He is our sweetest, most delightful, joyful, hilarious, grand finale.
On the morning of the day he was born, I was having cramping (my husband would say contractions) on and off. Third time around, you would think I could figure out if I was in labour. I couldn’t. I was 4 days past my due date – but my 2nd was 7 days ‘late’ so as far as I was concerned, I could still have a while to go.
I was scheduled for a second acupuncture appointment that day, but I called to cancel because I thought my cramping MIGHT be a sign of labour to come. They said if I didn’t come in, the chiropractor wouldn’t be in for another 2 days.
Remember how I was 4 days past due? I kept my appointment.
My husband had a big meeting scheduled that day about an hour from our house. He told everyone the meeting might not happen, and he would let them know.
I made a run to a few stores to do some last-minute errands. I had to breathe deeply through some ‘cramping’ while I was out. I had to slow my walk and stop at times. ‘Maybe today?’ I thought.
I got home and everything stopped. Not a twinge. Nada.
I told my husband to go to his meeting. I got my things together to go to my appointment. I stopped in the kitchen for a freezie (delightful) before leaving.
And as I stood there, leaning forward, elbows propped on the counter, scrolling my phone in one hand and freezie in the other, my water broke on my JUST MOPPED kitchen floors. Everywhere.
So similar to my first.
But there was no panic or terror or chaos this time. I had been here before. I called upstairs to my husband to grab some towels because my water just broke. It was 12:28pm.
At my last appointment a few days earlier, I was told baby wasn’t engaged yet, so if my water broke before labour again, as it had with my first two, I was to lie down. Very rarely, the cord can make it to the vaginal opening first, which is, well, less than ideal. I waddled upstairs and lied down on the bed. I couldn’t feel a cord, and baby was moving around happily. I cleaned myself up and noticed there was a slight yellow-green tinge to the amniotic fluid. Seems as if baby had pooped meconium pre-birth. This can happen when baby is in distress, or in ‘longer’ pregnancies. My second baby had done the same.
I called my midwife, she agreed it looked like meconium, and she asked me to come meet her at the hospital.
We gathered our things and headed over. Labour hadn’t started, but I’m like a clock and I knew I had about 90 minutes from water breaking until start of contractions. And 30 minutes after those started until baby arrived.
We arrived at the hospital around 1:05pm, we got settled, and my midwife strapped on a monitor to my belly to see how baby was doing since I had meconium in my water. She told me if labour didn’t get started shortly, we’d talk about starting Pitocin to induce my labour.
This bothered me for about 5 seconds.
First of all, we had repeatedly talked about my past labours and so far, this one was so textbook to my last, there was no reason, at that point, to talk about Pitocin.
Secondly, her mentioning induction put doubt into my mind that my body wasn’t going to kick-in to labour just the way it had the last two times.
I quieted those doubts and told myself baby would come just as my babies had before.
My midwife left the room, I used the bathroom one last time (empty those bladders!) and RIGHT on schedule I had my first contraction around 1:30pm.
Shortly after that I had another one, and that one was maybe an 8/10. It got really intense really fast.
My midwife came back into the room and asked in confusion when this had started. My husband said ‘now’ as I worked to breathe through their intensity.
Things moved really quick after that. My midwife called her second midwife to come immediately and got to work prepping for baby.
I didn’t last long pacing the room before I felt that oh so familiar involuntary push (the good ol’ ejection reflex). Once that contraction was over, I told my midwife what had happened as I climbed up onto the bed. Baby was coming.
She told me to get onto my back and I said no, that I would labour on all fours (just as I had with my second baby). Find a provider who will listen to your ‘no’. My first one didn’t.
The second midwife arrived to see me already pushing. The respiratory therapist was called in to be there for baby since I had meconium in my water (again, just as they had with my second baby).
This was my first pushing experience where I just listened to my body.
You know how everyone talks about the ‘ring of fire’? Well, I had always forced myself to push through that pain to have baby. This time I didn’t. If I felt ‘fire’, I stopped pushing.
It didn’t take long until baby was born – around 30 minutes from the start of contractions to birth. I don’t know how many pushes exactly. Not a lot.
His shoulders got a wee bit stuck on the way out, but despite being on all fours, my midwife was able to do her maneuver to get him to slip out quickly.
Afterwards, she told me she thought the position I was in was ideal for my large baby boy and that I did a ‘beautiful job’ pushing. Third time’s the charm!
Just like his brother who came 3 years earlier, he entered the world quietly. His Apgar was 3, and they called a Code Pink. It was 2:02pm.
Fortunately, he hadn’t aspirated any fluid, and just needed a few extra rubs to get him going after his extremely fast birth.
He weighed 9 lbs 3 ounces (like my second) and I didn’t tear at all (very much unlike my second) and the recovery was great.
We stayed in the hospital for that night – a bit of reprieve from the busy life of having a 5.5 year old and 3 year old at home, especially considering our 3 year old had broken his collarbone 4 days earlier on my due date.
One year later life looks very different for us. We’re in a new house, in a new town, with different work environments, in the midst of a pandemic.
Our happy baby is walking constantly now, saying so many words, and learning new signs all the time. His older siblings are his favourite (well, after his mom of course) and he really is just such a joy.
At 13 months old he’s still not sleeping through the night, which I absolutely had no tolerance for with my first two, but, baby of the family? I’ve done nothing about it (but I really wouldn’t mind if he could get it together on that front).
I thought I’d be a bit sad about the ‘no more babies’ thing, but it’s exciting to know we’re done and the kids are only getting older and more independent. So, I’ll enjoy it until their teens, I guess?
I never thought I’d be a mom of one, nevermind two, boys – our littlest is the sweetest final addition!