*This is a birth story and may be more graphic than you want to read, if that’s the case, don’t feel like you need to read it. This is for those people who have asked to hear the story or are interested in the details.
There she is, right after she was born! Let’s be honest, not a great picture, but not to worry, there are more pictures in this post!
This pregnancy went by so quickly. Being pregnant while you have a toddler running around is a little different than the first time! There was just so much less time to think about it or focus on it! The time kind of flew by – although somehow I still felt like I was pregnant forever!
Capri was small and I was induced at 39 weeks with her. Because of that, they began measuring Colette early on to make sure that she wasn’t too small. Turns out she measured smaller than Capri did starting around 33 weeks. I had a lot of extra ultrasounds checking her vitals and her growth. The doctor called it intrauterine growth restriction. She said we needed to deliver by 38 weeks. I was prepared for this all along so it wasn’t too difficult to wrap my mind around. However, I had been nervous about having a “medication-free” childbirth if I had to be induced even earlier than I was last time (obviously it wasn’t going to be medication-free really since I had to have pitocin but I wasn’t planning on any pain meds). I was worried that at 38 weeks my body wouldn’t be as prepared to give birth as it was the last time.
However it seemed that the weeks before my induction, my cervix was softening and dilating and I hoped to be at a similar place to where I was when I had Capri. I knew some things would be different this time. I tested positive for group b strep so I knew I would be hooked to an IV from the moment I arrived. I also knew that having my water broken might be different this time too – all that to say, I figured I wouldn’t be walking around for hours like I did with Capri.
I didn’t feel ready to go through labor. I was more scared this time than I was last time. The first time I was nervous because I didn’t know what to expect, but I felt confident in my preparation. This time I knew how hard it was going to be and I didn’t feel as mentally or emotionally prepared. The night before Capri refused to go to sleep. I was crying, she was crying, I still had so much to do! I just wanted a peaceful, restful night! Nevertheless, Jeremy and I arrived at the hospital at 5 AM the next morning. I was tired and not feeling overly positive. However, it was so different going in to do it again. Jeremy was very calm, confident and positive and I really needed that.
As soon as we got there they hooked up my IV and started my antibiotics and soon after that they began the pitocin. At 6:40 my doctor came in and broke my water. I was 3 cm dilated and 70% effaced. They continued to increase the pitocin levels throughout the morning until I had regular contractions. I was managing pretty well and even joked around a little more than last time in between contractions. At 10 AM my doctor called and told the nurse she was about to do a procedure in her office across the street and wanted to know if I was in transition yet. When the nurse got off the phone I said, ‘wow! she really thought I was going to have this baby fast if she thought I would be in transition already!’ That comment should give you an idea of where I thought I was. I didn’t have the nurse check me again that whole time so I wasn’t too sure of my progress. About 20 minutes later the contractions began to get a lot more intense. I began shaking which had happened the last time. Jeremy started to get excited and kept saying,’ you’re getting close! remember how close you were when this happened last time?’ The nurse asked if I wanted her to check me. I was nervous that if she did and I wasn’t as far along as I hoped that I would be really disappointed but Jeremy encouraged me to do it because he thought I had really made progress. It was encouraging to hear I was at 7 cm! Not long after this I started crying because I was having a hard time and didn’t feel emotionally able to handle the contractions. Jeremy was such a huge encourager! He kept telling me how close he thought I was. I was in a pretty intense amount of pain but I was a lot more aware of what was going on this time than I was before. I went from 7 cm to 10 cm in about 25 minutes! I heard the nurse call the doctor’s office and leave a message. She called again a few minutes later and I heard her attempting to sound calm, but her words were “we are having a baby in 5 minutes, she needs to get here”.
My doctor literally ran across the street and it was just Jeremy and my nurse and my doctor (last time I felt like there were 10 people in my room!). The nurse was trying to tie the gown on my doctor and I was screaming to them from across the room ” she is coming out! help me!” my nurse turned to me and said, ‘don’t push, try going ‘he he he'” – if I had not been in such an intense moment I would have laughed at her! I wasn’t pushing that baby out, she was coming out on her own. Jeremy actually reached over in a motion to hold the baby inside! The doctor got her gown on and told me to push. I did and felt like I couldn’t breathe. I said I couldn’t keep pushing through that first contraction. The doctor told me I had to and Jeremy said, “Ellie, her head is already out!” that’s all I need to hear. Just a little more effort and I felt her body slide out! I pushed her out in 1 contraction!
It was so fast. The whole thing was so fast! And praise God because I really didn’t feel like I was in a good place to be going through labor that morning. She was born at 11:03 just 4 hours and 20 minutes after my water breaking! I did tear a little bit again, but I pretty much just had 1 stitch. Colette was perfect – 5 lbs and 4 oz (just 2 oz smaller than Capri). The nursery nurse didn’t even get there until after she was born. My labor nurse kept saying – I told you it would be fast, she didn’t have an epidural! She also told us she thought for a minute that she would be delivering our baby by herself!
Overall it was a really good experience. I still don’t like giving birth. Some women feel like it’s a spiritual experience for them. There were moments early on when it kind of felt like that but the end was pretty intense. I was glad I went ahead and had the pitocin and my water broken early on and got on with it. I think it was just as difficult as the first time but faster.
One small change this time that isn’t a big deal but I’m glad I did – I didn’t wear a hospital gown this time. I brought a really comfortable black nursing bra. Before my water was broken I just wore the bra with some athletic shorts. After my water was broken I just put a sheet over me. The nurse was hesitant at first when I told her that’s what I wanted to do but later on she told me what a good idea it was. The hospital gown was in my way the first time. With the monitor on your belly and the IV in one arm and the blood pressure cuff on the other, it was just easier to have my stomach exposed. Also the gowns are so big and uncomfortable and I felt like the nursing bra actually provided more coverage for my pictures after the delivery than the gown did.
Colette nursed right away which was awesome and has been a nursing pro ever since! She had low blood sugar reading and they told me they had to give her formula. I was able to negotiate with the nursery nurse who really went to bat for me with the other nurses and my pediatrician. They had told me they had to give her formula or else they would take her to the NICU – what a scary thing to tell a parent. I told them that I wanted to nurse her again, then pump and feed her that with a bottle and then have them test her again. They agreed and she didn’t have any more issues. She also didn’t pass her hearing test the first time and that was a little scary but it turns out the thing wasn’t positioned correctly and she passed the next time with no problem.
That’s our story! The whole thing felt so different the second time! I’m glad it’s over. I went to my 6 week check up this week and my doctor told me I was made to have babies – i do not feel the same, but I sure love the 2 that I have!