Trust Your Gut
Sometimes, I have trouble discerning between a “gut-feeling” and an anxious thought. The night before I gave birth, I slept for one measly hour. Yes, I had a pregnancy pillow, but my anxiety was through the roof because I couldn’t feel his kicks that much (I usually felt them a lot at night). After another hour, I finally got up, drank some cold water, and walked around until I felt ten kicks. Whew. My 37-week appt was in a few hours, so I knew I’d get answers soon, even if it was just me being paranoid.
At the appointment, she checks his heartbeat, and everything is okay. I’m getting ready to pack up and walk out the door when my Dr. asked me if I had any questions or concerns. THIS moment is significant.
My mind was saying, “Don’t make a big deal. You’re probably anxious since that’s an effect of your thyroid medicine, and you’re hormonal. The doctor probably has somewhere she needs to be too; you need to feed my swirl girl, and hubby has a 10 am call, so you don’t want him to be late for that.” She asked me again, “What’s up?” I paused and then told her that it took the full two hours to feel ten kicks, but it probably wasn’t a big deal. She looked at me and said, “Really? The full two hours? Let’s do an ultrasound.”
I thought through all the reasons I shouldn’t spend more time at the appointment and told her, “Ahh, I’m probably just being paranoid. It’s okay.” She waved her hand and said, “Let’s do a check for your peace of mind!” I was a little frustrated I had said anything but laid back as she applied the ultrasound gel to my belly. She was quiet for a second and then said, “Hmmm, the only large pocket of fluid is where the chord is.” She pointed it out to me and continued searching for fluid before turning to look at me and saying, “Let’s go ahead and induce you today.”
Wait what?! Apparently, he measured bigger than 37 weeks, and my fluid level was just below the minimum amount. This condition is referred to as Oligohydramnios or Oligo for short, as I’d learn later. She looked at me and said, “We will monitor his heart for 20 minutes, and then you can head over to the hospital.”
God Laughs When We Plan
“Are we having a baby today?” Hubby cheekily asked me this every time he picked me up from an OBGYN appt. Since he couldn’t come into my appts, he’d sit in the car and wait until I called him to pick me up. But this time, when he asked me, “Are we having a baby today?” he was not expecting my “Actually…yes!”
Everything moved in fast forward after that. He rushed home, picked up our carefully packed hospital bag, the nurse kits I made, dropped off my swirl girl with our friends, texted our village, called parents, and picked me up. We were in a state… shock, excitement, and déjà Vu. This was our third labor & delivery visit within a year! Maybe that’s why we “checked in” to the hospital as if we were checking into a vacation— eager. I cannot tell you the sense of relief I had, knowing that after all the months of being unsure if this boy was okay, we were so close to meeting him.
The strange thing this time is that I didn’t feel a single contraction. I received Pitocin at 1 pm, an epidural after that, my doctor broke my water after, and by 5 pm, I was ready to push. Oh– I also ate a popsicle in the middle of that HAHA. While we waited on my doctor, I took in that scene before my first push. Masks on everyone, sooo 2020. Music in the background—Drake, Surfaces, and worship music, of course. My partner and best friend on one side, our fabulous doula on the other. The lights bright above me and the nurses chatting excitedly around me.
Then, the door opened, my doctor entered, looked at me, smiled, and said, “Ready when you are!” In that first push, my doctor said she saw his head. Hubby and I looked at each other, somewhat emotional and sweet, gearing up for as long as this labor would take. But, in that second push, he was out.
Y’all, I had a baby on my chest that I couldn’t fully see, thanks to my mask! And I couldn’t take the mask off because one of the nurses didn’t feel comfortable (I was frustrated at the time, but I’m over it now :D). But back to the baby on my chest. I’m not sure I’ve EVER been more shocked. I remember I pushed for a couple of hours before finally crying with thankfulness and victory when I met my Swirl Girl. With Sir Swirl, it happened so fast I think I laughed. In fact, I know I did. He weighed more than my girl, had the sweetest little cry, and was finally here.
I’ll never forget holding him and feeling so thankful that the months of bed rest and worry were finally over. Whew. He laid on my chest for a little bit before they cleaned him up, weighed him, and gave him back to me. His body temperature wasn’t regulating well, so they kept him under a warmer for a bit, and once his temperature was in a reasonable range, they moved us over to post-labor.
The whole thing happened so fast I didn’t have much time to wrap my head around him being here, but honestly, my second labor and delivery reminds me that every mom, every labor, every pregnancy, every baby is different and just as miraculous. When we got to the post-labor room, hubby left to go get us some delicious P-Terry’s, I fed baby boy (he latched QUICK) and answered a few emails, and we just enjoyed being a family of three (four but our girl wasn’t with us). When I finally was able to take a shower, OH MY it was glooooorious. I basically lived in my bathrobe haha. COVID meant that family and friends couldn’t come to the hospital but you know…it was okay. We actually enjoyed the quiet and rested when we could.
I’m sharing some pics from the hospital below…