So, you have read my first 2 pregnancy and labor experiences. And I’m sitting here thinking, three more to go. Can I write anything new and different and fun? And I’m sure you are thinking, “Goodness! Do we have to read 3 more of her pregnancies?” I’m going to save both of us the trouble and decided to combine my last 3 experiences into one blog with a few more tips.
Fast forward to my last doctor’s visit with my third pregnancy. She wanted me to get an ultrasound because I was measuring low when she checked my fundal height. Lesson #1. Fundal height is where the top of your uterus is felt. It correlates with how many weeks you are into your pregnancy. For me, it was the amount of amniotic fluid, surrounding my baby. At the ultrasound, the fluid was low enough that my doctor wanted to induce me. I was admitted, started on Pitocin and felt my contractions quick and strong. Lesson #2. Pitocin is a medication that is used to start contractions. And the contractions are usually stronger because of the medicine. All of a sudden, the whole team came rushing in because my baby wasn’t tolerating the labor and his heart rate was dropping. They rushed me to the operating room about to do a cesarean section. Everything was chaos, I didn’t know where Eric was and I was left speechless. My doctor came rushing in and said I was going to deliver this baby vaginally because I “was a good pusher.” Lesson #3. I’m sure there’s a lesson in here about an emergency, trying to stay calm, etc… for the sake of time, I’ll let you do some self-learning. Ultimately, I had my baby and everything ended up wonderful. My third boy was here and joined our chaotic, loving household.
My fourth labor started out the same as my last. I needed to be induced because my fluid was again low. But this time, it was even lower and I started worrying if the same thing would happen. My doctor actually sat in the room this time waiting. She and my husband were talking and my contractions were off and running. My doctor asked if I was ok. I actually gave in this time and said that I would like something for pain. Her response was, “Pitocin does make your contractions stronger and closer. Your contractions are 1-3 minutes apart.” Then she started talking with my husband again. Umm. My pain medicine?! They were so busy talking, I didn’t know how to interrupt them. Finally, they stopped talking and I said I would like something for pain. Lesson#4. Don’t be afraid to ask for pain medicine, whether during labor or after delivery. It’s hard to be in the moment when you’re in pain. The nurse gave me something through my IV and the next thing I was pushing. The fourth boy arrived with no complications and healthy. Now I felt our family was complete. I was a happy mother of four boys. I wasn’t going to get my girl, but I knew our family was complete.
After talking and debating and almost getting a tubal ligation, my husband decided to get a vasectomy. One week before his procedure, I found out I was pregnant! I’m not going to lie, I took the test a few times, bought different brands. I used it first thing in the morning and the last thing at night. I finally showed Eric the last test I took, it had a bright pink positive sign. I think Eric was a little stunned also because he was like, “Positive, so that means good. You’re not pregnant?” As you could guess, we weren’t quite ready or expecting another addition. Another boy?! Another busy, loud, messy boy?! We came to grips with our new reality, we were told the baby was a girl, friends and family were excited. I wasn’t going to believe it until I saw my baby.
I was older, working 12 hour shifts and pregnant. I would text Eric and see how quickly he would respond so when the time came I knew he would be available. I started looking for a back up because he wasn’t passing the practice runs. I had a couple people willing to watch the other kids when the time came to go to the hospital. Lesson #5. Know who you are able to call to watch your other kids when you go into labor. Remember, you could go into labor any time so it might be helpful to have someone ready during the day and someone willing to do the midnight shift if needed.
The day came. I made it to my OB visit and told my midwife I think I was having contractions. She checked me and said yes, you’re 3 cm dilated. Then I felt something and she said she stripped my membranes. Lesson #6. Stripping your membranes is done to help labor progress. What?! I still had to pick up my kids from school, I can’t go to the hospital yet! She said, well you know when you need to come in. That put a lot of pressure on me because I really don’t know when I needed to come in. Lesson #7. Learn when you should go to the hospital, whether your water breaks, how far apart your contractions are, and especially warning signs for going to labor delivery. I picked up my kids and then called Eric and then my friend. My friend came to the house before Eric. I called him again and he said he was about to leave the school! Oh no! He wasn’t even on his way yet! He is totally failing this final exam! He came home and we took off hoping we wouldn’t run into traffic. We arrived to labor and delivery, the midwife on call came to assess me and said, “So you think you’re in labor?” The way she said it, made me doubt myself, my water hadn’t broken, maybe I’m not. She checked me and I was 9cm dilated! I had my baby 45 minutes later. The first thing I did was look to see and was ecstatic to find a girl! She was so small, only 6 lbs 2oz. The midwife asked about my medical history, I didn’t have any, because my placenta was calcified and “looked old.” Lesson #7. If you’re older and pregnant, it’s very important you eat well, rest, and monitor medical health especially blood pressure and blood sugar.
If I thought my family was complete with four boys, that one girl added a whole new dynamic to my family. She is hard headed, tough, rambunctious, loud–not what you think a girl should be. She’s also caring, funny, smart and a true princess; everything a girl should be. I would not have my family any other way. Yes, there’s challenges. Yes, there’s yelling. There’s hair pulling (me pulling my hair), there’s sibling rivalry, there’s noise. There’s also laughter, love, kisses and hugs.
Kristine Walton,RN , BSN
Wife/Mother of 5/ Registered Nurse
Contact Kristine @ firstname.lastname@example.org
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