Connor was born Tuesday morning at 5 am on July 17th, 2018.
I had a feeling he wasn’t going to come early and I was right. I elected to be induced at 41 weeks because of how large his brother Tommy was at birth. Tommy was 10 days late and while I was induced with him, I think labor started that morning as my induction took a total of 12 hours from start to finish.
I wrote this blog post at the hospital sharing a 41 week update in between doses of cytotec sharing what I did to get labor moving but failed to do so. I know that most babies come on their own terms and that 42 weeks is healthy and normal but I was nervous about the size of the baby and him getting stuck as well as my own postpartum recovery. So that was why I scheduled my induction and here is the rest of the story…
We arrived at Beth Israel hospital a little after 8 am. I was convinced I’d have a baby by 3:30 pm. Nick said after 8 pm. I got checked in and was still at 1.5 dilated and like 50% effaced which meant I had a long way to go. One of the nurses made a comment about having my baby “tomorrow” and I was like, “What??? You mean this may take longer than my first?”
I was given one dose of cytotec up my lady parts and had to lie down for an hour. After the hour, I had 3 more hours to kill before I was given another dose. Nick went and grabbed me lunch from Clover before labor started so I wouldn’t be starving all night. With T, I ate breakfast and that was it! He was born at 11 pm so the kitchen was closed and I had to wait for breakfast to eat something. Brutal.
With Tommy, I went right into labor with just one dose so I expected similar results despite believing I was having contractions prior to arriving at the hospital with T. We walked around the hospital floor and worked on our computers and were bored – cue me writing a 41 week update blog post. Once it was time to get checked again, there was little to no progress so I had another dose. This time, after I laid down for the hour, Nick and I decided to go out do dinner.
We visited Sweet Cheeks because why not eat Southern BBQ when you likely are going to be throwing up shortly. I didn’t even think of the other end… I actually just wanted their biscuits.
I also ordered a side of pulled chicken and then ate some of Nick’s sides. During labor with Tommy, I didn’t eat a thing and was so nauseous I was throwing up bile by the time I was pushing. I’m sort of surprised they let me eat whatever I wanted.
We got back to the hospital around 7 pm and had to be readmitted. We got a new room and new nurse. This nurse told me that despite some people needing 6 doses of cytotec to get things moving, she thought the third one for me would be the charm and I hoped she was right.
As it got late, I realized I was having contractions! I can’t remember the last time I was excited to be so uncomfortable. They were not as painful as I remembered with Tommy, more just like serious period cramps that you had back in High School. I tried to time them and realized they were getting regular. A girl in the room next to me was having serious contractions and I could hear her moaning and groaning. I said right then and there that I wanted my epidural before I got to that point.
Even though it felt like we did nothing all day, Nick and I were exhausted come 10 pm. I was told we would be moved to a labor and delivery room as soon as one was cleaned where Nick would be able to sleep on a cot. I knew I would request the epidural asap so that I could sleep before I had to push.
Finally at midnight we got our new room. My 3:30 pm prediction seemed like a joke at this point. I also had yet to think about 7/17 as a birthday. That sounds so weird to type but I just assumed my son was going to be born on the 16th for some reason. Nick got to lay down and shortly after the anesthesiologist came in to give me my pain relief. This is when I was finally given an IV unlike last time, when they gave it to me right away at my first cytotec dose. My pain was at about a 7 on a scale of 1-10 but I didn’t exactly want to experience the 10 again that I did with Tommy. I think at this time I was 5 cm dilated and wouldn’t need pitocin most likely!
I was always so nervous about getting an epidural because I hate needles, but both times I’ve had it done, it was less painful than getting an IV. I was quickly comfortable and was able to fall asleep which I would not have been able to do had I not been given the drugs. I surprisingly did not get sick off the epidural this time! I kept thinking I would but I did not.
At 2:30 am, I was woken up to break my water. They said labor would progress fast after that. I wasn’t able to fall back asleep as it felt like I was peeing myself.
Around 4:20 am, I started to feel a new sensation. I didn’t know what it was as I had not been able to feel much down there with Tommy. I called in my nurse and asked could I be ready to push? She quickly checked and said yes, I was fully dilated and would get the doctor. Nick was still asleep and I asked if I should wake him up. We gave him another 20 minutes. The nurse gave me a quick reminder as to how to push as I did zero birth planning.
I could feel the contractions coming and the urge to push is real. It was uncomfortable but not unbearable. At 4:40 pm, I began to push. Everyone acted like with your second the baby just falls out. I was exhausted and hoped I could push 3 times and be done!
After 20 minutes of pushing, I finally realized this was the complete opposite labor experience people had been teasing me about. They said it would be quick, maybe even on the side of the road in traffic.
About 15 minutes later, things got real. I started to push and could feel Connor’s head half in, half out. WTF! Isn’t this what the epidural is for I thought? They told me to hold it and wait for the next contraction which was maybe 1-2 minutes away! I’m glad I could feel it but I didn’t expect or prepare to feel it. Next thing I know, I felt another contraction and pushed without the go ahead and the baby was out! I pushed for a total of 40 minutes.
He started crying and I immediately noticed he had a dark head of curly hair. They put him on me, white slime and all per my request and I instantly fell in love. I asked if I needed any stitches and when they said, “No,” I was immediately relieved and happy that I could feel the “ring of fire.”
Connor weighed in at 8 lbs 12 ounces and 20 inches long, 2 ounces smaller than Tommy and 2 inches shorter! He feels like a peanut compared to his brother which must sound so silly but he does!
Exhausted and delirious, we wheeled into our postpartum room at 7:30 am to start our day on 2 and 4 hours of sleep.
So, it was a totally different experience than my induction with Tommy. It was long and slow but much less painful during and after! Part of me wishes that I had waited for him to arrive on his own terms but thanks to the Internet, I’ve just read too many horror stories and wanted my healthy baby out on the other side. It was also really helpful knowing that we had care for Tommy all lined up and were not scrambling against traffic to get grandparents into the city.
We left the hospital a day early because we were bored and wanted to get down to the Cape to see Tommy!