Welcome to the next post in our Birth Stories series. We’ll post a new birth story each Monday throughout August and September. Be sure to check back each week for a new story!
My newest little addition arrived in April, and we are celebrating that we have survived the “Three-Month Hump.” Does anyone else feel like the world starts to come into focus after three months? This is my second little cherub; I have been blessed with a matched set: a boy, then a girl. #doneanddone
Their deliveries were very different. My first was like a classic scene out of a movie. My water broke in the middle of the night; I did the whole, “Honey, I think it’s time,” deal, and we dashed out the door. My husband made the SPEEDY drive to the hospital. (As if anyone else was on the road at 3am) and then we waited like 1,742 hours until Baby Boy was finally born.
Despite contractions, dilation, and shooting leg pains, Baby GIRL had STILL not arrived as we approached 40 weeks. And I was ABSOLUTELY MISERABLE. My hips, sinuses, and patience were totally shot. Sonograms showed her weight had plateaued, and at my last “official” prenatal appointment, my doctor started talking about INDUCTION. With no family in town, I had to secure a plan each night of where my son would go if I went into labor in the middle of the night. (I had several willing friends, but of course they all have schedules and kids of their own!) So in the end, we decided that being induced was the right decision for us. And even though I knew that I could go into labor at any moment, I loved being induced and I’m SO GLAD we chose this path!
Why I Loved Being Induced
It gave us an end date. There’s something about the last couple weeks of pregnancy that CONVINCES you that you are never going to have this baby. All of a sudden, everything becomes more uncomfortable, hot, frustrating, and debilitating. But knowing that I had just 10 more days to endure waddling like a drunk penguin with massive heartburn made it manageable. Of course there are naysayers who are like: “Awww..you need to just enjoy your pregnancy!” Have you ever noticed that these people ARE NOT PREGNANT?!
We were able to make a plan. All of our family wanted to be here for the birth, but unfortunately, they live over nine hours away. The fact that we had a solid birthdate made it possible for them to plan travel, book hotels, take necessary days off work, etc. This also made me feel SO MUCH better knowing that our parents would be here for my son while I was in labor. I was so worried about sweeping him off to a friend’s house in the middle of the night and how that would affect him emotionally. While he knows and loves our friends and their kids, there’s still nothing like the grandparents. This also helped us make a postpartum “schedule”, as both my mom and mother-in-law planned to stay for alternating weeks after the birth. And finally, we were able to choose our induction date for a Friday, so my husband was able to maximize his time with us by pairing a few days off work with the weekend.
We celebrated our last days as a family of three. Another thing that tugged at my heartstrings was ending the era of our son being the only child. For three-and-a-half years, it had just been “us”…our little family of three. He has been my little buddy, my best friend, my shadow. And every time I would drop him off at Mother’s Day Out or put him to bed at night, I’d wonder: “Was that the last time I’ll see him before I have a baby?” I know that sounds overly-emotional and crazy (blame it on the hormones), but that’s how I felt. It was a very hard thing to let go. With a set delivery date on the books, we were able to squeeze in a few special family outings, like Sandy Lake Amusement Park and one last “Friday Night Family Night” with our original crew. For some reason, it just helped my mama heart getting a little “closure” on a very special season.
It guaranteed that my doctor would deliver the baby. The day of my son’s birth was actually my doctor’s day off, so he didn’t get to deliver him! And while I LOVED the on-call doctor, I really wanted my doctor to be there for this one. (After all those appointments, you want them to see the end result, right?!) Since inducing was a completely different process for me, it was very comforting to see his face every few hours, assuring me that everything was progressing smoothly.
I was able to look get ready and look cute! Call me shallow, but let’s be real. Once you deliver a baby, a shower and pampering may not be on the horizon for quite some time. Since my water broke in the middle of the night with my first, I didn’t have time for “hair and makeup”, so let’s just say I wasn’t ready for my close-up afterwards. With induction, I was able to shower, dry my hair, and put on makeup beforehand. Labor is as much a mental battle as physical, and honestly, just feeling more like myself made me feel “game-time ready”!
Labor was controlled, steady, fairly quick. Our induction was scheduled to begin at 5am. Yes, that sounds painfully early (pardon the pun), but honestly, it’s not like I slept much the night before anyway. When we arrived, the monitors showed I was actually already having contractions about 10 minutes apart (oh, so that’s what those pains were!). By the time we got all checked in and hooked up, the Pitocin was flowin’ about 6:30, so things moved along pretty steadily.
It felt so nice to be clear-headed during labor; I was able to make decisions, have conversations with my husband, and actually remember and cherish the experience. My doctor broke my water about 10:30 and I labored on my own for about as long as I felt like I could handle. I got an epidural (don’t even try to give me grief about that; I’d bring one home with me if I could) and things slowed down for a little bit. So my husband turned on an episode of Suits for us, and about 15 minutes in, I knew it was GO TIME. Honestly, I think getting my mind off the labor really helped my body to relax and progress. Lo and behold, I was fully dilated and the nurse couldn’t get the doctor in quick enough. He was literally pulling his gloves on with his teeth. And by 2:43 that afternoon, my little angel arrived. Words can never describe the feeling of seeing and holding your baby for the first time, right?
Since labor and delivery happened in less than a day (PRAISE THE LORD), we were all unhooked and in a postpartum room by 5pm! This allowed my son to come meet his new baby sister and have a “Pizza Party” in the room with us. The nurse was AMAZING and even let him “help” with her vitals.
We were home by Sunday morning and started a fresh week with our new baby! For some reason, this simple detail of starting our “new life” on a Monday morning made me feel a little more sane. And with a new baby, I’ll take all the sanity I can get!
I know you may be thinking: “Labor shouldn’t be that planned/controlled.” And trust me, I was MORE than happy to go into labor on my own at any minute. But with all the factors combined, this was the best decision for our baby and family. And at the end of the day, I think we all agree that the most important end result is a healthy baby and mama!