My third child was due 10/23/18. We hadn’t found out the sex of the baby and were getting anxious to meet our new family member. (You can read Audrey’s birth story here, and Ethan’s birth story here!)
I had been diagnosed with gestational diabetes late in my pregnancy. Although I tested my blood sugar after eating, I was controlling it well with diet alone. So I was surpised that at my 40 week appointment (a day before my due date), my obgyn told mme that the hospital would want to induce me because of the diabetes. Baby was measuring right on schedule, I had been losing weight, and baby sounded great.
Although I didn’t want to be induced since it makes having an intervention free birth a lot more difficult, I agreed to a phone call from labor and delivery to schedule an induction. I assumed I’d have the option of a time, so I would just schedule for closer to 41 weeks. My last two babies had come at 40+1 and 40+3, so I’d probably go into spontaneous labor before then. I’m a nonconfrontational person by nature so this seemed to be the easiest way not to have to argue with anyone.
L&D called me a few hours later telling me their only available appointment was for the next day on my due date and wanting to book me. I was a little shocked considering myself and my baby were just checked on and were in good health according to my doctor. I let them know I would call them in the morning on whether or not I wanted to book the appointment. I talked with my husband and doula and slept on it, and decided against an induction so soon as I wanted to go into labor spontaneously.
The hospital called me several more times and I ignored them. I was a little stressed and beginning to doubt myself and my body, but ultimately talking to myself and my doula reassured me that my body could do this. I began using my labor massage oil which contains clary sage in the hopes that might kickstart labor.
A few days later, on Thursday, my father in law picked up my older two kids for a playdate early in the morning. I was extra tired, so decided to take an early nap, rather than an afternoon nap. I woke up about an hour later with painful contractions. We’d had several false alarms in the pervious weeks, so I took a shower and headed downstairs to watch some TV. My husband had been working from home leading up to the delivery, so I let him know and he finished up his work. I text my doula to let her know my contractions were becoming regular, although they were still spaced 10-15 minutes apart.
I went to bathroom and when I wiped noticed the paper was a brown color. I was a little concerned it could be meconium staining, but didn’t think my water had broken or even was leaking, since it was so different then my water leaking with my first. I looked it up on the internet, and decided it must be a change in discharge, which is somewhat common during pregnancy anyways. I put some incontinence underwear on anyways to avoid staining the couch.
I continued to watch TV and breath through contractions when all of a sudden I felt a squirt of fluid. I got up and went to the bathroom and noticed a fair amount of brown fluid had leaked out of me. It still didn’t quite have the characterics of my water breaking or leaking, but I figured something was going on, so I called the admitting line at my hospital. I described the fluid as brown, which according to the admitting nurse didn’t sound like my water breaking, so she suggested that I wait an hour, and if I was soaking through pads after that time, than come in. I let my doula know. My husband suggest we go to the hospital anyways, but I said I wanted to wait since the contractions didn’t feel as intense as I thought they should be.
I attempted walking and laying down and relaxing, but I began to feel very panicky that I wouldn’t be able to handle giving birth again. I called Amy, my doula who calmed me down a little and began the drive to get to me. I continued to breathe through contractions.
At about 3 PM, I called the admitting line again to report my contractions were about 3-5 minutes apart. My husband started getting the car prepped to go just as my doula arrived. She talked me through a few more contractions, calmed me down and then we all got into our cars to head to the hospital.
We got to the hospital in about 15 minutes and I headed to the delivery unit as my husband parked the car. I had to stop pretty often for contractions. They requested a urine sample from me, and my contractions started getting really intense as I used the bathroom. My urine ended up being mixed with amniotic fluid and meconium, meaning my water had indeed broken and the baby had pooped in womb.
I then got into a triage room so I could be assessed if they wanted to admit me to labor and delivery. I was hooked up to a heart monitor and contraction monitor. I was extremely uncomfortable laying down and was having a hard time coping with contractions. They measured my cervical dilation and told me I was at a 5. My heart fell. I was already having such strong contractions I didn’t think I could cope for hours more of this.
The nurses decided to admit me, but there weren’t any rooms available, so they went to go prep a room. I started freaking out and screaming during contractions, when suddenly I felt pressure between my legs. I reached down between my legs to see if I could feel anything, when my doula asked if I felt like I needed to push. I said yes, and she called the nurses back who called a doctor.
I continued to freak out and yell and make noises as they were coming in. The doctor asked if he could check me, and I said no, and when they asked again there was a head. I continued to breath through contractions instead of pushing, when the doctor requested I push to get the baby out. I gave a few pushes and out the baby came at 3:48 PM. I immediately felt better and stopped yelling. They placed the baby on my chest and put a blanket over us. We found out that she was a girl (which I could have sworn she was a boy), and we were finally wheeled into a delivery room where we spent our golden hour skin to skin and breastfeeding.
Unfortunately, since there had been meconium staining, the hospital wanted to send my placenta to pathology to ensure there wasn’t an infection, which would make my placenta unsuitable for consumption. Although I could have chosen not to consent, I decided to have it tested because I tend to be an anxious person. I did however request to take pictures of my placenta.
Since I had gestational diabetes, Zoey’s blood was checked a few times while we were in the hospital. All of her draws came back normal and she didn’t have any signs of meconium inhallation so we got to home 24 hours later.
We had a few problems with latch pain in the beginning, but she was diagnosed with a tongue tie that we were able to have revised. Since then, nursing her has become much easier (although she still wants to be attched to me pretty much 24/7.
It’s been a big adjustment at home since my kids are so little. My oldest, who was three at the time of her birth, is absolutely in love with her. He wants to give her hugs and kisses all the time. He’s been having difficulty adjusting emotionally though and has taken out a lot on his sister. My middle, who was 19 months when she was born, has also wanted to give her hugs and kisses. She’s had a harder time with me being unavailable physically. She often wants to snuggle with me, but there’s a baby already in my lap.
Sleeping has been the hardest arrangement, since all of us still sleep together on a queen size bed. I’ve had quite a few nights being unable to sleep, not because of my newborn, but because I’ve felt so claustrophobic in my own bed.
We’re two months in, and we’re still getting settled, but we’re still figuring things out. Overall, we’re so excited to have the newest member of our family home.