Both my due dates rolled by without any sign of baby. I had just stopped working the week before, so I really wasn't too anxious. I enjoyed lots of quality time with Maddie and worked on finishing up some baby sewing projects. At my 2/22 OB visit, I went for a stress test and baby looked great. My OB and I decided to wait another week before we started talking about an induction. I was 2 cm, 80% effaced and she felt like I was very favorable and I'd be seeing her sometime that week at the hospital. At a week “overdue”, I was pretty ready to meet this baby, so I really hoped she was right.
The next day (Wednesday) I came down with a terrible head cold and hacking cough. Madeline woke up with a fever and suddenly I found myself hoping that baby would stay put! Miraculously, Maddie's fever only lasted a day and my cough was almost gone after two days.
By Saturday I was feeling much better and very much hoping that the baby would come over the weekend since I was now 11 days past my due date. I did lots of walking and ended up with about 5 hours of really good, timeable contractions that pittered out. Very disappointing.
When I woke up on Monday without my baby, it finally started to get to me. With each day that passed I wasn't feeling any closer to labor or showing any signs of going into labor on my own.
Wednesday, March 2nd, I had my 42 week check-up and we scheduled an induction for Friday. At what would be 16 days past my due date, I felt comfortable with this plan. We even discussed ways to keep the induction more “natural”. She stripped my membranes in hopes that might get things rolling. With a deadline now in place, I stopped at the drug store and picked up a bottle of castor oil – still undecided if I would try it or not.
Immediately after having my membranes swept, I started having regular, strong contractions that latest throughout the day. Even though they were between 10-30 minutes apart, it felt very encouraging that at least my body was doing something on it's own. That evening the contractions picked up to around 7 minutes apart. I stayed up until almost 1am timing them before deciding that it was silly to not get some sleep. I was able to sleep pretty well, but I woke up to a strong contraction around 5am that got me excited, so I got up and pittered around the house. They were pretty consistently 10 minutes apart. Justin had to leave for work around 6, and I told him to just go on – I'd call him if I thought things were picking up – he works a little over 30 minutes from home.
At 9am, they were still about 10 minutes apart and didn't seem to be increasing in intensity. I went online to look up some recipes for castor oil inductions. Most people recommended 2-4 oz, so I decided to just try 1 oz to see if would help kick things in since I was already having contractions. I masked it in some chocolate ice cream and sucked it down. I'm still unsure if the castor oil actually helped or not, because almost immediately my contractions went from 10 minutes apart to 5 minutes apart. I'm sure it didn't hurt, but considering that it was supposed to take 4 hours to kick in, I kind of think things would have picked up anyway. Guess I'll never know for sure.
I called Justin around 10:30 and told him to plan to leave work around noon, but to call me first – just to make sure things were still moving along. I was still not convinced this was “it”, and the contractions were still totally manageable on my own. I called my mother in law to let her know that I may be calling her to pick up Maddie before too long. I gave Maddie a bath and got her dressed for the day and scurried around the house finishing up packing our hospital bags (at 2 weeks+ overdue, you'd think I would've had that done!). I put on a movie for Madeline and decided to take a bath. When I got in the tub, I had two massive contractions that were difficult to focus through and I decided that I'd really like to have some help getting through these. I sent Justin a text and told him to leave ASAP. That was around 11:45.
I got out of the tub very quickly, I just couldn't find a comfortable position. I spent the next 15 minutes trying to get dressed – I was feeling disoriented and the contractions were probably 1-2 minutes apart. I finally managed to find some clothes and get dressed and then called my mother in law to come get Maddie and called Justin again to make sure he had left – he was just getting in his truck.
Around this point the contractions were becoming unbearable. I started feeling like I'd really like it to slow down so I could get a break, which was totally absurd because I'd been praying and hoping for labor like this for 2 weeks. It dawned on me that maybe I was further along than I thought. I called Justin again to make sure he was hurrying and told him we were leaving as soon as he got home. My mother in law arrived to get Maddie. I was helping her on the potty and a contraction hit and I just walked out of the bathroom and pointed to Maddie while I went to go pound on a wall. These suckers HURT. On the next contraction, I draped myself over the kitchen bar and just moaned – which kind of freaked my mother in law out. So then she started calling Justin. He finally walked in the door around 12:45, took one look at me and said “So, I guess I don't have time for a shower?”. My mother in law left with Maddie and Justin ran (literally) to get changed and washed up. (He worked in a feed mill, so he comes home pretty dirty.) I called my sister at 12:55 to tell her we were leaving and I was pretty sure it was happening fast. Justin was taking too long, so I starting hauling our bags to the car. I had my first “pushy” contraction while standing by the car yelling for him to hurry. He ran to the door in his boxers asking me where his khaki pants with the brown belt were. I think I said something like “we're going to have this baby in the car!” and apparently he found some pants, because we were in the car and on our way within the next minute. I sat in the front seat and just held on to the handle over the door and lifted myself off the seat with each contraction. Justin tried to call my OB, but got the answering service since it was lunch time. It was about a 12 minute drive to the hospital and it was pure agony. Justin was still in denial that I was actually that close to delivery and we had a disagreement about whether or not he had enough time to park. I won and he parked in a no parking zone and ran around to help me out of the car. I had a huge contraction just as he opened the door and I really started bearing down with this one and groaning. I felt a big gush and was pretty sure my waters probably just broke. People must have saw us coming, because someone was holding the door and the elevator as we walked up to the building. Someone offered me a wheelchair, but I just waved them off and power walked to the elevator. We made it from the car to L & D in between contractions. Normally, you have to call in and have one of the nurses buzz you in, but someone was just walking out as we got off the elevator and I just kept right on walking through those doors. I stopped at the desk and said “I'm pushing” and started walking down the hallway looking for a bed. We had about 5 nurses running after us asking us questions and trying to figure out who I was and who my dr was. They ushered me right into a room and one of the nurses helped me change into a gown in the bathroom. I immediately sat on the toilet and saw that the gush I felt was not water – it was lots and lots of bright red blood. They got me in the bed and that's when I started to lose it. On one side I had one nurse putting in my IV and on the other I had a nurse putting the monitors on. Then there was another nurse trying to complete my check-in and asking me questions and still another nurse checking my dilation. I was 9 cm with a bulging bag of water. I was still losing a good amount of blood, I could feel little gushes every time I had a contraction. When Justin finally got back beside me, I was able to get some control and deal with the contractions. My OB walked in the door – she had been making rounds at lunchtime, and I was so happy she was there! She had a calming effect on the whole room and the nurses finally stopped telling me not to push. She broke my water and pushed back a little lip and I was complete and ready to push in earnest. My OB was concerned about the blood, but the baby looked great on the monitor, so we knew we had some time. Justin says I was very vocal and bossy during the pushing phase, but I just remember thinking that I was going to do what felt good to me and I didn't really care what they wanted me to do. I refused to put my feet in stirrups and (apparently) yelled at one of the nurses for asking me 6 times to “scoot my butt down”. They started trying to coach me in pushing, but I just ignored them and pushed as hard and as long as I felt like it, and much to the nurses displeasure, I flipped on my side and pushed while they held my legs. I remember hearing one of them say “okay....or just do whatever you want.” And I thought “exactly”. After pushing through two contractions, my OB announced that I was going to have to give it all I had, she wasn't happy with how much I was bleeding and the baby needed to come out now. The pushing phase was extremely painful – I don't remember the pain being quite so intense and overwhelming when I was delivering Maddie. On the next contraction, I pushed long and hard and delivered the baby's head. One more little push and I felt him slide out. The dr. held him up and said “Okay dad, what do we have here?” and I'll never forget the look on Justin's face as he said “It's a boy!”. He had been adamant throughout my pregnancy that he didn't care either way and he'd be just as happy with another girl – but the look on his face when he saw his son for the first time? Sheer joy. I reached out for him and held our son on my chest while Justin cut the cord. Our sweet William whimpered a little before letting out a huge bellow. After a few minutes, they took him to the warmer while I delivered the placenta, which had in fact started to detach before delivery. We had all the nurses taking bets on his weight and they all agreed he was close to 10 lbs. I thought they were crazy, there was no way he was that big. I was shocked when they announced he was 9 lbs, 12 oz! I had a 2nd degree tear (same as with Maddie) that had to be repaired and they started pitocin to try to control the bleeding. In numbers, I was 15 days late, had about 24 hours of steady easy contractions, 3 hours of active labor and 10 minutes of pushing. About 15-20 minutes elapsed between walking through the hospital doors and delivering our baby boy.
Overall, I'm very happy with how my labor and delivery went. I do think that because it was so short, it was much more intense. I really can't say whether the pushing was more painful because he was 2 lbs bigger than Maddie or just because of he came out in such a hurry. Maybe a little of both?
Now a little about my sweet William. What a total doll baby. He is 10 weeks old now and such a joy. All you have to do is smile at him and he'll give you a big gummy grin. He's such a happy boy! He's very active and strong, already rolling over both ways and loves to be facing outward to see the world around him. He's started interacting with his big sister and it makes Mommy's heart melt. He takes nice long naps during the day and even though he's still waking up a couple times a night to snack, he always goes right back to sleep. He loves to eat and already weighs 16 lbs at 10 weeks old. Considering that Madeline was not quite 18 lbs at her 1st birthday, this little chunker is quite a novelty to me!