Can anyone relate? And no, it’s not that we can’t have another kid because I got my tubes tied. It’s just that each of our kids has been born progressively later in the pregnancy, and I’d be too concerned the next kid would never make a début!
*Disclaimer: The story you are about to read may or may not be accurate and probably contains illogical fallacies and other nonsense. It’s only been 2 months since Seth’s birth, but it feels like forever ago and it all seems very fuzzy…which I can only chalk up to a bad case of “mommy of 3” syndrome (aka my brain is complete rubbish now. And has apparently taken on a British alter ego).
The Familiar Waiting Game:
Leading up to Seth’s birth, I had plenty of “Braxton hicks” contractions, but not many painful ones (unlike my 5-week-long labor with Evie). His due date of June 3rd came and went uneventfully. Although passing his due date was a bit disappointing, I knew better than to have any expectations based on my experience with previous labors.
On June 9th (6 days after his due date and 2 days before his birth), I had a non-stress test done to make sure Seth was still doing ok. This was the first time I got far enough past my due date to need one. It took forever to do because he decided to sleep the whole time, which made it difficult to get the measurements needed. After poking him a bunch of times he eventually woke up, and the nurse was able to confirm that everything still looked good. After that, I saw my doctor who swept my membranes for a second time, hoping to kickstart labor.
The Standard False Alarm (It Happens Every Time):
Later that day, I finally had some contractions that seemed to be ramping up. They were consistently coming every few minutes but weren’t very painful yet. I called the hospital to see if they thought I should come in, and they said I could probably wait. However, Seth hadn’t been moving around as much as usual (gee, maybe ’cause it was getting a little cramped in there??) so they told me I should come in because of that.
When Sean and I arrived at the hospital, the contractions were still coming regularly and often, but weren’t increasing in intensity. We unintentionally walked the halls for a while because we forgot where labor and delivery was and couldn’t find the elevators. Turns out, the elevators are right at the entrance when you walk in. Don’t judge – I was (sort of) in labor. I have no defense for Sean, though.
We eventually found our way and I was checked into a triage room. On the computer in the room, we could see the contraction monitoring charts for everyone checked in. We passed the time by watching the screen and fist pumping each other every time my contraction looked more intense than women in other rooms. After a few hours of this and my pain level remaining relatively low, I was discharged around midnight and we went back home.
Ya know, you’d think by your third labor you would know if you’re really starting active labor, but apparently not. Although if you can play a dumb game, laugh, and generally be in a good mood, it’s a fairly good sign you’re definitely not.
The Day Before Seth Was Born:
By the time we arrived back home it was past midnight and the contractions had petered out. I was able to get some sleep that night, and I woke that morning hoping to go into labor sometime during the day before returning to the hospital that evening for my scheduled induction. No such luck – I guess Seth was just too dang comfy. Even though I managed my expectations much better this time than last, I never imagined he would be so late I would be induced!
I felt pretty disappointed as we made the drive out for the induction, so I drowned my sorrows in a huge Olive Garden dinner which I immediately regretted (I absolutely did not have room for it, bleh)!! I called the hospital at 5 pm to confirm they had room for me, and I was told to call back and check again at 7 because they were busy.
That was the second day in a row we had made the 45-minute drive out and I was a week overdue, crabby, and not about to be sent back home again, so I had Sean break my water. JK! But it did cross my mind.
When I called back at 7 from the hospital parking lot, I was told I could come in at 8 pm. What a relief! No questionable medical interventions required 🙂 We went in and while we sat in the waiting room, a soon-to-be-dad and his friend were sitting next to us eating pizza and drinking beer, discussing how his fiancé had been in labor for a really long time. Hellooo 1960’s!? I almost punched him in the face and yelled at him to get back in there on behalf of his fiancé, but I refrained because I needed to save my energy. Bizarre. Anyway, I digress.
I checked in for the forced eviction and I’m pretty sure I was put in the same room I gave birth to Evie in! (Although I’m not 100% sure since I was delirious for her entire birth and it’s all a blur). I must say it was pretty strange being admitted while not yet in labor…it was so calm and I was actually aware of what was happening around me for the first time since I wasn’t already in a trance like state.
It was also the first time I noticed how much it hurt to have the IV line put in…especially since it took the nurse three tries to insert it correctly! And even after the third try, I still don’t think she inserted it correctly because it hurt a lot the entire time I had it in.
After the IV line was placed and the baby monitoring stuff (that’s the technical term) hooked up, the midwife came to check my dilation. Her name was Evey (pronounced the same as Evie). What are the odds!? After checking me, she gave me the option to either start oral doses of Misoprostol or to begin administering Pitocin through the IV. I really wanted the labor to mimic the progression of a natural one as closely as possible, so I chose the Misoprostol which she said would be more likely to do that.
I took the first dose of Misoprostol. It was just a half dose because they wanted to monitor me and make sure I didn’t have a bad reaction to it. In the meantime, I googled Misoprostol on my phone since I had never heard of it before, and I discovered it hasn’t been officially cleared as a labor induction method – it’s actually an ulcer medication! So, um, that was a little disturbing.
There was a shift change and I got a new nurse. Just before the shift change, my previous nurse (the one who botched my IV) told me she was going to begin giving me fluids. But when I looked down at my IV a few minutes later, I noticed it wasn’t hooked up to anything. So when my new nurse came in, I said to her: “I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure this needs to be connected to one of those bags in order for me to get fluids…”
She appeared mortified as she took a look and realized the bag of fluid had been dripping ONTO THE FLOOR for half an hour!! I don’t know if my previous nurse was just near the end of her shit (<– haha! that was honestly an accidental typo) and really tired, but I think she could benefit from a little extra training. The clearly irritated new nurse had a janitor come mop up the sticky mess as I thanked God I only had the previous nurse for a short time! Yikes!!
I began having contractions similar to the ones I had the previous night – every few minutes and very consistent, but they were hardly painful at all. My next miso pill wasn’t supposed to be given until 2 am so I tried to get some sleep, but it was nearly impossible with various people coming in and out of my room every 20 minutes. Everyone told me being induced at night is the best because you can sleep before the “real” action begins…ya, right (cue dramatic roll of the eyes)!!
Because I was having consistent contractions, the nurse thought I shouldn’t take another miso pill because she thought it might ramp labor up too quickly, which the midwife seemed to disagree with. It was weird – there was a lot of disagreement between the nurse and midwife which was awkward.
Initially, the nurse was mad the midwife hadn’t told me what my stats were when she checked my cervix. Next, they disagreed about continuing the miso. Then, after it was decided I would not be given another pill at 2, the midwife told me I should go walk the halls to see if that would move things along, while the nurse told me that wasn’t a good idea and it would be better to sleep so I wouldn’t be exhausted when active labor began. I ended up walking around for a bit, but when it was having no effect, I went back to my bed to lay down.
By 6 am the contractions weren’t progressing, and the midwife came in to check me again. This time, she checked my cervix during a contraction which altered my stats, and she determined Seth was low enough to break my water safely. Had she checked me the previous night during a contraction, I’m pretty sure she would have come to the same conclusion since not much had changed over the previous 9 hours. So frustrating!
Just before the next shift change, the midwife broke my water. It always amazes me how much fluid comes out…and continues to ooze out…and ooze, and ooze, and ooze…like a leaky faucet you can’t turn off! And then BAM! Within minutes, contractions came fast and hard – to the point I couldn’t talk and had to breathe through them. It really was incredible how instantaneously active labor began after breaking my water – like flipping an on/off switch! Of course, Sean had just left to go grab something from the car which was an unforgivable offense in that moment because I had no hand to cut the circulation off from!
The contractions became extremely intense and painful and I was given Fentanyl (a narcotic) which was AWESOME. I also readily agreed to receive an epidural. I know, I know, I wrote in Evie’s birth story I would never get it again after the bad experience with it during her birth, but a) it seemed like I had more time left than I had with her and b) I can’t think rationally when I’m in that much pain.
After the Fentanyl took effect, I recall the nurse explaining something to me but I couldn’t comprehend anything she was saying. I just smiled and nodded with a 100-yard stare and struggled to hold my head up.
After she left, the bags of fluid next to me made a noise every couple of minutes that made me think they were talking to me. Every time they made the noise my eyes jerked wide open and I turned to Sean to ask: “did you hear that?” Haha! Sean says it was highly entertaining 🙂
The epidural was placed, which also would have been AWESOME had it worked on both sides of my body! The drugs kicked in fully on my right side but not my left, which was a new experience. Since I could still feel the contractions fairly strong on the left, I had to focus and breathe through them till the very end. What a bust! My right side was happier, though, so I guess it was worth it.
I had an increasingly strong urge to push. We called my nurse, but I guess the delivery crew must have been busy because they didn’t show up until 9!?
The delivery entourage all got in place and I began pushing. 5 minutes later, Seth Josiah Felker was born on 6/11/16 at 9:10 am, after just 2 hours and 40 minutes of active labor. And I thought a little over 4 hours with Evie was fast! This time, I only got a 1st-degree tear (with Evie it was a 2nd, and with Caleb a 3rd).
Seth was born 8 days past his due date but was born on a palindrome date, which I suppose makes up for it (the date is the same forwards and backward). What? I married into a family of engineers…they note these kinds of things 🙂
He got a 9 and 10 on his Apgar scores, which amazed everyone because apparently, it’s very rare for a baby to get a 10/10. I’m sure it’s because he was practically a man by the time he was forced out! As he came out he was already crying and breathing, and Sean says he had his hand by his face and gave a little wave as he made his grand entrance. He also weighed in at a whopping 9 lbs. 7 oz. and measured 21 inches! I think Uncle Drew is right when he says this kid will be a savage 🙂
Our Stay at the Hospital:
Our recovery went well – it was uneventful, really. Of course, you can never get any sleep which is just par for the course (and it’s not because of the baby). It’s the pediatrician, nurses, lactation consultant, janitor, billing people, birth certificate person, photo people, dropping-off-the-Kaiser-gift people, meal people, hearing test people, infant screening test people, etc. etc. etc. popping in every 5 minutes! I think it’s all just a ploy to get you to want to go home ASAP to keep Kaiser’s costs down 😉
All in all, we stayed in the recovery room for about 24 hours. For the first 12 hours, Seth had to get his heel pricked before each nursing to check his sugar levels and bilirubin since he was so fat (they have to do this for babies larger than 9ish lbs. because they can have a diabetic episode). So that was a new experience.
Nana, Pop Pop, Caleb, and Evie came to meet Seth the afternoon he was born, which was fun to experience:
Pop Pop also captured the video below, which is classic Caleb and solid gold. I promise it will make you chuckle (and it’s pretty cute, too) 🙂
And there you have it – the complete and overly detailed story of Seth’s arrival! It really is fascinating to me how unique Caleb, Evie, and Seth’s birth stories are. But all were beautiful, amazing, special, memorable, and crotch-destroying in their own ways 😉
Missed Caleb and Evie’s birth stories? Here they are: