It is the afternoon of Wednesday, November 5th. I finally get the call from American Fork Hospital around 3 pm with my scheduled C-Section time for the next day. I was scheduled for 6:30 am! After calling Jason to let him know, I knew I had to call Nancy since they were going to be watching Charlie. I didn’t call right away, however, because I was starting to have really painful contractions. I finally made myself make the call, and we figured it would be best to bring Charlie over that night so it wouldn’t be such an early morning. After calling Nancy, I called my mom to let her know. By that time, I could tell that the contractions were coming with consistency. There were a couple of times while talking to my mom that I had to put the phone down and walk through the contractions, they were that bad. After talking to my mom, I started timing the contractions. They were coming every 4-7 minutes and lasting about 40-50 seconds. I had heard that labor contractions lasted a minute, so I figured I wasn’t going into labor. But I did make another call to Jason...I was in a lot of pain and didn’t know how I would take care of Charlie and deal with the contractions at the same time. Jason could sense the urgency in my voice, and it was a blessing that Jason was done with work and was heading home.
I was so glad when Jason got home! The contractions were staying steady, but still only lasting about 40-60 seconds. After two hours of this I decided to call my doctor to get his opinion. I spoke with the nurse and she said that they like you to go to the hospital with five or six contractions in an hour. I was definitely having that. So it was settled. Luckily, I had already had most of Charlie’s things packed, since we were planning to drop him off that night anyways. We just moved up the exchange time. We had George and Nancy meet us at the hospital parking lot.
It was about 6 pm. I was in a lot of pain.
They admitted us to Triage and hooked me up with the monitors. They checked me out and found I was only at a three!!! I couldn’t believe it. I was terrified they would send me home since I wasn’t dilated enough. They said they would keep me for an hour or two to see how I was progressing. After the first hour (which was horrible being strapped to the monitor, being forced to lay there. I felt like I was going to die having to lay there through the contractions without being able to get up and walk around. And since a C-Section was still very possible I wasn’t able to eat or drink anything) they checked me again and I was at a 3 ¾. Again, I was terrified. They said real labor progresses at about a centimeter an hour. So I hadn’t quite progressed a full centimeter in that hour. If they sent me home I felt like I would just pass out from the pain. I was losing courage.
During that hour of contractions, the baby’s heart rate would drop. So on the one hand, I wasn’t quite to the progression I needed to be, but on the other hand they didn’t know if they wanted to send me home because they were worried about the strain on the baby. The dropping heart rate was making the C-Section look more like a probability, but just doing it that night instead of waiting until the 6:30 am appointment.
They decided to keep me for another hour. I was very anxious...Will they keep me? Will they send me home? Will it be a C-Section? After the second hour of torture they checked me and I was at a good four! I was so excited! They were keeping me! They moved me into the labor and delivery room and gave me an epidural and broke my water.
The epidural was amazing!! With Charlie, I didn’t experience any labor contractions, so I didn’t know what a miracle and blessing an epidural could be. Ah, I loved it! All of a sudden I couldn’t even tell I was having contractions even though the monitor was showing some intense ones. Apparently, however, when he was injecting me, some of the fluid leaked or he missed or something. I didn’t quite understand what he was telling me other than the fact that he said because of it I had an 80% chance of getting a spinal headache within a few days. We would just have to see. So he took some blood from my spine just in case.
My doctor was Dr. Jones, however, he wasn’t the doctor on call that night. It was Dr. Haskett. We met him and he seemed very nice! Jason and I both instantly felt comfortable with him.
The new room was a lot bigger than the Triage room. They let us know that even though I was progressing, it didn’t mean that a C-Section was out of the picture. They said they would continue to keep a close eye on his heart rate during contractions. At this point, we were just amazed that a vaginal delivery was even a possibility. We were very excited and very hopeful!
At about 10 pm, my parents surprised us with a visit. They stayed for about an hour and a half, chatting and keeping us company. During one of the strong contractions, the baby’s heart seemed to stay low (50s to 70s) for a longer amount of time than normal. The nurse came in because they were worried. She decided to check me and found that I was a six or a seven. That was great news! Although his heart rate continued to drop during contractions, the nurse said “We aren’t going to call it yet.” She felt my progress was so good that they weren’t going to do a C-Section just yet. As long as I stayed laying on my side, it seemed to help the baby through the contractions. At this point, we really liked the nurse that was helping us. She had a way of comforting us and bringing in hope and confidence to me. After that, my parents left.
Jason and I tried to get some rest, and at 12:30 am, the nurse came to check on me again. Jason had a hard time resting, though, because he was constantly watching the monitor and praying for his heart rate to remain strong enough to continue. The nurse told me I was at a nine and said, “I really think you are going to do this!” Jason and I were so encouraged! We couldn’t believe this was happening!
An hour later (1:30 am) the nurse returned with her replacement nurse. The new nurse checked me out and said, “You’re complete!” It was time to push! Both nurses seemed excited and wanted me to do a “practice push”. The old nurse wanted to see how this push went because she wanted to stay longer if it appeared that the birth would be soon. You never know how long these things can take! After the first push, his hair started to show! The nurses were amazed! Jason and I were so excited and, frankly, in shock. I instantly asked what color his hair was. It was brown! Another shock! After a second push, even more of his head was showing.
They instantly notified the doctor and told me to stop pushing. The new nurse said that the baby was so close that, if need be, they could just use instruments to get him out. That meant that we had officially evaded a C-Section! Two more contractions passed before the doctor showed up. He was quite excited for us, but took his time to suit up. There were about six nurses in the room since it was a VBAC. They got everything ready and all that was left was to wait for the next contraction. It came and so I pushed. His entire head was crowning at this point. On the next contraction, I pushed again...but then he started coming too fast, so he told me to just do little pushes, little grunts. He wanted to avoid tearing. Within seconds after that, Colson David Gruber was born! It was 1:40 am. From first push to birth it was 10 minutes (with half of that being wait time on the doctor to arrive).
Dr. Haskett handled him with ease and asked if Jason wanted to cut the cord. Jason was surprised and slightly hesitant, but then agreed. It took him two cuts to get through that thing. Apparently it had been wrapped around his neck twice.
Colson’s birth was seriously a miracle! I cannot believe how well it went! I couldn’t have ever hoped or dreamed it to go that well. Since this was practically my first delivery, I was expecting hours and hours of labor (if I ever even went into labor). I also knew it could take hours of pushing. As I am writing this, I am still in shock with the wonderful experience we had! After the epidural, it was just such a pleasant experience. I felt no pain and our baby boy was perfect and handsome. It actually happened all faster than I was ready for. We still weren’t 100% sure on his name, thinking we had lots more time to discuss it.
Another miracle is the timing of it all! Jason joked that he wanted to name him Clutch. He came just in the nick of time. We were scheduled for a C-Section just five hours later! I am so glad that nothing opened up Wednesday because originally we were trying to schedule it for Wednesday. If something had opened up and we had gone in as planned, my body would never have had the chance to go into labor, I would have had a C-Section, never would have had the amazing experience I did have, and would not be able to try again for a VBAC. Ah! I feel so blessed and love remembering the love I felt from my Heavenly Father.
Colson had beautiful dark brown hair, was 6 lbs 8 oz, and was 18 inches long. Absolutely perfect!