From the get-go, I had it in my mind that this third baby would come early. Mostly because I figured (and assumed) that my body knew what to do and if I believed to be ready, then I could practically choose the date in which I would deliver. When I started to have early labor signs at 37 weeks, I confirmed this theory to be true (or so I thought).
However, fast forward to my 39 week check-up, and I was still VERY pregnant. I had barely been dilating and baby’s head was still floating high. My doctor had offered to induce me at that point, but based on my experience with our daughter (my last delivery) I believed my body would kick into gear at some point, and I was DETERMINED to hold out as long as I could.
And then I approached my due date…
And just like most mothers that approach their due date, it’s a very gloomy day. Despite being up all night with contractions – EVERY. SINGLE. NIGHT. my 40 week check-up proved that regardless of how BADLY I wanted to go into labor, this baby was more than comfortable in my uterus. I had made ZERO progress from the week prior and baby’s head was still not engaged.
I left the clinic sobbing. My ankles were raw, swollen and bloody from walking, my back and belly were aching from contractions, and I was SO. TIRED. To say I felt discouraged would be an understatement.
So, I went ahead and scheduled my induction for Monday, March 5th, which put me at 40 weeks and 3 days, and committed to creating a mindset that would put me into labor over the course of the weekend so I wouldn’t need to be induced after all.
…and then Sunday came – even after the walks, the ball bouncing, the spicy food, the pineapple and the bumpy truck rides my husband took me on (I know – I was THAT desperate) I was still pregnant and left with this pending decision (again) on whether or not I should move forward with the induction.
I felt anxious about this decision, mostly because I felt I was being selfish. I knew I couldn’t be pregnant forever and baby would come when he/she was ready, but ultimately, I knew it had to be time.
I checked in with Labor and Delivery on Sunday night since they had eluded to the fact earlier that week that I would most likely get bumped to Tuesday (or later) since it was a full house, but they confirmed over the phone that I would most likely be receiving a phone call Monday morning around 6:00A to be there by 7:00A.
I hung up the phone. Stared at the wall ahead of me. And had a wave of anxiety, excitement, and fear hit me like a ton of bricks.
I walked into the office to give my husband the update and he had a similar reaction.
After picking his jaw up off the floor, we got ourselves a game plan and went into beast mode. Fortunately, my in-laws were able to have the kids that night and take them to school the next morning so we packed their bags and shipped them out to Grandma and Grandpas. When we got home, we worked to get ourselves packed – which interestingly enough – as ready as I thought I was, I wasn’t even close to a substantial hospital bag. Good thing I didn’t go into labor unexpected – geez.
Before we knew it, the morning had arrived and I received a call at 5:50A from labor and delivery notifying me that they were ready for me to check in at 7:00A.
I had already been up for about two hours so by this time, I was anxiously waiting for my husband to get ready, who seemed to be moving incredibly slow at the time, but in hindsight, my anxiety just had everything around me moving too fast.
Fast forward passed the quiet drive to the hospital, the check-in and paperwork, and all the small details to get me going, they (and we) were finally ready to get the show on the road.
Since this was my third delivery, and I had been having irregular contractions for weeks already, my doctor believed that if she broke my water first, it would allow baby’s head to engage and kick things into gear. This would eliminate the need for Pitocin all together, which was ideal.
Unfortunately, my “bag of steel” which she dubbed it, would not break for her, and we had to resort to Plan B. Total lame-sauce.
Pitocin started about 8:50A and it didn’t take long for contractions to get to a consistent state. It was a little uneventful for a while. Husband worked while I bounced on the ball. We chatted here and there, wondering and questioning what our next day would be like following the birth while managing the updates for all of our friends and family who were anxiously waiting in excitement.
To get out of the room, we did laps for about 20 minutes until my husband made me laugh so hard I peed on the floor a little. Hey, don’t judge, I had an 8 pound-er sitting on my bladder while having contractions every 2 minutes. Sigh..
At about 1:00P, my doctor came to check on me and attempt to break my water again. She was successful, but baby’s head was STILL high and I had only dilated to a 2.5 (half a centimeter progress – woot!). It was a bit discouraging, but also re-affirmed that the induction was the right decision as this babe seemed to be going nowhere, even with an eviction notice.
My contractions had really picked up after my “bag of steel” had broken and I knew it was time for the good stuff (AKA – the Epidural). New “regulations” had required us to put hats on and masks on during the Epidural procedure (pictured below).
Although the Epidural was part of my plan, I was incredibly nervous about it as I have had some bad experiences in the past, so I was anxious to get it over with. I knew that after the Epidural kicked in, I could enjoy these last few hours with my husband and welcome my baby into the world with very little pain (can I get a hallelujah?!).
I was able to imagine myself on another planet while they successfully got me hooked up with the Epidural, but my blood pressure and heart rate dropped significantly so I got pretty sick. After about an hour and an Epinephrine injection to get me back to baseline, I was a happy camper.
Around 5:00P, the doctor came back to check on my progress and although I had only been dilated to a 4, I had finally fully effaced, which meant I was getting closer.
They took off the contraction monitor belt and inserted a monitor internally to get a better pulse on my contractions. We increased the Pitocin a couple notches which really increased the intensity of the contractions – so much so that I could feel them on my right side. I “pumped” a few extra doses to relieve the pain, and realized that a “couple” more doses was a couple too many. Regretfully, the numbness was a little TOO intense, but for me, it was better than the alternative. We joked about how worthless I was when it came to moving around my lower extremities – because I literally could not feel ANYTHING. The pump component of the Epidural was new for me, and apparently, I had a little too much fun with it.
By 6:30P, the nurse had checked on my progress. Since I was so used to hearing little to no progress updates, I was INCREDIBLY surprised when she said “You’re complete – we are having a baby!”
My husband yells, “Oh shit!”
The nurse says, “Oh shit, what?! You’re not ready?!”
Needless to say, it caught us a little off guard.
She called for my doctor and had the room all prepped for delivery. Not more than 15 minutes later, the doctor had arrived and I started pushing.
This is weird to say, but in those moments, I felt so at peace. It was just my husband, the doctor, the nurse, and myself in the delivery room and it was quiet, calm, and collected. I didn’t feel nervous, anxious or worried, and felt extremely excited to meet our sweet mystery baby.
I pushed through six contractions, approximately 15 minutes, and shortly after, the doctor handed us our baby BOY.
Initially, the doctor had asked us how we wanted her to reveal the gender to us. She told us she wouldn’t look and she would hand us the babe with his/her legs shut. Naturally, with my husband by the rear-side of baby, he was able to catch a glance of his boy parts first so he yelled, “It’s a BOY!”
It was a long 10 months of not knowing the gender, but it was THE BEST SURPRISE EVER. There are very few surprises left in life… why not wait?!
Quinten Laurence had hardly made a peep coming into this world, and the nurse made several comments about how he was the most mellow baby she’s seen. This is like music to our ears as a mellow child (the third time around) would be a gift.
My husband held him awhile and could NOT stop smiling. For the entire length of the pregnancy, we talked about how we would be incredibly grateful for a HEALTHY child, regardless of the gender, but it was clear that having another boy was a dream for daddy.
This birth experience was so different from the others in so many ways. I wish I could capture every moment in a bottle. I’m so grateful for a healthy and uneventful pregnancy, the incredible providers that cared for me as if I was their own child, and the support system that surrounded me to ensure mom, baby, and family were doing OK. But most importantly, I am eternally grateful for the healthy baby boy that has joined us here on earth and has blessed us infinitely in so many ways.