The birth story of our little bonus baby.
I’ve been trying to write this post for months.
Six Seven of them, actually. See how well I’ve been doing? But with a little memory help from my husband, my friends, and these gorgeous photos from Jess, I think I’ve finally got it together. Mostly.
I’ve read that the third baby is the easiest. (Pregnancy, labor, personality, etc.) And for the most part, that’s true. This was my easiest pregnancy out of my three. However, it was not easy. I still battled with almost-all-pregnancy morning sickness (while chasing two littles), I had continuous Braxton-Hicks for 15-ish weeks, and I was Tired. Yes, with a capital T. I easily spent the last three weeks of my pregnancy laid up in bed like a beached whale. The girls were parented by my friends Netflix and Disney. No shame.
In the final days leading up to the 20th (yes, of September) I wish I could say that nesting had settled in and I suddenly had a massive spurt of energy to finish all of the unfinished projects that we had started nearly 8 months before. Instead, my lack of sleep and resulting insanity had me in a continuous state of anxiety and meltdowns, laying on the couch, and crying to Matt that “things need to get finished” before this baby was no longer housed in my belly.
That insanity involved the demand that we paint the girl’s room the weekend before the baby was born. Because we all know that you can’t have a baby if his older sisters don’t have a pink bedroom. Or something. I never, ever claimed to be a genius, or level-headed when chock-full of baby hormones. I’m going with the argument that hormones are pretty
terrible much the worst thing ever.
While whining to Matt that “things” were not getting done, my mother had the misfortune of listening to the same sad song that I had been singing for weeks. She and my brother generously offered (okay, they were totally coerced) to come down for a couple of afternoons to help do the things I pointed to while assuming my beached whale status. Assembling the baby’s cradle, organizing the girl’s room, cleaning out the basement… all the things that were totally necessary before bringing a new baby home.
At my last OB appointment on September 16th, I was super excited to be able to say that we were finally ready for this baby to come! My doctor reminded me that she was on-call all day Sunday if I should happen to go into labor over the weekend. So I focused on Sunday as “our day” and decided that it was going to happen. I was putting my foot down. William was going to be born on September 21st.
Dr. Keller had seen me through three pregnancies and missed both of the girl’s deliveries by just hours. So after 5 years, I really wanted her to deliver this little guy!
We rolled through Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday with nothing new. The same regular Braxton Hicks that I had been living with for the last 15 weeks. I was still pregnant. And still miserable.
Then towards the end of the afternoon on Saturday, Lucy and I were walking down the stairs from our bedroom when she glanced out the window overlooking our garage.
“Mom!! There are leaves on the roof! Do you know what that means?”
Oh, I knew immediately where she was going with this one.
“That means my baby brother is coming tomorrow!”
(I’m raising tiny elephants over here.)
When we first told the girls that they were going to have a baby brother, Lucy was having a hard time understanding how just long she would have to wait to meet him. So I told her that her baby brother would be here when the leaves turned orange and started to fall off of the trees. Well, she was right; the leaves were starting to fall.
That evening around dinner time I had a ridiculously huge craving for Diet Coke and ice. Do you think I could find a single can of Diet Coke in the house? For the first time this pregnancy, I demanded (nearly in tears) that Matt drive to Sonic and pick up two of the largest Diet Cokes that they would give him. RIGHT. NOW. He complied and came home with what was probably a solid half gallon of soda. I sucked them both down in under a half hour. For reasons unknown, I had to consume every. last. drop. But then not long after, the contractions started… and never let up.
We timed contractions for a couple of hours and made the decision shortly after 9p. to call Matt’s parents to have them come to pick up the girls so that we could head to the hospital.
Once in L&D triage it was clear that I was going to have this baby, and soon! We sent text messages to my parents letting them know that I was being admitted. We continued keeping Sam updated by text, and Matt called Jess to let her know that it was time to head to the hospital… the admitting nurse didn’t seem to think that our little boy would take long to make his appearance!
We were moved into a L&D suite quickly and I made a beeline for the tub. Now, I should have learned my lesson with June. The instant I hit that warm water and let myself relax, my contractions slowed down. They were still holding on with intensity, but they were no longer 2-3 minutes apart. Regardless, I let myself relax and soak until the water was cold. I knew that the rest of my day was going to be exhausting, so I considered that hour of warm buoyancy to be my pre-baby reward.
When I finally heaved myself out of the glorious tub, I went back to moving around more to keep this little boy from settling in and getting too comfy again. I was determined to NOT go home. This baby was coming out. Sure enough, once out of the tub and moving around, the contractions picked back up. This was an awesome sign because with June they slowed down and stayed that way for hours. (My stubborn little girl, indeed.) I still had hope that this would be a shorter labor than June’s 22-ish hours.
(Now it’s time to be honest… This is the part of the story where my timeline gets fuzzy and I start to fade into a blob of labor and delivery amnesia. Thank goodness for timestamped texts provided by friends, plentiful photos, and the occasional memory.)
Jess arrived, understandably still a little sleepy from her sudden awakening, but with her camera in hand, excited, and ready to go! I am so thankful that she was there with us; to not only capture the beautiful memories of our last birth, but to be the additional support that I didn’t know I would end up needing.
In retrospect, early labor was a breeze. We laughed, took silly photos to post to Instagram, and in between contractions that made me catch my breath, had a pretty good time together. We were telling stories, laughing at the woman next door who sounded like a Wookie with each new contraction (no worries, Karma would come back to me for that one), and trolling social media for late night updates. Just like any other Sunday morning at 1a. Um… right?
Around 3a. exhaustion took over. I had been up for nearly 20 hours and my body had been working incredibly hard to help move this baby down. My contractions had once again slowed down to 5 minutes apart, and with no sign of any imminent change I gave in, closed my eyes, and almost instantly passed out.
My nap was short-lived, and I was wide awake again after an hour. After another cervical check I was disappointed to learn that there was still no noticeable change. I felt incredibly frustrated that my body wasn’t responding the way I wanted it to, and it seemed that I was going to be stuck at 6cm forever. So shortly after 5a. we took to the halls to walk. And walk. And walk. All in the hopes that baby’s head would start to press down that extra bit that he needed.
Just before 7a. the on-call OB came by to check in. I was still at 6cm and incredibly uncomfortable, but baby wasn’t progressing like they expected him to with the consistency of my contractions. The doctor laid out my options: Pitocin, an epidural, breaking my bag of waters, etc.
After Lucy’s birth, I was adamant that I did not want Pitocin to speed things up or an epidural for pain management. While I had been really hopeful that my water would break on it’s own, I knew that I was already exhausted and needed some form of help. So I agreed to let the doctor break my waters in the hopes that it would help speed up the progression of labor.