This pregnancy seemed like all the rest at first. I felt semi nauseous and tired for maybe a month. It was a little bit worse because I ended up catching a weird flu like bug that lasted a couple of weeks and wiped me out. But otherwise my pregnancy symptoms were mild and short lived and then I felt great. But I did start to get big much faster. And by the end of my pregnancy, things were really different. I was in a lot of pain and was very uncomfortable. I felt a ton of pressure from the baby and kept thinking he was going to be early because he was obviously trying to push his way out. I was also experiencing a lot of real feeling contractions early on…maybe a month and a half away from my due date. They were different from my usual Braxton hicks contractions. When I felt contractions like that with Little Sis, it meant labor was starting. I would just get one or two a day though and that was it.
With Big Sis I felt fantastic, was fully functioning and going on nice long walks up to the day I went into labor. With Little Sis I was bigger and over-due but still felt pretty good and was hanging out with friends and functioning well to the very moment I went into labor playing Settlers of Catan at a friend’s house. But this time I could barely function by the last week of pregnancy. Walking, bending over, or any movement really, could be painful or start a contraction. I never knew what to expect. We went on a walk one day and I would go from waddling normally to barely being able to put one foot in front of the other. Sleeping was tough because I was so huge that I could not get comfortable in addition to the normal sore hips. And whenever the baby moved, the pain sometimes almost brought tears to my eyes. I told some friends that I was so sore and tired that it felt like I had already given birth. I had never felt this horrible with my other pregnancies.
The weekend before I had Little Bear, I bought I was going into labor. I was having so many contractions as I lay in bed Friday night, that I started to time them. They were pretty regular…every ten to fifteen minutes. Then they stopped. I was grateful for some sleep but annoyed when I woke up in the morning without a baby. Then, because we had no reason not to, we got the girls ready and went to the homecoming parade. Walking to and from where we parked our van was excruciating and Jason ended up going to get it and coming back for me. I was so sure I was going to have a baby that day. I was surely feeling this way for a reason, right? But I did not have a baby that day. Or all weekend. Or Monday. Or Tuesday.
But Wednesday came along and I started to have a bunch of contractions. They started pretty early in the morning…maybe around 3am. After a few hours of really regular contractions I called Jason at work and told him he might want to prepare for a sub for the day (he is a teacher.) Around 7am they were getting closer together and getting stronger so I told my husband he should definitely come home, I called my midwife, and told my doula friend and my friend who was going to watch the girls that I am pretty sure I would need them soon. Then around 9am they slowed way down…they were still happening but were 30, 45, sometimes even an hour apart. We decided to just have a fun family day and went out to lunch, walked around the mall, and took the kids to the play place there.
Later that night my midwife called and asked me to come in for a quick check up, just to make sure everything was going well. I was dilated to a three so the contractions were working! She told me to try and relax and get some sleep. So I did. But then I woke up again around 2am with more intense contractions. They weren’t very regular or close together but they were getting more intense and this time I knew for absolutely sure that I was going to have a baby. I let Jason sleep until I felt like we should call my midwife. She told us to come in.
When we got there I was dilated to a nine! Good thing we came in. The weird thing was though that contractions never got really regular or close together. Normally by the time I am about to give birth, contractions are one or two minutes apart and I get really in the zone of concentrating on contractions and I don’t talk to anyone. This time I had plenty of time to relax and joke and chat with my husband, my friend, and the nurse in between contractions. I don’t remember what we talked about exactly but I remember some of it being really silly and having to tell them not to make me laugh so hard.
Things happened much more slowly this time than with Little Sis. I am not sure if I just had spread out contractions for some unknown, weird reason, or if it had to do with me choosing to lay on my side. With Little Sis I sat up and let gravity do its job. It happened quickly and I thought it was great because I didn’t get worn out like I did with Big Sis. But I tore really badly and feel like I never really fully healed from it. With Little Bear I really didn’t want to tear like that again so I decided to stay on my side and let things happen more slowly. I think it really helped. Little Bear was 9lb 13oz, had a larger head than the other two, and even had an arm come out with his head. I screamed like someone was murdering me. But I did not tear as badly. 😉 And now I feel like I have healed better. For that, I am thankful.
The reason I screamed, besides the fact that I had a huge baby, was because I had to move in the middle of pushing. The whole labor experience was totally relaxed and contractions were manageable as long as nothing changed while they were happening. So if my husband’s hand was on me as a contraction started, he needed to keep it there until is was done or I would have more pain and get upset and tell him to put it back. So when my water broke while I was pushing (with such force that it got on the bed, the floor and the wall…luckily not my midwife! haha) I was laying in a pool of water and they needed to move me. And THAT horrible, awful, no good time when I was moving and not in a relaxed position was the time the baby decided to make his entrance. But once he was out, all was well. 🙂
I just love the birth center. During labor I loved having My husband laying on the bed snuggling with me. And after giving birth I enjoyed eating homemade pancakes and eggs and taking a bath in their giant tub.
The thing that I did not like this time was having to have a pediatrician appointment right away. Usually we can go home and relax and my husband can bring the baby in for a check up at the end of the day or even the next day. But this time we had some issues, like our regular doctor telling us that she no longer takes birth center babies. What?! So we had to go to someone we didn’t know on the opposite side of town and we did not have time to go home first. We stopped at my friend’s house who lives over there so I could take a nap while my husband took the baby in.
Another reason why I love the birth center…home visits. The next day my nurse and midwife came to our house to check up on us. It was so nice to just be able to relax at home all day and have them just drop by rather than having to go somewhere or have to still be in the hospital. I got to lay in my own bed snuggling my baby all day and watching Gilmore Girls. That was my reward for having a baby in October. Starting October 1st, the entire series was added to Netflix and I felt like it was done especially for me 😉
My baby is a month old now and is a big boy! He is already wearing some three month outfits…depending on the brand of course. The girls adore him…sometimes too much! And life is good. Although the house is a mess and we are late for everything we do…including breakfast and lunch. We are getting used to things though and hopefully will fall into a better routine soon.
Thanks for reading!