i found out i was pregnant the day before st patrick’s day 2019. we hadn’t been trying to get pregnant, but also hadn’t been trying to prevent it. we knew we wanted claire to have a sibling sooner or later, and with her turning 2 years old the next month it seemed like great timing! the kids would be about 2.5 years apart in age.
we decided to tell our family after claire’s second birthday party. after her friends left, we told our parents that claire had one last gift to open! we had put a “best big sister ever” and “i’m a big sister!” book in a gift bag for her to open in front of them. it took a few seconds, but everyone finally understood the gift and they were all so excited!
my due date was 11/22 and we had decided not to find out the sex of the baby. it made it such a big surprise and i would love to do that again! claire was born 4 days late so i had a feeling our second baby would be born late too. however, at 36 weeks there was a problem with my measurements and my OB diagnosed me with polyhydramnios (excess amniotic fluid). i freaked out, did tons of google searches and cried way too much. she said that the excess fluid was putting too much stress on my uterus and it was likely that i would go in to labor soon. we were scheduled for weekly ultrasounds to check my measurements, and by the next week things were back to normal!
my due date was a friday, just like it was with claire. friday came and went, and still no sign of the baby. we had requested extra monitoring once i got to 39 weeks pregnant. i started doing twice weekly nonstress tests, which the baby was acing! the baby was happy where they were and there were no signs they were coming early.
i wanted to know there was an end date to my pregnancy, so we scheduled an induction for 41 + 3 (10 days late). however, when i was 40+4 i saw a different doctor in my practice who strongly suggested we move the induction date up due to a new study that had just come out citing the risk of going past 41 weeks. i really wanted to trust my body and let the baby come when they were ready, but i also didn’t want to put the baby at risk. i agreed to be induced at 40+5, the day before thanksgiving.
we were told to show up to the hospital at 11am on november 27. once we got there, the nurse said i would be hooked up to pitocin but i wasn’t ready. i wanted a low intervention birth and wasn’t sure i even wanted the pitocin. i requested to be checked to see how dilated i was and if they could do a membrane sweep. i was 4-5cm dilated and the doctor was able to do a membrane sweep. after a few hours, nothing was happening so i consented to the pitocin.
the nurses kept cranking the pitocin up, and while i was having regular contractions (1 minute long every 2-3 minutes), they were not painful. the doctor would come check on me every 4 hours or so and ask if i was ready to have my water broken. in my written birth plan, having my water broken was one thing i really didn’t want to happen. i was convinced that because i didn’t go into labor on my own and because the pitocin wasn’t making my body dilate, that the baby just wasn’t ready to come out! i was worried if my water broke before it was ready that nothing else would happen and i would have to have a c-section. so i continued on pitocin from 2pm on the 27th until 2pm on the 28th (thanksgiving day).
at this point, i was emotionally drained. it was the first time i was away from my daughter, claire, and i was a wreck. i spent probably 80% of the time i was in labor crying because i missed her so much! i begged everyone to let me go home. i was not in the right mental space to be in labor. so, the doctor told me i could take a break – take a shower, eat some lunch (my first meal in over 24 hours!) and then start again. they said that sometimes a pitocin break was all your body needed to jumpstart labor.
my husband got a pizza from the cafeteria, i took a shower, and i tried to get back in the game. after about an hour, i was hooked back up to pitocin. after 4 more hours of regular, but not painful contractions, the doctor came back in to check my progress. i was still 4-5 cm dilated. i was devastated! still, i begged to go home. the doctor said i could go home, but my husband said the only way we were going home is if we had a baby with us, so i stayed. after 30 hours of pitocin, i finally agreed to have my water broken. i was so worried there would be meconium in the water (like there was with claire), but the water was clear and i cried i was so relieved!
after my water broke, things happened really quickly. contractions immediately began to feel painful. i had my husband use a tennis ball to provide counter pressure on my back while i rolled on the birthing ball. my husband called the nurse in and asked what to do if the baby was coming and she said “just catch it!” finally, the pain was so intense that i laid down as far as i could on the loor. my husband freaked out and called the nurse in again to come check me. she said i was 9 cm. the next contraction i told my husband that i couldn’t do this anymore — which i had previously told him that is what i would say right before it was time to start pushing.
he called the nurse in again and begged her not to leave this time. she checked me again and i was 10 cm – ready to push! part of my birth plan was that i didn’t want to be coached on pushing, and the nurse and doctor were completely hands off. i pushed when i felt like it and took a lot of breaks. it felt like i pushed forever, but in reality i only pushed for 12 minutes and then lucy was born!
she was born at 10:30pm thanksgiving day, and was 8lbs 5 oz – a full 2 pounds larger than claire! i couldn’t believe i had such a big baby without any pain medication. it truly is incredible what your body can do! lucy latched right away and nursed like a champ. she eats great, sleeps great, and poops allllll the time. we couldn’t be happier!