My Birth Story – Take Three

Here it is. My last and final birth story to put on this blog. Probably my favorite one too.

I was due on July 4 and stressed all week that “today’s the day!” everyday. It never was. I went to bed on Friday, July 7, thinking, “Eh, it won’t be tomorrow, probably Sunday or Monday.” Maybe that was what my brain needed to hear to get my body into gear, because I was totally wrong.

I woke up Saturday morning at about 9:45am and was having what felt like intense gas pain, which seemed pretty normal, considering the on-and-off diarrhea I’d been having for nearly two weeks. (One of those super fun side effects of pregnancy.) I got up and went to the bathroom and lost a whole bunch of mucus plug. I felt a little better, so I laid back down. E was laying in between my husband and I last night so I cuddled up with her.

A few minutes later, I realized I was still having that pain. It was coming and going, but at first I thought maybe it was still gas. When it started to radiate from my front around to my back (which reminded me vaguely of back labor I had with E), I realized it actually might be full-on contractions. It was almost 10:30am. I shook my husband awake and told him I thought it was the day, and I needed him to get the kids ready, since I could barely move from the pain.

I ended up going downstairs and hanging out on the couch, having to lean over a couple of cushions on all fours every time the pain would show up again. By then, I was timing contractions (I had been since laying in bed) and they were around a minute long, but were somewhat inconsistent in frequency. My husband booked it to get the kids around, make sure the cats had food and water for a day or two, and get our stuff in the car. Meanwhile he kept trying to get me to hurry up because I needed to get dressed and brush my teeth and every time I moved, the pain was just so much worse. I was snippy but he was understanding.

I finally got in the car and the contractions were closer to a minute and a half (some were as long as two minutes) and averaged two to three minutes apart by the time we got here. They got me into a triage room and I warned the nurse, the baby was coming and coming fast, I was already feeling pressure against my tailbone. I don’t think she believed me until she realized how close together my contractions were and how painful they were. I had to repeatedly ask for things because they didn’t seem to have any sense of urgency until another nurse was assigned to me. (And she was great!) It was almost 12:30pm when we got here. Things were pretty intense, I was dilated at a four or five when I came in and my cervix was “very thin.”

I asked for morphine because I didn’t want to deal with the epidural. My gut told me that it wouldn’t be worth the pain and I was too close to delivering, so I just needed something to take the edge off. I wish it had worked better, but I think it did help a little for a little while. (In the end, despite the intense pain, I really think it was better that I didn’t try for the epidural.) My husband let them know to not offer it, he said – which I’m fine with, because he and I had that discussion a few times before today and I told him if I wanted it, to let me be the one to suggest it, I didn’t really want it offered to me.

The contractions got more and more intense and my body started shaking and I started getting nauseous. The pressure in my tailbone was getting worse and I started warning them I was in transition and getting close. I was in a triage room that wasn’t prepped for delivery so they were working on getting it ready, but a delivery room managed to open so they moved me down the hall.

My water wasn’t breaking, so they had me use a peanut-shaped pillow between my legs (I had been on my side since I was admitted because it was the only halfway-comfortable position I could be in) with the hopes that it would break. I was dilated to a six at that point, and they said the intense contractions were probably being caused by the fact that my bag of water was bulging. They offered to break it before we tried the pillow, but I wanted to give it a few contractions and see what happened.

After the third contraction, I felt a really small gush and I thought maybe it was a leak. They let me get rid of the pillow (which I was thankful for because it was making my contractions hurt more with it between my legs) and my mom showed up shortly after. Within just a couple of minutes, my bag burst and it felt like the whole bottom half of the bed was covered in water and blood, though I couldn’t see it so I don’t know how accurate that is.

I told them I was going to push and I just went for it because I had the urge and I wasn’t even going to try to wait. They had to rush around to get a couple of staff members in to deliver, and unfortunately, it wasn’t the on-call resident who was assigned to my doctor’s patients, it was two people who I hadn’t met yet. I can’t even tell you if they were nurse-midwives or doctors.

I think I had two big pushes and that had his head out, but his body was stuck for a second. I think they wanted me to wait to push again, but my body was done and I went for it with a pretty massive push (along with a pretty awful scream) and my husband said the baby literally shot out of me.

I didn’t get to catch him like I did with the girls, but the labor was too intense, so my arms were half holding me up. The nurses did immediately put him on my stomach, and he was so calm, though a little squirmy. The placenta didn’t want to deliver, and I had a pretty big blood clot. I also had what they called a “trailing placenta,” which was a little terrifying once I realized what that actually meant. I was watched pretty closely for possible hemorrhaging, but in the end, everything ended up being okay.

Born on July 8 at 2:43pm, baby W weighed in at 9lbs 4.5oz, the heaviest of the three kids. He was twenty-one inches long with a head circumference of about fourteen inches. My recovery was actually a breeze compared to the other two, which I truly think was in part because I didn’t get the epidural. Cramping was a lot worse this time, but I was told by my nurses that was to be expected.

Our family feels complete, and I couldn’t be happier with how my birth experience went.

Any Day Now

Words cannot describe how incredibly tired I am.

Image result for there are 31 days in a month except the last month of pregnancyI’m due with baby number three tomorrow and it feels like he’s never going to arrive. My hips hurt badly, I’m not sleeping well, and I’m generally just really irritable.

It’s also my last baby and I feel like I should be enjoying the end of this pregnancy more, but I’m really struggling with doing that.

It’s a bittersweet thing, knowing that I’m so close to having this baby but also knowing that we aren’t intending to have more kids. I’ll be able to have my body back for the most part (minus breastfeeding, if that works out), which will be great, but this will be last of all my “firsts” with a new baby. I suppose that’s probably how every parent feels.

Counting down the days, though. This hip pain is the worst.

Things Parenting Books Don’t Teach

When you have children, there will be moments during their lives where you are caught completely unprepared. It doesn’t matter how many times you’ve thought about the situation you find yourself in, it doesn’t matter how many people have offered you advice, it doesn’t matter what books you’ve read, it doesn’t matter if you’ve even been through it before…

It will catch you off guard.

I’m fairly lucky. While some of my friends have had to deal with illness after illness it seems, my kids have rarely gotten sick – at least, until very recently. R recently spent some time in the emergency room for a high fever, body aches, chills, and general fatigue. Something viral, we were told, most likely the flu.

Tonight, at 2am, I woke up because I noticed one of the lights was on in the bathroom, which was pretty unusual. R still wears pull-ups to bed, but the best I could guess was she had gotten up to use the bathroom at some point. E needed a bottle anyway, as she had just woken up, so I got out of bed to take care of the light, use the bathroom, make a bottle, and turn the heat up.

As I was washing my hands in the bathroom, I heard a little voice at the door. “Mom, what you doing?”

I opened it to find R standing there. I told her I had to go potty and it was time to go back to bed. Just as she was asking me for some water, it happened. My worst nightmare. It was honestly the one thing that I have been dreading since R was born just over four years ago.

She vomited. Everywhere. All over my brand new carpet.

My half-asleep brain started to panic and I called for my husband. My inability to keep calm, of course, upset my daughter too. He came running out into the hallway to find the mess, just in time for me to attempt to get her into the shower, just as she began getting sick again.

More vomit. All over my bathroom.

She was crying, I was panicking, trying to figure out what to clean next. My husband was trying to calm her down and get her cleaned up.

Almost forty minutes later, R had been cleaned up and plopped onto the couch with a bucket, a movie, and a glass of water. I had managed to clean half the bathroom floor and all of the carpet in the hallway. My husband cleaned up the other half of the bathroom and the child, and then threw a bunch of vomit-covered things into the wash.

Nothing prepared me for this. Even arming myself with the knowledge that I would eventually have to deal with a sick child didn’t prepare me for the scene I had to deal with tonight.

As parents, there will always be things we’re good at and things we’re not good at. For me, dealing with projectile vomit at 2am is not exactly something I’m well suited for, but I’m thankful to have a partner who’s willing to spring into action with me and help me clean up some of it too. I’m twenty-nine weeks pregnant, exhausted, and so grateful that I didn’t have to deal with this by myself.

Husband: if you ever read this, know that I love you. Truly. I don’t know how I would have gotten through tonight without you.

Meanwhile, in spite of all of the commotion, somehow my dear, sweet toddler managed to sleep through everything. What a time for her to start sleeping through the night.