In the days leading up to your birth, I was incredibly anxious. I barely slept. My doctor had talked about inducing me much earlier. I had higher than regular blood pressure and overall my body was struggling. Finally, after your grandma had been with me for three weeks, Dr. Oldroyd gave us a go.
On Sunday, March 29 at 6:30 AM we had an induction appointment. My body was already having contractions, but was having a hard time moving into active labor on its own. I woke up at 5:30, and I honestly felt very quiet. I didn’t want to talk through what was about to happen. Being a first time mom, I did not know what to expect. So I turned to a familiar friend, McDonald’s hot cakes and Diet Coke–yes, at 6 AM I ate McDonald’s, and I’m so glad I did.
Once we got to the hospital (late), we took pictures, and I got into my gown. At 7 AM Dr. Oldroyd came in and broke my water–weirdest feeling ever. I did not love that they hooked you up to an internal fetal monitor. I don’t think you liked it either because by the time I was ready to push, the sensor had fallen off. Tricky baby.
By 7:30 they had hooked me up to the Pitocin (the chemical to help me go into labor). The pain that I felt confirmed that I really had been feeling contractions for a few weeks. I handled the pain very well for a little while. My body really responded to the chemicals.
They had to give me antibiotics to prevent you from getting sick, but that happened quickly. We watched Friends for the first couple of hours. Then around the time that I was in very active labor, Predator came on the TV. This of course was completely ironic. Your Oma & Opa saw Predator in theaters the night before your dad was born, and your dad grew up watching it. We took it as a good sign.
By 10 AM, I needed the epidural. This was the hardest part of my day. The contractions were extremely painful. I had to hold completely still during the contractions so that we could get the epidural started. It took two tries to get the epidural in. The first time was the most unimaginable pain I have ever felt. The doctor hit a nerve; even though I wanted to hold still, I ended up screaming out in pain and jerking. We had to start the epidural over. However, the second attempt went much better. After that I could feel the contractions, but could work my way through them. It was a “perfect” epidural.
After the epidural was in and going, your dad and grandma (my support team) got Subway from the cafeteria and came back. Adam was really tired already and tried sleeping on the floor. Our nurse, Becky, saw this and brought him a stretcher to sleep on. I was watching House Hunters on mute, and then around 3 PM, I really felt like things were progressing. The nurse checked me and I was at a 6–this was great news since I was at a 4 just a few hours earlier. By 4 PM, I was dilated to a 9! It was time. I immediately went into business mode and wanted to get you here. The doctor was finishing up with another patient. Becky let me do “practice pushes,” but I could feel you, and you were ready. I pushed in a relaxed way for about 20 minutes, and then I didn’t want to lightly push anymore. With each contraction I pushed for ten seconds three times. Grandma held up on her fingers how many times I had pushed, and Dad counted to ten for me. It honestly felt like a really intense workout that I needed to focus through.
Your dad was a great strength to me at that point. I was focused, and so was he. I was on oxygen since I had been violently shaking since noon (it looked like an ongoing seizure). My body was having a very hard time with the adrenaline. Because of this, your dad would take off my oxygen mask between contractions, put flavored ice (raspberry) in my mouth to keep me from getting sick (acid reflux was a curse until the bitter end), and encourage me. Your grandma kept smiling through all of it and made sure to tell me how great I was doing, too. We were all focused. There was no yelling or cursing like you see in the movies. It was very calm. Just like you.
Finally, at about 5 PM, Dr. Oldroyd came in. He said that I could have you in my arms within two pushes. I pushed with everything I had. After the first push, things moved quickly. What I didn’t know was that the umbilical cord was wrapped around your neck. The doctor started moving aggressively. He needed me to push hard, and I did. And at 5:08 PM, I saw you for the very first time. They put you on my chest immediately. I was half laughing, half crying when I met you. I could not stop telling you, “hi.” For nine months I had grown to know you, but couldn’t look into your eyes. And oh my goodness, your eyes! You were so alert even from your first moments. You barely cried when you were born. You were so peaceful. I had everything that I had ever wanted in my arms when I met you.
The doctor was still flying around the room at this point. I was losing a lot of blood very quickly. My mom was concerned, which says a lot. Your dad cut the cord and then got to hang out with the two of us, while the doctor fixed me up.
Then they needed to take you, so they could help me. They had to give a shot to stop the bleeding, which in turn made me very sick. Because of this, they had to give me a very strong anti nausea medication. I couldn’t stay awake through it and slipped in and out of sleep for the next several hours.
You were perfect at birth in every way. You weighed 6 lbs 8 oz. You were 20.5 inches tall. Oliver, I have never loved someone so unconditionally that quickly. Your dad and I feel privileged to love you. You are my greatest accomplishment and adventure. Thank you for making me a mom. You are the peace to my chaos (which is why your name is Oliver. Oliver is derived from Olive, which is a symbol of peace.) May you always have peace in your life, bravery in your heart, and kindness in your soul.
I love you, Oliver Wayne Hayhurst Figgat. Between you and your daddy, I have the whole world.