Category: Pregnancy

Lennon’s Birth Story

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.

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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.



Lucille’s Birth Story

I didn’t start this blog until Lennon was a couple months old, so my birth stories have remained undocumented. However, I’ve been around the internet enough to know pregnant women, though they know in their head everyone’s delivery is different, are obsessed with reading birth stories. So I thought I’d share mine, starting of course with my first born.

Before I get into the birth story: a little background. When I became pregnant with Lucille my doctor estimated my due date based on when I thought my last period was… I wasn’t positive when it was and I told him I’m not very regular. He seemed unconcerned.

My doctor asked me if I required an ultrasound in my first trimester… I don’t know, isn’t that your job to tell me? He said he didn’t normally do first trimester ultrasounds because you can’t see much… good enough for me!

So fast forward to when I’m 18 weeks along, my first ultrasound. My baby is measuring a bit behind. No big deal, they won’t change my due date because by the 2nd trimester babies are growing at different rates… ladies, this is why you should have a first trimester ultrasound. Babies grow at the same rate in those first 12 weeks or so, so an early ultrasound can give you an accurate due date!

Fast forward to the end of my 2nd trimester, my doctor tells me he’s relocating and delivering out of another hospital. I’m welcome to come with him, but his office and the hospital I’d have to deliver at are further. I knew I couldn’t get enough time off work to go to his office and I wanted to deliver at the closest hospital since I was due in March and we live in a snowy area… so, start of my 3rd trimester, I start seeing a new doctor… not excited about it!

My new doctor works in an office with another doctor, and if she’s the one on call when I go into labor she’ll be delivering my baby. So a few weeks before my new due date I have an appointment with her, just so we’re acquainted in case she’s the one delivering my baby soon, good plan, right?

So this doctor comments on how I’m measuring very small… my doctor had mentioned this too but said you’re a small person, your husband’s a small person, I’m not worried. This doctor was worried. Then the doctor realizes my due date was pretty much a giant guess by my original doctor. Then she realizes a bunch of my medical records didn’t transfer over and they failed to record my results for a screening… lots of stuff. It was a mess. Appointment from Hell. I was terrified. She ordered another ultrasound for me to make sure baby was growing okay…. yeah, good idea!

On the bright side, I got to see my girls face pretty clearly at my 2nd ultrasound!

On the bright side, I got to see my girls face pretty clearly at my 2nd ultrasound!

I go to that appointment, they say baby is slightly larger than average and everything looks great! My doctor and his staff apologize that the other doctor freaked me out.. turns out they don’t really care for this other doctor. My doctor promises to deliver my baby, no matter who is on call he sent the hospital instructions to call him if I come in…. okay. That’s nice… until… we realize he’s going on vacation on my due date for a week.

No problem, he says, we’ll induce before that. According to my most recent ultrasound I’m actually due sooner anyway…

So, Wednesday I go in and work a full day at my job. Go straight to the hospital after work to start my induction. Great news, they hook me up and I’m contracting regularly. I didn’t even feel them, maybe this will be easier than I thought. Thank goodness, because my biggest fear is going through labor and ending up with a c-section, but we’re off to a good start.

This was 2 1/2 years ago, so forgive me for forgetting the medical terms for everything throughout this process. But they gave me something to soften my cervix and start me into labor slowly throughout the night. The plan was to wake up a few centimeters dilated. Unfortunately, I wake up at a whopping ZERO centimeters. Oh well, I knew this would be a slow process. That’s why I told Peter to plan on working Thursday. He’s only 10 minutes from the hospital so I knew if things started picking up we’d be able to call him in plenty of time. Of course I didn’t want to be laboring alone, my mommy came to spend the day with me. They gave me pitocin, I walked the halls… it didn’t hurt too bad, they gave me more, I walked, it hurt more… I watched tv, I bounced on a ball, etc. Peter came back to the hospital around 5 and overall it had been an uneventful, not super painful but certainly not comfortable day.

We continued to try moving this thing along a few hours and then they stopped the pitocin so I could get a good night’s sleep. (Didn’t happen.) Gave me the same thing they gave me the night before… which still did just about nothing. I think by the 2nd morning I was dilated a 2… impressive, yes?

I was in pain already so I was confident today would go much better. Peter didn’t go to work. And my mom came back too. So, they stepped up the pitocin to try to move this labor along. Things were getting painful. Epidural please? Epidural didn’t take, I still feel everything… perfect! Doctor visits, tells me he wants to put some balloon thing up in me to move this along…. doesn’t sound fun, but if that’s what you suggest. He promises it doesn’t hurt. Holy duck was that a lie!

Hey guess what, a couple hours go by.. the balloon thing did nothing. Maybe he should break my water? I hesitate. If he breaks my water, there is no turning back… but there’s probably no turning back anyways since I contracted all night without pitocin…. he says let’s just look at it. Well it breaks when he’s trying to see what exactly is happening up there… so that’s good, I guess.

More hours go by, I get to 4 1/2. I stay at 4 1/2. Contractions are almost non stop, they are painful and I’m not moving past a 4 1/2. I’m trying to lay and sit and move into different positions to see if it helps. Apparently the baby won’t drop enough to put pressure on my cervix to help it dilate. Nothing I do will make her drop down. Please can we try another epidural? Sure thing. It changes nothing. Nothing. I am in the same exact amount of pain.

By this point I honest to God thought I was going to pass out. The best case scenario I could picture was passing out and waking up to find they had cut me open and taken the baby out. But I was honestly scared it could be much worse and I wouldn’t wake up… if I died could they save the baby? This may sound dramatic but these were the thoughts going through my head. How in the hell any woman out there gives birth naturally, I will never know!

Finally the nurse asks if I want a c-section. I didn’t. But at this point, I needed it to be over. I felt like such a quitter! But my husband and mom told me that I needed to go for it.

They asked me if I wanted to be numbed or completely put to sleep for the surgery. Numbed! I want to be present for the birth of my child. But why do you ask? Am I going to feel all this? Is it going to be so painful? They say no, I should be fine… oh boy. Just like my epidural should have helped, right?

But great news, I was fine. They gave me the hugest needle ever. Said that part would be the worst part. I didn’t even feel it. I could feel them cutting me open and moving stuff around, but it didn’t hurt. It tickled. And then she was born!!!

5:49 pm, 47 hours after my original dose of whatever that overnight stuff was. So worth it! 7 pounds even, 20 1/4 inches long and a full head of dark hair. She barely cried and nursed like a champ!

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The nurses said based on the wrinkles on her feet they could tell she was 3 weeks early and my due date was way off. Thing is… I had a positive pregnancy test by the time they think I conceived. So, we’ll really never know how late or early Lucille was. And it doesn’t matter, because she came out healthy and perfect.

I should probably include a disclaimer as to not frighten expecting mothers. I broke my hip when I was 18 years old. I believe that because my hip was broken, it could not expand enough to allow baby Bea to drop into place. This has not been confirmed, but my labor experience with Lennon further supported my theory. (Read that here.)

So, not the dream labor, but certainly a happy outcome. And for me, recovery wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. My biggest advice when it comes to recovery: don’t be a hero. Listen to your doctor’s instructions and don’t try to do too much too quickly.

We were wheeled back to our recovery room and all our parents and siblings were waiting for us. that’s the thing about laboring for 2 days…. people start to get nervous! (That’s why I didn’t tell most people I was being induced… I didn’t want 100 people texting for hourly updates.) The second Peter told them I was headed for surgery they all headed over, relieved it was finally over and excited to meet the newest member of the family. It was such a happy moment to be able to introduce her to our closest loved ones all at once.

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