At my 39w appointment, I was 1cm and 50% effaced. Completely disappointing as I had been having hard contractions for days. My midwife told me that because my abdominal muscles were stretched out (thanks twins... and four pregnancies) basically baby was hanging out front, not pushing down on my cervix like it needed to be. I went right from my appointment to Motherhood to grab a support belt to kind of lift and pull my belly in a bit.
39w1d was December 10-Patrick's last day in the MC. He checked out and we had his going away dinner that night.
2:17am is the first contraction I clocked on the 11th. A super hard contraction woke me up a few minutes before, and I had to use the bathroom so I went in there and plop-plug came out. All of it. After that they kept coming hard and consistent-about 6-7 minutes apart. I called the midwife after about 45 minutes because I was nervous that they'd get closer together quickly and that I wouldn't make it to Savannah. I woke Patrick up and we quickly headed down there. I was still about 6-7 minutes apart, so we went to Waffle House to grab some breakfast. Took a super classy picture there and gorged on the best bacon I've ever had and two massive waffles.
Still contracting about the same, we headed then to Walmart to walk because it was a little too chilly outside. Then they stopped. I was so upset, and kept walking, but nothing. We bought a newspaper and ended up driving home, completely exhausted from only getting a couple hours of sleep and feeling pretty defeated.
We got home, took kids to school, and just kind of moped around for a bit. I went to bed to rest for a little while, but it was hard with the work being done on the addition. Finally I dozed off for about 20-30 minutes and was woke up again with a super hard contraction and I knew at that point it was different because my mood had changed. I got up, came out to the living room, and sat on the exercise ball and clawed at the arm of the couch with every contraction (they were hard but very very sporadic-2-4 minutes apart) but I knew we had to go immediately because I honestly wanted to punch everyone in the face. I called again to let them know we were on our way and we left. The drive was awful, not the peaceful drive we had had at 3 in the morning. Every contraction I was clinging to the car, frantically trying to arrange pickup instructions for the kids in between. And then we got to Bluffton (halfway) and it was there that I realized that we had moved the infant car seat into the back of the van when we took kids to school. Patrick asked if I wanted to turn around... I said yes... and then no. He kept going and immediately after that I had (no joke) a 6 minute contraction. During that, there was a truck that pulled out in front of us, and that hurt pretty bad, having to brake super hard. I was convinced at that point that we weren't going to make it.
Thankfully, however, we did. Once I got out of the car and could move around and was taking my vitals it slowed down a bit... which made me nervous that it was that morning all over again. I was hooked up to the machine shortly after and was contracting for sure, and then the midwife came in and checked me, asked if I was hoping to do a water birth, I said yes, she opened the door and yelled for the nurse to fill the tub NOW because I was at a 9. Cue the tears.
While the tub filled (which takes 15 minutes) I had to sit on the toilet (totally glamorous) in case my water broke before they broke it. It didn't, and when the tub was ready they moved me to the bed, broke my water, water was clear, and I had the blessing to birth in the water.
Patrick and I got in and I relaxed through a few contractions. The water and the bubbles felt so nice. Patrick was his normal jokester self and he and the nurse had a good old time cracking jokes-during contractions they'd be giggling quietly and I'd be begging him to not move an ounce (he was sitting on a step and I was leaning up against him). It wasn't long before I started pushing though, and it didn't take baby long to really move down. At one point I was feeling pain on the inside of my right leg-on a nerve-and we could see the baby kind of moving during contractions trying to get in the right position. My options were to try to move myself and my leg or get out and on the bed in a different position to help baby adjust-selfish me just adjusted myself as well as I possibly could and thankfully it worked. Then it got intense and a few pushes later-once I got the right position and pushed the right way-baby was out. Jack arrived at 3:36pm-amazing and beautiful with a head full of long, dark hair.
Jack and I snuggled while waiting on the cord-once it stopped pulsating, Patrick cut it and we got out and made our way over to the bed so I could deliver the placenta. That happened, I got two stitches, and we were able to snuggle for quite a long time. The birth center experience is just such a completely overwhelmingly different experience and I am SO SO THANKFUL that I was able to do it. It was seriously the perfect way to finish things up-as Jack will be our last, unless God has other bigger plans for us (and in that case, we will be thrilled about another little blessing). Once I was ready to get up and move around and use the bathroom, they took Jack to weigh and measure him and do his initial examination-perfectly healthy, 8 pounds, 20 inches. And SO MUCH HAIR.
We had a relaxing night just waiting on his bloodwork to come back from the hospital. His respirations were a little high, so we hung out for a little extra time, but we were still discharged at around midnight and were home at 1. Completely whirlwind day-in less than 24 hours we went to Savannah twice, had a baby, and got to come home.
We had such a relaxing first weekend home. Jack is a wonderful baby (so far, haha!). Starting Monday though... that was a completely different story. Reality hit in an awful way. 6 hours in the van, because that's our life... it was like that all week and completely wreaked havoc on my body. I won't sugar coat that it was completely horrible and painful and made me an emotional wreck. Patrick started his new job on Monday, so the first three weeks he works 10 1/2 hour days 6 days a week-not crazy different from the MC but in the MC he had time off after I had a baby to heal. I spent most of the week being frustrated and bitter, but thankfully after a weekend home I'm feeling ok now. I can still feel my insides re-settling but I know I'll get there, and hopefully by the end of this week I'll be feeling like a new person. I know that in the end I won't remember how the week went, but how his birth went-in every way how I hoped it would-with Patrick right there as amazing support and completely trusting my body to do what I know it can do. Empowering in every single way.
Classy picture at Waffle House. I just didn't know if I would have another belly picture. Comparing this one to the 39w picture from two days before, I dropped a ton.
Contractions when they were BAD driving.
Sweet little man's first picture!
And that's where he was born! It was so soothing... the lights were dim, they had a (fake) candle going and the diffuser was on with Peace & Calming in it.
First hair washing was fun! He loved it.
The nurse had a lot of fun styling it afterwards! Some of the looks he tried out were Donald Trump, Elvis, and the bang spike that was popular in high school for the boys (including Patrick).
First night home went well! It's amazing how restful it can be when someone isn't changing your trash or refilling your water every hour of the night.
Then reality hits-we have five kids. Ahh!
I just couldn't imagine a more perfect peanut :)