We’re three weeks in and Charlie has been try to entice me to write this down, mostly so I don’t forget it but also because I think he’s pretty proud of me. This is a long one, and if it seems long while reading it, imagine living it.
I’ll start by repeating what my midwife told me that the 3rd labor can be a wild card, and girlfriend don’t lie.
I should also mention my mantra was “If I got to Durham to have this baby, I’m not leaving without a baby!”
We’ll start on Saturday night, be night before my due date. We had Nana in town and after a visit to the midwives for a normal appointment where I was already 3cm and 70% effaced. I got my membranes swept so I was really hoping for some movement in the coming days. So, back to Saturday night, after going to a great birthday party where I was feeling fine, and thought I was starting to feel something starting up. By after dinner, I was definitely thinking I was feeling something. So Charlie and I take some walks around the neighborhood, they were coming not super consistent but I was getting something. We took off to drop Buckley off at my in-laws and continued walking around their house. I started getting tired so I went to lay down and they completely went away. I tucked my tail between my legs and made our way home.
Sunday, due date, nothing. Charlie and I went for a date night and all was normal.
Monday morning, I call the midwives because I was slightly worried that I wasn’t feeling her move much. Which turned out to be that she was sleeping or something for a while. But I also had some indication that I could be leaking fluid. So they asked me to come in for a visit and check. All was fine and they swept my membranes again, I was at 4 cm then. Right after that the girls and I went to Chick Fil A and I had a really big contraction. And started to get excited about her coming soon.
All through the day I’m having decent contractions, nothing earth shattering, but they kept coming. After dinner we packed up everyone and got to my in-laws again to drop even more kids off. We walked around their neighborhood and they were picking up slightly but were sticking around when I sat down. Around 10:30 we left for our other friend’s house who live closer to the hospital. Once we get there, I stall out again. Called the midwife among a very rainy walk in their neighborhood and she gave me some tips to get this started up again. We rested a little and the contractions started coming every 7 mins and at increasing intensity.
We make our way to the hospital around 2 am on Tuesday morning. Get checked in, and start walking around the floor. Once I get onto the floor, and into the bright lights, I start stalling again. I then go back into the room with the lights down and keep having contractions. I get into the shower and doing squats, and things keep coming. Eventually after a few hours of this, I get checked. 6 cm. I’m not really upset, because the contractions weren’t as long as I would have expected. Then I stall again.
Back and forth for hours with stalling and trying to get things going with no success.
Around 5 am, I get checked because I would love to get into the tub, which done too soon can also stall someone out. 6 cm. I stall completely. No contractions, nothing. Charlie and I start getting really discouraged in my body and confused because I’d done this twice before with none of these issues.
At this point, the midwife said “well, we can either break your water, or I guess you could go home” and I AM NOT going home without a baby.
7am we decide to have my water broken, but the floor was so crazy that my midwife didn’t get back to me until 10:00am and even then it was the next midwife coming on, because the previous one was still delivering babies left and right. So we nap a little and watch family feud while we wait. One of the L&D nurses came in to check on her heart rate and told me that 3rd pregnancies stall out constantly. They see this all the time and once they break my water, it will come fast.
10:15am, the midwife breaks my water and sweeps my membranes again to really aggravate my cervix. When she checked me, she says “you know, I think they were being generous with a 6cm, you’re really more a 5″…. They put the monitors on me and the nurse isn’t going to be happy with me until I get minute-long contractions. Once I get a few of those I start walking the floor again and things really get crazy fast. I start getting over a minute long back labor contractions every 2 minutes at least. We do probably 5 loops around the floor and I’m asking for the tub. The doula was had, who was amazing by the way, ran ahead to get it going. All the while I have contractions probably every 20 feet of walking.
I get into the tub amid very frequent and strong contractions. Once I get in the tub doesn’t really help, sitting down isn’t going to happen right now and I flip over on my hands and knees with Charlie pushing on my back with all his weight and Leah, the doula, is spraying my back with the hand shower head thing on my back. I start moaning and cussing and they are coming on top of each other now. Charlie, who has now seen this twice before, goes to get the midwife because he knows things are getting serious now.
Once the midwife comes to me, I tell her I’m getting the urge to push and I wanted to push her out in the tub. She grabs the monitor to check Evelyn’s heart rate, tells me it’s good and encourages me to get to the bed, because I don’t have enough water to push her out in the tub (and I do know it’s not hospital policy to allow a water birth). I almost run over the bed and she helps me start pushing her out.
I made gave her in the instruction to help me not tear, because I’d gotten second degree tears with the other girls and would love to avoid that this time. She guided her out and she was out at 12:01pm. I went from 5 cm to 10 cm in 1.5 hours from when they broke my water. I did have a 1st degree tear, mostly from her shoulders, which I have found to be a much easier recovery than a 2nd degree tear.
As a follow up, would I have gone the breaking the water thing earlier? Maybe, It is a little scary to think about that much pain happening in that short amount of time. But I was very much in shock once I pushed her out, that after all the stalling and frustration, she was already out. It was pretty amazing.
All through my pregnancy, I was extremely concerned about a nuchal cord, and told them not to tell me if something was wrong once she was coming out. Just fix it and move on, and that exactly that happened. She had a loose nuchal cord that she came right through, or something. I had to ask if she had one, and if I hadn’t asked I don’t even know if they would have mentioned it.
Since Virginia’s postpartum was so worrisome and strange that once we got the chance to leave and given a clean bill of health, we jumped on it and left right after 24 hours in the hospital. Although she latched on right away, we had a tough start with nursing. It’s mostly because as I was told by the Lactation Consultant that she had a short tongue. But upon further investigation, and 3rd time mom maternal instinct, she had a posterior tongue tie that we had released and things are much better. Other than that, she’s a dream and we are all obsessed with her.