I apologize for the length of this, make sure you have a few moments before sitting down. I couldn't help myself.
A week before…
At 39 weeks and 4 days, my ob stripped my membranes to help move labor along. Over the next few days I experienced a cramp here or there, but nothing alarming. On Wednesday, I was tired and worrying about the possibility of an induction without natural labor looking like it wasn’t going to make an appearance. My doctor office called me to discuss the possible induction, and we decided we would wait till the 24th to discuss it further. I got up from the phone call with the doctor; feeling a little discouraged and went to the restroom. At this time I lost my mucous plug. It was the most I have lost with all three of my kids. I was shocked, and sure that this meant labor would be starting that day or later that day. I called Glenn and asked him to come home, so he wasn’t stuck in traffic. Wednesday night and Thursday night I had contractions through the night, but the moment I put my feet on the floor to be up and time them, they promptly disappeared like it never happened. During the day on Thursday I had a twinge of contraction here or there, but nothing to promising.
Friday (40 weeks and 1 day), Glenn and I decided to try castor oil and pumping to see if that helped anything move along. It did NOT. It did cause me to go the bathroom several times and have a few strong contractions. This forced me to rest all day, while Glenn took care of the house. He is an awesome husband, who was supportive, but reminded me if Reid wasn’t ready, then nothing would make him come on our time frame. Friday night I got a big break from contractions and a terrific night of sleep!
Saturday during the day I convinced my mother to do some serious walking around the outlet mall. On tax free weekend none the less! I think people did a few double takes several times that day when they saw me waddling around the 103 degree outdoor outlet mall.
Saturday night I woke up at midnight with pretty painful contractions 5-6 minutes apart. I couldn’t stay in bed, and had to walk around and concentrate on relaxing. I was fairly certain that this was the start of labor. Well, my body and baby had another thing in mind. The contractions started spreading out each hour and finally ended with them being 15-30 minutes apart. This lasted throughout the entire weekend. Some were fairly painful. It was utterly exhausting.
Monday morning (40 weeks and 4 days) found us at the doctor appointment. She checked my cervix and I was dilated to a 3-4 and 80% effaced. The baby was at a zero station! Awesome. Progress had been made. I am not sure if the progress was worth the early labor, but it was encouraging. She stripped and stretched my cervix one last time. We were scheduled for an induction on Tuesday morning if I didn’t go into labor on my own. We went along our way and had some delicious Freebirds spicy burritos for lunch!
When we left the doctors, I had decent contractions every 15 minutes or so. Starting around 1:30pm that afternoon, they were becoming more consistent. I was not overly uncomfortable yet, and sent my mom to the grocery store, and the boys were napping. Then at 2:00pm, I had to get up and get moving. I also needed Glenn to start rubbing my back to help with the pain.
I was stopping at our bar counter each contraction and relaxing easily with the help of Glenn’s putting counter pressure on my back. The contractions were almost non-existent with the counter pressure. The boys started to wake up from their naps around 2:30 and ask what was happening. Ayden was so excited. He was really paying attention, and exclaimed “everyone is working very hard” when people would rush and help me with the contractions. The boys were really happy to put on the rock star big brother shirts!
I also got into the shower to see if the contractions would fizzle out. The shower was not comfortable to me, and it also slowed down the contractions by a minute or so, and I was ready to meet my baby boy. Then between 3:00pm and 5:00pm the contractions moved from 5 minutes apart to 2.5-3 minutes apart. By 5:00pm, they still were completely manageable, but I was worried about the weather, rush hour, the timing of the contractions and how fast our little man would arrive. We decided to head to the hospital. We were met at the door by our amazing doula, Kathleen. My mom sat in the back seat with me and rubbed my back through each contraction in the car. Luckily, I only had to endure four of them.
We got to the hospital a little after 5:00pm. I found any tall counter within reach when I had each contraction in the hallway or triage. I was at 5-6cm and 100% effaced, and 0 station. This was good news. They quickly got us into our room. My mom, sister, dad, mother-in-law, Glenn and Kathleen were all there. I was still handling the contractions fairly well, leaning against Glenn or the counter in the room.
I also attempted to labor on the bed, propped by the back of the bed. This felt good, but I had a lot of pressure on my knees and it didn't work for the long haul.
Around 5:30 the boys got to the hospital and came in to say hello. They were very intrigued, and on their way out of the room to have some dinner, Mason hollered “Don’t take the baby out without me. Don’t start without me”. Melt my heart.
Throughout the entire labor, I was very comforted by the noises of my family surrounding me, especially my favorite two little guys in anticipation of their baby brother. Other things that I found that helped me out were: my wonderful husband who was calm and constant. He was my rock for three hours at the hospital. Once the counters stopped working, I leaned on him every 2-3 minutes and he completely supported me and I hung effortlessly from his arms, sometimes leaning, sometimes squatting. I was able to look into his eyes and know that all was ok!
My amazing, strong, and confident doula, Kathleen was using wonderful oils to calm my nerves, relax, and ease the nausea. She was behind me at each contraction. My mother who had the picture of the boys for me to look at, and the trash can in case I threw up (I didn’t but the trash can being there was an odd comfort). My wonderful sister who took photos, helped with my boys and was there to fill in for my mom, doula and hubby! The rest of my family, that filled in when someone got tired. Coldplay. It must have played through the 30 songs or so four hundred times!!! My huge 8x10 picture of my beautiful sons. My sweet sons, who came in and helped intermittently.
Mason rubbed my leg in between some of my contractions and was so pleased that he was helping.
Ayden, who through several contractions, stood right near me, holding their photo for me. It was so wonderful to look up and see him.
I requested to be checked every 45 minutes to an hour because I found it encouraging knowing how long I would be doing this. I like to be in control, and this was my way of at least knowing something! Each time I was progressing nicely, the first check to an 8, and the next to a 9. Then I was checked again and I was only a little past a 9. Dilation time length, I was at a 9 longer than any other measurement in my labor. I was in transition, a lot of pain, a little panic, and I really wanted to know the end was in sight. I asked for them to break my waters to help the baby move past that point. They told me I would need to wait for my ob, who was on her way. Throughout transition, I would experience a contraction that freaked me out. I was scared, and would not be “on top” of the pain or intensity.
I would panic a bit, and Glenn and Kathleen would talk me back down. Then the next several contractions I would easily relax and open and let the baby descend down. And the cycle continued, and I would experience a new level of intensity and have to work my way up to that point of relaxation. Throughout my contractions I would chant “open, open, open, on top, relax, baby down.” One of the times that Mason was in the room, he asked why Mommy was saying “open, open, open.” Glenn answered and said baby Reid was coming out and Mommy wanted to open. He then said baby Reid was ringing the door bell to Mommy’s door and Mommy was saying open. Mason then kept asking, “When is Mommy going to say open, open, open again?” He really enjoyed my chants.
After 6pm, I got through each contraction by fully squatting with Glenn letting me hang, and Kathleen being behind me. I kept looking up at Glenn and apologizing. He was sweating, shaking and concentrating more than anything to help me and be there through each one. Kathleen and Glenn kept telling me to stop apologizing right now!
After the doctor arrived, she checked me and I still had a lip at the edge of cervix. She broke my bag of water, and there was a little meconium in the water (normal for post date babies). She asked me if I could push past the lip, and it was intense pain, so we decided to labor a bit more. The nurses suggested the squatting bar on the bed for the next contraction to avoid the floor. I tried, and quickly discovered it was nothing like the floor and we went back to squatting on the floor mid contraction with Glenn supporting me yet again. I was really freaking out during that contraction, since I was not in a good spot when it started and I was not ahead of the pain. Kathleen got me talking about the baby, and I could finally feel his head without the bag of water being in front of him.
On the next contraction, the pressure was unbelievable. I was hollering at the beginning of the contraction, and it was overcoming me. The pressure and the act of pushing were fearful to me. I had to get past it. My body instinctively began pushing, and I began to make a really LOUD tribal moaning/pushing noise. The room was full of nurses (because of the meconium), family, Glenn in front of me, Kathleen behind, but no doctor to catch the baby. I heard Kathleen whisper to my mom to go get the doctor because I was pushing. This was all happening in the span of one contraction. No one was coaching me to push, and my body was simply doing as it should. The doctor told my mom she heard my noises (as did the rest of the maternity center I am sure) and was on her way in. She arrived to my left corner, and mentioned that she could not reach my bottom. She then put on one glove and placed her hand down to feel the baby. At this point my body pushed out the baby out in one fail swoop, straight onto the floor. My ob guided his head down, but the rest of his body just slithered right out and landed on the floor. At this point, we noticed he had a nuchal cord wrapped three times (cord around his neck), and a true knot as well (a real knot in the cord). By the grace of God alone, his cord was unusually long. This allowed room for his cord to be wrapped around his neck three times and still be able to reach the floor. My little man has truly met his angle! Since this all happened so fast, we were unable to click a pic of him being met by the floor!
My ob cut his cord due to the cord being around his neck, and they got me to the bed to deliver the placenta. I did have a small tear, and the doctor was unable to numb me when I was pushing due to my position, so the stitches were a tad bit painful. Reid was brought to me very quickly and they finished suctioning him on my chest.
I also felt wonderful after the birth and was rather amazed at the strength it took have him and that I had it in me!
Brothers and more family came in very soon after everything was cleaned up.
Glenn and I were able to enjoy him and bathe him when we were ready! It was an awesome birth!
My awesome doula Kathleen, Reid and I.
We are very in love with our little man.
Reid William Dominy
19 3/4 inches