Child #3 was born in September 2012. That summer was THE HOTTEST summer I could ever imagine!
My pregnancy was pretty typical. We already had two children that were ages eight and six years old. We had been trying for child number three for a while and were feeling like it maybe wasn't meant to be. We had experienced two miscarriages and said if it wasn't intended for us, we would know. We got pregnant in December 2011 and things went smoothly, for the most part, from then. I did have a mild case of hyperemesis (diagnosable nausea and/or vomiting) for about the first 20 weeks. I never really got sick just felt nauseous all day and night with my fair share of gagging. I was working in a kitchen at the time and that made it more difficult.
My first two children were both induced so that's what I was expecting if I were to get to or past 40 weeks.
I had made it, finally, to week 40! it had been a summer of constant heat waves and I was tired of being pregnant and so hot. I went to my 40-week appointment and my midwife and I had discussed stripping my membranes. I knew it was going to be uncomfortable. I was really hoping to avoid a third induction so I thought if I were ready we would give this a try. I had been hanging out at two to three cm dilated for about three months and I knew that didn't really mean much. His head wasn't dropped down yet when I went to that appointment. But we decided to do it. WOW! OUCH! It was really uncomfortable and a little painful. My midwife said that it went well and if it was going to put me into labor it would probably happen in the next three or four days. Perfect for me!
One day went by and… nothing. We had friends in town and they had been visiting all day because it was their last day. Our friend said, “Have your baby tonight so I can meet him before I leave." Having friends in town we were able to leave the house, just my husband and I, for a walk. I was intent on going into labor naturally. It was HOT, but we took a walk anyway—up hill! I was tired and had not even had time to have a nap that day. There was a rain storm coming in and the energy in the air was good. We got home, said our goodbyes to our friends, and the air finally was cooling down. I was looking forward to a good night's sleep. I had been up since 6:00am and I was tired and went to sleep easily at 10:00pm.
I woke up at 11:00pm having to pee (nothing new, hahaha). I was having contractions which I had been having on and off for months, but these felt a little different. My husband was asleep and I just walked around the house for a bit. There was a great cool breeze from the rain storm coming and it was so peaceful and such good energy. After about an hour, I started to think that maybe I was in labor. But since I had never just gone into labor on my own, I was still unsure. It was midnight and still calm before the storm. My bags were all packed and everything was ready so I just kept walking. I felt comfortable and was enjoying the energy, peace and calm feelings. My mind was in a different place that was calm yet focused. I started sitting on my birth ball and was doing some squatting at the end of the bed. I was trying to time my contractions, but they were still random.
I wasn't tired. I had some adrenaline and focus to just do my thing. I had a snack and kept drinking water knowing that I wouldn't be allowed if I were actually in labor once I got to the hospital. Around 4:00am I went to the bathroom AGAIN, and I realized that I was passing my mucus plug. OK, this was definitely real labor! I was excited but still really calm. I put everything I needed by the door. I had bags packed for the other kids so they could go to grandma's and through all that, I kept my focus.
It was now 6:00am and things were a little more intense but still very manageable. I assumed I must be at least 4- to 5 centimeters. I called my mom and told her we were going to the hospital soon and she agreed to meet us there. She had about a 45 minute drive. I called my midwife on call which happened to be Pam, who I was hoping would answer. I told her what was happening, and she said since I hadn't slept in 24 hours to try to sleep and come in at 10:00. If I came in and still had a while to go, we could talk about giving me something to sleep because I would need my energy. I said “OK" and hung up. I was already planning on going to the hospital no matter what she said. it was almost 8:00 and I decided I had to wash my hair before leaving.
We loaded into the car and headed to the hospital, about a 15 minute drive from home. After a few blocks, I was feeling really hot. It wasn't warm outside anymore, so l put down the windows. Everyone else in the car was cold but I was not. I was still really focused and was feeling every bump like the baby was so far down. Finally we got to the hospital and I just keep walking. I couldn't even wait for the very nervous young man working at the desk to get a wheelchair. I took the elevator up to Labor and Delivery. My husband was handing our other kids off to grandma and I was in triage.
It was about 8:30 am now and it was quiet, but I could not even sit still. I really could not sit down because it hurt! I waited for awhile before they took me to a tiny room that was the size of a bathroom. I said, "I am sure I am in labor. Can you just take me to a room?" The nurse said, “We still have to check everyone here first." So I got up onto the bed and answered some questions. She asked me if she could check if I was dilated and I agreed. She waited for the contraction to pass and checked me. I was watching her face and she got a kind of surprised look. She asked if I called my midwife and I said she had told me to wait till 10:00am. She said, “I’ll be right back. You’re okay. There’ nothing to be concerned about.” My midwife showed up and jokingly said, "I thought you were staying home until 10:00am!" She proceeded to check me as well. By this time I was feeling that there had been too many people in there. She looked at me and said, "Wow, you are the most calm person at 9 1/2 cm I have seen in a long time!"
I felt a bit of panic. I was not expecting that at all! I had my slight moment of "freak out" before telling myself I got myself this whole way. They took me to a delivery room and the room was suddenly really busy. Everyone trying to set things up and suiting up. I was getting all kinds of questions and they were trying to get an IV in my hand. My husband came up and got a little frazzled seeing all this commotion. This was not the delivery I wanted. I asked Pam if some of this could calm down. She had a few people leave the room, and I asked them to stop trying for the IV and let me deliver. I agreed to let them give me the IV after I delivered because I was so close.
I was really feeling a lot of pressure and I hadn’t even been there for 15 or 20 minutes. My water broke and Pam said, “The fluid is not clear. We will need to do some extra suction immediately." Everything was happening so quickly, and I knew that I wasn't going to get skin-to-skin right away. " I have to push," I said to her over the next contraction. "Don't push too hard. He's already crowning and I want to suction him before he takes a breath." She suctioned him and with the next contraction, I delivered the shoulders and he just slipped out easily. I didn't hear him cry. I couldn't even see him because they had already started suctioning his mouth. The cord was still pulsing and he was next to me. But the nurse was in the way. It felt like so long without hearing him cry. In reality, it was only 15 or 20 seconds at the most. Finally, he cried! He's was a little raspy because he had some fluid that wasn't expelled because he delivered so fast. He had a bruised face and bruised chest because hit foot decided to come out against his chest instead of down with his other leg. He was 9lbs even.
My friend said it best: "A fast delivery isn't always so easy. It's actually easier to go around a mountain the long way rather than straight up the steepest, quickest way."