May 24, 2019
Meet baby Howard! Howard is Meg and Colby’s fourth son. And proof that every birth takes its own path!
“I have learned, after four labors, that every baby is different and every labor is different. It is so important to have an open mind and expect the unexpected.”
And her fourth birthing experience did prove to have a few new challenges, she says!
“I had anticipated that I would go past my due date as all three of my other babies were born after their due dates. However, I still began to feel really anxious as my due date approached. Anxious to meet him, but also anxious about the unknown of labor. Anxious about the pain. Would my water break before labor? Would I go into labor on my own? Would I have to have pitocin? With 2/3 of my previous labors, my water broke before labor started and I eventually was given pitocin to start contracting.
So, at 9 days past my due date, with no signs of impending labor, I made the decision to be induced.”
At the hospital, before labor became too intense, Meg was able to visit and laugh with her mom and husband who were supporting her for the birth.
“Knowing that I would be induced and given pitocin, I planned on having an epidural and actually expected labor to be relatively pain free. I also expected that labor would be fairly quick as my last baby was born in about 4-5 hours from the start of pitocin to birth.”
“However, as the afternoon progressed, I began to feel discouraged. I was only dilating about ½ cm every couple of hours or so. Therefore, my nurse continued to increase my pitocin to try to encourage labor to progress. And although the epidural seemed to be working at first, I started to feel contractions in my lower back and around my stomach. My nurse encouraged me to use the PCA pump to get a dose of medicine, but it only made my legs more and more numb. This was incredibly uncomfortable and also very frustrating as I was not able to help reposition myself at all. This was not turning out to be the quick and pain-free labor that I had been anticipating.”
She recalls allowing her expectations based on previous experiences to affect her mood. But that would soon change!
“At about 7 cm, the nurse moved me to my hands and knees to try to change position and help me dilate. I remember crying because I knew there was no way I would be able to be on my hands and knees when I couldn’t feel my legs at all! I ended up being in so much pain in this position that they turned me back over pretty quickly. When they did, the nurse commented that she saw bloody show and I was 9 cm dilated. I was having lots of painful contractions, but also so encouraged that I was so close to meeting him!”
So close to the end, Meg’s doctor helped turn the baby for better positioning, and then it was only a few pushes until baby Howard was born! 9 lbs + 1 oz, a beautiful and healthy baby boy!
“The NICU team assessed him because my amniotic fluid was meconium tinged and determined that he was perfectly healthy! This had been a constant worry for me throughout labor as my last baby had spent time in the NICU due to a pneumothorax. What a relief that we would not have to spend time in the NICU again!”
Meg and Colby were excited, but also relieved to be cuddling their healthy baby boy. “I loved just cuddling him on my chest and taking in all his features,” Meg said.
And what a magical moment, to finally introduce him to his brothers!
“My three older boys were so excited to meet him. My oldest (8 years old) was so curious about everything the nurse was doing and loved watching him get measured and get his footprints and vitals. My five year old couldn’t stop grinning.”