Luke's Birth Story

Luke was due on July 4th; with the gestational diabetes diagnosis, my doctor did not want me going past my due date, but we compromised on an induction date of July 6. Well, at 4am on June 29 (exactly 1 week prior to the induction date) I woke up to my first contraction. I immediately knew what it was; I remembered the same back labor from when I was in labor with Abby. I had about 5 contractions in that first hour and was able to doze off between them, but by 5:15 I finally just got out of bed so I could start timing them. They started out 10-15 minutes apart, but quickly got closer and closer. 

By 6:00 they were 7-8 minutes apart. Of course Abby ended up waking up way earlier than normal at 6:00 so I got Lynn and told him I would need his help and that I thought that contractions had started.  I waited another hour to call my parents to come pick up Abby. By the time I made the call, the contractions were anywhere from 2-4 minutes apart, but only lasting around 30-45 seconds. Once Abby was picked up I took a shower and had a piece of peanut butter toast to try and curb my hunger. Then around 8:00 I made the call to Labor & Delivery to tell them what was going on and find out if they wanted me to labor more at home. They decided that since this was my second baby, I should go on in to be checked and monitored for a bit, so we started to load up the car with our things. 

We got to the hospital around 8:45 and just in the nick of time (3 other laboring moms arrived right after me, it turned out to be a very busy day in Labor & Delivery!)  The doctor eventually made it in to our triage room and did a quick check and membrane sweep. I was at 4cm and being admitted to have the baby!  We had to wait quite a while to get transferred from triage to labor & delivery due to how busy they were that morning. I was assigned to nurse Jane who ended up being wonderful (it was a pity her shift ended before I delivered). It wasn’t until around 11:00 that I finally got moved over to the room where I would deliver. 

Right away they called for the anesthesiologist to administer an epidural.  Around noon the epidural was placed but unfortunately it only worked on the right half of my body. I had heard of that happening to other women so I figured it was normal, but my nurse told me it was not. The anesthesiologist had the nurse turn me to my left side to try and get some of the pain medicines to migrate and numb me, but after an hour the pain from contractions was still incredibly intense. Jane convinced me to have them remove the epidural and re-do it. I wasn’t too pleased with the anesthesiologist (who didn’t seem eager to do the new epidural) so Jane helped me get a new anesthesiologist (a CRNA this time), Jeff. He was wonderful. He said was whole-heartedly supportive of re-doing the epidural and said if half of my body was feeling the pain, then what’s the point? Thankfully around 1:15 he got the new epidural placed and gave me a super dose to make sure it would take effect. And wow, did it take effect! He said after an hour it would fade away and be more like a normal epidural with me feeling pressure with the contractions (like I had experienced during Abby’s birth), but it never faded (though once I was fully dilated I did feel the pressure to push).  

At 2:00 Jane checked my progress, or lack-there-of, I was still at 4cm.  A bit later I finally met the mid-wife, Gina, who would help me deliver the baby. She was an older woman and incredibly sweet with a great bedside manner (which helped make up for the earlier anesthesiologist!) I can’t remember too many exact times of the checks. I think it was around 3:00 that Gina checked me and I was 6cm-7cm dilated. A short while later around 4:00 Jane checked again because it looked like my water had started to break. When she did that cervical check it completely broke my bag of waters. Unfortunately the water wasn’t completely clear and there was some concern that the baby had already passed meconium in utero, which meant possible NICU attention if he ingested any of the meconium. The coloring was so slight, though, that Jane wasn’t sure (and it turned out that if he had passed meconium, he did not ingest it).  

Within a few minutes of that last check I started feeling immense pressure to push, at another check Gina determined I was 9 ½ cm and had me do a “practice push” to see if we could get rid of the last bit of cervix, which we were able to do. They readied the room for delivery! One item of note was that as we got closer to delivery I had a fever that was spiking (it got up to 100.5). Gina explained some of the risks & reasons while I was spiking a fever and there was some discussion of dosing me with antibiotics, but luckily after delivery my body temperature regulated and no medication was required.  

At 4:30 they removed my catheter and I started pushing. When labor started the baby was posterior, but Gina said just as he started to descend into the birth canal, he turned over. Since I pushed for 2 hours delivering Abby, I was prepared to go a long time again, however 10 minutes later, at 4:40 Gina told me to reach down and grab my baby to bring him to my chest. We enjoyed the “Golden Hour” of just him resting on my chest. We also were afforded the opportunity to do delayed cord clamping (allow all the blood to finish pumping before cutting the cord). The new delivery nurse, Stephanie, noticed that the baby’s breathing was rapid at 100 breaths per minute (normal is 60). They also noted an elevated temperature in the baby of 101. But with that Golden Hour we were able to get his temperature and breathing down to more normal levels. Gina said that I had 2nd degree tearing again.

Luke's Birth

Around 8pm we were transferred to our post-partum room where the grandparents came to meet Luke. The first night went decently well. The next morning the pediatrician who came to check on Luke found that he had a pretty severe tongue tie which she came back in the afternoon to correct. Due to his fever & breathing issues at birth, they decided to keep us overnight again to continue to monitor Luke. Monday morning we had a lovely photo session while Abby met Luke for the first time. After that Karen & Carol came to visit and meet Luke. Later in the day both our moms came for a visit (my mom bringing Abby again).

The week before Luke was born I used the breast pump to express colostrum. It was a good thing I did this because Luke’s blood sugar levels were borderline on the low side and he was having trouble nursing (most likely due to the tongue tie). The nurses were really impressed (one called me a rockstar) that I had come prepared with colostrum to supplement and brought me a hospital grade pump to continue to pump since Luke was having difficulty nursing. Our breastfeeding journey is another story and battle though, a battle that I preserved through and won!

Click Here for more pictures from Luke's Birth (including Abby meeting him!)