After what seemed like an eternity, TD3 is here!!
If you’ve been following along, you know the month leading up to her birth has been a very long and painful one. So much so that I went on home rest three weeks before my due date. Then, there were the trips to Labor & Delivery, only to be sent home.
Here Comes The Due Date
I very anxiously (and disappointedly) watched my due date come. It was a weird day. Physically, I felt better than I had in a long time…maybe the acupuncture was finally helping. Emotionally, however, it was a rollercoaster.
We dropped the girls off at school and headed to my prenatal appointment. The “Today’s your due date. Is the baby here yet?” calls, texts and messages were already starting to come in. My appointment went great. I had finally moved from 1.5cm dilated to 3cm. We did a membrane sweep. I would go home, walk, eat some dates, spend some time with T-Daddy and if none of that brought TB3 by Monday, we’d call and schedule a natural induction.
We headed downstairs for the weekly non-stress test before going to grab some lunch and play some Pokémon Go. Only the nurse didn’t come in after 30 minutes and dismiss me as usual. Instead, we were told TB3 didn’t pass her non-stress test.
They like to see an increase of 15 in her activity and she was only showing 10. This could be for a number of reasons. Normally, they’d monitor me for another 30-60 minutes to see if she’d wake up and if not then they’d do an ultrasound. Unfortunately, the doctors that read the ultrasounds would be leaving soon, so the nurse wanted to see if she could get me in for an ultrasound before they left. The ultrasound would give a better picture of what was going on than the NST as it would look at her amniotic fluid levels, heart, lungs and other things. “Hang tight,” she said before leaving. She came back with the doctor and what he said changed our perfectly normal day.
The doctor explained that while the test wasn’t bad or showed signs of distress, it wasn’t perfect. Because the test wasn’t perfect, there was uncertainty of if TB3 was okay. At 40 weeks, they like to see perfect tests and anything less than perfect could be a sign of a stillborn. I asked if we could do the ultrasound to get a better look. Would that give us more certainty? Sure, he said. But because I was at my due date, the best thing for the baby was to deliver her right then. The more time we wasted, the higher her chances of being stillborn. I pushed for the ultrasound. He advised me that he’d do it, but it was against his professional opinion. He threw out that “s” word. Again.
We did the ultrasound. Everything looked great. Heart. Lungs. Fluid. Toes. Fingers. But TB3 wasn’t moving as much as they wanted. She’d give a kick or punch here and go back to sleep. I changed positions a few times. Then, she wasn’t happy with us. They got the movement they wanted. We got a cute keepsake. She passed the ultrasound.
The doctor still wanted me to go to Labor & Delivery to deliver her that day. The nurse wanted to talk to the midwife on call first. So we waited. My midwife told me because TD2 was born in the car and TB3 didn’t pass the non-stress test, she’d recommend delivering today. However, she did pass the ultrasound and it was totally my choice to go home and wait. If I chose that, we’d have to come back the next day and if she didn’t pass, they would induce me.
T-Daddy and I grabbed food and talked about it. Ultimately, we chose to go home. There was no sign of distress and we didn’t want to be forced into a situation that would end up in a C-Section if it wasn’t medically necessary. I disconnected from the world and kept an eye on my belly. TB3 was very active that night. But no signs of labor. So, we dropped the girls off at school the next day and headed back to the hospital. This time, she passed with flying colors. We could go.
I was so happy with the news, I never asked, “What’s next?” All of a sudden, I had so many questions and no one to answer them. I was spiraling fast. T-Daddy tried to reassure me everything was fine, but the only thing that would make me feel better was a clear plan. And I could only get that when my midwife called me back. But she was off delivering babies. Could you believe that??
I waited what seemed like forever for her to call me back. She finally did. I could continue with the original plan – hope this baby comes over the weekend. If not, plan to get checked out on Monday and schedule a natural induction at my appointment. Despite the ultrasound doctor throwing out the “s” word, there was never any concern of that as far as her and the other midwives were concerned. I was however considered a risky delivery with my asthma, history of fast deliveries, and being past my due date. Not passing the non-stress test just added another layer. Everyone would feel more comfortable if I delivered sooner rather than later but at this point, there was no reason to force delivery. She told me to head to the hospital if I felt like I was in labor or my asthma flared up or if I just felt off. I agreed. Happy that I could continue with my plan for a natural birth.
The rest of the night was pretty uneventful. We had some friends stop by and then I started feeling contractions. They were mild in comparison to what I’d been feeling the past month. But I remembered what I promised my midwife. I wouldn’t know if things changed if I didn’t monitor them. So I did. For 90 minutes. They weren’t painful, but they were consistently 5-8 minutes apart. Maybe we should go in just in case?
And Another Labor & Delivery Trip
We dropped the girls off at a friend’s house and headed to the hospital. It was storming and at one point the thunder knocked the streetlights out. I jokingly said, “Wouldn’t it be funny if this was actually the real thing? Sooo we drove to the hospital in the middle of a thunderstorm. The street lights got knocked out and TB3 was born.”
We got there around midnight. They checked us in. I was 3.5cm dilated but my contractions seemed to be spacing out. They had us walk for 2 hours. So we walked the halls, watching Netflix. I came back and was 4cm dilated. My contractions were increasing in intensity but spacing further out. They told me to continue to labor in the room. I was still very much in early labor so relax between contractions and try to get some rest. It was about 3 or 4am at this point.
I put on my labor playlist and tried to fall asleep. Each contraction woke me up. They were getting more intense. I walked around my room. I rolled on my yoga ball. The nurses checked my contractions and they still weren’t coming closer together.
At some point, the midwife on call came in. She checked me. I was 6cm dilated but contractions were still pretty far apart. I could labor in the shower and walk around. My contractions would need to be a little closer together before I could labor in the tub since it could cause them to space out. I was to let the nurses know if I started feeling pressure, so she could rush back to me.
Long Labor, Freaky Fast Delivery
T-Daddy and I got in the shower. The water pressure on my back felt amazing. My contractions continued to get stronger. But they never increased in frequency. This was turning out to be the longest labor. They had me get in the bed so they could monitor TB3. The nurse showed T-Daddy how to rub my back through a contraction to help with the back pain. A few contractions hit. T-Daddy rubbed my back. All of a sudden I felt something really warm and moist. They checked me. My water broke. They paged my midwife. Another contraction hit. T-Daddy tried to help me stand. I felt something pop. They said it was the rest of my water.
I felt pressure. They started grabbing stuff. I asked if my contractions were still too far apart to get in the tub. The nurse started filling the tub up. I felt more pressure. And more contractions. And more pressure. Finally, the tub was ready. I could barely stand. My midwife said if I couldn’t walk, I wouldn’t be able to climb safely in the tub and would have to deliver on the bed. I held on to her and the nurse and made my way to the tub. I climbed in. “How am I supposed to sit?” “We need you on your back. It’s not enough water for you to squat.” “This feels amazing. I think I need to push.” “Whenever you’re ready.” Push. “Am I crowning?” “Would you like to feel her head?” I felt her head for like 1.5 seconds. “I think I need to push again.” “Wait for the next contraction.” “I can’t.” “Do what your body is telling you to do.” Push. “There’s her head.” Push. “Awww here’s your baby.”
And just like that, TD3 was here. 15 minutes after my water broke. I almost missed my water birth again. Guess the third time really is the charm.
They wrapped her in a towel and put her on my chest. I held her while we waited for her cord to stop pulsing. Then they took her to the other side of the room for vitals. T-Daddy followed and took pictures and sent out birth notifications. They took me to the bed to deliver the placenta and stitch me up. (Because of course, she couldn’t make her entrance without leaving a mark.)
So after a month of intense pain and false labor, two days of intense anxiety, and one final uncertain trip to the hospital, T-Daddy and I are officially the parents of three beautiful little girls. Each with their own birth story.
So without further ado, we’d like to introduce TD3, whose names mean “seeing God” and “eternal energy.” She came into this world fully alert. And, so I’m told, kicking and punching the nurses. I think we got our work cut out for us.
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