We welcomed our new son into this world a week ago on Friday night, his due date, and the Summer Solstice. He is beautiful, 21.5 inches tall and 8lb10oz. I’m so in love.
At my 39.5w check up I was 2cm (almost 3cm) and 50% effaced, the doctors started talking induction, as I knew they would. Baby was measuring large and due to my age, they won’t let me go past 41w because of a higher risk of stillbirth. I really wanted to avoid a medical induction so on Wednesday, I bought some castor oil (to try later, if needed) and got some acupuncture.
When I woke up on Thursday, I thought my water was leaking. I had a few small gushes of pink-tinged watery stuff and my Braxton Hicks were getting stronger (but not yet time-able). I called the OB and they said to come get checked. One test was negative and one was positive for a leak, so I was sent for a BPP. Fluid levels came back fine. Doc said we could go to the hospital to be induced or go home and wait it out. His explanation for the watery discharge was it was probably just my mucus plug. I chose to wait it out. I did not want a medical induction.
Needless to say, I was hesitant to cry wolf again so when I woke up Friday with another gush of watery discharge, I passed it off as mucus plus (I also had passed some mucus-y stuff during the night). We took the boys out for a morning walk to pick up breakfast and it was on that walk that my contractions started. Again, I thought “no big deal” and was going to see how the day went before calling the doctor. They weren’t too bad but I did have to slow down when one came. When we got home, I focused on getting the boys ready for their day and finishing up breakfast. I took a shower and started timing contractions after that. They were lasting 30-45 seconds and were coming every 4-7 minutes. I shrugged them off knowing they could slow at anytime and because they weren’t 5-1-1 or 4-1-1.
I didn’t sit down once all morning. I did laundry. I prepared food for the boys. I cleaned. I did some work. Our nanny brought the boys back after their morning outing and put them down for their nap. She was great — keeping my mind off contractions by talking to me all afternoon. They started getting stronger, longer and closer together so I called my MIL (an OB nurse) and she encouraged us to head to the hospital. Right when we hung up, I had a very strong contraction with a lot of pressure. Things suddenly got kind of panicky. It was 4:30pm on a Friday in NYC. We live way downtown and the hospital is way uptown. It was going to be a while before we arrived. DH arranged the car service, then popped a bottle of bubbly and we toasted each other and our new little one — thankfully, because I think that helped slow things a bit on our way to the hospital.
We arrived at the hospital at 5:15pm. I was put in triage for quick monitoring (I was 4cm) and immediately admitted. I explained I did not want an epidural and that I wanted to be free to move around. Throughout the day, I quickly learned that it did not feel good to contract while laying around. Probably around 5:45, they put me in the labor/delivery room, hooked me up to the monitors, but let me walk around and move as I needed to. At 6:30 my water broke (huge gush) and contractions got WAY more intense. I felt like I had to poop. I went into the bathroom, terrified I was going to poop out my baby, but actually just pooped.
At this point all I wanted to know was how far along I was. I asked where my OB was and found out he was in another delivery. I was so uncomfortable that I needed to know how dilated I was because if I hadn’t progressed much, I would have seriously considered an epi. Thankfully I had breaks between contractions so although the pain was tough to get through, I could breathe and reflect after to remind myself that once you get through it, you have a break and the harder it got, the closer you are to your prize. Don’t let me kid you, I was swearing (f*ck!) during contractions and excusing myself for my vulgar language as soon as they ended. In between, I’m alternating between DH feeding me ice or giving me back my half chewed piece of peppermint gum that I kept taking out of my mouth to chomp on for a few.
Suddenly I felt like I had to push. I sat down, not giving a f*ck where my OB was to bear down through the next contraction. The OB comes in, checks me, and proclaims that I was ready to push with the next contraction. What?! the end was near! Feeling the doctor stretch and pull as I was pushing was an interesting sensation. I sucked at the first push because it felt like I was pooping and peeing (I was!), which took me a minute to get over.
Three more pushes and baby boy was born at 7:13pm. Two hours after arriving at the hospital!
I am on cloud 9! I have this perfect, very handsome miracle baby AND I got to have my unmedicated childbirth experience. I’m so proud.
The OB said he had no idea I’d go that quickly since I seemed to be handling the contractions just fine when he last checked me. I still can’t believe it.
Recovery has been much more easy this time around. I wasn’t nearly as swollen. My legs weren’t numb for 24+ hours. I feel good. I’ve needed no pain relief. And I pooped on day 2 with no problem!
I had a small tear “on the inside” (still not sure what that means but I’m feeling back to almost normal. I still look months pregnant but hey, it’s only been 9 days.
Breastfeeding is getting off to a slow start but I’ll save that for another post.
P.S. I had no idea what labor was like because with the twins, my water broke and off to the hospital I went where I promptly got an epidural (and so glad I did since baby B was delivered breech). I was contracting when I got to the hospital but couldn’t feel it. I wanted to feel it this time and maybe because it was my second pregnancy, but I felt like labor and delivery was pretty easy. And I’m probably still high on super mom powers and new baby smell. 🙂