessings upon blessings! Here's one very thankful mama in love :)