I can’t believe I’m sitting here writing this, with sweet little Graham in the rocker next to me. It’s been the craziest few days, and I need to get it written down before I totally forget everything!
Because of the gestational diabetes, my doctor recommended we set an induction date during my 39th week. Gestational diabetes babies can get bigger and she said there was a less chance that we would need a c-section if we went during the 39th week. We did ultrasounds to check his weight and he was measuring perfectly, his lungs and heart all looked good, so we set the induction!
I was secretly hoping that baby would come early while Randy had a break from school! He had two weeks off at the beginning of May and I was PRAYING baby would decide to show up then, but no luck. I was having contractions, doing lots of walking and all the other things they tell you to do to induce labor, from pineapple to spicy food, and nothing was working!
Randy started the new semester on Monday and I started to get everything ready! I packed and repacked things in my hospital bag, folded and refolded baby clothes, the list goes on and on!
Thursday I could not sleep! (Of course!) I was up at around 4:00 and couldn’t get back to sleep. I jotted down some thoughts for our little boy, took a bath, read my patriarchal blessing, and had Randy give me a blessing. It was actually a really spiritual morning for me and I’m grateful I got to have it. I checked my fasting number with my last Gestational Diabetes finger poke and was at 75! It was a great last number! Randy and I ate some breakfast, and then it was time to call the hospital. We called to make sure we could still come in at 8:30, and the girl put me on hold, then said “Unfortunately we have an emergency…oh wait…hold on….” and then put me on hold again! She came back a minute later and said “Ok you’re good to come!” So we grabbed our bags, and got into the car. We were pretty quiet on the drive; it was such a surreal thing knowing that we were going to become a family of three that day. Randy commented that this wasn’t how he expected it to be; just quietly driving, me not having any contractions or anything! We parked, walked the wrong direction, got up to the labor and delivery and going to the wrong door, then finally getting to the right spot!
We got checked in at the front desk, and they took us to our room. I got into the hospital gown and then our awesome nurse came in to get us going. She checked my blood sugar and it was still great, checked all of my vitals, got the monitors hooked up, etc. She was AWESOME – all our nurses and doctors were absolutely amazing and I am so grateful for all of them for making it an awesome experience!
One of the residents came in and said they were going to start with a cervix softener, etc. so we were getting all ready for that, when the chief resident came in and said that my doctor, the attending physician, said to just break my water and get started on pitocin instead. I was already 80% effaced so we were good to get moving. He broke my water which felt weird, and they got me all started on the pitocin. It was about 9:30 when we got all this rolling, and then it was time to wait!
I started feeling contractions pretty quickly and they weren’t super painful. Randy and I chatted, watched shows, and talked about our little boy! We had come to the hospital pretty sure we were going to name him Beckham so we talked about that name a little bit. The nurse kept coming in to check us and chat/laugh with us.
At about 11:30 they came in to check me and I was feeling the contractions a lot at that point. I didn’t want to be a wuss so I was determined to wait to get my epidural until I really needed it. They checked me and I was only at a 3!!! I almost started crying! They told me to go from a 2 to a 3 in just a couple hours when you get induced is awesome, and then they looked at my contractions. They told me they were STRONG and right on top of each other. The pitocin made the contractions strong and really regular, so the nurse told me not to worry about how dilated I was, but think about the contractions instead. She also told me it looked like my own body was taking on contractions by itself, not just with the pitocin, which was a great sign, and that the pitocin would be automatically upping its dosage in half an hour.
SO since I was in a lot of pain and had a long way to go, I opted to get the epidural. I didn’t feel ANY pain from it at all! I was just talking to Randy and the nurse and the anesthesiologist. I felt a small shot in my back and could kind of feel the tube going in my back, but it didn’t hurt one bit.
The epidural started working and the pain from the contractions went away which was SO awesome. Randy went and grabbed some lunch really fast and we just chatted, watched The Office and Ellen, and hung out. At 3:45 my doctor came. We absolutely LOVE Dr. Gibson and it was so awesome that she was there with us. She checked me and said I was at a 4.5 which was good, especially for being induced! She said she expected that we’d have a baby the next morning, like 3 AM or something. So we settled in for another episode of the office and hanging out.
At 5:30 Dr. Gibson came back and said she just wanted to check me before running home to have dinner with her family.
She looked up at us and said “Well, I’m going to have to call my husband and tell him he has dinner for the kids tonight. You’re at a 10. Ready to push?”
I FREAKED OUT. Randy and I were in SHOCK, couldn’t believe that we were already at a 10! I started crying because I just wasn’t expecting to be pushing that fast, I thought we had hours left.
They got everything all ready and Dr. Gibson and the resident Dr. Bridges came in to get going.
I started pushing and they kept telling me I was doing it really well, using the right muscles and everything. They said the first part of pushing was getting the baby past my pelvic bone. One hour of pushing, I asked how we were doing. They told me I had made NO PROGRESS. They said for first time moms that was normal, not to worry, etc.
I pushed for another hour and a half and made absolutely no progress. The epidural had worn off a bit so I could feel when the contractions were coming and use them to push, but it wasn’t working. Randy was SO sweet and was there to support me and help me the whole time. We’d been laughing and chatting at first, but the longer I was pushing the more frustrated I was getting and the more quiet it got. The doctor said that the baby looked great, wasn’t in distress at all or anything so there was no reason to move to a c-section until I wanted to.
The doctor recommended we take a break and let me rest, then try pushing again if I wanted or move to a c-section if I would prefer.
They all left and I started SOBBING. I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong, and the doctors had kept telling me I wasn’t doing anything wrong, I just needed to push. It was SO frustrating not knowing how to do it differently so he would come. I had been fine with the idea of having a c-section if I needed to, but it was insanely frustrating to maybe need one not because the baby needed one, but because I just couldn’t figure out how to deliver him. I also had pushed for 2.5 hours and the idea of recovering from that PLUS a c-section made me so mad.
Before they left the doctor had recommended cutting my epidural so I could feel the contractions even more. At this point during my break to rest, I could start feeling them and they were STRONG. I started freaking out to Randy saying I didn’t think I could do it and I was going to spend an hour feeling pain from the contractions and then having to push more.
Randy came and sat down by me and told me we should call the doctors back up and just do this thing. He was SO sure I could do it. thinking about it now makes me cry.
We knew I wasn’t going to get any rest now that I could feel the contractions so much, so we decided to call the doctors back up.
I don’t know what happened, but something in my head and body just clicked. With the first push, the doctor looked up at me and said “Maddy we are going to have this baby. You just got past the pelvic bone.” With the first push! Half an hour later, the baby was here. It was SO painful because I could feel a lot with my epidural turned down, but I figured out how to do it.
The baby got here and Randy was freaking out and crying, they flopped him onto my stomach for just a few seconds, and he wasn’t crying. So they had Randy cut the cord, picked him up and took him to the table warmer in the corner of room. They told Randy to come see. Randy was crying and it just absolutely melted my heart. I could see how much he loved his son and it made everything in my world change.
They were wiping him off and he was breathing, just not crying. They couldn’t figure out why the kid wouldn’t cry! After a couple minutes they said they needed to take him to the nursery and start running tests.
Randy went with them and I was left to get stitched up (I only needed ONE stitch – my doctor is SO amazing and worked hard to make sure I wouldn’t tear.)
In the nursery they were running tests and all of baby’s levels looked good, he just wasn’t crying. One nurse said the hours of pushing and then really fast delivery probably put him into a little bit of shock, and that he was probably also a really relaxed baby.
They gave him a Vitamin K shot, and Randy says he just glanced at them – didn’t cry or anything. They put the goop on his eyes, and he just looked around at them. BUT when they dipped his feet in the ink to get his footprints, little dude LOST IT. They were glad to hear him cry!
I was texting Randy like crazy asking if the baby was OK, everything like that.
Randy texted that he was doing great and they would bring him back in a minute. He texted me his stats, he weighed 7 lbs, 1 oz and was 20.5 inches long.
They finally brought him back to my room and I was SO excited to see him. I held him, got to feed him a little bit, and was just so in awe that he was here and he was ours.
They wheeled us to our maternity room, my parents and sister came to meet him, and then we just basically stayed up all night, looking at him and feeling this disbelief that he was ours.
Randy said to me that he didn’t think his name was Beckham a couple hours after he was born. I was surprised, but said that was fine. He said he thought we should name him Stockton which had been my favorite name the whole time. We agreed to sleep on it, and in the middle of the night while I was holding our little boy I KNEW his name was Graham. So I woke Randy up and told him I didn’t think his name was Stockton. He was surprised, but happy because he LOVED the name Graham.
We decided to name him Graham Kazuhiro Low, and I can’t even describe what it felt/feels like to be a mom. It was like all these pieces of my life fell into place, and I hadn’t realized they were missing. It has been the most amazing thing to feel so much love for someone, to see so much in his future and feel who he could be.
We had tons of visitors during our hospital stay which was so wonderful, I ate tons of sweets that I hadn’t been able to eat (they actually made me feel sick because I hadn’t had them in months!) Graham’s sugar levels were all perfect and he was a champ about getting his heel pricked so many times. He looked a little jaundice, so he had to do a couple tests for that, but ended up passing them just fine! We had a hilarious experience with his first dirty diaper – I lifted him into his bassinet to get it changed and Randy opened it, poop was EVERYWHERE so he asked me to pass him the thing of wipes – but I couldn’t because Graham had grabbed my IV and I was SPEWING blood everywhere! It was SO hilarious and crazy. We paged the nurses and they came in to help us.
Our experience with the nurses and doctors was AMAZING and we couldn’t be happier with our whole hospital experience. Everyone was so great, so helpful and made us feel so great. I loved the hospital and our whole experience. The only thing I wasn’t in love with was the food, but what are you gonna do about that!
To say that Randy and I are smitten with our little boy, and thrilled to be parents, is the greatest understatement. He is absolutely everything, and seeing Randy become a dad has been the most amazing experience of my life. He is SO sweet with our little boy, he just wants to hang out with him and talk to him all the time. Probably 10 times a day he will look over at me and say “Oh my gosh I just love him so much. This is the best, I’m so happy.” or something like that.
Becoming a mother to Graham has simply been a dream. Sure, I’m exhausted and feeling delirious every night by 8:00, but this little boy is so worth it.
He was worth every second of stress I had about bringing him to our family, worth all the pregnancy ups and downs, worth every diabetes finger prick and stick of cheese, worth every pain of pushing, and worth every sleepless night and stressful day. I know it’s going to be a roller coaster and I won’t always feel so euphoric, but that’s OK. To feel this much love for him, for Randy, and for us as a family will ALWAYS be worth it.
If there’s anything becoming a mom has taught me in the few days I’ve been going at it, it’s that God loves His children. Because if I can love this little boy so much that my heart could explode, I can only imagine how God feels about all of us.
Anyway, that’s the SUPER long story. It was one of the best days of my life, and we are so crazy in love with our little guy.