The long versions of all three of my birth stories will be in my new book… but for now, the short and simple version of Baby C’s entrance into our lives:
For about a week and a half I would start laboring and labor for several hours. Everything would get more intense, move closer together, wreak havoc on my lower back and shake down into my thighs. I’d be nauseated, unable to focus, definite labor. Then it would stall out and stop. My midwives guessed that something about the baby’s positioning was stalling everything and causing this “dysfunctional labor.” Baby also kept smashing my vena cava artery, making me very dizzy and lightheaded. My blood pressure kept getting lower and lower.
Eventually, when I was five days past the ultrasound’s due date (but on my actual dates due date), they saw me in the office and we talked about induction. In the end, Ryan and I decided we felt like it was time to induce. I had always been firmly against induction but at this point it felt safer to us.
On Tuesday, May 17th, I woke up and ate breakfast with my family. I helped Ryan get the kids dressed and then we loaded up and headed to the hospital. To have a baby. It was the strangest, most bizarre thing.
I was started on Pitocin early in the morning. Ryan left with the kids for B’s nap and I relaxed with a book and some TV. I asked him to come back around lunch time because I was feeling a little pitiful and just wanted him around for comfort. He brought the kids back and set them up with lunch while helping me through contractions. We sent out the alert at that time that we needed someone to come get the monkeys but no one was available yet. The midwife came back shortly after that and okayed me for an epidural.
Ryan left with the kids for a nap, I took a short nap, and then at 3:30 they broke my water to speed things up.
At this point we started trying a little harder to get someone to come get the kids but everybody was unavailable.
I was at 10cm at 5:15 so Ryan, such an awesome champ, set the kids up with Curious George in the rocking chair behind my head. A was thrilled to watch the movie and sat very still to watch the whole time. B, however, was feeling very nervous. She had Ryan hold her the whole time. So Ryan stood there with one arm holding Baby B and one hand on my thigh to help me through contractions, then would turn back and check on A in between contractions.
I had dysfunctional labor all the way to the end because some contractions would come one right after another and others would come up to eight minutes apart. At one point I shouted out, “What am I supposed to do if I don’t have one for ten minutes after her head is out? I can’t sit like that!” They assured me that they would get her out if that happened.
Finally, at 6:16pm, our baby girl made her way into the world. The cord was wrapped around her neck so she was very quiet and very purple but she was somehow totally fine and perked up right away. It was such a satisfying, dizzying rush to hold her on my chest. I couldn’t help but cry because I was immediately overwhelmed by just how much I loved and wanted her without having known it. <3
Even after feeling that two other times, it still shocked and amazed me the third time. I guess you just can’t really anticipate that heart-expansion moment until you’re really in it.