Here's the story of Juliet's birth! I still can't believe she is here and we are a family of 5. We are about one week in and thus far it's been the easiest transition for our family, but check back with me when she does more than just sleep and eat all day and night.
The end of pregnancy was full of the "I'll be pregnant forever" despair. It was tough. I was terrified that I'd have to be induced. Elaina and Dane were born two weeks early, and Juliet came just 3 days before her due date. The days were long!
As usual, I lost my mucus plug (I hate that word) about a week before she was born and started having contractions around that time as well. I got so excited thinking the end was near, but she had different plans!
Juliet was born on Friday, June 12th at 11:13 AM and this is how it went down:
It's Friday morning, about 5AM and I hear a strange noise coming from the kids' room. Dane is whining and making a coughing noise that I immediately recognize as gagging. Crap. We had a mall playdate the day before so I'm sure he caught some little stomach bug from one of the kids there. I roll out of bed, go to his room and get him and go to the living room. He and I lay on the couch and he falls back asleep immediately with his head on my chest. About 5 minutes after I lay on the couch, I have a strong contraction. Hmph. That was weird. That felt really, really strong for early labor. About 10 minutes pass and I have another. And another. Crap. This feels like the real deal, and it hurts more than I remember early labor hurting. I need to poop (not push, legitimately poop).
Dane and I are on the couch and everyone but me is asleep. Marvin has this terrible (and incredibly annoying) habit of waking up before work with only enough time to run around like a chicken with his head cut off. I decide to text him from the couch.
He immediately wakes up and comes into the living room. I tell him that Dane threw up and I had 3 pretty painful contractions and I think I might be in labor. He asks if I need anything and if he should call in to work. I tell him I want coffee and that he should go to work and I'll text him if/when he needs to come back home. Dane and Elaina are still asleep. Marvin makes my coffee and I make cinnamon rolls. I have a few more contractions that I have to lean over for (so that my belly hangs--for some reason that helps the pain). The contractions are still coming and they are still hurting more than I remember "just 2 cm" contractions hurting. It is 6:30 and it's time for Marvin to go to work. At this point I've had to squat and breath through the contractions. Marvin has seen me do this. I am starting to wonder if he should go to work after all.
"Maybe you shouldn't go to work?" I say. He chuckles, "Ok, let's not be dramatic, I'll go to work and you call me or text me later." Ummmmm. Ok. Marvin goes to work. I need to poop. I go to the bathroom and sitting on the toilet hurts SO FREAKING BAD. Pressure. I cannot poop because I cannot sit on the toilet long enough to relax. I wipe. I see blood. Ok, I'm in labor. I text Marvin to come home. He doesn't respond. Elaina and Dane wake up. Dane throws up again. Elaina doesn't care that I'm in labor and wants cereal. I need to poop so bad. This is gonna suck. I'm gonna poop all over Dr. Brown later. I text my mom to let her know what's going on. She's on her way. Marvin gets home and says he got to work and juuuuust as he was about to clock in he got my text.
**The first text was while he was in bed. The next few were after he left for work.**
Ok. I'm in labor. It's about 7AM. My mom is over and she's having coffee and toast. Marvin changes into "labor" clothes. The kids watch cartoons. Dane is back to his normal, weird self.
**Two things- 1) I apologize for all the cursing, but a baby was about to be born! 2) Apparently we thought if we said "calmly" a few times it would magically make us calm? Just in case you're wondering, it didn't work**
We start packing bags and getting everything ready. I clean the house and load the dishwasher. I say after every contraction "I just wanna poop. This is terrible." The contractions hurt but people talking is not annoying me yet. I tell Elaina that today is the day we are going to meet the baby. She lights up like a Christmas tree. I feel a little frazzled. I would feel so much better if I could just POOP! Marvin and I time the contractions as we clean up. I yell "ok" when one starts and "ok" again when it ends. Marvin misses a few contractions and he asks me if I can say something other than "ok" to signify a contraction since "ok" is a common word and he can't tell if I'm just talking or trying to get his attention. I yell at him that I'M in labor and I get to decide what to say and he is crazy if he thinks I'm gonna say something else and he better just pay better attention. Labor hormones. I catch my mom and Marvin whispering to each other after my outburst and I'm sure they're talking about how crazy I am. My mom and the kids leave to go to her house (where they'll be staying while we're in the hospital). They leave at about 8AM. We hang out and finish cleaning and Marvin puts on a movie for him to watch while I rock on my birth ball. Marvin is perhaps the calmest man on the Earth at this point. In fact, it would be nice if he would get just a teensy bit more nervous, but #thirdkidprobs
The contractions are starting to really hurt. They are about 3 minutes apart lasting about a minute. Other people talking during the contractions is still not annoying, but I cannot talk at this point through them. At 9AM I start to wonder if we should go to the hospital. Not because I feel like the end is near, but because I don't want to keep worrying about when the right time to go is. I want to travel now and not have to travel when things get tougher. I tell Marvin that I think we should go to the hospital "it's too early" he says. Oh, really, Marv? "Marvin, I don't care if it's too early. I don't want to stress about when the right time is later. I just want to get there and not move." He responds with: "Alright, it's too early, but I guess we can go." Is this dude serious?
We load up in the car and call the hospital and reserve labor room 1 (which has the birth tub). We get to the hospital and Marvin parks (far as hell from the entrance--once again: zero nerves). I get out and walk to the entrance. I have to squat just outside the door and breath. It's 9:15 AM and people are looking at me like I'm crazy. I walk in after the contraction is done and tell the lady at the desk: "Hi, my name is Diana Vallette, we pre-registered and I am in labor." She has zero urgency. She tells me to fill out a paper and wait a moment. Marvin fills it out and I walk around the ER breathing and squatting when contractions hit. People are continuing to look at me like I'm crazy. About 10 minutes pass and we are sent upstairs to Labor & Delivery. We walk to the elevators and juuuuuust as the doors open to the 2nd floor I have a contraction (just like Dane's birth!) and the elevator beeps over and over and I force myself to walk out of the elevator during the contraction.
We walk into Labor Room 1 and it's empty. Where is the nurse? I have about 5 contractions and I'm so effing hot. I am squatting and breathing and need to pee and poop. I just want to poop. It would mean the world to me if I could poop. The room is still empty except for Marvin and I. I tell him to go get the nurse. It's about 9:30AM. He comes back and tells me she said she's coming. Why is no one taking this seriously? She finally comes in and Marvin hands her my birth plan. She looks it over and tells me to pee in a cup and that she wants me to get on the monitor to see if I'm in labor and how far apart the contractions are. L-O-L. She wants to see if I'm in labor. Das funnny! A contraction hits and I squat through it and the nurse watches me breath. The contraction is over and I pop up to a standing position and resume my conversation with her. She says "Well, do you want to get on the monitor first or do you want me to check you?". I tell her I have no preference, whatever she wants, but make sure to say "this is my third kid" in an effort to drive the point home that I AM definitely in labor. I don't need her to "see" if this is it cause this is SO it. She checks me and I'm at 6 cms. Her attitude immediately changes. She knows I'm for real. She tells me she understands I don't want to be on the monitor the whole time, but she'd like to get me on it for a few minutes. I tell her I'll do 20 minutes. She is satisfied with that. She tells me at 9:50 I can unplug myself. She leaves.
I watch the baby's heartrate through contractions and it's going up. Awesome. 9:50 arrives and I unplug myself. Marvin asks if I want the tub filled. I tell him I don't want to get in the tub, but could he fill it in case I want to later? He fills it and says "oh my God, gross!" and turns off the water and starts draining it. I ask him what happened and he says the water is yellow (probably from not being used in a while). The draining noise is loud and distracting and I hate it. Marvin apparently knows me very well because he stops the draining without my saying anything. Apparently a nurse comes in and sees the dirty water chilling in the tub and calls for housekeeping. While I'm in the middle of a HARD contraction a woman enters the room and YELLS "Housekeeping" four times in a row before I yell at her "STOPPPPPP TALKING!" she runs out. I tell Marvin I want to get in the shower. By the time he walks to the bathroom to turn on the shower I change my mind. I don't want to do anything or go anywhere. This hurts and nothing is helping. Marvin tells me how great I'm doing between each contraction and I wonder why he feels the need to lie to me--it hurts!
Eventually Marvin and I develop a contraction routine where I sit on my birth ball and lay my head on the bed in between contractions as he cools me off and rubs my back softly to help me relax. When a contraction hits I jump up off the ball and he helps me hold my belly and sway and squat. The contractions hurt and I'm having to vocalize through them. After a few contractions where I vocalize I say "man, I didn't have to vocalize so early last time!". I have a few more contractions and I feel like I am sucking at handling them. In between the contractions I have internal back and forth conversations with myself about how I'm dreading the next contraction, no don't dread it if you fight against it it'll hurt worse, man this break is long the next contraction is gonna suck, I'm tired, I'm so hot, I wish I could poop, is this almost over etc. etc. etc.
I start to feel some slight pressure. Damnit I wish I had gotten to poop because now I don't know if it's the real urge to push or not and I'm probably going to poop all over the damn table.
I tell the nurse that I'm feeling some slight pressure. She asks if I want to be checked. I say yes. Marvin asks me if I'm sure I want to be checked. I say yes. The nurse checks me. I'm an 8. I have a few more contractions and Dr. Brown walks in.
Diana: Hey, you're early! What are you doing here?
Dr. Brown:You said you felt pressure!
Diana: A little bit, but only during contractions, but we checked and I'm an 8.
Dr. Brown: Yeah, but less than an hour ago you were a 6.
Diana: You have time! Go see some more patients and we'll call you when it's time
Dr. Brown: Are you sure? I can make it back in 1 minute. Tell the nurse when you're ready and she'll call me right away, ok?
Dr. Brown leaves. There is alot of commotion going on around me. They are getting the room ready for delivery. There's a table with alot more instruments than I imagine I'll need to get this baby born! I start feeling the definite need to push. I have a few more contractions. I tell the nurse it's time to push and to call Brown. She checks me and I'm a 9. I don't care what the hell the number is. It's time. She says we can try pushing past it. Yup, that's exactly what we're going to do. Brown arrives and gets suited up. The nurses are putting covers over their shoes. I have about 3 contractions in the bed while they all get ready and I push slightly through those contractions because the pushing feels good. Everyone is ready now.
Dr. Brown asks if he can check me and I say "no, not right now, I'll let you know" and after a minute or so I tell him he can check. His finger goes in about one knuckle deep and he says "okkkkk, yeah, let's push this baby out on this next contraction" We wait around for another contraction and Brown tells me the baby has almost zero molding on its head. "Aww good" I say. He makes a face like I'm not understanding "the baby's head is REALLY round, did you have an episiotomy with your others?" Ohhhh. He means that the baby's head isn't molded so it may not come out so easily. I tell him that I didn't have an episiotomy with either of my other labors nor did I tear and I don't want one this time, I'd rather just tear naturally if I'm going to tear. I tell Dr. Brown that I've been needing to poop since before labor began and I'll probably poop on the table and I'm sorry. "It's all good" he says. Maybe for you, dude! You're not the one pooping in front of every one. A contraction comes. I close my eyes and push with everything I have. Oh my God it hurts so much worse than I remember. So much pressure. Everyone in the room is cheering me on and I hear Marvin say "I see the head" (hearing him say that every time pumps me up so much! I wanna see!). The contraction is over and Brown says next contraction the baby is out. I tell Brown we don't know the sex and he says "neither do I" and I tell him Marvin will announce the sex. A contraction comes and I push and push and push and the head is out. I feel zero relief. Brown tells me to push and push so the shoulders can come out. The shoulders feel stuck to me, but I push and they pop out and I feel relief. Marvin announces "It's a girl!" I open my eyes and she's laying in between my legs and her hair is dark and she looks so tiny and I can't believe I did it.
I ask Dr. Brown if I tore, he says no. I ask Marvin if I pooped, he says no. I can't believe it. I feel the placenta slipping out and I push it out. SO MUCH relief. I feel empty. Ahhhhh I can breath!
I ask Dr. Brown to see the placenta because I've never seen one in real life. It's so much smaller than I imagine. Juliet (she was not named until this moment, she was almost Maria or Marie or one of 5 other names we kept going back and forth on) nurses like a champ looking up at me. I ask the nurse how much she thinks she weighs because she's so tiny! The nurse says "hmmm, she's little, about 6 lbs I guess!" Juliet is weighed about an hour later and she weighs 7lbs 5 oz. Everyone is surprised because she looked so itty bitty.
(Marvin goes to find the lady I yelled at to "stop talking" and apologizes for me.)
We got to the hospital at 9AM I had her at 11AM. Two hours. If Marvin would've been in charge, we would've had a baby at home!
Juliet's birth felt alot harder to me than Dane's. It was fast and furious. 6 hours from first contraction to her birth. I had some moments of self doubt. Not "I want the epidural" self doubt because I'm sure I wouldn't have had time to get it and I definitely wouldn't have been able to stay still while they administered it, but more "man, this really hurts, how am I gonna keep doing this?" I'm so glad contractions have breaks in between!
It was an awesome surprise not knowing the gender (even though I 'knew' she was a girl).
It's crazy to me that just 9 days ago I was sure I'd be pregnant forever and now I don't even remember what it felt like to be pregnant. I keep telling Marvin how lucky I feel to have 3 healthy kids. We are blessed and we know it!