It’s funny preparing for a third baby. You think you’ve done this before, you feel pretty prepared, and you hope muscle memory will return.
This pregnancy was beyond hard for me. I started out pretty depressed from day one, hadn’t fully recovered from the 4 losses I had prior to finally getting pregnant with a viable pregnancy. I was sick pretty instantly and stayed that way until about 17 weeks. The only relief I got was when we went to Cape Cod for a wedding and something about the altitude change really improved my morning sickness. When we went to Disneyland in July, I also wasn’t sick there. Who knows really why, but I was grateful for the break. It was a long summer and I was not very excited about being pregnant all winter.
Once I got further along, I, of course, was beyond happy, and despite all my food aversions, I felt okay the rest of the time. At about 32 weeks, I started having Braxton Hicks and those never left. Trent went to the Rose Bowl over my 35-week mark and I was so nervous, but luckily he made it back before baby was born.
I felt lot of anxiousness with Covid, RSV, influenza and everything circulating our world right now, that I think it was hard for me to live in the moment more. My kids are at great ages, but also still require so much of me. Trent also is in one of the busiest times of his career, so he had a lot of late nights that we normally don’t have. It’s been a lot, to say the least, since about November navigating my pregnancy, home life, and Trent’s work life.
Trent jokingly, but not really, would say he needed until the 20th for work and then he didn’t care when baby came. I think this jinxed us. I was getting so big and running out of room. I was going to the bathroom almost hourly (and, shhh, maybe peeing my pants at the end there), and so I knew something was coming soon. I spent a ton of time in bed, resting, not doing a lot, but that didn’t seem to help.
I was feeling the need for some control and so I went into my OB during my 37th week and asked him if we could schedule an induction for after I turned 38 weeks. He agreed and said they would break my water, which I still felt confident about going unmedicated because I knew that we had done that in the past and I still had a great birth. I was already dilated to a two and about 75% effaced and so I knew things were getting going already.
That appointment that I asked him to do that on was January 12. That night we had a pretty mellow night, I went home and I went to bed and Trent reminded me that he had a hearing in the morning, so he was going to be leaving early. I said OK sounds good I’ll see you in the morning not thinking twice. I fell asleep at about 10 PM, and woke up at 2 AM and I needed to go to the bathroom. I usually can get myself out of bed and go but this time for some reason I felt different, like I was going to pee the bed. I woke Trent up and asked him to come help me get out of bed. The moment he helped me up, my water broke all over our floor. I looked at Trent and said oh my gosh my water broke, we need to go. Our first reaction was trying to figure out, was this really my water that broke, but I knew in that instance that it absolutely was.
At this point I wasn’t even 38 weeks, and so Trent didn’t have a bag packed yet. I had done his laundry the night before but we hadn’t put everything together yet. I mean hell he was going to a hearing at 9 AM that morning. Lol
In the past when my water has broken, it has taken about an hour for my contractions to begin and this time it was opposite my contractions began after about five minutes of my water breaking. I was starting to feel them pretty deep and I could tell this was go time and we needed to move as quickly as possible. We called our wonderful nanny Staci, and she arrived at about 2:30 in the morning. At that point we were running around the house getting everything put together, and trying to get all the things that we needed for birth. The whole time I was going through contractions and we were talking through my affirmations and getting me ready for the next couple hours.
I think at this point the shock was starting to settle in and we realized this was really happening. We left the house at about 2:40 in the morning with a car packed full, me slightly panicked to how I was going to make it through labor again with how exhausted I am, and the reality that we were about to have our third baby.
I had contractions the entire drive there, they were about 1 to 2 minutes apart at that point. Trent looked at me and said what’s your final guess on the gender and I said I think it’s a boy, he agreed he had the same feeling, and we both were just excited to know that we were going to be able to meet baby soon.
Before we left the house I had called a friend who had planned to video the labor and she was just coming out of quarantine from Covid, and so we decided we would not have her come and it would just be me and Trent. I was nervous I was going to have a lot of resentment with this and a lot of sadness but to be honest with you living in such a weird world right now and with things being so crazy, I felt totally fine and at peace knowing that I was going to at least have my husband there with me to help me through this wonderful experience. When we arrived to the hospital I was having contractions all through the hallways and I laugh a little bit wondering what the perception of me was as I am having contractions moaning down the hallway telling them my birth plan and all the things that I want to have happen. Once we got into the room I immediately got ready for birth, which for me means just wearing a bra and getting my medicine ball out and starting to breathe through my contractions there. In the past two labors I had labored in the tub, and I really wanted to do that again, but I had this feeling inside of me that I shouldn’t do it and so they filled the tub but we never actually used it. Part of my process with labor is I do not have them tell me what my dilation is and so when we arrived I have no idea what I began at, but I know that pretty instantly my contractions were pretty deep and in my back and we were starting counterpressure and I had a lot of feelings that this was going to go quickly once again.
I spent the next hour or so just laboring, on my medicine ball this time. I labored a little bit in the bathroom, but overall I felt really comfortable and good in the situation I was in and the progression that I was feeling. This was my first labor that I genuinely felt like I could feel him descending and that was a really cool feeling and also really reassuring for me to know that things were going as planned.
At one point I looked up and it was about 4:15 -4:20 in the morning and I saw her motion the number six to my husband implying that I was dilated to a six. She had no idea that I saw and I just I tried to push it out of my mind and at least felt good that I was getting closer. At that point I wanted to labor in the bathroom and so with the help of my nurse and my husband they took me in there, and this was where things progressed extremely quickly. I was already feeling the need to push and I knew in my brain that she had just checked me and I was only a six and so there wasn’t a huge chance I would actually be ready to, but I just tried really listening to my body and letting my body do what felt right. At one point I think she saw me really go through transition and she said can I just check for the baby and I said I’m not going to bed, and so as I was laboring in the bathroom she checked and she could feel baby right there and so I was fully dilated at that point. That took about 15 minutes from the last time they had checked and had an idea. So things really did progress really fast to say the least. It was go time!
I really like to labor and deliver on the bed. It’s something that I feel comfortable with, and I know I’ve had good deliveries with it. So they got me over to the bed and had me laying down, and within seconds a lot of commotion began to happen, and in the video that we set up to film my birth, at this point you can see her saying that I am at a station +2 and need to get to +5 and within about 10 seconds Mac started to come out. So I guess he was ready regardless of where my station was lol.
This was where things got a little bit scarier. I really should’ve just had a really quick labor at that point, and he should’ve just come right out and then placed on my chest. But as I was pushing I could feel something was wrong and I could see with all the people that were being rushed in there, he had gotten stuck. He had his cord wrapped around his neck and around his body. Our doctor hadn’t made it yet and so our nurse was doing everything in her power to confidently get him out safely, so that we could help him get proper oxygen that he needed. I bore down as hard as I could and pushed him out while they also helped release his body parts and pull him out. It was by far one of the scariest and hardest things I think I’ve had to go through.
In the midst of all of this truthfully I forgot that we didn’t even know his gender. I just was so excited to know that my baby was here and was OK. As they pulled him out and got ready to place him on my chest, Trent was able to announce that it was a boy! We both were beyond ecstatic and at that point we just were so grateful that he was out and getting help. He was pretty blue when they placed him on my chest which was terrifying but I was so glad we were around an amazing staff who were able to take care of him. I still shiver at the thought of what we had done had we been at home alone.
I got a few seconds with him on my chest as they were cutting the cord and trying to get him alert and shaking him, so I had a second to look at him and talk to him and tell him I was there and tell him he could do this. The nursery team rushed him away and put him on a CPAP machine and within about a minute we were able to hear the most beautiful cry that told me that he was OK.
You build this baby for nine months and you fall so in love with it, that any slight scary turn of events truly can kind of crush your spirit. I am beyond grateful though that after about 10 to 15 minutes of looking over him and helping him they were able to bring him to me and place him on my chest. He did not have any NICU time, he was completely fine, and he was able to be with me and Trent from that point forward. His face was pretty bruised up from the fast descending but he was in perfect shape and he was totally fine.
From the second he was born he latched on and began nursing and hasn’t stopped since. Every doctor appointment we’ve had, whether in the hospital, with our pediatrician, or our lactation consultant, the main words to describe him is how perfectly normal he is. And in this situation the one thing that I wanted my baby to be was normal, to have a great nursing routine, to be healthy, and to be strong.
From the start of my water breaking until the moment I had him it was two hours and 44 minutes. After a really long nine months I have to tell you I would do it all over again. I wish I could remember that when I am in the darkest darkest days but the reality is, my gift and my present comes once my babies are here. I’m feeling amazing, this has been my best recovery and healing so far, and I could not be more grateful.