Fletcher was my 3rd pregnancy and the 3rd time using the nurse midwives at the hospital.
My due date was Tuesday, May 23. No signs of labor on that day…. Not even sure what I did on that day, but giving birth wasn’t one of them.
Leading up to Fletcher's birthday!
On Thursday the 25th, I started feeling cramping that felt very similar to the cramping I felt just hours before I went into labor with Ford. So, I got excited and thought for sure I’d meet Fletcher the next day!
I did have mild contractions throughout the night, but none that ever escalated too much. Not even enough for me to call my midwife.
Things started to amp up a little on Friday morning with some random contractions being a little more intense. I cleaned the house, prepped my hospital bag, and went on a 2 mile speed walk in the rain. The contractions were still coming, but not increasing much in intensity or in interval.
I decided I wanted Chick-fil-A as my (hopefully) last meal pregnant, so I left the big boys with Daddy and I went to the drive-thru. The teenage boy taking my order asked which meal was mine that I just ordered and when I told him he said it was free because he said he noticed I was pregnant and looked like I was due any time. He said he felt bad for me because he heard that it hurts. I told him thank you, but he didn’t have to feel bad for me! It does hurt, but it’s such a gift to get to do this. But, yay for free Chick-fil-A, cause it ain’t cheap.
When I got home, while eating I had a few more intense contractions that made me think, “OK, maybe tomorrow I’ll meet my baby.” We went about our normal evening routine, getting the big boys baths and into bed. We had been talking to them about the possibility of waking up without us being there and one of the grandparents being there instead. They were so excited to meet Fletcher that they were ok with that.
As the night went on, the contractions started intensifying and somewhat get closer together. Around 1:30am I called my midwife to let her know what was going on and to get her input. Even though I had done this 2 other times, with the hospital being close to an hour away, I like to get their insight. She said it was up to me whether I stayed or went, but because I was Group B Strep positive I should get there in enough time to get 2 rounds of penicillin. I really didn’t want to take it, but at the time I didn’t have enough gumption to just full on say no. I felt torn. When I shared that with her she said to stay home until it was too late to get the penicillin. (easier said than done).
While I was up I drank a smoothie and had a small snack (I went to the hospital with an empty stomach with Copeland and I learned my lesson!)
It's baby time!! I head to the hospital.
Around 1:45am I packed the last minute items into my hospital back, put in my contacts and fixed my face and put my hair up.
I did go back to bed around 2:15am to at least get some more rest… I’m not one that can sleep between contractions. But, I knew that lying down would be beneficial.
I didn’t last too long before the contractions were getting too intense for lying down. At 3:30am I called my mom to tell her it was Baby Time. She went to the hospital with us while my dad stayed with the big boys. I woke up Kyle at this point, too.
Mom and Dad got to my house and we headed to the hospital around 4am. Thankfully traffic was light at this time and we got to the hospital easily. I had quite a few big contractions on the way and during one Fletcher moved and, wow, that hurt!
We got to the hospital and while I was in triage I had the bloody show. I was at 5-6cm, Fletcher’s heartbeat was strong and steady, and they got my IV in and penicillin going. (womp womp)
I was able to get into a tub room and I soaked for a little while because I was pretty tired from a restless night. I didn’t want to hang out in there too long because soaking in the tub slowed my labor down a ton with Copeland’s birth. So after about 20 minutes, I got out.
The nurse I had was so worried that I would deliver in the tub and kept reminding me to get out if I felt like I needed to push or had any pressure. She said the week prior a mom almost delivered her baby on the toilet. The nurse barely got her to the bed before the baby came. It sounded like it traumatized the nurse a bit. BUT, with all her talk about “you could be ready to push” (even though I knew I wasn’t) and “your third baby is unpredictable” got my hopes up and she encouraged me to get checked again. I wish I listened to myself instead of her, but I got checked and I was still at 6cm. (Not surprisingly because it hadn’t been that long since they initially checked me…)
Thankfully, it was about time for the shift change and the new nurse that came in was calmer. At this point I was just trying to rest between contractions and focus and breathe through them. I would change positions in the bed, but mostly I sat on my knees facing the back of the upright bed, leaning on the top. When a contraction would come I would lean back into an all fours position, but with my arms still on the top of the bed, letting my belly hang a little while swaying side-to-side. When it would pass, I would lean forward and rest my head on my arms. I did this for a while while listening to Scripture Lullabies.
Around 9:10am they gave me the second round of penicillin and broke my water. I really don’t like having much intervention during labor, but with my past 2 births my water didn’t break, even while being dilated almost fully. Each time my waters were broken, labor kicked up and baby was born not long after. So, once my water was broken, Kyle and I walked the hallways and labor really picked up.
At 10:45am the midwife checked me again and I was at 8cm and Fletcher was really low.
Around 11:15/11:30am, the contractions were getting way more intense and I was starting to feel pressure.
I did a few spinning baby stretches through contractions and used the peanut ball some, then back to all fours.
During one of the spinning baby stretches the song “I Am Here” came on and I started to get really emotional thinking about how I wasn’t even sure I’d have any babies at one point (maybe I'll share that story one day...) and there I was giving birth to my 3rd. I felt overwhelmed with gratitude to God for entrusting me with another great blessing.
Then I got overwhelmed and got frustrated with my midwife and nurse because I kept telling them I was feeling like I was about ready to push and they’d come in for a minute then leave. Then when I’d get my mom to get them back in the midwife would ask if I felt pressure… um, YES! At this point I missed the midwife I had for my first 2 births.
I started to feel like I didn’t know what I was doing and a little out of control. I expressed that and started to push. I started pushing while on my side, but quickly wanted to change positions back to all fours/how I was earlier leaning against the back of the upright bed.
This is when I really had to focus! Kyle leaned in and prayed with me and as he prayed I felt renewed. I listened to my body and pushed with all I had. It helped to lean back toward my heels and bear down a bit. A few pushes later and Fletcher was born making the best crying sound. I slowly flipped onto my back and they laid him on my chest. He immediately made his way to my breast and nursed! He stayed latched and even nursed on the other side for nearly 2 hours!
Once the umbilical cord was void of blood, they clamped it and Kyle cut it. I birthed the placenta and the cramping started. Plus, the painful pushing down on the belly that the nurses do. It really feels like they touch my spine.
I was having really heavy bleeding, so they gave me some pitocin to encourage uterine cramping to stop the heavy bleeding. It helped.
After about 2 hours, they took Fletcher's weight and length.
Fletcher was 7lbs 15oz and 21.5” long.
Since it was a holiday weekend (Memorial Day), and I was GBS positive, we weren’t able to go home until Monday. But, thankfully, it was an uneventful stay and overall, a great birth!
A few things I’ve learned from this that I would do differently:
Don’t let someone else’s experience affect my expectations so much. That nurse really got into my head and it really altered how my mindset was throughout the rest of my labor. Not only her, but so many people told me how their 3rd births went sooo much faster and I thought that that would mean mine likely would, too.
Don’t get “checked” so much. It was discouraging just about every time, even though I knew I wasn’t as far along as the nurse was saying I could be.
If you're pregnant or hoping to become pregnant, I hope my story encourages you! I pray your pregnancy, labor, and birth are healthy and full of joy! Here's a link to the FREE newborn content I have for you!