Last week we started with Caitlyn’s story and this week is Sue’s turn…we’ll have to wait about 79 more days, give or take a few, for baby #3.
Sue is our bonus baby. I was a little surprised to have Sue coming just 15 1/2 months after Caitlyn. I got to my pre-baby weight with Caitlyn the day I found out I was expecting the baby who turned out to be Sue.
We again planned a low intervention, midwife attended, birthing center birth. And I really hoped to get it this time. I was thrilled to be working with my midwife again. She was out on her own maternity leave when I found out we would be seeing her again. I had a “mental” health check appointment scheduled with her before she went out to have her baby, but by the time she came back she said, “wow, I was a little surprised to see you in my OB list today!” Yup, a little surprised to be in the OB list 🙂
I thought my pregnancy was much easier with Sue. The morning sickness was again not so much fun, but it seemed a little easier and ended 2 weeks sooner than with Caitlyn! Yay!!!!
It was a bit shocking at about 26 weeks, to start contracting! For the next few weeks I went in several times to have the contractions monitored. There were definitely contractions, but thankfully they were not making any changes. Whew. I spent a lot of the pregnancy laying in a warm tub to get my “irritated” uterus to chill out.
This time around, I did not pass my blood glucose test, so I had to go for the 3 hour test. I passed all but one of those tests. I found out I was going to have to test my sugar and follow a diet to make sure things stayed healthy. I felt very betrayed by my body. I have spent so much of my life sick and now my body was struggling with staying in-line for pregnancy.
Honestly, the diet was annoying, as it took a lot more thought for what I was going to eat when, making sure I had protein with carbohydrates at each of 6 mini-meals a day. The one time I saw the OB during my pregnancy, she told me I had to test my sugar all the time and would need to get an ultrasound later in the pregnancy to make sure the baby was not too big.
I knew from other friends experiences that ultrasounds tended to measure babies much larger than they are, and since I was planning a unmedicated birth, I did not want to find out or think ahead of time that I would be birthing a huge baby.
At my next appointment with my midwife, I asked her if I had to have the ultrasound. “No way, we wouldn’t do an elective c-section unless the baby was 11 pounds, and you are not having an 11 pound baby!” So, then I asked about testing my sugar 3 times a day, every day. “I do not want you testing all the time. Your sugar is not going crazy and hormones can cause swings that have nothing to do with food. I don’t want you to obsesss.”
Have I mentioned I love my midwife???
Then, on our wedding anniversary, my blood pressure popped up, really up. I cried and cried, terrified we were headed toward preeclampsia again. And it did look like that was possible. I was given strict orders not to go to work if my blood pressure was over certain numbers. “Can I work from home?” If you can do so laying on your left side. Actually I can, so a few days I did. I took my blood pressure every morning to make sure we were still okay. I ended up in the hospital to be monitored a few times for that. Each time the hospital would have me lay on my left side, then take it. Well, laying on your left side will typically drop it like a rock, so every time I went in, they got a much lower reading. I at one point told my midwife I was not going in anymore for the blood pressure. She said, “oh yes you are. You have to protect your baby. And they [the hospital] are really cheating because they are having you lay there for a long time, but that is an artificially low reading, because you don’t live your life on your left side.”
Have I mentioned I love my midwife?
So, I was in her office twice a week for a non-stress test. And almost every time, the baby required waking up. Which then caused contractions to start up. So we ended up monitoring both, the babies tolerance of my blood pressure and my level of contraction activity. At first, I hated being in there so much, but then I realized, this was my time with the baby. To hear the heartbeat tripping along and to see the contraction activity mapped out….they really were there, I wasn’t crazy.
Along came Thanksgiving. I had been contracting almost every night for the week before. Between 4 and 7 each night they would start, and settle into a nice pattern for a few hours, so every night, I would ask hubby if we should take Caitlyn to his parents and head to the birthing center or risk having to wake her up in the middle of the night. Needless to say, for Thanksgiving, I was not up to being away from home. I took a nap and hubby made us a beautiful dinner.
It was perfect.
Then my original due date came and went with not a single contraction. But they were back the next day.
Monday night I contracted all night. I told hubby on Tuesday I thought he should stay home, just in case. The contractions, of course, stopped. But I decided I HAD to make Amish friendship bread. Right now. But I was missing a few ingredients. So asked hubby to head to the store. He said, “why don’t we all go, see if we can get this baby moving and hav a baby in the produce section.” So off we went. No baby in the produce section. And a few hours later, it was time for another midwife appointment. Caitlyn and daddy went with me. Caitlyn was really antsy, so daddy took her out. My midwife found I was at 5 cm (out of 10 needed). She said, “you’re one of those women who are going to be at 7 cm before you bother to really go into labor, aren’t you?” Ummmm….I told her I was ready to get this baby out. He or she had baked 2 days longer than Caitlyn. Hotel mommy says to get out! And my blood pressure was a little crazy and I was spilling some protein, so we agreed to sweep the membranes. If the body is ready, this will start labor, if not, it will do a whole lot of nothing. And if that didn’t work, the next morning I was supposed to drink 4 ounces of castor oil. I was really hoping to have a baby before I had to do that. She did a quick ultrasound because she thought she felt baby’s hand near the head, but it was just the ear, so she moved baby to get him/her straight. Wowzers. That was an experience.
So we headed home. Hubby called his mom to give her an update. I thought that was wierd because we didn’t normally do that. I realized later he was warning his mom in case we needed her to come watch Caitlyn while we had a baby. Ok, sometimes I am a little slow.
When we got home, I was antsy, just couldn’t settle down. Finally about 9 pm, I went to bed. I woke up about 11 and couldn’t get back to sleep so I watched TV until about midnight. Then woke up again at 2:36 am. Wow, oh wow. Something was happening. I told hubby I needed his help timing contractions. When he didn’t move, I said, “fine, I’ll time my own stupid contractions.” In his defense, we had done this a few times in the days leading up, but in my defense, these suckers were DIFFERENT!!!!!
So, I grabbed my laptop, which had a bookmarked website for timing contractions. I thought I would time them for a while, but soon realized they were coming every 2 minutes and were 1 minute long. I had thought I would watch a recorded webcast for work while timing contractions, but soon slammed the laptop shut and said, “I can’t do this right now.” By this time hubby was with me. I told him to call the midwife on-call line. He did. They normally want to talk to the mama, but they heard me yell, “tell them we’re not asking, tell them we’re coming!” I took a quick shower (useless attempt), told hubby to call the neighbors because I didn’t have time for his mom to get there, they didn’t answer, I told him to run over there because I needed to go now. But his mom got there really fast, so the neighbors got to sleep. I yelled at hubby about something, woke up Caitlyn, felt terrible, hugged her and cried that mama was sorry. Then headed out to the car. I did not even wait for his mom to get in the house. She said hello and I growled back, “what was I thinking?”
We started driving and I swear hubby intentionally hit every red light. Sitting through those was horrible!!!! I remember thinking, as we passed a hospital to go to the one with the birthing center, “man I wish I was going there, so I could just get out of this car!!!” (Found out later I actually said that out loud…oooppps)
We got there, they rushed me in, got me up to the birthing center. I was already at 6 cm. Tried the labor pool, hated it, tried to lay down. Hubby had to catch my head before I went under. Got out. Staggered to the bed, laid on my left side and that is how I labored the whole time. Hubby said I would flail around between contractions, but as soon as one hit, I settled right back on my side. I was really thirsty so hubby got me some water. His main job was to pull it away when a contraction hit so it did not go all over me.
I went into my own world. I was totally unaware of the nurse or midwife being there. Thought hubby left. Didn’t care. Felt like I got above the pain at some point. Hubby started counting when a contraction would start. I realized if I could make it to 42, I would not die and would get a break. Then soon got confused because he would get to 42, and I wouldn’t get my break. Was aware of my water breaking. Didn’t know midwife was there so tried to explain it to hubby. Turns out Sue was born immediately after water breaking, so no one really cared.
She was here. 3 hours and 47 minutes after I first woke up at home. 2 hours and 19 minutes after getting to the birthing center. An hour after hubby called my mom to let her know to come (ummm, she didn’t quite make it in time for the birth).
She was here. Natural birth was as amazing and empowering as I had hoped or dreamed it would be. My body had done it. I had done it. She was here!!!!