On Wednesday, April 2, at 9:08 p.m. we greeted our third child into this world! It was exciting, suspenseful, happy and well…painful. Here’s the nitty gritty of baby Will’s birth!
First of all, let me say, our little guy’s birth was a LONG time coming. I know, I know, everyone waits for 9+ months and feels like they’ve been pregnant forever by the end, but at 35 weeks I was already dilated to 3 cm and 60% effaced. The doctor said, “You will not make it to your due date.” This meant a lot coming from her, because she’s normally not very absolute about anything. The next week I went back and was at 4 cm and 70% effaced. Oh boy…and each week I went back I was another cm and another 10%. Now, they say you could stay at 4 cm for several weeks before the baby comes, yada yada. But I wasn’t “staying,” every week I went back I had steadily progressed and was closer and closer to having the baby. I felt like a ticking time bomb. At any moment I could explode amniotic fluid and baby everywhere! …Especially with how instantaneous my delivery with Cadence was, almost didn’t make it to the hospital with that one!
Things started to get very real when Jason was offered an interview in the Boston area 10 days before my due date. The day he left I was 5 cm, 75% effaced, and a bit of a nervous wreck. I did NOT want to have the baby without him! My mom came up to babysit me while he was gone. It was nice to have her here helping with the kiddos, I took the advice of many friends and rested as much as I could. Jason came back from Boston the next evening at 1 in the morning. Phew, we made it the 36 hours! I then promptly told the baby, “Ok, time to come out!” And well, he didn’t listen. So, I walked. And I walked. And I walked. In fact, I walked almost 2 miles everyday until my next doctor’s appt.
I went in to the doctor’s office the morning of April 2, for my weekly check. And there I was again; another 1/2 centimeter dilated, another 10%, and now another station lower. (I knew I felt like I was starting to waddle!) I was thoroughly disappointed when the Doc did not offer to induce me but I was only 39.5 weeks, so I understood. She did strip my membranes though, which has never worked for me before and always ends up making me uncomfortable for the rest of the day. So, I went home and depressingly told my mom that the baby was not going to be coming by his due date and that my doctor didn’t offer to induce me and woe is me, woe is me. Having my membranes stripped meant an entire day of crampy, painful false labor. I’d gotten used to the sporadic, intermittent painful contractions…I’d been having them for the last 4 weeks but the crampiness on top of it was just annoying. I decided to walk through it and took the kids out in the double stroller. I only made it a mile because of my discomfort.
The rest of the day played out as it normally would until about 4:45 p.m. My painful braxton hicks were getting stronger and I was having to use my Hypnobirthing breathing to get through them. Still, they weren’t knocking me to ground like they did with Cadence, so I just assumed it was more false labor. After about 30 minutes of 45 second contractions at 2-3 minutes apart, I decided to text Jason and let him know as he was at work 15 minutes away. He decided it would be best to come home, just in case, it was almost quitting time anyway. Right after he left for home, I had a break in contractions and almost called him to tell him to go back to the office, but when the contractions came back after that short little 10 minute break, they were full force hit-me-with-a-Mack-truck suckers. Thank goodness for my Hypnobirthing breathing, it got me through it! I had everything ready to go by the time Jason pulled up and we were off to the hospital.
Jason was driving like a mad man, thinking this was a replay of Cadence’s birth and that I was already through transition at 9.5 cm. It took 20 minutes to get to the hospital but I had my Hypnobirthing track on my phone playing with headphones and I was rockin’ the breathing so I didn’t feel nearly as panicky or in as much pain as I was with Cadence. We headed to the emergency room area and they asked how the could help me, apparently I was looking too calm, “Uhm, hellllloo, I’m in labor. –pointing to my huge belly–” They made me wait behind a few other patients to get checked in…I was kind of hoping I would have the baby right then and there to show them just how serious I was about being in labor!
Finally, I was wheeled upstairs to the maternity ward. The contractions had gotten a lot worse, or maybe I just got out of my groove and felt the pain more. Either way, it was getting unbearable. I was shocked after the nurse examined me and told me I was only at 6.5 cm, 90%. All of that, and I had only progressed 1 measly centimeter since that morning! Grrr. Since I was only a 6.5 and it could be a while, I asked for the epidural. They got my IV in, asked me a long list of questions and then promised to go and get the anesthesiologist. I expected to have the epidural in a matter of minutes. Again, with Cadence, it was so fast that I literally had the epidural within 20 minutes of arriving at the hospital; the doctor had joked it was the fastest epidural ever given there.
I think we had been there for about an hour when I started getting demanding. I’m usually pretty mellow, even during childbirth, but where were my darn drugs?! I labored standing up, with my weight on Jason, rocking side to side, kind of like a slow dance. At one point, after an extremely painful contraction that I lost all control through and began to cry/scream, I felt a VERY strong urge to …uh-hum…use the restroom…number 2. And instead of letting me go the nurse demanded I lay down in bed. I was so mad at her! When you need to go, you need to go. But, she knew what was really going on. That urge was an urge to push the BABY out, not well, you know. So, she checked me, which was extremely painful. And discovered I was beyond 9 cm, 100% effaced and the baby’s head was “right there.” That horrible painful contraction that had me screaming and that strong urge was my sweet little boy making his final descent into the canal.
Right then the anesthesiologist shows up, about time! The nurses were all exchanging looks with her, I think they were silently debating whether or not it was too late. BUT, they decided to go ahead and let me have one. I think I had been demanding enough before that no one wanted to tell me “no.” Within 10 minutes I had sweet relief…ahhhhhhh. It was nice because Jason’s dissertation draft was due that evening by midnight and with the epidural in and me back to my usual self it gave him a few minutes to work. The doc came in and broke my water. (My water has never broken on it’s own.) The doctor had a difficult time breaking it and commented on how tough it was! After just 30 minutes, I was feeling pressure and was ready to push. The nurse seemed doubtful that I was really ready but obliged me anyway. After 2 rounds of pushing she said WOAH, WAIT! I’ve got to get the doctor! She grabbed the doc and the rest of the staff and after one more round of pushing, the head was out.
Oddly, the doctor wanted to suction out the baby’s nose and mouth while he was still half in/half out, so I had to wait to do the final push. And then in a swirl of commotion he was on my belly looking up at me with those sweet baby gray eyes. We got to snuggle for awhile and then he was weighed and measured. I was shocked that he was 7 lbs. 7 oz., exactly the weight of newborn Cadence. Because I hadn’t gained much more than 20 lbs this pregnancy, I thought he would be small, like in the sixes. But nope! So, I gave a sigh of relief and then politely thanked him for a light pregnancy! Jason finished up the work on his dissertation. We were moved to the mother/baby unit and then we happily partook in our hospital visit tradition of a Steak and Shake feast.
Overall, I had a fairly easy delivery and a fast recovery. We only stayed in the hospital one day so we could get back to the other kiddos. Will has been mellow from the start and has really stayed mild. He’s been such a great addition to our family and we love him so much!
Here are a few newborn pics I took of Will!