Camden's Birth

Roy Camden Buckmaster was born November 24th, 2012 at 4:34 pm.  He weighed 8 pounds and 5 ounces, and was 21 inches long.  A perfect baby.  New Mom and Dad were immediately smitten.

Now if you want details, if you want the story... grab a chair.  And maybe a snack, too.  With a 29-hour labor, this has potential to be a looong post!


Roo's due date came and went without even a hiccup of a contraction to get me out of work meetings.  I'd been expecting that, although I was feigning optimism for the sake of my own sanity.  Truthfully, I figured I'd be just like my mom; unable to go into labor without being medically induced.  The doc said the soonest he would induce me would be the day after Thanksgiving {8 days after the due date} because he really wanted to give my body a chance to go into labor on her own.  Pah!

So we scheduled the inducement for as early as possibly permitted: 5am on the 23rd of November.

Fortunately that extra week of pregnancy didn't drag too horribly because we had some of our best friends visiting from California!  That shows you how confident I was that I wasn't going to go into labor on my own, right?  Still, I'm pretty sure Shellena would have risen to the occassion had my water broken in the middle of Yahtzee. 

Updates on the Tietjen's visit and Thanksgiving coming soon.

Since that didn't happen, Roy and I arrived at the hospital at 10:30 am.  No, we weren't late.  The hospital had to bump us back a few hours because there weren't any available beds.  Turkey must induce labor or something.  I'll have to try that next time.

I was nervous, but it's one of those things, isn't it?  There's no going back.  The baby is coming out one way or the other, so you might as well put on a brave face and make the best of it.  So when they took us to our room we soaked it all in.  We were stoked when we saw the little bed/thing that our baby would soon {ha!} be placed in, pink and screaming.  The little pink and blue striped hat was inside, waiting to be pulled over his little head.  It was surreal.

 Last belly pic!

Once I was in my fashionable hospital gown, two scrubs arrived to give me an IV.  Now, I know nurses have to start somewhere... but why on me?!  This sweet lady that had been a doula for umpteen years was in training to be a nurse.  An experienced nurse was at her side the entire time, explaining everything in great detail.  Sometimes more detail than I, as a patient, would like to hear.  The gray-haired doula lady was given the needle with specific instructions on where to place it.  I could tell she was nervous and hesitant.  That made me feel oh-so-great.  

Experienced Nurse raved about this enormous vein on the back of my wrist.  Doula Lady couldn't possibly miss--oh yes she could.

"Oh, you've got flesh there.  That's okay, just thread it into the vein.  No, the other way.  Almost.  Here, let me try..."

I swear that needle was fished around the back of my arm for five minutes between the two of them.  I dared to glance over at my blood smeared all over the paper sheet and their gloves.  I mean, jeez!  But I just smiled at Doula Lady and her stuttering apologies, because she was learning and most likely wasn't trying to drain my entire body of blood before I'd even started this whole fiasco.  

Finally, Experienced Nurse decided to start from scratch, turned my arm over, and got the IV into another vein properly.  

In Doula Lady's defense, she was an excellent cheer leader, comforter, and helped Roy with things he could do to make me feel better once contractions started.  And oh, they started!  Soon after they gave me the softener I started feeling them.  They were extremely close together, less than one minute apart.  Too fast, they said.  

For those who don't know, you're ready to deliver when you are dilated to a 10.  These quick, hilly contractions jumped me from a 1 to a 3.5.  Progress seemed good, but they couldn't give me Pitocin to really get things moving until the contractions spaced out.

Hours passed.  Uncomfortable hours, but bearable since I had people visiting us and Roy trying to keep me distracted.  PS- it was especially cool to have the Tietjen's there because it got me thinking about when their first baby was born.  It was my first close experience with birth, and it was amazing.

When there was a shift change that evening my new nurse was all business {and knew what she was doing, which was awesome}.  Finally, someone who wanted to get something done!  My contractions had spaced out just a bit, but it was enough for her and she got me started on Pitocin.  An anesthesiologist came in and gave me the epidural.  It basically felt like a wasp sting in my back.  Not pleasant, but not as bad as I'd imagined.

More hours, but not more progress.  I slept in ten minute spurts while Roy studied for finals and slept curled up in the "sleeping space", which was a loveseat that pulled out at the armrest for length.  He never complained about it, but it didn't look like the most comfortable thing in the world.  It was frustrating to watch the hours pass but have absolutely nothing change.  Still a 3.5.  Heck- they probably threw the .5 in there just to make me feel a little better.

In the morning the doctor suggested breaking my water, and I was sure that was the answer to our problems.  At first all seemed great.  I progressed to a 6.5 pretty quickly and was still able to take my spurt naps, thanks to being numb from the chest down.  But sometime in the afternoon Roo's heart rate dropped.  In an instant our room was flooded with scrubs!

I was kind of out of it--somewhere between asleep and drugged--but Roy told me later that he was pressed into the background of it all, freaking out.  The dreaded words "cesarean section" were being fired around, someone called for a doctor, they shut off the Pitocin.  By the time I started understanding what was going on, the doctor arrived.  And, right on queue, Roo's heart rate returned to normal.  You know you're a pretty good doc when your mere presence resolves medical emergencies.

Phew!  Narrowly escaped a c-section, I thought to myself, all giddy.

Things calmed down after the scrubs filtered out.  Roy recovered from his panic attack as we listened to our baby's galloping heartbeat on the monitor.  Our lil' guy was safe.  The nurse said they would keep the Pitocin shut off for a while to make sure of that.  From that moment on the Pitocin was off, on, off, on, and never got up to the same level that I was on when his heart rate dropped.

Not sure if that has anything to do with the fact that I was stuck at a 6.5 for the rest of the day.  At 2:30 the doctor came in.  Before the 24th, I'd never met this guy.  My doctor had Thanksgiving weekend off, and this was the doc on call.

He seemed smart.  "Been doing this for 36 years," he said.  But he wasn't the most tactful guy I've ever met {you will see what I mean}.  He sat down beside my bed and told me that I was at a crossroad.  The baby was not in a good position- something was keeping him from progressing.  There are four types of hips that women have, and mine, apparently, are not of the type that are conducive to child-bearing.

Option One: keep upping the dosage of Pitocin every four hours until, ideally, I progress to a 10 and can deliver the baby.  According to the doc, in my case it was likely that I'd keep upping the Pitocin for another 24 hours but then the baby's heart rate would drop again and I'd need an emergency c-section.  Boo.

Option Two: C-section.  Boo again.

I was not liking this particular crossroad, since it seemed doubtful that I'd be able to deliver the way I'd always imagined.  And I was not liking the particular nurse that was on shift.  {For the record, I LOVED all of my other nurses.  And I was there for many-a-shift.}  She'd poke her frizzy head over the doctor's shoulder and say things like, "This is going to end in a c-section, he's been doing this for 36 years and I've been doing this for 27, we know what we're talking about here.  You need to just go with the planned cesarean."

Don't tell me my business, devil woman!

Roy asked the doctor if we could talk about it, and they and my mom left the room.  My sweet hubs sat down on the bed and held my hands.  He didn't want to pressure me, but I could tell he thought a c-section would be best.  The thought of risking Roo's heart rate dropping scared him.  I, despite my exhausted body, felt like I should at least try!  Roy pointed out that I'd been trying for over 27 hours.  Touché.

A compromise was reached.  We would up the Pitocin one more time and wait until 4 o'clock.  If God wanted me to deliver vaginally, I'd have made some progress by then.  If it was just in the cards for me to have a c-section, then I'd still be stuck at 6.5 centimeters.  We said a prayer together and then called everyone back inside.

When the doctor returned he didn't wait for us to speak.  He said he wanted to address some of my fears about a c-section.  So I listed them in no particular order.

Fear #1- I don't want to put a limit on how many kids I can have.  No, I don't know how many I want, I just don't want to put a ceiling over the matter.

- He said the ceiling was pretty high "unless you want to have eight or nine kids."

Fear #2- the healing process.

- Yes, it's brutal, it will take longer than a normal delivery, but you'll be walking around in a day or so, plus we send you out the door with lots of pain killers.

Fear #3- Wasted effort.  I didn't verbalize this one as much, but it just seemed crazy that I'd been in labor for all this time for nothing!  Somehow I felt inadequate, like getting a c-section meant I failed somehow.

- He referred to the c-section decision as "throwing in the towel."  No, that didn't help.

Fear #4- C-sections are at an all time high in this birthing industry.  It seems they are given frivilously.

- He agreed.  C-sections are given too frequently.  "But you're not one of those cases, I promise you.  I'm not just saying you should get one to save me time, I honestly think it is the best route to go."

Fear #5- My cousin nearly lost her uterus when she went in for a c-section!  It was a real scary ordeal that ended with a miracle.  

- Women like to show off their horror stories.  It's really not that bad.

Excuse me, when was the last time you gave birth to a human being?  Chauvinistic much? 
That's where my "fears" list ended with him.  In all honesty, I liked him.  Lacking tact, but I knew what he was trying to say.  He did tell me that either decision was not a wrong decision.  It was just up to me. 

So I told him our plan, and he upped the Pitocin for the last time.  I spent the next two hours praying, but also wrapping my head around the idea of a c-section.  Just in case.  At 4:00 I hadn't made any progress, so I told the doctor, "Let's get this show on the road!"  And BAM!  Five minutes later they had Roy and I both ready for surgery!

 But, as you can see, two hours wasn't enough to wrap my head around the idea of a c-section.  Haha!  Now that I'm looking back, it's funny how hard I was trying {and failing to} not to look terrified.

Pure honesty here.  As they were wheeling me to surgery and I was flat on my back watching the florescent lights pass above me, I shed a tear.  Or five.  They'd separated Roy and I and as soon as he was out of sight I lost whatever confidence I'd had when he was near.  This wasn't what I'd pictured, you know?  I'd had nine months to dream up what this day would be like, and it was all severely different.

Something about my hormones and the fact that they increased the epidural to a spinal block made me shiver.  A lot.  By the time the scrubs lifted me onto the operating table I was shaking like crazy and I couldn't stop!  My neck and shoulders {some of the only parts of my body I could still feel} ached pretty bad from all the trembling.

My anesthesiologist was young and serious.  I tried not to wonder how many years {or months} she'd been doing this.  While they were putting the blue sheet up to block my view, she leaned down and asked me if I was nervous.  I nodded, and she told me my heart rate was going crazy and I needed to breathe.

Oh yeah- breathing.  Got it.  Doing that helped ease the shakes a little. 

"We're going to make absolutely sure that you can't feel anything down here," the doctor said from the other side of the sheet.  Beats me what they did, because I didn't feel it, thank goodness.  The anesthesiologist tied my arms down on either side of me.  That didn't freak me out!!!

But then - ah! - Roy appeared.  Seeing him reminded me: our KID is at the end of this!  Our son, our baby!  I even smiled thinking about it.  A thrill went through me when I realized we were so close to meeting him.

I didn't even realize how close.

It was literally minutes.  Roy brushed his hand through my hair when they started.  Told me I was doing so good and was so brave.  He asked the anesthesiologist if he could watch.  Initially she said yes, but maybe Roy looked a little green as he watched {although he says he didn't feel queasy in the slightest}.  She asked, "What do you do?"

"I go to school," he said.

"What kind of school?"

"Law school."

"Hm.  You better sit down."

HA!  If I hadn't been in the middle of having someone digging around my insides, I would have laughed.

Roy sat down for maybe a minute tops before he was out of the chair again, camera ready.  {Blood warning!  I had to include this pic because Roy is so proud of himself for capturing it.  Camden's first ever photo.}

Camden didn't cry, and I obviously couldn't see him, but I knew he'd arrived.  I knew because suddenly, for the first time in five months, I could really breathe.  It was like someone lifted thirty pounds off my chest.  And Roy was snapping away, half laughing half gasping.  I wanted to grab his hand at that moment but... we had to make do with him patting my head again.

"Dad, you can come over," someone said.  Roy asked me if it was okay and of course it was.  I've never seen his face so lit up before.  He patted my head again and disappeared around the sheet right as I heard Camden's first cry.  Then I cried too.  Not because I couldn't see my baby or my husband {although that was a bummer} but because he was here.  Finally, he was here, and I was deliriously happy.

I could hear Roy taking pictures and talking to our baby.  They were still sewing me up when Roy and a nurse came back around with our little guy, all swaddled and hatted and puffy.  He was looking around at everything, not making a sound.  He was the sweetest thing I'd ever seen.  And in that moment I felt silly for ever feeling inadequate.  Who cares HOW I had this little bundle of a miracle?!  He was here, he was healthy, he was perfect!  How was irrelevant.

Roy followed Camden out of the room and to the nursery while they finished putting me back together.  I wanted to kiss every nurse in the room.  I wanted to throw my arms around that doctor.  Maybe it was partly the hormones, but I felt overwhelming gratitude for everyone who helped bring our little boy into the world.  When I was saying goodbye to the doctor he told me that Camden had been stuck in my pelvis, and he had a pretty impressive cone head from labor.  Luckily that goes away, poor lil' guy.  Plus, the doc was convinced that Camden was far too large for my frame.  The combination meant that I most certainly wouldn't have been able to deliver him vaginally.

I felt at peace.  Confident that everything happened just like it was supposed to.

Now, I think they drugged me up pretty good at this point because the rest of the night is hazy.  I know they rolled me into a recovery room and let me hold our baby.  I know I looked like hell, but I felt like I was in Heaven.  And Roy... I mean, just look at him.

He was finally, truly in on the miracle- able to see and hold our son.  It was all pure bliss.  Having my parents and all three of my siblings there was such a blessing.  Dad and Mom couldn't stop smiling. 

My siblings couldn't believe they were uncles and an aunt.

 From the time I said "Let's get this show on the road," to when they wheeled me into that recovery room, an hour had passed.  It was insanely fast.  But from the time they began induction?  30 hours.  A nurse told me what I'd done was called a "double whammy."  A c-section on top of labor.  My body was ready for a time out.

But hey, there's no time for that!  Not for a busy mamma!

The three of us stayed at the hospital until Tuesday afternoon.  Camden was in the room with us the whole time and we dove right into parenting-diapers, feedings, the works.  Mom was an awesome help, I really can't imagine what it would have been like without her there.  The nurses were great with helping me get back on my feet and feeling good.  By the end I felt like I'd made a bunch of new friends.  One lady even crocheted a hat for Camden!

And Roy was the best.  Not to get all cheesy on you, but the whole experience reminded me that I married the best man in the world.  He had finals to worry about, but he was entirely present and the best cheer leader ever.  Having a son rocketed our love to a whole new level.

Camden had lots of visitors eager to meet him.
Like his Great Grandma and Grandpa.

Grandpa initially said he didn't want to hold him.  Too new, too tiny.  But what can I say, the kid is irresistible.

There were cousins, aunts, uncles, and a few friends.  {Sorry we didn't get pics of everyone who came!}

There were obvious trends in the comments we got about him.  1) He looks just like Roy.  Which is true, and I absolutely love that!  2) He is very alert for a newborn.  He's awake often and looking around.  3) He's calm.  {Knock on wood!}

4) He's cute.  Yes, yes he is.


  1. What a great story, good work mama! Yes he does look like Roy and he is so so cute! Congratulations!

  2. I'm crying! Loved reading about the whole story. So happy for you Elliot an cannot wait to meet him!

  3. .....tear....a great/beautiful miracle:) congratulations...wish you all the best in recovery and your little family...Loves!

  4. Awe! I'm so glad you shared this story with us! I love reading all about what each of us has to go through to bring out sweet babies into this world. Truly amazing!

  5. You are an amazing woman! What a wonderful miracle happening in your life and Roy's! Congratulations! WE send our love! Loves, RaLyn and Bob

  6. Loved this story! Read it three times! He really is perfect. "Don't tell me my business devil woman" HAHAHAHAHA oh I can't wait to meet him in January!!!!!