Did you miss the first part of Logan’s story? Read it here first!
On Friday morning (39 + 5), shortly after I published my almost-40-week bumpdate, I started having some consistent cramping. This was a welcome surprise since I hadn’t really had any contractions before. I had a sitter over that morning, and once I noticed the contractions were coming pretty regularly, I started tracking them to around every 10 minutes.
My husband had a mission that morning, but when I told him that they were consistent, he said he’d come home early (around 2:30 pm), and he gave me a number to call in case I needed him while he was working since he can’t take a cell phone in with him.
The morning went on as usual, but they started getting a little stronger and closer together (around 7-9 minutes apart) after I got the girls lunch. I called him and said I’d really like to take a bath and highly suggested he come home sooner rather than later. He came home around 1 pm, and instead of a bath, I had a huge desire to watch Father of the Bride Part 2 (the one with the babies, naturally), so we watched it (to Julia’s dismay; she really wanted Moana) while I bounced on the yoga ball.
We made it to the part where George bought the house back when I decided I had enough yoga ball and needed a bath ASAP. I wanted to see if these contractions were here to stay or if they would slow down.
Kenny drew me a wonderfully warm bubble bath, and I enjoyed it for all of 20 minutes before I started getting extremely uncomfortable. The contractions didn’t slow down, and I needed to start rocking back and forth. I texted and told him that I was going to call my OB’s office, and that I thought he should start packing up to go to the hospital. They were getting stronger and were around 6 minutes apart at this point.
I called my doc, and when the receptionist picked up, she asked if I could hold. I stupidly said, “yes,” and was on hold for an eternity (about 5 minutes). I finally hung up, and called back. This time when she asked if I could hold, I told her I was in labor, and she immediately transferred me to the right person. The nurse took my stats, and when I got to the “it’s my third baby, and they’re 6 minutes apart” part, she told me to stop what I’m doing and get to the hospital. Of course, that kicked things into gear, and everything got real, real fast.
But first things first: I yelled for Kenny, told him it was go-time, and asked him to help me out of the tub!
At 3 pm I texted our birth photographer and told her to head out (she was around an hour away), and texted my friend (our back up plan for the girls if my mom wasn’t in town yet) telling her we were coming over. She didn’t write back right away, so I called her, and then felt horrible because she and her husband were at a movie (her parents were in town, and they were on a date). They left the theater pretty much as we were leaving our house. I didn’t tell her this, but if they weren’t at her house when we got there I was fully planning on leaving the girls at their doorstep with my iPad or something.
My husband packed up all of our last-minute items, we woke Maddie up from her nap, and after they hopped in the car, I waddled in…and sat on like three towels just in case my water broke on the way to the hospital. The ride to my friend’s house was pretty uneventful except that my contractions just kept getting closer. They were between 4 and 6 minutes, and man did they hurt!
We got to my friend’s house seconds after they arrived, and after a very quick hug and a kiss for both girls and pretty much throwing their things on the curb, I
hopped waddled back in the van, and we were on our way.
Thank God we were driving to the hospital in the middle of the afternoon and not during rush hour. My husband could tell they were getting close and closer, so he put the pedal to the metal and raced to the hospital. He asked me at one point how close they were, and I responded with, “You don’t want to know. Just keep driving.” (They were 2 minutes apart.)
I called my Mama on the way to the hospital, and she answered on her way to the Albuquerque airport. We were originally going to pick her up when she landed in San Diego, so I told her there was a change of plans; she’d have to meet us at the hospital instead, so I gave her the address and told her to take an Uber. I promised I’d try to keep this baby in as long as possible so she could be there.
We pulled into the hospital’s valet parking area, and I
hopped slowly and carefully got out of the car, exclaimed that I was in labor, and would it be okay if we just left the car here for right now? Please and thank you. The girl attendant was hilarious and I think she thought I was going to legit have the baby right then and there. (I thought so, too.) We left our car with the key inside, told them where we’d be, and then we jetted waddled into the hospital.
They were expecting us, so after we got all set up in a room (around 4 pm) I was eager to get checked. The contractions were just so gosh darn close, that I knew I had to be close.
I was only 4-5 cm. Talk about devastating.
Pretty much from the minute I walked in the room and they got me hooked up to everything (like getting my Group B Strep meds going), nobody talked to me. I could see them taking my stats and doing all their note-taking, but nobody actually talked to me—they stood away and talked about me, but never let me in on their discussion.
A doctor I’ve never met came in and, huddled in the corner with the nurses, and then finally came over to me. I asked him to stop and tell me what was going on, because this secret-keeping wasn’t going to work. He said they were having a hard time keeping track of the baby with the monitor, and then explained my options. (Although, “options” is a loose term. I know I didn’t have to do anything I didn’t want to, but he was adamant about this). He explained that he needed to break my water and so they could put an Internal Fetal Monitor on the baby.
I was upset and really mad. This was not what I wanted.
I did not want to be confined to a bed, and I didn’t want them to break my water. I wanted to throw a hissy-fit. But I also knew this is what was best for the baby, so I told him to do what he needed to do.
Earlier that week I was measuring 48 weeks (not a typo…) because of how much fluid I had, so needless to say, the flood gates opened once he popped that sack. The contractions were already so strong, that I didn’t necessarily feel a difference in intensity, but the doctor was much happier being able to monitor the baby internally. I, on the other hand, was miserable since I was confined to the bed now.
Not only was I stuck in bed, but the baby’s heart rate was increasing, and so was mine because the contractions were piling right on top of each other with no time to rest. He had me turn to my left side to get things to calm down.
They did, somewhat, but I complained the entire time about having to be on one side.
Then came “the talk” with the doc.
He prepared me for the possibility of a c-section. He very calmly explained the situation (both of our heart rates were elevated, my blood pressure was a little high, and I have a tendency to have big babies), and told me about all the problems that could arise if he got stuck coming out.
I, in a very calm manner (I was trying to be calm in my head, at least), told him I appreciated his medical advice, but I was going to trust my body to push out the baby, unless it was absolutely medically necessary to save our lives. He said okay, and walked away.
At this point, around 5/5:30 pm, I started feeling A LOT of pain, felt so much pressure, and really wanted to be checked. I was at an 8, which was crazy since I truly thought I almost had to push.
The doc told me it was basically now or never if I wanted an epidural. This was also the time where he took a look at my tummy and drew an invisible line under my belly button.
“Whatcha doin, doc,” I asked him, knowing full well what he was doing. “You looking for where you could cut me open?” I blurted out during a contraction.
“That’s exactly what I’m doing. I’d rather be prepared now, than rushed later,” he responded.
“Well, I’m pushing him out, so you can just forget about that.” Is what I told him. For the record, I was restraining myself big time and trying to be a lady while wanting to curse at him like a drunken sailor. He was my least favorite person in the entire world at the moment.
Having a c-section for a “big baby” wasn’t an option. I knew my body could handle it. Yes, I know (and knew at the time) that complications can certainly arise from having a big baby if he got stuck, but I knew he wouldn’t. I trusted my body.
However, I hemmed and hawed, going back and forth not knowing what to do. I desperately wanted a natural birth, but at the same time—so. much. pain was happening. I kept saying, “I think I want an epidural,” but because I kept saying, “think,” nobody took me seriously. I wanted someone to make up my mind and make the decision for me, but nobody did anything except tell me how good I was doing. (Which, by the way, I did not feel like I was a rock star or doing anything good. Everything just hurt and I thought my body was failing me.)
During this entire ordeal I was still situated on my left side, feeling him try to move his way down, feeling everything, and getting frustrated.
I wanted a natural birth again. I wanted the pain to stop. I wanted to not be on my left side. I desperately wanted to walk around and let gravity take over. I really wanted my mama there. I wanted everything to be okay with the baby. I wanted to not have a c-section. I wanted a different doctor. I (think I) wanted an epidural. I want, I want, I want. Around this time, a thought came into my head….trust.
Everything came around full circle with that darn word. So I trusted myself, and God, to get me through this.
And then something happened; I started going through transition.
I knew in my head I was getting closer, because the pain pretty much tripled at that point, and because the pressure intensified. I remember our Alanna, our birth photographer, putting her hand on my head and telling me how close I was and how great a job I was doing.
Bless her heart—she was such a welcomed, and unexpected extra coach to have by my side. She totally went above her call of duty, and I kept thinking about how lucky I was to have her next to me. She was supposed to be pretty much a fly on the wall, but she was so much more than that—she was truly a blessing to have by my side.
There was so much pressure happening, that I knew I was getting close, but any time I said “I’m feeling a lot of pressure, and I think I need to push,” nothing happened. I kept expecting people to rush in and get ready, or at the very least I wanted someone to yell, “SHE’S READY TO PUSH.” But nothing happened. I remember thinking, “Come on, people! This is it! This is what we’ve planned for. This is why we’re here…I’M FREAKING READY!”
Finally, I must have convinced someone, because the “blue team” came in and started prepping.
Then things got even more ridiculous. So that they could have a better angle if they needed to pull him out, they had me put my legs in stirrups that came up to my ears. I’m only partially exaggerating. They put those things up so ridiculously high, that I actually laughed for the first time in hours, and told them that I couldn’t bend that way.
I don’t even know how they got me up in them, but I was so annoyed about it, because…again, that’s not how one delivers a baby! I wanted some help from gravity, not the other way around.
At the same time, I couldn’t really complain, because it was time to push.
I pushed with all my might, and expected him to pop out, since Maddie came out on my very first push. He moved down more, but was still in there.
It took two more pushes before I felt that ring of fire sensation, and felt his head pop through.
“He has hair!!” someone (I think my husband) exclaimed!
During the next contraction I pushed with all my might—grunting and pushing with all my might to get.him.out. I felt the ring of fire (again), and then what followed was intense and overwhelming relief.
My son, Logan John, was born.
They immediately brought his ooey-gooey, freshly born body to my chest, and I saw his little eyes searching for me.
It was love at first sight, and I was so happy to meet him. They typically do immediate skin to skin, but he was having a little bit of a hard time breathing, so they took him over to check him out and get his stats.
As far as my babies go, he won the weight game, because my little man weighed in at 10 lb, 4.6 ounces! Everyone in the room was shocked that he was so big, and even more impressed that I had him without any drugs.
I can’t lie: I was pretty amazed I did it, too.
While his breathing ended up being okay, he was running a little bit of a fever, which isn’t good for newborns. Instead of sending him straight to the NICU, they wanted to see if some skin-to-skin time would help his body temp.
And so, we spent a blissful hour getting to know our new little man while he snuggled on my chest, and had his first meal.
Oh, and my mom? Her plane landed as I had him, and she arrived just as our hour with him alone was ending. However, things didn’t quite go as planned for either us after our “golden hour,” but more on that, and the week-long NICU stay that followed, in a future post. (Spoiler alert: we’re all a-okay now!)
Photos captured by the wonderful Alanna Farmer Photography