Child #3 entered the world this past week! Here is the birth story...
Likely due to the fact that #1 and #2 were quite large, my body (namely my pelvic region and bladder) were VERY tired by week 36 of this pregnancy and our little man dropped down loooooow with no hesitation. I had a great pregnancy up this point (oddly this was my easiest of the 3) but the world turned upside down at around this point and on several days I truly wondered how I was going to survive to 40 weeks (or 41 as the other two were late).
My tremendously supportive husband (who bears the brunt of my ire between weeks 36-40) started casually mentioning an induction... at week 37. I was induced with the other 2, so this was not a topic of contention, but getting induced early was. I had made it to my due date + about a week the other two times, and felt like I would be failing this child somehow if I did not let him cook until at least a full 40 weeks. However, I was miserable. Downright beastly. The pressure was often unbearable to the point where I could not stand for more than 5 minutes at a time. Yet I continued to fight and refuse to request an early induction (which my doctor had offered to do at 39 weeks).
Then a blizzard hit. 14 inches of snow debilitated our lives and we were completely snowed in for over 24 hours -- no one could get it and no one could get out. I was terrified of going into labor and having my husband deliver our baby on our living room floor. We joked about getting bowls of warm water and me ripping towels ala the 1800s, but we were scared. Phew. No baby during storm.
Then... another blizzard was on its way. Okay, I hear you, Lord. Between the unending discomfort, complete lack of sleep, and sad excuse for a mommy that I was to my other two children, plus ANOTHER 14 inches of snow that would likely prevent me from getting to the hospital should I go into labor, I acquiesced and scheduled an induction for 4 days prior to my due date. I would be at the hospital before the snow hit and the kids would be safely at home with the grandparents.
The guilt I had felt for ripping this guy from his happy womb-home before he was ready was very quickly replaced with relief. Relief for knowing that I would not be birthing him in our bathtub (more power to the home-birthers -- rock on with your bad selves -- but I would like a hospital bed with a side of epidural please) and relief for knowing that I would no longer be pregnant in just 24 short hours.
I rocked my baby girl to sleep the night before and shed a few tears as I processed that she would not be my baby anymore. I then slept about 8 minutes that night as my mind raced -- what would the next day be like? How would the other kids do? Was this really happening TOMORROW?
And it did happen that very next day. I was induced in the morning -- received meds at about 9 am. I was already dilated to a 2 and my contractions began almost immediately -- yay! This will be quick. A few hours and... baby!?
Hours later: "You are at a 3."
More hours after that: "Okay, now a 4."
Contractions every 90 minutes: "Ummmm... you are between a 4 and a 5."
Are you SERIOUS?
At 6 o'clock, I was at a 5. I had not eaten anything but ice chips in 12 hours. The nurses brought my husband his THIRD meal since we arrived that morning. He tried so hard to eat quietly in the corner and talk about how horrible the hospital food was. But at one point, he came to the bedside to hold my hand and coach me through a particularly difficult contraction and I smelled candy on his breath.
"Did you just eat CANDY???!!"
"No...." with a look of terror.
Okay, I had one more check -- if I had not progressed, they were moving on to Pitocin. But I was at a 6! Some progression!
And then all hell broke loose. It is a blur, and it seemed like hours, but my husband said in a matter of about 30 minutes, I went from a 6 to a 10. I was screaming. And writhing. And yelling about the epidural no longer working (which was what I requested -- I asked them to reduce it toward the end so I could feel the pressure to push -- but oh did I curse myself for that decision). Suddenly it was time. 3-4 pushes and our son was born.
At a healthy 9 lbs and 22 inches long, my doctor commented that thank goodness I was induced when I was or he may have been 10 lbs by the following week. Holy crap. You are welcome, pelvis.
And it was done. He was here and he was perfect and he and I were healthy.
And I was almost immediately sad. Was it really over? What a bizarrely emotional experience pregnancy and labor are. I had prayed for the end for weeks, and within hours, I wanted to turn back time, go back, and freeze myself in that place. It is partly selfish -- because now I have to share him with the world whereas before, he was all mine. It is partly sadness at knowing this is our last (4 kids is waaaaay too many kids for me!) And, let's be honest, it is partly complete irrational hormonal response. But I was, and am sad. As he sits next to me post-feeding, at 5 days old, I am thankful and sad. A week ago I was huge, cranky, frustrated, exhausted, and nervous. Now we are home, and the ice-diapers are over and the scary early milk days are here. I am exhausted in a whole new way, but also proud, in love, and figuring out how to be mommy to 3 little people under the age of 5.
The world looks different these days. I am living in the land of 3:30 am TV -- Three's Company or Mork & Mindy? Hmmmm how do I decide? If I thought getting a shower was a rarity before... ha! And pretty much every time either child or my husband walks in the room, I have a boob out. I field endless questions from the little people all day long -- the most recent fascination is the breast pump -- you can imagine my 4-year old son's reaction to THAT contraption! And my husband has been amazing as we play "rotate the kid" dealing with diapers, feedings, wipings, bathings, and quality play time. So far it is crazy and stressful and tiring. And wonderful.