Emmett Daniel Gallagher was born on 7/16/14 at 5:50PM weighing 7lbs 5oz and 19.25 inches long
Emmett’s story starts on Thanksgiving 2013 when I just wasn’t feeling quite right… you know the feeling when something is just a bit “off”? Well, I took a pregnancy test, saw the positive sign, and totally panicked. Little did I know that 9 months later I’d be sitting here writing a birth story for the most perfect little boy.
My pregnancy was pretty typical…. at least as far as typical goes. I had kidney stones while 13 weeks pregnant and on vacation in Utah- yuck! At the time I thought that kidney stones were worse than childbirth but less than 24 hours after a non-medicated childbirth I may rescind that statement…
The rest of the pregnancy was pretty smooth/easy until about 32 weeks when I went in for an ECHO of Emmett’s heart (due to Shae’s VSD they wanted to check it out in utero). His heart looked great, but his Left kidney showed a duplicated collecting system- not a big concern but something they wanted to monitor. This was the beginning of almost weekly ultrasounds to monitor his kidneys and the subsequent finding of low fluid at 34 weeks. It seems like the more they look at things the more things they find wrong… sometimes good and sometimes bad. Anyways, from about 34 weeks on I was on “rest”. Not actual bedrest ever, thank God, but more of a light duty- with 2 toddlers. Thanks to my Mom and sister Kristen I was able to still do things with the kids here and there as well as rest quite a bit until the end of the pregnancy. I continued to work very minimally (1-2 evenings a week for 1-2 hours) and actually felt pretty decent by the time I hit 38 weeks (between 34-38 weeks I did not feel very well at all…). I never hurt my back this entire pregnancy which was a true miracle as I have battled back pain since my pregnancy with Shae. During my 38th and 39th week I was able to even take short walks around the neighborhood with the kids, and accompany the kids to the park/pool as long as I had my Mom or Kristen with me too- a true blessing considering how poorly I had felt for weeks prior.
At 39 weeks we measured Emmett’s fluid again and it was at a 5.8 (normal is 5-20) with my blood pressure starting to rise very minimally. My Dr said she didn’t want me to go past 40 weeks, and I was pretty against being induced with meds so we decided we would strip my membranes a few times to see if I would kick into labor without meds. I was measuring a 4-5cm and 90% effaced on 7/16/14 when she stripped my membranes around 7:45AM. Clint dropped me at Starbucks in Prairie Village and headed in to work and I enjoyed a nice iced coffee and read my book before walking a few blocks to my brothers new house to hang out for a little while.
Kristen came over that morning to hang out with the kids for the day and around 9AM they were up and dressed and decided to come down and meet me to go to a park as it was a beautiful morning. I was nervous to get too far from the hospital (Home is a good 30 minute drive, while Prairie Village is only 15). After going to the park and stopping by a couple friends houses we decided to grab Jimmy Johns and head home for lunch/naps around 12:15 because my contractions were still pretty light and about 15 minutes apart.
After lunch I laid down around 1:30 to get some rest. Clint said he planned to be home around 3:30. After laying down my contractions immediately picked up in intensity and frequency and by 2:45 I was texting Clint to let him know he should head home. I was waiting outside when Clint pulled up about 3:45 and off we went! The drive wasn’t too painful, but in the 30 minutes it took us to get to the hospital my contractions went from lasting 60 seconds every 10 minutes to 90 seconds every 5 minutes. They checked me in the triage room and I was at 5cm so they wanted me to hang in triage for a bit- no way was I letting them send me home at this point, I knew this was it.
Finally about 5PM they gave me a labor and delivery room and a nurse. By now I was pretty miserable during the contractions and they were about every 3 minutes. The nurse asked what my pain control method was going to be and I told her I really wanted to avoid all meds if possible and gave a brief run down of my past experiences with epidurals (check Shae’s and August’s birth stories). She wanted to get an IV started anyways, but I asked for no extra fluids to be given unless needed. I really wanted to avoid putting anything unnecessary in my body this time around to hopefully allow for an easier recovery and less stress on the baby. Not too long after the IV was in I started the discussion with Clint about if I really could do this without an epidural (it HURT!) and he suggested they should check me to see how far I had progressed because that would give me a better idea how much longer it may be. I was SO glad they did this because once they checked they said I was an 8 and it would probably not be too much longer which gave me all the strength I needed to power through. About 5 minutes later I started feeling the urge to push so they called my Dr. and Emmett was born about 20 minutes later after 4 pushes.
This was the first time I had a baby during the day, and it made a big difference to not be up all night in Labor and Delivery! We were in Mother Baby by about 9PM, had dinner and got to bed at a reasonable hour. I, of course, didn’t sleep much that first night due to all of the adrenaline and excitement. We stayed 2 nights in the hospital and I enjoyed every second of quiet! We treated ourselves to carryout (a must for us when we are in the hospital!), Clint and Emmett watched the British Open, and we had a few visitors.
Shae and August loved coming to the hospital to meet Emmett. The second Shae saw him she said “I want to hold my baby”, and its been one of her favorite things ever since! August was a little less interested in Emmett and more interested in the remote control bed- typical.
Emmett slept great the whole time we were at the hospital. I had to wake him to feed him almost every time. He took to nursing great, just like his big brother, and what a blessing that is!
Coming home on Friday was actually extremely smooth. My Mom kept the older kids through their naps so we were able to get home and get a little settled before the whole family was in the house. Shae and August were excited to see Emmett again, and they were probably more excited to see the presents their baby brother brought them. Shae got a new baby doll and August got a vacuum, and both have not stopped playing with their respective toys since!
We are feeling so blessed to have 3 precious children to call our own… I am amazed that God picked me to be the Mom of these 3 sweet babies, and I can’t wait to continue to watch each of them grow into their own little person.