Asher Jeffrey Thompson was born on May 6th, 2011 at 5:34 am in Kirkland, Washington. He weighed 6 pounds, 12 ounces and was 20 inches long. This is his birth story.
It seemed like we waited forever for Asher to get here, but I think that’s how it is with all first children and excited parents. At my 36 week appointment I was already 60 % effaced and 1.5 cm dilated, so four weeks before he was born I was anxiously anticipating his arrival. Nothing changed much until the Wednesday (May 4th) before he was due. At that appointment I was 90% effaced and 3 cm dilated. Now I was really excited knowing that he would be here by the weekend.
On Thursday, May 5th I stayed home all day and cleaned the house. I washed and folded 4 loads of laundry, put away Shem’s pile of clothing from the floor, swept, mopped, cleaned the bathrooms, vacuumed upstairs, finished packing our hospital bag, showered, shaved my legs (which isn’t easy with a big belly), and round brushed my hair dry. Keeping busy was a great distraction from the occasional yet stronger contractions I was feeling. In fact Wednesday night while I was sleeping I was dreaming of having contractions while I was having them. They woke me up, but weren’t very painful yet.
Shem was at work all day and called around 2:30pm to see how I was doing. I was feeling pretty good, so I told him that he didn’t have to rush home, but that I wanted him to make dinner for us. I was pretty exhausted at this point and having more contractions, but they still were not regular. He finally got home around 5:45pm and started making dinner even though he was very tired from being up late grading tests the night before. While he fixed a pasta salad I noticed more contractions and they were getting stronger. Things seemed to start moving along once Shem got home.
After dinner we set up a game of Memoir 44 to distract us, but the contractions started coming more frequently and I couldn’t concentrate on the game, so I called the midwife on call to see what to do. Janice told me to take a bath to see if the contractions slowed down, but they didn’t. For the next while I kept myself comfortable in the tub and timed each contraction with Shem’s ipod touch.
By 9:00pm Shem had fallen asleep and I called the midwife again to see what I should do. She said that I could come in, but that it may be a bit early, so I waited a good 15 minutes, decided I couldn’t wait anymore, and then we left the house around 9:25 to go to the hospital. I was getting really antsy and just needed to do something, so leaving the house was the best option.
We got to the hospital around 9:40pm and walking at this point was more painful with each contraction. I had to stop and hold on to Shem just to get through each wave of pain, but they were still manageable. After a while the midwife came in the check me and I was at 4 cm and very dehydrated. So dehydrated that she suspected it was making my contractions stronger than they needed to be. She told us to walk around for 1 hour then come back and get checked. That hour was the longest hour of my life! I was having contraction on top of contraction, so walking took a lot of effort and I mostly just stopped and held onto the wall rail because I couldn’t and didn’t want to walk much. I made it out of the nurses’ station and promptly threw up my dinner. I felt very sick at this point, but she still had us walk. We made it down one hallway and I sat down in a wooden rocking chair for about 20 minutes while I had more contractions. I threw-up again and at that point I was frustrated because I needed fluids, but I couldn’t keep anything down.
Shem convinced me to walk back up the hallway to the nurses’ station, so we started moving again. We met on of the nurses by the reception desk and Shem told her that I needed fluids because I couldn’t keep anything down. I needed the bathroom and she took us through a short-cut so that I could relieve myself.
My midwife checked me again and I was at a 5, so they decided to admit me. I was asking for an epidural and made sure that everyone knew I wanted one.
We walked very slowly to my room and I breathed as best I could through each contraction while concentrating on getting through the pain. Shem supported me and reassured me that I was doing a great job.
Once in the room they hooked me up to some fluids and all I can remember is that the nurse had to take my blood pressure 3 times and I needed 500cc of fluid in me before I could have the epidural. The nurse seemed to have forgotten about taking my blood pressure, so I reminded her and she was on it instantly. She could see my pain she called the anesthesiologist. He got to our room about 5 minutes later and asked us if we knew anything about epidurals and I promptly replied that we had seen a movie on them and that we just wanted him to get the epidural in me stat! He heard me and moved very quickly. J
The epidural worked so well! In a matter of minutes I felt like myself again and it was so nice to be able to talk and ask questions instead of just deal with the pain. After the epidural my midwife, Janice, checked me and I was at 7 cm! In a matter of 40 minutes I dilated another 2 cm! No wonder I was in so much pain! Janice said that we could sleep for about 2 hours and then she would come in the check me again. Shem slept on the couch and he was out and I kind of rested. I would still feel the pressure from each contraction, but the waves of pain were gone and I was much more relaxed.
After resting for a while I woke Shem up around 4:30 and told him that I think it’s time to push. The midwife and nurse came back in and I pushed for an hour. I actually loved pushing. It felt like I was making progress and Janice was so encouraging, so I really felt like I was doing a fabulous job! I could feel when each contraction started so I knew exactly when to push. I loved feeling the bit of pressure that came along with pushing. I’m not sure why, but it was satisfying to me in a weird way. J
Shem got to help the midwife catch the baby and he loved it. I had no idea what things were looking like down there, but He was fascinated as the baby progressed. Oh, another weird thing is that my water didn’t break until he was almost out. I’ve never heard of that happening before, but it was kind of funny because the nurse and midwife would stand back after each push just in case my water exploded across the room. Eventually Asher came out and it was the weirdest feeling ever! I loved it!
Once I moved my leg Shem held the baby and they placed him on my chest. I was so happy. I don’t have words to describe how happy I was to see my beautiful baby boy. It was my 2nd most happy moment of my entire life (my 1st is when Shem came to Michigan by surprise and proposed to me). And he was beautiful! I was under the impression that he would be covered in slime, but he wasn’t (probably because of staying in the sak for so long), he was just perfect. His head was alien looking and his hands and feet were purple, but other than that he was just perfect and so cute!
We stayed in the hospital until Saturday and let the nurses, lactation consultants, and pediatricians poke at us. It was annoying and confusing because everyone had a new way of teaching him and I how to nurse and there was so much paper work! We loved coming home and we’ve had such a good week with him.
Asher Jeffrey, 6 days old after his first attempt at an all-nighter. Mom, Dad, and Baby had a meltdown.