This pregnancy was different than my other two. I know that every pregnancy is different, and I thought that my first and second pregnancies were different. But, number three was WAY different for me. I had heard from many people that there’s “something about number three.” No one really had a concrete explanation for what that meant, but I thought about it every. single. day. I was pretty sure it had to be bad. My previous labors had been mostly good experiences for me. That meant that number three would be harder. I was pretty sure that’s what it meant anyway.
As I got to the end of my pregnancy, I noticed that Jonas was on the right side of my abdomen as opposed to the left side where most babies settle toward the end of pregnancy. I was pretty sure that was it. The fact that he was on the right side was what was going to lead to the difficulties I was sure to experience during labor. I was sure of it. Thankfully, my friend, Rhonda, was confident in my ability to birth this baby. I, however, was not. Starting around my 34th week of pregnancy, I began to experience a significant increase in contractions. I woke up in the middle of the night at one point with contractions that were coming every 5 minutes and were uncomfortable, verging on painful. Nothing came of that bout of contractions. However, it happened several other times as I approached my due date. By the time the week before my due date arrived, I had convinced myself that Jonas’ position was “bad,” that my labor was going to be long and difficult, and that I may not go into labor on my own at any point. Looking back I’m not sure how I managed to let my worries and hormones get to this point, but I did.
On Thursday afternoon, the day before Jonas was born, I had a visit from Rhonda. She gave me a pep talk and reiterated to me that I was capable of birthing my baby and that having the baby was what my body was meant to do. I managed to relax a bit. Later that evening, I went to Target to pick up a few items and while I was there I couldn’t believe that with all the irregular contractions I was having along with the pressure I felt that I wasn’t in labor. I called a friend to firm up plans for childcare just in case I went into labor during the weekend.
Friday morning, I woke up at a little after 5 with a contraction. It was strong enough that I felt like I should check the clock and see if there was any sort of pattern. There wasn’t. My next contraction was something like 13 minutes later, then 6 minutes, then 10. At that point, I knew I was having enough contractions and it was my due date, so I woke Jason to tell him I was in labor. I also told him to go back to bed (not sure what I was thinking). He didn’t listen to me. He knew better. After a couple more contractions, I took him my phone and told him to call our friend to watch Kael and Asa so we could go to the hospital. He also called labor & delivery to let them know we’d be coming. It was 5:50.
Once our friend arrived, we left for the hospital. Luckily for me, it was a very short (5ish minutes) drive. When we got upstairs to L&D, the nurse who met us said, “We saw your last labor was 40 minutes, so we’re ready for you.” I went into my room. The nurses offered me a hospital gown, and I said, “No thanks. I don’t care if my clothes get dirty, but I don’t want to wear one of those.” They asked if I would lay down so they could check to see how far dilated I was. I intended to lay on the bed, but the contractions were so intense I couldn’t do it. I told them they should probably call my doctor. They said they would call my resident (I had a doctor and a resident, because I go to a clinic which is affiliated with a med school and trains family practice residents). They explained the resident usually comes in to assess the patient and relays the situation to the doctor. I told them to call my resident and my doctor. One of the nurses left to go get something. The other asked if I wanted a birth ball to sit on. I told her that I probably wouldn’t sit on it, but I might lean on it. She made a flippant comment like, “You’re not going to have a baby while I’m gone are you?” I said, “I can’t promise anything.” She said, “Are you having pressure?” I think I said something very well-mannered like, “Well, yeah!” She said, “I’ll have someone else get the ball for you.” 🙂
Just a couple minutes after that conversation, I said, “I have to push!” I hadn’t been checked. There was no doctor there or anywhere near, and I was still standing next to the bed. Apparently Jonas didn’t care. I started pushing. My water broke after a push or two, and I heard the nurse say, “Where’s the doctor?” “That’s a head!” “Is the doctor coming????” Because I was still standing, the nurses started throwing pillows and other absorbent and soft items on the floor between my feet. Jonas was born a short time later at 6:22. The nurse caught him. He was 22.5 inches long and 9 lbs 11.5 oz.
The resident on call arrived a few minutes later. My doctor arrived about 5 minutes after him, and my resident arrived about 5 minutes after that. He latched on soon after birth, and he is breastfeeding well. I am writing this 2 weeks and 2 days after his birth, and according to my unofficial weight check in our bathroom, he’s somewhere around 12.5 lbs.