Since my first baby was a week early, everyone was sure this little guy would be early too. But it seems he had his own plans…
I was 41 weeks pregnant and about 3cm dilated. My OB said that I probably just needed a little “nudge” so the plan was for them to break my water to try to get things going.
Of course, that was a busy day in the birthing unit and by the evening, I still hadn’t been called in. I tried calling triage around 8pm to find out whether I should expect a call anytime soon or if I should just go to bed as usual. The nurse said that I should go to bed and try to rest and that they’d call me in the night if any space became available.
So off I went to bed.
I didn’t have much luck sleeping, though. Shortly after getting into bed, I started having contractions. And not just the uncomfortable, tightening contractions that I’d been having off and on for weeks. But full-blown, painful, don’t-touch-me-or-talk-to-me contractions. I started timing them and they were pretty consistently 10 minutes apart, lasting for just over a minute. I tried to stay in bed, but it hurt so much. I tried hanging out on the couch, but that hurt too. I tried standing. No way. It all sucked. Around 11pm, the contractions got closer together and were 4-5 minutes apart. I told D that it was time to go to the hospital and jumped in the shower.
The hospital – luckily – is only a couple of minutes away so it was a very quick drive at that time of night. I knew I didn’t want to suffer through too many contractions in the car. So uncomfortable. It was also handy that Littleman was already sleeping at Nana and Nonno’s house because of the planned induction. We didn’t have to worry about calling someone to come and watch him.
We made it to triage and checked in. I was a bit worried that they would think I was being a drama queen, given that I was supposed to be induced. Instead, the staff were all pretty impressed that “the induction” had arrived in labour!
The nurse hooked me up to the monitor right away and the baby’s heart sounded good. Contractions were pretty strong and still around 5 minutes apart. The on-call OB checked me out and I was 5cm dilated and 100% effaced. She told me they’d be admitting me and asked me my feelings about pain relief. I answered, “I want it.”
We had to hang out in triage for a bit while they found me a delivery room and called the anesthesiologist.
When our labour/delivery nurse came for us, I was in the middle of a contraction. I heard her ask D if I could walk to my room or if I would need a wheelchair. He answered that I could walk. I remember grunting and shaking my head: no way. When the contraction ended, I jumped into the wheelchair and off we went. It was probably around midnight by then and it took until 1am before the anesthesiologist was available to do my epidural. The nurse was great and kept having me “breathe through the contractions” which was kind of like hell. I’m actually not sure how people manage without any pain relief. After 4ish hours of horrible contractions, I was miserable and was pretty darn relieved when it was time to get the epidural.
The squeamish fainter in me totally disappears when it comes to epidurals. I guess my intolerance for pain outweighs my fear of needles! I got into position on the edge of the bed and the doctor started his business. They told me to warn them if I was getting a contraction, which, of course, happened exactly in the middle of getting it done. I had to stay perfectly still and “breathe” which was very hard. Finally, it was in and a couple of contractions later, I was pain free.
Now we just had to wait for me to dilate a bit more and we’d be ready to go. I felt pretty good at this point, other than the fact that the epidural made me extremely itchy. Like all over my entire body. It was rather annoying but better than pain!
A little while later, the on call OB and resident arrived to check things out. They decided to break my water and I remember glancing at the long, crochet hook thing in the resident’s hand. At that moment, I was sure glad I’d had the epidural because I didn’t feel a thing. They noticed that there was a bit of meconium in the fluid so they decided that a respirologist would be present for the delivery in case Bo breathed any in.
I think I was about 8cm shortly after that. The nurse told me to let her know when I started to feel pressure or the urge to push. Then, I could start pushing any time. I was definitely feeling a bit of pressure down below but not an urgent need to push so we decided I would rest a bit longer.
Finally, a little before 4am, we decided to give it a go. I did a couple of practice pushes with the nurse and then the OB and resident came in. I did about 3 pushes with each contraction. It’s funny because, although it wasn’t easy, it felt a lot less intense than my first birth experience.
The resident said I was pushing really well and that she expected the baby to come pretty quickly. I didn’t believe that for a second. With Littleman, I pushed for 2.5 hours, so I assumed this one would be tough too.
After a few more pushes, the doctors stopped me and said that they could tell I was going to tear in the same spot where I had torn last time. They asked if they could make a small cut to help it along. Since it was going to tear anyway (and I couldn’t feel anything at that point!) I said sure. We moved on and kept pushing. Shortly after, they stopped me again. He was coming! A couple more short pushes and he was out! His cord was around his neck, but the OB stepped in and sorted that out quickly.
They had warned me that Bo may not cry right away if he aspirated any meconium. The respirologist was on standby across the room. But, as soon as Bo was out, we heard his cry immediately. What a great sound! I watched as D cut the cord and then the respirologist checked Bo quickly before he was wiped down and placed on my chest.
It really was amazing. After pushing for so long during Littleman’s birth, I feel like I was too exhausted to pay attention to a lot of things that happened immediately after. He didn’t cry right away and had to have some oxygen. Also, since he had some heart issues in utero, he was whisked over to a NICU team to be fully checked before I was able to really see or hold him.
With Bo, it seemed a lot calmer. There were fewer people in the room and I felt a little more “present.” I actually saw him right when the doctor pulled him out. And it was amazing to have him in my arms so quickly.
I delivered the placenta and then got all stitched up (from the episiotomy and tearing).
One thing I’m really happy about was the chance to try breastfeeding right away after Bo was born. We were skin-to-skin and the little guy latched immediately. It was so cool to see him eating so soon after being born and I felt good that I could actually see that there was colostrum there. With Littleman, we didn’t try until a bit later, he was reluctant to eat and I struggled to even hand express any colostrum. It felt so much less stressful to be getting off to a decent start with feeding.
D and I spent the first couple of hours after delivery getting to know Bo and trying to decide what his name would be. We had narrowed it down to three names but wanted to see him before we made a final decision. It turns out it was harder than we thought it would be. We wavered between two names for a while and finally gave ourselves a deadline of 6:30am. We knew our families would be (anxiously) awaiting news about our status and we didn’t want to make any birth announcements without a name. Once we decided on his name, we shared our exciting news with our families.
So that’s it. The story of how little Bo arrived on his own on his induction date, instead of waiting to be evicted!