Our little boy Asher was due April 2, 2017. Because I was high risk from Type 1 diabetes we knew I wouldn't actually go that far. My last 2 were born at exactly 38 weeks so I was really hoping he would follow suit. The last month of the pregnancy I had very few Braxton Hicks contractions, very abnormal for me. And when I did have some they seemed very weak, like they would start and then just die off halfway through. I told my husband that my uterus just seemed tired. Funny how I ended up being right about that! My OB (I had to switch from my wonderful midwife Julie to an OB due to hospital policy with my type 1 diabetes) was gone my whole 37th week, so I didn't see her again until my appointment at 38w4d. I was 2cm dilated and she did a membrane sweep. Because of my fears of having another big baby with shoulder dystocia we decided to set up an induction date if the baby didn't come on his own. So we set that up for 39 weeks exactly. I was still hopeful that I'd go into labor on my own from the membrane sweep, but each day went by with nothing happening.
I woke up at 6am on March 26 to call the hospital for my induction time. They asked me to be there at 7:15. I already had my bags packed so I woke up my husband and ate a light breakfast before we headed to the hospital. I got into a room at 7:30 and they did all the paperwork and got me on the monitors. At about 8:40am they finally got things going. They started a low dose of pitocin and my OB came in and broke my water. I was 3cm and 90% to start. The pitocin was just enough to kick things in and I soon had regular contractions coming. My mom showed up around that time and we just talked for a while. The pitocin was increased a tiny bit a few hours later and I was checked and was 4-5cm. I asked for my epidural. I know, I tend to go natural, but with the induction and the higher risk of shoulder dystocia I decided I wanted an epidural this time. I got that at 1:30pm and then just rested while my husband, mom, birth mom, and mother-in-law talked. Time actually seemed to go pretty quickly during the whole process and things were very calm and relaxed. I was in charge of my own diabetic needs, though I asked for a small amount of glucose in my IV to keep my blood sugar in a safe range. Other than that they just occasionally asked me what my blood sugar was and let me deal with it.
I felt a bit like a science experiment with all the tubes and wires around me lol. I had my IV in one arm, with 3 lines- plain fluid, glucose, and pitocin. The other arm I had a blood pressure cuff on. Then I had 2 internal monitors put in, one to monitor baby and one to monitor contractions (because the external monitors weren't working as well), and after the epidural I had a catheter in as well. Every time I turned over it was a big ordeal of not getting tangled or pulling something. So very different from my other labors with no IVs and less monitoring! But these were all things I agreed to and was fine with having for this birth.
My amazing nurse Kellie Ann and hubby helping me during pushing
Around 5pm my wonderful nurse Kellie asked if I was feeling any pressure and I let her know I was and had been feeling it for a while. The epidural was the perfect strength to where I could feel the pressure but it didn't hurt. My doctor came in at that time and checked me and found out I was ready to push! They took a few minutes to get the bed and room all set up and ready. My OB called in for another nurse just in case because of my history of shoulder dystocia. At 5:15 I started pushing. I could feel when contractions were happening and just enough to push effectively without pain. Pretty soon they could see the head and I could hear them start talking about how big he looked. Then his head was out and we did have minor shoulder dystocia, but everything was handled extremely calmly. The nurses and my doctor knew exactly what to do, moving my legs and a nurse helping push near my pubic bone, and with some strong pushes and pulls his chubby body came out and he cried immediately.
He's here! And screaming!
Everyone could tell he was a big baby right away. His squishy little body was laid on me and he was not at all happy to be evicted lol. We wiped him down and then he was put skin-to-skin with me. We got to cuddle and nurse (after I got him calmed down enough and a few minutes getting him to latch). He was checked out while he was with me and not even taken to be weighed and measured until an hour later. During that time we got to check out the placenta after it was delivered and my OB stitched up a small 1st degree tear. This is when my OB talked with me and my husband seriously about the condition of my uterus and strongly suggested he be our last.
Now, I had been sure he wasn't going to be as big as Mikey (9lb 6oz) because my blood sugar was very well controlled during pregnancy and I just didn't feel as heavy. I was still expecting around 9lbs because that's normal for me, but I was shocked when they told me he was 9lb 8oz and 21"! My biggest baby!
Awww! Melts my heart!
Luckily we had an exhausting but quiet 2 days in the hospital where he got to have lots of cuddle time. Pretty much any time I wasn't nursing and we weren't all sleeping (or trying to, hospital really aren't conducive to sleep with all the nurses checks lol), he was holding Asher. I'd let my nurses know right away that my after pains had gotten worse after each birth so I wanted the good meds right away lol, and they stayed on top of it so I had very little discomfort. It was so nice to have time to nap and have someone else bringing me lots of food. My mother-in-law brought all the kids the next day to meet the baby and they were so excited to get a turn holding him. It is really hard trying to get a picture of 8 little kids lol.
The whole family
Although this birth was not the way I'd normally choose for things to go, it was really as perfect as could be. It was my only induction, the only one that I chose to have so many interventions and be hooked up to so many things. But honestly, it went as well as I could have hoped. I had a birth plan and my wishes were respected, my labor was peaceful and smooth, and me and my baby were very well taken care of. I couldn't have asked for more. My biggest fear going into it had been another shoulder dystocia like Mikey's that had caused him temporary nerve damage. I'd worried so much that another big baby could be injured or worse. I was not afraid of a c-section if it had been necessary, I just wanted my baby born safely. And because my doctor and nurses knew ahead of time that dystocia was a possibility they were well prepared and handled everything smoothly.
Ready to go home
Life has been so super busy in the almost-4 weeks since Asher was born, but he just fits in beautifully. I am so glad that God prompted us to have another even though we wanted to be done after Mikey. I'm so in love with my big squishy cute baby, and so are the kids.