Last Tues , Feb 9th, I woke up a little earlier than usual but felt well rested and refreshed. I got up and cleaned the kids’ bedrooms and got lunch ready before my mom and brother came over to watch the kids while I went to my appointment. I convinced DH to go with me and work in the car, just in case. I had been having stronger contractions for the last 4 days but they were really far apart and would stop for hours at a time. I wasn’t sure what was going on. I felt like it would probably put me over the edge into active labor if the dr did a membrane sweep that day. I made sure to take my suitcase, camera and baby’s carseat.

This is what I’d been having for 4 days. The duration is inaccurate but the interval was very weird.

We arrived early to my appointment since it had snowed a bunch and I didn’t know what the roads would be like. I sat in the car and paid bills in advance “just in case” while I waited.

When the Dr came in I told her about the contractions and mused that I wondered if I was starting early labor. She said I was “3cm and 50% effaced… 4cm actually.” I asked if she could sweep the membranes and she started to but then said no, she was afraid my water would break either right then or after I left and that if it was after I left, I might not make it back to the hospital in time. Then she asked me “How would you feel about going to the hospital now?” I was pretty shocked because I hadn’t really thought of this scenario. I told her that I would do whatever she thought was best. So she stepped into the hall and asked the on-call dr “would you rather I send her over now or have her call you at 3am?” The on-call dr said now would be good. ๐Ÿ˜… So my ob came back in and said “having gone from 2cm to 4+cm since Fri”, she didn’t feel comfortable sending me home. I sent my mom a quick message at 3:11pm to let her know I wouldn’t be home today. She said she wasn’t expecting me to come home and she had brought her bags with her. ๐Ÿ˜

I got out to the van and asked DH (trying not to cry with all the nerves and excitement) “Are you ready to have a baby today?” He was pretty surprised too and it took a minute to set in. ๐Ÿ˜… We decided to grab a quick lunch from KFC before getting checked in and he notified his boss that he was clocking out a little early. I could only manage the Chicken Little sandwich for lunch but I’m glad I ate something.

We were checked in around 4:10pm but had to wait awhile for our room, so I’m not sure exactly when we got back there. The nurses came in to start my IV (4 attempts! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ) and get baby on the monitor. I was having contractions at this point a little more frequently and they were stronger than earlier but still probably 10-15+ minutes apart, I’m not really sure. Certainly not contractions that would have convinced me to head to the hospital if I’d been at home.

The dr came in to say hi and let me know the plan was to just break my water and let my body do the rest. I was so incredibly nervous, I just kept telling DH and the nurses that I didn’t know if or how I could do labor and I was just really getting worried about it. They kept trying to reassure me but not to much avail.

At 6:30pm the dr came back in and broke my water. I didn’t even feel her break it but suddenly there was gushing. She said I was 5cm and 70% effaced with baby at -2 station. So all the contractions I’d been having had made a difference! Then everyone left the room and I waited. And waited. 6:41pm came and still no contractions when mom texted to ask how it was going. I decided to rock in the rocking chair for awhile as that had always given me Braxton Hicks but nothing happened. DH suggested I get up and walk around the room but I didn’t want to leak everywhere. Nevertheless, I stood up and BAM, there were the contractions. Strong, frequent and lots of downward pressure. These contractions hurt across the area of my c section scar, just like with Zane. At 7:01pm I texted mom that the contractions were getting bad. I didn’t send any more messages after 7:04, it was all business after that. The nurses came in for shift change and I told our new nurse that I was going to try the shower. She brought me some ice and left us alone to labor in privacy. She was very sweet and good about giving us all the space.

I labored standing in the shower, leaning forward during the contractions with the water on my back, oftentimes with my left leg up on the seat. DH held my hand to keep the iv out of the water. We chatted between the contractions but during them I prayed, breathed/blowed and said “ok, ok, ok, ok” over and over like it was impossible to stop saying it. The pressure was really intense and I felt like I almost wanted to push already. DH was getting very nervous about me giving birth in the shower, so after much begging for me to get out, he finally convinced me to get checked around 7:45pm I think. I was soooo disappointed when the dr said I was 6cm and 80% effaced with baby at 0 station now. The contractions were so close and strong, I’d hoped for more progress even though it hadn’t been long. She said the pressure was because I was nearing transition and that the next time I called her in I’d probably be ready to push. She’s a very hyper and giggly personality and was so excited and positive about everything.

Straight back to the shower I went. This time I took the shower head and put it between my low back and the wall and leaned against it. DH left the bathroom to give me some time alone to focus. I forced myself to stop blowing through the contractions and just breathe normally. I mostly closed my eyes and prayed for God to help me through every contraction. I focused on all the tension in my body and tried to relax each area, especially my back, core, buttcheeks and thighs. It was one of the most mentally contradictory experiences of my life but when successful, I’d feel a slight relief in the pain vs staying tense. I didn’t have much concept of time but I knew I wanted to make it an hour before being checked again. It was weird and amazing but I was so focused, I could feel the baby moving down and rotating slowing from my right side to the middle. I could feel him pushing himself downward with his feet during contractions, working with my body. I’d never experienced that before, maybe because I’d never been that focused before. DH came to check on me around 8:30pm and thought the contractions had stopped but actually I was in the midst of a several minutes long contraction that I thought would never end. It felt like a turning point for me and the urge to push became stronger. I kept trying to tell myself, just one more contraction, let’s see how the next one goes. At some point I decided “I want to enjoy this experience, not hate it, so I’m going to get the epidural”. The urge to push was strong now, which is unusual for me as I usually don’t have much urge at any point.

I called for DH to help me get out of the shower even though every fiber of my being wanted to stay in there. He called for the nurse and the dr came in too. Standing through a contraction on my way to the bed was unbearable. I told her I was ready for the epidural now but she said “Ok, but I think you’re ready to have the baby. Just let me get some gloves on although I will catch your baby barehanded if I need to.” I looked at the clock on the wall as I got in the bed and it was 8:44pm. The nurse commented that the baby had a change in his baseline heart rate and I felt guilty for all the hot water in the shower possibly stressing him out. The dr said he did have a shift but it’s ok, he will be out in a few minutes.

Once gloved, the dr said I was ready to push with a little cervical lip on the right side but it would go away as I pushed. I rolled to my right side for a couple contractions to try to get rid of the lip while they quickly rushed to set up the room as nothing was ready yet. Then I moved to a semi sitting position and began pushing. *side note: I learned from this that I really prefer pushing with stirrups to rest my legs in. They didn’t set the bed up this time and I missed having the stirrups to rest my legs in vs putting my feet on the bed. It felt counter-productive and like it wasn’t opening my pelvis properly.* My first few pushes I was afraid to really bare down, so they were wimpy but I pulled my legs to my chest after that and asked DH and the nurse to help me and with a couple more pushes, Destin’s head was out. I felt so relieved as all my babies slid out after the head was born, but nope, not Destin. The dr said I needed to push as hard as I could and she was pulling so hard, it scared me as I realized his shoulder was stuck. The nurse quickly laid the bed flat and he popped free and they laid him crying and pink on my chest. The relief was immense and the pain was 100% washed away. Just completely gone. I just kept thanking God. After begging Him to help me just minutes before, I was so blessed to have my beautiful baby out and the pain over. 8:55pm. Just 2 hours and 25 minutes after my water was broken.

DH cut the cord after a couple minutes. It was a beautiful spiraling dark purple cord. I remember thinking it was so cool looking. A few minutes later and I felt the cramping for the placenta and the dr remarked that it was huge. Then she declared we were all done and I could just enjoy my baby now. Unfortunately, no sooner did she say that than I felt gushing. Pitocin was started in my iv and a cytotec suppository inserted but the dr, through apologies, had to manually hunt down the source – a “film”, just a tiny piece of membrane that broke off somehow. Thankfully she had acted fast and the hemorrhage wasn’t too severe. I was shaking a lot and felt a little off but nowhere near how bad I’d felt when I hemorrhaged with Levi.

Destin latched right away after I was able to sit up again and nursed for basically the whole first hour on both sides. He even latched himself the second time and was a total natural. DH called our family on video chat and we showed the boys their newest brother. After a couple hours we moved to our recovery room and got settled in for the night. It was around midnight I think. I managed a few hours here and there of sleep but wasn’t really too exhausted since I’d slept well the night before. Thank God. All those prayers for me to be rested going into the birth were answered!

The next morning the nurse came in to tell us that Destin had a borderline bilirubin level and needed to be put on the light and bili blanket to be proactive. He did great though. It was good that he had started taking a binky within the first couple hours of birth, so that helped soothe him. That second night went well and I think he only woke to eat 2 or 3 times. I actually got pretty good sleep. Sometime in the night the nurse removed the light and just left the bili blanket. The next morning his bilirubin was stable, so they took him off the blanket also to see how he did for the day. By his evening check the bilirubin had rose a bit but they said since my milk had come in and he was eating, pooping and peeing well, we could go home if we got his level checked again the next day (and the day after that, as it turned out). So we went home about 46 hours after birth. Thankfully even though his bilirubin level rose, it stayed below the level to need treatment. Today his eyes are finally less yellow. ๐Ÿ™‚

The boys were so excited to meet their brother and have been so loving and not at all jealous. They’ve really embraced their new bro and declared him the cutest baby ever. ๐Ÿ˜Š He fits in like he was always destined to be. โค๏ธ

I’m just so thankful for how everything went. If I’d gone into labor the next day, we would have had a very hard time getting to the hospital as we got hit with a lot of snow. If I’d had the baby in the car if my water had broke at home, what would I have done if he got stuck? Not to mention the hemorrhage. And I couldn’t have managed a 1.5 hour car ride with that intense labor. So many what ifs. I was so discouraged about not going into labor at home but it ended up being for our safety. I’m so thankful to the Lord for His protection and to my ob for her wisdom. ๐Ÿ˜Š Most of all I’m thankful that Destin made it out safely and that we have recovered so well. I had no tearing and very little discomfort other than after pains. Not going to lie, those cramps were BAD. ๐Ÿ˜… We’ve settled into our routine at home now and it’s crazy and bittersweet to think that whole pregnancy and birth is already behind us.

Hopefully I can post about our first week at home soon. ๐Ÿ™‚