My second pregnancy was nothing at all like my first. With Jude, I felt happy and glowing the whole time. I didn’t get morning sickness. I wasn’t horribly exhausted. And everyone seemed so excited for me! They wanted to know EVERYTHING. Strangers at the grocery store would ask me what I was having, when I was due, telling me what a blast being a parent is….
Fast forward to my second pregnancy. On top of all the barfing and exhaustion, not very many people care that you are pregnant again. Instead all you get is “oh! is this your first? no? oh…” WHAT THE HECK! What’s not exciting about second babies? Then, as I got further along, people asked what I was having. I would excitedly say “Another boy!” (because quite frankly, girls are terrifying) and I swear they all looked like they felt sorry for me. Some even asked if we were going to try again for a girl! Yes, halfway through pregnancy, my top priority is getting pregnant again? I DON’T THINK SO.
Anyways. Moving on to the birth story. Around Thanksgiving (34ish weeks), I started having solid contractions. My due date wasn’t until Jan 5th, and I was afraid August would come early and that I would have to have him at the hospital rather then at home. I took long, warm baths almost every night and tried to stay home as much as possible to avoid going into labor. But Christmas came and went and no baby. Then New Years passed. And then my due date. Now let me just say, BEING PAST DUE SUCKS. I’m one of those people who thinks due dates are just an estimate (and pretty crappy ones at that), but when you’ve been terrified of going into labor for 6 freakin’ weeks, and then it’s okay to go into labor, and you don’t, it’s really not cool. Not to mention the 15 text messages and phone calls everyday asking for updates. And the constant “Have you tried having a lot of sex? That will get that baby out!”
Once I passed 41 weeks, I started to panic. At 42 weeks, you can no longer have a home birth; and guys. I realllyyyy hate hospitals. I was going to hit 42 weeks on Monday, so I knew I had to get the baby out over the weekend. I went to bed early Friday night and woke up early Saturday morning. I made scrambled eggs with castor oil, and camped out bouncing on my yoga ball watching Friends. Castor oil is supposed to make you go into labor, plus give you a major case of the runs. BUT NOTHING HAPPENED. After 4 hours, I decided I should probably try again, but then I started contracting! I decided to chill on my own for awhile (as not to jinx it).After an entire episode of Friends I couldn’t focus anymore and texted Kat (midwife/best friend/ roommate extraordinaire) and my mom. My mom showed up first with a jar of applesauce (Inside joke: in reference to dealing with anxiety and depression, a doctor told my grandma “lots of happy thoughts”. She thought he said “lots of applesauce” :D) Sadly my contractions fizzled out shortly after mom got there and completely gone when Kat showed up. My mom left but Kat stayed with me the rest of the afternoon. My contractions were on and off and we spent the evening trying to get baby into a good position (SOMEBODY was trying to come out ear first. Little weirdo). Once he was in a good spot, we wrapped my tummy up tightly and called it a night.
The next morning (Sunday), Kat and I went to Sprout’s, I had several good contractions from walking around, but was very aware of the fact I only had 15 hours left to have my baby at home. We got home, ate lunch, and I took another dose of castor oil. Kat also gave me some essential oils to help encourage contractions. Honestly, it really wasn’t doing much. I took a second dose 4 hours later, and still nothing. At 6pm, Bryan and I took Jude on a walk. I cried. A lot. I mourned the home birth that I wanted but could never have. We walked a mile and I had zero contractions. Not only was I going to have a hospital birth, I was going to have to be induced! Jude fell asleep during our walk so we went home. Bryan went upstairs to put Jude to bed and I made myself a smoothie with castor oil hoping that one last magical dose would help me get August out in less then 4 hours…
At 9pm, Caitlyn (lovely lead midwife) came over to discuss my options. I was showing zero signs of labor, so it was decided that I would go in to be induced. She started making the phone calls to schedule me, and I began packing a hospital bag. I felt strangely at peace knowing I would at least get to meet my baby soon. (again. I HATE HOSPITALS). Caitlyn came back in telling me that in order to get the doctor we wanted, I needed to go in to get some tests done that night. So Bryan stayed home with Jude, and Caitlyn and Kat accompanied me to the hospital. By the time I got signed in and went up to l&d, it was almost 11pm. They got me hooked up to a contraction/heart rate monitor thing. About two contractions in, I remember thinking, “oh crap, this one kind of hurts.” And so did the next one. And the next one. Once that test was done, the nurse said the ultrasound person was in the ER and would be a bit, and to just sit tight. Shortly after she left, that wonderful castor oil finally kicked in. Seriously cleaned me out. I crawled back onto my hospital bed but could not get comfortable. All I wanted was to go home, be in my own bed curled up with Jude. I think part of me knew that it was for sure his last few hours of being an only child. I had been too busy trying to get baby to come out that I hadn’t spent time with him in days.
The midwives mentioned not to let the nurse know how bad the contractions were, and Caitlyn mentioned being the first woman to leave the hospital in labor. During the ultrasound, I timed my contractions and focused on keeping a straight face. (5 minutes apart, 45 to 60 seconds long). For those of you who don’t know, a BPP ultrasound gives baby a score between 0-8 on health. 6 and above is “healthy”. Any lower can usually mean an immediate induction. However, this scale is heavily weighed on baby’s movement, and if baby is sleeping, you are going to score low. Just my luck, August was asleep. No amount of cooing or poking from me would wake him up. I asked Kat to try and almost instantly he woke up, bouncing around listening to Kat tell him what a turd he was :D. The ultrasound finally finished and we were left alone. It was 12:45. I sat up and was able to breathe and make faces and hum through my contractions, which really helped. The nurse took FOREVER to come back with my results. When she finally did, she spent forever telling me about my induction scheduled for 10 in the morning. I seriously wanted to laugh in her face. There was no freaking way I was still going to be pregnant at 10am.
When we finally got out of there, it was 1:30 am. We said goodbye to Caitlyn and drove home. Everything after that gets a little blurry because all I could think was “ow, ow, freakin OWWWW”. Kat said she had to leave for a minute but would be right back. I got in a hot bath and asked Bryan to get me some apple slices and peanut butter. About 1 apple slice in I realized it was time to move or we would be having this baby unassisted. Bryan called my mom to come get Jude and then called Kat. Kat told me it was time to get out of the bath asap and she would be right there. During all that chaos, Jude quietly woke up, took my bowl of apples and peanut butter, and sat on the floor eating and watching me with big eyes. I really wish I had a picture of it because it was adorable.
Bryan loaded up the car and brought me my labor clothes. Kat came home, took one look at me and said “we gotta go or your going to have a baby in the car”. I grabbed my yoga ball and waddled out to her car. I had planned to watch “Across the Universe” during the first part of labor since all the songs were on my birth playlist anyways. I was so happy when Kat, God bless her, started playing the soundtrack in the car. At least one thing was going according to plan (kinda). We arrived at the birth center around 2:30 am. Kat unlocked the door and asked which birth room I wanted. I really didn’t care, as long as I didn’t have to stand anymore.
Kat was setting everything up when Caitlyn arrived a few minutes later. She said she needed to check me to see if we had time to even set up the birth pool. I was at 8cm. They started setting up the pool (and playing the soundtrack!) and Bryan showed up. During my last labor. I felt like I NEEDED Bryan to hold onto the entire time. Like I would break without him there. Poor guy was holding me up for almost 12 hours straight. This time I knew that my body was doing whatever it damn well pleased and I was just along for the ride. It was awesome to be able to hold on to Bryan, but I trusted myself a lot more. I finally got in the birth pool, which felt amazing. The contractions had been hitting me really quickly and I hadn’t had a break, but after getting into the water there was a pause. Jude arrived with my mom. They came in and said hi and I gave Jude a big hug, and then felt a contraction building. I asked for mom and Jude to leave because I didn’t want to scare Jude when I started getting loud. I think this was a little before 3am. After that, I just let my body take over. I got into a weird lunge position and leaned over the side of the pool and just let the contractions come. At some point “It Won’t Be Long” came on and Kat sang along, which made me smile.
I began feeling the desire to push, but was told to hold off. Someone asked if I wanted my water broken, and I asked for a list of pros and cons. They began telling me but I really didn’t hear anything anyone was saying because the next contraction was coming and it was strong. Really strong. I said I would decide after the contraction passed but we didn’t get that point. My water broke during the contraction and the pressure from it was RIDICULOUS. The contraction didn’t end though. It just kept building and I really needed to pushed. I know at this point people were talking to me, but I couldn’t hear anything. I screamed for my mom to bring Jude because I really wanted him to be there, but apparently she didn’t hear me. I felt like baby was flying out of me. Which he kinda was. From the midwives asking me if I wanted to have my water broke to baby coming out was 5 minutes. FIVE.
August Maxwell was born 1/19/2015 at 3:17, a perfect 9lbs, 21 inches. He came out at least trying to breathe, which was nice since with Jude we had to blow oxygen in his face. After some bonding time in the pool, my mom took August and I moved onto the bed. I got poked and prodded and asked to drink a whole lot of nasty tea, but I really didn’t care; August was here! Plus I had been up for almost 24 hours. We left the birth center at 7am. August and I went upstairs and straight to bed. Poor Bryan stayed up with Jude for several more hours before Jude finally crashed. With all 4 of squished on our bed, my heart was (and still is) very full :D
God had a plan for August’s arrival, and it wasn’t even close to my plan. August’s birth was a big learning experience for me in trusting God, my body, and my baby. I think when (and if!) I have another baby, I will be more patient and flexible with my “due” date, and trust that baby will come when they are ready.