**Disclaimer - this is the long version. If anyone gets uncomfortable and/or squeamish reading about birthing details, read the short version here.
I woke up shortly after 4am on Wednesday to make another routine run to the bathroom. A few minutes after getting back in bed, my water broke with a big gush! We left for the hospital at 5:30. As usual for me - no contractions, well, nothing more than the braxton hicks type contractions I've been having for months.
After walking around trying to get contractions going, my dr came in at 8:30 to check me. I was already 3 cm - which is a lot more than I've ever been at the beginning before, so I was happy about that, hoping I would go into labour on my own for the first time.
Unfortunately, due to being at a small town hospital with minimal extra staff on hand, there was no one available to help with a pitocin induction if it became necessary, until 6pm. If nothing happened, 6pm would be too long to wait due to my water breaking and the risk of infection.
So, after talking to another ob, she decided it would be ok to induce with cervadil first (not usually done if you're already "ready" and dilated to 3cm) as long as it was put in front of the cervix. (If it goes into the cervix it can cause a contraction that won't let go, which is obviously not a good thing.)
The cervadil worked to some degree. Contractions came regularly but only 10 mins apart at first. They gradually started to get closer together - by 6pm they were about 4 -5 mins apart and my dr came to check things out again and I was 5cm. So, the nurse was now available to come in and monitor the pitocin induction, so they started that right away, and contractions immediately became more intense and closer together. Being a small town hospital, an epidural was not an option (my last 2 didn't work anyway). They could've done a spinal, but I opted for the laughing gas instead. It helps enough to get me through it.
By 9 o'clock I had progressed to 8cm and was starting to feel a bit pushy so the nurse called my dr in, knowing that things can move quickly at the end, especially when it's not your first. By the time the dr came I was pretty much fully dilated, but there was a lip along the top and right of the cervix that wouldn't dilate - it was stuck. And whenever my body involuntarily pushed it would thicken everything else too. So, I had to flip to hand/knees to keep the weight of the baby off the cervix to get rid of the lip. It worked until I turned back around and then the lip came back.
So, I had to start pushing - only involuntarily (which is incredibly difficult!) - on hands/knees to get the baby past the lip. This type of pushing was so much harder than any I had ever experienced before. My last two were so easy by the time pushing came, I just assumed that this would be the same. I had to push slow, stop pushing, push hard, push slow - everything! I thought it would never end. Finally the head was out - but then there was another problem - the baby's shoulders were stuck (shoulder dystocia) which can be very dangerous. They have about 7 mins to deliver the baby before things are really serious. They immediately called in more help in case extra measures were necessary for delivery. The words, "we need more help in here" are not ones a mother wants to hear. Meanwhile the nurse and Nathan forcibly pushed back my knees as far as they could physically go, and the dr inserted her hand and manually twisted the baby's shoulders to get them out. Yes, this hurt. And yes, that's an understatement. Thankfully, this maneuver worked and our precious boy was finally delivered at 11:06pm! I could not believe it was finally over. For me anyway. As he was already turning blue they worked on him immediately (instead of giving him to me like they were going to originally). But everything was finally ok and they could finally let me hold him.
Unfortunately, with the "trauma" of the delivery, it took me awhile to grasp the fact that we actually had a boy! The laughing gas, combined with the intense pain of this delivery, along with the panickyness I could sense in the room was hard for my mind to take in, and I didn't fully understand what was going on at the time. Perhaps this was a good thing.
It took awhile to deliver the placenta, probably because it was so big. In fact, it was so big, it came out folded in half! Miraculously I only needed 3 stitches - which my doctor credited to my controlled pushing. I told her I had never felt to out of control in my life! But I guess I managed to obey pushing orders successfully, so that's good. I asked my dr how long I pushed for and was shocked when she told me only 26 minutes. It felt way longer than that that's for sure.
Jacob Nathaniel Glenn was born on Wednesday, January 23rd at 11:06pm. The doctor immediately said he was over 10 lbs and she was right - 10 lbs 8 oz to be exact, and 22 3/4" long.
Thankfully he wasn't shorter or he would've been even chubbier! And thankfully I didn't go any more overdue than I did - that could have turned pretty serious. His head was 37cm (average is 35cm - 2cm makes a big difference!), but obviously it was the size of his shoulders that was the problem, not the head. Amazingly, he didn't have a cone head after all that either!
So, that's the long version of our birth story. The ending has cemented what was already finalized - this is definitely our last baby. I'll try to post pictures tomorrow.