I wasn’t really planning to write out and share my birth story. I never officially shared Little Monster’s and it hadn’t crossed my mind to share Lil’ Boo’s either.
Then I saw (of all things) a Facebook advertisement. I realized that Lil’ Boo’s birth story might actually be something that could bring some hope and comfort to fellow expecting mothers anticipating the birth of their child during this pandemic.
So here I am, sharing what I hope won’t be too personal of a story for you, but all the same enjoyable and uplifting.
Back in October, we anticipated doing as we’d done for Little Monster and wait for Lil’ Boo to chose his arrival. I didn’t think anything would be an opposing factor to change my decision come April. As the Coronavirus situation escalated into the pandemic, the conversation with my OB regarding my labor changed significantly. As April rolled around, it was really feeling like everything I had hoped or planned for in regards to my delivery was being changed.
My OB brought up the conversation of induction as he shared the safety measures our hospital was taking. Knowing that I could go into labor on any day with a choice of three different OBs showing up for delivery, we made the decision to induce. The fact that my doctor also mentioned a 6-8 hour labor and delivery experience (which was a third of my labor time with Little Monster) may or may not have been an additional deciding factor. We planned to jump start labor on my doctor’s next available hospital shift that followed Lil’ Boo’s original due date of April 21st.
At midnight on Wednesday morning, with no sign of our boy budging, my husband and I checked in to the hospital full of positive thoughts and smiles. Upon arrival through ER, we did the COVID-19 pre-screening process, had my temperature checked and put on masks that were given to us to wear for the duration our hospital stay. Once they checked in with L&D that we were expected, we were escorted to the maternity ward.
We were taken care of by two lovely nurses. They got me hooked up to an IV to start a pitocin drip, reviewed our birth plan and thenvery kindly informed us that when it was just myself and my husband in out hospital room, we could take off our masks and relax as much as possible. We just had to be sure that when other staff came into the room, we put our masks on right away. This was an arrangement we were very happy to comply with.
All set up with my labor-inducing drugs and fluids by 1am, it was time to wait for the magic of labor to kick in.
Around 7am, we had a shift change from our cheery night-shift nurses to our new day-shift nurses. My OB came to check in on my progress around 9am and I was a little disappointed to hear that I hadn’t even reached the halfway point. It was looking like my doctor’s estimated 6-8 hours of laboring was a little off. Even with the aide of pitocin, my body was choosing to take it’s time getting ready for the big event.
Don’t I look thrilled by this news?
We discussed options with the doctor and the possibility of breaking my water if things didn’t start to progress. The nurses continued to check in on us every thirty to forty-five minutes until 11am came around. The doctor came in and they set up for breaking my water bag because, as you may have guessed, my body hadn’t made much progress.
Until this point, contractions hadn’t been too bad. They weren’t comfortable, but they were definitely bearable. I had brought along some coping tools to help when they came on and my husband was doing an awesome job with coaching me. In addition, it was fabulous NOT having to wear the mask as I worked through each sensation.
We were once again left to wait. Once my water had been broken, those contractions got a whole lot more intense.
Thankfully, so did my progress.
Perhaps not as quickly as I had hoped, but it definitely sped up. Unfortunately, each new contraction took it’s toll on my will-power. Around 4 or 5pm (I’m not really sure), I caved and asked for a little something just to distract from the contractions. No epidural please, but some sort of medication was sought after. They gave me something through my IV that helped for a little while, but didn’t last long.
Seeing the day get later, I was also getting discouraged. I had really thought we would have been holding our boy in my arms by eight in the morning, not evening. The contractions were only getting stronger and I was getting a little more impatient to get this guy out of me. At one point, I even started asking my husband if we could just opt for a C-section instead of continuing on.
7pm rolled around, bringing our two nurses who’d cared for us in the morning back for the night shift to start again. The day shift nurses said goodbye and someone came in saying it was go-time. I didn’t believe them and asked several times if they were serious. They laughed as they began to set up the room and transform my bed in preparation for delivery. I didn’t believe anyone until the doctor came in saying he and the nurses were going to get geared up and I should get ready to have this baby. I thought I was going to cry. Hearing it was time (and that I could finally push!) was overwhelming and exciting all at the same time.
The nurses and doctor came back into the room all suited up, my hubby put his mask and game face on, the mask I’d been given was swapped out for a fun clear oxygen mask and I was getting told it was time to push.
Not without one little hiccup to make me wait a smidge longer. Our boy was facing the wrong direction. He was coming out head first, but he was looking upwards when he should be looking down. I was asked if they could use a vacuum to help turn him around, which I happily (and quickly) agreed to. We got him facing the right way and after about ten pushes, our little man was ready to be put in my arms.
The delivery part of labor was a true show of how amazing the hospital staff really were. My doctor was so fantastic about helping me refocus during pushing and guiding my breathing while keeping eye contact to direct my attention. The nurses felt like our family away from family and kept things lively and positive. When it was cord cutting time, one of them just took the camera from my husband without question and started taking pictures of him cutting the cord.
My labor was half as long as it was with my first, totaling to 17ish hours. I’m not sure why, but the hours leading up to delivery felt longer. I spent the majority of my laboring in bed thanks to the medications and I wasn’t permitted to move around when the contractions were really getting to me out of concern I might fall.
Still, as you can see from my smile, all went well and the results couldn’t have been better.
Considering this was quarantine experience, there weren’t major differences from my daughter’s delivery two and a half years ago. Having both of my children at the same hospital made it easy to compare the experiences. Nothing felt vastly different or stressful outside of the normal markers brought on by labor. Obviously the check-in process was a little different and the requirement to wear a mask was new. Sure, we couldn’t have guests like we did before, but nothing really stood out in a major way and felt like “We’re in quarantine and it’s going to make it really challenging to have this baby”.
Once I got to hold this cutie in my arms, I really could care less about what was going on in the rest of the world. This guy felt like the best thing in it and all the little worries just melted away.
The rest of our hospital stay went off without issues and within 24 hours, we were on our way home to introduce our Little Monster to her Lil’ Boo.
All in all, I’m glad I had this experience to share. However, I’m so thrilled that Lil’ Boo is our second and final baby. Both of my pregnancies were really great and my labors weren’t anything complicated, but I definitely didn’t love the length of labor. That alone has been more than enough for me to want to focus on raising my two babies instead of looking forward to growing more. XD
If you’ve read this far, join me in raising a glass to toast to the miracle of childbirth and the blessings of another completed pregnancy.