Monday morning (November 17th) I was extra irritable. Note the extra…at this point in pregnancy the irritable part was normal. I had already been reduced to tears several times by mid-morning. The smoking woman near my children and me. Older boys picking on my little kids. And Matt sensing my frustration and trying to reduce it… I wondered that morning if Zoe may be coming soon.
I took a nap that afternoon and we decided to head to one of our favorite malls for dinner and a walk around Toys-r-us. We brought our jawbone jambox in the car, pumped up the worship music and enjoyed a peaceful car ride while the littles listened to music and Matt and I shared in conversation.
We enjoyed our dinner. During our walk around toys-r-us we found a cool mini-golf set, a soccer ball, a frisby and a couple other small things. I anticipated all of us having fun with those soon after.
I noticed frequent contractions during dinner and in the car ride home. We got the kids to bed and I started timing them. They were 4 minutes a part, but not painful or intense, each lasting about 45 seconds. If I had been confident Zoe was head down we may not have been so quick to head to the hospital. After all it was over a week early and it wasn’t painful at all, just frequent. But I was fearful…which bump was her head and which was her booty…and I was feeling a lot of pressure on my left hip…like she was stuck on it. We didn’t have anything set for childcare because every day was different, but thankfully our friends who had just had a baby the week before were able to watch the kids and make arrangements for us. We headed to the hospital and I texted with our doula.
When we arrived they checked me in right away. Contractions remained consistent until I laid down on the hospital bed. They were able to confirm that Zoe was head down and I was so relieved. They checked me and I was only 1 cm dilated and 70% effaced. I had hoped I was a bit further along, but still anticipated meeting Zoe within a few hours per how fast her older siblings had come. I asked if I could leave and they didn’t want me to. They also knew how fast Annalise and Zachary had come (both born at the same hospital).
We settled in for what we thought would be a long night and called my doula to let her know what was going on. She showed up and talked me through contractions. I wanted to get everything I could out of each one so I created a walking track around my room and squatted each time one would come. They checked me again around 4 am and I was still the same. WHAT!?! So I decided to lay down and get some rest. My doula was scheduled to fly out that morning so she left about 5 am. At 8 am my doctor came and checked me. I was still the same. I asked him if I could go home. He said, “no, baby is coming, you are having many contractions.” He told me to get up and walk. So I upped the Lecrae and got back to walking a track around the room. Contractions remained 4 minutes apart around 45 seconds long, and not painful or intense. At 12:00 he came to check me and I was 3-4 cms. Ok…I thought, it’s been slow to this point, but this is where I usually start moving quickly from. At 2:30 he came to check me again. I was 4 and still only 70% effaced. The 70% effacement turned out to be the real hold-up. Zoe was head down but simply not engaging, which meant all those contractions and all that walking wasn’t doing much to progress labor. He suggested we start pitocin and get me walking again. We called our friend, a labor and delivery nurse, and talked through the options. She agreed that pitocin would help progress at this point and since I had already been up for over 32 hours with just a little bit of rest we needed to move things along. She had a dentist appointment and would come to the hospital right after she finished. At three o’clock they started pitocin and Matt and I walked the halls. Contractions were regular but not intense or painful. Right around 3:30 our friend showed up. She was a huge encouragement, support and offered so much wisdom. I could still talk and move and smile my way through contractions. They began to get a little more intense. I was no longer smiling, but I could joke the minute in between them. My doctor checked me around 4:45 and I was 7 cm and 100%. The head nurse said the baby should arrive by around 7pm (over 2 hours later!!!! —needless to say I didn’t like that). My doctor also said the baby was in the worst possible head down position for delivery. I sat on an exercise ball and began to ask Matt and our friend if there was any option for pain control (this hospital doesn’t have epidurals). I was in a lot of pain. Nope, no options. I was very concerned about her position. I had two more contractions and knew immediately I was fully dilated. I climbed up on the bed and stayed on all fours for several moments just praying she would turn her little head and not be in the bad position. Matt and our friend just thought I couldn’t move. :) Tricked them. (and she did turn to the best position!!!) I laid down and pushed through one contraction. They said I wouldn’t have torn but at the last second I let out a scream. 2nd degree tear. Oh well. She was out. PTL! I immediately saw the doctor’s face, Matt’s face and our nurse friend’s face. Their eyes were huge, but Zoe was crying so I knew she was ok. Why the shocked reaction from them? Zoe’s cord was wrapped around her neck, not just one, but two times. That explains why she was so hesitant to engage her little head and had given us the scare the week before of turning around. She didn’t like how it felt being all tangled up in her cord. My doctor immediately placed her on my chest. She was goopy and perfect and I just said a dozen, “Thank You, Jesus and You are so goods” and just kept kissing her sweet head. I was so relieved. Zoe cuddled up with me and nursed quickly and well (none of my others did that until a couple hours after birth).
And now, my sweet baby Zoe is one month and one day old. She is a champion sleeper, giving me a 6 hour chunk and then a 3 hour chunk like clockwork the past 2 weeks consistently. She is a great eater and is over 8 pounds now and even grew an inch in length since her birth. Her siblings adore her and always want a turn to hold her, and at the very least for me to lean down so they can kiss her on the head. They love bedtime when she comes by to say goodnight to them. So so sweet. We are humbled and thankful that Father has given us our precious Zoe Praise. It is our prayer for her that like her name (Zoe means life) she would live a life of praise. Psalm 63:3 Because your love is better than life my lips will glorify you.
So thankful. ~Karissa