It is no surprise that we have welcomed a precious baby BOY into the world. As such, I wanted to recap my labor and delivery story for our little love, Denton, while it’s fresh in my mind. I love me a good labor and delivery story and wanted to be sure to share my own with our followers. I’ve broken it down into two parts. The first part includes notes that I wrote just minutes before we left for the hospital. The second portion is my recap of the entire day from start to finish as I saw it looking back. As a takeaway, I hope that I can encourage mamas not to cling too tightly to an idea of how they plan to give birth to their littles… because something that you might not have planned might turn out to be even more beautiful than you could have imagined <3 Anyways, here it goes… buckle in!
Journal Prior to Leaving for Hospital...
It is 4:16AM and we are leaving to the hospital in about 45 minutes for my scheduled induction. I am getting a bit nervous but also feel confident going into it now that I have everything in place. I didn’t think that my labor and delivery story would include the word “induction” in it, but I am assured that this is the best route for our little one due to my trust in 1. God.. and in 2. modern medicine. If I were meant to go into labor in a more “natural” way, God or “life” would have let that be the case and our baby would have arrived in such a manner. But that wasn’t our story, and here I am trusting that this is the most perfect journey and route to bringing our second little one into the world.
Over the past few weeks, probably since about 38 weeks when my doctor planted the seed in my head that I would have my baby before my expected due date, March 9th, 2017, due to how dilated I was (3cm dilated), I indefinitely started having labor symptoms. Whether it started out in my head is debatable, but it indefinitely turned into something real. The symptoms started out as period-like cramping, sometimes even waking me up in the middle of the night. It was that constant dull ache that told me labor might be near. I also lost portions of my plug throughout the two-week period leading up to my due date, although never in a huge clot. In addition to cramping and the plug, I began to have stronger Braxton Hicks contractions, which included that tightening sensation of my belly. This feeling came up mostly when I was walking or exerting myself, or, towards the end, even just standing. Because of these symptoms, there were several moments that I thought, ‘this could be it’ or ‘labor is getting close!’. To my disappointment, my labor never progressed into real contractions.
This morning I sit here excited – SO excited! YES – I won’t lie… I had hoped that I would have some awesomely exciting and spontaneous birth story and that it would happen “naturally.” But to become so fixated on the way I gave birth to my second child would be a huge mistake. Giving birth is a means to an end, which happens to be for the sole purpose of bringing a healthy, sweet child into the world. And today, through a scheduled induction, I will do exactly that!
Most importantly, if I hadn’t had a scheduled induction, I wouldn’t have been able to give Lincoln a proper goodbye either. Last night was a memorable night because I, in a way, got to say goodbye to my baby and only child. Ryan and I each wrote him a sweet note that I sobbed through uncontrollably as I wrote it. I left them on the glider in his nursery for my parents (and Ryan’s mom) to read to him respectively prior to his arrival at the hospital. Not only that, but throughout the day, I played with him a little bit longer and lingered on each of his words a little bit deeper. Before bed, I took deep breaths and smiled at him as he danced around the nursery in his pajamas. I squeezed him a little tighter as he gave me a hug goodnight, and sang him a few more goodnight songs than I usually would have. Had I have gone into labor spontaneously, I am sure that I wouldn’t have gotten those moments.
Not only that, but my dad arrived in town yesterday, which means that both of my parents are now here for the birth of their second grandchild. I mean, it doesn’t get much cooler than that! I don’t know what I’d do without either of them here. My mom arrived on Wednesday, the day before my due date. She is the heart of our family and has been such a huge help leading up to this day. She has cooked and cleaned and gotten us sweet gifts for Rhett Man and the baby. Everything I am as a mother, I know from my own mom. She is sweet, kind, compassionate and patient; additionally, she is a clean freak and always organized,; like mother like daughter!! This brings great peace to me as I nest and welcome a newborn into our lives. On the other hand, my dad has been the rock of our family. He has been the disciplinarian, keeping my sister and I in line J He has also been there at the drop of a pin to support my sister and I with any and every endeavor we face. He is such a family man and there is no doubt that I picked and chose my husband because of the man that my father is. In addition to my parents, my mother-in-law has been here for over a week helping with ANYTHING and EVERYTHING. She is a mother to five amazing children, so if you can imagine, she has more than enough energy to sustain a family of three. I can’t imagine this day without each them, and again, it wouldn’t have been possible to have them all here had I had had our baby sooner.
As I wait here about to leave for the hospital, I am super excited. I am a little tired seeing that I woke up at 2:30am with a ton of adrenaline. I laid in bed thinking until about 3:15am until I couldn’t take it and got myself up and ready. YES, I did my makeup and my hair. I must say, I look good for a gal about to have a baby. Again, the perks of having a scheduled induction.
Those were some of the notes I jotted down before we left for the hospital. The following is my recollection a few days later of the entire experience… I get pretty detailed.. here it goes!
Like I said, I woke up around 2:30am that morning with a ton of adrenaline. The night before, I had told Ryan that he needed to MAKE SURE to not disturb my sleep – because I knew that if I woke up (even at 2am) after having been disturbed that I wouldn’t be able to fall back asleep because of all of the adrenaline. He agrees.
We go to bed that night, and 2:30am rolls around and I am awoken out of my sleep to Ryan checking his phone. I asked him what time it was and he responded, “2:30am.” Shoot, I thought. I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to fall back asleep. I laid in bed until about 3:30am until I realized that trying to sleep at this point was a hopeless cause. I rolled out of bed and decided I’d start getting myself ready. After all, you might as well put yourself together and look good for a scheduled labor and delivery!
I started doing my makeup. I straightened my hair and got dressed in comfy sweats. After getting ready and finalizing my hospital bag, I went downstairs and decided to jot down a few notes, which was written in the aforementioned section. Ryan soon came downstairs and got some breakfast. I wasn’t able to eat breakfast because the hospital had instructed I stop eating or drinking after 10:30pm the night before. I remember watching Ryan eat breakfast – eggs and toast to be specific – with stone-cold eyes. He quickly realized I was upset and asked what was wrong. I told him, “Well it’s not fun to watch you eat a good breakfast because I’m not allowed to have anything!” I was starving for some reason!!
After he finished up, we gathered some last minute items and headed out to the hospital. There was no traffic and we made it there in less than fifteen minutes. We pulled into the hospital parking lot and drove up to the third level (labor and delivery) where we found some parking. We didn’t park in the “expectant mother” parking space in the front, which was the first open space, only because the time limit was 30 minutes. Instead, we parked a few spaces away. We noticed another husband and pregnant wife pulled into the “expectant mother” space after we had left it behind. They proceeded into the hospital right before us. We didn’t think anything of it and even commented on how pregnant she looked and wondered if she was already having contractions. After we checked into the hospital, we would soon find out that she most likely took the last available bed (or so we thought)! I had heard of this happening with scheduled inductions – that sometimes they run out of hospital beds and you end up having to wait hours or worse, they send you home – and I briefly thought it might happen to me. But, of course, we had to wait – ugh!
Prior to realizing that we needed to wait for the next available bed, we checked into the hospital. This is when I started to get a little nervous. The woman checking us in had a jovial, big personality and was so sweet. I kept reminding her that we didn’t want to know the gender of the baby, and she told me not to worry. After filling out several forms (despite the fact that I pre-registered with the hospital), she sent us to the waiting room where we waited for our name to be called.
As we waited, Ryan and I began to discuss names for the baby. We hadn’t really picked out the name just yet and wanted to review things before it was too late! We had our girl name set, but were having some difficulty picking the boy’s middle name. We really had a hard time deciding and didn’t really come to a conclusion. After discussing names, and now getting a little antsy, I asked Ryan to check with the front desk to see what was taking them so long. He went up and asked and came back reporting that all of the hospital beds were taken and that they were now opening a new wing for those women waiting. Ahhhhh, I thought. Of course this would happen! I quickly thought of the lady who drove in after us and parked in the “expectant mom” spot. Ryan and I concluded that she probably got the last bed and had we have parked in that spot that we would have gotten right in. Who knows… After coming to terms with the fact that we had to wait, I told Ryan that I wanted to rest. So I got my pillow out and took a nap.
I was awoken about 30 minutes later to a nurse standing in front of us calling my name. She was sweet and extremely maternal. I hoped she would be my nurse. As we gathered our things to follow her, my heart started beating faster and she lead us back to the labor and delivery room. I don’t believe this room was in the “new wing”, as it was extremely close to the front desk. Regardless, we walked into the room and got settled in as the nurse left us alone. This is when my heart really started to race and I started to pace the room without a purpose, as I got ready to deliver. Whenever I get nervous, my body temperature changes, either going hot or cold, and in this case, I started to feel really cold. I also had to go to the bathroom like ten times before I got comfortable in the hospital bed. Anyways, I got myself ready in my custom hospital gown, went to the bathroom about three times and then settled into the hospital bed. I remember telling Ryan that I was getting really nervous… I also remember feeling really hungry, which I thought was weird, given the moment and all of the adrenaline.
The nurse, Suzy, came back in with some ice chips. She was going to be nurse – yay! She then started briefly explaining the procedure. She got me hooked up to the IV and I remember thinking, oh my gosh, this is happening right now and it’s happening so very quickly! I asked the nurse a few more questions, as I still didn’t fully understand what inducing meant. I knew that it could go a few different ways – maybe they would try to break my water first or maybe they would start off by giving me petocin. I had told Ryan prior to our arrival that if they gave me the option, I’d rather them try to break my water first to see if my body started naturally contracting. However, I didn’t brief the nurse on this and before I knew it, she had started the petocin.
I had asked her if they were going to try to break my water. She said that they would. I asked when they were going to start the petocin, and she responded saying that she already had started it at a low dose. Then, I think she realized that maybe I wanted my water broken first. She asked if it was okay that she had started the petocin. To be honest, at this point, I didn’t really care. I think I asked her what she thought about the whole process and what she would want to be done. She told me that she would start with petocin and that the doctor would then come in and break my water. I agreed that this was the best route and quickly forgot about my preferences.
After a few short moments, the nurse pointed out that I was having contractions on the monitor. They were mild cramps, from what I felt, and I quickly realized that the cramps I was having leading up to this day were in fact contractions because they had felt the exact same. She kept the petocin dosage low and for an hour, we waited to see how I progressed. I will add that I was still only 3cm dilated prior to starting the induction, which means that my body hadn’t progressed in the last two weeks of pregnancy. Again, I was 3cm dilated at my 38-week appointment.
So we waited for an hour and the cramping was extremely mild. My OB soon came in and told me that she was going to check my dilation and break my water. She sat down in front of me to check me (from what I thought) and concluded that I was still 3cm – damn, I thought. I didn’t realize that while she was checking my dilation that she was ALSO breaking my water … and after a few short moments, she pulled her hand out with a weird looking device that looked like chopsticks (yikes, I know) and told me that my water had just broken. She said that I might feel a little damp because it has only gushed a little and that it would continue to gush out. I agreed this was expected and okay.
At this point, I started to feel exhilaration and nerves all at once. I had this sure feeling that labor was about to start. Game on.
Yup. Soon after my water was broken, those contractions started coming on more regularly and also picked up in intensity. My parents came in and out of the room; mainly my mom, helping remind me to breath. Ryan was a champion at this part, and would watch the monitor while I too felt the contraction, then we would grab each other’s hand tightly and breath and relax into the contraction. He was a life saver. At first the contractions weren’t too bad; they were just intense cramping in my lower abdomen, like period cramps on steroids. They felt very similar to what I felt with Lincoln’s birth just a little less vibration. The contractions I felt with Lincoln had more of a vibration to them, while these were just straight up period cramping (again, on lots of steroids).
I was able to breath through contractions for about 45 minutes before I started getting nervous. The pain was picking up and I was starting to get uncomfortable. I got to a point and realized that this would be the perfect time to get the epidural. I hollered at Ryan to grab the nurse outside and to let her know that I was ready for the epidural. She came in rather quickly (phew!) and asked me how I was doing, and asked if I wanted an epidural. I quickly shook my head yes without thinking otherwise, and she told me that she assumed I was ready given that the women in the other rooms who started the same time as me were also asking for theirs too. I breathed through contractions and at this point I wasn’t able to hold a conversation through a contraction. I would have to stop anyone talking to me and tell them that I need to focus and breath through the contraction before I could resume the conversation. As soon as the contraction passed, I was totally good to talk. However, I talked with nerves understanding that I was just a minute away from having another contraction.
At this point, the contractions were coming on strong and hard about a minute apart and lasting for about 30 seconds each. I could breath through them since I knew that they would stop on the other side. After waiting for the anesthesiologist for about ten minutes, I began to panic and wonder where he was. The pain was getting intense. I instructed Ryan to find out and told him that I probably only had like 15 minutes of enduring these contractions left in me. About five minutes later, the anesthesiologist, Clayton, came in; a nice man probably in his fifties.
He introduced himself and pulled out his iPad. He proceeded to ask me several questions about my health. Holllllyyyy crap I thought as I answered his questions short, abrupt and to the point. Yes. No. Yes. Nope. Yes. My answers were straight to the point as if to hint to him that I was in a lot of pain. I had to stop when a contraction came on because I really couldn’t get through it if I wasn’t breathing properly at this point. FINALLY after his questions were done, they had me lay on my left side and administered the epidural. Originally, I had told Ryan to remind me to lye on the side that was having the most pain while getting the epidural, and in this case it was the opposite side that they instructed me to lie on. Ryan reminded me of this, but at this point, I didn’t care, I just wanted the drugs! “It’s ok!” I told him quickly.
Clayton instructed me to lie on my side and make a shape as if I was canon-balling into a swimming pool and to really push my spine out. I did. He put the epidural in – the needle didn’t both me as I was hoping it would kick in STAT. These contractions were getting SUPER unbearable. I started getting a little nervous, thinking that maybe the epidural wouldn’t work or maybe it would paralyze me or that something would go wrong, but it didn’t and it started kicking in gradually in the most perfect way… phewwwwww.
They asked how my pain was at this point and I told them that I couldn’t feel any of the contractions; my legs were straight up numb. Thank goodness. While I couldn’t feel any contractions whatsoever, I started getting major chills. I was shivering as I talked to Ryan and the nurse; I couldn’t stop trembling! I wasn’t in pain but for whatever reason, I felt cold and couldn’t help but shiver. I asked the nurse about this and she said it was very normal as my body goes through major hormonal changes. Okay, I thought, and just rolled with it.
I labored like this for about another hour and a half until the nurse came to check me. She checked me and told me I had already gone to 7 to 8 cm dilation!! Holy crap, I thought, that is insane… I’m about to have a baby! I labored for about another 45 minutes until I started to get nervous as if I needed to push. I didn’t feel pressure but just knowing how fast I was progressing and how strong my epidural was (numbing everything), I wanted to make sure that baby’s head wasn’t just going to pop out! I got really nervous and told Ryan to get the nurse ASAP. She came back and I asked her if I would know when to push because I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to feel it. She told me that I would feel pressure and would know. A few short moments went by – maybe 15 minutes or so and my OB came in. It was now around 1pm. She checked my dilation and told me that we were ready to have a baby!! I started freaking out and got SO excited. I felt SO good at this point like I could pop out babies all day. This is labor?! This was so fast and easy, I thought!
Three other nurses came in and gowned themselves. They also set up the delivery table. My OB gowned herself and got the stirrups out. They got me ready to push with my legs up, etc. etc. She asked if I could feel anything and I told her that I was soooooo numb and that I’d do the best job I could trying to push. She then said that they would guide me through contractions and tell me when to push (since I was oblivious at this point to any pressure or pain); literally, I couldn’t feel a thing. A contraction came and they told me to take a deep breath in and then to (literally) start pushing through my vagina lol. I hadn’t touched up on this part from my first labor and delivery so I totally forgot how to push. I forgot that you needed to push for ten seconds on every push and when asked to push I accidentally stopped pushing after about 4 seconds. They reminded me to hold it for ten seconds lol.. woops!
Even on the first push, my OB told me I did great. She told me to do it again like that but to hold it for ten seconds. I did. I went through about four pushes and on that last push the doctor told me that our baby would be here. I gave my all and put every ounce of me into it and I felt and saw my OB pull out the baby. I saw her lift him up, headfirst. I saw his little face – he was so developed yet so newborn like - and then as she pulled the baby up I was looking diligently at his or her private parts to see what it was….
A PENIS, I saw, and knew that we had another little BOY!!! They set him on my chest and I confirmed with everyone around me that he, in fact, was a little boy. Everyone confirmed and I was SOOO happy in that moment. Ryan was teary-eyed and a little sobbey as I held our little boy on my chest. He looked at me and confirmed the name, “**** Denton Raybould, babe, that is his name.” I smiled up at him and agreed. And there you have it!! Our little angel, who we will call “Denton” for privacy purposes J was born at 1:27pm. They quickly did the APGAR test and weighed our little one to report he was a whopping 9lbs 3 oz. The doctor also confirmed that I barely tore, but that she noticed my scar from my first birth. She commented how hard the recovery must have been but informed me that she only needed to give me one stitch so it didn’t hurt when I peed. PHEW, I thought.
And so it goes, out little babe came into the world in such an amazing manner. 9:45am they broke my water, 10:45am I was already at 7 to 8 cm dilation, about 45 minutes later at 9cm and started pushing around 1:15pm. Then, delivered Denton at 1:27pm. Labor and delivery was roughly less than four hours total.
I will honestly say that when I found out I had to be induced, I was a little sad. I always wanted a fun labor story – maybe something where my water broke in the shower or at the grocery store and Ryan would have to rush home from work, etc. etc. After I didn’t go into labor on my own almost a week past my due date, I started to feel upset at myself as a woman. Was my body not doing what it was supposed to be doing? Was the baby okay? Why wasn’t the baby telling me he needed to come out? I had all of these doubts, not to mention some pressure that what I thought was the world telling me to give birth “on my own” and to let the baby come when he was ready. I also had people telling me that induction was the way to go and nothing to be concerned about. I wrestled with the idea, but ultimately prayed and came to a peace about it, realizing that this was the best option for us. Now after going through the process of induction, I am here to tell you that getting induced was the best route for our family. Not only that, it was SO easy and was an amazing birth experience – seriously, I couldn’t imagine the labor and delivery going any smoother. Lastly, I have recovered SOOO quickly this time around. It’s only been a few days after delivery and I am up and about, walking outside almost as if nothing has happened.
If you are considering another route for labor and delivery that may have not been your first choice, I urge you to think again. You might be pleasantly surprised at how amazing and fast the laboring and delivery might be. Your healing can be extraordinary fast and it might be better than the original route you thought was the best. In my case, this is exactly how it worked out, so I am here to put to bed any rumors that induction is “bad” because it was the best birthing experience I could have even thought up in my head!!
Thanks for reading!