Born July 16th 2010
8 lbs 9 oz 20 inches long
Both of my girls came at 38 weeks to the day so when I was still pregnant at 38 weeks after contracting on and off for a couple weeks I was pretty surprised. Then a few days after my 38th week it was the 4th of July and I thought perhaps he wanted to be patriotic and come then. But I was wrong. I continued to contract on and off. I had prodromal labor with both girls as well, but it was for only a couple days and then they came. This time it was for about 4 weeks before I actually delivered. The worst part about prodromal labor for me is not even the disappointment of not having the baby, but the emotional and hormonal drop from completely stopping. Every time I would go through the hormone highs of contractions, they would quit by night time and I would wake up on an emotional low. I could feel the drop in my hormones and a deep depression would set in. I explained to Robert that I was disappointed yes, but I could tell this was worse and felt irrational. The week before I went into real labor I contracted heavily all morning and could actually FEEL my baby move down lower into my pelvis. I have never had it to where I could feel the baby actually drop. Those contractions stopped as well, but I noticed that I felt a lot more comfortable all of a sudden and the shape of my belly was very different.
The Day Before
I didn’t want to make it to my midwife appointment. I wanted to go into labor and avoid the ‘yes I am still here’ comments. Unfortunately I was still pregnant so I went in; my hope was high though because I was contracting on and off, just not consistently. The assistant noticed the difference in my belly immediately and that was comforting to have it confirmed. I decided since I was contracting on and off that day to have her do a check on my cervix. 3 cm and 80% effaced and his head was very low. The midwife said she was surprised I WASN’T in labor already because of how low he was. She felt that all I needed was consistent contractions and he would be here. I didn’t make an appointment either that was how sure we were he was on his way soon.
Before the appointment some of my nesting bug came out and was able to clean parts of my house. I had been frustrated that every time I cleaned anticipating his arrival, the house would get messy again. I had cleaned and I came home and decided to relax a little and see if the contractions kept up even with my relaxing. They were there, but about 30 minutes apart or more. I still thought it was a good sign that they hadn’t stopped.
At 3:00 a.m. I started to get horrible ligament cramping with my contractions on the left side. It was very painful and I struggled through that for an hour until I was able to relax again. I propped up my belly on one side to relax the muscles while the contractions continued. I grabbed the cell phone so I could time my contractions in between resting. From 3:00- 6:00 a.m. I labored in and out of sleep. I started to notice they were getting stronger and staying consistently 5 minutes apart. My midwife had said to be sure to call her as soon as they were consistent so she could get to the hospital in time, my last labor only being 2 hours long. I woke Robert up and told him it was time to get ready. We woke up our girls and Emily said “I knew he was going to come today.” She had told me this the day before so she was so happy to be right. We got them ready and as I finished a few of the last minute items to grab for the bag, toothbrushes, etc. my contractions picked up to 3 minutes apart. Robert was trying to get a hold of the hospital that hung up on him twice and put him on hold as well. We were out the door soon enough and I tried to focus on each contraction as they came. I had to stop and sway through them and moan deep and low to get through each one.
The Car Ride
There are a few hospitals close to us, but the ones that are the closest are the ones that have way too many horror stories. So I chose the hospital that was farthest from my house, but still about 20 minutes away, longer when there is traffic. Another reason for choosing the hospital is my good friend is right on the way and it was the easiest solution for finding someone to watch our girls. We quickly dropped them off and were on our way. The contractions in the car were very intense. Each bump and turn was dreaded and Robert did his best to be slow and careful.
Once in the hospital they tried to give me a wheel chair and I refused. Sitting in the car had been unbearable and I just wanted to walk. I had to stop a couple times, but made it into the delivery room. My midwife showed up and checked me. There is nothing worse than being checked in full blown labor. Because the baby’s head was so low and pushing so hard on the cervix my midwife couldn’t feel my cervix at all and mistook me for being complete. I thought it was really odd because I didn’t feel that I was in the worst of it yet and I was still managing things really well in between contractions. Everyone was around ready for me to deliver, but I continued contracting the way I was. My midwife realized I may not be as close as she thought so she checked again. 5 cm and 100% effaced. That sounded right to me and was consistent with feeling active labor pains. My friend, who we had planned to be there as my doula support, was sick unfortunately and she and I were disappointed that she was unable to make it. Robert is an amazing support coach, but I wanted him to have support as well so he could be even more involved. He took over completely and was once again amazing at giving me what I needed.
I continued to labor and focus on my contractions. I was finding I was having a hard time focusing on my breathing during each contraction so I asked for some extra oxygen. My midwife got me out of the bed and told me to start walking, but unfortunately because I wasn’t complete they began the GBS antibiotics but having an IV going in makes me very light headed and nauseated. I asked for a birth ball to lie across and a pillow under my knees and I labored like that for a while. I must have been nearing transition at this point because I started saying ‘Why am I doing this?’ and ‘I can’t do this.’ Thankfully I had told Robert that when I started saying this he needed to encourage me and cheer me on. He did just that and I felt like I could go on a little longer.
The nurse was great and supportive in my efforts to have a natural birth. She checked me after an hour of laboring and I had reached 7 cm. After being in the position of leaning on the ball for a while my legs started to ache, but I did not want to be up and walking. The bed was pushed up all the way and the bottom was down low so it was more like a chair. I sat on that with oxygen to my face and labored through transition. Robert would walk the floor while I rested and even managed to fall asleep in between contractions. Then as one would begin I would moan and Robert would come over so I could squeeze his fingers as hard as I could. The last 5 contractions were the most intense I have ever felt even with Lindsey. I was feeling so overwhelmed to even focus through them. I started to feel that they would just keep going until the baby was here and I felt the pressure so intensely that I knew he had to be on his way. I just prayed over and over to God to strengthen me. Instinctively I flipped over onto my knees, facing the back of the bed and gripped the sides and began to push. I told Robert I was pushing and he paged the nurse who had stepped out.
My midwife showed up with the rest of the team of attendants. She told me to scoot into more of an upright kneeling position and hold onto the back of the bed so I could use gravity and get more leverage. That position was not one I would have thought I would have used, but it worked so well. My water broke at my feet and all over the bed. All I could say was ‘help me’ as he started to crown and I could hear Robert and everyone say his head was out and then the rest of him quickly slid out. Just when I had thought I couldn’t stretch anymore, there was more to be stretched. I heard Robert as he came out say that he was out and get choked up. It was really touching and very high emotion. I was so happy and relieved that he was here, that it was over with and that I did it again and all natural too. I was helped into a better position so I could hold him and he was so beautiful and sweet. I didn’t tear or hemorrhage which I attribute to my midwife. I really think my placenta was pulled out faster with both girls because I don’t remember ever delivering it. This time my midwife was patient and let it come with a contraction and gently on its own. She did say I bled more than she normally sees, but it was under control quickly and my uterus was firm not too long afterwards.
Willis had to be observed to full 48 hours because I only received 1 hour of antibiotics for the GBS. They did a blood culture and he is fine. Though he is a little jaundice and we will need to go back for a test at the Pediatrician’s office. I feel really good. I would have left earlier and I have been up and about feeling great. I am still trying to take it easy though. It’s nice to see my ankles again for the first time in 4 months. There were times where I doubted myself and wondered how I could do it. But the rush of the emotions and the overwhelming joy of what I just did to bring my baby here was amazing. I love feeling that surge of love and joy and amazement at the end. It really is beautiful and I am so grateful for the beautiful baby boy I have to snuggle.
In early labor on the birth ball.
Sucking his thumb before figuring out how to nurse.
His eyes are open.
Biggest sister Emily.
Big sister Lindsey.
Daddy and his little boy.
I love to snuggle this little boy!
We love our little baby!