Thomas Fox Gritton was born on October 22nd at 2:12 PM, weighing 9 lbs 4.5 oz, 19.5 inches long (measured wrong, he was 20.5 at 6 days) He was 4 days early, thank God since he was such a chunk!
I went into labor at 12:35 AM on October 21st. It started just like my labor with Hazel. Brian and I had just laid down to go to sleep when my waters broke. I wasn’t 100% sure they had broken because it was a small trickle at first but when I went to the bathroom it started pouring out and didn’t stop through my whole labor! So much fluid.
I didn’t want to go to the hospital too early this time, because after a certain number of hours they start pressuring you and pushing tons of interventions, which I didn’t want. I labored at home for 8 hours and then Brian took Hazel to his sister’s house and we went to the hospital.
I was having pretty regular contractions that were moderately painful (back labor again) at this point and my body had been “clearing itself out” for hours…gross body. I was sure it was going to be baby time soon!
We got to the hospital and checked into triage around 9 AM and my labor had basically stopped. Occassionally I’d have a contraction or a few contractions but they were mild and infrequent. My bloody show was slowly coming out every time I’d use the restroom, but not much was happening.
Because my waters had already broken, they wanted to do as few cervical checks as possible to reduce the risk of introducing infection to me and the baby. When they did check I was at a 2, and 26 hours later after some picking up and then stalling again of my contractions I was only at a 2.5.
My “midwife” (the only one in my office I did not want to deliver my baby) was pushing the use of Cytotec throughout my labor. I was 100% not comfortable with that option, it’s extremely dangerous (can cause uterine rupture, distress or death to baby, etc) and I was getting frustrated with how hard she was pushing me into taking it (the manufacturer even says not for use in pregnancy and labor). She made me cry and feel extremely upset every few hours, she was condescending and rude and I hated her guts. Harsh, but she rubbed me the wrong way throughout my pregnancy too. She estimated my baby to be max 7 lbs, after feeling my stomach, and kept coming in to see if I’d take the medication every few hours. She was clearly extremely exasperated by me.
Eventually she offered two other alternatives, a Foley bulb or Cervidil. We asked if we could just start Pitocin like I used with Hazel but she insisted that no, I must ripen my cervix first. I labored for hours and hours (26) getting into all sorts of positions to help flip baby into the anterior position and speed up my progression to no avail. The Foley bulb wouldn’t have progressed me much further than I was so that option was out.
At this point I agreed to use Cervidil because if it has negative effects it can be removed immediately and the effects reversed (unlike Cytotec, once taken it’s too late and irreversible). I also begged for an epidural. I couldn’t do any more back labor, I didn’t care at this point if I ended up with another spinal headache, I needed sleep. Brian and I had been awake for over 48 hours.
The anesthesiologist was incredible, he calmed me and assured me he doesn’t make mistakes like the ones made in North Carolina the last time I gave birth. He helped me stay calm and placed the epidural correctly the first time. I felt immediate relief and was able to get some sleep. When he placed the epidural I was maybe dilated to a 3 (he later told me he wouldn’t have placed it had he known that, lucky me!). At the 36 hour mark I woke up to some really painful contractions. I couldn’t feel them abdominally but my vagina/butt were no longer anesthetized. I could feel everything, but it was tolerable. The anesthesiologist came in to top me off (it didn’t work, epidurals stop being as effective after 12 hours) and within an hour I was feeling “pushy”.
I called my nurse in and told her I was feeling pretty “pushy” with each contraction. She was skeptical but I told her I had also recently felt a massive gush of fluid. She checked and my cervidil had fallen out and I was at an 8. She called the midwife (a new nice one I loved was on duty) and she came in and checked me again. Baby was having massive decels and I was at a 10 so she said it was baby time! She called in doctors to help use forceps or the vacuum if needed (baby really wasn’t doing well with contractions) and I started pushing with all my might, I did not want the vacuum or forceps used.
Baby came down and out pretty quickly. I went from feeling “pushy” to like I was about to poop (baby) I kept insisting I needed the restroom, but they said no it’s fine it can happen here if it will. I pushed and pushed and felt baby’s head (felt like poop lol) and aimed my pushes for that area. He didn’t slide back in after every push like Hazel had done. I felt his head with my hands as he started to emerge and it motivated me. My midwife applied warm washcloths and mineral oil to my perineum to minimize tearing and I popped out my baby’s head. He had his cord wrapped around his neck twice, the midwife removed it and I pushed and she pulled his body out. The weirdest feeling part was his body. It was so big and almost nauseating, the feeling of him emerging. I got to grab him from between my legs and pull him to my chest. He was beautiful and fat and bluish. They said he was enormous, an LG baby, I didn’t notice till after how big he was.
Maybe 2 minutes later I was feeling “pushy” again and told my midwife, she said go ahead and push, and my placenta came out. It came out still attached to baby with the longest cord they’d ever seen, and the fattest placenta. They said it’s super rare to have the placenta come out while baby is still attached.
Baby and placenta were out after 17 minutes of pushing, and baby had rotated anterior in the end, making a huge difference pain-wise. It felt like much longer to me and I was so afraid of having to push for 4 or more hours again. It was such a relief to have had it end quickly.
I did tear, but this time it was only a second degree tear with a left internal sulcus tear. I did not tear through my bhole! The midwife had a Dr. double check the tear because the internal was deep, but they said it was fine, she numbed me and sewed me up very carefully. The difference in how I felt and feel postpartum this time vs with Hazel is incredible. I wheeled Thomas to our recovery room, walking. I’ve been able to do so much this time, basically everything but lift our chunky Hazel.
I was so nervous going into labor this time. I’d been so completely traumatized by Hazel’s birth, and this one started out the same way, and lasted even longer in the end. But the delivery was so what I needed and so healing emotionally. I made it through, I birthed our children and completed our family and everything was ok. Our big fat adorable chunky Thomas made his way into our lives and was worth every second of fear and pain.