The Birth of my 3rd Baby and the Birth of a Whole New Mama
As with my previous births, I tried not to have any expectations. I knew I wanted to avoid forceps and suction, I knew I wanted to “catch” him like I did my others, and I wanted to wait on the epidural as long as possible. But other than those requests, my plan was to go with the flow, try to be as patient as possible and soak up my 3rd and final labor and delivery.
My other hope was that my darling son would come on his own but after two weeks of prodromal labor, I stalled at 3 centimeters and again was induced at around 8:20am on a Sunday morning.
When I walked into the hospital I was about 3cm, only progressing a cm in the week leading up to the induction. The process started off fairly easy, upping the pitocin every so often until around 12pm when, I wasn’t making progress.
(As a side note, this is fairly similar to what happened with my previous two- it was “slow” (none of my inductions lasted longer than 22 hours) until it wasn’t- with the other two boys, I went from a 8-10 in minutes and pushed for under 15...)
Around noon I requested my waters to be ruptured and an epidural- I wasn’t sure I wanted one but also worried if I didn’t it would be too late to get one if he came fast.
Unfortunately, as with my second baby my blood pressure plummeted after the epidural to ~68/40 taking baby boy’s down with it. It was tense in the room for a while and although I was really out of it, I vividly remember watching my OB, switching between monitoring mine and the baby’s bp and trying not to cry.
After about 5 hours, bags of fluid, a bag of albumin, and several injections of epinephrine, albeit lightheaded, I finally felt ready to get the show back on the road- I requested that the epidural bolus be cut in half (which basically felt like was turned off) out of fear that my blood pressure would drop again.
At this point (5:30pm) I was feeling a little disappointed- I was still only 3-3.5cm dilated and kept kicking myself for the epidural- I was handling the pain just fine and wished I could go back and opt out but thankfully, my doula, Lauren Mott, talked me through it.
8:30 pm rolled around and not much was happening- I remembered that with my 2nd the action didn’t really start until they were about 18 with the pitocin so I while they discussed giving me a break to let my uterus rest, I asked if they would turn it up (y’all, I was ready for that baby). They obliged but said that if after an hour or so I wasn’t further along, they’d pull me off the pitocin to allow my uterus to rest.
They checked me around 10pm and hooray- I was at a 7!
I was shocked and told them to get ready as, the last two shot out once I reached an 8.
The next little bit is a blur; I remember the pain- the epidural had numbed a little bit I could feel every contraction right above my pubic bone; I also remember them frantically waiting for my OB who was delivering another baby. The amazing nurse prepared me for delivery (and mentally prepared herself).
Just minutes passed and I was ready to push (my doctor had made it). They quickly set up, turned the mirror towards me: 1 push, two pushes, 3 pushes and his head was there- the cord was around his neck and he had a true knot, but all was well. The next push his head and shoulders were out, I reached down, grabbed under his armpits and took him to my chest- it was 11:03pm and he was FINALLY HERE.
While this may read like a challenging labor and delivery, I have loved each and every experience I’ve had- yes, including this. I attribute my low expectations, trust in my medical team, and willingness to go with the flow with allowing me the ability to see these as fond memories instead of disappointment.
If you’re entering into labor and delivery soon, trust in yourself and trust in your body- try to be open to the process and allow yourself grace as you move through.