We’re celebrating the new beginnings of motherhood with our birth story series. If you would like to share your special story with us, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line Birth Story.
This is the birth story of Nolan Levi shared by his mother Emily.
The end of this pregnancy felt so different from my first with Gideon. I was feeling tons of contractions and knew that I was progressing more than I had with G. I had high hopes of going into labor early and having a baby before my due date. I had Nolan before his due date, but it happened a lot differently than I originally thought.
During one of my last appointments, my midwife scheduled a growth ultrasound because they said Nolan was measuring small. During the ultrasound the tech said everything looked great and he was just small. She told me to start wiping the gel off of my belly, but then told me to stop. She had been calculating his percentages and said his size ended up being in the tenth percent which is when they start needing to check other things. Long story short, when the doctor walked into the room, she explained that my body was having to work extra hard to pump blood through the cord to the baby and that they wanted to induce in my 39th week to insure that it didn’t stop pumping altogether or begin pumping backwards. So, within the next ten minutes, I was asked to choose a day to meet my baby. March 3. It felt right and my favorite doctor was on call, so it was set.
This was a week and a half out and I was still hoping that I would go into labor on my own before. I was progressed to 3 centimeters and 80 percent effaced which looked great. I stayed 3 cm and 80 percent effaced that entire time. No progression from then until I was checked the morning of the induction.
We arrived at the hospital before the sun was up. I was asked a million questions and got my IV inserted for the pitocin, after one blown vein. Heart monitor for baby, contraction monitor, and blood pressure cuff. All the horns and whistles. I was the only woman there as it is a small, new hospital. I was asked several times about pain management and asked to sign forms for anesthesia, but I kept telling them that I was hoping to do this naturally this time. The nurses, techs and my doctor were all very supportive.
After a few minutes, I decided I needed to get up and moving so Taylor and I walked the empty halls while dragging the IV pole behind. Back and forth. Back and forth. Hoping that this was doing something. My nurse would occasionally stop me and up the dosage of pitocin. Each time I celebrated, which she said I was the only patient ever to do. I was ready to meet this boy and knew the higher the dose the faster it would happen. I also knew that I needed to have my water broken to progress even faster. I hadn’t progressed with Gideon until they broke mine then and I had a feeling it would be the same now. Unfortunately, my doctor was stuck in the OR so there was no one to do this yet.
The morning and afternoon slowly began to go by. The pitocin was at the highest dosage they could give me and my doctor was still stuck in the OR. My nurse felt horrible as she couldn’t give me a time frame. I knew it wasn’t anyone’s fault, but I was so frustrated. I was feeling contractions, but they were manageable and I knew they weren’t doing much. Finally around 2:45 in the afternoon, my doctor made it to my room. I was right, ZERO progression from earlier. She immediately broke my water and I was ready for the show. Or so I thought.
Taylor had skipped lunch since he thought we would have had him much earlier in the day. So, our moms left to go pick him up some food. I was starving at this point, but assured Taylor I wanted him to eat in the room. I needed him nearby. The contractions were picking up and getting super intense. I had HGTV on to distract my mind. Each time a contraction hit, I closed my eyes and held onto the bed rails to concentrate. Taylor hurried through his food and joined me on the bed to hold my hand. He constantly reminded me to breathe as I often found myself holding my breath. In through your nose, out through your mouth. He was entirely too calm.
I was in tons of pain and asked my nurse if I could be checked. I was praying to be complete, but had a feeling I wasn’t. With Gideon, I had no doubt when it was time to push. I didn’t feel that pressure yet. My nurse checked me and said I was almost at a 7. She asked if I wanted to stand in the shower or use a birth ball. I opted for the birth ball because the thought of being wet did not sound appealing at this point. I sat and swayed on the ball while laying my head on the bed. Taylor sat behind me and kneaded my back because it hurt so bad. He turned on some slower music which helped until a nursery nurse came in to ask me more questions that I was positive I had already answered. Taylor answered for me while I gave the lady death stares. Is that really necessary while I’m in the MIDDLE OF LABOR?
I was beginning to feel light headed so I decided to get back in the bed before falling on the floor. This is when everything got beyond intense. I couldn’t stay quiet during contractions anymore and I am pretty sure I almost broke the bed from how hard I was pushing on the rails with each contraction. HGTV went off and Taylor watched the mountains climb on the paper and continued to coach me through them. Anytime he stepped a few inches away from me, I freaked. I needed him right by me and he assured me he wasn’t going anywhere.
I begged for my doctor to come check me and she rushed in to do so. An 8. In my mind I was freaking out. Two more centimeters to go. How in the heck was I going to make it two more centimeters? For some reason it seemed like it would take forever so I began to second guess my decision to not have an epidural. My doctor suggested I try a few more things before jumping to pain medication and asked if I could flip over the top of my bed. I hung over the top while my doctor climbed on the bed and pressed on my back. She asked me to rock with each contraction. This was the most painful part of the entire day and in my mind I was breaking. I groaned through it and after a few minutes told them I needed to pee. I didn’t make it off the bed though and apologized as Taylor helped me to the bathroom. I could see that the bed was covered in blood.
I sat on the toilet and screamed through another contraction as Taylor held my face and told me to focus. I looked him in the eyes and told him I HAD to have an epidural. (He told me later, he knew they wouldn’t give me one at this point). I walked out of the bathroom as they were re-dressing the bed and begged my doctor for an epidural. She calmly asked me to lay down and be checked and happily told me I was complete. This was it. I had made it.
My mom grabbed one leg and Taylor’s mom grabbed the other. Taylor stayed near my head to encourage me. I was dreading this part, as I had pushed for three hours with Gideon. It was part of the reason I chose to do it naturally. I wanted to be able to better feel what I was doing in order to push.
I pushed three times with each contraction. After two pushes, my doctor said he was blonde and I couldn’t believe it. A few more pushes, but I could feel with each one what I was doing and that it was helping. Both our moms had tears as they kept encouraging. I whispered to Taylor to pray that this was my last push. One more big push and my doctor calmly looked at me and told me I needed to stop pushing for a second. I had no clue why especially with how much pain I was in, but I stopped. No one told me until much later, but the cord was around Nolan’s neck. My mom said later that she was really worried because he was so blue. Taylor said our doctor was so amazing at holding it away from his neck and getting him unwrapped. (The doctor who delivered him was phenomenal and I would not have made it through the day without her! She is the reason I chose that day).
After 21 minutes of pushing, with one more big push they laid him on my chest. That same relief I felt after having Gideon flooded me again and I was overwhelmed with emotions. I cried and cried and kept saying, You’re here. You’re here. I think with everything we went through with loss and getting pregnant, I couldn’t believe he was finally here in my arms. Nolan let out the biggest cry right away, as if to let us know he was there.
I snuggled him for a while before they took him to get measurements. We celebrated when they announced he was seven pounds, three ounces. Bigger than they had estimated he would be. Already proving them wrong! I delivered the placenta and was sown up which was a much better experience this time around.
Our moms left the room to meet my dad and Gideon in the waiting room. My dad had pulled into the parking lot with G at the exact moment that my mom sent him a text to tell him that Nolan was here. Talk about perfect timing. I nursed Nolan and Taylor left to get Gideon. We wanted a few minutes just us as a family of four.
Gideon came in and was instantly interested in everything. He wanted to know about the baby bassinet and all different things in the room. Then he saw Nolan in my arms. We asked if he wanted to touch him, thinking he would just touch his head quick to start warming up, but he leaned in and kissed his brother’s head and my heart exploded. We had a gift for Gideon “from Nolan” and he was so excited about it. He also had a gift for Nolan. Taylor got G situated on the couch and helped him hold Nolan. Nothing in the world like seeing that.
It was a completely crazy experience and so different than the one I had with Gideon. I’m glad and I know that I will never forget the details of either one. So worth it to have my rainbow baby safely in my arms.