At my 38 week appointment I measured 37.5 weeks, and had measured 35 the week before. The doctor said based on that as well as him feeling my belly, he guessed the baby was already 8.5 to 9 pounds. He suggested I had an ultrasound at my next appointment to check on his size, especially considering Addilyn was a bigger baby (almost nine pounds). I asked if we could do the ultrasound earlier and he said sure, so we scheduled it for the following Monday. He briefly talked about the options if baby was measuring really big, but Addilyn was in the room and was not being quiet and I felt overwhelmed at the thought of being induced and didn't ask a lot of questions.
I called my nurse friend (who helped deliver Addilyn) on the way home and felt a little better after talking to her, but felt anxious at the idea of being induced. I was only a cm dilated at that appointment and not fully thinned out yet. I was nervous that being induced would bring a long labor, similar to Addilyn's or increase the chance of a c-section. It was hard to wait until my appointment Monday.
On Monday Chris and I (no Addilyn, thankfully) went for the ultrasound and they estimated he weighed 7 pounds 13 ounces, but his head measured 41 weeks. Although they reminded me how many pounds or weeks you can give or take, which is almost silly they even do these since they can be so off. So not as big as they thought. I did measure higher on the fluid end which I'm sure contributed to my belly size.
We talked with the doctor and he eased my fears of being induced and told me that it was totally up to me. Either way he said he'd bet my labor to be half the time of Addilyn's and being induced didn't up my chances of a c-section. The idea of planning when we could go in, mostly for Addilyn's sake was appealing so we scheduled my induction for Tuesday, March 1st. I wanted Saturday or Sunday but he said they don't plan inductions for the weekend. He said we could do Monday, but I didn't want to pick Leap Year day for his birthday! He told me he'd see me Tuesday and based on my progress didn't expect me to go into labor any earlier.
I had been having plenty of Braxton Hicks contractions, but at each appointment had no progress so I didn't think they were doing much. Friday I was feeling extra uncomforable and that afternoon Addilyn and I went to my parents and took a bath in their big whirlpool bathtub. We put Addilyn to bed and I felt the same as I had the last four nights. Extra uncomfortable and nauseous (I had thrown up the last few nights), and I am pretty sure I lost part of my mucus plug that night. Something that didn't happen with Addilyn. I went to bed around 11 and thankfully fell asleep right away. At 2:30 I woke with a strong contraction and looked at my clock right away. It lasted about 30 seconds, and then 8 minutes later another one. I did not think this was labor, but did think it was a real contraction. I was afraid I wouldn't remember the difference but I certainly did! I immediately felt it in my back too. 7 minutes later and I had another one. I texted my sister and laid in bed another 20 minutes, and had a few more contractions.
I woke Chris up, told him I was having contractions and was going to shower to see if they lasted. I got in the shower and they started being 6 minutes apart, a few five or less. I woke up Chris and told him I was pretty sure this was it, but assumed they'd last awhile like Addilyn's did. I told him he didn't need to get up, but he did (good call, Chris!). We went into the living room and they got pretty intense fast. My back hurt so bad, and I couldn't talk or find any comfortable position. I'm pretty sure I texted my sister "epidural me" at about 3:30. I did not remember how painful contractions are and kept thinking I don't think I can do this!
I debated when to call the doctor, and kept thinking of Addilyn's labor and how we were home for 14 hours of contractions and got to the hospital only to be a cm dilated. It was almost 4 at this point and I thought I'd call around 5:30. By 4:30 I was in a ton of pain and figured we should get my sister in law over here to stay with Addilyn, so we started texting (then calling) her. My contractions were consistently about a minute long and were all under 5 minutes, some 3 and a half. We called the doctor and he told me to go to the hospital and he'd call and tell we were coming. Lauren got here and we got in the car to go.
(I have to add this because it's funny now but every contraction Chris kept telling me to smile through it. I kept getting so annoyed that he was saying that and he kept saying "that is what they told us in the birthing class, I remember." I kept telling him I don't care what they say to say, that was not helping!)
Chris drove through McDonald's on the way there which is again funny to me now. I didn't think I was close to having a baby, so I didn't mind, but did have a contraction while he was paying. Chris told the lady we were on our way to have a baby and she got all frazzled trying to give him his money quickly.
We got to the hospital at 5:30 and I was having contractions about every three and half minutes. They walked me up to the room and I changed. The nurse came in and I told her to please just tell me I was at least 2 cm dilated. She checked and told me I was almost 7 cm! I seriously started crying happy tears and wanted to hug her. I was so relieved and couldn't believe I was already that close to meeting my baby! She asked me what my birth plan was and I said "Get this baby out as quickly as possible." She laughed, but that was really all I had.
I asked for an epidural and about an hour later got one when I was 8 cm. It worked pretty quickly and it was nice to relax a little bit. The doctor came and checked me and said that when he felt the head, it bobbed up when he touched it. That there was so much fluid in there and he wasn't low enough to start pushing. He said if I started pushing soon he'd be afraid an arm or part of the umbilical cord could come out first. He came back half hour later and I was 9.5 cm dilated. He said he wanted to poke a hole in my water bag so it would drain slowly, hoping to have him come down, but when he checked me my water broke on its own. He said he'd give me time before pushing, hoping he would come lower.
He came back an hour later and could feel his head and said it was time to start pushing. I started pushing and most of the time I could feel the contractions pretty intensely, but only on my left side, both in the front and strongly in the back. I'm guessing my epidural went in towards the right. I asked for more a few times, but it didn't seem to help. I can't remember the exact pain with Addilyn's birth, and they had turned my epidural off after a half hour, so I know I felt a ton with her, but these seemed more intense. Or I just forgot.
I'd have lots of contractions that were two minutes long, then only 30 seconds break in the middle. There was only one other nurse in there and she was great. Encouraging, sweet and did an awesome job. The first 20 minutes of contractions, every time I pushed fluid just poured out. They had to change my pads, sheets, and towels every time. The nurse and even the doctor when he was in there were laughing, because they couldn't believe how much was in there. She said it was probably close to three gallons. My stomach seriously deflated a good amount and I felt so much less pressure when it all came out. So maybe not a big baby, but tons of fluid!
About a half hour in, I felt something come out when I pushed. The nurse looked down and said something like "I'm not sure what that is." Cue panic and me starting to freak out, like "what the heck is down there?" She called the doctor and I was panicking asking Chris a million questions. Doctor came in and apparently there's a thing called a fore bag, which is like a small extra bag of waters? He wasn't worried, popped it and more fluid. Childbirth is so weird.
Lots more pushing, and baby was having a hard time getting passed my pelvis just like Addilyn. Thankfully he turned his head on his own, so I felt like it was going to be easier and faster, which it was. After an hour the nurse told me that I was close and I asked her how close and she said 10-15 minutes. I started crying because I was so ready to be done and so ready to meet him.
With Addilyn's birth everything was such a blur when she was born. At that point I was so physically exhausted and then she came out not breathing and it was scary and hard. I had prayed and prayed that when Isaac was born I would be able to hold him on my chest. I remember when the nurse told me that he would come in ten to fifteen minutes, I told myself to hold on to that moment he came out as long as possible. With any of these big life experiences I feel like you think about the moment so much before and then it's over and hard to remember what it was like. My wedding, crossing the finish line at the marathon, Addilyn's birth. And you can't ever experience it again. I wanted to be as present as possible, as I didn't get to feel like that the first time.
And praise God that I was. I pushed two more times and his head came out, and then his shoulder. And then I heard the sweetest sound. He came out screaming. Like the loudest, healthiest baby scream I had ever heard. Before the rest of his body was even out. And I could not have been happier. My baby boy was here. He was healthy, and Chris got to cut the cord and then they placed him on my chest, just like everything I had imagined. He was still crying loud and strong, and I laughed and cried and couldn't believe he was mine. And it was all worth it. Nine months of pregnancy, labor and the recovery to come. I'd do it all over again for him.
They cleaned him off, weighed him (8 pounds 2 ounces, 20.5 inches) and I just laid there watching, so happy. I can't tell you the difference this labor was compared to Addilyn. It was exactly what I had hoped and prayed for. To be dilated when I got to the hospital, for my labor to go quickly, to push less than three hours, and to be able to hold my baby when he came out. I can't explain how redeeming this experience was. How thankful I am to God for this blessing of my baby boy, and a for a labor that went so well.
Unfortunately the day after Isaac was born he started to have some breathing issues and we ended up spending the next two days in the nicu. As you can imagine I was scared and so disappointed our hospital stay wasn't all easy. I texted a friend that I felt like I got jipped again (we had to stay in the nicu with Addilyn too) and she told me to not let Satan steal my joy of such a great labor experience. I'm thankful for her and that reminder as everything about my labor was so good and I don't want it to lessen that experience. I'll share more soon about our nicu stay and Addilyn meeting Isaac for the first time . . . .