Thankfully all of the lightheadedness and nausea passed and my blood pressure came back up. Baby and I were ok, and the epidural seemed to take effect. I could move my legs and still had some sensation but I wasn’t feeling the intensity of the contractions. I still had a strange hazy feeling but it could have been because I didn’t eat much that morning, or because I was in a daze about to have this baby.
I wasn’t in the correct bed, so I had to shift my way from a post-delivery bed to a labor and delivery bed. I was still able to move and feel my legs enough to do that.
My OB came in and checked me for the second time around 11:45 and I was 5cm dilated.
Although time was flying, I kept thinking I had all the time in the world. So I wasn’t in a hurry to do anything with my hair or put on the makeup I had packed. I should have done it on the way to the hospital like I had in the past but oh well.
Every cervical check felt as if it was only 30 minutes apart (when it was actually hours).
I even looked over at my husband at one point and said “Does it feel like we’ve been here for hours?”
It didn’t to me. It seemed like we had just arrived.
The haziness that started around the time I got my epidural never seemed to fully pass.
My OB came in for another check, I don’t remember how far along I was, maybe 7cm. She had the nurses get me a peanut yoga ball to stick between my legs to help get the baby to come down more.
“You could get to a 10 really fast so if you feel pressure let us know!”
I was pretty comfortable with that peanut ball between my legs. I think I dozed off for a nap. The next thing I remember is a different nurse asking me to turn over to my other side and things went downhill from there.
Shortly after I turned over baby’s hearbeat started going down.
“Ok baby doesn’t like that, let’s turn you back over,” she said.
About that time I started to feel some pressure and told them. Someone checked between my legs and without much effort (or maybe I just could feel anything because of the epidural) said the baby was right there.
The monitors were doing all sorts of beeping. The nurses put oxygen back on me. None of this was normal to me. None of this happened with my other two babies. I asked if she was ok.
“The baby’s heart rate has gone down, sometimes that can happen when they’re in the birth canal.”
There was a lot of commotion about paging my OB but not hearing a response yet. Then someone said they should page the other OB–I think the resident.
At one point I looked over at the monitor and by baby’s heartbeat was around 70.
Once again, I felt like I’d been pulled into an episode of Grey’s Anatomy. Dr. Robbins was going to rush in at any moment.
Instead it was my doctor who came in. An audible sigh of relief reverberated through the room. She slipped into the scrubs and asked me to push.
This I knew I could do.
“You’re a good pusher!” I’ve been told before. If only I could put that on my resume.
Two to three pushes later my little squish came into the world.
I don’t remember when we unsnapped my gown at the straps, maybe just then. They set her on my bare chest and she just about slipped right off.
“Oh she’s a slippery little thing!” Someone said.
Really. It was hard to keep her on top of me. But I steadied her to get a look at her. She looked a little blue to me and she wasn’t crying, but she was wiggling and very much awake. I figured all of this was normal because had it not been they probably would have whisked her away. After a couple of seconds she let out a cry and it was my turn to take a sigh of relief.
“Hi baby!” I told her. I kissed her slippery little face. I was basically hogging her all to myself, I don’t remember even showing her to my husband.
“Do you want to cut the cord?” My doctor asked him after a period of time.
He did, and I think that’s when I offered to give him a peek at her.
I got one stitch for a little tear and they took her over to see how much she weighed. She came in at a whopping 9 pounds 7 ounces. Big just like my other two. Almost matching her sister’s hefty birth weight. She measured 21 1/4 in long. And was as cute as could be with her squished and pudgy little face.
I snuggled and held on to her and decided I’d jump in and give nursing a try (I never know how soon to start after they’re born. In my mind they come out starving but I guess she’d been hooked up to a direct line of french fries and snacks for the last 9 months, she was probably ok.) She latched on pretty easily and has been ravenously nursing like you’d expect a chunky little baby to do.
While attempting to hold and nurse her a wave of nausea came over me again. I asked my husband to grab a barf bag and he got it to me just in time.
Retching while holding a newborn moments after giving birth isn’t ideal. Thankfully that passed before the kids arrived to meet their little sister. I’ll share more about that experience in another post.
I was very shaky for a while. At first I thought it was because the room was a little cold but it remained when we moved to the mother and baby room. It may have been a combination of the epidural wearing off and having gone the whole day without eating. I think mostly the former. I had serious jitters. But I was able to get out of bed, get changed, FINALLY put some makeup on (though not in time for pictures), and begin to feel settled back to normal. Or as normal as you can after giving birth.
We stayed at the hospital for a couple of nights. One of the pediatricians informed me that she had a broken clavicle but since they don’t treat it it was more to know. They did an x-ray to confirm it (looking back I’m not sure that was necessary), and told me to just be gentle with that arm. She’s got a little bump where the fracture was now–A sign it’s healing well.
Later, when my OB came in to check on me she said she got the page that the baby was having decels at 2:12 and she sprinted from the office across the street and little Sneaky was born at 2:19.
My nurse had also mentioned that had I been a first time mom they likely would have moved me to have a c-section, but since they knew I had experienced pushing and could probably do it fast they let me try that first. All that took me back to eight years ago and my fascination/paranoia about birth after watching The Business of Being Born.
Epidural poke Xs 2, low blood pressure scare, barfing, no makeup and broken collar bones. Not exactly the smooth delivery I expected after my first two. But she got here big and beautiful, we’re both healthy, and I didn’t have to feel the ring of fire. Overall I’d call it a win.
This girl snuck her way into our lives, and came into this world just as dramatically making us a family of five. I’m just hoping she doesn’t make the theatrics a habit.
All the Beautiful pictures in this post are by Paige Wilks Photography.