Hard to believe it’s been nearly 7 weeks since we welcomed Wyatt into our family. Even harder to believe it’s taken me that long to write out his birth story! I forgot how time-consuming life with a newborn is – then add a toddler in the mix. I’m trying to soak up as much time as I can with both of them, so blogging hasn’t come as easily. Over the course of weeks, I’ve pulled together what I remember the best I can. Enjoy!
As many of you know, I was overdue with baby boy. I hit the 40 week mark, and while I felt good (almost too good…as in that guy wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon), it was also a bit of an emotional/mental game in those last few weeks. Harper came exactly 6 days early, so I assumed baby boy would be no exception. Second babies come earlier, right? Except when they don’t. Instead, they decide to show up 8 (!!) days after your due date. Looking back now, I know Wyatt’s tardiness paid off by allowing me a much quicker labor. My body was doing a lot of prep work that last week and a half or so. I wrote about it here, and also shared ALL. OF. THE. THINGS. I had done to try and get him out on his own. In the end, I’m pretty sure none of the wive’s tales worked.. but I do know nothing hurt my efforts, and all the walking was not only good for me mentally, but physically, as well.
I also mentioned how I had a looong labor, and not quite the whole birth experience I wanted with Harper. In the end, I had a perfect, beautiful baby girl, but I definitely had a bit of remorse about my labor and made the decision this time around to hire a doula. I discussed this briefly here, and also mentioned how I wanted a natural, un-medicated birth. Again, I will stress there is no medal for this – and I can honestly say I did it and had the exact experience I wanted. Did I earn a medal? No… But, I did feel empowered and in control, which was my goal and I hope what every woman gets to experience in one way or another regardless of birth plan/outcomes.
Okay, so onto Wyatt’s birth story…
I honestly didn’t expect to hit the 40 week mark with this pregnancy. So, when I strolled (read: waddled) into my 40 week OB appointment, it felt all a bit surreal. I was actually just shy of 40 weeks gestationally, so we chatted briefly and I agreed to do another cervical check. Not much had been happening even though I was having ongoing fake (just enough to be annoying but not painful) contractions for hours a day. I was hopeful there had been progress. Nope. Still 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. Whatever that means. I had nothing going on before Harper and went into labor early, so I took it all with a grain of salt (and a side of anxiety…lol). We had a sonogram at this appointment as well. It was nice to have a *bonus* peek at baby boy, but at this point I was just ready to meet him in person. The sonographer estimated that we were looking at about a 9 lb. baby with a large-ish head. I know that’d freak most people out, but Harper was 8 lbs born a week early, so I figured her prediction was spot on. Spoiler alert: it was. Minus the head part… apparently my kiddos always appear to have a giant head in sonograms, but come out 50-75%ish percentile. Not the 90%tile they think. It was funny though because his head was so low that the sonographer couldn’t even get the shot she wanted. So, she estimated it was just large…
Anyway, our OB wasn’t at all concerned given my health and the size of the baby and told me we could wait to talk about any interventions at the next appointment. AWESOME. No way I’d make it to the next appointment nearly a week later. Wrong, again.
The following Thursday, I came in for my 41 week appointment and met with the NP in the office. I asked for a membrane sweep at this point to see if we could move things along that way. Another fairly uneventful appointment, until we sat down to have the “I” word talk. I know induction isn’t a bad word, and honestly have so many friends who have had great experiences with planned inductions. However, I was also panicked about the possibility because I’ve heard the pitocin can make it really hard to labor unmedicated (since the contractions aren’t “natural” and you often don’t get a break). However, looking back now, I realize you don’t get much of a break even with a natural, none drug-induced delivery… sooo… But anyway, she said the scheduling office would call the next day to schedule my induction. She explained that they’d let me go to 42 weeks if I wanted, but he HAS to come out next week. At this point, I knew she was right. It’s not safe for anyone for babies to be in there much longer – and I definitely wanted him out before 42 weeks.
The scheduling office called Friday morning and told me my induction would be scheduled for Monday at 7 am. Cue the waterworks/meltdown. Hubs and I were both working from home at this point, so I hung up the phone and began sobbing. Again, I don’t know why I had such a strongly adverse reaction to the induction appointment. Honestly, it was fear. I have always felt that I can trust my body and that it’ll know what to do. But would it be the same with the addition of the pitocin? I felt uneasy, but knew it was the right decision.
Fast forward to Saturday when I really started to panic. I wanted to move my induction date back. I had a long chat with my doula and she assured me that I could labor the way I planned even if I was induced. Essentially, she talked me off the ledge. It was definitely a fear/panic thing setting in that I now realize was a bit irrational. In the moment, I didn’t have the insight. Thankfully, I had a good support system of friends and family who were also reassuring. I had contractions all day Saturday – again, the same ones I’d been having. More latent labor/Braxton Hicks type stuff. Nothing painful. But they were definitely more uncomfortable. Harper and I went with my family to my dad’s company picnic, which was over an hour away. In the back of my head, I wondered if I should go, but I decided if anything happened, we’d have enough time to get back. Nothing happened there, except that I finally stopped thinking/stressing about going into labor and actually enjoyed myself. Harper, hubs, and I went to my favorite ice cream place that evening and picked up a pizza. I had a prenatal massage (that I was 15 minutes late for and had forgotten about!), then came home and allowed myself to have half a glass of wine and chill out. 9:30 rolled around and I had some signs that labor may be close, so I texted my doula, Alison to give her the heads up and went to bed not thinking much of it. Then 1:30 am rolled around…
I woke thinking I had to go to the bathroom. But then realized it was a contraction that actually woke me. I wondered if this could be real. It definitely felt different/real, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. I started timing the contractions while dozing in and out of sleep. Eventually I realized they were getting a bit stronger and closer together. From 7ish minutes to 5 and 3 minutes sometimes. I called Alison and let her know this was happening and also called my OB to give her the heads up that we’d be coming to the hospital at some point in the day. Well, by 3/330 am I knew this was happening. Hubs got into the shower and into prep mode while I laid in bed working through contractions. At this point, he had called his mom who was getting ready to head over so someone could be with Harper when she woke. I called my mom, as well and they decided to both come so they could hang with Harper. We were out the door and at the hospital by 5 am. Alison showed up a few minutes later, and the nurses determined I was 6 cm dilated, I was admitted.
Contractions were intense. I had prepped myself mentally knowing they would be. I knew that intense also meant more productive. It’s funny because looking back now, I was talking and able to handle contractions with Harper up until my water broke at 9+ cm… hence why my labor probably lasted 23 hours. This time around, I was barely speaking just trying to breathe through every contraction from the point we arrived at the hospital.
I’m not sure what time it was, but my OB came to check me and I was at 8 cm… but also mentally and physically DONE. Or so I thought… I asked for the epidural. Alison assured me that once my water broke, she was pretty sure things would move along quickly. She was also certain that I wouldn’t have enough time for the epidural to even be effective. Well, I asked for it any way. The nurses informed me that I needed to get an entire bag of saline in my system prior to the epidural. I had asked for a heplock and no IV fluids when we were admitted, so this meant hooking me up to the bag and starting from square one. I was already in the bed for monitoring (I was 20 min on, 40 min off). The 20 minutes in bed every hour were by far the hardest to labor through. I was hooked up to the saline for the 20 min of monitoring. When I looked over after 20 mins and more intense contractions and saw that not even a 10th of the bag was drained… I knew. I wouldn’t last long enough sitting there to get the epidural. I asked the nurses to unhook me from the saline and asked Alison what we could try for coping. She had suggested the shower, and at this point I was up for anything. The next 40 min consisted of me sitting on a ball and Logan spraying hot water down my back in the shower. I swear, it’s the only thing that got me through that transition period. That was also the last time I’d be out of the bed because once I got back in for monitoring, things moved pretty quickly.
My OB came back in and checked my dilation. I was 9.5 cm but my water was still intact. I made the decision to ask her to break my water at that point knowing full and well that it would get pretty crazy once it did. However, I had Alison reminding me that while it’ll get tough, it’ll also be fast. She was right. My water was broken and I immediately started feeling the urge to bear down with each contraction. I actually never felt that with Harper. Likely because I had the epidural, but I barely ever felt the pressure even. I couldn’t control the urge with each contraction and continued to bear down during. It also made them a bit more manageable. It wasn’t long after that when Alison and the nurse seemed to agree that it was time for my OB to come back in. No sooner had my OB laid out all the things (drapes, instruments, etc.) and Wyatt was here. I vaguely remember my OB asking for a better light and mentioning something about push position, when I felt the “ring of fire” they tell you about and then he was out.
I was honestly in shock. Afterwards, Logan told me I kept saying “really?! He’s really here?” I didn’t believe it. I’m not exaggerating at all when I say he was out in less than 2 minutes and 3 pushes.
From the time we walked into the hospital until he was born, it was just over 5 hours. I was in labor for just under 9 hours total. It was unreal. And crazy. I felt EVERYTHING, but also didn’t feel it for long at all. Many have asked me what an unmedicated birth was like, and I say “amazing and crazy”. I’m not sure how else to describe it. It was empowering, but also hurt like hell at times. Being the natural control freak I am, I was glad to be in control (as much as I could be) of my body during the process. I am lucky to have the birth experience I hoped for, and recognize that it’s not for everyone. Whether you have a medicated, un-medicated, scheduled or unscheduled cesarean, I hope you feel supported and have the birth YOU want. In the end, a healthy baby and momma is all that matters. However you get there is your own journey.
And just a little baby spam – here are a few of my favorite pics with our not-so-little guy born at 9 lbs 2 oz and 21 in! Oh, and the craziest part – he has red hair! We’re still in shock (though Logan’s grandmother was a red-head and it definitely runs in the family). Everyone’s still taking bets on what color it’ll end up, but right now it still looks pretty red!
And now that I’ve finally typed up our birth story, my hope is to let you all know how life as a family of four is going in the next few days/weeks!