At my final OB appointment I decided that I would set an induction date, the parents didn't pressure me to feel this way but I'm sure they appreciated it. Knowing exactly what day their little guy would arrive and not having to wait a minute longer to be holding him in their arms. The final week or so I was walking daily and doing anything I could think of to help him come on his own, but by my appointment I was done. I was ready to not feel like a blown up balloon and in pain from baby grinding into my hips and back. Constantly having to get up a billion times in the night to pee is no picnic when you can barely roll over to get out of bed.
During the pregnancy I have wanted to have as little intervention as possible and had been seeing with a doula on top of my OB, plus took a hypnobirthing class. On January 4th I decided that I was close to our due date that I would have my OB check to see if I was dilated any. I didn't want to get checked mostly because it doesn't determine that the baby will come any sooner and I get in my head too much about it. I told myself if I am dilated to a 1 I would be happy but honestly I was so nervous that nothing would be going on. I was happily surprised to find out that I was dilated to a 4! I reassured J that this didn't mean much other than that my body is at least working and these contractions I've been feeling haven't been for nothing. I also had my OB strip my membranes in hopes that would jump start things as well as what I'd already been doing.
My OB appointment was on Monday and we set the induction date for Saturday the 9th in hopes that we wouldn't need it but at least I had an end in sight. I was dancing the baby out, nesting like crazy aka cleaning the house top to bottom, walking and more walking. I was a little worried that nothing was going to work to get things moving. By Wednesday or Thursday I finally started losing the mucous plug and every day I would lose quite a bit of it. I think by Friday I had lost a ton and had a bit of red tinge to it. I was getting hopeful that we would be going in any minute or I'd be calling J to tell her to come pick me up. This entire week was torture because I would have steady contractions and then they would die down by morning. If I could lay down and finally fall asleep then it wasn't it. I didn't want to go in a ton of times and have them say sorry it isn't happening tonight. Thursday night I had been contracting a lot, to the point that I even messaged my doula, the amazing Carleigh, to let her know something was going on. I had been messaging a couple surros and was distracting myself as much as possible. J ended up texting me and asked if anything was going on. I wasn't going to say anything yet but then told her that I had been contracting steadily for a bit but nothing too painful. I told her that I would let her know if things got more intense, which they didn't. I don't know what is better; knowing that Saturday was coming or the pitocin you'd have to be on to help him out.
I don't think any of us slept Friday night at all knowing that just the next day we'd be preparing for this sweet boy to arrive. I knew I needed the sleep if I was going to do this without medication; I knew it was going to be exhausting. It was like Christmas morning though and took a while to fall asleep, long enough to be woken by my alarms the next morning.
Those that know me know that I hate getting up early but Saturday morning came and my alarms went off and I was ready. Didn't hit snooze a billion times and was so excited! I called the hospital at 5:30 am to find out they wanted us there at 7 am to get things started. I called J and told her what time we needed to be there and she said she would be at my place by 6:30 am to drive us to the hospital. She was at my place on the dot at 6:30 and I was trying to eat a little bit of food before we went in and to hopefully calm some of my nerves.
This was my first attempt at a birth and delivery without an epidural and I was beyond full of nerves and internally freaking out. There is only so much you can do to prepare for this but not knowing really throws me off. I wasn't the nicest to my nurse because I was kind of freaking out and wanted things to go a certain way and it was the only control over this that I had. J was amazing though and was great at mediating and telling the nurses that we were sorry. Thankfully the nurses know that pregnant women can be a bit on the cranky side and they were more than great during the process besides the several times trying to check baby mid contraction. It should be a rule that you wait til I'm through a contraction before touching or pestering a laboring women. ;)
Dad, myself and Mom
In lucky number 7!!
Grandma, Dad, myself, Mom, Doula and FriendOnce she broke my water I went and sat on the toilet for a while to not leak everywhere and make a huge mess. She also said there was meconium when she broke my water too which means TJ had gone poop. She didn't seem super concerned about it but it just meant that they would have to hurry and suction him and have the doctors ready for him once he was born. My contractions were still doable and I was starting to have to concentrate more during them but I was managing. My doula was a freaking saint and amazing through all of this. My "Auntie" Meigan called me during these contractions and I was able to talk to her in between and listen to her. She was encouraging and so sweet to me from the hundreds of miles away, I appreciated her call and loved hearing from her. I did finally have to get off the phone because I was not focused so much when she was talking and I was in the midst of contracting. Once I felt like I wasn't gushing liquid anymore I had Carleigh (she was the kick butt doula) come help me to sit on the ball. The ball was my go to place to rock and roll. I would sit on the ball and lean over on the side of the bed. It was the most comfortable spot and if I was hunched over I didn't feel so much pain in my stomach, but this intensity in my bottom. Still very manageable though, he wasn't quite engaged just yet.
My doula was doing counter pressure during contractions and during one she put enough pressure on my right side that it pushed him enough that he engaged. After that things got real and I was feeling so much pressure and the intensity I felt before was just kicked up a billion notches. Oh my gosh that feeling was unreal. I labored on the ball for a while and then leaning over the bed. I don't know if you've ever seen a dog labor but they start paising the floor; although I was in one spot in my mind I kept thinking I couldn't get comfortable through these contractions. My doula urged me to go try and pee a little and see if that helped. I sat there and had several contractions and started getting sweaty, feeling nauseated and just feeling like I was going to pass out. I was really contemplating laying on the bathroom floor. You know when you feel so sick and even though the bathroom floor is NASTY you lay on the tile and it makes you feel better. My irrational self was really thinking that this would have made me feel better. I started crying to Carleigh and begging for the epidural. She said we could get me checked and then see what I wanted after that. I agreed and once I didn't have a contraction we made our way back to the bed.
In the meantime of Carleigh and I in the bathroom everyone was rushing around the room getting everything ready. I was showing signs of transition and so this gave me a little bit of a boost and honestly got me really excited and ready. I told myself if I was a 7-8 I would keep doing this without the epidural. I needed to know that this hell I was feeling was working and I had moved past the stalling I usually hit. I had told Carleigh that I usually stall about a 5-6 for hours and hours. I knew that and she knew that. Once I finished with another contraction we made it to the bed I had Dr. Langer check me. I was so freaking hopeful that I was at a 7 or something; I could tell from the look on her face it wasn't there. I was still at a 5+ and my heart literally sank. I am sure I cried about it, if I didn't I was for sure crying on the inside. I called for the epidural. I think he was in a c-section so it was going to be a little bit longer til he got there. I think I asked for the nurse to turn pitocin down a little bit just to ease off a little. I was at about a 12 on pitocin at this point and it was maybe around 1:30ish at this point, or maybe it was 2:30 no one really kept track of the time.
The amazing Dr. Rideout came in to give me my epidural and I don't think I've ever been more annoyed at how talkative someone was then in that very moment. I had about 4-5 contractions while he placed the epidural and I held perfectly still. I was amazing myself but it actually felt decent to lay on my side and not have some pressure on my cervix so much. I didn't feel like doing the dance anymore. Once he finished I could still wiggle my toes and feel a bit which was actually perfect. It took enough of the pain away, yes it is pain, that I was able to truly relax and not over think on trying to relax him down. Dr. Langer came in about 20 minutes after my epidural was placed and I was dilated to a 7. I had to laugh because if I had just waited a little bit longer. If I had waited a little bit longer I would have done it and I would have checked it off my bucket list of amazing things I've done before. Next time I will do it and I will make it without the epidural, I really kick myself now because I really wanted to do it without an epidural so badly.
At around 3:45 I started feeling some intense pressure, pressure and urges like I needed to start pushing. You have to remember that even with the epidural I could still feel very much what was going on, it just didn't hurt as much. This pressure was starting to cause me to breathe through contractions again though. I knew it was time. Things shifted in the room. Everyone was getting excited! I think I started crying because it was time; my time was coming to an end of this journey. My attachment to this sweet Spirit was going to be final and he was going to start his journey with his amazing family. I tried to feel if I could feel a head or something but everything was numb enough that I could feel something but wasn't sure since I was numb just enough. I had Carleigh come check and she said that he was definitely coming. We paged for the nurse to come in and she checked me and said she could feel his head but that Dr. Langer was in with another delivery right now. She was in there for about 20 more minutes before she came to deliver this sweet baby for his parents.
Once Dr. Langer arrived we all got to business. She checked me and said it was time. When she said it was time I wasn't freaking out but really just sad it was ending. I was really struggling insde that my journey would end the way it did with the last couple.
J got gowned up because she would be delivered her sweet boy. I love Dr. Langer so much for making this experience amazing for the parents. Langer was right by her side the entire time if she needed her. I asked for a mirror this time so I could see how my pushing was, it honestly helps me feel like I'm pushing effectively. In about 3 contractions J and I delivered his head. He had sooo much hair! Langer was telling J something and then they switched sides and Langer delivered the rest of TJ. Since there was meconium they cut the cord and placed him in moms arms, as far as I can remember. It was a whirlwind at this point so they may have taken him to the warmer first.
Holding sweet TJ for the first time
Many hugs and tears
While they were loving on their new bundle of joy I was having the doctor work on me. I hemorrhaged a little bit and they were trying to get it under control, after I delivered the placenta. We were also shocked by how HUGE the placenta was too. Probably weighed as much as TJ himself. I had several shots plus a full bag of pitocin and etc. Not fun at all but it eventually stopped. I felt like I was freezing still and was requesting lots of warm blankets while we waited for my daughter to get there. It felt like eons before her dad finally brought her to me. I needed my baby in that moment. When she walked in and hopped on the bed with me I just held her and kept kissing her. It was just what I needed.
Before they would allow me to go to recovery I needed to be able to get up and go to the bathroom and get my fever down. I was covered in warm blankets but they didn't want to chance me having an infection on the off chance, which is understandable with the excessively bleeding I had earlier. I was probably in there for a good hour before I was able to stand and go potty and then move to the new bed to be moved to recovery. They put J & T next to my room in recovery. It was perfect!
Carleigh stayed with me until my surro friend was able to get to the hospital. She was staying with me at the hospital because that first night by yourself is rough and kind of sucks. I appreciated these amazing people for being there for me and making sure I wasn't alone. I think I would have been okay but I am so glad they didn't give me the option to try that theory out.
J came over shortly after we all got settled to chit chat and then we were off to bed for the night. I seriously lucked out with this family and how much they had made this journey a special one and a healing one.
From our transfer we wore lucky socks and we didn't plan it but we totally all brought our lucky sucks for the delivery too!