Abel’s birth went nothing like I expected. I guess that’s generally how births happen. My other 3 boys were born on the weekend, in the wee hours of the morning. Abel was born on a Tuesday night. I was expecting a quick and intense labor but instead had a drawn out labor that had no real definitive starting point.
Let’s start with Monday. On Monday (January 26th at 41weeks and 1 day past my due date) I had an appointment with the OB to check on the status of my body and to make sure he was doing well. Everything checked out great and we scheduled me to be induced on Thursday morning hoping he would make his appearance before them. Monday evening Joe started feeling very sick and developed a fever. I also started having very strong contractions, they weren’t consistent enough to track but were pretty painful in comparison to what I had been experiencing. I didn’t sleep well that night due to the contractions and also because I was worried about Joe. If he had a fever he wouldn’t be allowed in the hospital if I went into labor. Tuesday morning Joe woke up feeling much better and after I took a shower and ate breakfast the contractions let up for a few hours. Because Joe hadn’t been feeling well he worked from home. I did some school work with Jude and we had a pretty typical Tuesday morning.
Around lunch time the contractions started again. The boys took their naps and I laid down to rest. I started timing the contractions. They were still inconsistent but about every 15 minutes on occasion. By 3pm they moved to every 8 minutes (still not very consistent though). I felt pretty uncomfortable and started pacing the house hoping to speed things up a bit. The boys got up from naps and I told Joe we might need to get things ready for the hospital soon. I notified my mom and we got things in order as I continued to time contractions. They were all over the place but I’d have a set of 2 or 3 really strong contractions in a row which let us know something was happening.
My mom arrived around 5pm and as the contractions got closer to 6 min apart we headed out the door. Our first stop was Chick-fil-a for something to eat. In the car the contractions slowed down a bit back to 15 min or more apart. We made our way slowly through rush hour traffic to the hospital. They didn’t want us to come in until the contractions were 5 min apart. So we walked around Whole Foods and the nearby shopping center until we had a few close contractions. We got to the hospital a little after 7pm (I think).
My contractions were still very inconsistent but when I had them, they were strong. After we checked in the midwife checked and said I was at 6cm and in labor. So we decided to walk around a bit to help move things along. I wasn’t fully convinced I was in labor. Around 8:30pm things started to pick up a little. I was very apprehensive and nervous about labor this time around. We decided to discuss pain medication options with the nurse. I opted for the epidural (which the nurse thought I wouldn’t have time to get but we could try). I had to be on the IV for an hour before I could get the epidural. At 10 till 9pm they started the IV. Almost immediately my contractions went from inconsistent to every 60 to 90 seconds. I anxiously watched the clock.
Around 9:30pm the nurse gave me some Fentanyl (at my request) because I was overwhelmed with the intensity of the contractions. It gave me a few minutes of relief to catch my breath, the contractions were still strong but it just took the edge off. A few minutes later they checked and I was completely dilated and had a bulging bag. Around 9:45 pm the midwife said the anesthesiologist would been in soon. No more than a minute later (or so) my water broke. There was no epidural happening now. My body was pushing and all hands were on deck. 3 contractions later he popped out at 10:02 pm
After he was out I started shaking uncontrollably. This happens every time. I hate it. It’s the adrenaline rush. While the midwife stitched up my 1st degree tear the nurses and staff tried to figure out how much he weighed. Apparently, the equipment measures in kilograms and the conversion to pounds was confusing. Ultimately we learned he weighed 9lbs 11oz. Everyone commented on how big he was while Joe and I said he was tiny. In comparison to my other boys Abel was the smallest (by 1oz smaller than Jude).
Even though this labor went nothing like I expected I am happy with the outcome… an adorable new son. I do feel better after this labor than I have with any of my others. I didn’t have any excessive postpartum bleeding so that’s probably a huge contributing factor. Overall, we had a great experience and every decision we made was our own.
We are so happy to have Abel here and our little family just got a whole lot more love.