This is gonna be a long one folks!

He’s here, and amazingly, he came on his own. I last updated on Aug 8 at 38 weeks 1 day. The next morning, Friday, I woke up after a night of decent sleep, DH had even kept the kids quiet so I could sleep in a bit as he was working from home. I had an ob checkup scheduled for that afternoon and DH and I were planning to take the kids along with us but my mom convinced us to leave them home with my sisters M and K, just in case. Since I’d been 3cm the Sun before, we thought the dr might not want me to leave if I was at 4cm. So at 11:40, we set off on our long day of appointments. First I had to go to a lab to do our required insurance physical, then I had an nst at 2pm (which was apparently the first nst DH had ever attended with me in all these pregnancies!), a bpp at 2:30 and a visit with the ob at 3:15. We rushed from one appointment to another without time to spare for lunch or anything. The ob we saw was the one scheduled for our induction, so we talked over the plan with her and she checked my cervix. She declared it to be “great, stretchy, soft, shortening and 3 headed to 4cm”. I asked her if she would sweep my membranes and she did so, rather aggressively, although it wasn’t very painful at all. As soon as I stood up, I noticed some bleeding but not much else. The dr said she’d see me in 2 days, either for the induction or with my baby in the hospital. We also talked about skipping the epidural line placement since I had the spinal headache last time and the dr said she really didn’t think I needed it this time and that if she was delivering for me, she’d try to talk me through that “I can’t do this” bit of labor.

At our nst

Once DH and I left the parking lot, light contractions began. That was around 3:40pm. I immediately thought they felt more business like but I didn’t tell DH because I knew they’d go away and I didn’t want to get his hopes up. Maybe a half hour into our drive, I finally told him I was having frequent and uncomfortable contractions but that it was just from the sweep and not to think anything of it. I had been timing them though and DH was pretty unimpressed that I’d been hiding that from him. 😁

See… Unorganized pattern and too short. The 1 hour 27 min break is when we stopped to eat finally and went to the store to pick up a few groceries which never made it into the refrigerator and exploded in the van… But that’s another story.

The contractions stayed pretty uncomfortable with cramping and aching in my low back, but I remained doubtful because of the duration. So we kept our original plan to pick up a pizza from a new place we’d discovered and have DH’s parents over for dinner at 6:30pm.

Once we got home, I didn’t feel like eating again already since we’d had a late lunch (but not the chili spaghetti we’d planned on eating because the line wasn’t moving. I just had a chicken wrap instead which was disappointing at the time but DH later remarked that it was probably a good thing!), so I just had a few bites of the pizza. DH went outside to work on a dirty project with his dad and I just mentioned to him that the contractions were about 3min apart but still able to walk and talk through, so probably nothing, but hey, don’t get too involved in the project. I decided to mop the kitchen floor because it was disgusting, so my mil and I chatted while I did that and then we went outside for a bit. At that point the contractions really quieted down and spread even further apart. K and I brought the kids inside around 8:30pm to give them a bath and get ready for bed. I decided to take a shower and, oh boy, the contractions suddenly piled on top of eachother but spaced out again as soon as I got out. I sat on the yoga ball for a bit while I finished getting the kids through their bedtime routine of Bible verses and prayer and hugs ect. I kept telling DH “We’ve got to get the kids to bed. I can’t go into labor until everything is squared away.” I just wanted everything to be quiet and dark so I could decide if I was in labor.

When Tru and Levi had gone to bed, we turned out most of the lights and K rubbed my feet for a few minutes, then DH laid Zane down. I had a few contractions, so I decided to go for a walk in the dark outside with DH. We barely made it out of our driveway before he made me turn around as the contractions became close again. He said this is definitely labor and we needed to go to the hospital, but I wanted to lay down for a little bit and see if the contractions went away first. Major denial! I just couldn’t believe it was real with how short they were.

I started timing at 10:05pm and you can see how they quickly picked up once we started walking at 10:26pm.

I laid down around 10:40pm and you can see they spaced out to 5 min apart again but they increased greatly in intensity and doubled in length. THAT is when I finally decided this is “probably” real and we need to go to the hospital. Keep in mind, we have an almost 1.5hr drive.

We left immediately after that and I stopped timing the contractions but DH was watching the clock while he was driving and listening to me breathe through the contractions and he informed me they were consistently 4-5 minutes apart. My mom dropped M off at my house and picked up K and they left about an hour behind us. I texted my mil, sil, bff and sisters and let them know we were going to the hospital to see if it was real labor. About an hour into the drive we stopped so I could use the restroom and DH could get coffee. It was after midnight by now.

We arrived at the hospital a few minutes before 1am and I got checked into triage where they hooked up the heartbeat and contraction monitors and checked dilation. I was 5-6cm and 80-90% effaced. It was definitely real labor!! They drew labs and started an IV. At 1:45am we moved to a room in l&d. I stopped several times along the way to lean against DH or the wall and work through the contractions which were quickly building in intensity and frequency. I think once I got to the hospital, I finally relaxed and everything started going quickly.

I realized I had no 38 week pics, so we stopped in the hall on the way to triage and snapped a quick one.

As soon as we were in our room, we met our l&d nurse, Sara. She was an amazing person and the most quiet and calming presence. She set laboring stations up all over the room for me to try different positions. The yoga ball, rocking chair etc. All I wanted was the shower, so she got me set up in there immediately. I couldn’t get comfortable because of my iv not being allowed to get wet, but let’s be honest, there is no comfortable labor position. The contractions continued to build in intensity and were coming pretty rapidly. Sometime just before 2:30am, mom and K arrived. I decided shortly after that, that I wanted my cervix checked because I needed to know that I’d made progress. The nurse said I was now 7cm and 90%. I decided to lay on my left side through a few contractions since that had seemed to speed things up with Zane and Levi. After that I moved to the rocking chair and tried not to panic as I was really feeling close to my max. That wasn’t working, so I moved to the ball. I hated that too so I just stood there feeling like I wanted to run away and go home. In between the contractions I kept telling my family all the reasons why labor sucks and describing the pain. That’s my coping mechanism, I guess.

At that point the pressure had increased, so the nurse checked again and I was 8-9cm and she noticed there was more cervix on the right side. She said I could try laying on my right or I could try hands and knees. She set the bed up so I could kneel on it and lean over the back. The contractions became absolutely unbearable in that position and she said that was a good sign. She did some counter pressure on my outer hips and it was very helpful. I had told the nurse earlier that I wanted to delay having my water broken in the hopes it would break on its own. At this point she said to me (kindly hinting) “I’m praying for a spontaneous rupture for you.” I looked at her and said “Will it go faster if the dr breaks my water?” and she said “yes.” My reply? “Let’s go for it then!”

The dr came in to the room, quietly. Everything was dim and quiet and relaxed. My water was broken in just a few seconds and I rolled over to my right side. The dr pulled up her stool and sat by the bed. The nurse said “she likes to sit with us” and I found that comforting. I immediately felt the pressure of baby’s head coming down once the water was gone and asked the dr if I could push. She said I could and checked to be sure I was 10cm. I laid there and tried to decide if I really wanted to push yet. My mom called my 3 sisters on video chat and M woke up Tru and Levi so they could watch the birth like I’d promised them we’d try our best to do so many times.

The dr said I could just stay there on my side and birth the baby if I wanted, so I gave a few gentle pushes and could feel water gushing each time. DH was holding my leg up for me but it started to cramp, so I rolled onto my back and the dr asked if I wanted them to raise the bed a bit as she thought it would help; so they did. The pressure of baby’s head was suddenly so incredibly intense and hot and it felt like I was literally going to explode in my pelvis. The dr asked me if I wanted to pull my legs back to help open the pelvis. That sounded absolutely terrible to me but I was desperate to be done, so DH and the nurse held my legs back for me. I pushed once and then started blowing through the contraction as his head was slowly born. The dr helped to ease his head through so I wouldn’t tear. The nurse said to give one tiny push, and with that, he was out. Screaming and slippery, at 3:23am on Aug 10th (just about 2.5 hours after arriving at the hospital), our fourth son was laying on my chest and I just looked at him in awe. I was so busy throughout the entire pregnancy that sometimes I’d almost forget that a baby was really and truly joining our family in August. And here he was! And he promptly peed straight onto my face. 😂

The dr waited for the cord to stop pulsing, which took a few minutes and then DH cut the cord and I felt the urge to push once more and with that, the placenta was out and I was able to just bond with my baby and put him to the breast for his first feeding.

After our hour of skin on skin time, Quayd was weighed in at 8lbs 6.2oz and checked out healthy. After I’d finished receiving the 2 bags of pitocin (to prevent hemorrhage), I changed into my clothes and we were wheeled up to the mother baby unit. They weighed Quayd again and he’d lost an ounce due to peeing a couple more times and passing his first meconium diaper. He measured 53cm (almost 21″) and his head circumference was 34cm. He nursed and stayed alert almost constantly until about 8am. We were both discharged after 1 night and went home 36 hours after the birth. We are doing great and just learning the breastfeeding curve and hoping for sleep in our near future. 😉

So, that’s the story folks. I thank the Lord for such a beautiful and relaxed experience and for giving us a labor and birth far beyond my wildest dreams. Thank You Jesus for another beautiful healthy son.