Last week we welcomed our third amazing baby to the family. Landon Robert Schleh was born at 1:30 am on April 2, weighing 6 lbs. 11 oz. His birth was not without the "usual" amount of drama, however. :)
Thursday, March 31
Brayden: Mommy, when is summer going to come?
Me: In a few months. Right now we're in March, but tomorrow is April and then there's just a little bit more time until summer.
Brayden: Tomorrow is April? The baby is coming tomorrow!
Me: No, sweetie. Not yet. It will still be a few more weeks before the baby comes.
Brayden: No. The baby is coming tomorrow.
The morning of Friday, April 1
My water broke.
Two and a half weeks early.
Before contractions started (ugh).
Before my mom had a chance to come into town to watch our kids.
Lauren and I frantically called up friends and family to try to arrange childcare, dog care, etc.
Everyone thought it was an April Fool's joke.
The joke was on us.
I had a doctor's appointment that morning anyway, so when I went in, my doctor told me (as expected) to get to the hospital. Hoping to avoid being induced (I sincerely wanted another natural, unmedicated birth), we took our time at home. We went for walks. Made my labor necklace. Arranged all necessary care for the other beings in our house.
We finally arrived to the hospital around 7pm. The doctor was not pleased. Let's just say that the tone for the entire labor would continue along those lines - a displeased doctor who became increasingly frustrated and confrontational with us. She wanted to speed up the labor; we wanted to wait. We waited a few hours before finally conceding to speed up the contractions with pitocin. Not what we had in mind, but we fought the good fight as long as we could.
With a very low level of pitocin, my contractions immediately sped up - from an irregular 6-8 minutes apart to a more consistent 3-5 minutes apart. They grew increasingly strong. But the doctor kept wanting to increase the dose, saying things weren't going fast enough. To be perfectly honest, she was a terrible doctor. She argued with us, yelled at us, told us we were manipulating her and created the most negative atmosphere possible. Not exactly what I had in mind for my birth experience. My husband and doula were doing a great job managing the situation and I was doing a great job focusing on breathing, staying calm and being in the moment. I was still committed to avoiding pain medication and was getting worried that upping the pitocin would make things too difficult. I reminded my doctor that my last baby went from 6cm to birth in just 90 minutes. "I think I just sprint at the end. My body is still working even if it isn't dilating. I don't want more pitocin."
"Just because it happened that way last time doesn't mean it will happen that way again" my doc said.
Argue. Argue. Argue.
Finally, everything hit a peak of intensity. My contractions were on top of each other and the arguing was at an all time high. The doctor checked my progress -- and I was only 4cm. Ugh. The number got into my head and I reluctantly told my dear hubby I couldn't do it any longer. Not if I was that far away. Sweet husband tried to remind me that with both previous births, the time I thought I couldn't do it anymore was when I was transitioning -- when the baby was about to come. It couldn't be the same for this time though, right? I was only 4cm.
11 minutes later, I had a baby. I went from 4cm to baby in ELEVEN MINUTES. (This little guy really had to outdo his sister - he came earlier, quicker and weighed more at 38 weeks than she did at 40).
It was another dramatic entrance for a Schleh baby. The nurse suddenly realized that even though the doctor had JUST left the room (after checking and seeing I was at 4cm) that she needed to be called back immediately. The nurse checked me -- and the baby's head was right there. Everyone had to once again rush into the room, throw on gloves and try to catch my sweet baby.
My favorite part of the night was when the nurse said regarding the baby's gender, "I don't know what it is. Daddy, why don't you check?" Lauren got to proudly announce "It's a boy!" before he was placed on my chest.
Immediate love for this little man-cub of mine.
I was horribly disappointed with my doctor and the cloud of tension and arguing that hung over the evening, but I got a healthy and happy baby boy in the end. I avoided an epidural and pain medication - which was wonderful to be able to do with all three kids. I had an amazing husband who truly went to bat for me and advocated for his family to the best of his ability. I had a doula who remained supportive and helped the state of the room return to as much calm as possible each time the doctor left. And now, I have a third amazing baby to add to our loving family.