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September 16, 2019

Theodore Ignatius

He's here! Our beautiful baby number 4 - Theodore Ignatius! I'm still pretty much in shock that Morgan and I have four beautiful, healthy children. And, over the last few days, Teddy has just slipped right into our family life. 

If you follow me on Instagram then you know that I had been having consistent contractions since about 32 weeks with Teddy. These contractions would come and go and get down to about 3 minutes apart. It made for a miserable last few weeks of pregnancy. Plus, makes it really hard to decide if you are really in labor or not. 

Well, on the evening of September 11, I started having some of these same contractions in the later afternoon. I ignored them and went about the routine of a school night. They weren't really that painful or consistent so I figured it was another round of false labor. At around 9:00 p.m., I crawled into bed hoping for some rest. By 9:30 the contractions seemed to have changed, they were much more intense and would even wake me up as I drifted to sleep in between them. They were about 5-7 minutes apart and were starting to maybe make me think this was actually labor. 

By 10, I had to get up and move. Movement is my go-to in labor so Morgan was convinced this was real. He got dressed and started binge cleaning the house. As I paced, contractions kept coming at about 3-4 minutes apart and were getting stronger. By 12, Morgan and I knew we should probably head to the hospital. After Gus' super quick labor we were advised by my doctor not to hang out at home too long. 

We called a good friend to come sit with the kids and left for the hospital (after randomly needing to put two kids back to bed) around 12:30 a.m. When we got to the hospital, I was only 2.5 c.m. which is where I had been a couple days before when I had been checked. So we were advised to walk the halls and see where things went before officially getting admitted. Morgan and I walked the hospital for a couple hours before coming back to see where things were going. The contractions were holding steady at around 3-3.5 minutes apart, but they were getting much stronger. 

I was checked again around 3:30, but hadn't made any progress. However, it became clear that Theodore wasn't tolerating the contractions all that well. During the contractions, his heartbeat was dropping, but it was bouncing back quickly. Even so, this meant I was getting admitted. 

Since it was clear that this wasn’t going to be a fast labor I decided to get an epidural. I was hoping for a little rest and relief. So around 5:00 that was placed. It was the best epidural I’ve ever had. It took away the pain of contractions but I still had decent movement in my feet and legs - which soon became very important.

For awhile after being admitted Theodore’s heart rate had evened out and was stable. But that didn’t last long, right before the epidural it started to drop again during the increasingly intense contractions. Once the epidural was in, the doctor asked if they could break my water to try and speed the process up. I agreed and that went well.

Theodore tolerated breaking my water but soon after was having decelerations again. So thankfully, I could move fairly easily and we were able to try a bunch of positions to get him happier and I got extra oxygen to try and help him. I ended up going from 3c to 8cm in about an hour and then from 8 to 10cm in another 35-40 minutes; the doctors think it was just a lot of change for him to deal with and he wasn’t coping well.

Once I was ready to push, everyone assumed it would go quickly because it had with both Nora and Gus. But after pushing a couple times we discovered he was stuck in a really wonky position. He was mostly sunny side up (facing the ceiling) but not quite. He was rotated a bit to the side too. This was not ideal for a quick end to labor.

After a few pushes (where his heart rate was dropping) the doctors had to help him rotate to be completely facing up. Even that didn’t help him move further down, so they had me move to a new position for pushing (hands and knees) to give him some more space to descend. Still, Theodore wasn’t tolerating pushing well and his heart rate was dropping. They placed internal monitors to try to get more accurate measurements (it took three tries to get one to stick).

At this point, contractions were only about a minute apart. I was getting physically ill and Theodore was still stuck trying to navigate further down. At this point, the doctor had me switch to pushing on my side and they gave me some medication to slow the contractions. They again believed that Theodore just wasn’t coping with the pace and intensity while trying to find his way out.

We switched to pushing only every other contraction from my side which seemed to help but not completely. Finally, the doctor started to prep us for the possibility of a vacuum birth and if that failed a C-section. Teddy’s heart rate was now dropping into the low 90s/high 80s with each contraction and taking longer and longer to bounce back.

They were going to give me a couple more tries at pushing while they prepared the vacuum. Suddenly, Theodore was finally free of the bone, and making quick progress. I don’t know if it was me just feeling super motivated to avoid further intervention, the position change, or a happy coincidence, but it was a huge relief. I pushed a couple more times (for around an hour of total pushing) and all 7 pounds and 14 oz of him was born! 

Theodore was a bit grunty after birth and had a tougher time breathing for the first couple hours. Again, thankfully it wasn't so bad that he needed to be taken away from me, just suctioned out a couple of times and monitored a bit on my chest. He eventually figured it out and we got to happily nurse and bond. Now, we're all home to heal and adjust. 

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Shola said…
congratulations. and welcome Teddy
Lise Johnston
Lise Johnston said…
Lot's of love. I wish I had written more down when it first happened as you're right and you forget so much.
Brittany said…
Welcome Teddy! I'm glad everyone is healthy and happy. :)
Unknown said…
Congratulations! What a cutie pie :) Glad to hear that he ended up coming without further intervention! Hope you have a smooth recovery.