My birth story as a third-time mom
Do you know what they say about third babies? They’re the wild card. I spent a lot of time reading birth stories when I was pregnant, and I’ve always found them useful and fascinating. My turn to share Billie’s birth story as a third-time mom!
From hyperemesis gravidarum to Covid
My pregnancy with Billie was amazing, scary, and unpleasant. I know these feelings sound contradictory but they describe my pregnancy perfectly. It started with hyperemesis gravidarum in my first and second trimesters and ended with Covid in my third trimester. There were a lot of ups and downs in between. One thing that was amazing is that for the first time since 2015, my thyroid levels got under control. They were out-of-whack for 20 weeks (went from hyperthyroidism to hypothyroidism) and then got better (without any meds!) and the consequences on how I felt were incredible! I could write an entire post about it but the main positive was that my heart issues (PVCs/PACs and SVT) were gone.
Irritable uterus and Braxton Hicks
I had what they call an “irritable uterus”, basically I would throw regular contractions that could be close together but that did NOT affect my cervix. Braxton Hicks… I
Back in 2015, I had those with Jude too, and ended up going into labor at 37 weeks. Those Braxton Hicks were uncomfortable but never painful. I had learned to live with them and ignore them but at 37 weeks, they got to 3 minutes apart for HOURS so I decided to call L&D to be on the safe side. They asked me to come in to get checked and sure enough, I was in active labor, at 5cm and Jude was born a few hours later on July 4th.
Back to Billie, I was dealing with the same thing, constant Braxton Hicks, so I was prepared to go into labor a bit early. A bit terrified I wouldn’t know when to go in and that I would have a baby in the car… I was 3cm dilated at 37 weeks and Billie was super low. The OBGYN predicted that I probably wasn’t gonna make it to my 38-week appointment but I did.
At 38 weeks, I was 3.5cm dilated, almost fully effaced, with a bulging bag of water. The OB said my water could break any minute and gave me a puppy pad for the car ride home.
The next day, I had my bloody show. I was convinced labor was hours away but nothing happened then either. The days passed and I didn’t go into labor. At 38w4d, I scheduled an induction for 39 weeks – my OB was still convinced I would go into labor before then. Spoiler alert, I did not.
Induction at 39 weeks: A birth story
At 9 am, I checked in at the hospital for my induction. I spent a while filling out paperwork, then they got me a room and attempted to place an IV. I tried to advocate for myself so they would NOT place the IV on my wrist since every time a nurse had tried this, the vein blew. The nurse didn’t listen and you guessed it… blew my vein. The second try was a success after they put the IV in my hand, at my request.
Around 11 am, everything was ready to start the induction process. The nurse started me on the lowest dose possible of Pitocin, 2ml. After just a few minutes, my contractions were 3-4 minutes apart. They upped my dose to 4ml and contractions got to 1 minute apart so they had to turn it down to prevent uterine rupture.
At noon, my water broke. It was a LOT of fluids.
I asked for the epidural then because contractions became painful instantly and they were right on top of one another. The nurse got me ready for the epidural by giving me fluids to reduce the chances of a blood pressure drop. At 1 pm, the anesthesiologist showed up and placed the epidural, which worked well, and I gave me instant relief.
Epidural and blood pressure drop
Unfortunately, shortly after, I started feeling completely out of it, the monitors started beeping, and my blood pressure dropped to 74/41. The anesthesiologist came back and gave me meds to raise my BP. It was quite scary. I can’t have epinephrine due to a heart condition called SVT so they gave me Phenylephrine. It worked and I felt fine afterward. I wasn’t allowed to get more epidural though. They kept me on a low dose, which was thankfully enough to take the edge off.
At 3 pm, I already felt the urge to push but since my water had broken, the nurse didn’t want to check me quite yet to reduce the risk of infection.
Just before 4 pm, the OBGYN on call stopped by before the end of her shift “just in case”. She checked me and sure enough, I was 10cm dilated. They prepped the room and I started pushing at 4:16, which felt like an eternity when all your body wants to do is push. Two pushes later, Billie made her grand entrance. It was 4:20. I had a second-degree tear that required stitches, but seems to be healing well.
Meet Billie, 6lbs 5oz and 20 1/4 inches long
Here’s her birth video: https://www.instagram.com/p/CjVZmD5Dqsp/