Now that Jack Jack is almost 8 months old, I should probably write out his birth story! It’s not that I haven’t wanted to, it’s just that life with 2 was a bit more busy and different than I expected it to be. I’ll address that in a separate post!
10lbs 13 oz
42 weeks and 1 day (15 days overdue)
As you know, I carried Jr. exactly 42 weeks. I felt as though I wasted 2 weeks of maternity leave sitting around and waiting. I wasn’t going to let that happen again! I told my district that I planned on working 1 week past my due date. Some called me crazy, some called me superwoman, but the truth of the matter is:
- My family can’t afford for me not to work if I am capable of working and
- I assumed that my baby would be late again, so why waste the leave?
On my due date, we took my brother in law and sister in law out to dinner for watching Jr. while we re-took our Bradley birthing classes. My back was killing me! I started thinking… hmm is this labor?! I hoped and prayed that it was. I wanted so badly for my body to do it by itself.
Alas, it was not. I continued on to my last week of work in a lot of pain, hoping each night that labor would start and each day hoping my water would break. I joked that I would say to my kindergarten class, “See! Like I told you at the beginning of the year…everyone has accidents.” I thought for sure I’d go into labor, but didn’t. I was 41 weeks pregnant…again. Going into my midwives clinic every other day for a non-stress test. I got my amniotic fluid level checked on Tuesday and it was at a 7. Anything less than 10 can be considered “Concerning”. They said they would check again in 2 days and if it was lower, then I would be induced. One of the midwives offered to have me induced that day (Wednesday) simply because the birth center had availability. I’m terrible at making this kind of decision. I feel like this isn’t how it is supposed to happen, they are supposed to come on their own! I’m not in charge of picking the date they enter the world, that’s not my responsibility! I also sat on the fence because I was tired of being pregnant, but would never admit it and at the same time I wanted to wait because if I went 16 days over, it would be my grandpa’s birthday and was very special to me.
I decided not to be induced. We had to go in Thursday to have my fluid level checked again. I again hoped it would be low so that it wouldn’t be my decision to induce. Nope. It went up to a 13. They could not induce me because the birth center was too full (if my fluid would have been low it would have been an “Emergency induction” and they would not have been able to send me home.) So they put me on the books to be induced on Saturday at 42 weeks. I was told that if I didn’t hear from the birth center by 8 am to call them. 8am came. I called and the lady who answered said they could not accommodate me because they only had 3 beds available (Staff to patient ratio stuff) and they needed to be saved for women who were actually in labor. I was at peace with this, but Mr. Manly was not. He gets agitated easily when things don’t go his way (please read in a Fez from That 70’s Show voice…But what man doesn’t? Am I right ladies?!)
I decided to call around 10 am hoping there had been a shift change and I would get someone a little friendlier and I did! However, they were now – 3 beds, all but one ER OB triage room was full and they had at least 2 women laboring in the waiting room. HOLY COW! Apparently this is the time to have babies. I talked to the midwife on call and she said I was at the top of the induction list and I could only be bumped by someone with a more urgent medical condition. She also said that I still had to come in to get a non-stress test done. Really?! With all the crazy going on? I still had to come in knowing I wasn’t staying? Lame.
My sister took Jr. and we got to the hospital around 6pm. I hadn’t been hooked up to the NST for more than 5 minutes when they came in and said I could stay!! Hooray! We got set up in the best room ever! It was way bigger than the one where we had Jr.. Same hospital, same birth center, much better room! Also it was tucked away in a corner with only 1 other room nearby. Our nurse was amazing! I told her that the worst part was going to have an IV put in and she was so awesome that she went and found the nurse who was the best at putting in IVs for me! Just wait she gets more awesome as the night goes on!
8pm comes around and I ask if they can induce me by simply breaking my water. I was checked and dilated to a 6, between 50 and 75% effaced, but Jack Jack was too high up. They had to start pitocin… wawh, wawh, wawh. Stupid freaking pitocin! I was determined to not let it get the best of me and to be in control of my labor the whole time. I wasn’t going to let it run over me like it did the first time.
Just like starting a run, if I can get my breathing in a good pattern then I am golden!
I was breathing and moving and completely in control! Pitocin comes with stupid crap like continuous fetal monitoring. Those bands don’t stay in the right position, EVER, but what do amazing nurses do? They hold the monitor in the right spot and sway with you! Could she be more amazing?! The answer is NO! She was the best of the best!
It was getting harder to stand. Mr. Manly, being the awesome coach he is, remembered that I wanted to try laboring in a hands and knees position. They got me set up on the bed, kneeling while leaning forward kind of over the top of the bed. By this time I had to vocalize the contractions. The midwife came in around 10:30pm, checked me and he was still high. She said she would come back at 1:30am to break my water. It felt like 30 minutes and all of sudden it was 1:30. She came in, and broke my water.
That’s when stuff got REAL!
Contractions hurt way more!Unfortunately there was meconium in the amniotic fluid. Very typical of post term babies, but it means a NICU team present during delivery and no delayed cord clamping. I continued to labor while laying on my side. Mr. Manly held my hand and it felt so good when he breathed on me, it was like a nice cool breeze, so I begged him to continue! One of the most helpful things in staying relaxed during contractions was when my midwife would say “Soft Face” It was a gentle reminder to not tense up and to just let your body do what it was made to do.
I’m not sure what time it was but they kept losing Jack Jack’s heart rate and ended up needing to use internal fetal monitoring. Not gonna lie, it felt real weird having a cord in my vaginal canal! She checked me again, but I was ONLY at a 9.5. I was devastated. I just wanted to be at a ten. I whined “I’m not there yet!” while everyone reassured me I’d be there soon. Soon felt like right then because all of a sudden I felt like I had to push. The midwife and nurses kept saying “Don’t push! Don’t push!”, but there was no stopping it! I tried because i didn’t want to tear my cervix, but my body took over and started pushing. It was like everything went into hyper drive. The nurses moved faster, the midwife sent for the NICU team very urgently saying “Tell them P2(or G2, I don’t remember)!” I can only assume it meant that it was my second baby and they they needed to get there ASAP!
Two nurses were holding my feet and telling me to use them as leverage. The only problem with that is that my legs are incredibly strong and the cute little asian nurse holding my left foot might as well of not been there! She couldn’t give me any counter resistance. It was like I kept kicking her away!
My biggest fear in childbirth is shoulder dystocia. That’s when the head is out, but the shoulders get stuck. If it lasts longer than 2 minutes it’s an emergency c-section no questions asked. Well… my biggest fear became my reality. All I heard was “ Shoulder!, Shoulder! SHOULDER!” in that instance it felt like they all jumped on me and then flipped me upside down, but they got him out!! After he was born I heard someone telling everyone 40 seconds. Jack Jack’s shoulder was stuck for 40 seconds. Phew!! Thank heavens for a team that knows what to do!!
I only needed 2 stitches for a small labial tear near my urethra, but ended up only getting 1 because the catheter fell out. They suctioned out my baby and I finally got to hold him! He just cried and cried, didn’t want to nurse, just wanted to cry! My midwife, who was also pregnant at the time, could barely lift my placenta to show me. She said it was very thick and probably weighed 3-4 lbs.They weighed the baby and when I looked over I swear the scale read 10lbs and 1.3oz. I didn’t have my glasses on. I thought to myself, “Oh not too much bigger than Jr. (9lbs. 11 oz).” The nurse then told everyone, “He’s 10lbs 13oz!!” I could not believe my ears! WHAT? I just had a baby that weighed almost 11 lbs!
I felt great! I legitimately left the hospital 30 hours later, at my pre-pregnancy weight. In retrospect it was a very pleasant experience. I’ve come to terms with the fact that no matter how it happens my brain will always find something that wasn’t quite good enough and that’s ok. It was as perfect as it could have been. And if…. (a very strong if, for now) I have another baby I am going to ask to be induced sometime between 40 and 41 weeks. Hoping my body will go into labor naturally is not worth the hassle of going in almost every day and paying for test after test. I have had two huge babies on pitocin without epidurals. Pitocin and I have become close friends and I am willing to just deal with it!