We all love a good birth story, right!? Baby Train’s birth was really sweet for a variety of reasons and though parts were filled with anxiety and angst, the Lord was in the midst of it all. This is a really, really, really long post ahead, but I have had so much fun rewriting and reliving it all and I know I will be thankful to have this to look back on one day!
If you didn’t see yesterday’s post, it basically gives you the back story…a history of my four pregnancies (#worstpregnantladyever) and how we went from discussing a normal delivery to a potential c-section. Here I was as I sat at the doctors office that day and admired the lack of swelling in my ankles and my toe nail color. I also thought “what if this is my last pregnant appointment ever” and sure enough, it was.
Picking up the birth story from there, Baby Train who was low, engaged and head down at 38+ weeks, had managed to flip, and was now high and breech. The progress I had made (50% effaced and a slight 1 cm dilated) was no more. We had already slated the date of September 20th for our induction and now plans would soon be changing based on Baby’s gymnastic abilities.
It’s important to note that when we scheduled our induction, we chose the 20th to give the baby as much time to cook before the 40 week mark. We had a 6 AM induction time on the 20th set and I prayed I would go into labor on my own prior to that. With my gestational diabetes, they wouldn’t let me go past 40 weeks, and so this was three days before my due date and if they had to bump me or delay my induction, we wanted a day or two cushion. My high risk doctor was comfortable with me delivering earlier or waiting, so we just went for a few days before the actual due date.
Annie M really wanted us to have the baby and induce on September 16th. That is her birthday and with my sister and I having the same birthday three years apart, she thought it would be so fun to have the baby on her birthday too – just like Mommy and Aunt Kristin.
That day was an option for us to schedule it, but I had avoided it as I felt like it was too forced. I told her that if the Lord wanted baby to come on her birthday, He would be the one to do it.
So fast forward to the afternoon at the doctors – after the NST and then when we were in the ultrasound room where the doctor was telling me that baby was breech and talking options with me. The discussion being had was that my doctor would be on call for labor and delivery towards the end of the week and then the weekend.
There are multiple doctors within my practice and I was fine with any of them delivering me. That said, the one who I saw that day and the one who would be on call for the weekend was the only one in the group who attempts the external version procedure and he wanted to try it. Cue my freakout moment as I laid there on the table thinking of all that this would potentially mean for me and baby.
My doctor felt like with it being my fourth child, me having a stretched uterus, the baby flipping on its own this late in the pregnancy, etc., that we had a good chance at getting it turned to allow me to deliver. Turns out, he is also known for his version success rate and many people have had a great experience with him.
We walked through the risks. I asked about cord entanglement and all sorts of scary stuff and “what ifs” and he coached me through them all. I knew that some people would have their babies flipped and then go home and wait to go into labor on their own, but for me personally, I decided that if we attempted the version, that regardless if it worked or did not work, I did not want the baby to come off of the monitors after trying to manipulate it and we would look to deliver that day. It didn’t matter to me if it was by induction if it flipped or c-section if it did not but, knowing that there were risks involved and since I was full term, I didn’t want to get all hooked up, attempt and then go home.
The doctor led me to the nurses office where he briefed her on all and told her to remove me from the schedule on the 20th and call to see if they could get me in on September 16th.
My heart lept a bit inside as I knew Annie M would be excited to have a baby on or close to her birthday and I felt like the Lord was just telling me that despite my fears, all would be okay.
We chatted about the times and I kind of asked if they ever did any of this in the afternoons or if it had to be the morning. Since it would be AM’s birthday, the Hubs already had the day off and we planned to go to school, eat with her and take cupcakes for the class. I knew my parents would be there in my absence if we could not go, but I figured it was worth inquiring.
The doc said that he had a 7 AM section he was assisting and then to see if they could get me in right after that. I understood that he had a day full of in-office patients to see and so I was at peace with however the schedule worked out.
The nurse made the call and after a bit of back and forth, she looked up at me and her exact words were, “Looks like God is smiling down on you today. The only time left is a 1 pm check-in, for a 1:30 pm version attempt and a 2 pm operating room.” I think they had to have an OR ready incase there was an emergency and baby needed out quick, hence that being a factor.
Again, I was nervous about the version, possible c-section and all that was ahead, but with each step, I felt like the Lord just kept sending little tangible bits of love upon me and letting me know He was with me and in the midst of every detail. I clung to that as my anxieties heightened and as I stressed over cleaning the house and leaving my littles to deliver baby #4.
The next few days were filled with me basically going nuts. This was a Tuesday that I found all of this out and we were set to deliver on Friday. I called a house keeper weeks ago and she was full. I told her to call if she had any cancellations and the Lord blessed us again when she called to tell me that she could come Thursday afternoon. All details were working out and I was so thankful.
Still as we went into it all, I was nervous. I asked friends to pray for us and shared bits of the details and as I did, multiple people mentioned ways and websites that share ways to get babies to turn.
Yall. I swear. I tried them all. Call me crazy, but people told me everything from playing music and shining lights uh, down there to propping feet above your head (laying on an ironing board), to yoga type poses to putting an ice pack on the top of your belly and a heating pad down low.
I did it all.
Yes, yes I did. Lights, music, ice, crawling around on all fours, squats, feet up on the couch, you name it, I did it. Desperate times = desperate measures, right!? The night before my appointment was also a full moon. I’m not into all of the spiritual moon stuff, but while I did my evening ice pack and squats, I also told the baby that people say babies do crazy things and come on full moons and while I didn’t care if it came or not, I would love it if it would hear its Mommy talking to him/her and go right on ahead and flip back!
Friday morning, we woke up and the morning was awful. Seriously terrible. Hubs had been up all night with a migraine and slept on the bathroom floor with the barf bowl thinking he was going to puke. Brother was sick and in my bed all night. I was anxious and hardly slept and finally fell asleep just a few hours before it was time to get up meaning I was sleep deprived and a grumpy bear.
The Hubs took a long shower to relieve the migraine and I flipped because then I was rushed trying to shower and get ready. I fussed that if was going to have a planned c-section, I at least was going to do my dang hair and make up!!!
I was supposed to be NPO after breakfast on the chance I had surgery that afternoon and since I overslept and now we were running late, I ate late. I was annoyed about that and grumbled all the way to her school and finally I tried to just push it all aside and enjoy lunch with Annie M.
She was so happy and loved having us all there. She truly is the best and we had fun celebrating her.
We hugged her farewell and told her we would see her soon and we ran back to the house to get our bags and head to the hospital. As we were trying to leave, we couldn’t find my husbands phone and again, ended up getting off late and me fussing at everyone. Being late to stuff like this sends me over the edge – and again there I was!!
I have a kind of unspoken rule thats like if I am having a baby, you do what I say that day. On a normal day, I am not high maintenance, but on baby delivery day, I want what I want. Some of that stems from fear, some comes from pain (i.e. when in labor) and some comes from me just generally flipping out!!! Regardless, I was not pleased that stuff wasn’t going my way.
We got to the hospital and I made him drop me off so I could run in and get checked in. He and my sis came in about 10 minutes later and the hospital didn’t have any beds, so we went to the waiting room to wait.
Kristin and I took a few ridiculous #nailedit pictures because we are weird and because being silly took my mind off of everything.
Finally our name was called. Kristin had to wait in the room and we went back and I was prepped. IV’s were in, all blood drawn, monitors hooked up, OR ready and doctor on his way.
The night before and that morning, I kept pushing on the baby and it felt slightly different. NOT different enough that I could make a call if it had flipped or not, but different enough that I had hope.
They say that if you push on the baby’s rear end, the entire body will move (so if you push on the tushy up high, you may feel it move low) as it moves the entire body. If you push on the head, it will only move the head because of the neck and muscles not being all that strong. Kind of like a bobble head, so you wont feel movement anywhere else Well, the night before, when I pushed on it, it felt a bit different. Maybe more sideways/transverse than it had previously been?? My hopes weren’t up, but I knew I had done the best I could and that a lot of people were praying, so I trusted in that.
Anyway, the time had come. The doctor started pressing on my stomach, took a step back and announced that he thought I may not need the procedure after all. My eyes widened. He got the ultrasound machine to confirm and sure enough, baby flipped and was head down and ready to go. The doctor laughed as he told us he was 100% today for flipping babies and I burst into tears. Like elephant, happy, relief tears and thanked him profusely for his work.
I don’t know if it was the sound, lights, heat, cold, talks or whatever that Baby and I had, but whatever it was, baby was turned and would be in my arms soon.
Before it had a chance to do any more flipping, they took me up to Labor and Delivery and we got going. My doctor wanted to finish his afternoon patients and since I was basically starting from scratch, we knew it could be a while and that the likelihood of me delivering on the 16th probably wouldn’t happen. I was a bit sad, but more so, thankful for how all had worked out thus far that I just prayed for a safe delivery.
Around 5:15 pm, they started me with a round of Cytotec (sp?). I played on Facebook, texted people, and walked around for a bit as contractions became a bit more regular. They were every 4 minutes and I was 75% effaced and around 2 cm, but nothing was hurting, so I kept doing my thing. Around 9:30 pm, they broke my water and then around 10 pm, they started pitocin.
My doctor wanted to be a bit conservative since this was my fourth. He saw no sense in rushing into all and trying to get the baby out and instead wanted to go step by step to see how my body responded. I felt awful as I knew this would carry us (him?) late into the night, but I appreciated his approach and I knew I was in good hands.
Here is a pic of the moon from our L&D window that night.
By midnight, contractions were 2-3 minutes apart but I was still chilling. Hubs and Kristin and the nurse kept asking if they were hurting and I kept being like, “Nope! I’m good!!” I thought, if this keeps like this, maybe I can go unmedicated!? …yeah right.
This is embarrassingly funny, but worth telling…At one point in the afternoon/evening, I wanted to know exactly how to read the heartbeat/contraction sheet that came off of the monitor. The times between lines, normal readings, etc. Being the smart person I am, I Googled something along the lines of, “how to read a contraction chart.”
Unfortunately, Google did not think I meant pregnancy/labor and delivery contractions, but more along the lines of the english language contractions. Imagine my disappointment when I got lots of cute, Pinteresty, elementary school charts telling me that “do + not = don’t” and “does + not = doesn’t.”
Giant eyeroll from me and Kristin made this cute little Snapchat to share of Google and my miscommunication.
Around 1:45 am, I started to get a bit antsy. I was tired but also they were giving more pitocin and I was nervous everything would kick in and then I would want the epidural and it would be too late. Kristin and Hubs were snoozing and I sat and watched the contraction monitor steadily build for 90 seconds or so every 2-3 minutes. I listened to my baby’s heart beat and laid there.
Thinking of all this, I wasn’t able to relax and finally asked for the epidural. The last time I had been checked, I was at 80% and 4 cm and with my others, after my epidural, I progressed more as I rested and relaxed. I hoped it would be the same for this one as well.
The anesthesiologist came in and I was trying to be kind and make conversation with him. He didn’t seem to want to chat and he didn’t find it the least bit humorous when I told him that my 6 year old was into “what different doctors do” and that she had announced one afternoon that, “anesthesiologists were the ones who used medicine to make people dumb!”
I personally thought it was adorable, but home boy with the big needles did not find it funny. Turns out that I probably shouldn’t have been joking with him as it was the worst epidural experience of my four thus far!!
I only thought my last one was bad when the doc told me that “people think he makes lots of money and drives fancy cars, but I was his 15th patient of the night and he hadn’t slept in over 24 hours and no one was grateful.” Woah dude. He said all of that as he accidentally stuck me in my ribs with the lidocaine needle on the way to my back.
Anyway, I was apparently sitting on a crack in the bed and long story short, the doctor missed. He did the lidocaine and then the epidural and they said I was not sitting even or straight and it was on the left side of my spine. He removed it all, went down a notch and started over as I wailed and screamed and cried.
I am a huge baby, I know, but this hurt. Badly.
Hubs loves all of this medical stuff and not much phases him and he said he couldn’t watch the second time around. The doctor also was telling me step by step what he was doing and I asked him politely probably four times to please stop as I would rather not know and him just do his thing. The more he talked to me about it, the more fainty I got. Finally I YELLED to PLEASE STOP TELLING ME STEP BY STEP – and he STILL kept on!!!
Hubs was not happy and when the guy left I think everyone knew I was at my wits end. Baby was having some decels on the monitor and the nurse was tracking him closely. Another nurse came in as numbers were a bit wonky and all of the sudden my blood pressure started to drop. That is typical post epidural, but with the baby deceling and all, they laid me on my side and gave me a shot of something to stabilize all, I suppose.
A bit later, I was fine and while the decels continued, the nurse felt like they were early decels that occurred at the beginning of a contraction as the babies head pushed on my pelvis. The heartbeat would stay consisted after that. They all warned us that the cord could be wrapped, but all felt confident that baby was well and in the delivery.
It was now going to 2:30 am, my epidural was in, catheter in, everyone else asleep and I tried to rest. The nurse came in around 3 am and checked me and I was fully effaced and almost 8 cm. My Mom and I texted around 3:17 am and I gave her the updates and told her it would be soon….here is a screen shot of our texts. At 2:25 am last night when I wrote this post. UGH. I need to sleep!!!
Anyway, around 3:50 am the pressure and some slight pain was about to do me in and I paged the nurse. This is one of my favorite things about delivery is that when its go time, its go time. She checked me and I was a 10 and within minutes the doctor was there, table had been dropped and all systems go to have a baby.
Kristin was up and had camera in hand and Husband was getting on his gloves and getting ready to deliver. With the next contraction, I did a practice push and everyone said he was close. Two more contractions and a few pushes with each and baby was here and in my arms!
My doctor was gracious enough to let Hubs deliver our fourth child (he has delivered all of them!) and as it came out, all in the room announced it was a little boy! The cord was wrapped once and Hubs cut it as the nurse rubbed Baby Train’s back and he quickly burst into the sweetest baby screams.
I have pictures of Hubs delivering all of our babies. They are a bit awkward (and I am a bit awkward) hence me not posting for the internets to see. You can’t see anything, but I’m clearly delivering a baby, legs in stirrup things, bright lights on and don’t want others to feel uncomfortable. I do love those images though and seeing my man bringing his little ones into the world is pretty amazing.
The day was long, but wonderful. There were anxious moments and tearful moments. We had moments of stress and moments of excitement and it was finally over and baby was safely in my arms. After I delivered, I could not sleep and I watched the sun rise over my new little buddys hospital bassinet.
The hospital we delivered at is huge on the mother/baby friendly initiative. We did skin to skin immediately, he nursed just post delivery and they never once took baby from us. In fact it was almost 12 hours later before they bathed him and even then, the nurse bathed him in the room with us.
Within a few hours of delivery, I was up and moving around. I felt great (exhausted, but good) and only had three stitches. If you recall, I had over 60 internal stitches plus external with Annie M, so three was nothing! Six hours later, I was walking around the labor and delivery floor, greeting our family and hugging my big kids. I tried not to “over do it” but I was just so thankful and happy – and really did feel great!
We delivered at 4:02 am on Saturday morning and by 9 am Sunday morning, they were working on discharge papers. I mean, I know I felt great, but nooooooo! Don’t send me home yet!! Didn’t they know that this was my insurance paid vacation with complimentary room service and that I had a zoo with wild animals just waiting for my arrival at home!? Eeeeek!
I was not 100% certain that I was ready to be home, but sure enough, by late that afternoon, they had sent us on our merry way! Its funny how I have done this with three other kids, but each time leaving the hospital, I wonder how they let me out with another and no instructions. Then I worry about what to do when we get home. Come on, Lauren! Get it together!!!
All in all, everything was great. We were greeted by the troops as we walked in the door and gave hugs all around. Dad stayed to help us get all in bed and Mom spent the night so she could help with getting the bigs to school the next day. We stopped by Publix on the way home and grabbed a Carvel cake (my favorite!) so that we could properly celebrate Annie M’s birthday – and of course the new baby’s! Moose also wanted us to sing “happy half-birthday” to him and so we did! 🙂
Its truly been a team effort and while we are still figuring stuff out and I have only had one night where I have had all four on my own, Baby Train #4 has been a huge blessing and I already can not imagine my family without him! He is the sweetest little nugget and I am soaking in every moment of sweet snuggles and late nights with him.
So thats his birth story!! More to come, but thanks for all who prayed, cheered, helped, supported and have been there for us! We are one big, happy, crazy and slightly tired family.