Tuesday, October 29, 2019 // 37 weeks + 5 days pregnant:
What I thought was just a visit to triage to err on the side of caution, quickly escalated to “change into this gown, it’s time to have this baby!”
If you missed Part 1 of B’s birth story, you can read it here.
Once Dylan and I were able to catch our breath, laugh nervously and stand up without collapsing from shock and nerves and excitement, we headed to our birthing room to get settled in. The rooms at the hospital we were going to be delivering at were so nice and spacious with big windows. They were quiet and private and… familiar.
Nearly 4 years ago, I gave birth in the same hospital to my little girl but on a different floor where I wouldn’t be able to hear any newborn cries. Including that of my own baby. Returning to this hospital to give birth to B brought all kinds of emotions to the surface, but we were treated with such care and compassion during the hardest time of our lives that we knew we would be back should we find ourselves lucky enough to have more children.
That day had come, and I knew after everything we had been through, we were in good hands. We settled in and met our nurse, who we instantly clicked with. She made me feel so comfortable immediately. She was funny and sarcastic and making light of the situation – my kind of girl! After all the logistical stuff, it was time to get my IV in place. I have never had an issue with IV’s or needles because I have big, juicy veins. Or so I’ve been told many times. I trust that what they say is true, because I turn my head every time. My hands and wrists had become so swollen over the past couple weeks, however, that they had a really difficult time getting it in place. It took a couple nurses and a bit of a bloody mess before that got squared away. Yuck! The fetal monitor was placed around my stomach and the baby was sounding wonderfully healthy.
At around 10pm, a foley bulb was placed into my cervix to help induce labor by aiding in the dilation process. Y’all, I had no idea what this was or that it even existed before this and let me tell you – there is nothing glamorous about it. “This might be a little uncomfortable.” Famous last words in the medical profession, amiright? Uncomfortable, my ass! It hurt like a mother (ha!) going in. AND THEN!! Once it’s in. Oh, once it’s in. *Shakes head* There is a floppy, flexible tubing that hangs down in between your legs. Yep, that’s right. It’s just as awesome as it sounds, especially when you have to go to the bathroom and hold it out of the way while you do so. The sexy stuff no one tells you about.
Dylan went home to check on the dog and gather a few things after we had some time to process what we wanted and needed. When he got back to the hospital, he handed over my work computer and I threw together some sub plans. It was 2 a.m. when I emailed my families and Principle to let them know I wouldn’t be at work in the morning. “Are you working right now?” a nurse had asked me. Yep – teachers never stop!
We both fell asleep shortly after 2 a.m., and though we both tossed and turned, we were able to get some sleep until about 5 a.m..
Wednesday, October 30, 2019 // 37 weeks + 6 days pregnant:
We woke up at 5 a.m. for a little bit, called and checked in with my mom who was packing up and getting ready to hit the road for her 4 hour drive to the airport. We fell back asleep until about 7:30.
Dylan went to our house to check on our dog, Phoebe, again and bring her to doggy daycare.
A 9:00 a.m., the foley bulb was taken out (a lovely feeling) and I was started on Pitocin (a drug used to induce labor) at 9:30 a.m.. I was able to eat some breakfast and rest for some time.
The resting wouldn’t be long lasting! The nurse had me up doing a different exercise for 20-30 minutes at a time. These exercises included walking the halls, bouncing on a big medicine ball, lunges, rocking in a chair and bending forward with my arms resting on the counter and leaning into deep breaths.
12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. – I took a nap.
At 2:35 p.m., Dr. Dise came in and attempted to break my waters to speed things up but baby boys head was pushed right up against the membranes so she was only able to scrape, which was not a pleasant feeling!
Just before 3:00 p.m. contractions started to get stronger, I was definitely feeling them but they weren’t too crazy yet.
My mom arrived at the hospital from California at 4:00 p.m. The doctor came in the room right after my mom arrived (4:25 p.m.) to try to break my waters again. This time the big, warm gush happened! Within 10 minutes of breaking the waters successfully, the intense contractions started. I had to start focusing on my breathing to get through them. I was feeling like I was needing to use the bathroom but the nurse told me not to go to the bathroom and push because it was just the pressure of the baby’s head. I found some comfort and relief in bending over with my arms resting on the counter and breathing through and with the contractions. Dylan rubbed my lower back with two tennis balls. Thank you birth class for recommending this! It was a life saver!
I surrendered to the epidural somewhere around 6-7:00 p.m.. I had a hard time arching my back the way the anesthesiologist needed me to do so it took a bit of time and effort to get the epidural in. My contractions were really bad so he was having to wait and try to time it between contractions. Once the epidural was in successfully, I had immediate relief. No shame here!
My contractions did get more intense the closer we got so I did push that handy little button a couple times for more meds.
During one of the doctors visits and check ups, she discovered that the baby was “sunny side up” which could make pushing harder and cause back labor. No thank you! The nurses and doctor had me do different moves to try to flip him. They had me roll on my side and put the peanut pillow in between my legs for 10-15 minutes and then roll onto the other side and do the same. Baby B was not liking it when I was on my side, and his heart rate kept dropping whenever I was doing this. This made so much sense because I had the hardest time sleeping on my side all pregnancy! These goofy positions continued for quite a while – thrown position (bed raised and the front end dropped down), upside down (seriously!) with the head side of the bed slanted down and my legs elevated in the air. Low and behold, it worked and he was no longer sunny side up. What a trip.
Thursday, October 31, 2019 // 38 weeks pregnant:
1:00 a.m. (ish), I was given the green light to start pushing. The room started to fill with new faces, prepping the room for delivery. Everything got overwhelmingly real very quickly. Our nurse very patiently tried to help with some breathing practicing before I started to push for real, and I was getting really frustrated as I could not figure it out. It was difficult to time with contractions while simultaneously pushing and lifting my knees toward my chest (with essentially no feeling because of the epidural) and breathing and counting. Dylan did the counting for me and helped pick up my legs.
I was scared and frustrated and running out of energy. Dylan turned on a Lauren Daigle Pandora station and he and our nurse kept telling me I was doing great. My mom bounced back and forth between hiding around the corner and being right there helping. I am so grateful that I had both her and Dylan in the room as well as Nurse Sue who was so encouraging with the contractions, breathing and verbally walking me through what she could see.
Once the nurse could start to see the head, she called the doctor in to get set up. Very quickly, she was putting who knows what on a tray that lay on the bed down by my feet.
I started to panic.
I pleaded to Dylan that I needed him to show up alive. I cried for my girl. I was in two places at once, incredibly present while also dancing with flashbacks.
I started pushing at 1:30 a.m. with an unbelievable amount of determination. I needed to know he was going to be safe. The PTSD of birth after a stillbirth is so incredibly real and scary.
At 2:22 a.m., the most beautiful little boy I have ever seen was born, crying, and instantly placed on my chest. Beckett Bruce weighing in at 7 pounds, 6.5 ounces and 51.5 centimeters. Daddy cut the cord, baby latched to eat right away.
Our little miracle who came to us after a horrendous journey. After losing his sister, having two miscarriages, a million fertility treatments and a million more prayers and tears – he is finally here.
He could not be more perfect.
We could not be more in love.
Miracles do happen.