It’s been a month and a day since the doctor came in and told us that it looked like labor would take 24 hours or so and gave my husband and I a look that said, “Yeah, right,” when we told him that he had predicted a 12 hour labor instead.
It’s been a month and a day since they started the pitocin 11 days after her due date, after one missed induction already, and after a week of prodromal labor that never picked up for more than an hour or so.
A month and a day since we drove early in the morning after a long night of, “maybe this is really happening,” labor and about 3 hours of sleep.
A month and a day since the nurse took my birth plan to the legal department, came back, and said that we could do everything on the birth plan except for three things…three things that would not have been there if I knew that I was going to be induced.
Drew slept for the first few hours, and my doula, Marcie, kept me company. The first few hours flew by as the nurse came in and upped the pitocin little by little, and I sat there waiting for them to get stronger. Then I started having to work through them. Drew went to get me some hard candy to keep my blood sugar up.
Then it happened. A LONG, HARD contraction that didn’t let up for what felt like forever. All I could think was that it wasn’t going to get any better because this was pitocin. I was maybe a 4, and I knew that I couldn’t handle it for much longer.
I decided to get the epidural. Before they put it in, the contraction ended, and I felt immediate relief. But I still got the epidural because I felt that I needed the break. That was at 2:39.
They put me on my side, then checked me. I was maybe 6 cm, and I thought for sure that it would still be a while.
My nurse came in and put me on oxygen because Lily’s heart rate was too low. I started getting shaky at this point, and the only thing that kept me from shaking too much was holding Drew’s hand. It was during this time that we decided to change Lily’s middle name to honor Drew’s grandfather who had died the day before.
My nurse came in a couple more times and turned the pitocin down each time. Then she came in and said that they would need to turn it off for Lily’s sake.
The contractions kept coming, though, and soon I could feel an intense pain in my left hip. The nurse came back in, and Marcie asked if they would check me again. I was 8-9 cm, and she called another nurse to come in because I was dilating very quickly. Soon, there was only a lip of my cervix left…and then I was fully dilated.
The same doctor that had told us it would be 24 hours came in before 12 hours had passed to deliver Miss Lily. 5 pushes later, she was born!
The doctor placed her on my chest immediately, and I just ate her up. Her first latch was amazing. She was definitely hungry (possibly from the knot in her cord), and she has nursed like a champ since! She weighed 8 pounds, 13 ounces and was 20 inches long at birth. At her 2 week checkup, she had grown to 10 pounds, 7 ounces! Yay Mama’s Milk!!
We let the umbilical cord stop pulsing before Drew cut it, and they delayed many of the newborn procedures for the first hour. They even put on her first cloth diaper (a BumGenius newborn AIO in Butternut). We had asked to bathe her ourselves (mostly because Johnson & Johnson made me, my sisters, and Abby break out as infants…and I wanted to use Earth Mama Angel Baby on her), and we waited until the next day to give her her first bath. I was thrilled that they honored our birth plan so closely, and I even loved using cloth diapers in the hospital!
Even though it wasn’t what I wanted or how I wanted it, Lily’s birth was healing for me. After Abby’s birth, I felt incompetent. It took me a while to get used to taking her places and doing things with her. Lily’s birth and the support that I felt surrounding it has helped me feel more empowered as a mother, and I’m more confident in my decisions than I have been in a long time. I am enjoying getting out with both of my girls, too, though I think that is partly because of my Boba Wrap.
11 days “late,” born in the wake of a death, and empowering your overly-cautious mama, Lily-girl, you rocked our world…for the better.