If you know anything about my birth stories with Hadley and Sadie, you know that my babies just so happen to love to stay extra-long in my body. I can now say that all three girls have been 41 weekers, I guess these babies like to hang out with me as long as possible!?
My baby kept measuring “on time, but petite,” which was even alluded that she would be an easy delivery based on her size. This little one taunted me at least every week by alternating between being head-down and breech. Towards the end, I felt her turn six different times within a span of two weeks! 😮
Weeks went by, and by 39 weeks my baby was head down but my body was showing no signs of wanting to go into labor. My due date came and went, and when my doctor would check my progress she told me that my body didn’t seem ready at all, and she would check the following week if I’d even be an option for induction. This was fine, as I have been overdue with both girls, and I had never been induced. 5 days after my due date, right when I was about to go to bed, a strong contraction happened. Then another….and another. After an hour of this, I had no reason to think it’d be anything but labor, so I hopped in the shower and started to get ready to go to the hospital, timing them all the way. I knew which “signs” I needed in order to know it was baby time, and they were not coming. Instead, I got lovely, 1 minute contractions every 5-6 minutes. 6 hours went by, and by 3am, they stopped…cold turkey. I was not happy about this! I have never had false labor, and this was the worst! All the work of being in labor, but no baby!
Fortunately, I had a 41 week appointment that morning, so I got to share with my doctor all about it. She again checked my progress, only to tell me that the false labor helped; and that if I wanted to, I could get induced anytime I wanted. Two of my close friends had inductions with my doctor, and they both shared it was the best labor they’ve had. My doctor takes inductions very seriously, and doesn’t encourage them unless she is sure her patient is ready to have a baby. She told me (even when I was pregnant with Sadie,) that inductions for women who have previously had babies is down to a science for her, she analyzes many factors about the mom to know if it’s the right time to induce. I had been thinking about it, and decided, “Why not tomorrow?”
A lot of contemplating, worrying, praying, and talking to my friends and family members who had been induced happened that day. Ultimately, we decided it was the right thing to do. An added bonus was being able to plan and arrange for the girls to be cared for. I went to bed at 12:30am, only to wake up at 3:30am because I was just so nervous/excited of what was to happen. I called at 4:45am to check if the hospital had room for me, only to be told “Can you call back later?” I kindly implied that I have two small children to arrange care for, so I’d just like to know if today is the day or not. I was then told to come in at 7am. 🙂
The rest went by easier than I could’ve ever imagined. We arrived at 7am, I got checked in, and put in “the biggest room in the birthing center.” (Lucky us!) The first nurse to come get me ready was actually the nurse that delivered Hadley! She was just getting off of her shift though, so I met the nurse who would be by my side the rest of the time…Liz. She. Was. Amazing! I told her all of my worries (basically my entire botched epidural experience with Sadie,) only to find out that the same anesthesiologist from Sadie was roving that day. She told me that when/if I wanted an epidural, she was going to go to trauma to get her favorite anesthesiologist instead. She didn’t want me worried about my pain relief being administered by someone I didn’t trust. So wonderful!
I got hooked up to pitocin, imagining torrential contractions to begin…nope! It was so natural and gradual feeling, and I labored through them until it was time for my water to be broken. I anticipated pain with that…nope! Once my water broke, things started to get a lot more intense. Tolerable…but intense. Based on how quickly they said I was progressing, they said if I wanted an epidural, now was the time. The anesthesiologist came; she was so considerate and attentive to me, and all went well. By then, it was about 10:30am. I peacefully spent the rest of the time talking (and dare I say, relaxing?!) with Aaron, my friend Cassie, and my parents.
About an hour later, I felt pressure; the kind of familiar pressure being that the baby was ready. Sure enough, I was at a 10! Nurses came in and got things ready, while my doctor was next door delivering another baby. We patiently waited (oh, how this is such a contrast to my previous labor) and my doctor, Aaron, and my nurse guided me through three pushes, and at 12:29pm, out came a little, tiny, kicking and crying baby! My doctor said she had never delivered a baby so active and kicking as mine (this was the first baby of mine she delivered!) and I knew right away she was a petite one after all. Coming in at 7lbs 5oz & 20inches, with blonde hair, pouty lips (like Hadley,) an angel’s kiss (like Sadie,) but the rest being an all-new combination that is all her own, we knew she fit the name we had imagined for her after all…Reese. 🙂
I couldn’t (and still cannot) believe how delightful of an experience her birth was. Five hours, start to finish. Very little pain, and a lot of peace and joy. I entered my pregnancy with her remembering the unexpected and intense pain I experienced with Sadie’s birth. I had worried so much…worrying of her being breech, worrying of a possible c-section, worrying of my epidural not working. I hate to admit to this, but it is the truth. Because I knew what an unmedicated birth felt like, I almost considered going into Reese’s birth without an epidural. Then again, I absolutely loved and got to enjoy my experience (with an epidural) in Hadley’s birth, so I wanted to give it another chance. While I respect and am amazed by women who embrace unmedicated births, I am someone who is thankful that we as women have the ability to choose how we want to bring our babies in the world in the way that makes us feel most comfortable. I am so thankful I got to bring my sweet little baby into the world in a way that I felt was the safest and best fit. An added blessing to this experience? She shares her birthday with her great-grandfather (on Aaron’s side) that is in heaven.
I learned with Sadie’s birth that my heart could definitely love another baby as much as I loved my others, it’s truly a miracle the capacity our hearts have to love. I couldn’t be more excited to have another little girl to cherish, teach, listen to, and love with my family. Welcome to the world, sweet baby Reese! <3