Here’s where we left off with the 41 weeks update.
****As of Monday morning the 25th, there are still no signs of Kate’s impending arrival. We’re now a week and a day past the midwives’ due date and a week and four days past the traditional due date. We’ve tried ankle rubs, walking, sitting on the exercise ball and a chiropractic adjustment but so far, no change. We go to the midwives’ today for an appointment in the afternoon****
So at our appointment that afternoon, we talked to one of the doctor’s at our office about elective induction since I was past 41 week (um, that’s a NO) and scheduled an ultrasound for 2:00pm the next day to check her position, fluid levels, etc. She also checked me. I was soft, effacing, and about 3 cm dilated so we went ahead with the membrane sweep. It took maybe thirty seconds and, while uncomfortable, wasn’t that bad. My thinking was it was the least invasive with the best potential benefit before we had to result to tests and diagnostics. We agreed that if she hadn’t arrived by Friday, we’d go in to the hospital for fetal monitoring and a non stress test.
We asked everyone to pray that we didn’t make it to the 2:00 appointment on Tuesday!
The last official photo of Kate on the inside. The day before she was born.
That evening, I walked to my folks’ house and back and my mom anointed me with oil and my parents prayed over me and Kate. I went home and sat on the exercise ball, Drew rubbed my ankles again and we prayed that Kate would start the exiting process that night.
Here’s the timeline.
****WARNING!**** This is a true birth story with all the gory details so proceed with caution!
3:47am: Woke up to some mild cramping in my lower belly and an unusual amount of gas but went back to sleep
4:50am: Woke up again with more cramping and needed to have a bowel movement. That NEVER happens in the middle of the night so I had a feeling it was a sign of labor kicking off.
5:15 to 7:01am: Laid in bed and started timing contractions. They were 30-40 seconds and 6-10 minutes apart.
7:15am: Husband’s alarm went off. He took over timing contractions. I had a mild backache and got comfortable in the recliner with a hot pad on my back.
8:15 to 9:15am: Contractions were 4-9 minutes apart and went from 25 seconds to 50 seconds long. I was managing them fine.
We talked to the midwife on call and she said to wait until contractions were about three minutes apart before coming to the hospital.
9:30am: I told my mom we were definitely in labor and to have our ladies light their labor candles!
9:30-10:30am: Contractions were 2-6 minutes apart with an average of 3.5 minutes and 30-60 seconds long. That was close enough–we started getting ready to leave.
10:45am: Arrived at triage in the hospital. I was 7cm dilated, 100% effaced and at a -1 station. When I got up to change clothes, everything felt much worse.
The midwife Mallory and the nurses were amused at how “easy” I was making labor look. They commented on how calm and in control I was.
11:15am: During a contraction, I was found to be 9cm. The nurse also tickled the top of Kate’s head to make sure she responded and she did.
11:25am: We were taken to the labor and delivery room. My contractions were very manageable as long as I was laying in the bed!
11:45am: My parents and sons arrived.
Kate’s heart rate was being monitored almost continuously from the time we arrived. It was not fluctuating like they expected it to with contractions so they were concerned about her having a cord problem.
12:15pm: The doctor had me try lying on my side with oxygen to see if Kate’s heart rate would improve.
At this point, Drew was taking notes and I was getting into “the zone.” I only had a few good contractions in all this time. I gripped the sheet or someone’s hand.
12:35pm: Got up to use the bathroom. Drew wrote that I was “tired, out of sorts, no pep left.” Being up was very uncomfortable! I was also a little shaky.
12:45pm: The doctor had me try lying on my other side with the oxygen on.
12:50pm: Our midwife Janice arrived.
1:00pm: Janice found me to be 8cm, at 9cm when she stretched me out. We discussed that the only thing preventing Kate’s impending arrival was the bag of waters so we decided to have her break it. There was a small amount of meconium present. They wanted me to have as much pressure “down low” as possible so I put an inflatable peanut between my knees, lying on my right side. I had THE WORST contraction of the day almost immediately, followed by the urge to push.
1:10pm: I was indeed ready to push! I got very hot at this point and took the oxygen mask off. This was the hard part!
We think I had about three contractions and six pushes to work her out. Janice and the nurse were both excellent with helping me push efficiently, and helping her come out slowly.
Once she started crowning, they told me they saw brown hair! That gave me a burst of energy. They kept reassuring me that she was close. “She’ll be in your arms soon,” Janice said.
Janice also called me a Birthing Goddess. Drew reassured me as well. I was in good hands and I was getting it done.
It’s unbelievably hard work and you think, “I can’t do this for very long!” so any progress reports they give you are very encouraging!
Soon the nurses started moving around, told Dad to get the camera ready and told Drew to get into place to catch her. I remember her crowning, then when her head was out. I was at my noisiest as her little body slid out and then exclaimed, “She’s out?!”
1:23pm: Drew caught Kate and she started crying immediately.
They brought her up to me and I was overcome with relief and joy. She was OUT and perfectly healthy!
Funny side note…around this time, Janice asked me how the birth was. My reply, “Not too bad, actually!” It honestly was as “easy” as my last one and I give God all the praise for that!
Overwhelmed with relief and joy!
We had skin to skin time while the cord stopped pulsing. My parents and sons came over to greet her while the nurses checked her over a bit.
Her Apgars were 9 and 9.
1:35pm: I birthed the placenta (the midwife said, “Now you’re officially not pregnant anymore!”) and received about six stitches. The nurses had her try nursing. She was feisty and the nurse said she’d never seen one come out with so much energy! She was a pro at breastfeeding right away.
Her hands and feet were not getting as much circulation as the rest of her so we kept her skin to skin and under a blanket. She was so sweet from the start! I was so happy and relieved!
This moment is forever ingrained into my memory. I hadn’t even gotten a good look at her but she was OUT, she was slimy, wiggly and taking her first breaths and she was ALL MINE.
“It’s over!” I said. “We actually did it!” Drew and I high fived. We were done!
Meeting her dad.
I love the happiness on Janice’s face in the background!
We were dumbfounded that she was only 6 lbs 10 oz after both my boys were over eight pounds AND she was so “late!” She checked out perfectly, though, and showed no signs of being premature.
3:30pm: Moved to the recovery room.
Wasn’t she gorgeous?? 6 lbs 10 oz 20.5″ long.
Meeting her brothers!
This is Kate compared to Andrew (left) and Ethan. We think she’s a perfect combination of both! She does seem to have Andrew’s coloring, though. And his chin!
My three guys with my daughter!
4:00pm Wednesday: we went home!
Her going home outfit.
Ready to go!
So tiny in her seat!
We didn’t tell the boys we were on our way so they were so happy we were home with their sister!
Kate just fit right in and we’ve barely put her down. We are truly enjoying every minute with her and it feels like she’s always been here. I love the newborn phase!
Stay tuned for the highlights from Kate’s first week!