Lennon’s entrance into the world was supposed to be lots less eventful than his sister’s. I go to a small hospital that doesn’t do VBACs, so I didn’t have to decide if I wanted to go for a vaginal birth or not, they decided for me and I was glad.
Lennon was due on a Wednesday so surgery was scheduled for Monday, 2 days before that. I did get a dating ultrasound this time, so we were confident his due date was accurate. And though it was no guarantee, I come from a very large family and every woman in it except one has always delivered late every single time. So I was fairly confident we’d make it to our scheduled c-section. Until about a month before my due date. I was huge and low and people kept telling me I’d go early… maybe wouldn’t quite make it to the scheduled date… Peter thought I surely would.
One Sunday night 3 weeks and 3 days before my due date I couldn’t fall asleep because I was uncomfortable. By 1 am I realized I wasn’t just uncomfortable I was having contractions. So I went down stairs and drank some water, walked around, tried sitting in different positions… whatever I could to make them stop. But they just kept getting stronger. So at 3 am I called the hospital, should I come in or do they have advice for how I can make these darn contractions go away.. they’re ever 4 minutes and super annoying. The nurse tells me to come in. Since I’m a scheduled c-section she didn’t want to risk it being real labor. So I wake Peter up and we call his mom to stay with Lucille.
Peter is less than amused, he doesn’t say anything, but I can tell he thinks I’m being over dramatic. His Mom is overjoyed, she says she can tell I’m in real labor and doesn’t expect us to be back. I admit to Peter on the way over that I doubt it’s real labor, but say I hope they can tell me how to make the contractions stop. He agrees, percentage wise I think he said he was 90% sure we weren’t having a baby that day.
Check in to the hospital, they plug up to machines and see that I am indeed contracting every 4 minutes, and they are pretty strong contractions. Unfortunately I’m not dilated at all. But my doctor is coming in at 7 am or so to do a scheduled c-section, so let’s see if I make progress in the mean time.
Contractions continue every 4 minutes but they start to get less painful, then more painful, then less. Finally my doctor comes to see me around 10 am. He did everything he had to do at the hospital and made me the last stop because the nurses hoped they could report I’ve made some progress by then… no luck. It’s not real labor, even though it’s consistent. He says hopefully the contractions go away, but they may not. This may be my life for the next 3 weeks. What!?!?
He explains unless I’m in active labor, he can’t legally do a c-section unless there is a complication with my pregnancy. Things would be totally different if I were a centimeter dilated… but he doesn’t think that will happen because it would have already happened. Try to take a nap, maybe if I’m well rested they’ll go away. And he is going to cancel my checkup for Thursday, unless I still want to come in. I tell him I do, maybe I’ll have made progress by then. He doubts it, these contractions, though painful, aren’t doing anything…. geesh, let me be optimistic, dude!
So we head home. Contractions are becoming more painful on the drive home… of course. Peter’s mom took Lucille to her house once she woke up so we go there to pick her up. She’s playing in a kiddie pool in the backyard and is so excited to see me. I hug her and then a contraction hits. I back away from her to try to breathe through it. How am I supposed to take care of my daughter like this?
My excellent mother in law says she’s already taken the whole day off work so Lucille can stay at her house all day. I can stay too so she can take care of us both. She draws me a bath, I think this will help me relax so maybe the contractions get mild enough that I can then take a nap… nope, keep getting worse. So I lay down to try to take a nap anyway…. that’s not happening. My mother in law makes me toast, maybe food will settle things. I take a single bite… I can’t eat, it hurts too bad. I just keep drinking as much water as possible. Even that I don’t want, but I know hydration is important (eye roll.) Try laying down again, nope! Put on Will and Grace to distract myself… helps a little. But God, it still hurts! So I call my doctor to see if he can give me any sort of pain medicine to make it through the night. His office closed at 4… it’s 4:02. So I call the hospital, can they track him down?
The nurse that answers the phone was my favorite nurse when I had Lucille. She tells me to come in. I try telling her I was in earlier and I’m not making progress, I just need medicine. She already knows the whole situation but says the fact that I can barely form sentences to explain it to her means my contractions have gotten worse and she bets I’m in active labor. I don’t think so, but if I need to go to the hospital to show her I’m not just to get some drugs… so be it!
I get changed. Peter comes to pick me and Lucille up at 4:30, I tell him we’re going back to the hospital. I can practically hear his eyes roll. (I don’t blame him. He was there when my doctor so confidently told me that no progress was happening and that he didn’t think real labor would happen before my c-section in 3 weeks.)
We check in. I feel stupid. My doctor didn’t even want to see me 3 days from now and here I am checking in a few hours after they discharged me. But good news!!! I’m a centimeter dilated. They just need to get my doctor to the hospital to confirm that it’s time for my c-section and they can get a team rounded up.
This my friends is the downside of a small hospital: they call my doctor and text him but it takes him a while to respond. He’s the only doctor that currently delivers at this hospital, so not like they can call another one. I’m freaking out! This hurts, how much longer until my c-section?! The nurses are all trying to help me and be honest with me, without completely panicking me by say in they have no idea when my doctor will show up.
Finally, a couple hours after I checked in, my doctor comes in. I’m 4 1/2 cm dilated, he’s shocked! Really didn’t expect to see me back and definitely not almost halfway to “push time”. But we’re not having push time, right?
Well, here is the other down side to a small hospital. The whole operating team is in another operation, they’re trying to round up another team, but having trouble getting a hold of staff members… so my doctor and nurses ensure me that I am having a baby tonight, but it may be vaginally after all. What?!? I didn’t prepare for that. I don’t remember my breathing exercises, I was told vaginal wasn’t an option for me. Isn’t it against hospital policy because it’s risky and if something goes wrong they don’t have enough staff to confidently save me and the baby? What if I pass out, there’s no operating team to cut me open and get my poor baby out…..
At this point I’m a panicked nervous wreck. So my doctor offers me drugs: nubain. This little wonder did little to take away pain but let me tell you, it made me care less about it.
Maybe an hour after that my nurse comes in with the best news in the world. The operating team is out of surgery and happy to come cut into me next! My doctor says I’ve come so far, maybe they can make an exception to their policy and let me try a VBAC anyway… I’m not sure I like that idea… he says let’s see how dilated I am before I decide. I’m still a 4 1/2. This is the number I got stuck on with Lucille so I say hell to the no! Not waiting to get past that milestone again, get this baby out of me!
Roll into the operating room and from here I feel comfortable. I remember the anesthesiologist from when I had Lucille, he’s a riot. I thank the whole team for helping me even though they just got out of a several hour surgery. They’re all super nice, say they’re so happy to be there, I love them! The needle is big but doesn’t hurt. I can feel them cutting into me and moving stuff around and out, but it tickles. I can see Peter watching it. Gross! I tell him to stop, but he doesn’t. He thinks he’s being sneaky, he’s not. Lennon was born at 8:57 pm. Peter didn’t cut Lucille’s cord but this time they cut the cord so tons of it is still attached to Lennon and ask Peter to do a closer cut. He said he didn’t care about not cutting Lucille’s, but I think he was glad he got to this time.
They lay Lennon down to measure him and I get my first glance at him. The feeling that I felt was the strangest feeling in the world. When Lucille was born I had this overwhelming feeling of love stronger than I could ever imagine. With Lennon I felt the exact same feeling mixed with a feeling of disbelief.
For some reason I expected to look over and see Lucille all over again. Lennon looked SO different! He was so handsome and looked just like my husband, but somehow that caught me really off guard. I think I was also just so surprised he was here already! With Lucille she came around when we expected her and after 2 long days in the hospital… this time things happened so quick. I wasn’t used to the idea that he’d be arriving today yet and here he was! It was such a glorious moment that I’ll treasure forever.
I fed Lennon while they kept me in the operating room to make sure we were recovering okay. Then we settled into our room just me, Lennon and his daddy. It was so different from when I had Lucille and all our parents and siblings were already waiting in my room for me. I honestly enjoyed the quietness after such a crazy day.
My mom and sister did briefly visit us that night. I was glad Lennon was able to meet a couple people on his birthday, even though I wasn’t up for him to meet many more. I called my sister upset shortly after we got in our room because Peter had been trying since about 5:00 to get a hold of my mom and tell her what was happening and couldn’t reach her. (The rest of the family was informed.) So she took it upon herself to track my mom down and let her know her grandson was born. What a shock that was for her!
So there you have it, two unexpectedly complicated birth stories from two completely insane children. I tell Peter I think birth stories say a lot about a baby, and though I’m obsessed with the funny, energetic personalities of my first two…. I’d be okay with baby #3 coming on her (or his) scheduled c-section date and being the calm one of the bunch. Haha.