I never really labored. As much as the pain of childbirth scared me before Russell was born, I looked forward to yelling out “I spent X amount of time in labor with you! You better listen to me!” I’ll never get that opportunity with Russ. Sigh. I’ll think of another guilt trip to lay on him — mothers are really good for that sort of thing.
Russell’s due date was December 12, 2014. (The original date was December 9th but after our 20 week appointment, they moved it.) I had those dates etched in my brain. I just KNEW he was going to come on or before those days. I was born 2 weeks before my due date and my husband (Ricky) was born 2 weeks after. We’re both the first born in our families so I figured our first born would be born on time :). As the impending due dates approached, my body began to show signs of the labor to come. I began nesting (impulsively cleaning every part of my home) and the sleepless nights were filled with back pains. I dutifully prepared all of Russell’s things in anticipation of his arrival. A week before Russell’s due date, I went to see my Drs. They told be that I was not dilated at all and 0% effaced. Although I was disappointed, I knew that labor could happen at any moment and can go from “0-100 real quick” so I was undeterred.
My Mom flew in on Monday the 8th and at that point, I was READY! My mom and I decorated the house for Christmas and spoke excitedly about the baby boy that was soon to come. As the week progressed, I expected my body to start opening up and prepare for labor. It didn’t. Literally, nothing happened. My mother and I spent our days walking all over the Treasure Coast, hoping to stimulate labor. One week later our midwife told me there was still no activity so we were going to move forward with our inducement date of Monday December 22nd. The night before, Ricky and I walked our apartment building 10 times (we live on the 3rd floor…that was hard work for a 42 weeks pregnant lady!) and we prayed for God’s will.
Monday morning, December 22, bright and early, we started the medicine for the inducement. A few hours into it, I started to feel what I thought were gas pains. The nurse later explained to me that those were contractions, haha!!! Finally, Russell was on his way! After 8 hours, the midwife came and said “We’re going to start the 2nd medicine because you’re moving so quickly!” I was dilated 1.5 CM and 80% effaced at that point and was having regular contractions (although to me, they felt like gas..). A few minutes after they took me off the first medicine, the nurse rushed in and said they lost the baby’s heart rate. This was the 3rd time it had happened (the first two times were earlier in the day and it was because I shifted in position). After getting the heart beat signal back, the nurse told me to lay still for a while. I did so, mentally preparing for what I assumed was going to be a long and painful labor. I really wanted a natural, drug free labor so I tried to prepare for it. 15 minutes later, the midwife and nurse rushed in, checking on me and Russell. A few minutes later I had an oxygen mask on and my Dr. telling me that we were going to move forward with a c-section because Russell’s heart rate kept dropping. It happened that quick. Both Ricky and I looked at each other and turned back to the Dr. and said OK. Our Dr. said we had the best reaction she had ever seen! Honestly, at that very moment, I wanted to 1. Trust God and 2. Make sure Russell was OK. Less than hour later, at 1:23 AM on December 23, 2014, I met my handsome baby boy, Russell Patrick Armand.
Was it easy? No. Was it all worth it? 1,000,000 times yes. My son has brought so much love and joy to me, Ricky and both of our families. He is a funny, independent, sweet, and LOUD baby boy who only sits still when he’s sleeping (and even then he’s all over the place!) I hope you guys enjoyed Russell’s birth story!!!!!! Below are his 6 month old pictures taken by our good friend over at Dragonfly Photography, Oona Breyer. Oona has an amazing way of bringing out the BEST in the people she is photographing. We were both so excited for this session because Oona took our maternity pictures and Russell’s pictures less than a week after he was born and I loved all the pictures from them. This session was 15 minutes long because my little guy was sleepy and we got all these images and MORE. She is THAT good! If ever you need a sweet and talented photographer in the South Florida area, do NOT hesitate to contact Oona! http://www.thedragonflyphoto.com