WARNING: There WILL be TMI in this post & it WILL be long. ie:
if you don't want to hear about my lady bits, then don't read any further. hehe.
On Tuesday July 27th, I woke up just after 5am to a contraction. I thought it was probably one of the fluke, non-regular ones I've been having for weeks. Then I had another about 20 minutes later. I just laid in bed hoping for the best, but tried to not get excited yet. By just after 6am, I had them between 15-20 minutes apart for 30-40 seconds each. I let myself get excited & got a shower since I couldn't relax enough to rest in bed.
The girls woke up around 7am, so I got them ready for the day & as I was in their room I had another contraction. Sophie got worried & asked me what was wrong, so I told her I thought baby brother might be born today & we needed to get dressed, eat breakfast & wake up daddy, etc. to get ready for him. So she went to my room, snuggled Brian to wake him up and so sweetly told him, "Daddy, mommy say's baby brother's coming now!" So of course, Brian leapt out of bed & got ready in about 2 seconds, racing to find where I was. I was changing Maddy & he looked so panicked when I calmly said I was just having some contractions, but nothing close yet. lol!
We hung around the house & Brian's parents took the girls out in the late morning/early afternoon so I could labor w/out worrying about them. So I spent the day walking, on the birthing ball, and nesting like crazy. I did 3 loads of laundry & washed the diapers. I kept losing chunks of my mucus plug, which I knew was a sure sign for me that the baby was on his way! We had a marathon of Rescue Me episodes playing while this was going on too, so that title song will forever be ingrained in my brain as the contractions song. lol! My contractions didn't get to much more productive until around 3pm, when they were around 6-7 minutes apart lasting a minute or so a piece. I called my OB & they gave me the go ahead to come to triage to get checked out. During the drive there, contractions slowed and almost stalled, so we walked around outside the hospital a bit before going into triage. Of course the roads we took were under construction and BUMPY!!! Jeesh!
When I got to triage, I was checked and was only dilated to 3cm (was 1.5cm the previous day at my appointment), so they wanted me to walk for 1 1/2 hours to see if we can get things moving more. We walked around the hospital for a bit, but then worked our way outside to the outpatient services part of Women & Babies' Hospital & ended up walking around the helipad. It was so nice to be outside with the birds chirping, fresh air, water from the nearby fountain flowing & a consistent path to take where there was privacy since almost everyone had already went home for the day. We walked for 1 1/2 hours and when I got back inside, I went from contractions every 6 minutes to every 1-2 minutes and dilated to 4cm. Labor up to this point had been entirely in my back and I was getting exhausted & in pain. So we were finally admitted to triage & given a room.
They required me to be monitored for 20 minutes to record contractions/baby heart rate before I would be admitted to L&D & during that time spent on my back instead of standing or leaning for contractions like I had been. This caused me to lose my focus & control through my contractions & made the pain incredibly worse. I was begging for some pain relief, so they finally admitted me & rolled me into my own L&D room.
The nurse got my bloodwork & an IV started (required to have at least 1 bag in before I could get any medications) after I got to the room with contractions on top of each other. I was so exhausted, I was dozing in the minute between them and waking to incredible pain. I completely lost focus & was crying through the contractions. I finally got an epidural around 11pm and felt so much relief that I could rest a little. I got a low dose one so I could still feel my legs and in control. But it took the edge of the pain off and I was able to rest & take a few little short naps to regain my strength. I originally did not want an epi at all or an IV or any of that & was disappointed in myself for getting one since it may stall labor. But I ended up being very proud of my decision because I doubt I would've had the energy to labor or delivery after how weak and drained I was. I ended up dilating from a 4 to a 7 by just after 1am and was fully effaced, so I guess my body just needed to relax a bit to get the show on the road! It was so cool too, since I could feel some things, but not all. I could concentrate on breathing through & feeling the contractions work. I actually felt my cervix dilate and that was so empowering too. The epi did make my blood pressure crazy low & it wouldn't come up with the drugs they used, but ironically came right up with a little oxygen, so I had the mask on throughout labor & in between pushes.
Baby's heartrate did fluctuate during some contractions & he kept moving away from the monitor, which frustrtated the nurses. I hated those monitors & apparently my babies do too! I did hear a little chatter in between naps of not getting my VBAC if his heart rate continued to have some decels like it did.
Around 1:10am, when I was checked, my water was still intact, so I agreed that it was a good idea to break the bag of waters. No meconium in the water at all either. Then they started to prep the delivery tray & warming bed area. About 15-20 minutes later, I felt a ton of pressure & more pain again that the epi didn't help at all with, so the nurse had me checked again. I was fully dilated & ready to deliver!! I pushed for about 10 minutes before he came out at 1:43am. It was very freeing how I was not told when to push, but to listen to my body telling me when to. The midwife helped when she could with gentle stretches which resulted in absolutely no tearing & she was awesome getting me to relax in between pushes too!!
He came right onto my chest and snuggled right away. He had the cord wrapped around his shoulder, which explains why we had trouble getting him to stay on a monitor. He also saved his first poop for on my leg after he came out. 2 seconds old and already christening me. haha! We delayed cord clamping & cutting, which I was SO relieved that they remembered to do. The placenta came right out with no issues and the midwife later showed it to us. I never saw the others too, so it was so neat to see what had been nourishing my son for all of that time. And it was healthy and normal--something that was also a first experience for us! I am still amazed how healthy we both were/are despite two prior complicated deliveries.
He was incredibly alert after being born & I got to snuggle & nurse him right away. He had a great latch & happily nursed while everything else was finished being taken care of. Brian & I both cried. I kept crying tears of joy because of how perfectly everything went. I felt like this was a very healing birth & was so grateful for how it all went. My body did it! It went into labor on its own when it wanted to. Labor progressed without intervention to get it moving. My body stayed healthy & together during labor--no tears, ruptures or uncontrollable problems. And it delivered a healthy baby boy the natural way--the way God intended for most babies to be born. I'm so proud of my body & myself! :o)
He snuggled the entire stay in the hospital & is such a blessing. Just such a sweet baby.
And we *gasp* co-slept in the hospital! I could not bare to see him in that horrible plastic fishbowl "bassinet", so we broke the rules and snuggled all night. We both slept SO much better this way.
We had a nice variety of visitors: Day 1-Dad & Judy, Julia, Mom Mom, Aunt Sandi, Barb from my NST appointments, Jim & Linda, and Noah's big sisters. Day 2-Sisters, Adam, Julia, Dad & Judy, Donna, Gram & Dolores. Sophie was mad when she found out that we did not name him Yoda. LOL!
I just feel so empowered by what is likely our last birth experience & really enjoyed this pregnancy completely. God was definitely in control these last 9 months & I thank him daily for blessing us with our health & sweet baby boy.
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