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July 3, 2011

Vincent Gerard has arrived!

Vincent Gerard made his appearance after 27 hours of induced labor at 10:37 p.m. on Thursday, June 30, 2011. 
As I mentioned, my doctor was concerned about the size of Vincent.  Even though I had delivered four healthy babies, three of which were over nine pounds, he was still a little concerned.  He had me go in for an ultrasound on Monday, the 27th and he called me after 10:00 p.m. that night to give me his opinion that we ought to induce as Vincent's ultrasound size indicated he was over the 90th percentile for baby size.  He admitted he hadn't done the conversion yet, but that the ultrasound indicated 8 pounds 10 ounces and that typically converts to another half pound in-real-life size.

I had thought about whether I would take my doctor's advice on an induction this go round.  In the end, I realized that he'd never steered me wrong with our decisions on what to do with the baby and the one (and only) induction he didn't suggest (I had begged for one with Dominic) still went okay.  Perhaps I had always avoided C-sections BECAUSE of his advice to go ahead and induce when we did?  Either way, I knew that the way he approached inductions was very safe, as evidenced by my history, and effective.  So, I decided not to push back and to accept his advice and act on it.

I entered the hospital around 7:00 p.m. Wednesday night.  I was still "all closed up" but around 40% effaced (i.e., "thinned out").  They started with a process that was very effective when I was induced with Dominic to prepare the cervix for labor.  And I settled in for the night expecting contractions to get going around 3:00 a.m. or so.

But it was not to be.  I think I had more forceful contractions sitting at home the week before I'd gone in to the hospital.  Kind of pathetic.  To make it more frustrating, Vincent kept kicking off the heart rate monitor and my poor nurse was in and out the whole time trying to keep him monitored.

Here is what it looked like outside my window.  
 
It was steamy outside on Thursday...highs in upper 90's.  Maybe Vincent thought he'd be more comfy in momma's belly, LOL.

Anyway, by the morning, when Doctor got to the hospital to check me out, I was maybe 1 cm dilated and about 70% thinned out.  A tiny bit better, but I was used to much more success than that!  So, he gave me a couple of options, one of which we had used when Dani was induced that had been successful getting labor going, so I selected that one (the other was to go straight to pitocin, but I knew we could always do that...)  The process was a four hour wait for the medicine to work that ultimately ended with me being dilated another 1.5 cm (total of 2.5 cm) and getting me to about 90% effaced which was a favorable circumstance to break my water. 

So, they did that around 1:00 p.m. and Craig and I settled in with our books, games and listening to some music.  I was in and out of sleep.  Craig went ahead and called his mom so the kids could know that we hadn't had a baby yet. 

The thing is, through all of this, I was having contractions, they just weren't all that intense.  But they were in a great pattern...every 3 minutes to every 5 minutes apart.  I kept figuring, it was just a matter of time before baby engaged and we'd have a baby.

The nurse informed me we could go ahead and start pitocin and this was close to the end of doctor's workday, so I decided to get the epidural in place.  The epidural was placed around 4:30 or so.  The anesthesiologist was awesome!  So fast, and he was really great about saying, "Hey, I know this is your 5th, so you know all this stuff, but just to remind you..."  His bedside manner was refreshing (I've had a pretty bad experience with a real "jerk" of an anesthesiologist with Helen's birth...) and he was really fast to boot! 

They started lower dosage pitocin to try and get the contractions to come a bit stronger and a bit closer together.  Well....they came stronger anyway.

My baby boy, Vincent, was all about a regular pattern of contracting.  He was just hanging out in there and didn't seem to be getting in any bigger rush to be born.  It was kind of frustrating.  I was breathing through the contractions (yes, you still feel them if your epidural is done properly) and kept mentally willing them to come more quickly, but they just wouldn't.

The pattern went on from 5:30 until about 10:00.  I was progressing...I was to 8 cm and I was 100% effaced, and baby was dropping slowly. 

At 10:00 the pain changed.  I told Craig it was different.  Now, my legs were still completely numb and even my perineum area was still completely numb.  But the contractions were coming and coming and coming and I was constantly having to breathe through them.  I started crying and it turned quickly to uncontrolled sobbing.  I told Craig to get the nurse and doc back in here because I needed to push the baby out...it HAD to be time to push. 

Looking back, it literally felt like Vincent had put his entire body into the birth canal at the same time.  The pressure was enormous.  And I was just sobbing and moaning and telling Craig that it hurt and I needed to get him out. 

The nurse came back in, checked and said I was complete, so it was time.  Doc was getting ready and I asked if I could push and he was like, "just do what you feel is natural...if that's pushing, okay..."  So, I started pushing even though we weren't really in position for that yet and I think the doctor could tell I was because after they put my legs in the stirrups, and told me to "push" he said, "Oh, she's been pushing already..."

Basically five pushes after that, Vincent was born.  The relief in my lower abdomen was incredible.  I just started saying, "My baby!" over and over again (I seem to do this every time) and as soon as they could, they put Vincent up on my chest and I looked at him and talked to him.  Almost as soon as he was up by my face and I was saying, "Hi baby, it's okay, don't cry" he was silent and just lay there listening to me talk to him.

Then they took him over to weigh him and all and he just cried...

 
But then he calmed down afterwards..
Doctor collected cord blood for the donation program, but unfortunately, the volume wasn't enough to qualify this time.  My doctor said, "Yeah, if you're paying them boo-koo bucks to store the blood for yourself, you can send them any old piddly amount, but if you're donating it for research, they have to have XX amount or they say don't bother."  I could tell he thought that pretty ridiculous, but what can you do?

They cleaned Vincent off and brought him back to me.  By now it was 11:25 p.m. or so, but Craig was on the phone to his mom giving her the news and he called my Dad who was up, still, too (since he knew we were having the baby).  He was gonna call my mom, but I told him not to that I'd call her first thing next morning.  She WAS NOT waiting up since she had no idea we had gone in for induction and would have been sleeping.

Stats!
Vincent was 8 pounds 10 ounces and 20.5 inches long.  
He looks just like Helen did as a newborn only slightly smaller.  :)

So, here are some more pictures:

This is almost immediately when the girls see Vincent the first time --


Sarah holding her baby brother the first time:

Dani holding her baby brother the first time:

Helen holding her baby brother the first time:

Dominic finally showed some interest.  But he really wanted to see Vincent's feet and his diaper.  Eventually, he decided he'd like to "tiss" (kiss) baby brother and hold him, too.

As Craig said - "There's all of 'em"

In the car seat, ready to come home!  Vincent Gerard - my precious baby boy!
About the name!  Vincent isn't named after anyone (other than a saint or two ;) ) but it's a name Craig and I both liked.  I'm pretty adamant that I won't allow "Vinny" as a nickname, though.  I like Vincent itself or maybe "Vin" or "Vince".  

Gerard is my father's name.  Dominic's middle name is the same as Craig's father's name, so it seemed fitting to give Vincent my father's name for a middle name.

I'm recovering okay.  Five babies in ten years can be kind of hard on a uterus, I've found.  I'm making my way through the recovery pains and all...offering up for special intentions and managing the best I can.  My husband is one-of-a-kind awesome and the kids are doing great, too.

Thanks for all of your prayers!

14 comments:

  1. Congratulations!! He's just as adorable as his older brother and sisters! I love the pictures of the siblings with him; they look absolutely enthralled. :) Glad to hear things went well, if a little slow.

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  2. He is beautiful! Congratulations!

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  3. Congratulations! He's adorable! I'm so glad everything went well!

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  4. Congrats! Your family is beautiful!

    June 30th is a great day to be born... that's my husband's birthday!

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  5. Congratulations Michelle! The pictures are great, especially with all 5 of your kids around you. It reminds me of a picture of me and my siblings around my mom when my youngest sibling was born. :)

    Enjoy your babymoon! If I lived near you I'd bring some food over! :)

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  6. Congratulations to you all!
    Welcome Vincent!

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  7. Wow, what a birth story! Congratulations- he is so precious! God bless you all!

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  8. Oh, I teared up. Congratulations Michelle!!

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  9. Congratulations! He is so beautiful. I love the expression on Dani's face when she first saw him. That is a crazy feeling, when the whole baby "jumps" into the birth canal, such a relief to get them out!! Be sure to take it easy. (Easier said than done of course) Hope your recovery goes well. :)

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  10. Congratulations on your beautiful baby boy, Michelle! I hope you are recovering well and comfortably. My prayers are with you as your lovely family finds a new normal as you add this blessing to it!

    ((HUGS))
    Jamie

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  11. Congratulations! Welcome to the world, Vincent Gerard!

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  12. He's such a cute fella! I loved reading this...what a lucky guy to be born into such a loving family!

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  13. Congratulations, Michelle & all! I did a double take when I saw the baby in the car seat, and then I remembered you delivered in the dead of summer...all my little ones have come home when it's still pretty cool outside, and have been well swaddled! LOL

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