Back in September I was in the best shape of my life and I when I found out that Cory and I would be welcoming one more little Coobs baby into our family. I very smugly assumed that I would continue to work out and eat healthy throughout my pregnancy, which would be easy of course, based on my past two easy pregnancies. As September came to a close, so did my career in Crossfit, as I hurt my back doing kettlebell swings. No big deal, I would still have running to keep me on track. As October rolled on, I did complete a relay run, but that was about that for me and running. Every attempt to go for a run resulted in an evening of sore hips and pelvis. By November, I gave up. In many ways. I was getting fat anyway, I couldn’t work out anyway, and so the downward spiral of my health set in. I was lucky that the real problems didn’t start until after our family trip to Disney, at which point I found that I could no longer lift my legs independently, and so the act of putting on and taking off pants became the chore that swinging weights and running laps had once been.
Here I am, June 6th, the day that I had been scheduled for an induction had little Eliot not decided to come on his own. Bless his heart for ending my misery before the 42 week mark. For that I will try to forget the last couple weeks of pregnancy where every night I went to bed wondering if these contractions were going to do the trick of sending me into real labor, or if they were just going to keep me awake and make going to work the next day a miserable experience.
On the night before Eliot was born I was feeling pretty desperate to have my baby. I had cried to my doctor that day at my appointment, basically begging for an induction and I went home defeated. I put on my running shoes, that had been neglected for months and decided to put the pain my pelvis aside and go for a long walk in the miserable afternoon heat. This was a last effort on my part to force this baby out. My walk was followed by a long bath and then a sudden shift in the pressure in my pelvis. Something was going on, and I wasn’t sure what that something was. I had told myself early on that I would not go to the hospital until I was in so much pain that I couldn’t stand it, but times were desperate and if i could just get to a point where they would keep me and start pumping in the pitocin, I was going to see the end to this miserable pregnancy and the beginning of getting to know my baby and starting to work on getting myself back to myself. I made a call to Labor and Delivery and when Cory came home from work we headed in to get checked out. at about 7:00 the on call doctor checked my progress that showed that I had progressed from a 2-3 cm status at noon that day to a good 4 cm and that the baby had dropped down, which explained the shift in pressure that I had felt. I was told to walk the halls for an hour and come back to see if any progress had been made, or if the results of the test indicating whether or not my water had broken had come back positive. If either of those things were the case, I would earn my ticket to labor and delivery admission.
After an hour or so of walking I told Cory that I didn’t hold out much hope and we might as well go back and learn my fate. To my surprise, I had progressed from 4 to a 5-6 cm and was told we were staying!
We got checked into our room at about 10:30 at night. I told Cory that he should get some rest while he could and I decided to try to keep the progress moving by pacing the room. At about 1:00 I decided to labor in the whirlpool tub. This had been the key to a comfortable drug free labor with Thea and I was sure that given my last labor, I could handle it again. Again my smug certainty based on past experience proved me wrong. Lets just skip ahead to 5:00 AM when my contractions had basically stopped and I had given up on the tub, as it was likely a bit too relaxing to keep my already lazy labor moving. I had figured that by 5 I would have a baby, but as it turns out, 5:00 was the time that the doctor decided to break my water to get things moving again. I was given a short deadline to make some progress or the pitocin would be started. Pitocin is often the end of a natural labor so I was once again walking the halls to try to move things along. In my broken water there was meconium detected, which was a small worry for all of us. It meant extra doctors in the room for delivery in case the baby had adverse effects from the meconium. After more walking and then some laboring in bed with the stronger contractions post water breakage I was fully effaced and 7-8 cm at 7 AM. The next 4 and a half hours were the most miserable of my life. I had natural childbirth with Thea, but my labor was half the time and I did not lose an entire nights sleep. By about 10 AM I was crying and wondering if I would be able to survive. 11:30, it was finally time to push and I had never felt such relief as I did at that moment. Eliot was born at 11:48 after a fast trip down the birth canal. I wasted no time getting him out of my body and as a result, he didn’t really get the squeeze to clear out the amniotic fluids that I new baby needs. When my girls were born they were both plopped right onto my chest. With Eliot, Cory was able to cut the chord and the Doctor passed him in front of my face so I could catch a glimpse of him, but he was wisked away and checked over before I got my hands on him. After a quick trip down the hall to the Transitions nursery in the NICU Eliot began to cry like a newborn should and was brought back to me for my first opportunity to hold my baby BOY. Cory and I were both a bit overwhelmed by the moment…and I had tears in my eyes as I inspected his sweet little face that resembled his Daddy so much, or his little hands…the exact miniatures of Cory’s large hands. All of the miserable memories of pregnancy and the long and uncomfortable labor melted away as I looked down at my boy. My last trip through labor and delivery was a fruitful one, and our family is completed with a sweet little prince.
For a week now I have woken up to his beautiful brown eyes looking over at me. I know newborns don’t smile, but there is undoubtedly a feeling of love and happiness in his eyes as he peers at me and waits for his morning nursing session. I could not be more in love with my one last baby, and my completed family. As we begin the journey of the last first time, I am drinking in every moment. Memorizing the way he smells, the sweet little baby faces he makes for me, the adorable way that he stretches his little body. I am spending my days in the recliner, holding my sweet boy and cuddling him every moment that he will allow it. One last time I have the honor of nursing a newborn baby from a tiny helpless being into a strong and chubby baby and I am enjoying every minute of it.