Welcome Baby Truman!

Here's the TL:DR version...

Introducing: Truman Christopher Mette

born November 13th, 2014 5:00 PM

6 pounds 8 ounces 19 inches. 

Here's the birth story... if you're in to that kind of thing.

We returned home from Long Beach, MS when I was just over 38 week pregnant. History had suggested that I would be pregnant well past my due date, and I was trying to be patient. The truth was that I was tired of being pregnant. I had a list of things that I wanted to get done, but no motivation or energy to do any of them. Michael continued to work methodically on his “to-do” list and I assured him that all signs pointed to a late delivery. History had shown that I was more likely to go into labor closer to 41 weeks than on my due date at 40 weeks. 

I can normally maintain some facade of patience, until I start having regular contractions. In past pregnancies, I would have contractions at regular intervals each evening for up to 2 weeks before delivery. Each night we would sit on pins and needles, asking “is tonight going to be the night?” The anxiety of the situation makes it hard to fall alseep, but I told myself that if they were real, I would wake up. 

Tuesday night, I awoke around 1:30 AM. The contractions were a bit stronger than I had  been having earlier in the evening and they were steadily 5 min apart. I knew that was not strong enough to go to the hospital, but since we had a 2 hour drive to St. Louis, I woke Michael and told him that I thought we should start driving. Since this was my 6th baby, I wanted to be close to the hospital in case things wet faster than usual. We left the kids sleeping at my mom’s house and made the drive to St. Louis. 

When we arrived, the contractions were just the same. I decided that I did not want to check into a hospital, but it was 4 AM. We had made plans to stay at our house with our renters that weekend, while we were waiting on the baby, but we were afraid letting ourselves in at 4 AM would scare them. We decided to stop at Steak N Shake for breakfast. 

There was still no increase in contractions. It was 20 degrees outside, so walking at a park or something was out of the question. I told Michael that I knew that the hospital had a chapel. Maybe we could spend some time in the chapel and then we would be right there when things picked up. The chapel was closed, so we walked the halls of the hospital downstairs until it opened at 6 AM. 

By 7 AM, we were considering checking in the Labor and Delivery floor. The contractions had not picked up, but we knew we would get a bed! By this time we had been running on about 1 hour of sleep. It looked like it was going to be a long road ahead.  We decided to go to the mall and join the mall walkers, then breakfast (again) and a nap at our old house.  Michael showered.  We napped.  We woke up and the contractions had lessened, but not totally gone away.

Now here is our dilemma, which would revisit us, time and time again. We had planned on bringing the kids to St. Louis to wait until I went into labor and then have our parents come pick them up. My mom had taken the day off work to babysit them. She was more than willing to do this, but the idea was that she would watch them during my labor and 2-day hospital stay. We had no idea if this was going to be just a few more hours or another week. 

Should we pack up and go home or stay and hope to have the baby that night?
— Michelle Mette

Since the contractions had not completely gone away, we decided to stay and watch a movie to see if they picked up or died out. They picked up and so we headed to the mall for more walking. Around dinner time the intensity increased again, so I thought it would be safe to try and check in to the hospital. I figured worst case scenario, they refuse to admit us and send us to go walk the mall some more. 

In the past, when I had checked in, I was either 1) not in labor at all, but coming in for an induction or 2) already in transition and ready to deliver a baby. Checking in during early labor was an odd experience for me. I explained to the nurses that things had been slow-going, but that the contractions were stable and sturdy and I thought we could make a go of it. The doctor said that I was not quite a 2, but if I could walk the halls and make progress that he would admit me. We set out walking. 

After an hour, there was no progress. They called my OB, who has been very supportive with our traveling while pregnant. He was well aware of our situation and of my history of both fully natural births and of full pitocin inductions. He said it could be my choice. 

“You could pack up and go home, or we could start a full induction that night” he said.

My inclination would be to pack up and go home and wait for a more natural labor, but we also had the issue of the kids 2 hours away. We also had some concerts scheduled the next week, so we were already talking about an induction if I went past my due date. My contractions were still sturdy and stable, so I felt like I could make progress. I asked if I could walk the halls for 1 more hour. They agreed. 

My hope was that if I could just make progress, then I would not have to make a hard decision.
— Michelle Mette

After 30 minutes of walking, my contractions weakened. So did my patience. I asked for the pitocin induction.

I thought they might be able to start me on a bit of pitocin and my body would get the little kick start it needed and my labor would pick up. After all, I'd be having steady contractions for 24 hours already. They started the pitocin and I slept 5 hours straight! After all night on a pitocin drip, my contractions were weaker than the night before. I was for sure that I had made no progress. The doctor came in and left the choice up to me. 

I could pack up and go home or he could break my water and we could have the baby that day.
— Michelle Mette

I was now 15 hours without food, two nights on just a few hours of sleep, and my mom had taken 2 days off work. I was at the max dose of pitocin they would give without internal monitoring. I had made zero progress in labor.

 I was tired, hungry, and loaded with hormones. I was in no shape to make this decision. We cried and prayed and my OB decided to allow me to eat breakfast. During breakfast, I felt the contraction get stronger and more stable. I was feeling more comfortable continuing now that the contractions were stable.  I thought, 

If I can just make progress, I won’t have to make a hard decision.
— Michelle Mette

I told the doctor that my only reservation was if I was still a 2. I thought maybe I had made some progress in the past 90 minutes with the stable contractions. He checked me, still a 2... maybe 2 1/2. ARGH!! ... OK... break my water. The nurse and doctor re-assured me they did not think that was a risky decision. They would not have offered it if they had thought it was risky. 

Let’s be honest.  This was not their first rodeo. The doctor kept saying we would have a baby that afternoon. I decided to get an epidural early, just in case this turned into a longer ordeal. Once I agreed to their induction plan, they worked like clockwork. They saw results like clockwork. Baby Truman was born at 5 PM on the dot. If I had not taken the break for breakfast, I surely would have had him in the afternoon just as they predicted (although I don’t regret breakfast at all!).

And so, Truman Christopher Mette born November 13th, 2014 5:00 PM weighed 6 pounds 8 ounces 19 inches. 

Now is the time that I want to thank all of those who prayed for a safe delivery. Truman was born safely with 2 true knots in his umbilical cord. The cord was also wrapped around his neck 2 times. He had a very long cord, so neither of these caused him any harm. However, the OB said that he has never seen TWO knots. If his cord had been shorter, he could have pulled the knots tight, cutting off his life support in utero. We are feeling very grateful for his safety!