Lucas' birth story

I have waited the longest for you, baby Lucas. I was already off of work since you were 38 weeks gestation. I did everything to get you moving... well, not quite everything, since I did not have the eggplant parmigiana that my friend, Mer, used to get baby Sammy out.  But I went for walks, I had my pedicure done. I went back to furniture-making.  I ate spicier food.

I even made a VLOG the day before you were born. Funny that once least expected, that's when labor will start right?

Thursday morning:
I woke up late. I was not sleeping well for a few weeks before Lucas was born. Since I did not go to work, I was able to sleep in. I already asked hubs to telework on Thursday. (like I knew something was up). the real reason was I did not want to show up at Bastian's preschool, large and still pregnant.

So I woke up late... I got up to eat a little bit of breakfast.  I was having braxton hicks but decided to work on a bookshelf. It needed to be sanded and then stained.

I was having lots more braxton hicks and had to sit back on the couch.
Then I just broke down. I cried.

I wanted to be active to get the baby going but on the other hand, I get so tired easily that I just listen to my body and sit and rest. I was torn... so I cried. Hubs heard me and gave a me hug (later on, he told me that he knew something was already up because I just broke down out of nowhere).

after some rest and fluids, I was able to sand the bookshelf. I started placing papers on the walls to protect the walls from my stain. I am a messy painter/stainer (crafter? diyer?) I made it halfway but I had to rest again. The contractions/braxton hicks were more regular. I decided to  time them at that point. They were going every 7-10 minutes lasting 30-45 seconds each. I stopped my project, sad that I did not get it done but had to rest to see if the contractions go anywhere.

I emptied my bladder. I drank more water. I rested. I ate lunch. I emptied my bowels. I did all those things but the contractions came regularly. I was suspicious of early labor but did not want to jinx it.

I was able to rest/sleep for about 30 minutes sometime around school pickup. Then when the children arrived, the contractions were still episodic and regular at every 7-10 minutes. I sent my mom a message letting her know we'd need her to come over that night. Hubs also asked my FIL to bring Isabel to ballet. I did not want to be left alone.

By 4:30p, I decided to take a shower. Something about that shower -- but afterwards, my contractions went from every 7-10 minutes to suddenly every 3-5 minutes. whoa. my plan was to call the clinic or OB on call (since it was already after 4p) once contractions were every 5-7 minutes for an hour.

I was craving panera so while taking a shower, I sent hubs to get soup and the green passion smoothie for me. I was left with my eldest who was on mommy-watching duty. He was so sweet letting me know to call him if I need help.

Just something to take note: I ate panera for lunch before giving birth to Daniel. I did it again this labor. 

I may be a calm laboring woman because I fooled my husband with that "I can do this facade." Hubs came back with the food and didn't run to my side right away. He was putting trash away. He was outside for what felt like forever but only a few minutes, really. He went back inside and I was already on the phone with the OB on call. I told her "I think it's go time." She said I may be right if this is my fifth time around and contractions were coming every 3-5 minutes. 

We finished our meal. Amazing that I ate 3/4 of the cup of cream of chicken and wild rice whilst laboring. 

A few minutes later, hubs finished his sandwich and we went on our way. Thanks to my FIL who stayed with the children until my mom arrived at our house. 

The drive was a little longer compared to previous drives since we live a mile farther south. It was also during rush hour so we stopped at several stop lights. Hubs and I both gave our guesses how far dilated I was. I chose a lower number — maybe 5 cm. With my 3rd delivery, I guessed something more — like a 7cm and was so devastated when the RN told me I was only dilated at 5 cm.

Those contractions during the drive were painful. I closed my eyes but it made me focus on the contractions and made them more painful. Out of nowhere, I started spelling names on sides of buildings. Not really spelling them from memory but more like reading the letters one by one.  That mental work distracted me from the painful 30 seconds of contractions. 

We found a spot near the maternity entrance. It was still quite a “long walk” for a laboring woman. And just to make it more fun, I had a contraction while I stepped inside the automatic doors and had to stop for a quick second. Of course, the fun did not stop there, there was a lady leaving the hospital at that moment. I did not make eye contact. Too much mental work to stay focus and not cry right there. 

We took the elevator to the L&D ward. We were met by the RN, clearly expecting us. She asked “Are you Sarah? Dr. C called us.” I nodded and gave them my full name. 

The RN brought me straight to the delivery room instead of the triage room. I asked to go to the bathroom and she gave me a hospital gown.  While I was in the bathroom, hubs took care of registration and insurance stuff.  I overheard him. They asked him for my ID. I then realized I was using my new-to-me cardholders. There was no way he could figure out where my ID was. {I came out the bathroom and told me he had to “dump everything out” just to find my license.}

While changing, I had 2 more contractions in the bathroom. 
Finally, I made it to the bed. Two more RNs came to check up on me.  It was close to 7p at that poing -- shift change time. 

The first RN was a trainee. She checked me first. It was the most uncomfortable cervical check ever! She reached so far up and posterior  — it was so painful. She gave me 6.5 cm . She said I (meaning my cervix) was “way posterior."

Then the second RN checked me. She asked me to place my fists balled up behind my lower back to help locate this “way too posterior” cervix. The second RN knew what she was doing because  it was quick and not as uncomfortable. she said I was definitely a 7 cm even 7.5 cm. And that I have my bag of waters bulging right there. 

The first RN said: “oh so that was that??”
aaaahhhh. I was screaming inside. 

The second RN asked the first RN (the trainee) to draw my blood. I already did not have high hopes for that first attempt. I was right. A big  18 gauge was used by the first RN.  by the way she inserted the needle, I already knew it was a failed attempt. The needle was inserted way too deep when my vein was right there just underneath. Of course, the vein “blew”. She said: “oh, it blew.” My left wrist was throbbing with pain right away… {it was sore and bruised for days}

While the failed IV attempt, the on-call hospital OB came in and introduced herself. She said she was going to perform a quick Ultrasound to confirm that baby was head down. That made me nervous. I asked if the RNs felt “an extremity???” when they checked.

OB replied: The RN did not want to risk rupturing the bag of waters without confirming head down without my OB being present. 

Then with her handy-dandy small Ultrasound, she placed the probe on my lower abdomen and confirmed: yes, baby down.

ALLELUIA. I do not want a Csection. 

She said: your OB will be here.. But if not, I would be happy to deliver your baby. 

After that last word, cue Dr. C coming. She’s the on call person for my regular OB’s group. She said: "You are right. It is go time.”

We had discussions about going natural vs epidural. Hubs and Dr. C were encouraging that I can continue and do this naturally. But Dr. C also said either way, if we want an epidural — we should do it soon. Or Dr. C could speed things up and break my bag of waters. She was confident that I would proceed with labor quickly once the membranes are ruptured. I needed lots of reassurance and asked: there’s no stopping at 9cm right??? 

The main reason that stopped me from getting an epidural was the uncertainty of that experience. I have never had an epidural. What if I get nauseous? what if it was not a good experience, i.e. difficult "stick"? what if it does not work? what if I could not lay still while the anesthesiologist is sticking a needle on my back? lots and lots of questions. 

Hubs chimed in and said: want to know what I think? Break the bag of waters. 

That was not really what I wanted to hear.
My question was epidural or no epidural option. Not artificially rupture membranes now and feel MORE pain NOW.  

I let the labor continue on its own.. but for no more than half an hour. It felt like forever but it was only 10 minutes at the most maybe. Then I asked to go to the bathroom again. My new RN at that point made sure I don’t push if I feel the urge the push while in the bathroom (unless I want to deliver baby D5 in the toilet). 

The trek to the bathroom — then back to the bed was laborious. But I made it. 

I asked to be checked again. So RN called Dr. C. At that point, they asked that if I want to be checked and also artificially rupture membranes so I only get checked once. Again, after some reassurance that I won’t just stall at 9cm without progression — I said yes.  let's break the bag of waters. 

Out of all 5 deliveries, my water broke only once on its own. It was with Daniel. Hubs and the nurse did not even believe me that my water broke when I told them. 

Once my water broke (artificially), the pressure “down there” intensified. That was the head of Lucas pushing down on my Cervix. Ouch, ouch, ouch. There’s also thin meconium so RN had to notify NICU that they will have to be there for the delivery. 

Dr. C checked and I was 9 cm. What??? I was expecting 10 cm…. But no… I still had one stinking centimeter to go. I cannot push yet. 

So OB said, let a couple more contractions do their thing for full dilation. 

I counted the  contractions. Since a couple to most people is not really two, I let 4 painful contractions go by. Those were the 10/10 painful contractions. I had the urge to push so bad on all of them.  But I did not push. I did not want to risk tearing my cervix. 

Those were the hardest ones. I prayed. I did my breathing techniques. 
After those 4, I asked the RN to check again. She called Dr. C.

I prayed that those 4 contractions did their job. 
Dr. C gave me the good news: ok — we are ready. No cervix. 

I was on my right side. She asked how I want to push. On my side? My back? I said on my back with people helping hold my legs. But during a contraction,  I could not move from my side to my back. It's like all that pain took all my higher-cognition away and I could not think or move or do anything. 

My RN to the rescue: she asked if I need a quick review of pushing?
Yes, please… yes.. I weakly answered. 

She went through the breathing pattern. At the start of the contraction, take in a deep breath. Hold that breath and push for 10 seconds. Then exhale. Inhale and do it again. 

She was an angel. I needed that coaching. 

This was all a blur now. But I started pushing and felt head come out already. Then people were coaching to give another push and I felt the shoulders come out. All the stretching and burning down there — I could not explain or describe all that pain. But it was very painful!

Then baby D5 was out. Dr. C and hubs already made a decision that hubs had the honors of saying “boy or girl.” I heard hubs say: "it’s Lucas."  Then I heard my baby cry. He cried and cried. Those were amazing sounds since he had meconium stained fluid. A vigorous cry from a baby is a good sign. 

Hubs cut the cord.. for the fifth time. 

Then Lucas had to be checked out by the NICU. So I did not get to hold him right away. But I could hear his cries and it made me so happy. 

Lucas was born at 8:23pm. just shy of 2 hours from arriving at the hospital. 
His birth weight is 3555 g. He is my heaviest newborn at 7 lbs 13 oz. 
He’s also the longest at 19 3/4 inches. 

With another contraction — the placenta detached. I delivered it… it was a weird feeling. I received a few stitches… then after a little bit of cleaning up, I met my baby Lucas. Even at the very beginning, he was already good at breastfeeding. He knew how to latch and he helped me release more oxytocin to help my uterus contract and shrink. 

It was the fastest second stage of labor. I did initially a coached pushing but I remember my body doing its job pushing the rest of Lucas' body out. again, hubs said I made it look easy. 

It did not feel easy. 

For more birth stories:

Baby D1
Baby D2
Baby D3
    Baby D4 -- three parter.... part I, part II, part III.

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