On December 5th, at 11:55AM Jack Williams joined our family. After months and months of wondering what he'd look like and what type of little boy he'd be, we finally got to met him. He is absolutely everything we could have ever hoped for.
I was scheduled for an induction at 8:00AM on Monday, December 4th, when I turned exactly 39 weeks pregnant. I tossed around alllll night long, and finally got up at 6AM, showered, and packed up the rest of my stuff so I could be completely done by the time Piper woke up (I wanted to soak up some last cuddles with her before we left). I forced down some eggs and avocado for breakfast because I knew I wouldn't be able to eat anything once I got there, but my stomach was in knots with nerves, excitement, and anticipation for the whole ordeal.
We checked in to the Labour & Delivery unit, I got changed into my gown, they checked me to see what we were dealing with. I was at 3cm and 60% effaced. The doctor at my OB appointment last week said I was 75% then, but they said every doctor measures slightly different and we'd go off theirs. With that, they started getting me set up with the heart rate monitors and IV!
I'm not sure if the nurse doing my IV was new or what, but she tried putting the IV in reeeeally slowly (while jiggling it around), then pulled it out slightly, then shoved it back in, and repeated that process 3x before moving onto another spot and starting all over again. I'm usually just fine with needles (hello, I have to give myself shots in the stomach every day), but my eye sight started going all blurry and I kept telling them I couldn't see anything. I then felt like I was going to throw up, and they told me I was fine and to lay back. The next thing I knew there were tons of doctors and nurses in the room and there was throw up on me. I was so confused because to me it was one second to the next. Apparently after I said I was going to throw up my eyes rolled into the back of my head, I seized a little, and passed out for about 15 seconds, and then woke up asking where the throw up came from ha. I've never passed out before, so it was really bizarre. My blood pressure suddenly dropped to 60/40, which is why I passed out, so they had to run an EKG, a chest x-ray, and some blood tests to make sure there wasn't anything else going on.
Once all the tests came back fine, and my blood pressure returned to normal, they fiiiiinally started the pitocin (the labour induction medication) at 12:00PM. Every 30 minutes or so they would come in to increase the dosage slightly. The goal was to basically make the contractions painful. Excellent haha. Around 5PM they had been consistently painful, so they checked me, and you guessed it, I was still at 3cm. SO.FRUSTRATING! My doctor was going to break my water, but since I hadn't progressed at all, and baby hadn't dropped anymore, she didn't want to risk anything, and decided to wait.
Jordan and I walked around the L&D floor, I did lots of squats and walking lunges haha, I bounced on a birthing ball, and watched soooo much Netflix. The contractions actually stopped being painful, despite having them consistently, but my doctor ordered the nurses not to up the dosage anymore because they were still coming frequently, and she didn't want to put extra pressure on me or baby Jack. Inductions just take a lot longer, and you have to be patient (which we're not haha). It was a very slow and boring day as we were just waiting for my body to kick into gear and "officially" go into labour.
Around 1AM I felt a lot of pain with each contraction again (which was a good thing!), they checked me at 2:30AM and I was only at 3.5cm haha (but 70% effaced now). One of the nurses got me a peanut stability ball to put in between my legs while I laid on my side, which helps open up the hips for the baby to descend. They did the same thing when I was in labour with Piper too, and while it looks quite strange, it's actually rather comfy!
Contractions were getting more and more painful, so at 4AM I decided to finally get the epidural so I could be more comfortable and get some rest. Once it kicked in, I was able to sleep and IT WAS THE BEST SLEEP I'VE HAD IN MONTHS! My whole body finally felt relaxed and I just felt so good.
At 6AM I woke up to a little "popping" sensation, and felt warm water gush EVERYWHERE. My water had finally broken which was what we were waiting for! That's usually when things get moving! They checked me, and I was still at 3.5cm and 70% effaced, BUT he had dropped a bit more which is what broke my water.
At 8AM I felt a TON of pressure down there, and I told the nurse when she came in to check on me. She kept saying, "okay, well let me know when you feel pressure and I'll check you". I kept telling her that I already did haha, and she just kept responding with, "okay, well just let me know". Jordan and I were laughing about it when she left because I don't think she understood that I FELT TONS OF PRESSURE ALREADY (she was being trained as a postpartum nurse). Right after she left, my body started shaking a ton which also happened with Piper right before I started to push. They say it's in response to all the hormones and adrenaline suddenly rushing through your body. Jack's heart rate started going crazy, and a different nurse who was watching the monitor outside came in to check on it. I told her I was feeling a lot of pressure, she checked me, and he had dropped all the way, I was 100% effaced, and at 10cm! Wohoo!!
Basically, I stayed at 3cm from 12PM on Monday to 6AM on Tuesday, and then within 2 hours I jumped to 10cm and was ready to roll!
Around 9AM I started pushing, but his heart rate dropped too low with each push which made them nervous. They think the cord had moved a little when my water broke, and was getting squished with each push (the doctor confirmed it was wrapped around his shoulder when he came out). They had me push every 10 minutes or so, but decided to let him naturally move down with the contractions, rather than having me push and put more stress on him. His face was also upwards, instead of facing down, which made it harder on him to get out.
They had me alternate between all sorts of crazy positions to get him to turn and move down haha. I was on all fours on the bed at one point, laid on one side with one leg raised up (yes, I felt very lady-like, thanks for asking), and my personal favourite was when I scooted half way off the bed, while they lowered my legs, so I was basically holding a hip thrust position off the bed. They were using gravity and my contractions to bring him down and this move actually helped the most! Thank goodness for all those hip thrusts and glute bridges I did during pregnancy!
It sounds weird, but this was actually a very peaceful, quiet time and Jordan and I both napped a little. I felt really calm and just let my body take care of everything.
After 2 hours of waiting, moving around, and occasionally trying a push or two, he had descended more, and his heart rate was stable enough to really start! At 11:30AM I began properly pushing and man, I forgot how exhausting it is! Jordan was holding one leg, another nurse was holding the other, and there was one more nurse who was literally jumping up and down cheering my name with each contraction haha. They were all yelling that they could see his head and his hair and he was so close! They asked if I wanted to see, which I kind of did, so they brought out a mirror. I looked for a second when I had Piper, but it freaked me out because it's not the best sight ha. I weirdly found it super motivating this time though, mainly because he was SO close to being here! I hadn't realized just how close he really was!
After a couple more pushes, he was crowning (and had turned so he was facing down!) and they told me to hold on for the doctor to get here. She was just down the hall, but it was soooo hard to hold ha. There was SOOO much pressure and all my body wanted to do was push. The doctor got in, I pushed a couple of more times, and then Jack's heart rate dropped down, and wasn't coming back up. The doctor looked me straight in the eyes, and told me I had to get him out with this next push. Talk about pressure! I pushed as hard as I possibly could, but he still didn't come out all the way. She immediately did a fast episiotomy to give him some more room, and at 11:55AM with one last push, he was out! THE BEST FEELING IN THE ENTIRE WORLD!!
He came out crying and they immediately placed him on my chest, where I finally got to hold my baby. It's hard to put into words, mainly because there is nothing else like it, but although it was our first time meeting, I felt like I'd always known him. The little boy whose hiccups I felt every day. Whose kicks woke me up in the night. He was finally with us. He was right where he belonged. Thinking of this very moment got me through all the nausea, sickness, and hardships of pregnancy, and gave me the strength I needed for labour. That moment is just so perfect and special.
Jordan cut the cord, the doctor delivered my placenta and stitched me up (can I just add that the epidural had almost entirely worn off at this point - yowza), while I just soaked up our son. After only a couple of minutes, he latched himself onto my chest and helped himself to some grub haha. I was shocked at how quickly and well he ate! It took me a little to teach Piper (and myself) how to nurse, but he didn't miss a beat. After that hour of pure skin-to-skin bliss, they weighed him at 8lbs even, measured him at 20.5 inches, and took all his vitals. He was and is absolutely perfect!
This birth was so different from Piper's (and shorter, thank the heavens). I've learned that you just never know what to expect! There are so many weird and crazy things that go on during labour, but regardless, it's such a honour and miracle to be apart of. Although I had to push and do the work, my body just knew how to do everything else. It is so humbling, and I feel so incredibly blessed that everything went smoothly.
Sweet baby Jack, welcome to our family. You are loved more than you will ever know.