By 9:45 AM on March 9th, Lori could no longer work through the pain, and because of the cervix swelling, we made the decision to get an epidural to allow her to relax and progress. We spent the rest of the day slowly waiting for things to go in the right direction. At 7PM, Lori was 8 cm and exhausted. Things were proceeding very slowly and talk of c-section was beginning. The nurse had set up the necessary c-section equipment. Feeling exhausted and the fact that our birth plan was out the window, morale was low. But all we wanted was a healthy baby.
At 9 PM, the delivering doctor evaluated Lori and she was 10 cm, which completely recharged everyone in the room. For 5 hours Lori pushed. A small bit of the head could finally be seen and the doctor decided to use the vacuum suction to try to pull him out since we had been pushing for so long. We were told it could only be used for 3 contractions. If the head wasn't able to pass after trying 3 times, a c section would be imminent. Luckily, baby was doing beautifully this whole time, so the doctors were allowing us to try different methods and lots of time to try and get him out on our own. The room filled with people cheering and rooting for Lori to push. Each time the suction was used, baby would get to the point of crowning, the suction would pop off, and he would slip back into the birth canal. After the suction use, it popped off three times in a row, and once again c-section thoughts ran through everyone's heads. But the entire crew rallied and 3 more attempts were done. The entire room was hoping, while I counted and tried to feed every contraction she had left in her. On that 3rd count on the 6th suction use, we heard the entire room scream with excitement and we watched baby Maxwell come into the world and placed on her chest.
Maxwell Strummer Friend was born March 10 (his due date) at 2:12 AM. He weighed 9lbs and 10 oz, and measured 22" long. Because Lori had a pain/stress fever of 102 degrees during labor, he was required to go to NICU for 2 days to rule out infection. But he was alive, healthy, strong, loud, and the most beautiful little guy ever. We spent the next 2 days visiting him every 3 hours to breastfeed, which he is a natural at.
We left the hospital March 12th at 4PM and have been home since. Adjusting has been so much more difficult than we ever imagined. Lack of sleep, lack of experience, and waiting for the milk to come in have been the biggest hurdles. Luckily we have Lori's mother here to lend a hand. Maxwell is a beautiful little boy who will forever change our lives.
I find the placenta, the sure size of it, fascinating
Everyone in NICU loved Max!