Oh my sweet Everett, you are more than I could have ever hoped or dreamed for. Your journey into this world is not what I would have chosen, but it was perfect.
Your labor and birth was so different, yet similar to your sister’s. She came 2 days early, and you made us wait until almost 42 weeks. But you came just when you were supposed to. You needed more time to grow and plump up.
So let’s get to the details of your story.
I went to the hospital on Friday, July 1st to start the induction process. Even though I had been having contractions for 3.5 weeks, I was only 2cm dilated and you hadn’t made your way down yet. So, we needed help to get labor started (the doctor didn’t want you to stay in past 42 weeks). Even though induction is not what I wanted, I had peace about it. I was ready to meet my baby boy!
We checked into the hospital around 4pm and were greeted by a familiar face. Our nurse Misha had taken care of us before when I thought I was in labor a couple weeks prior. She took good care of us. I had a cooks catheter placed at 7 something. This device helps dilate the cervix and can start labor. Around 3 hours later it fell out. I had some mild contractions, but things still weren’t starting. The midwife let us get some rest overnight and wait until the morning for the next steps. By Saturday morning things still hadn’t started yet. I was dilated to a 3 which got stretched to a 4. We waited a little bit longer to see if things would happen, but they didn’t. So, we started pitocin and the first round of penicillin (thanks group b strep) around 9:40. That got the party started finally.
Contractions were consistent, but still not strong enough. Each hour the dosage of pitocin got upped by 1 until we were at a 5. It was my goal and desire to be able to get off the pitocin before birth actually happened.
I have to pause here to say that during this whole process, I felt very empowered, encouraged, and respected. All of the midwives were supportive of my desire to have as few interventions and drugs as possible. Though Chrysantha’s birth was much smoother, I didn’t always feel like everyone was on board with the plan and I had a hard time speaking up for myself. This time I made myself heard and was able to have good discussions about each step of the process.
Back to the story. Contractions started picking up and getting consistent in the afternoon. The pitocin was working to dilate my cervix. We were able to turn down the pitocin, which I was very thankful for. I was definitely nervous about having pitocin. I had heard from several people that it made contractions really intense and the natural rise and fall and rests don’t necessarily happen. But my body was kind and though the contractions were more intense, they still had a very nice pattern that made them bearable. Contractions were happening consistently and building, I was dilating more and we were able to turn off the pitocin completely. I was so relieved! Things kept happening, but progress was slow. Everyone was fine with taking things a step at a time. I was thankful for the opportunity to let my body do what I knew it was capable of on its own.
I got to labor in lots of different positions. With Chrysantha I was a lot more tense at times and didn’t want to change things in case they didn’t work. It was good to try a variety of things.
A few things came up. When I was getting my last dose of penicillin, my arm started hurting really badly. Dealing with that in the middle of intense contractions was NOT fun. After my nurses tried to fix things, I ended up just having them take it out. It was sooo much better to labor untethered. I had more freedom to move around and things were finally going how I hoped they would.
Everett’s water broke a little after midnight on Sunday July 3rd. We thought that would move things along. Well, Mr. Ev had different plans. He moved back up the birth canal and managed to keep some of the bag intact in front of him.
Unfortunately my contractions started slowing down. The monitor wasn’t very good at picking them up anyways. But because things slowed down we had to discuss our next options. I was thankful for the rest I was getting in between contractions, but I knew that things couldn’t go on forever. So, we agreed for the midwife to break the bag of waters that was left. Again, we hoped that this would get things moving along. It helped the contractions pick up, but they were too far apart. They were super intense though and I did my best to gently push Ev down during the contractions, but he just wasn’t budging.
Finally it’s around 3 am, my contractions are slowing and the OB on duty is pressuring my midwife to move things along. She comes to talk to me and we agree to having her place an internal contraction monitor and to start me back on pitocin. The thought of being hooked up to the IV again and having that potential pain was not sitting well with me. When my midwife was inserting the internal monitor I started getting painful contractions. So, we abandoned the plan and she helped me push Ev out. It was just the jumpstart we needed! It took 4 painfully long minutes of pushing to get Ev to come out. He was a lot harder to get out than Chrysantha was. Once her head was showing it took less than a minute. With him, these 4 minutes, though not long in actuality, felt like they were forever. I was thankful to have a mirror to see the progress. Seeing his cute little hair gave me the energy and strength I needed to fight through the pain and push him out.
After he arrived we figured out why things had been more difficult. He came out with one of his arms touching the opposite shoulder and the umbilical cord loosely wrapped around his belly. He needed the extra help to move down and get out.
Meeting him was definitely worth all of the waiting and the pain. The nurse kept remarking how he didn’t have any of the signs of a past due baby. The amniotic fluid was clear, he wasn’t peeling, he wasn’t big, etc. She said he looked like a 38 week gestation baby. All of those things just reinforced my conviction to wait for him to be born. I’m glad we didn’t force him out sooner, he clearly wasn’t ready. He came at just the perfect time. He was brave and strong in his entrance and he brought peace. I love my sweet Everett Ninghai and I am so thankful for him! I learned a lot through his birthing process. And sweet boy that he is pooped on me right after birth!