The birth of my fifth baby is quite different from any of the rest.
When I am pregnant, I go over what the possibilities are for this birth. I had Pitocin-induced, epidural births and totally natural water births. I had every intention of another beautiful water birth with L.
It was a Saturday (Jan. 28). A family member asked for my 3 boys to stay the night. That never happens. They did. My daughter was at a friends. There were some issues so I made her come home. She was so very mad at me. I felt horrible, but it had to happen.
It was just the three of us that night – Me, B and my husband, N. That is a once-in-a-lifetime thing!
I fell asleep in the living room with B. I couldn’t get comfortable so I went to the back room to sleep.
The night I went into labor with M, one of our dogs followed me back and fourth (outside the house) barking. It was so weird.
On this night, our dog, Rocky, barked so loud. Usually, he stays on the porch barking or runs into the woods chasing something. This night, he stood outside the window of the room I was in barking.
I remember thinking “Ok, you did this shit with Maddan. It’s no where near time to have a baby so go to sleep, stupid dog!”
Little did I know, it was time.
At 3:15 a.m., I woke up to a puddle in the bed. Shit, I pissed myself again.
I get up and go to the bathroom. It doesn’t stop.
No way is this happening. Not now. It’s too early. I am 33 weeks.
I put on clean undies and pjs and go to bed. I guess in my messed up head, I was just going to ignore it and pretend it didn’t happen, in hopes that it would be a dream.
As I sat in the bed to lay down, a gush came out of me and I realized we needed to go to hospital asap.
I go into wake up N. He half-awake walks to the bathroom. I’m getting dressed.
“Go back to bed. You just pissed yourself. It’s too early for a baby.”
He looks at me. I am in tears and in panic. “Shit.”
I wake up B and she gets a bag together and we head to Ste. Gen.
My husband is filled with questions of ‘what-if’s’. I don’t know what if. I know that it is too early for a baby to be born. I know that there is a short time frame from time my water breaks to when baby has to be born. I know that I am not in labor.
The ride to Ste. Gen is the longest one I have ever been on. The not knowing what was going to happen was killing me. N was still in denial. B was excited and scared. I tried to explain to her that she couldn’t be in the room like we had planned. She didn’t understand.
Once at the hospital, they hook me up to monitors and I hear L’s heart beat. It was the first time I took a breath. They verify that my water had, indeed broke. N walks out of the room in tears. Hello, dumbass. It’s not my first rodeo. I told you. B runs out after him.
My doctor is called in. He calls to a hospital in STL to find a room. I will be transferred by ambulance immediately.
I texted my two best friends to tell them. I tell no one to come to the hospital because I am clueless what is going to happen.
I had never rode in an ambulance before. It took way less time than I think it did. I was in a fog. I kept watching out the back window.
When I am being taken, by stretcher, off of the ambulance, there are lockers. One of them says the word “Lincoln”. I smile.
I am admitted to St. John’s at 10 a.m. A doctor comes to tell me their plan.
I am 2 days from being 34 weeks. They want to keep baby in at all costs until that point. They want to give me 2 steroid shots (24 hours apart) to develop his lungs. Then 24 hours after that, they will induce labor. In 72 hours I will have a baby. How is this ok? How is this going to happen?
In meantime, they’ll give me fluids and antibiotics every 6 hours to keep infection away from water being broke. Ok, let’s do this.
Looking back, I didn’t realize how serious having a 34 week baby was. My kids are 8-10 pounds. They come home from hospital 24 hours after delivery and are healthy.
I expected L to be the same. I expected him to defy the odds and be born and come home within a week at the latest. I guess that’s why I didn’t stress about it during labor. It was my mind’s way of getting through. Lying to myself to get what I needed to get through.
N wasn’t able to stay with me during this time. He had 4 other children to take care of. He went home that night and came back Tuesday evening. My bff, J came Tuesday night and stayed too. Another friend, S, came early Wednesday morning – and so did my in-laws and my daughter, B!
The Iv was horrible. I’m a sissy. I cried. They did it at Ste. Gen, then again at St. Johns. They couldn’t get it so it took quite a few times. I cried. They gave me a stronger antibiotic every 24 hours, in addition to the regular one every 6 hours. I had some sort of reaction to the 24 hour one that caused my hand to feel like it had actual fire running through it. I cried and bitched the entire hour it was in both times. I’m sure the nurses were terrified of me giving birth if I am crying about an IV. Sorry – not sorry.
I was only dilated 1 at this point. (It’s my fifth kid, 1 would have been normal anyway) There were no signs of labor besides water breaking. I knew he wasn’t ready.
I knew from my 2 past Pitocin births, my body does not respond well to it. I voiced my concerns. They let me know they’d let me be on Pitocin for a full 48 hours before they considered alternatives. I wanted to die. I’d been up 72 hours straight at that point.
They started it at 6 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 31. I began to feel contractions at 3 p.m. Tuesday. Like the pain of these were as intense as they were when I was in natural labor an hour before birth. I knew that there was ZERO progress going on elsewhere, and the contractions were 100% fake, due to the Pitocin. At this point, I prepare N, J and S that an epidural is probably in my future.
Now, if you know me, you know I hate these things. I believe they can be used for good, but can be horrible. I’ve had them with 2 past births with bad experiences. My husband says no. J says no. S says she’ll fight for whatever I want her to do. I tell her to prepare to go to war!
At 5 p.m. that evening, they came and checked me with no progress after almost 12 hours of Pitocin. They wanted to insert a foley ball? inside me. I’d never heard of it. It is literally a balloon that is tied to a little rope that is inserted into your cervix. They pull the rope every once in awhile and it airs up balloon to dilate your cervix. MIND BLOWN.
It didn’t hurt near as bad as I was preparing myself for. It dilated me to a 3 cm by about 8 p.m. and came out on it’s own. There was a lot of blood associated with this.
At 4 a.m., I was only a 4, but his head had dropped. I realized this was progress so I wanted to get out of the bed. Until this point, I knew that after 72 hours of not sleeping, I didn’t need to get out of bed until progress started. I got on the birthing ball for a few hours and talked to my bff, while my husband snored. Lazy ass.
It wasn’t until 6 a.m. that I began to feel a little bit of pressure.
The next part is TMI. But let’s face it, I am me. There is no such thing as TMI. I hadn’t had a bowel movement for a few days. While, I’m not embarrassed to poop in labor (MOST women do), I knew it was going to be bad. I kept feeling like I had to go to the bathroom. In my head, I kept thinking, do I need to go or is that the feeling of the baby coming? I was scared to sit on toilet. However, a huge position to get labor going is literally sitting on the toilet. I went poop like 5-6 times from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. Whatever, I have no doubt that is what got my labor going.
At 8 a.m., I was checked and was a 4.5 cm. The hospital was simply amazing. I was so nervous because I planned everything around a water birth at Ste. Gen. I knew thie policies. I knew their nurses and their doctors. The nurses let me do whatever I needed and wanted to do. They only checked me when I asked. And at one point said they wouldn’t check me again until I felt pressure because they didn’t want to risk infection. Fine by me!
At this point, I knew I’d have him within a few hours so I got in the bed and tried to rest. My contractions were in-fucking-sane at this point. The Pitocin was upped and my body was being forced to have them every 2-3 minutes for hours at this point.
At 10 a.m., I was 6 cm and 90% effaced. I realized that 90% was big for me. I needed to get labor going. I couldn’t wait for it to go on it’s own any more.
I got in the shower. Gravity rules. It was amazing. But since we had issues picking up heartbeat on monitor from shower, I had to get out.
I stood by bed with N and swayed back and forth. I think he was scared I was going to fall asleep on him and told me to get in bed. This was about 10:45 a.m. The doctor came in and checked me. I was 6.5 cm. I wanted an epidural. Then. Now. My husband kept talking me out of it. He went outside and everything in me wanted to tell the nurse to give me one asap. I remember looking at the call light and wanting to press it. I’m not strong enough to do this shit. I’ve been up for 3 days and having contractions from Pitocin for 24 hours. Enough is enough. In my head, I was scared that the medicine from it would affect L.
I’ve delivered 8-10 pounds with zero medication. Why was I being a sissy? Pitocin is Satan’s piss, as a friend quoted me. It was horrid.
For about the next hour, I sat on the edge of the bed. I wanted to stand, but was too weak. I knew that laying would slow process. This is where I went through transition. S put on my music playlist and I zoned out. No words, no moans, just me.
At 11:40 a.m. the nurse checked me and asked me to do a “practice push”. What the hell is that? Either I push or I don’t. I was confused. But I did it. I was 9cm but only 90%. She said that I still had some thinning of the cervix and to rest while they got everything ready.
Um, no. It’s time.
I told her that he was coming. She says she will get the doctor after she gets heart beat back on the monitor. It was taking awhile. I remember looking up at her with my hand on her hand on the monitor and saying “you need to get the doctor. I’ll do this.”
(The labor and delivery nurse (at any hospital) is responsible for how your birth goes. It’s sad, but it’s true. If they are horrible, your birth is horrible. If they are awesome, your birth is awesome. End of story. At start of this nurse’s shift, I asked her how long she had been doing this. She was 22 years old. “About 5 months”. I was a little scared. This nurse went above and beyond what she was supposed to do. She allowed me to do anything I asked to do. She was super nice and caring and helped lighten the mood when I got mean. I could not have asked for a better nurse)
She looked up at me and realized I was serious. About 2 minutes later, the doctor came in. As she put on her gloves, etc., I let her know the baby was coming, as I scooted down on the bed to begin to push. I didn’t really give her a choice.
She had me push. I hated to push. I remember labor with K and M and how easy it was. No one told me to push. I did what my body told me to. With T and B, when a doctor told me to “push”, it was an hour ordeal.
I had nothing in me. Like I had been up literally 3 days. I pushed. Again she said. Cont to 10. I pushed. “You’re doing good. One more time.”
Bullshit. I didn’t feel him coming out. I didn’t feel the “ring of fire” like I had before. I pushed anyway. L was born in 3 total pushes. They did let N cut the cord, which we weren’t expecting. We thought he would have to be worked on right away.
The cord was massive. Bigger than any of my other kids. Not sure why.
There was a team of doctors waiting for him to be born to start working on him. I watched as everyone took photos of him. I saw him open his eyes and I heard him cry. I knew he was going to be just fine!
He was born at exactly 12:00 p.m., Wednesday, February 1, 2017. He weighed 5 pounds, 14 ounces and was 18 inches long. He was 34 weeks, 1 day gestation and he was perfect in every way.
My daughter came in within seconds of him being born. .. Right to the sight of me in the bed in stirrups. Oops. She did great. She got to see the baby for a few minutes and sat while they cleaned me up. Once they were ready to move him to NICU, they put him on my chest for a brief second. I sang “Happy Birthday” and kissed his sweet head.
I needed one more dose of Pitocin after placenta was delivered to get the uterus to continue to contract. My fucking IV blew while I was pushing. I straight told the nurse she was not re-doing it for one dose. Figure something else out. I just gave birth. I wasn’t getting another IV! lol Luckily, her being as awesome as she is, she said she would give it to me in a shot in my butt. Bring that shit on!
I wanted to pump immediately. It seemed like forever. They couldn’t get me a pump in that room. I had to wait til they got me to the floor L was on in recovery. It was about an hour.
I moved downstairs and pumped immediately. I wanted to see him so bad.
L is 13 days old as I type this. He sits in front of me in his car seat doing one of the last tests he needs to do before he comes home. It was been 16 days of pure hell. . . that’s a blog for another time!
Welcome Baby L to our family!