When you find out you’re going to have a third child there is a bit of an expectation that you already have some idea of what is going to happen and how the process goes.
This was completely true for me.
We wanted our little Olive, so much that it hurt and like all great things in life, conceiving her and bringing her into this world was not without its challenges.
We “accidentally” got pregnant after a wild night in New York following (I’m not ashamed to admit….) one too many glasses of Rosé.
I was elated. I had wanted another baby for some time and had yet to convince my darling hubby that the time was now (or then, at the time).
Of course as the universe demands there is an ebb and flow to everything. Our good news was followed by horrendous life events that shook up everything. Life quickly became too stressful and shortly after we miscarried.
Devastated does not begin to cover what going through this was like. I was not new to that experience and having been through it before only made it worse.
After being checked out by the doc I was given the go ahead to try again. And so we did. This time it took a little work but again we were blessed with that positive double line and, a little more hesitantly happy about the outcome.
Not even a week later tragically we lost the baby. My heart was torn in pieces. Broken.
I am, to a fault an eternal optimist. I believe that enjoying life comes from finding the things in life that you enjoy and that bring you joy. Outlook is EVERYTHING.That being said, trying for a baby after 2 miscarriages in a row is anything but joyous. There is a level of stress and pressure that sets in and turns the whole thing away from being a romantic experience.
However, being the stubborn and resilient person that I innately am, I persevered and began to track my cycle every way I could find. I was taking my temperature twice a day, peeing on sticks every morning and (sorry for the TMI) charting my cervical position and such, like that alone would cure world hunger. Months of this and NO ovulation.
I needed a reason why. It couldn’t possibly be that I was “broken”. We had conceived successfully several times and already had children! I knew that I COULD have a baby. But what was wrong?
My doctor is wonderful. If you do not have a doctor that you love, SWITCH! Good and wonderful doctors are out there and it is worth everything to make efforts to test and try different ones to find the one that fits with you.
As it turns out I have PCOS. This is a pesky horrible condition that creates cysts in the uterus and on the ovaries, messes with your hormones and can prevent ovulation and implantation of an embryo.
We were lucky to have found out very early on and my wonderful doc quickly prescribed me Clomid (to help me ovulate) and Progesterone (to regulate my cycle and help implantation) as soon as we got it diagnosed.
During our second round of the both of these added to extreme charting and ovulation kits (and that one night a poor sick husband had to suck it up and make me a baby)… We were pregnant!!!
These experiences were tough to go through. I will not sugar coat it or deny what they were. But they also got me where I am today and I wouldn’t trade them. They gave me my darling little Olive Flower.
This is no joke how I told Matt we were pregnant… Very funny if you ask me.
While neither of my other two babies gave me morning sickness I was hit with the nausea bug bad with this one. Every. Single. Day, of my first trimester from 3pm – 7pm I was down for the count. It was like clockwork and it was awful.
But as the weeks went by my little bug was growing perfect… she was healthy and active. The only negative being that the little stinker had decided that Mom was now a vegetarian and ensured that she stuck to it by sending back up any meat related product with gusto and speed.
It took 3 ultrasounds to figure out that our little flower was a girl! She had the umbilical cord between her legs for every single scan. I tried doing yoga, adjustments and anything else to get her to move but she was saving that little secret until she was good and ready. My husband said of course it must be a girl because boys are NEVER that modest….. how true dear, how true.
I planed out everything for this little one within an inch of my life and hers for that matter. The nursery, maternity shoots (here), you name it I had planned for it. One thing that came up over and over even before we were pregnant was where we were going to deliver. I have had the greatest opportunity to be able to both deliver at home (read about that here) and at a birth center (also here) but going into this little bug I was not excited about either of those options.
My Doctor is literally one of my favorite people and I was determined (despite my fear and dislike of hospitals) to deliver with her. There were some issues and factors that pushed us towards delivering at the hospital.
First, was my prior labor time. Now I have heard again and again that your first is your longest, your second is your shortest and the third can be anything. But that gave us a window of 2-2 1/2 hours if we were to take my past labors strictly by statistics. My hospital is, without traffic a minimum of an hour away. There was no way I was going to be delivering my darling baby, that was perfect and should be given the best in life, in a car in the middle of Los Angeles traffic. So the solution was we agreed that we assuming labor didn’t start on its own we would induce.
Second, at 30 weeks I made the mistake of thinking that it was a great idea to take the family to Disneyland for my sons 3rd birthday, in the middle of a Los Angeles heat wave the night before a cross country flight to visit my mother.
It was 108 degrees. All day. The whole family toughed it out, myself included and my son had a wonderful time.
(Doesn’t it look like we had a good time?)
That night I dropped my husband off at the airport for a work trip and went home with our kids. Our flight was early the next morning so on top of already stressing out about taking two kids on a 6 hour flight alone and pregnant I also had to finish packing.
Around 7 pm I was hit with the worse stomach and back pains I have ever had. They were completely different than labor and were searing stabbing pains that covered my entire sides on the front and back.
I have a crazy pain tolerance and will tough the worst illnesses out without a peep. But an hour of this and I had called 2 people to come watch the kids. By 9 pm I had started vomiting so violently I was throwing up blood and by midnight I was on my way to the emergency room. (My sister in law wins awards for holding back my hair the entire time.)
After hours of physical torture and no way to call my husband who was on a cross country flight, it was discovered that I had a severe kidney infection in both kidneys and I was hospitalized immediately. I had begun contracting, I was seriously dehydrated and I was barely 30 weeks along.
That poor man. I can only imagine arriving 3000 miles away from your pregnant wife to messages about her being sent to the emergency room and vomiting blood. Needless to say he got off the plane and immediately got on a return flight.
After the first day was over and my hubby had finally made it home, the worst was passed. All in all I ended up being in the hospital for 4 days on fluids and antibiotics and only slightly traumatized.
For precaution and to prevent pre-term labor, I was on put antibiotics for the remainder of the pregnancy. Luckily, the rest carried on without hiccups or surprises.
If you’ve read my previous birth stories you know that labor is hard and fast with me. Our litte flower was no exception.
We chose to induce at 39 weeks on the day that worked for us (yay!). I was big, cranky, cried all the time and despite being given the option to wait until 40 weeks, you couldn’t have paid me to.
I have to say, there are niceties to inducing that were REALLY valuable for a third kid. Our child coverage was set up and ready with no rushed texts or waiting around for the sitter to show up while I was in labor, we had everything ready for the baby and me at the house, I had the house cleaned and meals prepped and best of all we got to pick her birthday!
We went into the hospital at 10 pm and got checked in and set up. I put on my special delivery gown and (very popular) labor socks and waited while we went through my birth plan with the Midwife on call and the delivery nurses.
Initially we were hoping to just be able to use a suppository to start labor. I was about 2 cm dilated and about 50% effaced. In theory this could have worked had I been willing to wait it out. Sadly it went in and after 3 hours of doing nothing for me we started Pitocin. It took 3 increased doses before labor started.
My family was great. They stayed up, chatted, we played cards (my all time favorite group pass time), they napped off and on and we talked about the beautiful girl that was about to make her big debut. My mom was clocking contractions and checking in with me every few minutes, I swear she was more excited than I was. It was lucky she was doing this because I specifically remember exactly when we decided labor started. It was 4:15 am when I finally lost a round of Gin because I couldn’t focus and my contractions became increasingly regular. LABOR HAD STARTED! I remember being nervous and excited. I of course kept a calm outward facade.
I go into everything I do with the goal to be better and try harder than any time before. This labor was no different. I wanted to be calmer, breath better, and most of all I wanted to remember every part with clarity. There is a haze that I have when I look back at my older kids deliveries I believe it is partially due to the pain and effort that labor takes but that also comes with time. I didn’t want that with this one. I wanted to be my best for every part and to look back and say that I tried my hardest and gave it everything I had. I feel like this mindset sent me in with a bigger purpose then just having the baby. When it comes to birth plans I’ve always believed that circumstance made them unpredictable. Deciding how I was going to be and feel about the whole thing was something I could do that nothing and no one else could change. Just me. It gave me the power back in a situation that I could become completely effect of.
There was SO much pressure with this labor. Oh gosh, even as I write this I feel like I can still feel it. It started from the get go and just kept getting worse. It was sort of feeling like a balloon was just filling and filling with lead and dead weigh and that my entire bottom half was going to just burst out of my vagina…. (sorry, too descriptive?). Any who, this was new and not something that I expected to feel. You add that to contractions. That word doesn’t do what you feel during labor justice. There is no complete way to describe the feeling to someone until they experience it. And even after they have, the most descriptive words are “you know?” followed by “oh ya, I know”. How after already having 2 kids can it still be surprising? How in the world do we block out the level of body racking pain that child birth entails? Its amazing.
Back to the story though, I was progressing great and baby girl was doing wonderful. An hour in my contractions were steadily 3 minutes apart and gaining in intensity. The pressure made things more complicated because I couldn’t tell if I needed to push or if my bag of waters was just too much and creating more pressure that felt like the need to push. But, as soon as I told the nurse that “push” word she called my doctor. I remember barely noticing any time pass before she walked in the door.
She immediately checked me and reported that I was a little over 7 cm. I told her about the pressure and we talked through it. The minute she said she could pop my bag of waters I practically begged for her to do it despite the warning that it would make contractions more intense.
I felt so much relief immediately after, and let me tell you, the water JUST. KEPT. COMING. It was like a whole new me… a whole new wet me. They had to change the pads underneath me 3 times before it finally eased up. The nurses were very very quick about it and good thing too because the next contraction hit me like a ton of bricks. My contractions continued with a vengeance each one more intense then the last, almost like each new one was trying to out do the one before.
At 6:45 am I started pushing. For me there has never been a moment where my doctor looks up and is like “Ok, I need you to push!” No, for me its like my entire body just starts pushing and I barely feel or notice anything other than the need to bear down with every ounce of strength my body has.
I’ll never forget after the 3rd push I felt her head go back in, undoing all the progress I had just worked for. The “Ring of Fire” (aka crowning) had gone numb at this point and I felt so close. I was so tired and the contractions were so close they basically didn’t end. Her hands were cradling her head with both of her little fists on the sides of her face. She was too big that way. I couldn’t do it. Everyone could see the exhaustion set in at the same moment and all immediately asked me what I needed. “Can I get you some ice?” “Do you need water?” “Do you need a towel?” I looked up at my doctor and with one sentence she became my favorite person in the world. She said, “Do you need the baby out?” I started laughing. It reinvigorated me. My husband held my face kissed me and told me a few more minutes and I’d finally meet her. I’d finally hold my little girl.
I’ve never worked harder than I did in those final minutes.
Out she flew.
She was put straight on me and she was perfect. I cried. My husband cried. Everyone cried.
Delivering the placenta was a bit of a chore and part of it broke off and had to be scraped out (OUCH!) This resulted in heavier bleeding and the need for Pitocin for a few hours after but all in all, one small stitch and I was done.
My Olive little flower had a perfect APGAR score and latched on right away.
She was born at 7:04 am and weighed 7 lbs and 4 ounces.
My hubby being the researcher he is looked into it and 704 has symbolic meaning as a sign of congratulations from angeles and life that you are on the right path and that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
Everything about Olive has felt that way. She is perfect and exactly where we are meant to be.
Thank you for reading this novel… truly. I love being able to share and I hope it gives you something. Anything. Whether it is confidence in yourself, more knowledge or a different outlook or idea on something you never thought of before. Or even if its just a little insight into my life.
Be well and be happy.