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Nate’s Birth Story
Nate has been in our hearts forever but made his appearance in flesh early on a Monday morning after about 8.5 hours of birthing time. He is our third son.
During the preceding weeks, I had many practice pressure waves, some of which felt like they could be the real thing, but they always ended up fading away after a few hours. I started to lose my mucous plug so I knew that these waves were beginning to dilate and efface my cervix to prepare for the big day. Our guess date was January 18th.
Our second son Sean was born almost 2 weeks before his guess date and had a very fast birthing time. This set up the expectation, or at least the possibility, for my husband and I (and our families) that this third little guy would come early and fast. It is January in the northeast and we’ve already had our fair share of snowstorms. Additionally, my husband works a distance away with a commute time of up to 1.5 hours each way during rush hour. I had a real concern that my husband wouldn’t make it home in time to see his third son be born – and this really stressed me out! I had to work on releasing this fear and trusting that our little guy would be born at the perfect time and under the circumstances that were right for us.
Sunday January 11th was unremarkable, except that we spent some extra time doing nesting activities (laundry, taking down Christmas decorations finally(!), organizing baby’s things, etc). We were still a week away from our guess date and I resigned myself to the fact that this baby might come after his guess date like his oldest brother, and that was okay. In the meantime, we might as well have a clean and organized house, which was a rarity with two toddlers running around! After the boys went to bed that evening, I put the Golden Globes on TV to watch while my husband started dozing off next to me. I noticed at around 9:30pm that I started having some pressure waves. They were definitely stronger than BH, but not unlike the others I had been having before this. They seemed to be coming every 10-13 min or so. By 11pm I noticed one that felt like “whoa, I think this could be it”. With that I had to run to the bathroom and saw the bloody show (a lot of it!). This was confirmation for me that it was definitely my birthing time as I had not seen bloody show until well into my first two birthing times. Almost immediately, the pressure waves started coming closer together, maybe every 4 or 5 min, but they were very short (30-45 sec) and not so intense. I didn’t have to concentrate through them. Because my second son was born only 3 hours after my first pressure wave, we decided it was best to head to the hospital now and get settled in, even if it was very early in the birthing time. We called my mom over to watch our boys while we were gone.
We got to the hospital around 12:30am and checked in. I was still extremely comfortable and guessed that I was at about 3cm. The nurse checked me and I was about 2-3cm but still pretty thick. She could feel something “fleshy” so wanted the doc to check to make sure the baby was in the right position. About 10 min later when the doc checked me, she confirmed that baby was head down and it was a bulging bag of waters that felt fleshy and that I was now 5-6cm. They expected things to move quickly, but I had a feeling otherwise. These pressure waves were still very comfortable and still pretty short (less than a minute). It was okay with me to continue on at this pace! I could do this all night and day! I hung out on my birthing ball in between the 20 min fetal monitoring we had to do every hour and the waves were still not increasing in intensity. When they checked me around 2am, I was 6-7cm but very thin. I was pretty happy to hear that progress because this was easy!!! I kept thinking that slow and steady wins the race.
By 4am I started to feel some rectal pressure, not like I had to push, but just more pressure. I also started to feel shaky and nauseous so I thought I might be entering transformation. My water hadn’t broken yet. The doc came in around 4:45am to check me and I was still only 7cm. She did a very aggressive cervical exam (it was painful, the only pain I had experienced so far!) and my water “spontaneously” broke. Can you sense my sarcasm? She called it a spontaneous rupture of membranes because she didn’t use a needle to break the water. My husband, the nurse, and I all agreed that it wasn’t spontaneous!
I knew I was in for it now, and I was. Things got much more intense and they now wanted me on continuous monitoring because my water was broken. I hated being stuck in the bed! Gratefully I was able to change position as much as I wanted to, so I was either on my hands and knees or squatting and holding on to the top of the bed with my husband rubbing or applying pressure to my lower back and hips – at this point I had a ton of back and pelvic pressure.
I started getting very vocal but was able to make it through each wave fairly comfortably. I never felt like I needed drugs. I eventually started a deep moaning which prompted the nurse to ask me if I was involuntarily pushing. I told her yes! It certainly wasn’t intentional. It wasn’t an overwhelming urge (like I had with my second very speedy delivery) but it was happening. She told me I could start pushing but I wanted her to check my cervix first since I felt like I wasn’t quite complete. My intuition was right – I still had a lip left but she told me I could push past it and I did. I later learned from my husband that the two nurses thought the doc wouldn’t make it in the room in time for the birth since she was stuck at a delivery next door. But she did come running in and made it just as the baby started crowning. This pushing phase was tough for me! It didn’t happen as quick and effortlessly as it had with my second son and that made me nervous and made me question my ability. But my husband was holding my hand telling me what a great job I was doing and that the baby is almost here.
I reached down to feel his head and there he was! That gave me the motivation to kick it into high gear and get him out. I gave it a strong push and out came his head but they told me to stop pushing while they unwrapped his cord which was around his neck. They told me to continue and I pushed the rest of him out, and he had the cord wrapped around his arm and his torso too! He was blue but as soon as they untangled him he pinked up and had apgars of 8 and 9. They had to cut the cord quickly to untangle him so my husband wasn’t able to do that. We were ok with it since we just wanted a healthy baby! Anyway, what was the little bugger doing in my belly to get himself all tangled up like that?! I had a sense that we may have issues with the cord but I didn’t let that consume my thinking or make me fear the delivery. I’m happy that I was able to let it go because everything worked out fine. He was 7lb 12oz, 20 in long. He nursed immediately!
I couldn’t be happier with the way this birth went, and I have to thank Hypnobabies. The program was so valuable to me in my second and third pregnancies and birthing times. I had three unique experiences each teaching me lessons, and producing three very different but very beautiful babies! Thank you Hypnobabies!!!