A Birth Story // Baby #4 // Emmalee GraceMonday, November 24, 2014
There was a small part of me that hoped baby #4 would come early, and surprise us all. All three of my other babes had been a week or more late, so even though a part of me hoped, I think I knew this babe would also be born a week or so past her due date. I went to the Doctor just after 40 weeks, and was 3cm dilated. We scheduled an induction date for November 10 - which also happens to be the Marine Corps birthday, so I think Max was hoping she would wait to come then!
One of my best friends, Aimee, had arrived earlier that week, and Max was due home the evening of November 5. I spent the last few weeks of the pregnancy doing a lot of walking and bouncing on the exercise ball, trying to convince baby girl to make an appearance. I had been having a lot of Braxton-Hicks contractions for weeks, but nothing ever got regular or more intense. Apparently, she was only too happy to stay inside my belly.
I prayed and hoped that she would make her arrival the weekend before I was to be induced, but to no avail - so we headed to the hospital on Monday, November 10. I was 9 days past my due date. We met up with my doula, Jennifer, and I was admitted around 1pm that afternoon. They got me hooked up to an IV, started my first round of antibiotics (I was GBS+), and checked to find I was still 3-4cm dilated. I chose to start pitocin to get my labor going, and they started that around 3pm. The contractions started coming every few minutes, but were not very intense - they were comparable to the Braxton-Hicks contractions I had been having for weeks.
Over the next hour or so, the contractions started to get more intense and were lasting a little longer. We were all chatting, and I was sitting on a birth ball, but was beginning to have to stop talking through the contractions, and focus more on my breathing. My mom had come to the hospital earlier that afternoon, but decided to head back home to help my dad put the kids to bed. Aimee and Jennifer left the room a little before 6pm, to give Max and I some time alone. He rubbed my back and held my hand through the contractions - I just wanted him touching me at this point, so he sat in front of me, with his knees touching mine. We joked between contractions about how funny it would be if my water broke on the nurse, or better yet, him!
The nurse came in at 615pm, and said she was turning the pitocin up to help get the contractions going even more, and right after she left the room, I had a really intense contraction, and then WHOOSH! My waters broke. All over the ball, the floor, and Max's shoes!
He called the nurse back into the room, and a few minutes later, Aimee and Jennifer also walked back in. My labor was starting to get much more intense. I was needing to really focus on my breathing through each contraction. I started getting really hot, and nothing felt comfortable. The contractions started coming faster and were more intense. The nurse checked me again a little before 7pm. I was 6cm dilated, and mostly effaced.
I needed to go to the bathroom before they tried to listen to Emmalee's heartrate again, so we shuffled/swayed over to the toilet. Max started to feel a little queasy, and figured there was plenty of time before delivery, so he stepped outside. I had a few contractions in the bathroom, and then began walking back out - only to feel a lot of pressure. I remember standing in the middle of the room, declaring that I felt like I was going to poop on the floor! The nurses quickly shuffled me to the bed, to check me again - I was 10cm dilated, and they could see baby's head!
They told me not to push, so the Doctor could get there, but at this point, my body took over, and I couldn't help but push. Emmalee was coming out! The nurses realized that there was no stopping this baby from coming, and I heard them say, "Nurses deliver!". My body had taken over, I pushed a few times, and her head was out. She had a shoulder dystocia, meaning one of her shoulders were having a hard time coming out, but the nurses were great, and carefully maneuvered her out. She was born at 7:14pm!
She had the cord wrapped around her neck twice, and because of the shoulder dystocia, she wasn't breathing right away. They quickly passed her to the baby nurses, who gave her some oxygen. Within a minute or two, she was breathing on her own, and gave some precious cries.
Max walked in right after she was born. He had stepped out for 10-15 minutes and had no idea that she was going to come so fast! As he was walking back into the hospital, he heard nurses exclaiming that baby was out, and quickly realized the commotion was coming from our room. He felt so bad to have missed the big moment of her being born!!
Even though I had tried telling everybody that I had big babies, and that I was sure she would be at least 9lbs, the nurses were still shocked to weigh her in at 9lbs, 9oz! We told them she was one of our smaller babies, and they kept exclaiming that I had birthed a toddler!
After they had checked her over, and I had been cleaned up, the Doctor (who finally made it, lol!), brought her over for me to meet and hold. Oh the joy of finally meeting our Emmalee Grace face-to-face! It was a very happy birthday for our youngest baby girl.
I am proud of how my labor and delivery went, and am so thankful for the support that Aimee, Jennifer, and Max were to me. I can't imagine doing it without their encouragement, guidance, and hand-holding! Emmalee made a fast and furious entrance into the world, and we are so thankful she is healthy and doing well.