Baby Logan's Colorado Birth Story
After working to keep our little bundle growing in the womb, I knew assumed he would make his appearance early - the question was, how early.
Even with believing little Logan would be early, I didn’t complete my birth plan or get our hospital bag ready until we were almost 37 weeks along. Cutting it a bit close since our daughter was born on her 37 week milestone. Thankfully that all worked out.
Now, as many of you know, I started having braxton hicks contractions very early this time around, so to say I was used to them would be an understatement. But just two days after getting the cerclage removed (our 37 week milestone) the contractions got much more powerful.
After about three hours of drinking water and relaxing with no end to the powerful contractions, we dropped our daughter with her sitter and made our way to the hospital a good 45 minutes away in the dead of night.
Upon arrival, we discovered I was in fact dilated to a two. This looked promising until we found that I wasn’t dilating passed this point. So back home we went - a little disappointed but happy he had a little more time to grow.
Thankfully at this point, the contractions spaced back out to 10-12 minutes apart giving me a chance to sleep - albeit uncomfortably with lots of wake times. I knew that even with stronger contractions there was still no real timeline for our baby boy's birth date. Some women stay at a 2 for weeks or even months - I just didn’t expect that to be me.
The very next night, I laid on the couch (we are very late night people by nature) timing contractions again, drinking water, waiting for them to go away. After too much water to speak of and another four hours of waiting, we decided to go in again. I was still at a 2, even with steady, painful contractions. After more monitoring, we were sent home for a second time.
To be honest, this was where I started to get very weary. How was I going to know when I was really in labor if my contractions were not actually working the way I thought they should be? I had already lost my mucus plug and knew better than to wait for my water to break since both of my previous deliveries it broke right before it was time to push.
But, home we went. Now we decided to attempt to move things along, trying all the things: spinning babies, yoga positions, spicy food, walking all over, many showers, cleaning everything, even sex. Nothing was making anything happen. I continued to lose mucus (which I still think is strange), the contractions continued at a powerful rate, but nothing seemed different.
The next night, after continuing all the things, my contractions got stronger, this time every two minutes consistently. So off to the hospital we went again - very late into the evening. This time was different, third time was the charm, right?
Wrong, I was still at a 2. I cried. This hurt, it hurt bad and there was no break now. Steady, long contractions every two minutes. They monitored me longer this time, hoping something would change. Hoping if I walked enough, bounced enough, swayed enough my body would catch up with itself and get the show started.
This is when I discovered what prodromal labor really was: being in early labor for an extended period of time. This sucked. We were sent home again. I remember telling my husband that I was not going to know when “real” labor really was because this was it - this felt like it. I told him we weren’t going to make it to the hospital when it was time because I wouldn’t know to leave early enough. I cried with every contraction for hours.
I felt my birth plan slipping away from me. I didn’t believe I could go on like this for days or weeks and then labor and deliver unmedicated. My body was tired, my mind was in a haze. I couldn’t do it. We started discussing induction with the doctor, but since we had not yet made it to 39 weeks, there was nothing they were willing to do.
So we waited. Mark (my husband) continued to work as usual, and I decided I was going to do nothing - as much of nothing as possible with a 3 year old running around. So that is what I did - nothing. I laid on the couch or in bed until the contractions hurt to bad to lay, then I did more yoga and showered until I laid some more.
My mind continued to wear on me. Everything hurt so bad and I can’t describe how tired I was. This was a terrible time in this pregnancy. I worked to clear my mind and remember how much I love being pregnant. His little baby kicks and hiccups were comforting but were no longer helping me make it through the days.
After 9 long days of this prodromal labor bogus, I decided it was time to get back to working on the house. So all day, I cleaned. I deep cleaned the entire kitchen from walls to dished to the floor, re-organized the living room and moved all the baby things. I was restless. Mark gave me a short massage that night to help calm my nerves.
We finally decided to go to bed shortly after 1 am (like I said, we are night owls). Mark fell asleep upon his head hitting the pillow, Sarah fell asleep shortly after, I remained awake - mind too busy to shut off. I finally started to doze off when I got the urge to use the bathroom, you know for the seven-hundredth time that day.
In my groggy state, I sat there, easily for twenty minutes or longer not wanting to get up. Something felt different. My contractions were the same as they had been for days, nothing new was happening, but something was different. I sat there, on the toilet, just blank.
I was not going back to the hospital unless it was really time.
Making my way back to our bed, I had a super strong, powerful contraction. I breathed through it and got into bed. Another one came, I woke Mark up. They were still two minutes apart but the time between them felt longer. As I was about to tell him it was okay to fall back to sleep, a third came and up we got.
I called Kaiser's nurse line because I know they like when you call ahead. Answering all the questions as I helped pack up our daughter for the fourth time, I lied about how long I had felt this way and headed to the hospital, dropping Sarah off on the way.
We hadn’t gotten more than 5 minutes up the road when I told Mark I didn’t think we were going to make it. I was feeling pushy and we weren’t even halfway there yet. Keep your legs closed he joked. It was snowing and he was doing everything he could to remain calm, and get us there as fast as he could, as safely as he could. I needed to push.
They again wheeled me up to labor and delivery and I waved to the nurses again. Getting in the bed I told them I needed to push and they looked at each other with a bit of disbelief but continued to work fast - just in case. One nurse inserted my IV through a contraction while another nurse (or maybe the doctor) checked me.
I was at a 9! We had made it all the way there and I was at a 9. I have never been so relieved to know I was in labor and ready. My doula was not there yet so one of the nurses helped talk me through how to breath through as my body was not actually ready quite yet. But my body was actively pushing him even without me trying.
My mantra had become “I don’t wanna.” I knew I could do it. I knew I had to do it. I knew it would all be okay. But all I could say was “I don’t wanna.” My husband kept telling me that I was doing great and the nurses kept telling me I could do it. But… “I don’t wanna.”
After about a half hour of being there, it was time to push. Even though my body had been trying to push him out for an hour, now that the doctor said the words “you can push now” my body stopped wanting to push. So three more contractions went by and I just worked through them.
Then my body was ready and I pushed, and pushed. I only pushed for about 20 minutes but it definitely felt a lot longer. As the nurse began to tell me a more efficient way of pushing, I went to ease him out one more time and out he came (in two pushes). They laid him on my chest and all I felt was relief.
My legs were shaking uncontrollably, my body was numb and my nether region was on fire. But the only thing I could focus on was the sweet baby laying on my chest. He was here, he was perfect and we had done it.
We had decided for a bit of delayed cord clamping so after a few minutes Mark cut the cord (an experience he will always do for our children but one he would definitely like to forget the feeling of), they stitched me up and let us have a few minutes to breathe as a family.
While the nurses were still present to check on me and make sure all was still well, they all left us alone for a little over an hour. They even let us work on his first latch (because we all know I plan to breastfeed) before taking his measurements and moving us to the mom and baby room.
Weighing in at over a pound and a half more than his sister, I can’t help but wonder if it was his size or if he was just in a wonky position to work his way out causing so long of early labor. But in the end, I am just glad he is here, he is healthy, and he is loved.
All photos in this blog courtesy of Monet Nicole with Monet Nicole Photography. A talented birth photographer, caring mother, and fabulous woman.